Can you Rehabilitate your 'Mummy's Boy' Partner?

If you are lucky enough to be in a relationship with a 'mummy's boy' here are some tips to help him rehabilitate.

Firstly, the average 'mummy's boy' has been spoilt rotten by his parents, and possibly previous partners as well. These people do a lot for him to try and please him. The reason he doesn't know how to cook, use a washing machine, clean up, pack up, buy clothes, go food shopping, place his towel on the rack, etc, etc, is that mum did it all for him when he was growing up. And the longer he stayed in the family home, the more he got used to it. The problem is that he might expect you to do all the things his mum did for him. The other problem is, the average 21st Century woman doesn't want a child as a partner, and rightly so! And if he has gone straight from the family home to living with you- good luck trying to mature him! You are not trying to change him ,just to get him to take more responsibility for the things an adult needs to take responsibility for.  Here are the top 3 reasons why its so hard for him to change;

  1. He expects someone to do it all for him, that is his normal. He needs a reality check, but at first he may be disappointed that you are not 'as good as' his mum domestically. Please try not to take this personally, because he just doesn't know any better. Try not to put him down (I know how tempting it is just to tell him to grow up, daily), that will just make him defensive. Just mention that you are both busy and that if you work together on chores then you will have more time for fun. In other words, you need to promote the benefits of teamwork.
  2. If he is used to reward before effort then he will want the fun first and think you are boring or a nag when talking about chores. Remain calm and be logical. Clearly state the potential reward. If he does the dishes after dinner. then both of you can relax better. If he puts his towel on the rack then HE won't have to wash it so often.
  3. He may not understand equality because his mother has inadvertently taught him that women belong in the home cooking and cleaning all day. Even if you have a job, he may expect you to do all of his as well. Again, try to remain calm, don't call him Peter Pan, and explain that equality means you divide chores evenly both inside and outside, because you have the same rights as him. Your time is as valuable as his. And the more you work together on a daily basis, the closer you will both get to achieving your goals.

This is all about helping him grow up and take responsibiltiy for himself, to become a more mature and independent human being. If this happens you both win. And anything he does along these lines needs to be encouraged and appreciated, and anything that resembles childishness and irresponsibility can be discouraged.This requires you to be assertive and to stop doing it all for him. You will need to call out his excuses and avoidance tactics, but make sure you do it calmly. The moment you behave badly is the moment he can point the finger at you and make more excuses not to change himself. You need to set reasonable limits and stick to them. iIf you feel like you cannot do this alone, then consider couples therapy. Yes I know, he won't want to come, he will feel 'ganged up on' by you and the therapist, but you can ask him him how his habits will change if he doesn't seek help? Explain the impact his behaviour has. You may need to sell the idea of therapy to him, and be assertive about how some of his behaviour is not acceptable or reasonable or healthy. The last resort is a trial separation to give him time to change, but this is a drastic step and it is best to try the above approaches first. Let me know if you have any more questions about this subject by simply emailing me at support@petercharleston.com.

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