Wedding Woes

4 men...

Dear Prudence,

My boyfriend of four years has been going through a rough time recently. He quit his job a few weeks ago (he’d hated it for a while now) and claimed he wanted to use the time to “get himself back together.” He now stays up till 3 a.m. playing video games, eating fast food, and ordering gaming technology online. Before quitting his job, he went to one counseling session and hated the therapist, so he never went back. I’ve watched numerous couples who got together after us get engaged and married in the time we’ve been together; he says he wants to marry me, but there’s no ring in sight, and it’s depressing and stressful to come home to a grown-up baby. I’m getting fed up. He has one potential job lead and has been working on his résumé but there aren’t any other signs of progress. How can I give him a kick in the pants to get his life back on track?

—Endless Childhood

Re: 4 men...

  • You can't make someone be responsible if they don't want to. Decide if you can't stay in this situation even if nothing changes. Decide what you're okay with and then stick to it. You can't force him to find a job if he's not interested. 
    megs_tx
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    edited June 14
    You can't.  You can't force him to fill out applications and send resumes out and interview.  He has to want to do it himself.

    You can, however, give him a deadline.  I'm assuming LW and him are living together and is now supporting him?  My friend is in the same situation, except her bf didn't quit his job, he just can't hold one down, and I keep telling her that she needs to give him a timeline to get a job or the boot because she now works 2 jobs to support both of them.
    edit: words

    charlotte989875OliveOilsMomshort+sassyeileenrob
  • You know, every time I look back at this past year of depression and think my family has a lot to put up with, I should just read Prudie letters about dudes who can't admit they're ill. Makes me feel so much better, considering I am actually trying to do *something* while I can't work. Laundry may feel like just laundry, but at least I'm not spending all my husband's money on video games. 

    Jesus, dudes, GO TO A THERAPIST. YOU'RE DEPRESSED. 
    image
    ShesSoCold
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Ro041 said:
    I mean, it's been a few weeks.  That really isn't that  long of a time period, IMO.  Now, if he hasn't made any strides in the next few weeks, I think there's a problem.  If his job really was that stressful, maybe he just needs some time to decompress.  LW didn't mention anything about having to support this dude, so maybe he's still paying his way?  It seems like maybe her issue is more that their relationship isn't moving forward and him quitting his job has become the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.


    I think a big difference is that he quit.  He could have been trying to get a new job while working.  But he just quit, it also seems like this wasn't discussed with LW first.  Stressful job or not, he had other choices he could have made. 

    It would be very different if he lost his job because at least he would be having some money come in from unemployment (most likely).

    I think LW needs to push the counseling, especially the fact that sometimes you need to see a few therapists before you find one that works for you.

    LW needs to figure out what is more important.  The BF working or getting engaged.  And if they got engaged tomorrow, would she be fine with BF never working again?  I think LW needs to see the worst case scenarios and figure out if they are deal breakers.

    mrsconn23
  • I also think, if it has truly only been a few weeks AND he is still paying his share, that she should calm herself and give him a little more time to decompress.  A little more.

    Though I also think it's fine to have a conversation of about how much more time does he need before he starts actively looking for work.  And then "not so gentle" reminders that it's time, if he doesn't motivate himself.

    For her own sake, she shouldn't even bring up the marriage subject until he is employed again and working happily enough at that job for 6ish months or so.

    A different situation, time-wise, but my friend started dating a guy and they hit it off quickly.  He got laid off about a month after they started dating.  He asked her to marry him about 3 months in (still didn't have a job), with a wedding date in mind, 6 months out.  Y'all, I really tried my best to encourage her to look at a date further out.  Enjoy the engagement time more.  Give him time to get a job and get more settled financially.  But she was determined.

    He still didn't have a job when the wedding came around.  He and his son had been living with his parents, but moved into her apartment right after the wedding.  It didn't take much time for her to realize she had made a huge mistake.  She really didn't make enough to support all 3 of them.  And he never had a job for the 2-3 miserable years they were married.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlotte989875eileenrobOliveOilsMom
  • mrsconn23 said:
    Ro041 said:
    I mean, it's been a few weeks.  That really isn't that  long of a time period, IMO.  Now, if he hasn't made any strides in the next few weeks, I think there's a problem.  If his job really was that stressful, maybe he just needs some time to decompress.  LW didn't mention anything about having to support this dude, so maybe he's still paying his way?  It seems like maybe her issue is more that their relationship isn't moving forward and him quitting his job has become the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.


    I think a big difference is that he quit.  He could have been trying to get a new job while working.  But he just quit, it also seems like this wasn't discussed with LW first.  Stressful job or not, he had other choices he could have made. 

    It would be very different if he lost his job because at least he would be having some money come in from unemployment (most likely).

    I think LW needs to push the counseling, especially the fact that sometimes you need to see a few therapists before you find one that works for you.

    LW needs to figure out what is more important.  The BF working or getting engaged.  And if they got engaged tomorrow, would she be fine with BF never working again?  I think LW needs to see the worst case scenarios and figure out if they are deal breakers.

    The bolded is why I feel this is a '4 men' situation.  

    DH went through the wringer with his last job.   He prayed to get fired some days, came up with some pretty outlandish ideas on how to quit and make a living, applied for countless jobs, and went on some pretty terrible interviews.  Plus we had huge life changes during his tenure with moving and MIL passing away.  He stuck it out for a long 3 years and it has now paid off since he has a pretty cake job, a better title, and is making more money than he ever has.  We talk from time to time about how bad it really was when we were in the thick of the fuckery.  We were both ridiculously unhappy.  DH refers to it as the 'lost' 3 years.  

    This guy quit, wants to live like a teenager, and dipped one toe in the pond of actually getting help and shut it down because he 'didn't like' the therapist.  I know it's only been a few weeks, but if it were my relationship, I'd be looking for him to find some self-motivation or make plans to get real help to get him out of the place he finds himself currently. 

    LW needs to figure out what they want long term for themselves and from him.  
    Yup. We went through similar fuckery last year when we both hated our jobs and wanted to move back to NY. But we stuck it out. We kept applying to jobs. We kept reaching out to our networks. We went on crappy interviews. I talked to a therapist because we were both SO UNHAPPY.

    What we didn't do was up and quit and watch Harry Potter movies all day and eat popcorn (because that's what I'd do if I could). We kept our jobs until we found new ones.  
    mrsconn23short+sassy
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    This sounds a lot like how H starts most Summer breaks.  Not this one though, because he has things to do, because he's an adult.

    I do agree with the PP who said it sounds like the real problem is a lack of a ring and commitment, and the job just amplified it.
    image
    charlotte989875
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