Are Women More Mature Than Men?

Do you ever feel your husband is less mature than you are? I suspect it’s a common feeling among wives.

Are Women More Mature Than Men?

I have heard a fair number of women describe their husband as a child. You know, the woman who has three children but says she has four. Some of this may be deserved (but it’s still a bad plan to say it – see Lori’s Who He Is vs. His Behavior post), but I suspect much of it has more to do with gender lines. For example, a wife having a public fit about her husband playing with his son in a rambunctious way every man thinks is fine.

We learn very different sets of rules growing up. Much of that should not be, but it is. In general, boys are given more freedom and less responsibility. (Or maybe girls aren’t given enough freedom and too much responsibility?) This affects how we see maturity and what we find immature. Seeing something as immature is a problem if it’s really a difference of opinion. If nothing bad comes of it, maybe letting it go is the wise, and mature, thing to do.

One danger in this is feeling you need to balance things out. If you think he’s being immature you have to be extra mature. This may feel smart, but it just makes things worse. (And another nod to my wife, see Does Your Husband Pull You Off Center?) This puts you in the place of being the one who says no, which isn’t good for you, for him, or for the kids.

If you find yourself in a maturity struggle in your marriage, please consider that you may have been programmed to be too vigilant about this. Maybe you need to learn to cut-up and have some fun. It could be good for you, for your marriage, and for your family.

~ Paul – I’m XY and I can be mature when I have to be.

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11 Comments on “Are Women More Mature Than Men?

  1. This is good and it certainly merits a wife standing back and checking herself against truth rather than how she feels at the moment. It can help the marriage to know where true maturity and true immaturity lay.

    Sometimes we women read these posts and feel guilty for recognizing true immaturity in our husbands and then create excuses to cover them because it is constantly drilled into our heads to not say or think negative things about our husbands and to always be respectful. But taking a step back and observing the truth, and praying for God to reveal the truth about ourselves and our spouses is very important.

  2. Some people confuse fun with immaturity. I am not speaking about selfish actions.
    Too often a person’s self image will prohibit them from really cutting loose because they fear they will be labeled childish or immature.

    In reality, we do not remember how to just have fun. As a preacher of many years, I felt I was not allowed to “act a certain way”. Come to find out, it was my own phobias and misunderstandings which inhibited my child like enthusiasm. Not child like immaturity, just relaxing and enjoying life. God has given us both, deep seated JOY and exuberant happiness. To suppress either one is to not appreciate how God made us.

    Watching children at play, you can see immaturity or absolute freedom enjoyed. There is a difference between immaturity and relaxed enjoyment. Be careful to not cross either line, especially to force your ideals upon another person.
    Jerry Stumpf recently posted…3 Intimate, Enchanting Components to Gently Nurture Your Marriage Bond  My Profile

  3. To me, immature behavior isn’t about having fun or acting silly. It’s about shirking adult responsibility. If a father goes on a golfing trip when his young child is hospitalized instead of staying home during this time of crisis, that’s immature behavior. If he lights up a joint while driving his son and pregnant wife across the country, that’s immature behavior. If he goes to an optional conference instead of being present while his father-in-law dies, leaving his wife to handle her own grief, her freshly-widowed mother, and her children in this time of crisis, that’s immature behavior.

    • @IntimacySeeker – Certainly all examples of immaturity. But do they come from selfishness or terror and not having an idea how to deal with those things? It’s wrong either way, but not the same thing and not handled the same way.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Do You Know the Power of One Word?My Profile

  4. My frustration is American culture’s acceptance and ideas of the teen years and what they mean. We put our children in school at 4 and have high expectations of their preschool, but once that same child turns 14, bad behavior becomes normal and accepted. Now, this messed up version of adolescence extends sometimes into in their early 30’s.

    Women want men to rely on, not videogame playing, do no housework, whining, overgrown kids. I heard from so many women that age, “I grew up and had children and responsibilities, but he doesn’t seem to know hes not in college any more and has a family to take care of.”

    Women certainly do it too, especially if they are single, but it seems more men get called out for it since they get married and should be shouldering responsibly but don’t.

    • @Madeline12 – I see immaturity in both men and women, but it’s different and much of the female stuff is more socially acceptable. Men’s immaturity is more visible, and overall it may be more harmful, at least on a surface level.
      We have made a mess of how we raise kids. We push them too fast and hard early on, and I think much of the immaturity we see in people in their 20’s and 30’s comes back to this. We don’t let kids be kids when they should be so they act like kids later.
      You are probably aware that the way we school kids is slanted for how girls learn up until high school. This adds to the problems for boys. They can’t compete, so why bother? No one likes playing a rigged game!
      Paul Byerly recently posted…How Do You Balance Grace and Boundaries?My Profile

  5. I find this an interesting subject, and one that I believe definitely needs some candid discussion. When I was in high school I was on a debate team, and the first order of business was defining the terms of the debate topic. So, what is immaturity? May I suggest a rather radical idea: There should be a male standard for maturity, and there should be a female standard. Obviously, not being responsible is immature–not fulfilling obligations, not “stepping up to the plate,” etc. Society has essentially adopted the female standard for maturity and applied it to both genders. (Which is a big mistake). However, by proper male standards, women do things that would be considered immature. Do you know any male college freshmen that took a stuffed animal off to the dorm with them as a sleeping partner? How about that crying thing? At the age of ten I was proud to endure a bicycle accident without crying. A woman gets reprimanded at work and dissolves into a pool of tears. I don’t have a problem at all with women doing these things–for women they are fine. I am not denying that men are sometimes (maybe even often) immature, but let us be precise. A husband could be reacting to his wife. He won’t help with the housework–bad! Did he ever help and got criticism instead of praise? Maybe he isn’t very good at it. I’ve been doing the laundry at our house of several years now, and I still can’t fold certain clothes as well as my wife, and its not from a lack of trying. All I get is thanks and praise, so I take my responsibility seriously. Men take care of children differently than women. God meant for them to. Did he ever take care of the kids and get a complaints from the wife? He says, “Why bother? I’m not appreciated. I’ve learned a lesson–don’t.” You have trained him to be “irresponsible,” because it is a rare man that will continue to do something for which he is criticized. Ladies, you won’t believe what will happen if you consistently praise your husband for the least effort. You say, “That’s stupid! Why should I have to do that?” Because he is a man, and it works.

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