You’ve no doubt heard about high maintenance women. They’re the manipulative princesses who become needy and moody when they don’t get their own way. But did you know there is also the high maintenance man? They’re a different breed altogether, but their behaviour is just as consuming.
High maintenance men are the guys who have you making small adjustments in your life in order to accommodate their insecurities. You make these adjustments because the drama that follows if you don’t, simply isn’t worth it. Each small adjustment on its own might seem like nothing but eventually you’re turning yourself into a contortionist just to keep the peace. The big problem with each of these adjustments is that you are relinquishing a small aspect of yourself every time you allow it. Eventually you’ll feel like a pretzel twisting to accommodate this person and avoid the drama.
He doesn’t like that dress you love? You stop wearing it. He doesn’t like one of your friends? You stop hanging out together. He doesn’t like your favourite bar? You stop going. In the short term, high maintenance men might seem worth your while, but in the long run the daily adjustments become exhausting and isolating.
What are the early signs of high maintenance men? Jealousy, possessiveness or a mighty big chip on his shoulder. Anything you do that feels empowering or involves a life beyond the relationship will be seen as a threat so that’s usually where the drama begins. It’ll start with him not liking one or two of your friends, or criticising an activity you love to do. Eventually it’ll escalate to mocking various friends or demeaning something you’ve always loved doing. It wont necessarily be an outright assault either. It’ll usually come laced an a joke so that it’s your problem for taking things too seriously or being overly sensitive. Sarcasm and cynicism are tools widely wielded by the high maintenance man.
If you’re wondering if your man is high maintenance think about a future event with friends or family. If it’s easier if he’s not there, then he’s probably high maintenance. Or if you find yourself constantly making excuses for your partner ‘oh that’s just him, he doesn’t like it when (insert normal human interaction)’ then the chances are he’s high maintenance.
Keep in mind, this relationship might be doable when your young and have your own life, but when you have his kids and are dependent on his income, this behaviour becomes possessive & controlling.
Eventually life with this man is exhausting, isolating and above all, chips away at your self-esteem. You’ll feel you can’t tell your close friends about him as it’ll sound petty, because as discussed above, each individual thing on it’s own is no big deal. It’s the cumulation of living with these contortionist adjustments, day-in day-out, that becomes a huge problem.
What to do about a high maintenance guy if you’re already involved?
Push back! You’ve created a monster by allowing this behaviour to continue, so now it’s time to establish some healthy boundaries. All those things you’ve stopped doing because of him? Start doing them. Yes there’ll be drama from his end, but you can’t buy into it. It’s time to stand up to this immature bully before you have nothing left of authentic, divine you.