Are you parenting your partner? 5 signs to look out for from a relationship psychologist

These could be the signs you're parenting your partner...

An unhappy woman sat up in bed while a man sleeps next to her
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are lots of signs you're parenting your partner - we've asked a relationship expert to break down five of them.

It's hard enough parenting the kids, without having to take responsibility for your partner as well. But, if you're constantly having to organise their life and ask them to do basic tasks, or if you constantly correct them or pick up after them, you might be in this position. It can put a huge strain on romantic relationships and might leave you wondering how to fix your marriage or why you've gone off sex - even if you feel you've done everything you can to spice up your relationship.

We've spoken to relationship psychologist and founder of Love Evolved Dr Limor Gottlieb, to find out about some of the key signs that you're parenting your partner. If her five red flags ring true for your relationship, then it might be time to sit down and have a talk about how you both feel about the current relationship dynamic.

5 signs that you're parenting your partner

  1. You make decisions for them. You find yourself often making decisions on behalf of your partner without consulting them or considering their input - this can range from small daily choices to significant life decisions. 
  2. You take on responsibilities. You find yourself often managing tasks and responsibilities that your partner should be handling themselves - this can include handling their finances, managing household chores, or organising their schedule. 
  3. You give unsolicited advice. You have a habit of giving your partner advice or instructions about how they should live their life without them asking for it. This can come across as patronising and can ultimately result in your partner feeling undervalued and incompetent. 
  4. You micromanage their behaviour. You often monitor and critique your partner’s behaviour in a way that feels controlling or overly critical. This could involve commenting on their habits, appearance or interactions with others. This may stem from your need to control and mould them into your ideal image.
  5. You feel responsible for their well-being to the point where you prioritise their needs above your own. This can lead you to feel burned out and resenting your partner when they don’t show appreciation for your effort.

If you notice these five things about yourself, it doesn't spell the end of your relationship - have an honest, non-judgmental conversation with your partner about it. Make sure you both give each other the space to say how you feel openly while the other one listens, and try to set a goal or come to an agreement about how you plan to move forward.

If you're aware that you're parenting your partner but still feel unable to change this, your relationship might benefit from seeking professional help. You could visit Counselling Directory to find a relationship therapist who might work for you and your partner's needs.

In other relationship news, a psychologist has revealed the top argumentative phrase that will 'destroy' any relationship, and here are five reasons why your partner is picking fights for what feels like no reason. Elsewhere, a relationship expert has shared three ways to know whether you are actually 'in love'.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.