How to Recognize and Deal with Emotional Immaturity?
Emotional immaturity (EI) is a term used to refer to a person’s inability or unwillingness to recognize their own feelings and emotions. EI can manifest itself in many ways, but it usually involves one or both partners not being able to express themselves fully in relationship. A couple may have problems communicating and expressing their feelings, which can lead to conflict. When these issues are present in a marriage, they can cause resentment and even anger between the two parties.
It is very common for couples to struggle with communication during a long-term relationship. One partner may feel like he or she doesn’t need to communicate at all because the other party isn’t capable of doing so either.
Another partner may feel like he or she needs to constantly explain himself or herself to the other. Both of these situations can create tension and conflict in the relationship.
When a couple struggles with communication, there are several things that can go wrong:
The problem lies within each individual’s ability to communicate their feelings. Sometimes this is due to personality traits such as shyness, introversion, anxiety, depression, etc.
A person with these traits may struggle to express what they want and how they feel, while also having difficulty understanding others.
The problem lies within the relationship. It could be that one or both people in the relationship have trouble listening to each other.
In some cases, one or both people just aren’t willing to listen altogether.
The problem may lie with the ability to communicate at all. Some people simply do not know how to effectively relate to one another.
This can be due to a lack of confidence, low social skills, or even a learning disorder.
Dealing with an Emotionally Immature Man
If you have ever been in a relationship with an emotionally immature man, you know that it’s not an easy situation. Emotionally immature men are difficult to deal with because they lack the tools needed to effectively communicate their feelings and handle conflict in a mature way.
Emotionally immature men may seem okay in the beginning. They might be romantic and fun at first, but as time goes on, you’ll notice that they lack any sort of substance.
They are unable to effectively express how they feel and struggle to maturely deal with conflict. If you’re in a relationship with an emotionally immature man, you’ve probably come to realize that he takes very poor care of himself.
Many of these men fail to meet their basic needs in life. They may not take care of themselves physically, remain unemployed, and have no real sense of purpose.
If you try to help them, they’ll resent you for it. They’re stuck in a state of arrested development and are more focused on immediate gratification rather than long-term fulfillment.
If you have found yourself in a relationship with an emotionally immature man, it’s important to recognize that the problem lies with him. He is unable to meet your needs because he is not able to meet his own needs.
You can’t ‘grow him up’ or ‘wait’ for him to become a mature adult, that’s something he must do himself. Many women become so frustrated with these types of men that they attempt to ‘toughen up’ and adapt a more masculine approach in order to ‘fix’ their partner.
This approach rarely works.
If you find yourself in this situation, you may have to set some firm boundaries and make him aware of the fact that you will not tolerate certain behaviours. Be prepared though, he may not listen.
If this is the case, you might have to let him go if you’re unable to have a mutual relationship where you both are able to meet each other’s needs.
Dealing with an Emotionally Immature Woman
If you’re in a relationship with an emotionally immature woman, you know how draining it can be. In some cases, you may have been ‘drafted’ into the role of a parent or mother-figure in her life.
Women who act like teenagers and behave in emotionally immature ways often rely on their partners to take care of them. They do not have well developed identities of their own and are psychologically fused to their parents. They may even go so far as to remind you of their parents.
If you’ve found yourself in a relationship with an emotionally immature woman, you may have reduced your own level of self-care in order to take care of her. You may find yourself doing a lot more than your share of the chores, taking on most of the financial responsibilities of the relationship, or even doing most of the relationship ‘work’.
You may have even found yourself becoming emotionally withdrawn in order to ‘stay sane’ while your partner relies on you as a crutch.
You need to recognize that women who are unable to take care of themselves and rely on others to meet their needs do not have well-developed identities. They do not know who they are or what they want out of life.
They go from one role (or person) to another and don’t develop a sense of self along the way. As a result, they are not able to meet your needs and you end up having to meet all of yours as well as hers.
If you’ve found yourself in this situation, you may have to make some changes if you want the relationship to work. Recognize that you are carrying most of the relationship and life ‘load’.
Set boundaries and make her aware of the fact that you will not tolerate certain behaviours. Be prepared though, she may not listen. If this is the case, you might have to let her go if you’re unable to have a relationship where you both are able to meet each other’s needs.
It’s important to remember that relationships take work from both people involved. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how ‘mature’ you are, each person must take responsibility for their behaviour and their own needs.
In a healthy relationship, this happens naturally and without effort because both people are confident in who they are.
Most often, the person you’re in a relationship with is going to be a reflection of who you are. So if you’re in a relationship with an emotionally immature person, it may be a sign that there are some undeveloped parts of yourself that you need to work on as well.
Remember that real love isn’t just about being ‘there’ for someone when they need you or taking care of their every need. It’s also about being ‘there’ for yourself so that you don’t end up becoming depleted or even burned out.
You also need to make sure you’re meeting your own needs and having your own interests, so that you’re strong enough to support the person you love.
If you are in a relationship with someone who is emotionally immature, chances are, they will not change. This is just a part of who they are and who they will always be.
They may grow a little, but it’s unlikely that they will ever grow out of their emotional childhood.
You can choose to stay in the relationship and accept this fact, or you can walk away. Only you can decide what is right for you .
Sources & references used in this article:
Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, Or Self-involved Parents by LC Gibson – 2015 – books.google.com
How your church family works: Understanding congregations as emotional systems by PL Steinke – 2006 – books.google.com
Observing children with attachment difficulties in school: a tool for identifying and supporting emotional and social difficulties in children aged 5-11 by AJ Bernstein – 2012 – McGraw Hill Professional
Observing children with attachment difficulties in preschool settings: A tool for identifying and supporting emotional and social difficulties by KS Golding, J Fain, C Mills, H Worrall, A Frost – 2012 – books.google.com
Immaturity, normative competence, and juvenile transfer: How (not) to punish minors for major crimes by KS Golding, J Fain, A Frost, S Templeton, E Durrant – 2012 – books.google.com
How dyslexic teenagers cope: an investigation of self‐esteem, coping and depression by DO Brink – Tex. L. Rev., 2003 – HeinOnline