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Discussion Starter #1
Just joined the forum and wanted to field a question.

I've been dating someone for just over a year now. We're both in our thirties, and we don't plan to have children. We have similar values, have fun together and we get along with each other's groups of friends. The sex is fantastic. We both want a long-term relationship and have similar timelines for that.

Our problem, rather my problem, is that I'm not so sure about his -- I don't know what to call it -- lack of career passion, motivation, I don't know.

I'm doing pretty well in my chosen career path -- there's still lots of room for moving up, but I'm well on track for doing that and am earning fairly well. I put myself through school with work and scholarships and generally worked really hard to get the job I wanted since I was a kid.

My boyfriend is seven years older than I am, and has yet to find a full-time job with benefits in his chosen career. That would be fine -- it's not easy to get a university teaching job with a masters. However, I never understood why he didn't go for the doctorate or start a side-gig to make ends meet for him more comfortably.

Now I don't mind being the main breadwinner, and he's comfortable with that too. What I'm worried about is the lack of passion -- If he were writing novels, or painting, or some other non/lousily-paid activity along with his part-time teaching, I wouldn't care. I don't really care about the money -- except for buying a professional wardrobe and getting a safer car (paid off now), I've committed to living within the same means I had in grad school, giving and socking away most of my income. He lives at a similar level (but can't save), so his exact income doesn't matter to me so much.

Still, on principle it seems that one should be married to someone who has the ability to create a secure living for him- or herself.

What I perceive to be a big red flag was a discussion we had about resumes. He mentioned that he had been fired from a "a bunch" of jobs (he didn't give details), and that he had had long periods of unemployment. This disturbed me. I didn't know how to ask for details without sounding judgmental, so I didn't. He has had (and still has) lots of support from fairly wealthy parents for getting education and experience, and for moving where the work is. I don't understand why he would have periods of absolutely nothing (this would have been before the downturn, too).

Should I be bothered by this? I'm worried that he may not have a good work ethic, and that I won't respect him after awhile. Is that wrong of me? Am I assuming too much?

Any ideas, leading questions, or thoughts would be appreciated.
 

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Financial support is one of the emotional needs in a marriage. You should be able to discuss anything honestly with your fiance, so find a way to ask him about his previous jobs.

Your gut is telling you that this will bother you, so I would carefully consider whether this man is right for you. If he is not career oriented, he will not change, and you should decide if this is a deal breaker for you.
 

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i used to look down on people with no work ethic. Then i read about the mindset of the industrial revolution and the psychology behind everyone having a work ethic from a societal standpoint. The push for this work ethic in creating the economy and being subservient to a system.
Basically good worker bees we are indoctrinated to be.

i nolonger concern my self with idealizing work ethic.

i simply look at can the person support themselve?
Do they have a need to have the drive to support themself?
Are they actually dysfunctional, or is it the societal lens i have been programmed to view them through dysfunctional?

The days of working the ground, planting, and collecting your harvest are gone.
What we have now is preconceived notions of work ethic, some justified, others for the sake of anothers profit and well being.
I work, have purpose, and have reason i believe for it. But in many cases the problems people have with idealizing purpose and work ethic are misconstrued in my opinion. It is a philosophy of programming for the benefits of a economic system that was construed in the the turn of the century, not for the benefit of ones actual standard of living or happiness.
 

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I would be more concerned about whether he is happy. You are holding him up to your standard, which sounds pretty high. If he doesn't HAVE to work and he doesn't WANT to work, and he's happy living his life that way, well, what's the problem? I would love for my kids to be able to do whatever they want to do and not HAVE to do anything if that makes them truly happy.
 

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other thing i cant help thinking, is he came from money apparently. Maybe he learned money cant buy happiness. He obviously doesnt seem to concerned over the race with the jones's.

So maybe he already realized something about how he wants his life? Maybe more of a intellectual and less worried about the monetary things?

Another is there doesnt appear to be any children. Most guys work to support children, family. They make that support a priority as in they are looking out for others and providing for them.
you have no kids to support or him to be concerned with, you support yourself.
He really doesnt have a need to have a drive to do anything. Everyone is provided for. Unless he needs to go provide for himself in some way i can see why he doesnt seem to concerned over it.
 

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The days of working the ground, planting, and collecting your harvest are gone.
Not in my world!

This is exactly what I do everyday.

I work so I can live... not the other way round.
It's a lifestyle choice for us.

But I get what you are saying... ;)

My bigger concern for the OP is that he gets fired!!
I've never been fired from a job in my life.. I'd find that quite concerning.

Why does he get fired? Does he have a temper? Is he a spoiled brat?

OP - Dating and being engaged is a time of getting to know this other person. It is perfectly acceptable to decide...

" Actually NO I don't think I want to spend the REST OF MY LIFE with this person"

Because the rest of your life is a bl00dy long time...

Follow your gut feelings AND what you see before your eyes.

Don't settle when it comes to picking husband.... it's possibly THE most important decision you will ever make.
 

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You sure you have no plans for kids? I wanted to be clear on this. This mindset has a way of changing as mena and women get married and get deep into their 30's.

You are saying a couple things here... that your concern is 'lack of passion', and that the money thing doesnt bother you, but that when it comes down to it - being able to create a 'secure living for yourself' is a priority for you.

(sidebar: Im partly interested in the (to me) disconnect between 'married' and 'secure living for him/herself.')

I hear you. I was single too long ago - I can guess where your head is at.

But all that aside - and to clarify - are you mostly worried that you are going to wind up footing the bill for an unemployed husband? When you say it that way it sounds terrible, I know.

Getting fired multiple times is a red flag. Whats the deal? Inquiring minds want to know, and you should ask if you are taking your relationship to the next level, or considering it. Problem with getting fired for 'bad' reasons is that it makes it hard to use prior experience as a stepping stone to better (or even similar) positions. Nobody is on your side if you keep getting $#itcanned. It adds up.

BUT. The reason I popped in here where I should not be... in the ladies lounge is one thing: that different people have different ideas about what it means to be succcessful in life. Not all of them revolve around what many consider to be a comfortable - high demands, well paying, even basically secure job. I think you get that - you sort of hint at it anyway.

There are assorted permutations of 'free spirit', 'lazy', 'averse to responsibility', 'indifference to capitalistic burdens', 'lemmings in the ratrace' (sic) that all manifest themselves in similar results outwardly but are very different things internally. I work too much, deal with alot of pressure, have a nightmare of a commute, and make very good money - but there is a price to pay for that as well - and the older I get, the more I realize the price for it is higher than I realize sometimes - and I wonder at the wisdom of securng a 'comfortable' life in the manner that I have.

I know people that have gotten fired and simply shrugged their shoulders and moved on - and a period of 'nothing' (unemployment) isnt the end of the world.

Besides the fact that kind of situation scares the he11 out of me, I have to admit I grudgingly admire that attitude in some respects - because I know that is it is in fact NOT, the end of the world. But as you say - respect is important and if you don't believe in a persons motivation, then nothing else really maters.

You need to find out more about this guy - what makes him tick. Sounds like you dont have that yet.
 

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Not in my world!

This is exactly what I do everyday.

I work so I can live... not the other way round.
It's a lifestyle choice for us.

But I get what you are saying... ;)

My bigger concern for the OP is that he gets fired!!
I've never been fired from a job in my life.. I'd find that quite concerning.

Why does he get fired? Does he have a temper? Is he a spoiled brat?

OP - Dating and being engaged is a time of getting to know this other person. It is perfectly acceptable to decide...

" Actually NO I don't think I want to spend the REST OF MY LIFE with this person"

Because the rest of your life is a bl00dy long time...

Follow your gut feelings AND what you see before your eyes.

Don't settle when it comes to picking husband.... it's possibly THE most important decision you will ever make.
i was fired form a couple jobs before i had kids. why not be? i had money in savings to live on. i had no one else to worry about. If i didnt like something at work, i just didnt do it.
so i get fired. so what?
Now of course, i have others depending on me. i have to walk a little more carefully.
But if i didnt have others depending on me i can without a doubt see me getting fired at least one more time, maybe twice. And not being too concerned over it. less to lose, less to worry about. He could have been fired for not doing the job, or not showing up. i was fired for that before. i just didnt want to go. so they fired me. i wasn't that upset over it. :D
Does it really matter? :scratchhead: Now if he is leeching off others, well then that could be a issue.....
but without children to support, who cares what he does. :rolleyes:
 

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i was fired form a couple jobs before i had kids. why not be? i had money in savings to live on. i had no one else to worry about. If i didnt like something at work, i just didnt do it.
so i get fired. so what?
Now of course, i have others depending on me. i have to walk a little more carefully.
But if i didnt have others depending on me i can without a doubt see me getting fired at least one more time, maybe twice. And not being too concerned over it. less to lose, less to worry about. He could have been fired for not doing the job, or not showing up. i was fired for that before. i just didnt want to go. so they fired me. i wasn't that upset over it. :D
Does it really matter? :scratchhead: Now if he is leeching off others, well then that could be a issue.....
but without children to support, who cares what he does. :rolleyes:
I look at this as someone who run there own business and had to fire people. They were generally not the kind of person i'd like to marry. Unreliable, untrustworthy, bad attitude... not exactly the stuff of my dreams :p

So I'd care if I was looking at him as a prospective future husband.

Do you not think this is a big decision?

She's not trying to pick a puppy or a new sofa here ya know!
 

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Is he supporting himself now on his part-time teaching position w/o help from his wealthy parents?

Most university professors have doctorate degrees as you know. Do you feel like he shoud be getting his?

What does he do during his "free" time?

Agree that "multiple firings" could be a red flag.
 

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I know of a very similar situation.
Young woman very highly educated, has a great job excellent salary
Young man she plans to marry [ next June ] is moving from job to job. Basic educational level [ no degree ]. His parents are well off.
She is heads over heel in love with him.

* sigh *

My take is this.
This can be a great source of trouble in your marriage.
You are career oriented and highly motivated. He is the opposite.
Sooner or later when the rigours of marriage come,
Most likely you will be attracted to someone with the same drive and passion as you in the corporate environment.
He will simply loose his sex rank , especially if he takes on the role of stay at home dad.
You will no longer be attracted to him sexually, and you will be unable to figure out why.

Men are supposed to be the providers and protectors of the home.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Is he supporting himself now on his part-time teaching position w/o help from his wealthy parents?
Most of the time he can support himself, but this semester he had to get money from his parents. I don't know how often this has happen. Because of this, he's redoubled his efforts to look for a
FT job, but when I asked about his search, he hadn't sent anything out yet.


The reason I'm hesitating over this is that our relationship is great in other ways and because of the points that @bribrius brings up:

The push for this work ethic in creating the economy and being subservient to a system.
Basically good worker bees we are indoctrinated to be.

...
Are they actually dysfunctional, or is it the societal lens i have been programmed to view them through dysfunctional?
I don't have the value that constant work beyond what you need to support yourself is a good in and of itself, but I do think that an adult of normal intelligence should want more than to spend half his time (he spends about 25 hours/wk working - the rest of his time is free) looking at the internet and watching movies. We grow from challenge, and I'm wonder where the challenge and growth is in his life.



You sure you have no plans for kids? I wanted to be clear on this. This mindset has a way of changing as mena and women get married and get deep into their 30's.
I've felt this way for a long time, so I'm pretty sure.

You are saying a couple things here... that your concern is 'lack of passion', and that the money thing doesnt bother you, but that when it comes down to it - being able to create a 'secure living for yourself' is a priority for you.

(sidebar: Im partly interested in the (to me) disconnect between 'married' and 'secure living for him/herself.')
I can see how that would look like a disconnect. I guess I believe in wanting, not needing our partners if there are not children in the mix.

Also, somehow, I think healthy people should be able to hold down FT work, and get out of jobs gracefully if they find they are unwilling to perform well.

There are assorted permutations of 'free spirit', 'lazy', 'averse to responsibility', 'indifference to capitalistic burdens', 'lemmings in the ratrace' (sic) that all manifest themselves in similar results outwardly but are very different things internally.
This is exactly my difficulty. I don't know which he is. Some of these things I can appreciate and be proud of.

You need to find out more about this guy - what makes him tick. Sounds like you dont have that yet.
Exactly. Thanks so much. I believe a conversation is in order!
 

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I'd be concerned about what might happen to myself if I became disabled or unemployed. Would he go the distance for me, and pick up the slack until I could recover and/or we could adjust as a couple?
It's well and fine if you're good with how things are under your own steam, but if you lose steam and he's suddenly the only breadwinner (aside from Social Security and/or disability insurance income) what would your life look like then and how would you be with it?

Also, what would you do if you got married and he stopped working and his family cut him off?

You could voice your concerns to him directly. If you don't want to, then yes, I would be concerned. You shouldn't marry someone if you cannot voice your concerns directly and have them taken seriously and dealt with honestly.
 
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