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Boyfriend Unemployed - What Should I Do?


Aaronaaa96

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Hi, all:

Just wanted some unbiased advice on my relationship, so please don't take my side if I'm genuinely in the wrong. 

I've been with my boyfriend for 1 year and overall it's been an amicable relationship. He was given free rent with all bills included to live in a 4 bedroom house in London (well, Greater London) from his family. I also have my place (which I mortgaged, lots of hard work and sacrifices to get here) which I'm very proud about, rightly so. 

For about the first 7/8 months into the relationship, we would take it in turns to see each other on the weekend. One weekend I would visit him, the other weekend he would visit me. This worked fine for the whole 8-months, so we decided that I'll move into his house as we seemed to be getting on. Now, I must admit here, this was an interesting decision. Interesting meaning both cons and pros, though now, I'm starting to feel that the cons are slightly outweighing the pros. When I moved into his house he was still working. The job wasn't great but he was earning a semi-decent income. I was happy about that. Moving time forward about 2/3 months and he got into a severe altercation with his workplace. He is on long-term unpaid sickness now as he used his 6-month entitlement off paid sick leave last year, and the new rota has begun. So, I effectively have a boyfriend who is unemployed, but worse than that, not entitled to claim any benefits either. He says he is expecting a large payout from his workplace (settlement agreement), which I'm dubious will happen and I think is using as an excuse to not find work. Whenever I approach the topic with him, he becomes very hostile, saying things like "you know why I'm here", or 'why do you have to bring it up now!", to name a few. I've tried all approaches, talked to family, etc. 

I'm employed full-time in a professional job, working from home. There are two points of frustration for me: 

• I have no time to myself as he is around the house, and I crave some me time. I can go into a separate room after work, or on the weekend, but that's not giving me mental space as we are still in the same building. I've lived in my apartment by myself for nearly 2 years. This is too much of a change for me. I'm passionate about self-development and it's distracting when he is around, and certainly wasn't an issue when he was working as I was guaranteed this time. 

• I worry about our financial future together. I am very ambitious and have big life goals, and we don't seem to be sharing these values based on his past work history, current conversations we've had, and general attitude :( Moreover, is it generally possible to find someone who is both very ambitious and caring at the same time? This is the question I have been asking myself. Surely I have to sacrifice some ambition to have some more of the softer side feelings, but this is a bit of an extreme situation, no? 

I think these frustrations have been the cause of many arguments, more severe since moving into his house. I'd say we average about 1/2 arguments a week that are resolved in about 2 days. So the relationship is very hot and cold. For reference, I've not had arguments like this in previous relationships I've had. 

Any advice on this?

To make this clear and give some context, I have listed some of the key pros and cons so you can make an informed judgment. 

My main pros are:

• Kind and caring 

• Makes plenty of time for the relationship (also a con explained below)

• Can have high-brow conversations, interesting conversations 

General reservations I'm having:

• Is currently unemployed and has little motivation of finding a new job currently (his confidence is damaged badly from a bad experience with a previous employer) 

• Comes across condescending (whenever I express an opinion on something, he is very quick to foist his view on me. When I feel the conversation is heading into an argument at this point, I try to move it along but he brings up his point again argghhh) 

• Feels a bit suffocating (always living on top of each together, or having to do things together all the time) 

Will be interesting to hear your thoughts on this. 

Ta.

 

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From what you've written, I'm getting the sense that you're frustrated to the point where you can't be in the same building as him without being annoyed and frustrated. This is creating even more resentment in the relationship plus that he's tense and hostile when the issue of work comes up. 

I think it's unreasonable to ask him to leave the building (for work or other purposes) so that you can have space. If you find your partner distracting, there's a high likelihood those frustrations under the surface can no longer be hidden or excused. He basically grates on your nerves when he's not even in your line of vision. You seem to have strong opinions about his lack of work so that can read as rude or cruel if he disagrees with you about looking for work now. What do you think are his work options now given his field or experience? Maybe you can discuss this openly (options) and go from there.

It sounds like you've checked out if you are asking yourself whether it's possible to find certain qualities in a person (that you are not seeing in your partner). If you are certain this is the case, then you need to end this relationship instead of it limping along and painfully hurting/sabotaging each other in the process. 

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Do you still own your home or did you sell it?

If you still own it, I'd recommend at least setting up an office there so you can work there and return to his home after work hours and on weekends. Alternatively you could stay at your home during the week and see him o  weekends.

Yes, this looks like (and honestly is) a step backward, but it might be good to find out if you miss each other or if it's more of a relief to be apart physically. 

As for a job, well, if he doesn't want one he won't get one.  How would you feel if he decides not to work at all for the foreseeable future?

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Short answer is break up already and move back to your apartment.

If being around each other is suffocating to you, then quite frankly, this is your giant clue that you and him aren't really compatible as a couple. Getting along just on weekends or on condition of one or the other not being around much is actually just not getting along.

What you are learning here is really a simple dating lesson - when you are with each other full time, you end up fighting and getting on each others nerves in a huge chronic way. So this relationship isn't sustainable and if you carry on, it will just become more and more toxic.

You say that he is rude and high brow. I say you are both rude and disrespectful toward each other. Without mutual respect for each other, the relationship is dead in the water.

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I agree.  With what others had said.

You move out of there.. you had your own place & have only been involved with this guy short-term.

Do not agree to move in with anyone, for at least a year or more, that you've been involved.

He has some inner turmoil going on.. job loss etc.. He's moody & miserable now.

You need/want your own space & dont have that anymore.

Then move out.  Get your own mental space back & let him deal with his own internal issue's

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Well in my opinion he sounds like a man child. I've been renting an apartment my parents own for seven years but I've always paid rent to them the second I moved in. I have also paid all bills and all expenses myself. Basically from your post it sounds like your boyfriend is a freeloader. He lived in his family's place completely free, and still does. And now he just expects you to financially support him. If he lost his job then he has to find another job. He can't expect you to support him. You are quite right in saying he sounds unambitious. Another person would feel bad about mooching off his family and his girlfriend.

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On 3/29/2021 at 6:36 PM, boltnrun said:

Do you still own your home or did you sell it?

If you still own it, I'd recommend at least setting up an office there so you can work there and return to his home after work hours and on weekends. Alternatively you could stay at your home during the week and see him o  weekends.

Yes, this looks like (and honestly is) a step backward, but it might be good to find out if you miss each other or if it's more of a relief to be apart physically. 

As for a job, well, if he doesn't want one he won't get one.  How would you feel if he decides not to work at all for the foreseeable future?

Still own it. I do enjoy the space I have when I take some time out to visit family, check up on my apartment, etc. I'd say any longer that nearing a week, and I do start to feel a bit lonely and kinda miss him. 

And for job, I wouldn't accept that at all. I have ambition in life, not working is a deal breaker. 

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24 minutes ago, Aaronaaa96 said:

Still own it. I do enjoy the space I have when I take some time out to visit family, check up on my apartment, etc.

Excellent. Remove all your things from his house back to your apartment.

Visit him when desired, but stop camping out there. That situation is clearly not working out.

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On 3/30/2021 at 5:08 AM, Tinydance said:

Well in my opinion he sounds like a man child. I've been renting an apartment my parents own for seven years but I've always paid rent to them the second I moved in. I have also paid all bills and all expenses myself. Basically from your post it sounds like your boyfriend is a freeloader. He lived in his family's place completely free, and still does. And now he just expects you to financially support him. If he lost his job then he has to find another job. He can't expect you to support him. You are quite right in saying he sounds unambitious. Another person would feel bad about mooching off his family and his girlfriend.

yeah I know, he keeps playing victim or gets hostile whenever I ask him to pay for something. "you know my situation!" "how do you expect me to afford that?!" He has a good deal with me living here. I pay for most of the home renovations around the house, takeaways, some gifts, taxi rides to places, etc. I know I benefit too living in this £500k+ house, so that's how I've been justifying it to myself. Though the longer this goes on, the more I'm paying for things, even our holiday this year. And I have my own apartment bills to pay for... 

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4 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Excellent. Remove all your things from his house back to your apartment.

Visit him when desired, but stop camping out there. That situation is clearly not working out.

Well with lockdown being lifted I plan to take a slightly more pragmatic approach, and just going out with my friends often and doing things outside the house. If that doesn't work then yes, what you are saying sounds like the plan B. 

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I think this is a huge problem, even if you completely factored out your worries about his work ethic and ambition:

On 3/29/2021 at 1:07 PM, Aaronaaa96 said:

• I have no time to myself as he is around the house, and I crave some me time. I can go into a separate room after work, or on the weekend, but that's not giving me mental space as we are still in the same building. I've lived in my apartment by myself for nearly 2 years. This is too much of a change for me. I'm passionate about self-development and it's distracting when he is around, and certainly wasn't an issue when he was working as I was guaranteed this time. 

If you can't stand to be in the vicinity of your partner--in a four bedroom house, no less--you're facing a very fundamental problem that supersedes the other problems. I mean, his level of ambition is ultimately irrelevant if you can't feel happy within 50 feet of him.

I live in a small apartment where I am literally in the same room as my partner for 20 hours per day. We coexist with very little friction.

I recommend moving back to your own apartment, where you can decide whether you are actually ready to be in a relationship with another person.

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3 hours ago, Aaronaaa96 said:

yeah I know, he keeps playing victim or gets hostile whenever I ask him to pay for something. "you know my situation!" "how do you expect me to afford that?!" He has a good deal with me living here. I pay for most of the home renovations around the house, takeaways, some gifts, taxi rides to places, etc. I know I benefit too living in this £500k+ house, so that's how I've been justifying it to myself. Though the longer this goes on, the more I'm paying for things, even our holiday this year. And I have my own apartment bills to pay for... 

Sorry,  but that makes no sense .  You have your own home, move back. 

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