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Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend Won’t Get a Career”

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by avatar dmarie 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #737999 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Dear Wendy

    From a LW:

    To give a little background my partner (L) and I will have been together for 5 years this April. We have a beautiful baby girl who is 1 and a half. we are both 22, and admittedly we are struggling. Living at our respective parents houses (baby is with me), unable to afford much in rent; even if we could whatever would be left would hardly be enough for any utilities/emergent expenses/ groceries!
    I sell insurance and I’m currently going to school to get my BA in business as well as several certifications that will immensely improve my career. L, on the other hand, has gone through five jobs within the last year alone. Almost each job had let him go for the same reason- they say he gets comfortable and starts to goof off/loses motivation. The job he currently has is for a warehouse processing orders.
    Each time he’s been laid off I’ve asked him to reconsider getting a trade, some sort of formal training that could get him into a career (since he outright refuses to work in an office as well as doesn’t want to go to school). we need a more stable source of income! I understand school isn’t for everyone and that people make honest livings doing other things, but we have a child who needs food and diapers every month, among other things.
    I myself only make so much having just been licensed this last year, as well as having caps on the amount in commission I am able to make, plus the cost of school and training to receive the additional certifications. Maybe I’m being selfish or I’m forcing him into an education; but I just don’t see another way for him to move forward onto a CAREER instead of a JOB. Not with the way that this economy is moving.
    I want so much more for him and I know he’s so smart… he just needs to apply himself and stop being happy with his dead-end, no room for advancement, temporary jobs. I’ve tried talking with him many times, and I just want to know what you think of the situation. and what you think I should do.

    #738004 Reply

    He absolutely owes it to your baby to grow up and provide for her. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to care enough to do that. You’ve been shown over and over again, that he’s an unreliable child.

    Stop concerning yourself with what he’s doing – you’ll only be disappointed again, and it sounds like you have enough on your plate. Go forward assuming that you will be 100% responsible for taking care of all your daughter’s needs – financially, emotionally and practically. Then if he ever comes through with anything, you’ll be pleasantly surprises. When you finally get sick of this idiot, go to court to get child support, but again – don’t bank on him following through.

    It sucks, but you’ve chosen to have a child with an irresponsible baby-man. The sooner you realize this and move on, the better.

    #738012 Reply

    @MMR – as I was reading this all I could think was “man-baby”. “baby-man” will work.

    Your boyfriend is immature. People don’t have jobs for fun. Sure, it’s great to get some kind of satisfaction from your work but I would be much more satisfied if my job was sitting on the couch watching TV and surfing the web. I think your idea for joining a trade is smart and he can feel satisfaction in a job well done. But that clearly isn’t how he approaches work – he tests the boundaries to determine how much goofing off he can get away with until he gets fired. And then he gets fired. I’m sure he gets warning after warning too. Most places don’t fire you on first offense unless it involves porn, drugs or violence. I’m sure he’s doing the same thing with child care and I’m sure he doesn’t do any chores or tasks while living with his parents. I bet his folks do his laundry, make his meals and clean up after him.

    You can’t control him. But you can make your expectations clear. Keep doing what you’re doing for you and your kid; don’t fall into a pattern of taking care of him or trying to make him be a better man or make him be an adult. That’s on him.

    #738014 Reply

    You procreated with a loser. I’m sure he has some nice qualities but being a good father and partner isn’t one of them. Dump his ass yesterday, file with the courts for a support agreement and keep doing what you’re doing for you and your baby. He may come around in a few years or he may not-either way, you have too much going on to waste mental energy on his loser man baby bullshit. Good luck.

    #738069 Reply

    Your boyfriend’s issue isn’t that he’s not educated. It’s that he’s lazy. There is no excuse for getting fired multiple times for a lack of motivation. I doubt that someone with that little work ethic could get through an educational program of any kind or thrive in a career. He needs to learn how to do work and not play around before he should invest any money or time into another path.

    The path that you’re on right now is to where you are going to be supporting yourself, a child, and a man baby. It’s inaccurate to say he’s happy with dead-end jobs, because he clearly doesn’t like to work at all. This isn’t a case of someone who is a hard worker in a minimum wage job, it’s someone who cannot hold down a job even though he has a family to help support.

    #738072 Reply
    Ruby Thursday

    You need to have a serious discussion with your boyfriend on how he will contribute to providing for your child. Any agreement should be formalized by a court. If he doesn’t want to cooperate with you, take him to court. Promises mean nothing.

    #738076 Reply

    He’s 22, not 17. If he can’t hold down a job after having a child that says a lot about his character. He’s a deadbeat who will only drag you down with him. Break up with him, get him on the books for child support at the job he does have, and arrange some kind of visitation schedule with him. You’re already effectively a single mom. And don’t break up with him as a warning, hoping he’ll wake up and get his shit together. Do it because you have respect for yourself and want a better life for your child.

    #738077 Reply

    Your boyfriend has not been laid off. He has been FIRED. Laid off means that they had a reduction in force, not that he did anything wrong. But he has done stuff wrong. Honestly, I have doubts that he’ll be able to find many more jobs given his trail of short term jobs, firing, and bad references.

    And I agree with others that his lack of education is not the problem. A friend of mine is married to a guy who works at home depot. He doesn’t have a college or trade education, but has worked his way up in the company to a managerial position which pays a decent salary and benefits.

    I would advice against pushing him into any kind of higher education or trade school. Sounds to me like he’d just goof off there, too, and then either have wasted money on tuition or would have run up student loans with nothing to show for it. You say he needs to not be happy with a dead end job, but I’d argue that is EXACTLY what he does need to do. As in, stop getting comfortable, and stop taking for granted these jobs, and start loving them and working hard for them, not because they are great but because they provide for his family.

    And do not marry him or move in with him until he shows that he is able to be a provider for double the amount of time that he’s spent at his longest previous job.

    #738086 Reply

    Your boyfriend will only have a career if he wants one. The motivation must come from within himself. So far he doesn’t have that motivation. Losing job after job hasn’t motivated him. Having a baby hasn’t motivated him. He is happy with the way things are. He is happy being dependent on his parents. He doesn’t care to be an independent adult who can live with his girlfriend and daughter. Your boyfriend may never change. There are plenty of people who are happy to go through life living off of their parents.

    The one thing you can control is whether he remains your boyfriend. I don’t think that this relationship will last long term. You are maturing and becoming a responsible adult and he isn’t. You want more from life and he doesn’t. Most relationships that begin in the teens don’t last because the two partners involved grow in different ways and end up wanting different things. I think that is what you are seeing now. Even having a daughter isn’t enough to make it work. Having a child isn’t motivating enough to make him grow up. The thought of the three of you living together isn’t enough to make him grow up.

    One more thing you should consider is that he wants to break up but doesn’t know how, especially since the two of you have a child and probably everyone expects the two of you to end up together married. One effective way to put off the getting together part is to make sure he can’t hold a job and can’t make enough money to provide a joint home. He is effectively keeping the two of you apart because of his decisions and actions.

    Ask your boyfriend where he sees the two of you in five years and really listen to the answer. Is he enthusiastic talking about a joint future or just very matter of fact stating what is expected. Ask if he thinks the two of you will be living together and how he thinks that will happen. I wouldn’t be surprised if he just wishes you would break up with him. If your boyfriend wanted to be together he would be working hard to make that happen. He isn’t. That tells you where you stand in this relationship and it tells you about the likely future of this relationship. It is time to move on.

    #738088 Reply
    Sunshine Brite


    A lot changes between the ages of 17 and 22. I can’t believe you’ve still been considering moving in with him as any sort of option. You have a baby he doesn’t support in any way.

    Someone who manages to get fired 5 times in a year is not someone to partner with. That’s not a fluke or a mistake. That’s their work ethic and reliability. It’s kinda hard to get fired that many times. Think about it; getting trained in, working independently, and then bored/comfortable/goofing off in less than 2-3 months. That’s ridiculous. I’ve worked some dead end jobs over the years and most didn’t get mind numbing until like 5-6 months in. He doesn’t need to get more education or a certification since neither of those things build a career or work ethic. I know tons who had no intention of working in an office and they were done with trade school and working reliably since they were old enough to. I think going for an education would make sense if he knew what he wanted to do and had any desire to maintain a job for more than a couple months.

    He’s shown you who he is and he’s fine where he’s at. You can’t make people change. He’s not providing financially. He’s not providing regular care to your child since she lives with you and your parents. He’s not providing emotional support or labor to you by making things easier for you to pursue stabilization. Continuing this relationship doesn’t make sense although I understand the urge since it’s all you’ve known as an adult. It’s not a real relationship and I have a feeling he’ll move on easily and leave you with the real work to do with the aftermath.

    #738097 Reply

    Good point, Sunshine Brite. I worked in a retail job where most of my co-workers called out at least a couple of times a month and barely did anything when they were at the store. Of course, some jobs DO pay attention and care, but it seems sort of coincidental that every single place he’s worked has paid that much attention to his lack of motivation in order to fire him that quickly. I’d honestly be wondering if his behavior was even worse than he is letting on.

    #738102 Reply

    OK, I’m going to be blunt.

    He doesn’t have a career because he doesn’t want one. He can’t keep a job because he doesn’t really want to work. He’s content to live like a teenager, and let his parents feed him and clothe him and keep a roof over his head. This is what he wants.

    He’s not doing his share to support his child because he doesn’t care enough to put in the effort. About his kid, or about you. He’s willing to let you shoulder the entire burden of caring for the kid, and paying for the child.

    A good man would be moving heaven and earth to get and keep a good job, because he would want – no, NEED – to do that for the woman he loves and the child you have together. It would feel unmanly for him to NOT do that.

    Unfortunately, you had a child with a teenage boy, not a man. Time to accept that you’re going to be a single mom from here on out, and plan your life accordingly. And for heaven’s sake, get a lawyer, and get a child support order. Maybe that’ll motivate him to get off his lazy ass and act like an adult.

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