20th April 2021
Dr Jessica Taylor
It is so hard to watch capable women around me have to cope with grown men in their lives acting like helpless manbabies.
Do you ever get the feeling that your male partner couldn’t survive without you? I don’t mean that in a romantic way, I mean it in a way which meant that if you were to leave for a few days, you would be worried that you could come back to absolute chaos. Or a feeling that if you didn’t do all of these things for him, they would simply never get done.
Here are 15 signs that your relationship has moved from being with a man you loved, to mothering a manbaby who does nothing for himself:
1. If you don’t do it, it won’t get done
Ugh. The never ending realisation that you are the only person pulling your weight and if you don’t do that thing, it will never actually get done. Whether it’s cleaning out the car or ordering a birthday cake for your kids: you realise that it’s all down to you because he’s useless.
2. You are his PA for some reason
You are the one who has to book his GP and dentist appointments, remind him of important dates, sort out meetings with his family and friends and suddenly, you’re like his PA. He has absolutely no interest in using his own calendar or diary and will ask you to remind him of things ‘so he doesn’t forget’ because he cannot be arsed to remember anything, and knows that you will take the responsibility for remembering All The Things.
3. He has no idea how much the bills are
Since he’s useless at managing his own life, he has nothing to do with household spending (unless it’s on stupid, frivolous items). If you were to ask him today how much your bills were and how you manage the family budget, he would have no idea. He has no idea what you spend on utilities or the mortgage because you’ve also morphed into his accountant and bank manager. Worse, you can’t trust him to go grocery shopping because you know he will come back with bags of junk and will have wasted your shopping budget.
4. You have to control money so he doesn’t piss it all up the wall
You’re with a guy who is so irresponsible with money that you have to keep savings away from him, or you’ve agreed together that you control the money to take care of you and your kids because if he had access to the accounts, he would empty them. Whether he would go on a bender and spend all of the food money, or buy a random mountain bike he doesn’t even need and leave you skint for a month – you’ve ended up having to guard the family money so he doesn’t piss it up the wall on nothing.
5. You have to remind him of his own family members’ birthdays and anniversaries
Back in PA mode, it’s your job to remember all of his family members’ birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions because he has zero interest in any of them. You write them all in your calendar, you buy the cards and gifts and he has no idea you’ve even done it until you tell him. He puts his name in a card and acts like it was a joint gift or a joint decision but he didn’t even know about it until yesterday.
6. You have to remind him of your own special dates
You dread Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, your own birthday and your anniversary because you know that if you don’t give him daily reminders for two weeks beforehand, he won’t even remember it. He’s the type to frequently forget special dates and events, and blame you for not reminding him. The type to go and get you raggedy petrol station flowers at 15:55 on Mother’s Day just before everywhere shuts.
7. You pick out your own gifts because you know he will forget or buy you something terrible
Oh, this one hurts. You’ve been with him years but he knows and cares so little about you that you have to plan and pick your own gifts and order them for yourself for two main reasons: he will forget if you don’t do it for him, and if he did miraculously remember he would probably buy you something that you cannot stand or have absolutely no need or connection with. You have clear interests and hobbies but he ignores them all and buys you a bottle of Prosecco (you hate Prosecco) and some chocolates because he cannot be bothered to think what you might like.
8. You are his problem solver
Over time, you’ve become the solution to everything. He comes to you with every single problem in his life from not being able to Google something properly to making you ring his mum for him. From asking you to write an email to HR for him to dealing with his bereaved friend. You have become his constant problem solver because he’s totally dependent and reliant on you now. He doesn’t use his own brain anymore, and as soon as he is presented with something remotely challenging, it all gets handed to you no matter what is going on in your own life.
9. You have covered for him at work
He’s had you call in sick for him, write emails for him or cover for him at work because he’s irresponsible, lazy and knows you will do it.
10. You are used as an excuse for why he can’t be arsed to see his mates
This is a real pet hate. He tells his boys that he can’t come out because ‘uhh you know, the missus’ or ‘uhhh I think I’m busy and have to do something with the missus and her family’. You’ve become this constant go-to excuse when he doesn’t want to do something, which means his mates think you’re a controlling partner who never lets her man out – when in fact, he’s never even asked you and he’s just terrible at maintaining friendships or plans with his mates.
11. He doesn’t help with the kids because he is a fucking kid
You come home to find him lying around in his underwear playing Xbox whilst the kids run riot, haven’t eaten breakfast or lunch and haven’t been washed or dressed. He claims he was really busy or really tired and that the kids have been a handful but you know full well he’s done absolutely nothing with them to help, take care or look after them. You end up having to clean up the mess, feed and wash the kids, make him get up and you feel like all you ever do is nag him to help you.
12. He is perceived as the ‘fun’ parent whilst you get all the boring, unnoticed jobs
He does absolutely nothing ‘boring’ or reliable because you have had to take responsibility for it all. This leaves him free to be the parent who rolls around on the floor with the kids and plays water fights in the garden whilst you do 4 loads of laundry, change the beds, make the dinner and sort all of your bills and admin. Over time, he ends up with a better relationship with the kids who think he’s brilliant whilst you are just ‘boring mum’ who does all the shit jobs no one notices.
13. You have to explain how to be a basic human to him far too often
You have to have regular heart-to-hearts with him about being a basic, decent, respectful human being. Whether it’s a comment he’s made, a stereotype he holds, a belief about parenting or women, a behaviour that harms others – you feel like you’re talking to your 7 year old child about why their behaviour is unacceptable. You find yourself having to ask him to put himself in the shoes of other people, and to have empathy or consider the impact of his actions on others.
14. He can’t cook and doesn’t even try
He jokes to everyone that he can’t cook, and you’re amazing in the kitchen so he just leaves it all to you, which is manbaby code for ‘I can’t be arsed to learn how to make my own food’. Imagine. Imagine being his age and not being able to make basic food. For most women, that is incomprehensible, but for these men, it’s a normal part of life. Can’t cook, won’t cook, you deal with it.
15. He won’t work harder or get a job so you all struggle
He has done nothing but bum around for years, refusing to undertake any self-development or training. You’ve had several jobs or have worked hard for years and yet he has just cruised along doing nothing. He won’t apply for jobs, or worse, refuses to work but won’t apply for welfare or benefits because he thinks it’s beneath him, so you and your family struggle by whilst he does literally nothing. He is fit, able and could work, but just chooses not to. He moans about being broke but never tries to fix the situation. Any attempt by you to tell him to get a job is met with accusations of ‘telling him what to do’ or ‘putting pressure’ on him.
In short, if you recognise your man in any (or several) of these red flags – you’ve ended up with a manbaby.
Truthfully, you have two options here:
1. Confront him, challenge him, tell him how you feel and ask him to change. If he changes, excellent. If he doesn’t, well, you move to number 2.
2. Leave and free yourself
Relationships like this will never be what you want or need as a woman. They are not equal, fulfilling or healthy. You did not grow to be a woman to become the second mother of a fully grown man who is so selfish and entitled that he has slowly groomed you into doing everything for him.
Is this really the kind of relationship you envisaged yourself having? Wouldn’t it be nice to be with someone who was more independent and self-sufficient? Someone who would think about you, consider you and then do things equally?
How can you ever feel personally or sexually fulfilled by a man who you have to look after 24/7? You’re no longer an equal partner, you are a maid.
Please do not waste another moment with a manbaby. Most of the time, you can’t change them and they will expect that you look after them for their entire lives.
Stop doing things for him and see what happens. Tell him you will stop, give him fair warning, and then simply stop. Let him deal with forgetting his Mum’s birthday. Let him deal with missing all of his dentist appointments. Let him do his own laundry. Stand back, and give him space to be his own man. If he can’t do it, walk away.
You weren’t born to be a slave to a man who can’t manage his own life. You are so much more. You have so much more potential than this. Think of the life you could be leading if you weren’t putting this much effort into looking after your own partner. Imagine what you could achieve if you put all of those lost hours into yourself and your own development and happiness.
Just think on it. You deserve more than this.
Written by Dr Jessica Taylor
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