What to do if your partner acts like a parent
A relationship with a partner who is more like a parent is not healthy. They may contain control, criticism, and other things for your upbringing. However, you are an adult who deserves equal and respectful treatment towards yourself. Of course, we may unwittingly encourage such behavior ourselves, as well as take steps to stop it. From this article, you will learn what to do so that your partner stops being a parent.
1. Change your behavior
Sometimes we become the reason that a partner turns into a parent. For example, we constantly ask him for help on matters we could handle on our own or for advice on any issue. He feels responsible for literally every aspect of our lives and therefore switches to an educational tone and overprotection.
Often partners behave like parents when we do not want to take part in solving everyday problems, shifting everything onto his shoulders. In this case, the man’s reaction is quite understandable because the refusal of responsibility is a childish habit. The more he faces infantilism and unwillingness to solve the tasks, the more often he begins to educate his girlfriend. You can only show that you deserve a different attitude by changing your behavior.
If the problem with your partner’s parental behavior is his uncertainty about your responsibility, make a list of responsibilities for each of you. It can be done for a day, a week, or a month and mark the completed tasks. They must be distributed evenly and in such a way as to satisfy the needs of everyone.
This will help you show that your partner’s parental behavior is unjustified. And he needs to cope with hyper control and understand that you need to communicate with him like an adult.
2. Talk to your partner about their behavior and set boundaries
In many cases, the partner behaves like a parent when he wants to control us. It is worth talking about boundaries and discussing his behavior. He may not realize how much his actions bring you discomfort and interfere with life.
Use affirmations and arguments to help convince your partner that it’s time to stop acting like a parent. Make it clear that you don’t need his permission to call a friend or a reminder when you do the dishes. Remind that you are an adult who does not need to be educated and changed for yourself.
Talk to him calmly and thoughtfully. Moods and tears may be associated with childish behavior. And this will strengthen his confidence that he is behaving correctly.
Of course, you may encounter counterarguments and accusations against you. But sometimes, such a conflict is necessary to understand the real essence of the problem and the reason for the partner’s parental behavior.
Unfortunately, in some cases, this can even lead to separation if you cannot agree. As you set your boundaries, you may find that your partner ends up withdrawing because the relationship has changed, so they don’t want to be a part of it.
3. Learn to say “no”
Overprotective partners are prone to criticism, control, and a desire to correct us. And not always can we agree with their comments. If before you just endured or remained silent in response to comments, it’s time to learn to say a firm “no.”
For example, your partner criticizes your new hairstyle. Says the last one was better; he wouldn’t let you into the barbershop if he could. He can even pressure other people to say the same. Do not be silent and nod your head submissively, like a delinquent child. Tell your partner you disagree with his opinion and think the new hairstyle suits you.
Also, defend the position if the partner makes you give up your affairs for his desires. Say “no” if you understand there is no good reason to refuse what you have planned.
This also applies to comments that are aimed at correcting you. Of course, some statements can be heeded, but only if they do not reach the point of absurdity. For example, a hint that it’s time to quit smoking can manifest concern for your health. And here is a sign that it is time for you to stop communicating with your girlfriend – personal interest and a desire to control, especially in cases where the partner tells you that he doesn’t like her and at the same time does not give other arguments in favor of ending your friendship.
The more often you say “no,” the less you allow your partner to control and overprotect you. He will have to come to terms with the fact that there is an adult in front of him, and not a child, or part with you if he is looking for a parent-child model in a relationship.
4. Mirrored his behavior
Some people realize that they were wrong only in situations where they feel what they are doing for themselves. Start acting like your partner. If he scolds you for doing something wrong, pay attention to his mistake in the same way.
Repeat the “exercise” if he explains simple things to you as a child. Copy his way of speaking and point it at him. The same goes for control: if your smartphone must be viewable, declare that his phone must also be unlocked with your fingerprint.
Your behavior may make your partner want to talk about what’s happening. And also, think about how to solve the problem. However, quarrels are not excluded if he thinks that you are just mocking him. Then the conversation should be started by yourself, and see how the partner is ready to listen to your words.