(Closed) What should I do? Hubs isn’t working and it’s starting to get to me I think….

posted 8 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

It is REALLY hard to find work right now.  My Fiance had been unemployed since October or so and just recently found a job.  It was really hard because while I did appreciate his work around the house, and we didn’t really need his income, he still shouldn’t be sitting around all day. 

I think you need to convince him first that he needs a job and then talk about when is he expected to get a job and what you can do to help.  One thing that helped us was to establish a budget and stuck to it.  When money ran short because he wasn’t working, we talked about solutions, either he gets a job or the cable gets cut off. 

I started by helping him apply online for some jobs/stores that he was interested in.  Home Depot, Lowes, etc.  After a month or so from not hearing back from any of those, we had agreed he would apply for anything and everything including flipping burgers. 

Post # 4
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

Do I ever hear you!! Fiance has been unemployed for over a year. He works in marketing/advertising and there’s just no jobs out there because the industry… no one’s really buying or selling & thriving to need to more help, ya know?

My Fiance got a couple part-time jobs and lucked out getting a bartending gig (cash & off the books – holler!). Is there a base nearby where he can he get a job so that he doesn’t get deployed again but he’s still in the service?  Or is there something HE really wants to do? Fiance always wanted to be a teacher & I think that’s great. Plus, schools are always looking for male teachers. I told him if he doesn’t find anything in the next couple months we can look into him going back to school and I can support him. Then, if I want to go back to school or we decide that I want to stay home for a while when we have kids, he’ll return the favor.    

Do you have any weddings coming up? Trips? Something where you’d need a to spend a good deal of $$? It might be easier to start a conversation with something like “Ya know babe, I’m kinda worried about having enough cash for Mary Smith’s wedding”. This way you’re approaching the situation with less of a “I’m totally freaking about the fact that I’m the one spending all the $$ here” – cuz um, that’s kinda how I came across. Don’t make my mistake.

Post # 5
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I think your best approach to bringing it up is dealing with the subject in small chunks. It isn’t as if he never wants to work ever again, right? I would go at it in small conversations, like, “hey, what should we do about cars when I’m at school and you are working?” or ” are there any projects we should take on around the house before we’re both so busy?” Anything that brings up the inevitability without bringing it up directly.

Usually I’m a big advocate of direct talk, but this isn’t a situation where there is an actual dissagreement. I think you just need to find gentle ways to remind him that he has to make the transition into civilian life. It isn’t easy, my Future Brother-In-Law went about 2 YEARS with no real job.

Post # 6
563 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

What are you going back to school to study?  How long is your program?  That makes a huge difference in terms of whether or not it is in your family’s long term financial interest for you to go back to school.  I ask that because I know a lot of people working on masters and doctoral degrees in philosophy or Renaissance Literature, and while those are wonderful pursuits they are not in high demand fields for employment prospects. Also, please keep in mind that some careers most people think are recession proof may not be easy to enter.  My students are completing masters degrees in education in May, and they are really struggling to find jobs now since school districts have cut back hiring. So you need to investigate the recent job placement of graduates of the programs you are considering.

This is a very tough situation, but you and your husband need to sit down and work out a long term plan for your careers.  Your husband might be hoping that you will delay returning to school or attend school part time while working full time until he can find employment in engineering.  You may be  hoping that he will start looking for a less desirable job so that you can return to school. 

Marriage is about tough choices and compromises and it sounds like you need to have a very difficult conversation with him.  The discussion needs to include a solid cost/benefit analysis about the effects of you going back to school.  You also need to discuss your husband’s potential for obtaining employment in engineering.  Does he have a realistic idea of what kinds of jobs he is qualified for?  Have other people with his background/experience been able to easily obtain jobs in this field when the economy is stronger?


It seems like you are both making decisions as individuals right now about your employment, but married people need to make these decisions together.

Post # 7
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I think you can just bring up the conversation about what your plans as a couple are in terms of what you will be doing (job, school, military) for the next year or so. Bring up the topic and say, “I’ve been thinking about this a lot, but I don’t know what you have been thinking. What are your plans?” Then put the ball in his court. If he says he plans to loaf around the house indefinitely then you can intervene—but he probably won’t say that, right? Maybe he really is planning to re-mobilize but he is so enamored of the home life right now he just wants to talk like he’s not going to do it. I am sure he is thinking something, and if he’s not, then this conversation will get things moving without you having to tell him to get a job!

Post # 8
1154 posts
Bumble bee

The bigger problem seems to be that he doesn’t support you going to school.  If he resents that you’re not going to be bringing in income and going to accumulate loans it’s going to make school even harder for you.  Is school something that will increase your earning potential in the long run? Does he see you unhappy in your current job?

I tend to think that unless you marry someone unmotivated who always needs to be pushed you should not push your unemployed spouse.  If the money is there and there is no crisis than I believe the person most able to make the decision of when to look for what kind of work is that person.  I’d trust him.  If there is a crisis I would hope a spouse does his best to help and solve the crisis.  I don’t know, I think doing your best on your half of the contribution and letting the other person police their own half is best in some aspect of a relationship.  Money can be so toxic and such a power play in relationships that I just wouldn’t go there.  YMWV.

Also, I wouldn’t underestimate the negative effects of a job that is not utilizing your abilities, pays crap and you hate.  You seem to be changing careers because you don’t like your job – that’s an expensive proposition – asking him to go ahead and get a new job he hates is unlikely to be well received.

I would bet that if you give him more time he’ll want desperately to be working again himself.  Right now he’s probably still resting.

Post # 9
1580 posts
Bumble bee

If I were in your situation, it would bug me too, and I would feel the exact same way you do. But I also understand not wanting to work a job below your level. But sometimes you have to take the opportunities that come your way.

However, I have to say that you are making the choice to quit your job and go back to school. Unfortunately you probably weren’t thinking your husband might be unemployed when you were planning everything out. So saying that you are going from a 1 salary household to a 0 salary household doesn’t really make a good case for you, since you are the one deciding to quit the job you have. (Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand your feelings, just saying its not a good argument).

I think Dancy is onto something good with the teaching- could he be a substitute teacher while looking for a job? I know where I went to high school you need a 4-yr degree. If he’s an engineer he could even sub physics and calc classes. Or even tutoring. I don’t think teaching is ever “below” someone. It is a really important job.

So what can you do? I’d bring up the substitute teacher thing and ask if he needs help looking for other jobs. If you want to bring up the issue of money, I’d bring it up over small things like cutting the cable or not eating out or clipping coupons so it doesn’t turn into a huge fight.

Post # 10
3526 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

My first question would be. Has he actively been searching for a job and had no luck? Or has he not been actively searching. Browsing monster.com and that’s really it?

In all fairness to him, I’m not sure what kind of military duty he was in or how long he was stationed. With being home since Nov and holiday hectic. It is only mid February. However, if he really has not been looking at all and just “twiddling his thumbs” then I would be worried.

I would have to agree that if he were to just take a job just for the sake of a paycheck then that IMO is not a good solution either. However, I do agree with ppl that he can perhaps at least take some temp jobs or part time work to bring in some income. While he looks for a “dream” job. Especially with both of you knowing that you will start up school in a couple months and the extra income whether you need it now or put away for a rainy day will be helpful.

Maybe bring up the logistics of YOU going back to school in August. So it’s like the focus is on you and not him? Know what I mean? Like people mention how would you work out the car situation if there is only one. Maybe bring up the issue of a budget which then brings the issue of money onto the table. Which will then bring to the table that you will not be working when you’re back to school. Which it sounds like you’re not?


Post # 11
1154 posts
Bumble bee

And just as a random anecdote, my harvard mba sister spent four months looking for a job with no luck.  But I resisted the impulse to tell her to look for worse jobs with bigger pay cuts and she’s found a fairly fantastic job after that four months (actually two jobs offers came at the same time, as usual).  It is very tough right now.

Post # 12
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

ehhh.. i dont think i really agree with the PPs.  it seems like you are doing a job that you hate for the good of the family.  now its his turn.  you go back to school in aug right?  that means that he has 5-6 months to find a job.  that means he needs to light a fire ASAP.  adults no longer have the opportunity to ‘rest’.  but unless youhave this conversation with him, he may not even know how stressed you are.

when we were planning our wedding, hubs thought the money was just going to magically appear.  maybe your hubs doesnt realize that come august, he will need to come up with x thousand dollars each month to take care of the bills.

Post # 13
79 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

ahh i’ve been in your shoes before, sort of. i was dating a guy who was in the army for awhile, was deployed to afghanistan for 15 months. so when he got out the last thing he was worried about was working. he would say “i was a soldier for a long time, i risked my life for this country, i deserve to have time to myself.” which i agree with..for a short amount of time…idk if you understand it or not but it’s a stressful, tiring job being in the military (my hubby is a marine) so being out of work for 3 months isn’t really that catastropic…i mean your hubs has been looking, but he doesnt want to settle. he feels like he owes it to himself to get a good job. now on the other side it’s not fair to you. so you should def. have a talk with him about setting a “date” that he’ll officially look for a job and not be picky about it. you are married now so there are compromises you must make and you must help each other out. so i’d say give him a few more months but say by june you will really have to try getting a job to help support our family. if he’s in perfectly good health there’s no reason he can’t work. hope this helps! :-/ good luck!

Post # 15
1154 posts
Bumble bee

This sounds like a temparement difference to me.  I’m a chronic procrastinator – and when I’m feeling defensive I’ll say that on top of it organized types get the same stuff done that I do but they deal with the stress by freaking out and color coding charts while I read a book, same result and my blood pressure is better.  That’s not exactly true – but it is a little bit true. 

It sounds like you are almost peeved (not deliberately but probably in the same way that he is about your school) that he is enjoying this time because were you in his situation you would be stressed out and with a plan.  He is dealing with it differently.  And I think he is correct correct to be enjoying this time – you don’t get month long vacations very often!  Just because he does not have an articulated plan doesn’t mean he is going to stay static forever and won’t take neccessary steps – take a look at his life so far – has he been able to manage it alright? then he will manage this too.  You say he has some savings – that’s another good reason to hold out for a good job.  He is looking for a job – there’s no call to go for extreme measures right now. 

You’re nervous about the lack of income but even you admit that financially the two of you are just fine.  Your nerves aren’t unreasonable exactly and if it was you in this situation I’d say go ahead and pick up a part time job to settle your nerves – but I think the threashold should be higher when you’re talking about forcing someone else to do what you want.  It would make me feel better doesn’t seem to be a good enough reason.

However, I’d talk to your husband about the fact that you’re a little stressed with the situation, tell him you trust him but that it’s in your nature to worry so he should know you are worried.  Good luck.

Post # 16
5758 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m not sure why you need to tiptoe around the issue with him. You’re married now,and these types of discussions can’t be avoided so as to not hurt his feelings or to not get in to an argument. He sounds quite comfortable in his present situation,but he needs to work, not only for the good of the two of you and your future, but for his own well-being and self esteem.

 Before you know it, 3 months will turn into 6 into 9, and then what? How does he explain his absence from the work force then? He was resting or taking a break? Any gap in an employment history needs to be explained, so the longer his drags on the less likely he’ll be to find his ‘ideal’ job. In the meantime…bills need to be paid and money needs to be banked and I’d suggest you both sit down and map out a ‘plan’ for your future. Write it down,set some goals,make yourselves accountable. Things don’t always just work themselves out. You need a plan. Sounds like YOU have one,but YOU as a couple need to have one.

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