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He’s unemployed. You’re paying for everything. Is it worth it?

Updated on February 8, 2015

Definitely Not

That’s right, ladies. If you’re in a relationship where you are the sole breadwinner most of the time, you’re being taken for a ride. Except for a medical crisis such as a medically diagnosed life-threatening condition/terminal illness, there is no reason whatsoever why your partner should not fully participate in his obligations towards his upkeep and that of your household. Health issues such as chronic back pain or depression, unless clinically diagnosed, do not count as, generally speaking, a large number of people suffer from aches and pains and/or mood swings at some point in their lives. Alcoholism and various addictions will of course wreak havoc in your relationship so stay clear from individuals burdened with these; however, even if these issues are present, there is still no excuse for not contributing.

Why Won’t He Contribute?

The one and only issue here is motivation. Your partner is simply not motivated to change his life because it suits him not to. And why would he change anything? If you look at your situation from his point of view, you will see it’s all working out for him. He’s got everything he needs and he gets to loaf around and indulge his various illnesses/addictions/future career plans at his leisure while you’re paying for it.

The only time your man is motivated to make some changes is when his comfort is threatened. If you issue an ultimatum to shape up or ship out, you will find that, for a time, he will make the changes you’ve asked for to save the relationship. He’ll get employment and your romance will improve as he will put in a lot of effort to reel you back in. His motivation for this is not the great love he feels for you but his desire to keep you invested in the relationship. He’s basically prepping you for when he leaves his job and goes back to loafing about at home; he’s ‘feathering his nest’ so to speak, creating positive steps to a return to his preferred status quo which, BTW, will not be long in coming. Once he’s regained control over your relationship, he will find an excuse to terminate his employment.

Excuses will range from sudden flare-ups of fictitious complaints/diagnostically elusive conditions, transport issues, unsustainable work place conditions/relations (themes of personal persecutions and discriminations of all kinds will feature heavily here) to grandiose future career plans which will involve his leaving his current job to come to fruition. It will be an opportunity that will require your contribution; after all, you’re a team and as you will benefit from this in the long term, he will fully expect you to participate. He will paint a most rosy future for the both of you, a future which will, of course, largely depend on you and your attitude. If you agree to support him while he gets this career/project off the ground, you’ll both live happily forever after.


Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Signs that he’s taking advantage of you include:

  • You’re paying his share of the rent/bills for your household
  • You’re paying for his alcohol/cigarettes and other addictions
  • He’s always out of money when you need financial assistance
  • He’s not working full time and uses his health/lack of work as an excuse not to contribute equally to your household
  • He’s periodically in bad health requiring frequent and prolonged periods of convalescence at home ei. no long-term employment
  • He’s always promising you a better future but nothing ever changes
  • He’s not interested in developing a progressive ‘future’ plan for your family on any practical level but will frequently tell you what you want to hear to keep you involved with him and preserve the current status quo ei. you work, he stays at home
  • He’s only happy when you do exactly as it pleases him; any change in his plans is met with resistance
  • He will always put his needs above yours/your family
  • He will never be ‘there for you’ when you need it
  • He views your family as a threat to his comfort so he will not encourage close family relations
  • He’s always going to do things but nothing ever happens
  • He expects you to support him while he works on a grandiose plan to support you

And that’s it in a nutshell, girls. If you’re dealing with some or all of the above, give some serious thought to leaving your relationship because, nine times out ten, it ain’t gonna get any better. So why would you stay?

P.S. Multiple answers to this question have been conveniently supplied in the poll below. Feel free to add your opinion.

Why Is She Staying With Him?

Here's Some Reasons Why A Woman Will Keep On Supporting a No-Hoper

See results

Into Oblivion

To finish off, here’s the promised cautionary tale on the importance of learning from your mistakes to be known as:

When Sandy Met Harry – A Jailhouse Romance Worth a Bucketload of Teeth, part II


Into Oblivion

So, here we are, picking up where we left off, with Sandy moving a new boyfriend into her busted up trailer. Same type of dude, same type of issues (minus the domestic violence thank God) but on the whole not much of an improvement. Eight years younger than Sandy, the dude was a raging alcoholic permanently in between jobs, who spent his time on her porch drinking (well, duh) to loud death metal music (Look it up, folks, it’s a fascinating music genre that deserves more exposure, if you ask me, simply for the entertainment value but on the whole it’s unlistenable unmusical s**t) while waiting for Sandy to come home from work, with a case of beer, goes without saying.

Sandy, bless her, an accomplished drinker herself, had, at first, no problems with this lifestyle; in fact, counted herself lucky to have landed such a guy, so young, so handsome, so musical, and such a groovy dancer too, bragged Sandy in the early days about Dude (let’s just call him that and be done with it) to anybody who would listen, mistaking the alcoholic tremors Dude periodically suffered for funky dance moves. I kid you not, people, Dude had tremors, which were partly responsible for his not being able to hold down steady employment. A carpenter by trade, Dude should have been able to make a good living but Sandy never saw a penny out of him. She asked, of course, but Dude always had an excuse, a promise, something in the pipeline that was gonna come off as soon as he felt better…

Within a few months of living together, a pattern emerged. Dude would work for two to three weeks, then drink himself into oblivion for a few days and lose the position. It would take him a couple of weeks to recover, find some casual work and repeat the whole process again. It was a rollercoaster ride, for him and Sandy, as these two had ongoing financial problems, had to often move from one trailer park to another in search of a still cheaper accommodation, and were always out of money, with both of them permanently in arrears for child support.

As is customary in sad real-life tales such as these, Dude had kids out of wedlock, didn’t see them much, and it’s easy to guess why. Sandy, as you know, lost custody of her two and was required to pay ex-hubby maintenance, which she fully intended to do but never quite managed ‘cause she had Dude to take care of. You’d think Sandy would grasp the situation pretty quick — what with having been in such relationships all her life and swearing to her friends that never again would she put herself in such a stupid position — and make some better decisions, but no. It never occurred to her to leave; just as she did many times before in previous relationships, the poor girl stuck it out on the hope that things would improve.

She stayed the course for four years, supporting this fellow and putting up with everything. She fancied herself in love (yet again) but eventually even Sandy, loved up as she was, had had enough when one of her children fell ill and needed her. To give her credit, Sandy did what any mother would do and put her child’s needs ahead of hers, much to Dude’s displeasure. Sandy chose to leave Dude to go nurse her child back to health. Dude did not take this well. Out of work and without income once again, Dude took to sending Sandy obnoxious texts in which he threatened to split with her if she didn’t come back to take care of him.

Well, finally! This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. For once Sandy saw things clearly. She realized Dude was nothing but a millstone around her neck. With the family crisis over and her child recovered, Sandy returned home, packed up her bags and left Dude on the porch, doing his usual daily grind: the tremors, the drinking and the death metal music, until oblivion.

It was the right move. These days, Sandy’s doing much better. She’s got a good job and she’s studying… at uni! Who woulda thunk it, hey? She’s made everybody proud, and fingers crossed, from now on, the only way is up.


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    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 3 years ago from East Coast

      My oh my you are spot on! Humans are creatures of habit and if a lady is making it nice and comfy for the man financially (or the other way around) and he's not equally contributing or at leas contributing an equal percentage of his income, he will do only what it takes to maintain this. These situations are detrimental territory no matter how much or little she has left over each month. I've seen men and women do this out of love but love does not pay living expenses, fund emergency funds, retirement and vacation accounts. I say ladies and men should expect and demand more than this.