(Closed) SO's lack of ambition is driving me nutty!!

posted 5 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
3572 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m not sure what to tell you, except, some people are just complainers?  As part of their personality, they complain a lot without ever changing their situation. 

I guess I would just try to tune him out when he complains, because it’s obvious it’s not bad enough for him to make a change.  

Post # 4
9689 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’m not sure I have any help.  I have a friend very similar to this, everytime we speak I listen to her complain about her job for quite a while.  It’s pretty useless telling her to find a new job and it’s been going on for years and she’s still at the same place even though she bitches about it everytime we speak.  Honestly, I often zone out of many of those parts of our conversations.

Unfortunately you can’t change someone, he can only do it himself.  Some people definitely just like to complain!

Post # 5
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Why would he like an accounting job more with a better designation? Sounds like he hates his job. Full stop. Meaning an extra credential won’t help.

Sometimes people just complain, and some people just don’t have ambition or drive. He sounds like he fits into both of those categories.

Post # 6
3053 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

My SO went through a phase like this, and honestly still complains for a while sometimes but it’s not as bad as it used to be. I finally just told her “I’m sorry but I cannot listen to you complain about this damn job anymore. It puts you in a bad mood when you dwell on it at HOME and then when you bitch for hours, it puts ME in a bad mood. Please please stop complaining so much, just limit it or something.” Now she’ll talk about work and complain a bit sometimes as soon as she gets home but drops it after like 30 mins. She also limits work talk throughout the day.


I’m the type that, when I leave work, I don’t really want to talk about work. I’ll tell a funny story or something if something funny happened or something nice (like when my coworkers got me a little cake for my bday) but when I’m out the door, I’m not thinking about work anymore. I know that’s a luxury many who are salaried aren’t afforded, but I have had to work to get my SO (who IS a supervisor so there are some things that do have to come home with her) on the page of “if it can be left at work, leave it at work”.


I’m sorry your SO is miserable, I hope it gets better!

ETA: She also changed jobs. I forgot to put that. Since then she’s had wayyyy less to complain about. The other job was GOD AWFUL but it just pissed me off when she’d complain because I couldn’t fix it, and I’m a fixer. Now with this job, it’s a much better job so while there’s ALWAYS something to complain about, she doesn’t have as much to so she does it less.

Post # 7
5956 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@lawyerchick13:  …I’d call bullshit

No sane person with the option of changing their opportunity and pay for the better would continue to work a job they hate….so he’s either lying, exaggerating the bad points of things, or he’s just afraid of failing.

Either way, after three years, its just gotten to the point when its stupid, and maybe he likes complaining to you because of the way you make him feel and try to comfort him or listen to him and try to motivate him…that’s gotta feel kind of good….point is, he’s on a loop and once a man gets stuck in a rut like that, it’s your job to rock his muddy tires out of there before he cracks an axel.

Next time he starts in on his rant about his job, avoid the temptation to do whatever it is you do after he complains….you can listen, say, “That’s too bad.” and drop it, move onto something else….its obvious that there’s something about this whole dance that appeals to him greatly, so why don’t you change the beat?

Refuse to be a participant in whatever the hell this is, because its not healthy and certainly not productive for either of you, I think we all need a soft place to fall and a sounding board for our troubles, but if you’re dumping shit on the person you love daily for going on three years, thats just not fair and its also really self indulgent….we all have things about our jobs that we don’t like…that’s why its called work, and thats why they pay us to do it….

Take a step back from him while he has his big mopey-mope fest about having a well paying job in the worst job market of the century, feel free to point out the good things, ignore the bad and get away from him for a while…he’ll figure out that isn’t how he gets your attention and care anymore, and start finding new ways to engage and talk with you.


Post # 8
8041 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@lawyerchick13:  Could you maybe set aside some time where he knows he’s allowed to bitch, but maybe you both agree to enforce the rule that there’s no job talk allowed after 6 pm on weeknights or something? Gently remind him whenever he brings it up and hopefully he can get into a better habit.

I can relate to complaining… I complain a lot and it drives my SO bonkers. I think part of it is my personality, but I am conscious of it, and try to fix it. I guess after a stressful day talking is how I release some of that stress, but sadly (for him) my SO is there to listen. At least in my situation, switching jobs doesn’t really make sense for me, and won’t solve all my problems. So that’s why I am working on complaining less. Maybe he feels stuck. I don’t really know what you can do to motivate him. 🙁

Post # 9
4523 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

He sounds like 80% of working adults I’ve ever met: hate their jobs, but stick with it because it’s safe and reliable. I don’t think he’s neccesarily “lacking in ambition.”

If you see he’s wanting to push *himself*, then definitely stand behind and encourage him…but I’d be very careful not to let him feel like YOU think he’s lacking in drive. Many, many people work in the same industry the majority of their life and that’s quite the norm.

As far as the complaining, again: I think that’s pretty standard. I don’t know many folks who do not “hate their job.”

Post # 10
4046 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

If you havea been in law school for three years, you must be nearly finished by now? Perhaps th best time to re-visit this situation is when you are finished, and working. Then he can take some time to think about his options, get a new job, try a new field.

He may want to stay where he is now, because he doesn’t think or realize that there are other, similar jobs out there that would make him happier.

What is it that he hates about his job? The actual work (is it tedious? repetetive? too much? nto enough?) Is it the environment (too much stress, too hot/umcomfortable?) his coworkers, or his boss irritating him?

If he hates accounting, no use trying for a CPA –  but perhaps there are other factors?

If his job is super stressful, he may not have any energy or werewithal left at the end of the day to pour into studying, he may need a stress release.

Honestly I would support him now, when your career is in motion, perhaps he takes a break and sees where his life could or should be going- he just may not feel that he has any choice at the moment.

Post # 11
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

If you are graduating law school and enter the law world, then you are surely going to encounter complaining! I worked at a firm (past tense) and my friends there are still complaining, as are my friends from law school who are at firms.  Until you are in a miserable job I think it’s hard to understand the mentality of feeling stuck.  You are so drained of energy that the idea of doing something else like studying seems impossible. 

On a different note, when I started applying to jobs and getting excited, I think Fiance picked up on the momentum because a few months after I changed jobs and was so much happier he too happened to stumble upon a much better job. 


Post # 13
850 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I think you know what you need to tell him, because you wrote it here: “I am resenting the constant complaints and the total lack of any attempt to remedy the situation.” And I do think you should add, “I want to help you figure this out. What are the worst/best parts of your job now? Do you REALLY want to get your CPA? If so, lets work on a timeline and talk about the steps to get you there. If not, let’s talk about other career options that might make you happier. I want you to be happy, but it upsets me to hear that you are so unhappy now, with no idea of how to help you feel better.”




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