My Boyfriend’s Unemployment is Affecting Our Relationship

I’m not gonna lie, when I first met my boyfriend, I liked the fact that he was going to be a lawyer. As a freelance writer with a completely unstable source of income, it was good to know that someone in the relationship wouldn’t be living paycheck to paycheck and could spring for more than Chinese food delivery once in awhile. So even when he graduated without a guaranteed job, I felt strangely comforted, thinking that the tough economy would pass and that he would find something soon. Soon turned into almost a year, and while we’re both somehow staying financially afloat, our relationship is about to sink.

I think the main issue is I’m a problem solver. I need a job, I am on job sites every day, I send my resume to everyone I know, I cold call companies I’m interested in to see if they’re hiring. But when I suggest these tactics to my boyfriend, he gets extremely defensive like I’m trying to run his life and reminds me that our industries are completely different. I know he’s starting to think of me as a nag, but it’s hard for me to watch him be so defeatist and not make every effort to find a full-time job. He assures me that he’s looking, but it seems like he’d rather complain about no good jobs being out there than take a less-than-perfect job in the meantime. I’m trying really hard to be sympathetic and encouraging, but it’s too hard for me not to get involved, especially when I worry that if I don’t help, he’ll just never find anything.

To make matters worse, our sex life is coming to a stand-still. Despite the fact that he isn’t working all day, he always seems too tired to hook up. When I ask him about it, he turns it on me, saying that I’m not as much fun to be around because I’m always lecturing him about work. Once, he admitted to feeling inadequate, but even though I’ve done my best to assure him that I love him no matter what he does for a living, it hasn’t solved the problem. I really want this relationship to work (for richer or for poorer, as they say), but I’m not sure we can handle another year of him not working. Is there any way to help him on the job front without seeming like a nudge? Should I just back off and hope for the best? Is anyone else going through something similar?

-Anonymous Staffer

GIRL TALK TIME: What would you do in this Staffer’s situation? Have you dealt with a similar problem? What happened?

110 Comments

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  • michael:

    To the girls, don’t you see you are the problem i love how it all started once you started dating, just move on to the next guy and do the same thing, we men do a lot better once you go, our biology is designed to get depressed if you stay around too long, we are designed to have sex with as many people as possible, not go silent and smile listening to your balls”‘t all day, you will never understand how it fells like to wanna have sex with every one you see, but cant because you are stuck with the once hot girl that is now FAT, also with kids that may not even be yours ;-) .

    Lol just move on already they will be much happy and more proactive without you, men invented money stop pretending that its all you are ever after.

    {Reply}
    1. Lydia:

      chauvinistic pig

      {Reply}
      1. Alyssa:

        I assume he’s single.
        Also, when he can’t get it up anymore at 60 or 70, who is he going to hang around with? Himself? Other men?

        Thinking about sex is great when you’re 16 or 26, when that’s all that matters, but men who are mature and focused see the point in building a functioning, long term relationship. It’s better for everyone. Provided your mate is complimentary to you, it’s the best situation.

        Biology designed every male of the species to mash junk. Note that humans are doing pretty well by not behaving like animals. There may be something to this methinks..

  • KC:

    I have the same problem. Well, we are just online lovers. My bf is from Europe, I’m from Asia. I love him so much but each day I get devastated as we are almost a year but still we don’t see each other. Problem? He has no income to see me. He needs an income for us to be together and make our relationship real. I get bored and hopeless as I think him getting a job would be our resort. I love him but honestly, job problem is a great hindrance for it. I broke up with him a lot of time, but still there’s that word that says give him a chance. Who knows. But since he graduated, he never get one. While, I always do, just that our salary here is small, just good for or cost of living, if i t is just that big, sure I already flew to him. Same with the above issue, he complains the same. Now, I’m trying to cut it off, but I pity him as he’s the kindest I ever met and I know he’s real even he is very far.

    {Reply}
    1. jj:

      You should first realize that you are an inferior race chink woman and you should be grateful he’s wasting his time with you at all.

      {Reply}
      1. Lydia:

        JJ – chauvinistic and racist pig

  • kelly:

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    {Reply}
  • Phoenix:

    I’ve been through this and I found myself back in it. My ex-fiance of 5 yrs didn’t work for the last 2 yrs of our relationship. We lived together and he just didn’t want to work. What happened? I had an internship, he told me it was his turn to”take care of me” and to quit my job he would support me. Shortly after I had a major tragedy in my family life.He left me jobless, in debt from the 7G’s he owed me and stuck me with an apartment I had no way to pay for. Met some rich girl as my friends made clear to state that she was loaded, they started dating only a month or two after our break up and married her within the year. They knew each other while we were together. Now it’s a decade later I’ve been in LTR but always with one foot out the door b/c I picked up more quickly when guys were taking advantage of my kindness. I’ve been through alot in my own life and it’s made my an empathetic person to a fault. I fall in love again and there’s nothing I can do about it. You can’t chose who you love. And guess what this one doesn’t like to work either!! At first he said he was just “going through a rut”. After a year it was like ok, a rut is a rut but you’re just milking this. We’ve been on and off for the past 2 yrs because I feel taken advantage of and I’ve already been through this. I actually called him my ex fiance’s name a few times by accident but it’s brain is like “He’s another George” . This guy lives off his Mom and his grandmother. It’s ridiculous!! He needs to grow up or go to a therapist. And going through this endless struggle to get some reciprocity and equality in the relationship with him I feel like I need one. I’m beginning to believe it’s likely he’s a Narcissist which I’ve been researching online. I found a great website that has been helping me I listed it on my profile here. He doesn’t want to work why should he, he’s always got some woman in his life that’ll pay his way. It sucks I love him so much and I’m willing to debase myself when I know in my heart he’s never going to be the man he said he’d be in this. He’s totally blowing smoke up my bum and he’s gonna ride this free ride it breaks down then he’ll jump into the next one. He’ll suck me dry til there is nothing left and when I’ve needed help…. well what’s he gonna do? Nothing and that’s what he does. There’s no mutual support, I have no family to run to pick me up or help me when I fall. It’s just me and if I let him tear me apart I have no one to blame or pick up the pieces but myself. You can’t chose who you fall in love with but I believe that people like this, who don’t want to fairly contribute are lost causes, at least to the person they are sucking dry. It’s the ‘disney disease’ the beast is not going to turn into a prince with my love and nurturing him back to health. The likelihood he will leave me for another “target” that’ll pay for him when I stop is the most probable reality that I don’t want to face and I’ve known this and have been struggling to move on for all this time. Be careful who you fall in love with.

    {Reply}
    1. Irena:

      Wow that was incredible.. I went through the exact same thing. I lost a few good friends over my ex as they began to see me as a lost cause, almost out of touch with reality for dealing with my ex. The “find a job or go to a therapist” part was so on point. I think my ex was a narcissist as well. I thought psychopathic for a long time, but narcissist fits better more and more. He has known for a long time that there was something wrong, but didnt want to truly face it or thinks that its not him, its the worlds failings, that the “wretched world” is at fault. Insanely and to textbook, his narcissism keeps him from seeking professional help. My love for him was absolutely crippling and I spent 5 years of my life invested in him, waiting for him to become a self sufficient man. We kept in touch over the years, affectionately so, spending hours on the phone… But I think I was just narcissistic supply for him. He ended up getting in a horrific car accident while using drugs, and even half blamed me for not “being around him to keep him out of trouble.” I finally told him that there was obviously nothing I could do for him. Years ago, my mom got him a job which he foolishly tossed away (abandoned his shift). I supported him financially for a year before I was laid off and had to move out of our apartment. His whole family knows theres something wrong.. but no one knows what to do… Its been painful and I still hurt very much about it… But I cant be in an adult relationship with someone who isnt a man.

      {Reply}
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    {Reply}
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    {Reply}
  • Jayme:

    I just don’t know what to do. I have been with my guy for the last 3 years and he has been unemployed for the last two. I am the only one working while he sits at home pretending to watch my daughter. I have asked her what he does when mommy is gone and she says sleeping and playing pool. He also expects me to pay him $75 a week to watch her.

    Our sex life is also a joke. He ridicules me for not wanting to have sex but after working 11 hour days I am tired. My dad wont talk to me and my family wont visit me because they don’t like him.

    I love him but I am tired of the foolishness. I am thinking about taking my daughter and leaving. What should I do?

    {Reply}
    1. Teri:

      Oh my. Looking at your post is almost like looking at my own life. My boyfriend is the exact same. I have tried to lift him and support him in every way but he acts like I owe him something. He has only worked 6 months of the 3 years we have been together. Those 6 months were split between two different jobs. The first one he had was part-time and he even had the nerve to call out and leave early knowing we needed the money. Speaking of money, he thought because his checks were so small he should get to keep what he made and not help me pay any of the bills or for food or for stuff for our kid. He sat at home the first two and a hand years and smoked weed….weed his mama bought him….hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of weed all while I’m killing myself at two jobs to pay the bills. Then he has the nerve to tell me I’m a bad housekeeper. He says he doesn’t want to do it and doesn’t help because no one ever made him when he Wes growing up. He says it’s the woman’s work to keep the house and take care of the kid. He wants to preach about what women’s work is but can’t stand and do man’s work. I don’t believe in men/women’s work…I believe in a relationship its our work, not yours and mine. I believe that you do what needs to be done a team no matter what your genitals look like. To make matters worse…if you can imagine that it could get any worse…he thinks because he lost his last job….a really good job that he no longer has because of his terrible work ethic and thinking everybody owes him something….he thinks that since he stays at home and is depressed because he is home all day with our son that he is entitled to the right to go hang out with his buddies while I stay home by myself. Anytime I mention going out without him…with friends I no longer have because of him…he says he just won’t go out anymore. He makes me so mad. I feel like I am the adult in the relationship and although he is not smoking anymore he still feels like I owe him something. I can do single all by myself…I don’t need a half-a** man around to be a spectator.

      {Reply}
      1. jj:

        He’s a loser.

  • Nasi:

    Hi, I am 39, I have been dating this guy for almost 10 years. When I first met him, he told me that they are running a pub with his cousin (partners) which I have visited on numerous ocasions. Years went past without receiving salary and when I confronted him he claims that the business is not doing well until I was fedup and I went straight to the cousin who confirmed that he was never a partner with him, What a shock, huh! I asked him and said that he pulled out because of all the problems. About two weeks down the line he got a job which lasted for about a year and half and he was fired due to negligence. This is his fourth year at home and really cannot cope at all, I am very irritable everytime he says something. He sleeps until I come back from work and can be very chosey with work. I now scream at him whenever he wants sex because i feel he is just there to be taken care of and to satisfy his needs and that a total turn off. My kids are even asking if he is well. I tried motivating him and showing him opportunities when they occure but “no” that is not for him.

    {Reply}
  • Leigh:

    I am with a man who is 55 years old, has a four uear degree from an Ivy League University and he refuses to get a job…he had some issues with his last job that caused a law suit against him and he is convinced that no one will hire him because of this. I am a 43 year old self employed single mother who WORKS her butt off and I have supported him for the past 6 years. Over the years I have had depression issues and substance abuse issues that I have worked through and I am no longer taking pills to forget but now I have to face the fact that he is using me and I am REALLY ANGRY. He says that he was there for me and now I am not being supportive and he is sick of me getting mad because he won’t do what I tell him to do. I cry and beg him to get help because I know he is depressed, but he won’t…I tell him to find someone else to talk to because no matter what I say to him, he thinks I am attacking him…he still does NOTHING… He starts to cry and says it doesn’t help that I am putting so much pressure on him and that he knows he will end up loosing me and living on the street…how do I even deal with this? I end up crying and things just get worse. I realize I need to leave, but I can’t seem to get up the courage. Anyone have any advice?

    {Reply}
    1. sick n tired:

      Leigh, wanted to see how your situation is doing? Im in the same boat as you. I’m in late 40′s and bf about the same age. He moved hundreds of miles away to live with me and my daughter because he and I have been soulmate/best friends for over 5 years. When I used to live in his home state, we were together every single weekend and talked most every day on the phone. When I moved away, I knew my daughter would want him to remain in our lives, so I thought it was good for her and had him move here. Mistake…..he gets here and has a heart condition that rendered him not being able to work any longer. he now feels he’s “entitled” to assistance (govt) and makes every excuse in the book that he cant work and half applies for jobs though he has been told he can resume back to work. I am tired of this-he just sits all day. I feel bad now because he has no money to leave on if he did. He’d probably say he gave it all up for me and I now I’m not there for him now when he needs me. But this has gone on (him not trying to get back to work) for a long time now. I believe youre supposed to be there for someone when theyve been there for you, but after awhile when is the score evened? Also, my child who has gotten attached….not sure how to handle that. Im tired of not having the extra like I did before to enjoy life.

      {Reply}
  • avatar
    loner26:

    I am 30 now and I have been living in a foreign country for past 2 years for study. i got my graduation in science and found a fully funded doctoral study. But I was alone in a foreign land and I wanted to go home. But, 6 months before, i met a beautiful young, 20y, white man. I thought my life would be nice with him and so I continued my higher study there. There was a bit language barrier. I wanted to rent a room for myself in a shared apartment in the city so he could visit me sometimes or even sleep with me sometimes. But he wanted me full time and he wanted to take a house for us. He was living in his grandmothers house before that. I wasnt so sure because he didnt have work. But soon he found a work as waiter and took loan from the bank and rent an apartment for us. i moved in with him, since his salary would come late, i paid the rent and he paid the caution money with a loan. In house I was the one cooking and cleaning and then I was almost obliged to have sex everyday 3 times even if i didnt want that. He was too possessive and i had to fulfill all his demands. In 20 days i found the house was not livable and i found rat infestation in the house. In same time, he lost work. I was scared and I went away in university temporary housing in few days. Then in one month I found a room for myself. most of the times I was paying and I realized that when I am with him I spend more money than normal. He has to have fancy dinner outside at least 3 days per week while he has no work and his money will finish soon. I stopped going for dinners and so he started to take his friends out for spending money in bars and movies. Also he wanted to live in my room in the shared apartment. I said he should respect my flatmates and he cant sleep here every night. He got offended for that. Then I found out that he didnt even finish high school and he didnt tell me that. He has no motivation to search a work, he just loves to go around drinking and doing nothing and when he finish money, he would ask his parents for pocket money. He doesnt want to study, and he doesnt want to work. I tried to advise him to do somethings, but instead HE told me that I AM NOT SO FREE MINDED LIKE EUROPEANS, IN EUROPE EDUCATION HAS NO VALUE, UNIVERSITY IS USELESS IN EUROPE AND I SHOULD LEARN HOW EUROPE WORKS. i am wordless now.

    {Reply}
    1. jj:

      You should go back to where you came from.

      {Reply}
  • 2Young2dothis:

    Hello, My boyfriend and I are still in the beginning stages of our relationship. We jumped into things pretty quickly, and are living together after only 3 months. He got laid off for taking the day off to spend my birthday with me. Whenever I try to bring up the fact that he needs to find a job, he will either just get all quiet and avoid the subject, or things will just escalate really quickly into a blame-fest. I am 19 years old, he is 22. I had never lived anywhere but my parents house before this. I only work part time, maybe 25-30 hours a week, and I am paying for almost everything. Even his cigarettes. I love him too much to just cut things off, I really want to make things work, but I don’t see him making the effort to try and generate any income for our day to day needs, let alone savings for the future…I feel stuck, and I don’t know what to do. Somebody please help me. I don’t want to give up on him. My mom says that he should be the one taking care of me, not me taking care of him..I know she’s right, but how do I explain that to him? He’s said several times that he feels like a failure, that I deserve better, and that he will “make it happen” and all these things that make me think temporarily that things are going to change, but the next day hes sitting on his ass playing video games again. PLEASE. HELP.

    {Reply}
    1. danielle:

      My boyfriend is doing the same thing..sleeping all day or playing video games. I’ve been supporting him and my two kids and its getting hard and working overtime is just making me so burned out and he gets upset because I don’t want to have sex with him I told him it’s a turnoff when he sits around with no job all day is that rude of me to do?

      {Reply}
      1. ps:

        I am 28 with a man who is 30. We have two children. Living under social housing. I am going to post secondary. Since he lots his job he has been a stay at home dad because we can not pay for our daycare. He was suppose to sign papers last summer to prove we needed subsidized daycare but he didnt. He said he would stay at home for a couple of months. Now it has been 6 months. I am on Finacial assistance for school. I am taking care of the kids, paying the bills, groceries, things for the kids to do, and trying to study at the same time. I am now at the end of my money. He has his employment insurance coming in but wont pay any bills. I am so sick and tired of just being the only one giving a damn about our future. I am fed up with his sitting on the couch all day. He doesnt take our little one out on play dates. I feel it is up to me to do that on the days I have off school. We have our weeks when it is really great and then when I go out to a friends house he gets mad at me. We have no respect for each others friends. We dont talk much and when we do its a little question or the begining of an arguement. One day I woke up and he was so mad at me. I had to tstart the day with him getting mad at me for having male friends that liked my pictures of my kids and I. He sadi they could be perverts. Should I be deleting these males from my fb? We have been together for ten years off and on. He broke my computer he broke my phone he pushes me and he smokes weed. I am picking up some bad habits, just getting mad at him for getting mad at me for no reason at all. I took him out on a 200 dollar date night. He has never once taken me out on a date night. He never gets me gifts for my birthday or christmas, or valentines day. He doesnt like spending time with my family because they do not like him. He has been in jail for assault. And I keep going back to him. What is wrong with me?

  • Puzzled lady:

    Hello,
    I am a 24 year old whos got a stable job and make about $13 per hour. i met this guy online who is looking for a job but has a degree and is at the moment broke and stuff. i havent met him yet but will soon and he asked me if i can help be his sugar momma till he finds a job. Would that mean he would be taking advantage of me when we go out or is he just stating that and going to spend money on me even though hes left with minimal money. thanks

    {Reply}
  • Tasha:

    I’ve been with my guy for 3 years now. We met in college and started out first as friends. I noticed that once we got together his attitude started to change. He was no longer the fun, free-spirited person. He has trouble finding and keeping a job which is hard to believe till you actually see it. He graduated with a mass communications bachelors degree and did internships at radios stations and even at Nbc. He has been in and out of work canvassing and then later a promoting company who never paid him on time and later just said they ran out of money to pay him. He has been looking with no luck. It’s really starting to take a toll on our relationship. From the beginning it was like this. Me paying for stuff because I knew he never really had it and I still wanted to experience going out on dates with him. But now, 3 years later you’re using my car driving back and fourth to pick up your friends from work so you can smoke weed with them and using my had money and not asking them for any money at all. He is a good guy as far as cooking me breakfast I’m the morning before work, occasionally cleaning, and dropping me and picking me up from the train station for work, sex doesn’t happen often but when we do it’s great. But that’s it. Our communication is off, he never understands what I’m asking or he can’t hear me and he makes this annoyed face with me most of the time and a normal conversation turns into something I don’t even want to indulge in with him anymore. We were planning on getting engaged earlier in the relationship and he put $50 on a ring and never wen back for it and he didn’t want to lease it because he said it would just be another bill and he didn’t want to get into that. I was in school at the time when he asked me with no ring and when expressing to people I was engaged they would look for the ring and I didn’t feel like explaining to everyone why I didn’t have a ring ( because he couldn’t afford one right now) And he says he only asked me to marry him so guys could back off. So I decided that engagement was chalked because he didn’t seem serious. He spent Endless amounts of money on weed, any extra he could find that’s what it went to. He doesn’t have any new clothes, he’s really skinny and doesn’t work out, he’s just really beginning to be unattractive to me. I’m just fed up but what keeps me staying is me hoping things will change. He plans to get into the Air Force but he still owes his school money for his degree so he can’t start training without it he says. I feel like we’re not growing together. Idk what to do.

    {Reply}
    1. Dane:

      Stoner.. run for your life.. this will continue into his fifties..

      {Reply}
      1. loner:

        you should leave hum. he is spoiled

  • rachael:

    Oh my lanta! im in your exact situation. I work full time AND run a small personal business (it doesnt bring in much, but it supplements my other income!) my boyfriend is a musician (which makes almost NOTHING! Hes very talented, but most of the shows arent even PAID!) Sure.. sometimes they are but one show a week at $100-120 is almost nothing in all seriousness. He USED to work on the side but since weve gotten together he just completely stopped. I dont pay for things for him, but he certainly does everything i do.. (if im going out for drinks, so is he ON my tab) same goes for dinner, lunch, breakfast EVERY DAY. I never thought id be a girl in this situation. Im very much so in love with him.. he isnt lacking motivation (he works 10+ on his music and website daily) but as far as a money making career he maybe spends 5 minutes a day applying for jobs. I dont know what to do anymore..

    {Reply}
    1. Red Joe:

      Action speaks louder than words; it’s one thing to get hurt and be laid off and that still brings in money, but your boyfriend is really your son living a fairy-tale that isn’t paying off for him to be the man he ought to be to any woman in life… to even be a man. You’re with a boy, and I doubt you’re a child molester. You can do much better when you leave your feelings for reality; don’t be like him

      {Reply}
  • Zach riffe:

    Just ask them if they want a free Mercedes bens and 30 k email me riffez133@gmail.com i promise its sales but i promise its worth it

    {Reply}
  • Zach riffe:

    If anyone needs a job im a business owner 9726932205

    {Reply}
    1. Omo:

      i need a job but i am a foreigner

      {Reply}
  • Jessica:

    Hello, I’ve been dating my boyfriend for two years. When we first started dating he worked with me at our local grocery store. He then wanted to quit because one of his friends had a job held for him. After he quit the friend let him know the job situation wouldn’t work out. He then went on to be unemployed for nine months. He tried jobs here and there but quit them because he said he did not like them or did not get along with someone there. He finally got a job at a hardware store and did that for three months. Then quit because his boss was being unfair. Now I’m still working at that local grocery store part time for a tiny bit over minimum wage. I’m going to college in January but it’s online so that I can still work. My family keeps telling me he needs a job and it know they are right but everytime I mention it he gets so angry. I don’t know what to do.

    {Reply}
    1. jj:

      Why are women so stupid? You dated him, he’s a loser. So get rid of him. End of story.

      {Reply}
      1. Lilly:

        If women are so stupid then why do you keep reading? You’ve commented on nearly every post with advice that really doesn’t help. Outside looking in, you must be like these would-be men that the ladies on here are going on about. You probably sit at home, on your butt with nothing to do all day… and you’re more than likely single and can’t keep a woman let alone know what to do with her. I couldn’t imagine you any other way; if you weren’t like this you would at least empathize with some of these women instead of calling names (like an immature brat) and stating the obvious.

  • Pathetic Looser:

    My experience may be more sad than any one of you. In 2004, I got the traumatic car accident and part of my short term memory is damage. I could hold on to the job I work before the accident, but the company I worked for closed down in 2011. I found another jobs, but couldn’t hold on the new jobs, reason: I couldn’t remeber the tasks. My lived-in, who is 12 years older than me, also lost his job. He couldn’t land another corporate job, has had many interviews but they all rejected him. Before his unemployement benefit ran out, he promised will look for low key jobs, and will take 2 if necessary to support the family. But all are just talk, and I finally realized he is not the man for his words. He just said whatever that suits for that moment, and not keeping the words. If I suggest him to face the reality that he will not be hired for desk job again, why don’t go look for low paid jobs. He now flatlly told me that he couldn’d do that because he has his pride. Right now, we are living on my low paid caregiving job, and my guy is not doing anything. He took my daughter to school in the morning, then came home and slept till 11:00 every morning, went to gym for 2 hours, then eats, watches Fox for hours, eats again and spent the rest of the day either on Facebook or watching sport channels. My biggest fear is now my memory is getting worst everyday, what if I couldn’t not work any more and I have this guy is holding on to me. The reason he is still here is this what I think, I bought a 1 million dollar life insurance, and he will get 1/3 if I die. Out of desperation, I have talk of death, and one time he told me that I just bulshit and not doing it. From what he said, I really think this guy is still not leaving me not because he loves me, but he is waiting for that day to collect insurance money. I will change the name of the beneficaries and hopefully he will leave.

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  • Nay:

    Hi i am 20 my bf is 26. im working as fulltime job getting paid minimum wage. My bf searches for jibs online and had a couple of interviews but still no job..he perfers to get a job in his career..he went to school for medical coding and billing. He had jobs before but they was temps. When i come home from work hes just sitting in the room on his computer. Hes a good guy, he cooks,clean walks me to the bus stop before work he runs my arons while im at work.a good guy but hes not working.is there a way i could tell him to maybe try harder looking for a job or should i just leave him. (Its not like hes completly broke has damn near 4,000 in the bank but dnt wana touch it cuz thats all he have

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