General Question

4kittycat's avatar

Ive been married for more than 3yrs and my husband hasnt ever worked nor wants to work, should i divorce him or how do i get him to find a job?

Asked by 4kittycat (16points) September 7th, 2009

we got married and he said that he was planning on finishing his college degree but he has been trying to do it for the last 3yrs (total of 8yrs of college) and he hasnt finished. ive paid for everything in our marriage, food, clothes, his school, his hobbies, etc. and he wont get a job. he was a convicted felony before we got married and he says that he cant get a job so he wont even try. should i divorce him now or wait to see if he can get a job soon?

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35 Answers

knitfroggy's avatar

You are the only one who can answer that question.

I personally would get rid of his butt and go one with my life. Why is he going to college if he says he can’t get a job?

4kittycat's avatar

good question.. he says he is going b.c he hopes that it would give him better chances at getting an actual good job.

isnt getting a divorce a hard and tedious process??

4kittycat's avatar

how do i get him motivated to find a job?? or is this even something i can do?

SuperMouse's avatar

Do you love him? Do you want to stay with him? If you do, you are going to have to sit down and talk this out with him. For some reason he does not want to get a job, maybe he is afraid he won’t be able to cut it, maybe he just likes going to school better then working. Whatever the reason(s), this is obviously making you resentful and causing a rift between the two of you. Maybe see a counselor to help you sort out your feelings and understand why you have been footing the bills for this guy for so long. Perhaps you should see a marriage counselor together to help you decide where to go from here.

drdoombot's avatar

Wow, sounds like a crappy situation.

I’m sure you didn’t marry him to become his Mommy. Throw him out on his ass until he grows up and becomes responsible.

SuperMouse's avatar

@4kittycat a divorce being a tedious process is probably not the best argument for staying married. Also, there is really now way you can motivate him to find a job, that is pretty much up to him. He has to find the motivation within himself or he will never do the work necessary to find a job.

4kittycat's avatar

thanks supermouse & knitfroggy. yes, i love him n want to stay with him although at times i feel i rather be divorce. when we got married, we had all this ‘dreams n plans’ and so much has changed since then… weve gone to soooo many councelors that im sure we can become counselors know ( we know the rules but , of course, we dont follow them).. its hard b.c i feel sorry for him but at the same time i feel trapped in this marriage. we were seperated for 3months n once we got back it was all ok but now it has gone back to the same old thing (abusive emotionally, mentally, spiritually.. etc). i think im stressed over this too. (hence why im here , seeking some sort of advice from others that have been there…)

4kittycat's avatar

nope, didnt sign up to be his Mommy, ur right. but i feel like ive taken that role n now dont know how to get out of that role.. besides getting a divorce.

drdoombot's avatar

Do what my mother did: change the locks when he leaves the house.

And don’t let him back in until he shows you a paycheck through the peephole.

Facade's avatar

I’d divorce him. Send him back to his mother.

4kittycat's avatar

isnt there a different answer than just divorce???
oh drdoobot : i cant technically run him out since the house is in both of our names, so he is also owner (legally anyways)

SuperMouse's avatar

@4kittycat guilt is probably not the best reason to stay in the marriage either. I think it is good old Sally Jesse Raphael who gave the following advice (I of course paraphrase): look at the situation from every angle you can think of, look at the good, the bad, the ugly, then decide once and for all whether you are better off with or without him.

gailcalled's avatar

What felony was he convicted of?

4kittycat's avatar

gailcalled: he has attempted robery/asault from when he was a teenager .. its in his records still.. he has tried to get jobs before in the corporate world but noone will hire him ( he assumes its bc of his records)..

we would be better off if he wouldve stayed with our plan of living a happy marriage. how does marriage get soo hard??

4kittycat's avatar

what would be my grounds for divorce anyways?? dont we have to have grounds for divorce?

gailcalled's avatar

If you are both unwilling to think about how and why a marriage works, (weve gone to soooo many councelors that im sure we can become counselors know ( we know the rules but , of course, we dont follow them)..) then you remain immature and stuck.

No one can fix things but you both. There is no-fault divorce now; do your research.

If you are serious, pull up your socks and grow up.

4kittycat's avatar

gailcalled: i feel like ive been the one putting all the effort into the relationship and have tried what the councelors have told us but i am not sure i can do it all bymyself.. ive definetly grown up and feel like im the mature one in our relationship but he just wont cooperate in this marriage. its like he expects me to initiate, to do the work in between and to even finish it.. its like im the leader in our relationship although im younger than him by 6yrs (im 29 and he is 35).. i will look into that link u gace me. thanks.

JLeslie's avatar

A close friend of mine finally divorced her husband who barely worked and didn’t contribute at home. Took her years to decide to divorce him, but finally when she had a child it became unbearable and bit the bullet, because she figured less trauma for her son the sooner she did it and she did not want to be married long enough that he would be entitled to part of her social security when he had been a loser all of those years. Now that she is divorced she has to pay him child support. She would have been ok with him making very little if he had taken over the “domestic role” but he wasn’t doing much of anything. We can’t tell you what to do, but since you are already thinking about divorce at least find out about the laws in your state. You don;t have children yet, right? I think it is time to be practical.

Jeruba's avatar

@JLeslie, she has to pay him child support? The good-for-nothing ex-husband got custody of the child?

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba The state she lives in highly favors 50/50 custody, hard to fight it without real evidence of abuse. Since it is 50/50 and she earns more, it is simply a mathematical equation of time spent with child and income; gender of the parent is irrelevant. So she pays him. Drives her crazy.

4kittycat's avatar

JLeslie: wow, yah, id hate to be in that situation..
we dont have children yet: thankGod b.c i woouldnt want them to go over the trauma of it all..
ive thought of it, (what we would do if i end up pregnant) n the thought scares me since i know we r not ready at all..
i feel like im codependent of him emotionally, maybe thats why i havent done this and i have put up with all this crap.
thanks, all of this is just confirming what i really want to do.. thnx

JLeslie's avatar

@4kittycat It usually takes people a long time to get to the point to divorce someone. I would not beat yourself up with words like co-dependent. When we love someone, or have to confront a major change from the future we had imagined it is very difficult. It seems to me you know what you want to do, but it is scary. Pretty much everyone would be scared and overwhelmed. I think maybe you need to plan and gather some information so it doesn’t seem like you are going into an unknown situation if you decide to divorce. Getting information does not mean you are going to go through with it. It just means you will be prepared when you are ready to decide. You may have seen me say on other threads that marriage is the only legal contract we sign without getting to read the contract first. Most of us have no idea about how the laws in our state work or social security entitlements, etc. Some states force you to be legally separated for 6 months or a year before you can even get a divorce.

Dog's avatar

Welcome to Fluther

Codependent is not applicable. Wives and Husbands do depend on one another- it is supposed to be a partnership.

Three years ago you married and thought were on a lovers journey to a life adventure and your train has yet to leave the station. I feel for you and can imagine how frustrating it must be.

At this point you have tried to support and motivate him and he has chosen early retirement.

The question really is what you want out of your life.

He is going nowhere, he has decided the cards are stacked against him and that he will never go anywhere. Do not expect this to change.

Can you be content and accept him not working? If you stay will you be resentful and take it out on him? Can you be the breadwinner and not grow bitter? If you have children will you be jealous as he is home watching the first steps and hearing the first words as you work 9–5 to cover the household expenses? Keep in mind that some women are okay with this. Would you be?

You need to think real hard- and now is the time to do it.
Accept him as a househusband for life without being punitive or end it now before it becomes more complicated and you have wasted more years. You are not doing him any favors staying with him when you will resent him. Nor are you helping yourself if you do not wish to support him full time for life by staying.

Listen to your heart and your mind and choose. Do not continue as things are without making a conscious choice to accept his choice to not work- you will only put off the decision and spend more time in emotional turmoil.

Jeruba's avatar

That is a sterling answer, @Dog. My compliments.

@4kittycat, clicking “Great Answer” says thanks to people whose answers have been helpful to you.

YARNLADY's avatar

I suggest a marriage counselor to help work through your own feelings, and a big bonus if he will agree to go with you. They charge fees on a sliding scale depending on your insurance coverage and income.

There is something to his excuse that ex-cons have a hard time finding work. I have done volunteer work in a half-way house helping find jobs, and it is often very difficult.

Perhaps the two of you can work out a standard arrangement with a working partner and a stay-at-home partner, with a division of work and such that is mutually acceptable.

Garebo's avatar

I know I am going to get alot of angst for this, but it seems from my personal experience as complicated as people appear, people are really pretty simple. Or it really does come down to the caveman thing. If you don’t provide, you are out or disgraced. And if you do choose to leave him, then don’t be surprised, ten years later, he may be living the high life and you may be in the same situation. To get in perspective, I feel you are, as others have alluded to better off leaving him if you really don’t love him. If you truly do, work through it. Then, the question arises, do you know if you really love him.

Likeradar's avatar

Yes, @4kittycat getting a divorce can be a long and tedious process. But I don’t think it would be any great difficulty compared to being married to someone who expects me to support him for the rest of our lives and who has no intention or desire to contribute to our household.

drdoombot's avatar

@4kittycat The apartment my mother changed the locks on were in my father’s name. I don’t think there’s a legal issue to worry about here. This is just a strategy to put a fire under his ass.

In the worst case scenario where he tries to prove his name is on the mortgage as well, you can prove that you’re the one who has been paying all of the bills for the past 3 years, correct? If he hasn’t contributed, it isn’t his.

JLeslie's avatar

@drdoombot That might vary by state. I think if they are married it will all be split 50/50 in most states. Value of the house, money saved, even 401k and pension money. The only exemption will be inheritance.

Garebo's avatar

That is if she is in a community property state like WI. I endorse that idea, a friend I knew; it seemed to work out rather well for both of them. Outside of those states, my understanding, the man is carrion to the lawyers.

MissAusten's avatar

One of my best friends married someone who had been in federal prison for drug trafficking. They have a son. The marriage didn’t work out, but he had several jobs over the time they were married. Your husband may have a hard time finding work if he doesn’t have much of a work history. Who is going to feel comfortable hiring a 35 year old with a record and no job history? If my friend’s irresponsible and immature ex-husband could find a job, hold it for several months, and then find another job, your husband can too. He might have to start with something he doesn’t really like, but he should look at it as just one step on a path to better things.

Buttonstc's avatar

As Dan Savage would say:


AtSeDaEsEpPoAoSnA's avatar

Its seems as though you have already made the decision to leave him, but you just can’t make that first step. Gather all of your ammo, incase you might need it for court, find a neutral place to stay. Pull the pin, and let him go. What would happen if you became ill, got cancer, bad car wreck, or anything that would knock you down for awhile? Would he pick you back up? Would he let the house get foreclosed? Would he get a job to support you? He made vows three years ago, is he keeping up his end of the bargain? Lifes to short to suffer and not feel support or love in return from anyone; or anything for that matter.

cwilbur's avatar

The best predictor of the future is the past. He’s spent the past three years being mostly useless while you supported him. Do you see any possible reason that that will change?

I supported a deadbeat for way too long. He sat at home and moped while I went out and earned money. He was perpetually two semesters away from finishing his college degree, because each semester he’d skip enough classes that he’d fail. I kept on catching him in lies. Eventually I said, no more, you get a job and support yourself or we’re done. He didn’t change a thing, and when the lease came up for renewal, I told him I wasn’t willing to continue supporting him.

He begged for a second chance; I told him he had had a second chance, and a third, and a fourth, and a fifth, and did he not think i was serious when I said what I did about not being willing to support him anymore? He promised to reform his ways, and he said he’d get a job right off. But I had had it; I told him that the only way I’d sign the lease was if we had a separate agreement so that when (not if) he failed to pay, I could take him to court and sue him for his half of the rent and living expenses. That got the point across.

And now he’s living in his parents’ basement. Instead of being a deadbeat and relying on me to support him, he’s being a deadbeat and relying on them to support him. Nothing has changed; he just found another sucker.

star_bug's avatar

sounds like low self esteem. tell him you wont accept him sponging off you! try to be nice if possible!

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