Do You "Parent" Your Partner?

We all know you're mom of the year with your kids, but are you perhaps extending that "mothering" to your partner? There's nothing unsexier than having to treat a partner like a kid or being treated like one. Yet it's not an uncommon scenario between two married people with kids for one partner to sometimes feel as if he or she has to keep track of the other or refer to the partner as the other kid. Of course, it's a problem no matter how common this situation is. Here are a few signs you're treating your partner like the third, fourth, or fifth child.


Nagging. Ah, the stereotypical nagging wife. There's some truth to this stereotype at times, and if you are constantly reminding your partner of what to do day in and day out, you're basically reducing this person to kid status. Sure, it's annoying for you that Dad forgot to bring home the milk or give the kids their allergy medicines, but refusing to let your partner "lose" on his own and instead constantly telling him what he's supposed to do not only makes your partner feel like a child, but it also continues to put the bulk of responsibilities onto you.

This isn't to say that some reminders like giving the kids their medicine aren't important but to say that you've got to treat your adult partner as an adult and let the person fall or fail on his or her own. Besides, don't you hate being on the clock all the time? Have some faith in your partner too. It's demeaning for the person to believe you have no faith that anything will get done.

Real Talk: Some partners may be that irresponsible or negligent that you have no choice but to remind and take charge. If this is the case, it's time for you to consider marriage counseling.

You Leave Your Partner in Charge of Nothing

Are you the go-to gal for everything? Do you require nothing of your partner either because you like to be in charge or you don't trust this person's abilities?


This is an issue. The definition of partner is as follows:

Partner (n): a person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others.

That means that your partner should be doing something. Not nothing. You are not a one-woman show, my friend.

Real Talk: This is happening because of two reasons: you or your partner. If you're a control freak, you're going to have to step back, manage your anxiety, and let your partner take the reins. If the problem lies in your partner, it's time to sit down and talk about how he's got to step up to the plate and take over some duties. It may be that you make him feel as if he can't handle the kids or doing anything so he's become adjusted to letting you do things. You won't know until you two speak.

The Kids Are Your Domain Always

When it comes to the kids, do you leave them alone with your partner, or do you hesitate to leave the kids in his care?

If you hesitate to ask anything of your partner when it comes to the kids, ask yourself why.

Do you think the person you married is incapable of parenting?

Do you have to be the one in control?

Does your partner seem unconfident around the kids if left alone with them for too long? If yes, why?

We have children with someone to share the duties and joys of raising them. If you feel as if you can only leave your partner to care for the house but not the kids, that's messed up right there. How can you love and be married to someone who is incapable of doing the parental duties?

Real Talk: Your partner may expect that mothers are the sole caregivers for children. It's an old-fashioned point of view, but some people still have that, and for me it's not fair, but perhaps for you you don't mind.

Do you have a child with special needs and Dad doesn't feel as comfortable handling him or her? Family counseling or working with specialists will help build Dad's confidence with your kiddo.

Does your partner feel you're critical about his parenting? It may be that you have made him feel less than confident in his ability to parent with too many criticisms. Obviously both of you should give feedback about parenting, but remember it's a team effort. Two heads are usually better than one. Usually.

Your Partner Is Immature

Do you treat your partner like a baby because he or she acts like one?

Yeah, well, then maybe babying your partner is called for, but ask yourself: do you need another baby? Because if so, you might have gotten pregnant again!

If your partner is bad with money, bad with the kids, partying too much, or incredibly selfish, this calls for marriage counseling or, worse, divorce.

You married someone expecting to marry an equal, not a child. Remember that.

Whether you've got a reason to baby your partner or not, you need to step back and take a look at the family dynamics and marriage to see why this is happening and how to fix it. Sure, you may be used to being mom to "another," but that's not how it should be. Your "parenting" of your spouse may be due to anxiety or because you can't trust this person, but either way, it needs to stop, and the sooner it does, the sooner things will change and for the better.