Posted by: Ice | 2004/12/01

Boyfriend can't seem to get on his feet

I have a problem that is slowly driving me insane (or it feels that way)
I'm pretty level-headed, I'm in my mid twenties. I'm dating a great guy who's almost 28, we've been living together for a few months.
We love each other dearly (or so it would seem)

My problem is I am supporting him. He left his job over a year ago to pursue own business. It didn't really work out. he's realized it, but it's like he lacks the will or determination to find a job again. i've gone so far as to job hunt FOR him, sending his CV out etc.

I earn a good salary so it' was ok for me to cover all the expenses for a while (rent, water & elec, food, etc), he was only paying his own bills. the last few months iv'e had to help hinm even with his own bills, and it's putting a major strain on me (I have lots of stress at work as well)

I've tried talking to him about it, and he is apologetic and admits that it's getting out of hand. but,
I just don't see him actually trying to DO anything about teh situation.

I'm getting more p.d off at him, more hurt and resentful. surely if you love someone you would TRY to do something about your situation, and not be a burden to them all the time?

I really love him and wish to help him, but it seems like I can't. I'm just nearing the end of my tether. a feeling used up. I'm turning cold inside.
what to do? any advice..?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

its good that people try to develop their own businesses ; bad that they so rarely seem to have a backup plan, or to start with enough savings to survive a year before it becomes profitable. Failing in such a busines venture can be discouraging, but no excuse for giving up.
Sometimes, a problem is that though you talk ABOUT the problem, it's more about how you feel, and how he feels, rather than making better and practical plans to improve the situation.
Try talking with him about what specifically he can do about finding a new job ( and he must be prepared to start with ANY job, and work his way back up, rather than waiting till they ask him to head Telkom ). Set specific realistic goals, which he can work towards.
You need to seriously disturb his comfort zone, and move him towards specific positive action, or the exit door.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Shaun | 2004/12/01

Hey Ice,

In your own way you really amaze me. You seem to really know what you want, but just need the support to carry it through.
You said you need a break, so what's stopping you from taking exactly that!?
Know what someone wise once suggested to me right here on this forum? That I try my best to put things on paper so that I give it a kinda tangible quality. Something that is actually there as opposed to being all in your mind. Hope you understand the concept here...

Ice, if YOU wanna, then give it one more try. If YOU wanna, then take that break. If YOU wanna, then lay your cards on the table. If YOU wanna, then tell him your exact position on the whole situation. I'm sure you can see what I'm getting at here?

As CS suggested, maybe his comfort zone needs to take a bit of a jolt before he realises what he's doing... As I said before, sometimes we get into a comfort zone & don't even know it.

Waffle as much as you want to Ice, this is what we are all here for.


Reply to Shaun
Posted by: Supportive Wife | 2004/12/01

I was in the exact same position. My hubby ( ex -hubby ) always had these awsome schemes to make money and was for ever telling me about the millions that were going to just flow in, and after 8 LLLooooooonnngg years, i decided to give him the boot. I earn in access of 30 g's per month and he enjoyed the dinners i took him for, the business dinners, etc etc etc and all he would do, is to sleep till 10 every morning, go shower and dress and by 1 he would roam the streets. At 6 he will be back and upset if i get home late, because he is hungry and wants to eat.

oo no hell, had enough of that. I gave him a beautifull home to live in with full board and lodging, but enough was enough.

Reply to Supportive Wife
Posted by: Ice | 2004/12/01

Thanks Shaun, for your (more than) 2 cents

That's great, some positive advice.
I have been trying to help him with his business all along. Basically I did all the marketing (adverts, business cards, emails, you-name-it) and he's grateful
like I said in my first post, he is a great guy, and he does realize what' happening, just not to it's fullest extent..

that's why I'm not quite willing to give up on him yet. It's just that I'm getting tired of nothing happening. Nothing has been happening for too long now, and I need a break. I need to be taken care of too. You know what I mean? Unfortunately it was my mistake in letting him use me to fall back on, as a comfort zone.
If he could just COMMIT to making a positive change in his life, and be realistic about getting a job or getting his business to work.. things would be so much easier for both of us and i wouldn't have to consider these other options..
anyway...before I waffle on too much.

thanks for your considerate reply. I will be giving it one final try, as I said I dont' want regrets later on.

Reply to Ice
Posted by: Shaun | 2004/12/01

Hi Ice,

You've got great advice from everybody up here & I would like to add my 2 cents...

As you said, the guy seems to have a confidence issue, & it could be what is also aiding in his business failing. It could also very well be that you are allowing him to recognise a comfort zone in that he can always fall back on you, & here is where he maybe taking advantage. Sometimes it is not done with intention, but just coz we fall comfortable in a situation.

I would say the better is to suggest he seek counselling or professional help in his business venture. He can get this from so many places free of charge, all it takes is a bit of research. His bank also being an avenue of expertise especially if he has a relationship with his banker. There is also the DTI on the net, failing that there is always Google.

I have the feeling though that have had enough & would like to make one last effort before actually giving up. Can't blame you coz you seem like a person that doesn't give up just like that. I would say if that is what you feel you need to do, then do what you feel is best. The main thing though is that if you take a decision as to a specific wants in your life, then you stick by it!

Take care Ice, & know that you will always get support here, but your decision is what you have to live with, not us.


Reply to Shaun
Posted by: Ice | 2004/12/01

Chris, how do I give you my email? (I added it into the email field this time)

Yes blackbird, lousy is the word. but... you know emotions. EMOTIONS. damn them!

Lolly that just makes me feel sad.... there comes a time.. I know my time is here, and I haven't wanted to face the truth for a long time.

someone wise once told me long ago: "Be true to your own self, then it will be natural that you won't be false to anyone else". Something like that, but it makes so much sense to me now.

Reply to Ice
Posted by: LOLLY | 2004/12/01

I am in the same position that you are in. The only difference is that me and b/f have a child together. for the past 5 years i have been setting dates for him to get a job and when the time comes i am in a different frame of mind. I know how you feel.

I think that you should give him an immidiate alternative, otherwise you will just end up like me, giving him more and more chances.....I am finally giving up on him.

Reply to LOLLY
Posted by: blackbird | 2004/12/01

yes me to, i ask why oh why, do this happen, ladies supporting men that obviously have no backbone. if the men are so louwzy and lazy to spunge of the woman, then they cand possibly make good husband nor ...heaven forbid... good fathers.

hell no girls, dump these men, evelution has made men the breadwinners, or suppliers of the food, and women the care'rs...ok ok ok times have changed and we in 21 centurary, but still, a man has gotta work and wanna work else...

Reply to blackbird
Posted by: chris | 2004/12/01

Ice I am 25 now for a 28 year old to be unemployed is bullshit,

Sound like a nice woman give me your mail address we can go for drinks

Reply to chris
Posted by: CP MOM | 2004/12/01

Ice...... you'll get over it, trust me and somewhere sometime there is a wonderful man who will be good to you and treat you as someone as wonderful as you need to be treated.

He's looking for a mommy.....

Read the sc's last sentence......AND DO IT !

Reply to CP MOM
Posted by: Ice | 2004/12/01

You're right Kernel.

it's exactly NOT how a 28 years old should experience life. I feel foollish to have thought that I could help him somehow and make things better for him. It's obviously only up to him to help himself.
There's just still that love factor you know? That feeling that you'd do almost anything you could for that person.

Reply to Ice
Posted by: Kernel | 2004/12/01

This is not how a 28 year old should experience life. There is much more to life and a relationship than what you are going through. This is more like a one-sided relationship - you are sacrificing everything to make it work while he just sits back and accept everything gratefully.

Tell him to move out and find his own place. Once he has a steady job and are independent you could reconsider having a relationship. However, he has shown his mettle and somehow I feel you are too good for him - you deserve someone better.

Reply to Kernel
Posted by: Ice | 2004/12/01

Just to compound this a little more..
I think he has an incredibly low self esteem (which I have tried to boost for a long time, but to no avail). and I think he is afraid of people...
LIke I would suggest we get tickets to go to wherever, and he always wants friends to come with us. He also doesn't like eating out, or well, just plain going out really anywhere.
Do you think maybe that is having an impact on this whole situation?
I've tried being positive, but I'm feeling so negative and down rightnow I just can't seem to help myself, let alone him.

Reply to Ice
Posted by: CP MOM | 2004/12/01

Or look back and think - I wasted ANOTHER 3 months of my life when I had a gut feeling........

Should he also feel like you do would he not also do EVERYTHING to save this relationship ?

Reply to CP MOM
Posted by: Ice | 2004/12/01

I know February may seem too long (it seems long for me too), but see, I love him, and I feel that I have to try everything possible to save this relationship, before I give up.
or else I might look back oneday and regret that I didn't...

Reply to Ice
Posted by: $iren | 2004/12/01

A woman I know finally got sick and tired of supporting her husband who hadn't worked for over 7 years... he couldn't find a job he liked, or could keep, or wasn't fired from, or just plain walked out of because he didn't like the people, work or whatever...

She kicked his ass out, and lo and behold, he found a job within a month and 6 months later he is still there, cause nobody else is supporting him... And do you think he is giving her a cent of alimony or maintenance? Hell no!

Reply to $iren
Posted by: Koeks | 2004/12/01

I also got advise here I didn't like but I followed it and it worked.

February ? To long!

Reply to Koeks
Posted by: Ice | 2004/12/01


I guess it's what I needed to hear. not what I wanted to hear, but I need to hear all this.

have to face up to reality.
I also thought I was being selfish. actually I think I've been quite sacrificial (giving up many luxuries, so that we can both survive).
where, on the other hand, he has not sacrificed much, or actually not anything that I know of.

this is really very difficult. I guess deep down inside, I know the relationship has a sell-by-date, but I'm really afraid to simply end it, or it feels like I dont' know how. (I've never had to break up with anyone before that I've been with for over 2 years).

I've basically given him until the end of february next year to find his feet. (thats when my rental contract expires) so I'm waiting for something to happen. Or I might be waiting for nothing to happen. I guess I'll know for sure by then if it was all really worth it. Hey at least I've learnt a lot from this :-)
thanks for the replies.

Reply to Ice
Posted by: CP MOM | 2004/12/01

Good day to you dear

I do feel for u as I was in the same position in my marriage and in 1 relationship.

Yes 1 does believe they love you……What he loves is al the freebeez (including sex?).

How do you look up to and respect some1 u are supporting ?

Funny how these guys always leave there jobs / or can’t work under certain conditions…

Yes my hubby also did the “own” business thing – I even got home once and all our furniture was gone he needed it to open a pawn-shop and needed stock….

Surely you also want some1 to buy you flowers ? Do nice things for you ? YOU DESERVE IT !

Why would he do anything? He’s living in comfort !

Shape up or ship out ? and do this asap…. He’s looking forward to a nice comfy December.....


Reply to CP MOM
Posted by: chris | 2004/12/01

I hear you I actually just whent through the same situation but with my gf

Also earn a good salary but after a year and a half of supporting and doing everything I threw the towel in very tough decision and I am hurting badlly.

I suppose I am taking a risk as I want to move in with a woman buy a house together and get on with it. I have felt very sellfish but I know this is what I have to do I am not usually a person to throw the towel in but hey enough is enough.

Reply to chris

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