You're Married to a Little Boy

Mary in Salt Lake City wants to know how she can get her spouse on board with Dave’s plan. She’s on board, but he won’t participate in the budgeting.

QUESTION: Mary in Salt Lake City wants to know how she can get her spouse on board with Dave’s plan. She’s on board, but he won’t participate in the budgeting. Dave thinks Mary has a serious marriage problem.

ANSWER: Let me tell you where you’re going to be. After 20 years of doing financial counseling, I’ve counseled women in your situation thousands of times, and eventually, you will get tired of being the only adult in the household. A switch will flip where you completely lose respect and anything else for him, and you’ll be done with him. That’s not a plan. You’ve got to deal with this.

This is a respect breakdown. It’s a marriage breakdown. You’re getting tired of being the mommy to a little boy. You’re the only adult making decisions. Aren’t you getting tired of this?

You’ve got to go to a marriage counselor. He’s freaking four years old. Tell him you’re tired of being married to a boy; you want a man. One statement is not going to do it. The point is there’s a breakdown as to what he thinks his role is. He thinks his role is to do whatever the flip he wants, and you’re going to bail him out. Your role so far has been an enabler of that. You’re getting tired of it. I’m tired of him just listening to the conversation.

I’ve got to tell you that if I come home and my wife tells me she’s been sitting in front of the washer and dryer crying about a behavior that I’m not engaging in, I love her enough to listen to that situation and say, “Okay. You’re either being a drama queen and we’ve got to work through your crazy emotions and you need to breathe a little bit here, or I need to address this behavior.” That’s not a quality marriage. You guys have got to deal with this. He’s not a bad guy, and he’s obviously not a dumb guy. Stupid people don’t make $160,000. He’s engaging in some four-year-old behavior. I don’t mind you paying the bills since you’re probably more gifted at it, but I do mind him sabotaging everything, and I do mind you being the only one who’s making adult decisions in this household.

Go sit down with your pastor, and tell your husband to wear his tux to marriage counseling.

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