Married Young But Husband Still Acting Like a 16-Year-Old

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Reader’s Question

I’m a 21-year-old female and have been with my husband ever since I was 16 going on 17. Ever since we got married in 2007 we have been living with my mother-in-law. Last year we briefly rented an apartment, but we had to move out because we were laid off, so now we are back with the in-laws.

My husband goes out every weekend to be with friends and does not come home until 3:00 or 4:00 am. I call him and he never picks up the phone unless it’s my fifth call. Once, I had a really bad ear infection and I had to go to the hospital and really needed a ride but I couldn’t reach him. I found out later that he was in a bar at the time.

I’m so tired of putting so much effort into the marriage; I have already gone to marriage counseling by myself because he doesn’t show up.

Please tell me what I should do.

Psychologist’s Reply

It certainly appears that while you have matured some over the last few years, your husband’s maturity is lagging far behind. Sixteen- and seventeen-year-old behavior is understandable at those ages, but a married couple in their twenties needs to share a greater sense of responsibility if the marriage is to survive. It might behoove you to continue your counseling, but do it for your own sake and for your own personality development. As for your husband, if he’s not willing to step up to the plate and take his responsibilities seriously, you might be better off without him.

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