Lack of responsibility

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Jream Posts : 157 Registered: 7/29/08
Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 5:08 PM

I'm too pissed to write very much about this right now, but I'm just wondering about how much my fiance will change in regards to his lack of responsibility. I know people say not to marry expecting him to change and all that, but people gradually change as they mature. Have you guys found that you or your spouses have gotten more responsible as time goes on? Because I'm starting to think that if he's not going to mature at all, then I can't be with him. He's pissing me off so much right now. And, since I'm sure it's relevant, he's 22.


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Mushaboo Posts : 2,165 Registered: 3/22/08
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 5:19 PM Go to message in response to: Jream

At 22, I wouldn't have even been friends with my DH just based on the stories he tells about his life. There's no way he couldn't have been married at that age. He wasn't even mature enough to be married at 26 when we met. It took time. We grew together.

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RebeccaFazzio Posts : 323 Registered: 10/28/07
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 5:20 PM Go to message in response to: Jream

Well, what exactly is he doing?

When me and FH got together it was the opposite. I was immature and he was extremely mature. I came from a very small town where I believe people don't mature as fast as others. He came from New Orleans where he matured at a faster rate than most. We've been together for over three years and I have gradually matured and have grown much more responsible but with much prodding. I still have a ways to go but I love him very much and although I am mature and much more mature than people from where I'm from because he is overly mature it has been a mild struggle. Please don't mistake immaturity for childishness on my part though. I just haven't had the life experience that he has had.

Which brings me back to my original point. What, exactly, his he doing that is pissing you off so much? Have you talked to him about his maturity level?
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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 5:47 PM Go to message in response to: Jream

Hmmm. Well, men normally mature slower than women to begin with, and most men I have known in my lifetime are NOT very mature at the age of 22. I would need more specifics as to what you are talking about in regards to his immaturity issues, but this is actually ONE of the many reasons that I usually think a persons early 20s is too young to get married. I personally dont believe that most people are fully mature by that age. Thats just my opinion, but I was in love when I was 22, very in love, yet marriage never crossed my mind. I was too focused on college and graduating and figuring out what my life would be and who I would be etc etc ... most guys I knew at that age were not in any way ready to get married. If he was 35 and acting immaturely, I would have no problem telling you he will most likely not change. But at age 22, its tough to say how much he will still mature, and how much of what he is doing is just who he is ....

Bottom line is that if you are feeling like he is too immature right now, than perhaps right now is not a good time to commit yourself to this person for life. You dont need to do anything drastic like break up .... but perhaps its time to reevaluate your relationship, what you want, and whether or not those needs are being met. I wouldnt go into a marriage without those questions being answered 100%.

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Jream Posts : 157 Registered: 7/29/08
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 6:59 PM Go to message in response to: kelleyiskelley

I always thought people were crazy saying that you need to be in your 30's before you know what you want and when to marry, etc. I'm beginning to understand that even though I may feel perfectly ready to settle down in life, my fiance may not be quite mature enough yet.

I know he's the one for me right now. I'm such a serious, ordered person, and I love him because he brings humor and spontaneity into my life. He understands me even when I don't understand myself, seriously. I think too much for my own good, and sometimes it clouds my judgment. He gives me a side of myself that I never saw sometimes. So he brings structure and just a little bit of healthy disorder into my life at the same time. But sometimes that disorder just gets to be too much, and this lack of responsibility thing is honestly the ONLY problem I have with him.

So this is what he does. He gets around 10 hours of sleep every day, and it's never enough. He has sleep issues. He says all he needs are these pills he used to be on but now can't afford because he doesn't have insurance. I offer him other solutions, which he argues about, and eventually I drop it. So he sleeps a lot and takes showers a lot. I ask him to feed the cats in the morning and he forgets. Mind you, we have kittens right now, and they need to be fed a lot more often than adults. He fed them the previous night, and when I told him in the morning to feed them again, he said, "Already?" I thought that was hilarious. Yes, you can't just feed them once a week. Anyway, the reason I don't always feed them is because I go to work at 8:30 in the morning and I'm having problems getting there on time, so I'm working on it--which means cutting out a couple of things. Besides, should I really do everything? If I don't do the dishes, the litterboxes, the vacuuming, the straightening, the cooking, the laundry, etc., then it DOESN'T get done. So I ask him to do more. He says, "Like what?" I tell him specifically and it lasts for about a week before he starts forgetting again. So I came up with the idea of putting our "chores" on a dry erase board on the fridge just to remind us. I forgot to do that, and now I've got two papers due for school tomorrow, a midterm and a presentation on Tuesday, and four more term papers coming up, plus reading at least 6 more novels. Plus a wedding to plan, that he so far isn't helping me with. He said he'd do the invitations, so he wanted to build these scrolls using wood and fabric, but he hasn't even made a prototype yet.



Okay, big issue here is, I don't know how far to push him. I push him too hard to do something, he rebels against it like a little child. I don't push hard enough and he forgets. I try to go somewhere in between and ask him nicely to do something if he has time, because it's sort of stressing me out that it's not done and that I can't do it because I have homework and still work a job for 40 hours a week, and then he says okay and forgets. I even try mind games and say, "Okay, so what day are you going to work on the invitations?" and he says something like, "Tuesday." Come Tuesday night, he's still messing around on the computer.

I know that he "forgets" and everything because he's stressed, but everybody's stressed. I'm glad he can go in his little happy place and forget about all his responsibilities, but it's time to grow up now and realize that all these things are still weighing on his shoulders, whether he chooses to acknowledge them or not.

Anyway, I'm sorry this ended up so long. I need him, but it kills me sometimes to need him. Like your hero comes to save you and it turns out he doesn't know what to do. I can't leave him, but sometimes staying here and having to do everything myself makes me wish I could. Yes, I know, of course I can just up and leave, but I mean emotionally. He does more good for me than harm, and yet the harm still hurts so darn much.





EDIT: What I'm looking for is for you guys to tell me things I can fix in myself, too. I honestly hate that I am so demanding and forget things just as much as he does. When I get stressed, I just need to fix things, and if I can't fix myself, then I try to fix him. I blame him for too much stuff, but I don't always recognize it, and neither does he. Maybe you guys can point out if I'm overreacting at all.


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Edited by: Jream on Oct 15, 2009 7:01 PM

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 7:07 PM Go to message in response to: Jream

Don't apologize for your thread being long - it's good to vent sometimes!

I gotta say...you are right in saying that you shouldn't marry someone expecting them to change. If you truly can not live with the way things are now, do not get married. Of course, I'm not telling you to break up with him but if you have ANY doubts (and this is true for any poster) then putting marriage plans on ice is a good idea.

I'm guessing that since you've had arguments, he knows that this is a real problem. Does he know how serious it is? Here are my two suggestions:

1. Talk to him about how serious it is. Let him know that his behaviour is causing you to question your future together. If he knows how serious you are, he may shape up. Regardless of whether he is "forgetful", he can learn to write himself notes. He can be less lazy with household chores. The reason he may be acting so lazy is because up until now, he's been getting away with it (since it seems as though you pick up his slack - I don't blame you, as I wouldn't want to live in a messy house either).

2. If you are finding that no matter what you do, you either end up fighting, or his behavious doesn't change, why not try asking him what HIS solution to the matter is. That might get him to start thinking about it more. (You'd think that if he hates you "nagging" him so much, he'd just shape up and help around the house so that he doesn't have to hear about it!)

Anyway...hope that helps.
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deansbride Posts : 220 Registered: 3/24/08
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 7:25 PM Go to message in response to: Jream

I know how you feel, but probably not quite on the same level. My DH and I had similar problems when we first moved in together. He was just so lazy and he could (and still can) sleep 16 hours a day. As someone who cannot sleep for more then 8 hours (if I'm lucky) I think that is rediculous! He also forgets unless I constantly remind him and then I feel like I am nagging. It really made me feel like he didn't care enough about me to pitch in especially since, like you, I was working full time and going to school full time. I basically had a couple break-downs, crying, hysterical fits is probably a better description. This totaly freaked him out since I am not a very emotional person and he tended to get his act together for a while. We also talk it about a lot when he starts to get lazy again. We divide jobs, I still do more house work then he does, but that is actually how I prefer it since I am a bit of a control freak.

We still have some little arguments, but I think he sees my point of view a bit better now that we have been living together for almost 6 years. I honestly think it will get better. As he matures he will soon understand the old saying, "if mama (wife) ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Yes very cliche, but soooo true in our house!
I have all the confidence that it will improve for you too, just try to make sure that you tell him how it makes you feel when he doesn't help out and leaves all the responsibility on you. Also, try not to attack him. Good luck!

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Jream Posts : 157 Registered: 7/29/08
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 7:26 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

You ever hear someone say, "He wasn't like this when I married him," or "I miss the man I fell in love with"? People DO change, and that's both a flaw and beautifully human characteristic. It's naive to think that someone will never, ever change or mature or grow, just as it's naive to think that marrying them alone will change them into a better person.

I'm just wondering (and I guess I already know, and I just want people to affirm it) if this is one of those things that hopefully he will grow out of.

And yes, I have talked to him about it. He actually called me in the middle of writing my previous post and we figured things out. Problem is, we figure this same problem out over and over again. We both get lax on our "solutions" or we're not coming up with the right solutions. I don't know. I'm thinking we both just forget too much.


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FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 8:08 PM Go to message in response to: Jream

Oh MY! Okay... where do we start? First, a person's basic personality is formed long before the age of 22. I am not sure if this is a maturity issue or a character issue. As my Daddy always says, there are three kinds of people in the world. People who make things happen, people who watch things happen, and people who wonder what happened. You seem like the "make things happen" kind of girl and your FH seems like he is content watching you make it happen. The bottom line is, I don't think this is a maturity issue, I think it is a character issue. And I can promise you that he is not going to magically change. Will he grow up some over the years? Maybe. Maybe not. But what I need to tell you now is that you must marry him knowing that you are marrying this specific guy with this specific character. You aren't going to change him. He isn't going to change.

I worry that this is going to drive you nuts. I worry that you are going to end up feeling resentful. You have a lot of things on your plate girl. He isn't pulling his weight and that is a problem.

I would ask if you are getting pre-marital counseling and if not, it may be a good idea. If you are going to marry this man, make sure you can accept that he is who he is.... and love him for his kitty neglecting, computer sitting, "gee, I'm going to do it on Tuesday" self. I honestly don't mean to sound harsh. The fact is, I married a man that I could strangle half the time because he doesn't know what the word "housework" means. My dilemma was to kill him or to hire a housekeeper. He is still living and Molly Maids is working out okay.

Good luck sweetie.

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DoesntPlayNice Posts : 809 Registered: 12/17/08
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 9:20 PM Go to message in response to: FrancieElaine

Are you sure you are not trying to marry my husband? LOL This was such a problem for me...I made chore lists and that wasnt enough. I actually had to write out a paper on how to complete each chore! Eventually we made it to counseling and after explaining to the counselor what I was doing and how I felt like his mother...the counselor was able to put it into terms he understood and he did start helping a lot more...but then he left for the Marines so we will see how it goes when he gets home.


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Jream Posts : 157 Registered: 7/29/08
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 9:23 PM Go to message in response to: FrancieElaine

Francie, you bring up a great point about whether this is about character or about maturity. Even if this is about character, I think I'm willing to work around it. If I understand why he does things, I can always find some kind of compromise. It's just when I don't understand it--like in this case--that it frustrates me. When you put it that way, though, I think I can begin to understand it. I think you're on to something, and I hope that this leads us to some kind of compromise.

BirdLover: He is bipolar, actually. I don't know how relevant that is to his lack of responsibility, but I'm sure it does have a factor in his sleeping habits (his medications all cause drowsiness...it's still hard for me to understand that this sleeping thing isn't his fault, though. I guess because I've never been there).

Bally: I really feel for you. From this post and your previous posts, you sound like you have a pretty healthy friendship with your exFH. I'm sorry that it did not work out as a relationship. I hope that you two can develop either closure or maturity, whichever is best for the two of you. And I too constantly tell my FH that I'm sick of sounding like his mother--I'm his lover, not his mother. That's just weird to make me be both.

Deansbride: I think you and I are kindred spirits. Thanks for showing me how it worked out for you, it gives me some hope.




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Jream Posts : 157 Registered: 7/29/08
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 9:26 PM Go to message in response to: DoesntPlayNice

Geez, a great change and then off to the Marines to forget everything he learned! Haha, I'm glad counseling has helped you guys work it out. I'm reluctant to do counseling, and I'm not sure why. That's probably a whole new topic right there, but I think my biggest excuse is time/money. Unless counselors meet after 10:00 pm weeknights or 6:30 pm on Sunday, then it's pretty much hopeless there.


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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 10:54 PM Go to message in response to: Jream

Dear jream,

"You ever hear someone say, "He wasn't like this when I married him," or "I miss the man I fell in love with"? People DO change, and that's both a flaw and beautifully human characteristic. "

Yes, people do change as they get older. They don't necessarily change according to your agenda.

The only thing you can do is marry someone who has a personality and habit NOW that are in agreement with your personality and habits. It's a great idea to look into the person's past history to see if they have undergone a recent radical change, or if they have always been that way.

As an example, my deal-breaker is smoking.

When I was single, I would not even date a man who smoked. I hate smoking. I had two parents who smoked. I vowed that once I got out on my own, I would never ever live with anyone who smoked, much less date or marry someone.

So. Let's say that I have two possible boyfriends. They are both nice, both seem to be great guys. One quit smoking a year ago. The other has never smoked, and has a history of disliking smoking.

Which would be the better boyfriend? The guy who quit smoking, and could very well take it up again when under stress in a couple of years? Or the guy who hates smoking as much as I do and would never smoke in a million years.

Let's say for some reason a guy who is a smoker asks me out. I refuse, but he promises he will quit. He promises that he will never smoke in my presence. Should I go out with him? Should I even get involved with him?

Can you see where I'm going with this very narrow example? I have my best chance of lifetime happiness with a man who has never smoked, nor ever wanted to smoke. I'm taking a chance on the guy who has quit, or (worse) promises to quit. Finally, I'd be miserable with the guy who has not quit, yet, but keeps on dangling the hope that "someday" he will quit.

Substitute "maturity" for "smoking". If maturity is important to you, you are best off with a man who is already mature and has a history of making mature age-appropriate decisions.

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Jream Posts : 157 Registered: 7/29/08
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 11:50 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Aunt, I was hoping you'd reply to this. Your point is a very accurate one, and you're absolutely right. I just don't know if this maturity thing is a deal breaker to me. As I kind of suggested, his childishness is part of what attracted me to him in the first place. I'm way too serious. He helps me enjoy life and let go of the things that don't matter, because I stress about stupid things all the time. Sometimes his little bouts of irresponsibility allow me to see that I'm taking something too seriously, but sometimes they just get too extreme and get in the way of our life together. I'm mainly having problems coping with those times when he becomes too irresponsible. I'm willing to accept his irresponsibility at times, but not to the point that nothing ever gets done. He's had his ups and downs, and I want to stay with him regardless. My problem is just, like I said, handling those "down" moments.


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MarissaRowland Posts : 33 Registered: 10/2/09
Re: Lack of responsibility
Posted: Oct 16, 2009 12:02 AM Go to message in response to: Jream

Hopefully these are things that he would do differently as he grows older. 22 is fairly young afterall. If it was something that bothered me that much I think I would see how the relationship goes before I decided it was a good time to get married.

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