I married my spouse of eight years last August. We’ve had our ups and downs, but really do love each other.
Currently, the economy’s not great where we live. I was out of work over the summer (but collecting employment insurance), then found a maternity-leave position after our wedding.
My husband became an independent sub-contractor recently, as a chance to be his own boss. I saw it as a headache, from my own previous experience.
He didn’t put in the work to maintain his business and finally hired an accountant.
Now, business is so slow that he only works two to three days weekly at most, sometimes not at all.
He can't collect employment insurance.
He still has school sessions to attend to finish his apprenticeship.
I’ve researched school timings for him and told him to register, but he hasn’t.
When not working, he only pulls his weight sometimes (mostly when I get mad that he’s done nothing all day).
I come home from work, cook dinner, clean up and maintain the home. When I ask him to complete a small task, like walking our dog, he puts it off for hours.
He also gets mad when I buy quality food and suggests we live on a Kraft dinner budget, yet he continues to smoke cigarettes and marijuana.
I’m becoming extremely resentful, nagging, and angry. I feel like I have a lazy 30-year-old teenager. I’m exhausted!
He’s finally agreed to look for another job and I’ve agreed to help with his resume, but I don’t know how to motivate him.
He sleeps in everyday, while I’m working hard to pay our bills.
He doesn’t seem to think of how I feel at all. Also, we can’t afford counselling.
Fed Up Wife
He made a hopeful business decision that’s turned out to be unworkable in a tough economy.
That kind of disappointment would stall anyone’s motivation.
But there has to be a cut-off point. You need to both agree it’s time to try something else.
It’ll happen more easily if you see it as a team situation to resolve, not just as his mistake.
However, his lack of helping out has naturally turned you resentful. Recognize that he’s “lazy” because he’s somewhat depressed, bored, and embarrassed.
Re-energize yourselves as a real partnership. Stop telling him what to do, and make a plan together… e.g. whether school is the better move or he should take the first job offered.
Meanwhile, try to do some of the household tasks together - walking the dog, cooking, cleaning, etc.
Also, healthy food provides more energy… shop groceries together and compare the ingredients between packaged foods and making your own together.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who’s considering talking to the “ring-less” guy who rides the same train (March 8):
Reader – “Just to give your readers a guy's perspective:
“We are kind of shy too!
“It's good that he doesn't have rings on either finger (i.e. He may not be married in the Christian or Orthodox styles), but it’s still possible that maybe he is “taken” (seriously involved with someone).
“However, the only way to find out is to say "Hi!" and start a conversation.
“Many women find this difficult. As do men, too.
“But most guys have learned from an early age that it's okay to be turned down sometimes.
“It hurts, but the way I see it regarding talking to a woman, if conversation doesn’t happen easily, then you aren't going to be right together.”
Feedback #2 – Regarding the woman, 27, who’s partner, 26, isn't sure he wants to have a family (March 9):
Reader – “You’re assuming that because they’re still young, they have plenty of time for family.
“My take is that if someone shows you who they are, believe it.
“He may not be ready for children at the moment, but what if he never wants kids?
“I made the mistake of patiently waiting for a man to decide if he wanted to have a family with me, only to realize after five years that it wasn't going to happen.
“So much unnecessary hurt and wasted time! She deserves an answer now, not later.”
Waited Too Long
Ellie – Thanks for sharing your story, since the writer needs to seriously consider that her partner may NOT change his mind.
However, he’s decided himself to seek therapy about his self-doubts, which means they’ll both be more aware of his attitudes sooner than later.
Tip of the day:
Face a problem together, so that co-operation replaces resentment.