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6 Healthy Ways to Deal with An Emotionally Immature Husband

The joke goes that having a husband is like having another child. If yours is emotionally immature, this may be a daily reality for you.

Does this sound familiar?

  • When you disagree, he stomps off and slams doors.
  • When things don’t go his way, he wanders off and pouts.
  • Bad day at work? He will find about a dozen things wrong with his home life rather than tell you what happened at the office.

Living like this can be frustrating. Truthfully, having two grown-ups in a marriage is far less emotionally draining and a lot easier.

If your husband is lagging emotionally, this guide will help. Here, you’ll learn how to understand him better and take steps to improve your relationship.

1. Don’t Take it Personally

His immaturity is much more about him than you. In fact, he may blame you or brush off responsibility for his problems. That doesn’t mean those issues are your fault.

Maturity is about learning that many things won’t go your way. Obstacles are a normal part of life and dealing with change is part of adulthood.

As kids transform and grow into teenagers, they learn all about coping with emotions and dealing with said change. These skills help them grow into responsible adults.

Your husband didn’t develop those coping skills as well as he should have. He may handle small problems fine, but anything that really ruffles his emotions probably creates drama or difficult behavior.

Understanding this can help you take a step back and see his actions in a different light.

2. Respond But Don’t React to His Bad Behavior

Stay calm and as unemotionally involved as possible. One of the most common coping mechanisms of immature individuals is through emotional manipulation.

Unfortunately, that’s likely all he learned growing up. Any reaction you show feeds into his unhealthy behavior patterns. Your best defense is to give him as little emotional fuel as possible to work with.

Depending on what his behaviors are, you may need to respond to them.

For example, if he blamed you for several problems in front of other people, you must address this. However, reacting in front of everyone will only prolong the drama. That won’t be helpful and will only fuel the energy of his manipulation.

Instead, calm yourself and collect your thoughts. Choose a private moment to approach him with a rational conversation.

3. Focus On His Better Qualities

If you are committed to your husband, he likely has many other positive qualities. Instead of focusing on his emotionally immature side, look for the skills that make him shine in your eyes.

After all, you fell in love for many reasons and chose him as a life partner so there’s at least something that attracts you to him. Think back to those early days and consider his strengths. Think about what he does today that deserves praise.

He may frustrate you daily, but that doesn’t make him evil. You’ll take the upsetting moments better if you can see him in a more balanced way.

4. Stand Up for Yourself

An immature person doesn’t think much about the needs of others. Naturally, if your husband’s usual response to problems is to blame you, he won’t think much about how fair that is.

Stay alert and speak up when something isn’t right. Defend your boundaries and speak up about bad behavior.

Tell him what you don’t like about his behavior. Tell him how it affects you and what would be a better choice. State this in a firm but kind way and do not waiver from it. You may pay a price, but it will be temporary.

Your example is important to hold up, if not for yourself, for any children in your home.

5. Model What You Want to See Him Do

Sometimes it’s easier to show what you want to happen than to describe it. Modeling can be a powerful way to make your point. Your husband was likely not taught or shown mature ways of handling painful emotions.

This lack of a good example left him to his own devices at a young age which is why you feel you are dealing with a child or teenager most of the time. Truth be told, this is about the same age he was left to fend for himself emotionally.

If nothing else, this concept might help you feel empathy towards his struggle. And it is a struggle, believe that. If you feel exhausted dealing with his behavior, imagine being inside his head. You may not realize it, but he goes to battle over small problems every day.

Show your husband how to speak calmly. Tell him you’d like to sit down and finish that conversation when you have privacy. Show him how to describe his feelings with “I” statements that don’t involve and blame others.

6. Take Care of Yourself

Dealing with difficult relationships can be exhausting. It’s not very efficient to work around someone’s mental and emotional games every day. Because of this, some parts of your marriage might take a lot of energy from you.

Assuming you wish to stay with him, you will need a solid self-care routine to keep you going. Here are some ideas:

Stay Relaxed

Take hot baths, use a heating pad, and try breathing exercises. Look for other ways to keep your mindset flexible and your muscles relaxed. Your body will hold tension unless you have ways to release it.

Stay Energized

Try exercising daily. At the very least, as often as possible. It’s been proven that exercising regularly can make a real difference in both your energy level and mood. Also, keep plenty of joyful and fulfilling activities on your calendar to look forward to. These will feed your soul.

Stay Connected

Keep in touch with loved ones, people you count on for support. Avoid spilling the beans about your specific problems. But take full advantage of getting your social support.

Help Your Husband Become More Emotionally Mature

While none of these tips are like waving a magic wand, you can support your husband to become more emotionally mature. Unfortunately, a change like this doesn’t happen overnight.

But if he values your marriage as much as you do, he’ll get on board in his own way and time.

Photo of author

Jennifer Tanaka

Jennifer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a passion for helping couples struggling within their marriage, relationship, or during the divorce process.

9 thoughts on “6 Healthy Ways to Deal with An Emotionally Immature Husband”

  1. Very well written. I was crying and really disliking my husband when I started this article….a little less so now. Thanks for redirecting my thoughts

  2. My husband acts like a child almost every time he gets angry.
    His mother passed away when he was 21. I strongly believe he was left alone at this point of his life to emotionally fend for himself. I could never understand why he acted so immature as a grown man. Now after reading this, I can see where the roots are coming from.

  3. Anybody reading this, and has a son, please do your future daughter-in-law a favor and teach coping, emotional maturity, and empathy. I wish I realized how important these were before my marriage.

  4. I really hope my husband can fix these behaviors. I feel like he doesn’t see them or believe me when I try to explain he’s pouting or throwing a tantrum. I often get the silent treatment and he stonewalls me. I’m trying to get him to therapy as soon as possible as we have a baby on the way.

    • I’ve been on contact 0 for 3 weeks after 3 years of relationship with my child-man, he did me so so many shits but now he finally opened up and talk all and everything, mostly playing on empathy altough he still struggle with what respect is… He was devastated and he said he thought of many ways of how and why. I hope it last and slowly communicate everything in a healthy way. If he loves you, contact 0 helps, if not…you dont loose anything. Stay strong and good luck.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing these healthy responses. I needed the clarity and here it was! I have used and benefited from using these steps before, but needed the positive reminders to start again.

    So interesting how dating a socially immature man seems intriguing and worthwhile…gets pretty old when progress moves at a snail-pace and he still feels that it is the neighbors/world’s/offices/families issue(s), not his.

  6. This is by far the most sensible advice I have read. But thing is emotional immaturity masks itself in a lot of things that almost come out like you dealing with a Narc. I’ve been in a relationship with my spouse for 17yrs and it’s only now that i realize he just emotionally immature. I played into all his tantrums and emotional abuse that comes with it. But i’m glad because i am a stronger person and i’ve come to value my peace. Currently i am in dilemma because truth be told dealing with an emotionally immature spouse will threaten your peace. I am not sure i am ready for that!!!! Currently we have not talked for about 6 weeks even though we leave in the same house. With everyday it gets easier to continue even though i know it’s not ideal. But honestly i’d rather have peace then deal with tantrums


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