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Thread: Losing relationship over job search

  1. #1

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    Losing relationship over job search

    I have been with my partner for 6 1/2 years. He is a very sweet and sensitive guy. Perhaps because of this he takes things very slow and I feel he does not approach some things in very mature ways, such as commitment and communication. We are not married and have actually never even discussed marriage. I realize this is not normal, but I've accepted it at this point and am fine with it. I don't care much about marriage and I don't want kids.

    Anyway, we never had any problems until we moved in together, then a few conflicts started, but mostly it's been since my health has began to suffer. I am having problems with my back which has put my job in jeopardy. I have been the breadwinner for the past few years because he left two very good jobs in the past due to not liking them, and is now stuck working a $13.50 an hour job. We both have bachelor's degrees and he is seriously underemployed. He agrees and dislikes this job as well and complains about it a lot.
    I struggle with anxiety and the possibility of losing my job while I am the breadwinner has put an incredible amount of stress on me. If that were to happen and he hasn't found work that can sustain us for a year while I go through the process of getting disability, I will have no choice but to have to go live with my parents (that is, hopefully they will let me). So this is kind of an emergency. Yet the problem is he cannot find a good job, and he fights against all my attempts to help. When I bring it up he accuses me of nagging and becomes defensive and doesn't understand why I want to talk about it "so much". I think the answer should be clear, because this is an emergency and it's been years without him finding anything?? We could lose our home and our life together and everything we have...

    If I go out of my way to bring it up in a very kind and gentle way when I think the timing is perfect, he will tolerate it but won't communicate with me. For example, I found an amazing job he is qualified for so I asked gently if I could talk about it later today when he's ready. He said yes - but of course avoided it all day. Finally I had to bring it up again and he agreed to listen as I showed him the job. He seemed very uncomfortable the whole time and gave me one word answers. I asked "I know it's far away but it pays incredibly well, so if you got it I think we could afford to break our lease. Don't you think so?" Just me trying to figure stuff out with him...his response was "mhmm." In the end he said he'd apply but in the past he's left things for last minute or not done things he said he would and I do things differently, I get things out of the way fast so I don't have to worry about them.
    So then we both let it go, but later I was worried he was just saying yes to get out of the conversation, since his attitude was saying something else, so I tried to ask again if the job was something he was excited about and if he would sit down with me and I'd help him apply later tonight (said I'd help him with the cover letter and essay questions if he wanted) and that set off our usual argument.
    That made him defensive and annoyed as hell and he doesn't understand why I won't let it go, then we fight about it all day and end up not talking to each other for days because we hit a wall and get nowhere.
    I've explained to him so, so many times why I can't let it go and why it's so important. I guess my problem is he's too laid back about such an urgent matter. He puts things off for weeks..as if we have weeks. And in the meantime I have no choice but to continue to go to work with my back pain. Luckily I am able to lay down periodically at my job, which helps with the pain. If I weren't able to do that, I would have no job right now.
    I'm not sure I can do this anymore. I've told him I need him to step up. I've told him we could lose our apartment. He IS trying, he will apply to some jobs on his own, but for the most part he puts things off and I don't think he understands the urgency, and I do know he could try harder.
    I've brought up couple's therapy and he has said that's not something he is willing to do.
    Just not sure anymore. This is really destroying us.
    Thanks for reading

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Unfortunately resentment is a natural outcome of having a child rather than a partner and being a parent rather than a partner. Ask him to move out and do not be his mother, employment recruiter or do anything for him. You are in a parent-child dynamic that is self-exacerbating because the more you push the more he defies and pushes back. He will not change and you can not fix him. All you can do is let him fall on his own weight and if that means he moves back home to mom and dad and eats chips for dinner, so be it.

  3. #3
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    His behaviour would be such a major, huge, ginormous dealbreaker for me I really can't tell you...!

    He may be sweet and sensitive, but this is not the behaviour of someone who wants to make his way in the adult world. When you say you don't want kids - sorry, but you've already got one. He is content to sit back and let you take over the adult role in the relationship while he lounges around like a lazy teenager, whilst being actively resistant to anything which would enable him to take responsibility, and then he has the barefaced cheek to accuse you of nagging when you do anything to support him in getting a job.

    I'm not sure I can do this anymore. I've told him I need him to step up. I've told him we could lose our apartment.
    You shouldn't be doing this any more. It's taking a toll on your health, enabling his unacceptable behaviour and inadvertently harming him, too. If he actually had to manage on his own, he would find a way, believe me.

    Is there a way you could stop financing his lifestyle, and concentrate on your own? If you couldn't afford your apartment on your own, could you find somewhere cheaper just for you? Or, as you suggest, go back to your parents while you get your life straightened out?

    Whatever, you shouldn't be caretaking this spoilt, indolent little boy any longer.

  4. #4

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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    Unfortunately resentment is a natural outcome of having a child rather than a partner and being a parent rather than a partner. Ask him to move out and do not be his mother, employment recruiter or do anything for him. You are in a parent-child dynamic that is self-exacerbating because the more you push the more he defies and pushes back. He will not change and you can not fix him. All you can do is let him fall on his own weight and if that means he moves back home to mom and dad and eats chips for dinner, so be it.
    I agree with you but the only problem is I am affected so much by that as well. I'm not just trying to help with a job because I know he needs a better one, it's because in the meantime I'm suffering with having to continue working in pain. If I break up with him I'll be in an even worse place financially - not that that would be my only reason for staying with him, but it's just something that factors into my crappy situation right now. Things WERE great between us before all this job stuff. And of course I do love him.

    I have told him before that since I feel so disrespected by him fighting my attempts to help, I'd like him to start finally splitting the rent with me even though he cannot afford it. I've said even if it has to come out of his savings. Yes, I know I sound like a parent. It's messed up. That got him really mad and he accused me of giving him an ultimatum. I didn't know what else to do to motivate him.

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  6. #5
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    That got him really mad and he accused me of giving him an ultimatum.
    Damn right, you're giving him an ultimatum! This should all have been sorted out before you even decided to move in with him.

    It all depends how much longer you want to spend looking after this little boy while he sulks, pouts and throws tantrums... Right now, your first obligation is to yourself - deal with your pain, deal with the admin around any disability and focus on that. Why would you be in a worse place financially if he were to move out? It doesn't sound as though he pays his way in the first place.

  7. #6

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    Originally Posted by nutbrownhare
    Damn right, you're giving him an ultimatum! This should all have been sorted out before you even decided to move in with him.

    It all depends how much longer you want to spend looking after this little boy while he sulks, pouts and throws tantrums... Right now, your first obligation is to yourself - deal with your pain, deal with the admin around any disability and focus on that. Why would you be in a worse place financially if he were to move out? It doesn't sound as though he pays his way in the first place.
    He has been paying about 1/3 of the rent and splitting electric with me. That's what we worked out at first because the idea was he was going to be getting a better job. A long time came and went and that didn't happen, but I never started pressuring him until my own job was in jeopardy. I didn't doubt when we moved in that he would find a better job because he never had problems getting one before, but that's all changed now.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    I don't get it. If he isn't even splitting rent with you, how are you worse off financially by getting rid of him? He is basically living off you like a leach.

  9. #8

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    I thought it was normal for one partner who makes more to pay more of the rent, but I've never liked the idea or thought it fair...and now that all this is happening I know it's definitely not fair for me. I think I'm going to tell him today that I'm going to stop 'nagging' him about the job search, it's all on him now, but in the meantime I want him to start splitting everything 50/50 with me. If I lose my job, then I'll have to go live with my parents I guess. This will not go over well and I'm not sure it's the right thing to do, and I'm sure he's going to insist he cannot afford it (which I know he CAN'T with what he earns right now) and has to go back to live with his parents, like he threatened when I gave him the ultimatum the last time.
    Right or wrong thing to do?

  10. #9
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    When I lived with a guy, we would total up the joint expenses for the month, divide by two and then each put that amount into a joint account - plus a little bit extra in case of emergencies in the future. Some months I earned more than him, some months the other way round. It worked well.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by swift00
    I thought it was normal for one partner who makes more to pay more of the rent, but I've never liked the idea or thought it fair...and now that all this is happening I know it's definitely not fair for me. I think I'm going to tell him today that I'm going to stop 'nagging' him about the job search, it's all on him now, but in the meantime I want him to start splitting everything 50/50 with me. If I lose my job, then I'll have to go live with my parents I guess. This will not go over well and I'm not sure it's the right thing to do, and I'm sure he's going to insist he cannot afford it (which I know he CAN'T with what he earns right now) and has to go back to live with his parents, like he threatened when I gave him the ultimatum the last time.
    Right or wrong thing to do?
    If you are going to give ultimatums, then be sure you carry out the consequences, otherwise you are just nagging and nagging and he'll just continue to disrespect you and do whatever and never take you seriously. If he threatens you like that, he knows you are way more invested in this relationship than he is and that you'll cave and keep paying. Something for you to think about here. Your relationship is seriously imbalanced in more ways than just financial.

    Personally, I wouldn't give him any more ultimatums, just a deadline by which he needs to move out.

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