My husband and I married four months ago, and two months ago he quit his job unexpectedly.
He's been applying to multiple places everyday since, but he hasn't landed one yet.
He's had several interviews, but nothing came from them.
However, he won't apply to anything that has to do with customer service because he says "I don't deal with people. Never have, never will."
This is totally unacceptable to me.
I'm barely making enough to cover our rent and food, so I'm neglecting my credit card payments.
I've been having to ask my parents for help, but they have to take care of themselves, and we're not their responsibility!
I don't really know what to do/say at this point. I can't support us both anymore, and quite frankly, I don't want to!
I feel like he's taking advantage of me because he'll do things like take my money and go out with it.
This is as much a moral problem as a financial one, which you two need to look at as a team, especially so early on in your marriage.
Despite your resentment, it’s commonly expected that one spouse supports the unemployed other, if at all possible.
However, the deeper reason for your reaction is that it’s not acceptable that a partner suddenly quits a job without discussion, when both incomes are needed.
Or, that he takes your money without talking to you about it first.
That said, two months isn’t a long time to be job-hunting. Also, it may be realistic of your husband to believe that he wouldn’t be good at a job involving customer service.
Given the financial pressure, you need to create a timeline for how to manage this situation together.
Instead of racking up high-interest credit card charges, take out a lower-rate bank loan to get you both through six months, maximum, based on your own employment record.
Agree that by that point, he’ll take any job until he can find a more suitable one.
Also agree that he needs some small amount of spending money from the loan so that he doesn’t get depressed just staying at home.
Note: If there’s an underlying anger management problem that caused his sudden job walkout, there’s a bigger problem here that you both need to address.
For this marriage to be a true partnership, job loss has to be one of the challenges you’re willing to face together.
But if you truly still feel, as the timeline approaches six months, that he’s taking advantage of you, marriage counselling is needed.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who was in danger from her husband and needed to formulate a plan to leave him safely (March 8):
Reader – “You correctly advised that a quick Google search would help her identify resources to help her formulate and execute an escape plan.
“This is certainly good advice, but it contains a hidden peril, the electronic footprint that a Google search leaves.
“This includes a very complete history of on-line activities in the form of caches, browsing histories, and cookies.
“It is essential that anyone who is in a situation such as this woman, use private browsing, or clear her cache, history, and cookies after she has completed her search (preferably both).
“The consequences to her if an abusive husband checked her browsing history, which is the sort of thing control freaks do, and discovered that she was searching women's shelters etc., could be catastrophic.”
Ellie – Thanks for this important warning.
FEEDBACK Regarding destination weddings, responses and gifts (March 10):
Reader #1 – “Choosing a destination wedding is up to the couple, but spending a week of vacation time and the expense, is up to the guest.
“The writer should go to the wedding ONLY if her family can afford it. If not, then send a great gift.
“But if attending, give no gift at all for a destination wedding.
“Most people get a few weeks’ vacation (maximum) a year but need more time off.
“It’s already the biggest gift you can give a couple - a week of your vacation time to celebrate their wedding.”
Reader #2 – “When we attended a destination wedding several years ago, the bride and groom were astonished that we'd given them a gift. "We didn't expect you to give us a gift. You came to our wedding!"
“That, apparently is a common sentiment now - that you don't give a gift if you showed up.”
Tip of the day:
Job loss for one spouse challenges both, and sometimes requires counselling.