My husband is a wonderful man and father but not the most motivated provider. Almost a decade ago, when our son was an infant and my husband had lost (another) job, he asked his parents for work at their family-run business. His parents and another relative all worked there at the time, and he’d worked there himself when we first started dating. His mother was reluctant at first and insisted the job would be temporary. It’s a pretty toxic work environment. Six years ago I went back to school, and my husband and I made a deal: After I graduated, he’d look for a new job or go back to school to retrain for another career, improve his mental health, and have a more reliable income. It’s been six years, and he’s still at his parents’ company. He makes very little money, has no insurance, and they berate him regularly. He’s also enabled to be late as often as he pleases. While he is a valuable employee and his parents have credited him with saving the business, he isn’t treated as if he’s valuable.
His relationship with his parents has always been unhealthy. This past year he has had severe depression over his mother’s recently exposed alcoholism and his father’s narcissism. It has put a strain on our marriage. He’s recently started therapy and has been making some great strides. He has my full support to quit and find something he loves, including going to trade school or college, while I continue to work full-time. However, he has no desire to do so and he expects me to be supportive when he comes home each evening with another account of the awful things that happen at work. I feel like I simply can’t remain supportive when he has every opportunity to leave yet continues to stay. I am ready to make it an ultimatum. The excuses keep coming. I don’t know if I can stay if this is forever.