My boyfriend and I have been dating about six months and I was seriously considering marrying him a month ago. He is gentle, humble, passionate, and I just know he'll be a great father. The problem is he's unemployed. He was a subcontractor in the construction industry and he loved his job, but the construction industry has just fallen apart in our town. I thought I would be able to handle this but the truth is, he doesn't really know how to do anything else and there are no jobs in sight.
We've talked about money and it's clear his parents taught him nothing. Even though he is 30 and has a really nice car and apartment, he has no savings of any kind and no health insurance (it's too expensive since he's self-employed). To make matters worse, I have a very stable job as a high school teacher. The fact that my job is not in jeopardy (yet) just makes me feel worse about everything. I'm not trying to rub it in his face, but at the same time, my parents struggled when I was growing up and I picked my job specifically so I would never have to worry about unemployment. The longer he goes without work, the more our relationship gets strained. I can handle not going out and I am fine with teaching him about money if he wants to learn, but I feel like he should be much more proactive in his job search. I don't want to throw away an otherwise great relationship over this, but at the same time, I know that a lot of couples divorce over money and I am starting to understand why. Should I cut my losses now or give him more time to pick himself up again? — Disappointed Diana
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Dear Disappointed Diana,
I'm sorry to hear that your boyfriend lost his job — it's a very scary time right now so I understand your concerns. With that said, he won't be unemployed forever so if you can accept his situation for the time being, I agree, it's not worth throwing away an otherwise seemingly good relationship. If you stay together, yes, you'll have to make some adjustments in your life, you might even have to pick up some of the slack, but I'm sure he'd do the same for you if the roles were reversed.
If you feel that he's not making an effort to find work, either in his field or another field for now, that's another story. You can do your part to support him and teach him about money, but he's a grown adult and it's his responsibility to make his future and his career a priority. I wish you luck during these difficult times — hopefully there's a light at the end of the tunnel for you both.