"It's not spiders I dislike, just people." -Petra
Question #91508 posted on 07/22/2018 1:59 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How do I stop being frustrated/dissatisfied with my husband's lack of maturity? We've been married awhile, and lately it just seems like I've matured a lot more than he has, and I want him to be a little closer to my maturity level. I know it's awful of me to think that, and I need to love him how he is, and they always say men never grow up anyway, right? And that makes me think maybe there's nothing wrong with him, maybe it's me - that recent experiences have made me uptight and cranky or something? On top of all that, or possibly as a result, it seems like I can't stop comparing our relationship to fictional relationships I come in contact with, and I know that's even more irrational! (I'm also pregnant, so maybe my hormones are just wreaking havoc with my already over-analytical and obsessive mind). So after that rant, I guess the question is how can I just be satisfied - or better yet, happy - with the way things are?

Thanks, you guys are the best.
Wife

A:

Dear Wife,

I think it depends what kind of immaturity we're talking about here. If he has what you might consider a more juvenile type of humor, that's probably something you can learn to live with and love. If he's immature in terms of work or communication or other crucial factors of a relationship, that's more important to rectify.

If it's the second type of immaturity and you're concerned about how it will affect the future, then the best option is to talk to him sincerely about your concerns and find ways you can both work on communication. You can try couples therapy if you think that would help you as well.

However, if your husband has a childlike sense of enthusiasm and eagerness towards the world, then plan activities that will help you enjoy and celebrate it rather than living with the frustration. Have a themed dinner with elementary school food like chicken fingers or PB&J. Buy each other Nerf guns or water balloons and have an elaborate fight for a date night. Decorate cupcakes with lots of sprinkles and frosting and pass them out to friends. Basically, find ways to appreciate whatever immature qualities your husband might possess, and make them a treasured part of your relationship instead of a burden. It might take time and planning, but hopefully it will help you both be happier within the relationship.

Love,

Luciana

posted on 07/27/2018 7:29 p.m.
It is by no means "awful" for you to want your relationship to be on equal footing as far as maturity goes, particularly if you are talking about the second type of immaturity as defined by Luciana. If you are considering attending couples' therapy for this type of issue, but would like to try some "home remedies" first, I would recommend looking up a technique called "non-violent communication" which, at its crux, involves listening to someone honestly describe their needs and feelings, without assuming blame or criticism (and in turn, describing your own needs and feelings without blaming the other person). http://www.nonviolentcommunication.com/pdf_files/4part_nvc_process.pdf

Having been in multiple dating situations where an immaturity gap existed and only became worse over time, it can be really tempting to put yourself down and dismiss your own needs because of pervasive cultural stereotypes you mentioned like "men don't grow up" but I think most of us know deep down that those stereotypes shouldn't become an excuse for tolerating the bare minimum, especially in friendships and romantic relationships.

The point is, you are not irrational for having needs and feelings, and your spouse should still respect that, even if ultimately your issue as a couple is a difference in personality/tastes rather than emotional intelligence.