Dear Dr. Buckingham,
I’ve been with my babies’ father for five years now. Throughout the five years that we have been together, he has never been able to keep a job for more than three months. We have two little boys and I stopped working when I got pregnant the first time. I would look for a job, but when I was working in the beginning of the relationship, he didn’t work and I was the only one working. I don’t want it to be like that again.
We have been living with my family or his family throughout the years and I am tired of not having my own home. I’ve tried talking to him about my concerns and about how stressed I am. All he says is for me to get a job and then I can give my input. He starts yelling at me and insulting me. I’ve tried ignoring the fact that he does not like to work and when he is “tired” he just doesn’t go to work.
Bad relationships occur because people make bad decisions. However, all of us should thank God for the ability to reverse and grow from bad decisions.
At first, I would tell him I’m mad, but I stopped because arguments and loud voices would start. I stopped telling him anything about not waking up to go to work. If I keep like this we will not even have money for diapers. I don’t like to think of myself as being a gold digger but that is what I get called when I ask him about his job situation. I love him and I want to be with him, but our kids are not going to survive on love. My kids need someone that is going to be there financially for them. I’m scared to bring it up to him because of how mad he gets. How Do I Deal with My Unemployed Babies’ Father?
Dear Broken Love,
Have you heard the saying, “I can do bad all by myself.” Many women use this saying when they are tired of dealing with a free loading and disrespectful man who does nothing to improve their situations. With this in mind, you have to make a decision about what is important to you and your children. Your boyfriend’s unwillingness to work is not your biggest problem. Your biggest problem is that your boyfriend is emotionally abusing you. You stated, “He starts yelling at me and insulting me.” His unwillingness to work is very problematic, but the fact that he attacks you when you ask him to be a breadwinner is extremely disturbing.
You realize that your love for your boyfriend is not good enough as indicated in your statement, “I love him and I want to be with him, but our kids are not going to survive on love.” I agree with this comment 100 percent and challenge you to explore your decision process that causes you to continue to allow your “unemployed and free-loading boyfriend” to be in your life. There is an internal quality within you that positions you to tolerate this kind of behavior. Once you figure out what this is, you will have more clarity about how to move forward.
For many people, including me, the obvious answer for you is to leave him immediately. I agree that you should probably move on, but I am concerned that you will not stay away or do much better by yourself until you address and resolve your unhealthy psychological and behavioral tendencies that allow him to remain in your life.
Bad relationships occur because people make bad decisions. However, all of us should thank God for the ability to reverse and grow from bad decisions. I say this to help you understand that you should not be enslaved by your bad decision. You might feel trapped or are fearful of moving on because you have 2 children with your boyfriend. But remember that God created you out of love so that you can be loved, not abused.
There are resources available to help you such as The National Domestic Violence Hotline. Please consider what is best for you and your two boys. They not only need a breadwinner, they need a role model. Please do not allow your love for your boyfriend to enslave your children to a lifestyle of hardship. Women in bad relationships should be guided by two thoughts: Move Up (work to get better) or Move On (get someone who can help you get better). The latter can be scary, but with professional help and prayer you can make it happen.
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.
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