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My partner has small man syndrome! What can I do?

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  • My partner has small man syndrome! What can I do?

    Hey there.

    My partner and myself are both 22 years old, and in university. We've been in a happy relationship for nearly three years now, but throughout it, I have had troubles with him which I believe derive from some strong, underlying insecurities in him.

    Ill call him Michael for the purpose of this post.
    Michael is a really lovely guy, very intelligent, with a good family, a happy childhood and attentive parents.
    When we started dating (I'll be blunt about these signs) sex was very difficult - he'd lose "it" as soon as we started trying. He hadn't had it much before so I figured he just needed me to be patient and loving. Two and a half years on, and its better, though it still lasts hardly any time.
    He sucks his thumb a lot. Frequently (several times a day) he sits with one hand in his trousers, on his genitals, and the other in his mouth, like a little boy.
    When we go out drinking, he more often than not drinks far too much. We have had a lot of trouble as a result of this. He gets very angry at the world, insults people, causes havoc. We can't seem to have a mature, adult drink together.
    Two potential causes for this 'feeling small' could be:
    1 - He is a very little guy. He is unfortunate in looking about the age of 15 when he is 22.
    2 - His brother is in Oxford university, and kayaking the world - a dream that Michael always wanted to live.

    I really want some good help and advice.
    We are an intelligent, adult couple who love & support each other a lot. We have been together almost 3 years now and I want to try and overcome these problems.
    How do I help him overcome these strong, child-like traits of insecurity and anxiety? The thumb sucking/ genital holding drives me mad.

    I'm beginning to get very worried that I will spend many years of my life waiting for Michael to grow up. This upsets me. I want to help him.

    Any thoughts or personal experience would be appreciated. From a concerned girlfriend.
    Last edited by Curlyfurs; 04-15-2013, 03:07 AM.

  • I know that to a lot of people this will sound ridiculous. It probably would to me too, except for the fact that I had a good buddy in college that sucked her thumb while she was holding a blankey. Hers was so bad that it gave her a noticeable malocclusion. I think there was some wierd stuff going on with her thumb too, if I remember correctly. One of the minor highlights of me and my buddies' college years was the "Blankey Caper" in which "someone" (it was me ) stole and hid it. We made a little fun of her about it, but not too much because we loved her. She was fun, smart, and charming.

    I don't know if she stopped completely as we haven't kept in touch well. I asked her at her wedding and I think she had cut back a lot on the thumb sucking and had dropped the blanket. She had kids at that point. I think she was concerned about the example.

    The unfortunate thing is that this is where a double standard is going to be rougher on your boyfriend, than my female friend. He's going to have to stop to be taken seriously. It sounds like he has more issues than just the thumb-sucking too. I think positive reinforcement is your best bet. Commend him on things he does well and the aspects of his personality you love. Maybe he can't kayak around the world, but you can find a local park where you can do some kayaking or anything to just get out in nature and get a fresh perspective. My wife and I love to hike. It's always good for us as a couple and as individuals to get a little of that connection with our planet that we can tend to lose when we're focused on money, work, and other issues.
    "Those sowing seed with tears
    Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

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