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I wish I could help, but all I can say ATM is that things are very difficult if you've moved and are looking for work. It's probably worse on a man since we're socialized to be breadwinners. None of that is an excuse but sometimes regardless of your best efforts there are forces far beyond your control.

FWIW I think grad school can be really damaging to relationships for anyone older than 23. It requires a lot of time and can really get in the way of doing much else.

That said I'll hazard to guess that your husband feels like he's lost personal control of far more than he actually has. I'd suggest gently encouraging him to accept responsibility for himself without condescending. Maybe even avoid the words "responsibility," "negativity," etc., etc., and stock phrases. The trick is that this person has to come to see that their behavior is problematic, and I'd guess that underlying that behavior is a maladaptive thought-process or old emotional baggage that can't so much be reasoned with, yelled at, etc., so much as accepted and then worked into functional shape. It's true the economy sucks if you're a person looking for work or a house, and it's true that not being able to find work or losing a job can be very difficult, but it's also true that you've got to to do something about it one way or another. Ultimately you aren't responsible for this, he is, all you can hope to do is possibly help him open his eyes and get moving.

Or maybe it's just garden-variety depression. Are you in Canada? Why not send the guy to wait 20' to get a prescription for psychiatric meds? I haven't ever found drugs to help with the actual problem, but I have found them helpful in maintaining mood stability.

I did come across a study the other day that indicated that high "assessment" and low "motivation" IIRC tended to exacerbate procrastination and obssessive-compulsion. I found another one that indicated that performing tasks that require willpower is like a muscle--it needs to be practiced and it gets tired, the actual results being that if you ask people to do one task that requires intense focus or effort followed by a second and third task requiring intense focus or effort, they do more poorly on the second and third than someone who is "fresh" or who just did something really easy. The take-home I got was that you can't "do it all" one thing after another... One thing at a time, but you have to actually f-ing do something. So that take-home from that is to figure out what needs to happen (husband looks for work) and get started with that while allowing 'breaks' in the day to do stupid, brainless crap. Don't mow the lawn the go look for jobs. Look for work, take a break, then mow the lawn. Etc.

Not sure if any of that helps.

I'll tell you the one thing I can't understand, and my wife and I do this too, is that everything can become a make-or-break thing. If someone is making progress and change, don't coddle them but respect where they are if the effort and results show honesty and intention, that's what I'd ask of my wife.
 
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