Unemployed man will not take his job search seriously, has me to pay his loan. What should I do?

Questions: “Am I wrong because I’m frustrated that my husband is unemployed?

Help! My husband is 26 and has been unemployed since April 2020. He has applied for things but has not taken it seriously and his unemployment ran out a long time ago. He has struggled with anxiety, which I sympathize with, and I know can make some jobs difficult. But at this point, it feels like he’s using it as a crutch. He refuses to apply for any job he feels is under him or will make him uncomfortable. I asked him to apply for disability if he feels his anxiety is too bad to work. He refused, saying his anxiety is not that bad.

I am a 24-year-old woman and earn a very small salary from a local non-profit. He currently has no income and I support both of us. I pay for our house, cars and daily living expenses plus I also pay his $ 80,000 in student loans back for a degree he does not use. At this point, I struggle to feel sorry for him, even though I know anxiety is tough.

What should I do? I can not pin him down and force him to fill out applications. I can not help but feed him. I can not leave bills unpaid. I have tried to encourage him. I have been trying to help him find jobs and fill out applications with him. I have sent him job links. I have followed up with him to try to hold him accountable. Nothing I do helps. I feel hopeless and helpless. I know we said for richer or poorer, but I did not think I would grow up to be a piggy bank. Am I wrong in any way? “

Reply: It sounds like you’re dealing with a relationship dilemma, and I would even fight if I were in your shoes. I know how crippling anxiety can be, but it sounds like your husband has become very comfortable letting you support him.

I think one of my regular podcast co-hosts Alejandra Nagel might have some helpful advice for you. Alejandra works as a legal recruiter in Los Angeles and she will be able to give you a good insight. Alejandra, what do you think?

Alejandra Nagel works as a legal recruiter in Los Angeles.

Alejandra Nagel works as a legal recruiter in Los Angeles.

“First of all, I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling hopeless and helpless while navigating a huge financial burden. And secondly, you’re absolutely not mistaken for feeling that way!

You’re right. You can not fill out the job applications for your husband or in other words; you can not help someone who will not help themselves. While it is understandable that you sympathize with your husband in this time of unemployment and anxiety, he is an adult who at some point has to take responsibility for himself and his family. It is not fair for you to float all the expenses, and especially not his student loan to a degree that is not being used (talk about an expensive piece of paper!). Your feelings of frustration are completely valid.

It sounds like you have exhausted all avenues by taking on his job hunt as your own and trying to motivate him. Of course you said for richer or poorer, but at what expense? I think a good place to start would be to encourage your husband to seek professional help for his anxiety. I can from personal experience understand how crippling anxiety can be, and eventually it can manifest itself in important aspects of one’s life: career, finances, personal relationships, etc. I would also put him down and have an honest conversation about where heavy this is. weighs on your heart (and your bank account). I hope that when I hear how concerned you are about his well-being and how this affects your marriage, it would resonate and motivate him to take action.

From your note, it’s clear that you love your husband and want to make it work, and I commend you for being an all-star partner. But you also deserve a partner who will reciprocate and help you fill your cup instead of draining it. If, after your conversations and professional help, he still can not take the initiative, then you may need to consider how much longer you can tolerate that your needs will not be met. “

All the best,

Morgan and Alejandra

Morgan Absher is an occupational therapist in Los Angeles who hosts the podcast “Two Hot Takes,” where she and her co-hosts give advice. She writes a weekly column and shares her advice with USA TODAY readers. Find her on TikTok @twohottakes and YouTube here. You can reach her via email at Mabsher@gannett.com or you can click here to share your story with her.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Unemployed man has me to pay his student loan, will not apply for jobs

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