Post # 1
A bit of background: Fiance and have lived together for 5 years, been dating for 7 years. We relocated in November 2011 and have been living with my parents. We were initially unemployed. Now I’m employed but Fiance isn’t. He’s also really depressed about not being able to find a job (understandable!) and spends 90% of his time playing video games or working on his poetry. I’ve given him a lot of ultimatiums (“I will not marry you unless you have a job…”) to keep him motivated. He’s been in and out of therapy his whole life for depressions and anxiety but no health insurance now.
So, I’m not so much having second thoughts but more…I don’t know. We’ve been fighting an awful lot recently. They’re never about anything either.
Me: “You didn’t do the laundry. I asked you to do it. You haven’t done anything today except play your games – you haven’t even applied for jobs.”
Him: “I’m under a lot of stress”
Me: “I know you are but I am too – don’t you get that?”
Him: “Yeah, I know. I’m just pissed I still don’t have a job…”
Me: “I know, I’m sorry. I just can’t get you to do anything….”
I know I’m not the most helpful sometimes but I just feel like I’m doing everything. I can’t get him to do anything around the house (my parent’s house) or help with stuff for the wedding (I asked him to print the invites while I was at work three days in a row – ended up printing them myself).
Other then sending him job postings and applying for jobs for him, how can I help FI? I feel like he doesn’t care about our relationship or future as he’s not even doing anything for it in the present. He’s always had issues with chores but I’ve always been raised that if you don’t have a job, you do stuff. You don’t just sit there and turn it into a 8 month vacation coupled with sadness. I just feel as lost as I imagine he does….thanks for any help!
Post # 3
My SO is also currently unemployed and up until recently was turning into… well something unpleasant. I swore if I went off to school at 10 am and came home at 9 pm he ought to at least look like he stood up from his computer at some point. Still I knew that it was hard for him to deal with not having a job. He was feeling useless and when he feels useless he loses motivation. When he loses motivation he doesn’t do the dishes (his assigned daily task until he gets a job). And when he doesn’t do the dishes I go from tired but glad to be home to tired and mean. And when that happens he gets more depressed.
We were going through his routine the other night and he stopped me. Then he told me to vent and tell him everything that was bothering me. He told me that he knew I needed to get out all of the anger and frustration I had and he could take it because he already knew. I was brutal and I do feel a little guilt about it but it was worth it. Once I had said my peace I could just let everything go and be happy coming home to him again. I’d aired my grievances, they had been acknowledged, and now I was ok. And as it turns out what he needed was for me to be ok. He knew that I was disappointed in him and that depressed him more than not finding a job.
After our talk not only were the dishes done but he did all of the laundry including the bedding, cleaned the bathroom, and cooked dinner. ( I normally cook because I’m the picky one about what I eat.) Since then the dishes are done every day and he’s been working out which releases endorphins so he’s been in a much better mood.
So my suggestion to you is pick a fight with your Fiance. You don’t have to get into a yelling match or anything but get it all out. If you keep having little fights its going to continue to make both of you feel bad for a prolonged period of time. I also recommend you encourage him to start working out.
Post # 4
Giving him ultimatums about how you will abandom him if he doesn’t get his act together is neither helpful or motivating. It will only make things worse.
If I was unemployed and living with my parents, i’d probably be in the same emoptional boat. Ways you can support him include helping him find new opportunities, encouraging him to seek counseling, making sure he gets out of the house, exploring new career options with him. Above all, making sure he knows he has a soloid supportive future spouse is the most important thing. People already want to contribute to society and have a job. So, being supportive will keep your relationship from decaying along with his mood.
Post # 5
Best thing your can do for him is to start a workout program including cardio with him. That’s supposed to be better than antidepressants. It works wonders for upping motivation as well!
Post # 6
He needs to start treating his job search like a job. 40 hours/wk at a minimum. And get out of the house, do something where he will meet other people. Networking is your best bet to finding a job. Carry resumes with you. Volunteer somewhere so you can at least feel you are contributing and are gaining skills. Check if there are any free classes at local career centers or libraries.
I don’t think ultimatums are working, and loving with anybody’s parents is probably eroding his self esteem, confidence and making him feel like a kid on summer break, not an unployable adult. He needs to feel good about himself and go out there, show the world what he can do.
Post # 7
It does sound like your Fiance may be going through depression. Having been through depression and couseling myself, I think maybe you should try changing how you approach the situation. By saying “You didn’t do this when I asked you too,” it sounds like an accusation right from the beginning, which will make him more upset. A lot of counselors recommend using “I” statements, and stating how you feel, rather than jumping to what the other person does or doesn’t do. There are a lot of helpful books on that also. Maybe offer to do laundry together and then play videogames or go out to dinner together- that way he feels more like part of a team, and there’s some incentive. I know you say you do a lot already, but maybe by asking for small things that you do as a team could be a start.
Post # 8
See if you can find a career counselor in your area. They can be found at colleges, departement of social services and in the yellow pages. They can sit down with him and look at his resume and tell him if its appropriate, formatted correctly etc. They can also give him some ideas for finding jobs. Things like- always carry resume with you. Attend at least one networking event in your field each week. Set a goal of ____ number of apps to submit every week etc. Even if you’ve given him the same advice, he may respond better to it coming from a professional.
For the chores- don’t make it about him not having a job. Sit down and talk to him. Don’t mention the unemployement. Make a list of everything that needs to be done daily/weekly/monthly. Work together and split the list between the two of you. It doesn’t need to be a 50/50 split, but you both should be taking responsibility for the place you live. Let him know that you are fine with adjusting your responsibliities in the future as your situation changes. He may be more apt to take care of things if its not you nagging him to do something, but something he decided to be responsible for.
Remember you’re his partner, not his counselor. If he really is depressed see if he will go to counseling either by himself or with you. Its not your job to find him a job, or make him do chores. You both need to work together and spend time as a couple- have a date night, do something he loves. Those experiences will help him feel better a lot more then nagging and pestering will.
I hope everything works out and he finds a job soon. As a currently unemployed myself I know how much it can suck. Best of Luck to you both.