What do you do when your partner treats you like a child at all times? How do you deal with such a situation in the first place? Ideally, in a relationship, both partners must play a role that involves equality, that is both of them must have the same position and there should not be any issues with power dynamic – to put it in a more straightforward manner, there should not be any power struggle between them.
Unfortunately, in some relationships, the situation is far from ideal.
An unbalanced power dynamic – it results in miscommunication, a lack of empathy and understanding between the two partners, emotional and mental health problems are not out of the question either. It is one of the most unhealthy relationship dynamics ever – when one of the partners treats the other one like a kid – it is almost as if they are babysitting them. The age difference doesn’t matter here- if you are treating your partner like a child, it means that you are disrespecting them in some way. You are invalidating their emotions and actions both. If one partner is treating the other one as a child, it might also indicate that they have this very wrong notion that they can take decisions and make statements on behalf of their partner.
Furthermore, if you allow such unhealthy behavior on part of your partner, it means that you are actually supporting their behavior. This will further encourage them to control you and treat you like a puppet. A healthy relationship is one where both partners stand strong, give each other a healthy amount of space, and do not interfere in everything that their partner does and leaves the decision-making up to their partner when it comes to certain matters. Boundaries are respected and insecurities do not usually creep in, because matters of conflicts or arguments are dealt with in a mature and understanding manner.
If at some point in time during the course of your relationship, you feel like your partner is treating you like a child, pretending that you are not mature enough, or trying to take control of your life, your decisions and finances, it is time for you to regain back the control in your life. Take the initiative to build the necessary change, and the rest will follow. After all, you have to put in the requisite amount of effort for making your relationship a stable and a lasting one, while ensuring that healthy boundaries are established.
1. Put up boundaries whenever needed:
You need to maintain your distance, even from your partner, or your parents, or even your closest friends, if you think that it is required. Do not allow controlling or manipulative behavior, and definitely do not encourage passive-aggressive behavior from your partner. You can approach them politely and address the situation for a first. If the relationship is not an abusive one, a polite approach should be sufficient enough to make your partner back off – else, they will start protesting and even downright make amends for you to not put up such boundaries in the first place.
2. Go for a relatively stronger approach if a polite one doesn’t work:
In some cases, the partner’s way of treating you indicates that they want you to comply to them in every possible way – they might resort to emotional abuse, verbal lacerations or even physical violence in some of the worst scenarios. All this is done to simply take control of your life in some way. Take a firmer approach and let them know that you as an independent individual, have complete control over your life and how you decide to live it. Initially, these boundaries being put up might come as a rude shock to your partner, but soon they will grow accustomed to it and will start respecting your boundaries.
3. Be prepared for radical changes:
Once you address a situation, you can expect some solid, lasting changes in your romantic life. Be mentally prepared to deal with anything at any point in time because life can be quite unpredictable. If you have a partner with certain toxic traits, who does not want to back off from taking control over you and your life, chances are that they might leave you after an altercation, if things don’t work out THEIR way. So it’s best to be prepared, both mentally and emotionally for the worst and stay strong for any kind of situation. Things might just get messy and when you expect nothing much but to be treated as an equal partner in the relationship but get a selfish partner in return who does not acknowledge your feelings, or your sense of self-respect or self-worth for that matter. If either of you feels like things are not working out, and you should break up, you can go ahead with it- after all, not everything in life is meant to last. Learn to let go of this toxic human being simply because you deserve better.
4. Be independent:
It is important that you are not completely dependent on your partner in any way – be it mentally, emotionally or financially. Have a stable job if possible, work regularly, and support yourself with what you earn. Some savings can also come in handy in case either of you decides to move out or stay separated (be it on a temporary or permanent basis). Seek professional counseling for psychological issues if needed.