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hi all

i have never posted on anything like this before, but i haven't been able to find the right articles online that relate to my situation enough. so, i will give a brief summation of what my fiance and i are going through.

we've been together for 2 years, i am completely and utterly in love with this man and he is my total soulmate. in the beginning he had a very steady career and was doing great- he owns a house, and i was the one who moved in with him during the beginning of my career. over a year and a half into our relationship he got laid off because his company was bought out. during his months of time off & collecting unemployment, he made extra money through playing music (he's a professional musician and has a degree in sound engineering) and helping a family member with their company.

about a week ago he went to his previous employer to get the details on coming back for the upcoming seasonal start- the new management there (who he did not get along with when they bought out his company) decided to not have him back. so, it's only been a few days but i am starting to feel anxiety about this whole situation. we are not struggling financially at all- but i am having a hard time with the thought of me being the breadwinner.

we've had multiple conversations about him finding a new job- he's got two good prospects. but, i am not seeing him be proactive about this. i don't know what to do. along with the personal stress this is causing me- my mother is beginning to get nosey and tell me that i shouldn't marry him which DEEPLY breaks my heart and makes me feel sick to my stomach because the absolute LAST thing I want is to be without him. he is my best friend and i would be completely lost without him in my life.

please help. i just need some advice.
 

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...but i am having a hard time with the thought of me being the breadwinner.
Welcome to the world of "male privilege". But can you gently encourage him and help him in his job search? I would avoid trying to put any ultimatums on him or threatening to break the engagement. He'll see this as a sign that your love is conditional.

Can you help him find leads and walk him through arranging interviews? I would stress to him that he should just look for a temporary solution at this point. "Hey, why don't we find a crappy job for you for a while, just until that perfect thing comes along. Someone will eventually realize how talented you are, but in the interim you can do this other job that's beneath you." This approach helps people rationalize accepting the crappy job as not some sign of permanent failure.
 

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I don't believe in male privilege. I will support him in any way if it came down to it. i have been doing everything that you have suggested, and it is working. i just feel so much anxiety because i have this irrational fear that everything will go to shambles. i don't want anything bad to happen, ever. i have found him one lead and he found two for himself- so things are looking in the right direction- but i'm just anxious for him to make a decision.

thank you for your reply !
 

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Another thing that might help: Maybe it's out of his budget, but see if he wants to take a class in the evening. Maybe some specialized training that will ultimately lead to a higher-paying position. Something that will give him a sense of direction and purpose, like he's working towards something bigger and not stagnating.
 

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If he will not push himself, you push his 'self'.

Do not tolerate sloth.
Do not let him set a precedent. Him, thinking it is OK to be unemployed. You are not his mommy.

Do not show him he can 'use' you.

It is OK and common to get laid off. But not to be idle, for what, six months?

Do not let him lean on you anymore. Lean on him to get a job, any job.

Tell him you could never marry a man who will not support himself.

Be calm and honest when you tell him this.
 

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I think the old company does not want him back because he did not pull his weight there, either.

They likely saw him as a talker, not a worker. A dreamer, not a 'sound' man.

I am giving you tough love. So is he...



KB-
 
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You're going to have a lot of ups and down during your future marriage. There will be stress and anxiety, if not about this then something else. How you face it together is what will help define your relationship. It's unfortunate your mother weighed in, and although she is your mother it's your life and relationship.

Losing a job sucks, especially one you liked, worked hard at, and believed you were underappreciated for what you did. There is a lure to having a break between jobs, and frankly sometimes one needs a little motivation to get back our there (i.e. financial stress). If he loves you the way that you love him, and you've made it clear how important this is for you, then he should have some fire under is arse about it. I would continue to emphasize, without nagging, how important this is to you and your relationship. If he takes a job now, that doesn't have to be his job forever.
 

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Don't exactly know where you are, @completely_inlove413 ~ but is there a "competitor" to the company there in the vicinity that he could solicit for a position? If so, those firms usually love to hire hard-working castoffs from their competition!

And for obvious reasons!
 

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I went through periods of unemployment at the start of my career. I got in at a time when the market was saturated with young people in laboratories. I had just gotten married, and was working on a political campaign, which was winding up, my guy was elected. He noticed me moping while cleaning out the office, and asked what was happening? I told him that I just got my degree, and married, and there are no jobs in my field. Six months of looking, the economy in the shlt-hole, and I am worried. So he asked if I would be interested in changing careers. At that point, I was desperate. He gave me his kid brother's number. This guy had a small accounting firm. He took a chance on me. The provisions were that I would start taking courses, register with the association, and keep my eyes and ears open. Today, I am a partner in a firm of accountants. It is a small boutique practice with a taxation arm that makes me extremely proud.

Completelyinlove, have him use this opportunity to explore other careers. Nothing is ever engraved in stone, and you both appear to be young and flexible. Do not be afraid to start again. I have dropped out of my field twice. Once to run my own restaurant, which I did for a year, and after my heart attack, I went in with a client and did telecommunication analysis for about five years. I have always come back to public practice as it is where I seem to be happiest. Find the place in the working world where you come home happy and at peace with what you do. Good luck.
 

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@completely_inlove413

I have some questions...

How many hours a week does he spend job hunting?

What is the population in the area where you live? Is it a big city? Rural? etc?

How old are you and he?
 

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I want to address you anxiety. Of course, unemployment always causes anxiety, but you seem fatalistic - worried "it will all go to shambles."

In your growing up years, were finances an issue? Did you have one parent who seems perpetually out of work, lazy, unambitious? Who was the breadwinner in your household? Sometimes our fears are borne out of a fear of history repeating itself.

Other than that, is he consistently spending a good amount of time looking and applying? If so, that is really all he can do.
 

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First thing you need to understand about marriage is you will have ups and downs. If your first thought is to scrap it, I don't think you should get married at all. Now having said that, it sounds like you are being supportive and helping him with this. That is a good thing, as long as he is helping himself just as much of not a lot more. Being married doesn't mean you put up with garbage either. There is a fine line between the two. Just make sure your head is in that space because I can promise you this is a good test right now you are facing together. Realize this won't be the last hard time you two face either. So check his actions and check yours as well through all of this.

Outside of that, all you can really do is be supportive and give him gentle nudges. If you feel he isn't pulling his weight you are certainly within right to give him a little smack upside the head to see how serious he is.

And there is nothing wrong with a woman being the bread winner. That is the only alarming thing I read in your post that would definitely give me second thought on marrying you if I were in his shoes. Just saying. In marriage, its about household income, not who makes more and who does what chores. Its a group effort where both do their best regardless of who does what. Anything else is asking for resentment to enter into the equation in my book. A sure fire way to kill a marriage.
 
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Love isn't enough.

Money pays the bills.

Don't take on a lifelong obligation with a serial unemployed person no matter how you feel about them.

Start planning an exit strategy- and let him know that's what you're doing if he doesn't step it up.

Or support him and be anxious for the rest of your life. But I do not recommend that course of action.
 

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first of all- he worked the hardest of anyone at that company. he pulled his weight and MORE. you do not know the details of his position there or how the takeover went down, so please do not assume that he wasn't working hard.
If this is true, then the new owners would be fools to lose him. There is some kind of negative or he would still be employed. Sorry, just because you love this guy doesn’t make reality less real.

If he’s such a hard worker, why are you worried about him getting a job?
Your logic seems suspect.

A talented, hard worker..... that kind of person finds a job...
 

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Take a closer look at his employment history. If he has always held a job, then he is not lazy or a loser. He owns the house, and supplemented his unemployment. If his work history is sound, be patient and have a little faith.

You are about to marry. Your fiance may be looking at the big picture and trying to find employment that will be stable enough to build a family. His biggest fear may be taking a position and getting laid off again, maybe at a time that he can't afford to. (You getting laid off or children in the picture).

Instead of having anxiety, take this as a opportunity to review everything. If need be, can he move? Would YOU be willing to give up your job, close family ties and move to another city or state?. Would he be able to sell his house, if the opportunity presented itself and a move is necessary? Review everything and work together as a team to chart your life path.

How soon will you marry? Do you have children or are you looking at starting a family?..How old are the 2 of you?
 

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first of all- he worked the hardest of anyone at that company. he pulled his weight and MORE. you do not know the details of his position there or how the takeover went down, so please do not assume that he wasn't working hard.
Thank you for this update.

I gave you tough love.
Life gives you little to nothing.

Success is finding your niche.
What you can be successful at.

It may not be your first choice.
It beats starving.

Honest work is honest work.
Compromise is sometimes key.
 
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