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Playing With / Parenting the Husband

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Basic Trope: A marital relationship in which the wife takes care of her husband as though he were a child.

  • Straight: Alice makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, with the crusts cut off, for her two school-age children and her husband Bob to take to school and work.
  • Exaggerated: Alice waits on Bob hand and foot, and the only difference between her relationship with her children and her relationship with Bob is that the latter involves occasional sex.
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  • Downplayed: Alice and Bob can both be immature, but she is usually the one willing to step up and get serious when needed.
  • Justified:
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  • Inverted: Bob treats Alice like his daughter, except with sex.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice, sick and tired of this status-quo, adds poison (or maybe just Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce) to the sandwich in hopes of getting rid of Bob or making him want to get off the couch and make his own damned sandwich.
    • Claire discovers Alice and Bob's ageplay relationship and assumes they are like this all of the time, but Alice assures Claire that Bob is quite mature outside of the bedroom.
    • Alice seems like the mature one in the relationship, until Bob antics push her over the edge and she throws a tantrum like a bratty girl.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Bob decides he doesn't want this kind of sandwich and whines until Alice makes a new one for him.
  • Parodied:
    • Alice gets up to tend to her crying baby, and then hears Bob crying in the living room because he dropped the remote.
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    • Alice asks Bob to take out the trash, and he pouts and stomps and says "No!" like a 2-year-old, complete with eventual tantrum.
    • Alice wakes up from a good night's rest, seeing her baby right beside her...wrapped in Bob's pajamas. Her eyes widen in shock:
      Alice: Oh my god, I put the wrong kid in the crib.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Bob acts childish but when it counts, he acts quite mature. The second he can though, he reverts back to actings like a manchild.
    • Bob and Alice intermittently parent each other.
  • Averted: Alice and Bob are equally responsible (or irresponsible) around the house.
  • Enforced: Closer to Earth.
  • Lampshaded: Alice readily admits that she feels like Bob is one of her children.
  • Invoked: Alice marries Bob, who is blatantly a Manchild.
  • Exploited: Alice knows that Bob acts childish and will expect her to mother him. Alice deliberately does a poor job so it forces Bob to grow up and help.
  • Defied:
    • Alice breaks up with Bob during the dating stage (or divorces him) when she sees that he is just too childish to qualify as a good husband, and that a) he isn't likely to change anytime soon and b) she sure as hell can't change him.
    • Bob breaks the relationship off because he feels like he's being treated like a child and hates that Alice patronizes him and doesn't trust him like any other adult.
  • Discussed: "Did Alice make Bob's lunch today?"
  • Conversed: "What is she, his mother?!"
  • Deconstructed: May lead to (or be part of) power dynamics, or even a Secret Test of Character. Alice could become stressed, and Bob and the kids might see (or never stop believing) that women are just household servants.
  • Reconstructed: Alice and Bob both pull their weight around the house. Alice learns to say no sometimes, and Bob takes responsibility. The relationship is running smoother, and Alice doesn't feel resentful or "used" or stressed, or taken advantage of. And Bob has a sense of purpose and more self-respect.
  • Played For Laughs: Bob is a Bumbling Dad with a Closer to Earth wife.
  • Played For Drama:

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