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Ask E. Jean For DearSugar: Should I Break Up With Him?

Dear E. Jean,

Please, please you have to help me! I can't believe I'm writing, but I'm so confused.

My boyfriend is the nicest guy in the world. He's perfect in every way except his ambition and his career. At first, I didn't mind his job and his being broke all the time because I was so in love. Now that we've been together for almost three years, I'm getting tired of his endless problems.

In the last two years, he changed his jobs five times, got into an accident, totaled his car, and got kicked out of his house. On the other hand, I've been working so hard to build my career, making three times more money than him, and bought my first house. I let him move in with me because I felt so bad.

It's not about the money, but I'm just really tired of coming home from work to find him watching TV, taking a nap, or doing nothing instead of looking for a job. He just doesn't seem like he wants more from life. Doesn't he want to go back to school? Doesn't he want to be successful? I told him many times to update his resume, but he always had excuses. When I asked about his goals and career plans, he got offended. I really don't know what to do. I really love him but I'm stressing out about his laziness.

I want to break up with him, but he’s so good to me. He always treats me so well! He makes me laugh. What should I do, E. Jean? Should I break up with him? Or am I being a b*tch? Should I push him more or is it useless? Please help me! Thank you and love you! — Wanting More, Getting Less

To see E. Jean's answer,


Miss Wanting, My Delectable Half-Wit,

Oh my God, what a clod! Get rid of him. It’s over. Done. Fini. Fini. Fini. I lurve a toolbag as much as the next woman, but Mr. Endless Problems is a worthless leech who's been sucking on you for so long, you can’t even feel how dumb and cruel he is. Remove his fist from your wallet, strap on your heaviest hiking boots, and give his gluteals a running kick out the door.

To see more advice from E. Jean, visit Elle magazine and

Join The Conversation
richandfamous10 richandfamous10 9 years
Move on, I think after three years you can tell if he will change or not. Probably not?
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 9 years
He's a mooch. Being humorous and maybe cooking you some meals does not make the fact that you support him while he sits on his ass all day any better. Get rid of him!
kurniakasih kurniakasih 9 years
ASIA is AWESOME! :lol:
Kim27 Kim27 9 years
It's easy to treat someone really well when it's all you have to do all day. I think you will find an ambitious, well educated and employed man even more loving because he is a little more mature and understands his own feelings and the feelings of others better. your companion should be your equal, not your project.
Isista Isista 9 years
Personally, I would give him an ultimatum. I don't normally like them, but seriously, it's been long enough and it is not hard to keep a job. Tell him that you do love him, but he needs to figure out why he can't keep a job and that you can't keep supporting him forever. If he doesn't find a job (or get help, since as someone said before, he could be depressed), then he'll have to leave. Or that he can stay there, but has to provide his own groceries, he can't eat anything you buy or something.
ckeller825 ckeller825 9 years
I bet your boyfriend is depressed if all he is doing is lounging around or making up excuses. All my closest friends are guys, (and I'm trying really hard not to be sexist in my upcoming comment) so I know that the fact that you are more stable and making more money than he had and could be making him feel less of a man. The thing is...he really needs a push. If you care about him (romantically or not) then have a serious talk with him, and kindly let him know that he needs to find another place to stay until he gets himself together. He needs to realize that if he's without you, then he needs to make moves to get a job and get his life back on track. It sounds like you're on your way to success, and you do not need this negativity bringing you down. It will definitely put a damper on your bank account. Trust me, I've been in the SAME situation.
Janine22 Janine22 9 years
Ummm am I missing something here? He is totally freeloading off of you, and you're letting him. He has no motivation or goals. I don't think he is depressed, I think that he is just lazy, unmotivated and generally sponging off of you. Him making you laugh or treating you well does not make up for it. Maybe if this was a temporary situation while he gets back on his feet, I could understand it. But it's not, obviously he has no plans for the future or to change. Most men would have more pride than to allow this situation to even happen. Think about this: would you marry him and have kids with him? How would he support if you want to take time off to raise your babies??? This isn't superficial, this is reality. You need a guy that at contributes financially, even if he makes less than you. I don't understand why all these girls that have their shit together like losers????????
kurniakasih kurniakasih 9 years
Of course he's going to be so nice to you. You're his cash-cow/sugar-mama/'JOB'. And he's not that dumb to treat you horribly (which would've caused him to lose his cash source faster IF you actually have a backbone and brain left), which actually is good news because he still has some smart left in him. You, in turn, have your own 'gigolo' (sorry if that's 'rude,' but I'm assuming he's catering to you sexually and 'stimulate' you 'romantically'--if you're lucky and getting your money worth). Since you're not happy with the arrangement: break up with him and do him a favor, maybe he'll get over his depression and he can finally do his thing without another 'mommy.'
EJean EJean 9 years
And to all the witty, rockin' Sugars!
EJean EJean 9 years
And lovely to see YOU, my man, Clarby!
EJean EJean 9 years
ASIA84! You are cracking me UP! I lurve your advice!
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
buy him a Wii or an XBox for stimulation...
porkypocky porkypocky 9 years
is he really treating you that well...? what on earth could he be possibly doing to treat you well? the way you describe his behavior sounds like he's pretty lazy. also, how can he take care of you if he can't even take care of himself? if he just says sweet things to you and that's it, any fool you pick up off the streets could do that too. sounds like he had a string of bad luck, but it doesn't excuse his behavior while you're out working during the day. also, if he's getting so defensive when you ask for a future career plan, chances are he doesn't have one. you are already getting resentful of having to take care of him, and it will only get worse if you let it continue. think about it.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
If i have to go to work, so do you. Ain't no grown muthaf*ckas gonna lay up on me for free! It's not about money. he's not on the same level intellectually either i bet. Gosh, at least a starving artist has the excuse of waiting for inspiration. can you imagine?! getting up. going to work. only to be told on the way out the door to pick up some more Cinnamon Toast Crunch!!! or, "babe, could you spot me a $20. I'm gonna gonna run some 'errands'." even if the tables were turned, i would be too embarrassed at an adult to let other people take care of me.
karlorene karlorene 9 years
First things first- it is a very good thing that you can love someone reguardless of the money they make. That said, I think you deserve someone who has some ambition in life. If he was actually WORKING and/or doing something with his life, and just coudln't make as much $ as you, then fine. But this just sounds like a problem. I think that you can find someone else who will love you, care for you, and want to help take care of you and be an equal in the relationship in every way. A relationship is teamwork- your situation isn't. Good luck!
Clarby Clarby 9 years
Great comment Karlotta
karlotta karlotta 9 years
I actually think that his life is his problem and that if what's stressing you out is his lack of ambition, and that's his one character flaw - ask yourself whether you'd rather like a guy with a ton of drive and money who treats you like crap. My boyfriend's always broke and yeah, kinda lazy by bouts, but I don't care. We live together and I probably pay for more stuff than he does, but I get what I want from him - his love, his originality, his talent, his sense of humor, his magnificent penis, and that's what I want from a guy. So that's just a different perspective, and it doesn't have to be yours. I'm just saying, there ARE other options out there than dump the guy. There's also accepting that you can have two different ways of life, but love each other, and be good to each other, and be happy with that. PS: my boyfriend is the most well-adjusted, non-neurotic, mentally stable person I have ever met, and I know that that's because he lives his life exactly the way he likes it, and doesn't let himself get eaten alive by all the social conventions - like getting a day job and taking the subway and dealing with idiots all day. So yeah, he's often broke, and he keeps weird hours, and sometimes his activities look trivial to me - but he's a rock, he's always content, and I like him better like that than with a tie and a sense of misplaced complacency. So maybe your BF isn't depressed - maybe he's just happy the way things are, because he doesn't feel the need to be like everyone else. I respect that. If you get a sense that that's what it is for him, and you can't respect it, or love him the way he is - then maybe, to be fair to him... you should let him go.
jessie jessie 9 years
time to move on. you've grown with your relationship, he apparently has not. you need to decide if you want to cut the cord or not. it would be in your best interest if you did. good luck to you!
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 9 years
Give that freeloader THE BOOT! I'm really not understanding your remark that he "treats you so well". How so? By mooching off you constantly? Just because he makes you laugh and perhaps he doesn't smack you around that makes him a wonderful guy?? I don't get it.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
Depressed? He better get some Paxil and move back in with his mama!
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
He treats you well?! That muthaf*cka ain't paying no bills!!! basically you adopted a mooch. they are like stray cats; if you feed them, they will never leave. I don't feel bad for you. You admitted that you were a thirsty donkey and overlooked that he was a slacker, but not only did you proceed in the relationship, but you let him move in. You need us to co-sign and tell you it's okay to dump him and throw him out on the streets. The fact that you even have to ask shows that you probably have no backbone. You'll call yourself dumping him, but he can still remain living with you until he can find somewhere else to stay. ...and the saga continues.
Kaitie-M Kaitie-M 9 years
Dump him! I was in a similar situation last year. My boyfriend mooched off of me and his parents because he didn't want to work where he had worked the summer before again, and he STILL didn't have a car at his age! He had absolutely no ambition in his life and it drove me nuts. He wanted to live with his parents when he finished school and for me to join him... I finally dumped him and met the amazing guy I am dating at the moment who wants to do something with his life. It's worth it to find someone who doesn't drive you crazy! Pushing him probably won't do anything. You deserve better!
Lambsauce Lambsauce 9 years
Yeah... I gotta agree with everyone here... and that he might be depressed. I know what it's like to fall into a rut and then you just end up feeling worse about yourself for being unemployed for so long, and what's the point of even TRYING when you're so far behind as it is. And there's so much to do, where to even begin? It's overwhelming. It's a vicious cycle. And before you kick him out I suggest you try to help him help himself first. I know this because my boyfriend just went through something very similar. His family life was in bad shape and he ended up getting depressed, dropped out of high school, didn't want to get a job or do anything. I can't tell you how to "snap him out" of his depression (assuming he is depressed), but I can tell you something that helped me help my boyfriend get back on his feet (and I'm sorry if these seem obvious): I helped him break down his goal of "getting a job" into more manageable steps. Day One: Research good resumes. Gather information about previous education, work experience, etc. Day Two: Build resume. Edit, rewrite, get others to look it over, perfect it. Make many copies, both hard and digital. Day Three: Make cold calls to companies he's interested in. And so on, and so forth. I had to make the goals easy and small--once you're used to doing nothing all day, it's really hard to just plunge right in. It might help to also compile a list of companies, and break them up into chunks--he applies to these eight today, those eight tomorrow. And... as someone did mention before... it is very hard to find a job right now (my boyfriend still hasn't, even in Canada where things aren't as bad yet), so patience will probably be necessary.
bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
I sort of went through a phase liek this with my husband. He was living with his mom who is one of those mothers who wants her kids to stay little babies forever. So he didn't work and he never did chores and what not and one day I told him that if he wanted to be with me he was going to have to have some ambition and get off his butt. So he got a job and went to school and we have a better understanding. Maybe you should break up with this guy because he may be using you or maybe you could talk to him abou what's going on and how you feel. If he cares he'll listen if not then dump him
Clarby Clarby 9 years
There are plenty of guys out there who will treat a girl great and have ambitions and a job. You sound like you feel obligated to stay with him because you clearly care about him and may in fact love him. But he is not good for you if you want someone that is driven and has a passion for life. I would have a talk with him like most above have said and see if he takes action. Judging from what you have said of him action outside of the house doesn't appear to be something he is interested in. I suggest moving on you have your life together and he hasn't made any effort to get his together in three years.
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