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Partner Unemployed

Community Member


Im going to write this with total honesty and hope someone might have some valuable insight. 
I’m drowning everyday in a mud pit that I can’t see anyway out of. My partner is been unemployed for over a year now, second time in five years within an industry that has a resource shortage around people with his expertise level. 
I’m so tired and resentful of him as up until a few weeks ago it was expected I also do all the running of the household. I feel like I’m literally trapped providing for everything as he’s not even applied for unemployment or any kind of benefit so I can’t leave him. 
My work is pressurised and if I’m honest soul destroying but everyday I get up & go while he sits comfortably in his office doing goodness knows what 8 hrs a day, 5 days a week. 
Im completely at the end of the rope. I can’t change my work because I provide everything and I can’t get out of this I won’t call it a relationship because it hasn’t been that way in years.

And if I’m honest I read this I feel so guilty because everyone feels sorry for the person “trying to find work”, never for the person who’s holding the household together who at this point just wants to crawl into a dark room & never come out. 

4 Replies 4

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Kat, welcome


I'm more than willing to help. Before I do I want to briefly describe a situation I had in the 1990's.


I was married, two young kids wanting the old lifestyle, dad works, mum at home being the "homemaker". Mortgage rates rose so my shift work (which was tiring) was added to with me making my own lawn mowing round, things didnt improve so I went into building cubby houses as well. All this so my wife could remain home. The problem was she didnt help me. In fact in my spare time I changed more nappies than her and did the washing, cleaning etc as she slept till noon or 1pm every opportunity.


The result was catastrophic. I ended up with a suicide attempt and one week later left the household. End of marriage. I ended up building my own kit home and making a life for myself and my kids.


So, you can see the ramifications of what appears to be now a very common event, one worker and one doing video games or whatever. 


What you are also suffering is guilt. You feel guilt simply leaving him because he hasnt got an income... that he doesnt pursue, so this leaves you trapped. I'm sorry but he is his own problem and I would certainly suggest you think about yourself now and break free. You can be kind enough to leave him some money to tie him over but surely he has to stand on his own feet.


Being kind to ourselves is missing in many of us so we have to take preventative measures to avoid self destruction. Everyone is responsible for their costs they create in basic living.


Repost anytime



Your so right I walk out of the office in the city and stand on the edge of the footpath wondering what if…

I just want to pack a bag & walk out. 

I don’t understand 5 yrs ago I left a position where after 3 months of team leader bullying I couldn’t take it anymore. It took 3 months to find another job in the meantime I did literally everything, he never did anything and I took every advice & feedback he gave me including creating a website/blogging/giving lectures/reinventing myself literally and it worked. But he doesn’t need to follow his own advice as he told me today he doesn’t know how….. 


Can I ask did everyone judge you for leaving? 

Very good question.


Being a male I was judged by one neighbour as "abandoned you wife". I simply said "you don't know what goes on behind closed doors".


I had additional issues, bipolar (not then diagnosed) and losing my full time fatherhood let alone my kids suffering.


I've noticed you do tend to worry what others think. This guilt isn't productive in fact it suggests such guilt has priority over self preservation. The correct approach is to do what you have to do because it is your relationship not anyone else's. If you feel celled to explain/prove your decision is justified then ask the question- "would you support a person that won't seek work, act like a team to build a future ..." The important thing is to not discuss it further until that question is answered. Or refuse to discuss it.


Reverse questions work eg


"So how much inheritance did you get"? (A question from a relative recently)... my reply "how much money do you have in the bank"? If I was cheeky "how often do you have sex"?


My point is often met with surprise but I remain staunch because basically it's none of their business.


Place your decision on you, your future, your happiness. Run with it, re-establish your life and look for that soul mate with equal values. You won't look back.



Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

So it would seem you're both on a tandem bicycle with you being the only one pedalling; but as long as the journey continues, what incentive does partner have to share the burden?
If both pedaled at the same intensity, do you feel your load would be lessened, or would you just end up reaching your destination sooner?
Partner may have become disillusioned with his career (as indeed it sounds have you) so it might be time to have the discussion about where your lives are heading - change can be a good thing and is often prompted by crisis; and this one is making you question why you are in a relationship to start with.
As a former DINC, it can be hard to relinquish the freedom of disposable income but that is where we enter the realms of what precisely is quality of life. With a little savvy budgeting we too can find happiness without many of the commercial trappings that keep us chained to the wheel.