Having difficulty dealing with unemployed partner, how to discuss without knocking confidence?

My boyfriend recently quit his job - it involved a lot of nights, and we were both miserable while he was working there. However, he has now been unemployed for about 6 week-2 months, and I'm beginning to find it hard going. I earn enough to support both of us, but I get a little angry whenever it feels like he's not focusing on the jobhunt. It's not easy, because he's basically completely unskilled, and he IS trying to find a job, but we live in a fairly small town with a lot of people searching. We live together, and are planning to move overseas together soon (so he can study). BUT he's 4 years younger than me and I feel guilty/nagging/old-hag-ish sometimes pushing him re the job thing, then angry because I hate feeling guilty!

I don't want to split our finances completely, but I paid rent last month because he was broke and was shocked by how angry I felt when he asked for my half this month as somehow I thought he'd have budgeted to cover it.

How do I start this conversation?

4 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's a knock to anyone's confidence to be unemployed so treat his feelings with care. You should definitely ask him how his day is, even if he does nothing all day. Be sensitive to the fact that he may be going through something right now, as a man! Even if he acts like it doesn't bother him, the blow up over rent shows you that he does. Tip toe around him and use kid gloves when you talk to him.

    In the mean time, it never hurts to give him leads. Be enthusiastic about prospects that you come across in the paper or online that may seem promising. Give him a list of these things and boost his esteem by being supporting and understanding.

    Here's a way to think about it. Imagine that you're an overweight woman that gained 50 lbs really quickly over the past six months. The depression and isolation that you would feel (the silent stares, people thinking things about you..."She must eat all day, she needs to put down the candy bars" for him means "He's lazy and did nothing all day...") is the same that he is probably going through. When women are overweight the men in their lives can't bully or chastise them into losing weight. It only makes them defensive. The same with men and jobs. Even if no one says anything to him about his unemployment he still feels that people are watching and waiting for him to jump back on the horse in a critical, chastising way. He has to make the choice to find employment on his own the same way a woman has to want to lose weight on her own. Doing it for someone else or because of ultimatums only makes him resent you more!

    All I'm saying is to be supportive and caring to his feelings. Make suggestions and even offer to take off work to go with him on a job hunt to a few places. Be warm and understanding whenever he is upset about finances. If you truly love him, you have to patient. He would do the same for you if you were going through something, I'm sure.

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  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Sounds like he is a controlling person. Get a job and tell him you are working and not to be calling your boss. If he causes you to lose your job or jobs again , this is going to cause some problems in your marriage. I see this alot. I think you need to have a life besides in the house and the kids. Don't let him talk you out of it. He is the one with the problem. Get a day care for the kids and go. If you don't you will not be happy and when mom is not happy no one is happy. This is so true. He needs to work too. The kids need a break and need to be with other kids. Just do it. He knows you deserve better than him and he is scared that you will find someone else. He has the problem.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    same way you just put it here -

    tell him this is a partnership and you don't mind covering his butt for the short term - but he's got to pull his own weight - now get out there and earn some $ even if means cutting lawns

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Give him a deadline to find a job. It's strange how it seems more men are okay being unemployed bums nowadays.

    When my husband was laid off he felt embarassed for being unproductive and imasculated (which is how it should be because it motivated him to find work quickly).

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