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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: Bob makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like they were made by a 5 year old.
  • Justified:
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  • Inverted: Bob treats Alice like his daughter, except with sex.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob pulls his weight around the house.
    • 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.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But then comes down with the flu and expects Alice to drop everything and take care of him.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Alice and Bob are not living together. They may not even be married.
  • 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.
  • 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: The typical Bumbling Dad with a Closer to Earth wife.
  • Played For Drama:
  • Played For Bow-Chicka-Wow-Wow: Age-play; for example, Bob wears an adult diaper and acts like a baby, and Alice cares for him, followed by sexual favors.

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