Help someone find a job without pressuring them?
September 25, 2006 12:41 PM   Subscribe

How do I help my boyfriend find a job and be supportive rather than making him feel bad?

My boyfriend and I are currently living in an apartment in Connecticut. It's expensive to live here (I've lived in a few other states, as has he), especially on my salary. We're not even breaking even at this point. I've always been scared/nervous about money issues and tend to overreact. I'm getting into what seems to me to be tremendous amounts of debt, just to live (try $25k on the credit cards).

We are both pretty bad about justifying spending. I know I get weird when he spends money that we don't have on his car, so I spend money we don't have on the pets. He tries so hard to make me feel okay with all the debt and my money issues. We talk about everything all the time, including this, so really communication is not the problem in the talking out issues sense, but I know he gets upset when I bring up the job subject.

I want him to get a job to help pay for our debts - and he will. I want him to get a job that he loves not just some crap job to bring in pay. We can probably live for a 6 mo. more if we're beyond careful with spending, off the credit.

Anyway, I want him to get a job that he loves, but I feel like everytime we talk about it he feels that I'm pressuring him to get work to pay for stuff. I am trying so hard to be supportive, but I want to help him find a job. He is a computer programmer with very little professional experience. He's not terribly confident in his skills, but I *know* he can do anything if they give him the chance. Without a college education, in our area, no one will even consider hiring. There just doesn't seem to be entry level work.

The craigslist solution of find work there doesn't seem to be working either. I've encouraged him to go to employment agencies but they are being quite nasty/intimidating. How do I help without pressuring? Should I start applying for better paying work even though I'm happy where I'm at (I started this past May)?
posted by fr0zen to Human Relations (168 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: removed at poster's request

get a job that he loves not just some crap job to bring in pay.
I'm no financial expert, but based upon what you've said, at this point it sounds like he needs to get a job, crap or not.
posted by owenkun at 12:48 PM on September 25, 2006 [6 favorites]

the suckie answer is that short term, he won't get a job he loves and that pays the bills. he will have to take something on just to make ends meet for a while.

the key is education. he needs to find something that fascinates him but for that he needs to start looking. he needs to find someone whose job he would love to have, whose life he desires. the problem is that there are two kinds of people, the ones who just do it and the ones who stay on the couch complaining. I fear he might be the second one.

he spends your money on his car? is it possible that you are being taken advantage of?

I'd be mean. I'd threaten him. make a plan, make an effort, or get out.
posted by krautland at 12:53 PM on September 25, 2006

Amen to owenkun. Guess what...being an adult means sometimes you have to sacrifice. Bringing in ANY money at this point is more important than finding the job of your dreams. If that is not a position that either of you can tolerate, then you must again sacrifice and STOP SPENDING MONEY YOU DON'T HAVE so that you may still eat while you do try to find the job of your dreams.
posted by spicynuts at 12:54 PM on September 25, 2006

IMHO "beyond careful" and "off the credit" shouldn't be in the same sentence together.

he feels that I'm pressuring him to get work to pay for stuff.

That's exactly what you're doing and exactly what you SHOULD be doing. Boy needs to get a job.
posted by dhammond at 12:54 PM on September 25, 2006

Speaking as a woman who once, very, very long ago tried to persuade a grown f%^%! man to get a job in order for us to eat and keep a roof over our heads, the answer is you DON'T try to appear supportive when you're in the situation you're in. You tell him to get a job or get out. And you're going to say "but I love him..." To which I say, it's just as easy..if not love a man who has enough respect for himself and for you to go out and get work as it is to love a man who will watch as you stress out about money and fall ...emotionally and pieces. I hate to be harsh but I certainly wish I'd had the benefit of my own counsel years ago.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 12:55 PM on September 25, 2006 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I'm inclined to agree with owenkun. Besides it being good for him and for the household income, working a job that one doesn't love can often be the right encouragement to do the things necessary to find a job that one does love.

It's also worth finding out if there's something else going on here... The fact that he (from your description) is being so passive in the situation could be indicative of a deeper issue.

One more thing: you're a couple. It's okay to pressure each other towards the common good for the both of you. This situation can't stand forever, and it sounds like he's not going to take initiative to do something about it on his own.
posted by j-dawg at 12:57 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Whenever he does something good and practical towards getting a job express how much you love him. Seriously, if he's like me, its like throwing fish to Shamu. He will do tricks if properly rewarded.

Ignore the stuff about how he needs to get a job. That's a predicate to the question. Just focus on how you can encourage him to take each step involved. That's the hard part.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:58 PM on September 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

I think the first step is to encourage him to apply for as many (entry-level) jobs as possible. Think of it this way: suppose I gave you a keyring with a hundred keys on it and pointed you to a door that blocked your access to your dream job. How many of the keys on the keyring would you try before you gave up?

Some job sites:


Good luck to you and your boyfriend.
posted by mattbucher at 1:00 PM on September 25, 2006 [32 favorites]

Response by poster: He's not taking advantage of me. I could put my foot down (and have on many purchases). He does try! Really he does. I just worry that I'm not being as useful as I could be. I send him job ads. Honestly, I think I was more proactive when I was out of work, BUT I'm working all day and really don't know how many calls he's making or the number of resumes he's submitting.
posted by fr0zen at 1:04 PM on September 25, 2006

"I want him to get a job that he loves not just some crap job to bring in pay."

That sentence and 25k dollars of debt should not appear together. You already owe as much as the typical salary for an entry level job with a decent company. You simply can't afford to wait around for him to find that perfect little dream job. He should suck it up, be an adult, and get whatever job he can, right now.
posted by oddman at 1:05 PM on September 25, 2006

Frozen. I'm sorry. I just don't agree with the other posters here because what I hear is the words of borderline co-dependent woman. If you get a better paying job and line your bathroom walls with want ads, what incentive will he have to do anything for himself.
And ask yourself: Do you want to spend your entire relationship taking sole responsibility for being the adult?

$25k is SERIOUS debt. Think hard!
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 1:08 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

1. Your boyfriend has to get a job, any job. Even if it's fast food, bringing in any income would help the situation. As soon as he starts a crap job he can always look for a better job and any experience and references he gains from his crap job will help him toward that goal. (I recommend finding work at a public school, such as a teacher's aide or in the IT department. It always makes for good, respectable references.)

2. If you have multiple credit cards, cancel all of them except for one or two. Transfer balances to your remaining cards and start paying them off. It may take a while, and your credit rating may take a small hit from the cancellations, but it's better in the long run.

3. Both of you need to limit your spending. Cut off all unnecessary expenditures. No more spending on the car (except for repairs) and no more spending on the pets (except for food and care, of course).

Personally, I recommend Suze Orman's The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke to help out with your financial issues.

On preview, I would also add exactly what oddman said.

Good luck.
posted by shoseph at 1:09 PM on September 25, 2006

I agree with all above me saying that he needs a job. Period. He's not going to like it, but he's not going to like homelessness, either. It's up to you if you let him drag you into that pit as well. You're getting in over your head debt wise, and things are not going to get better unless he contributes to the income fund, or you have one less person to support.

If he wants to improve his chances of finding programming work, and getting a formal education isn't an option, he needs experience. There are tons of open source projects he could contribute to, and I can guarantee he'll be able to find at least a handful he'll enjoy. If he can't do that, then he's in the wrong profession. If he spends some of his spare time (ie the time he's home from his job he's going to find, not the time he should be looking for a job NOW) on open source projects, it can get him the experience he needs, he'll gain confindence about his programming skills when he sees first hand what he can accomplish, and he'll have something to put on the resume for later once the money crunch has subsided.
posted by cgg at 1:11 PM on September 25, 2006

One more thing:
My stepfather (who is likened to Attilah the Hun in another thread) had a master's degree in biology and took a job as a UPS driver becaue he had a wife and two kids to feed. That's what a man who loves you will do.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 1:12 PM on September 25, 2006 [10 favorites]

Okay, I tried to be diplomatic in my first reply, but after I read:

He does try! Really he does.

...I have to add this: Trying in this case is sucking it up, getting a job at Starbucks/McDonald's/wherever, and spending free time sending out resumes and beating the pavement instead of spending money.

BUT I'm working all day and really don't know how many calls he's making or the number of resumes he's submitting.

You started all this by asking how you could be supportive of him. Spending the evenings working on cover letters and resumes (which you take with you in the morning and post on your way to work) would be a great way of being supportive.
posted by j-dawg at 1:13 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

He needs to go back to the temp agencies and sign up with several of them. Even if they're nasty. That's for starters.

If you're already 25K in debt on credit cards, I don't think you're overreacting to be really freaked out at this point. I'm a little worried that your constant refrain of "oh, I get an anxious about money" is a reflection of your boyfriend's repeated blowing you off about the money issue - how long has he been out of work? How long did it take you to get $25K in debt, on credit? Is moving somewhere cheaper an option? Whose credit card is carrying the debt? I'm really hoping it's his -- or you may want to re-evaluate whether you're being taken advantage of - since it means, he's living off your salary, your credit, and has been doing so long enough to rack up $25K of it.

"I'm afraid I'm not as useful as I could be"

Guess what? This is his problem. I'm going to echo foxybrown and say that if he's not showing clear signs of making an effort himself (to get temp jobs, to keep applying to entry-level jobs, etc_, then I have some sad news for you:

You can't do it for him. You can't save him, fix him, or change him.
posted by canine epigram at 1:14 PM on September 25, 2006 [3 favorites]

Oops... I should clarify that I mean working on cover letters and resumes with him, not for him.
posted by j-dawg at 1:15 PM on September 25, 2006

There is nothing that says that you can't look for a dream job while holding down a pay-the-rent job. He needs to be doing both.

Also, depending on how the job market looks for your career, you two should definitely consider moving to somewhere where the cost of living is lower. Yes, salaries are also lower, but not by that much.

You need to find every way possible of making your money in match or exceed money out every month. If that means getting rid of a mouth to feed or a car you have to put gas and/or repairs into, then so be it. You should be in serious damage-control mode right now. Remember, this relationship may or may not be forever. But your credit card debt will see you through to the bitter end.
posted by folara at 1:15 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

Is he depressed or otherwise incapacitated? It could be he needs professional help.
posted by wackybrit at 1:17 PM on September 25, 2006

Speaking as an individual that has had crap jobs just to bring in pay I need to ask, hasn't most everyone had one of these? If we hadn't, we'd still be living with the parents waiting for the perfect situation to present itself, without being held accountable for anything. I think pressure is what is needed right now on your part, is the alternative that you hope against hope that tomorrow he will take the inititative to get off his rear and be employed? You didn't mention how long he's been in this current state of unemployment, if this has been months-to-years, I think you've been much too accomodating here. It would be one thing if he was seeking to further his programming education, but you haven't made mention of that either.

Why should you bear the burden of getting a higher paying job to pay for him when you like where you are now? I don't know how else to thing about this other than tough love. He needs to suck it up. Also, sidenote: I hope to God that the 25K in debt isn't under your name alone...if so, that's just a bad situation waiting to get worse.
posted by Asherah at 1:19 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: (I notice that the comments marked "best" seem to reflect what you *want* to've already mentioned how good you are at rationalizing stuff. Sometimes it's really hard to listen to the best advice, but you can't just blow it off!)
posted by folara at 1:19 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

I spent several years under-employed after the crash. It was a miserable, awful, fucking lousy time, and there were times even the temp agencies had nothing for me - fortunately just one really awful summer. I was college-educated, the economy was in the toilet, and I couldn't even get a retail job for love or money (althoug I admit, after I applied for half a dozen, I stopped trying.) But by and large, just from temp agencies, I was able to eke out a living until I networked my way into a stable full-time job. ( If he has programming skills, he could target technical recruiters. )

It took work - a lot of it. My then-girlfriend, now wife, was supportive, and would send me ads, and help me with my resumes and cover letters when I asked - but the onus was on me. I had to be the one to do the work - and I have no doubt that had I given up, she would have walked, and I wouldn't have blamed her.
posted by canine epigram at 1:22 PM on September 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

I'm someone with a dream job. But guess what? I didn't get it till I was nearly in my mid-30s. Funnily enough, though, I worked dozens of jobs (some of them deeply shitty, and sometimes two or even three at a time) over the course of the preceding years in order to pay the bills and work towards creating the career that I did want. That's what grownups do.

In the meantime, you are in a major financial crisis -- $25k in credit card debt is serious. The first rule of getting out of a hole is to stop digging. Just because you still have six months to go before you max out your credit, doesn't mean you should. I have to agree with notjustfoxybrown: barring clinical depression (for which he needs a doctor) I'd tell him to get a job, any job, or get out. Your desire to be emotionally supportive should be trumped by your desire not to destroy your credit, go bankrupt, or lose your place to live -- all of which you are risking by continuing to enable him.

There is nothing that says that you can't look for a dream job while holding down a pay-the-rent job. He needs to be doing both.

Exactly. Dream jobs almost never fall from the sky, and no amount of sweetness and support from you will change that.
posted by scody at 1:24 PM on September 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: He moved to Connecticut to be with me in May, so it's been about five months that he's been unemployed.

Almost all of the debt is in my name and some of it (3k) was from before we met - I got the short end of the stick in a divorce.

As for jobs for me...I have a Master's degree and lots of experience in my field. I probably could get a higher paying job (wouldn't be by much - 10k at the absolute most and that would be a miracle). The problem is the slightly higher paying ones come with an exponential amount of stress and headaches.

I would love for him to go to college and he has always wanted to, but the money situation makes it difficult to say the least. He'll be getting his GED the next time the tests are scheduled and he wants to take some classes at the community college (again, money is the hard part).
posted by fr0zen at 1:25 PM on September 25, 2006

Response by poster: Folara,
I know! Trust me. I try so hard to figure things out correctly - I'm trying.
posted by fr0zen at 1:29 PM on September 25, 2006

He's not taking advantage of me.

Yes he is. You just both prefer not to think of it that way. But I'm pretty sure if you read about your situation in Dear Abby with different names, you'd see red and say "Toss the bum out!" In short, what everyone else said, and let me just emphasize that living on credit is batshitinsane, even if it's the American Way.
posted by languagehat at 1:29 PM on September 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

Any job right now is better than no job. And even while he works at 'any job', he can still arrange interviews and seek out other employment.

Please tell me you are transferring that credit card debt to 0% APR cards... And once you do that, take all open credit cards and put them in a Tupperware of water and freeze them.

You seem like a nurturer and a very sweet person, but Fr0zen, is he using your credit cards? You guys charged up almost 22k worth of debt in the 5 months he's been living with you?
posted by jerseygirl at 1:31 PM on September 25, 2006

Have you considered separating your finances? That would at least end the retaliatory splurging you described. Of course he'd have to get a job to make that work, but, as everyone else is saying, he has to get a job no matter what.
posted by timeistight at 1:32 PM on September 25, 2006

he wants to take some classes at the community college (again, money is the hard part).

Not to sound like a broken record, but it won't be so hard if he's earned some money for classes in the meantime.
posted by scody at 1:34 PM on September 25, 2006

Response by poster: I didn't have a job after my divorce and had to put the down payment for the apartment, the first few months rent, car payments, insurance payments, and food, etc. on the cards. My paychecks didn't start rolling in for about a month after he moved in. He also came into the relationship with nothing (well a few hundred in debt and a scooter he sold for gas money/hotel stays to get here).

I would have hated it for him to tell me I had to get a job. I was trying as hard as I could and I just don't want to insult his efforts.
posted by fr0zen at 1:37 PM on September 25, 2006

He also came into the relationship with nothing (well a few hundred in debt and a scooter he sold for gas money/hotel stays to get here).

And that's precisely what he should leave with....You can't fix an adult, frozen. You're a smart woman but maybe not so smart about relationships? Did you get anything financially from your ex from the divorce?
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 1:41 PM on September 25, 2006

I just don't want to insult his efforts.

That's admirable; but it just sounds as though there aren't many efforts to insult or praise either way.

What does he do all day since he isn't working? Does he keep the house clean? Does he do the cooking? Does he volunteer anywhere?

Being unemployed for five months is a red flag. Doing nothing for five months is more like a red weather balloon.
posted by j-dawg at 1:43 PM on September 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

Holy shit!! Twenty-two thousand bucks in five months!!!

The two of you are burning through over $4,000 bucks a month more than you're bringing in. Even if he gets a job tomorrow, you've got to put the brakes on your spending immediately.

Maybe you need to talk to some kind of debt counselor. I fear your heading for a very serious problem.
posted by timeistight at 1:44 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

He came into the relationship with a few hundred bucks in debt; you are now on the hook for 25 grand. This is a terrible and highly risky situation, and while it is sweet that you want to refrain from "insulting his efforts," it is exceedingly foolish not to put your own financial needs first. Cut up your credit cards and tell him the free ride is over.
posted by scody at 1:47 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

while it is sweet that you want to refrain from "insulting his efforts,"

Actually, I think it's more sad than sweet.

The scenario I'm envisioning is one of a smart and likely attractive woman who was feeling a bit lonely after a difficult divorce. Along comes a baggage-laden but attentive fellow who provided solace...and $25k in debt. I'd bet my future book rights I'm not wrong about this.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 1:52 PM on September 25, 2006

I didn't have a job after my divorce and had to put the down payment for the apartment, the first few months rent, car payments, insurance payments, and food, etc. on the cards. My paychecks didn't start rolling in for about a month after he moved in. He also came into the relationship with nothing (well a few hundred in debt and a scooter he sold for gas money/hotel stays to get here).

So you have car debt on top of the credit card debt. And he's spending money on your credit cards pimping out the car that you're paying for?

Come on girl; give your head a shake. You need to put your foot down here or you'll be paying for this for the rest of your life.
posted by timeistight at 1:52 PM on September 25, 2006

I agree with what everyone else is saying.

1. $25K is emergency-level debt; as a team, you need to be bringing in more money. There's one team member who's not bringing in any. Languagehat is right: if you read your story in an advice column, you would think "that guy has to get a damn job, or she will leave him!"

2. I hope you are making your minimum payments every month, so at least the debt is not getting bigger because of fees?

3. I would urge you to insist that no more debt be racked up under your name. You are incurring all the costs of this -- it's not fair to you, and if he loves you he will not want the situation to hurt you!

4. To get a dream job, you usually have to have experience and references. The only way to get experience and references is by having a few non-dream jobs.

Here are a few entry-level jobs you can get without a college degree... he should not rely on internet job searches alone. Many jobs won't get listed there. He should go to local places and see if they are hiring.

1. Temping. Especially if he is good with computers.
2. Civil service jobs in your town (take civil service exam, become postal carrier, etc)
3. Bank teller
4. Hotel clerk/receptions person if good with computers
5. Coffeeshop or retail work -- the Christmas season is coming, and if he can't get a retail job for at least October - Christmas, then he is really not trying. They need everyone they can get for those months. (though such jobs will not last past Christmas)
6. Warehouse clerk, order puller, phone contact person etc.

Also check out the many previous MeFi threads about job hunting: here
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:54 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

Yes, but he will need a high school diploma for all of the above listed jobs and as of yet, he doesn't have one.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 1:56 PM on September 25, 2006

Anyone can (and must!) work a crap job WHILE searching for their Dream Job. Hell, it can even be kinda fun. And whether it's fun or not, it'll motivate him that much more to finish his education and/or search for the job he loves.

If he flat out refuses to do so, in favor of living off your credit, he's taking advantage of you. There's no other way to see it.

Lots of great night jobs, no GED required. Waiting tables, line cook, 2nd shift at the local warehouse/factory, and on and on...leaving plenty of time for school and interviews.
posted by lampoil at 2:00 PM on September 25, 2006

Your boyfriend needs some resume, cover letter and interviewing help. Is there a program near you? I'm in Canada, so I don't know what programs you have in the US. But here there are agencies that will, for free, help with these things. Your boyfriend needs to write resumes and interview in such a way that his lack of education and experience can be somewhat overcome.

But, in the meantime, your boyfriend needs to get a job. Tell him to get an evening/weekend position. This will keep the days free for interviews and the like. If it is something where he works from 3 to 11, he can still go to bed by midnight and make interviews in the morning. It will be hard work, but it will be a motivator. And it will help you get out of debt. He should at least be able to get a customer service job for the October to New Year's period.
posted by acoutu at 2:03 PM on September 25, 2006

Maybe he's not taking real action (getting a job) because he hides from the truth; you guys are in crisis but the credit cushions you from the financial results for now.

I'd say find a way to make him feel this is not life-as-usual.

I'm thinking along the lines of "Peter, I don't see how we can go on, heading for the abyss as we are now. [describe the consequence]".
Of course it's best if what you're saying is something you feel yourself; some kind of impending decision.
The consequence is for you to fill in. "You'll have to sell the car" for instance. Or, very drastic, "we'll have to split up until we can live togheter, that includes financially, because we can't at the moment", or something.

Don't think of it of pressuring somebody; the situation you guys are facing is objective and real and threatening.

Good luck.
posted by jouke at 2:04 PM on September 25, 2006

Another useful previous AskMeFi:

how do I get an entry level job?
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:05 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

Horrible as it may seem, I think an ultimatum may well be the best thing you can do for him right now. Your well-intentioned attempts to help him with his job search are probably just making him feel more emasculated. He needs to be treated like a grown-up in order to get him out of this bad state of mind.
posted by teleskiving at 2:05 PM on September 25, 2006

Yes, but he will need a high school diploma for all of the above listed jobs and as of yet, he doesn't have one.

Between all the bars and restaurants I've worked in and all the friends/boyfriends I've known who worked in bars and restaurants, I can assure you there are many, many people holding down jobs held in food service without having their diplomas. Connecticut is no exception.
posted by scody at 2:08 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

True, scody. I guess I'm simply thinking that in an economy such as this one, if an employer has a choice between someone with a GED and someone who doesn't have one, well....
Nonetheless, the point is, he can find some employment somewhere.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 2:10 PM on September 25, 2006

Yes, but he will need a high school diploma for all of the above listed jobs and as of yet, he doesn't have one.

Didn't you have a job while you were in high school? He *can* work retail and food service, as well as many other unskilled jobs. And LobsterMitten is right--holiday jobs are available right now.
posted by folara at 2:13 PM on September 25, 2006

I had to read over the question and part of the thread several times before I could even believe this fact:

He has been living with you for five months, no job, and has spent your money beyond simple housing and enough food to stay alive.

This is absolutely ridiculous. This isn't a husband and wife situation where he's taking care of things (children, home, etc) at home. This is a situation where he is leeching off of your income. This is someone who you believe to be skilled but has demonstrated no ability to turn that skill into a job. He is taking advantage of you, even if he's being nice about it. He should be taking any job at this point. Starbucks, a bookstore, even fast food. Having one of these jobs does not block you from looking for employment elsewhere.

You are in crisis mode. You're not even just pulling out of savings to get by, you're borrowing money each month. Don't think of being tapped out when you reach the end of you're credit, you're already there.
posted by mikeh at 2:14 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

Worked phone sales during the holidays before and after grad school. Worked as a elementary sub teacher for 6 months after that (without having any experience). Moved cross-country and worked at a pretzel store in the mall for 6 months.

Finally got a great job that actually uses my degree. But my resume is now filled with "crap" jobs. (including several others I didn't include above).

He's intimidated and partially depressed that he can't find what he wants. I've been there. But when you have debt up to your ears (25K? try 50K in student loans) you have to stop making excuses and just find a job. I'm sure he's a great programmer and will have a great job one day. But till then, he has to stay busy. If nothing else, the huge empty gap of unemployement on his resume will look a LOT worse than a smattering of "crap" jobs outside his field.

As others have said, he needs some tough love from the woman who obviously loves him... not a mom doing everything for him. He's comfortable where he is, and your "help" keeps him comfortable... Until that changes, I don't see much else changing.

good luck to you both.
posted by johnstein at 2:15 PM on September 25, 2006

As an addendum, the "entry level" work for someone with computer experience but no degree would likely be a help desk situation. A more enterprising person might do some freelance work off craigslist or the like, but it sounds like he has no experience doing that and little motivation to put together a portfolio. Get him into a job.
posted by mikeh at 2:16 PM on September 25, 2006

Jumping on the bandwagon here. Fr0zen... I don't know how the two of you hooked up, but you seem to be on two totally opposite ends of the employment and education spectrum. He's working towards a GED and you have your Masters?? A site I pulled up shows that GED testing is done at least twice a month in numerous locations in CT. If he wanted to take the test, he's got plenty of opportunities. What's stopping him??

Next Q: Why don't you know how many resumes he's sending out each week? As the one supporting the two of you, you have a right to know this. And don't just ask for a number. I second the suggestion of working with him on them and mailing them yourself. Then you'll know for sure that they're going out.

IMO, it's time to get tough with him. ANY job is better than no job and he doesn't even seem motivated enough to do that to keep you both from becoming homeless and even further in debt. Give him a time limit, like 2 weeks, to find A JOB - not his dream job, but something that will give him a regular paycheck. If he hasn't found a job w/in the time limit it's definitely time to Make Some Changes.

In the meanwhile, eliminate any and all extravagences like cable, car fixes, toys for the pups, dining out, etc. Y'all are on the path to serious trouble and unfortunately it's all sitting right in your lap!

Good luck.
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 2:17 PM on September 25, 2006

Ok, I'm going to try and give you a different perspective, since most of the answers seem to be of the "throw the bum out" mentality.
I was your boyfriend. I lived off my wife for much longer (in retrospect, naturally) than I should have. I've was even in the "No degree = no job in desired field" trap.

A few thoughts from that point of view:
There is a fine line between asking how the job search is going, and nagging about how the job search is going.
Not being able to chip in sucks, and being bugged about it all the time just makes it worse.
You need to _stop_ the spending. No more on the car, no more on the pets, no more nothing. Being in financial crisis makes _everything_ worse.
You need to sit down and have a serious talk about the "dream job" situation. If you were doing just fine, then yeah, waiting for a "dream job" is fine. But at this stage in the game, it's time for "any job".
However, you _both_ need to be on board for this change in job seeking. Giving up your dream is a big mental shift.
If he's worried about "having time to search for another job" a part time job is fine.
I don't know how long he's been unemployed, but for me, working a crappy job was all the motivation I needed to get a much better job. When I was home, it was far too easy to fall into a rut of sleeping in, surfing the net, and lazing around. When I got a crap job, my blood starting flowing and I got motivated again.
Also, and this may not really apply to you, but you sound a lot like my wife, so it may.
Does your boyfriend know how bad it really is? My wife ran the finances, so I never really grasped the numbers until she sat me down and said "Look, this is the outgo, this is the income, and this is the 1k gap between the two. You need to fill that gap".

To summarize, be supportive but firm, make the commitment that a "dream job" is not what you need right now, and emphasize that any money is better than no money.

know I get weird when he spends money that we don't have on his car
He also came into the relationship with nothing (well a few hundred in debt and a scooter he sold for gas money/hotel stays to get here).

Out of curiousity, where'd he get the car? Please tell me you didn't buy it for him. If so, then my advice above might not apply and you'd be better off listening to the other folks in the thread.
posted by madajb at 2:20 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

He's got it pretty sweet right now. Roof over his head, free meals, available credit limit that he is not responsible for, a new car and a trusting someone who is clearly totally over-the-moon crazy for him. All that, and he doesn't have to work or really look for a job in earnest at all?

It's seriously ultimatum time. First, you need to tell him you are cutting back on the extras - cable, credit card use, etc. You need to put your foot down about him getting a job, and while you do this, it gives him the opportunity to prove he's in it for real and not taking a free ride. Tell him that he must get a job - any job (retail, restaurant hire a lot of HS students, so a diploma isn't necessary) - within 2 weeks or he's out and the moochery stops. If he doesn't hold down the job, he's out, too. You can continue to be supportive of course, helping with applications and resumes, but stick to the deadline.

Here's the thing, before you give him that ultimatum, before you even breathe a word of it to him, do yourself a huge favor and put all your ducks in a row to protect yourself and your future. Put a fraud alert on your credit report - use your personal cell phone or work number as the verification phone call number - and cancel all cards he has access to. If there is anything of value in the house that he has access to, you might want to consider putting it in a lockbox at the bank..
posted by jerseygirl at 2:24 PM on September 25, 2006

Enough other people gave you some advice to be tough with him and suggest he should get a job, any job, so you stop hemorrhaging money. Hopefully you're listening to that for the sake of good life choices and thinking about just how much credit cards really cost. So I won't belabor those points.

I'll suggest that he should go get any job for entirely different reasons: he needs the ego boost you get from doing for yourself and completing tasks, as well as bringing in your own paycheck. Even if it's peanuts, even if you don't take any of it from him in exchange for a place to live and food to eat, he should be earning. Not only because it feels good, but because that good feeling is almost an absolute requirement in order to be able to go into an interview and convince people to hire you.

He should also do it so he meets more people in your area. He's moved from presumably far away to come be with you. Who does he know beyond you? Your friends? Getting work at the coffee shop will help him build more local contacts. Maybe they're not going to find him work but it's also useful social exercise for pursuing work.
posted by phearlez at 2:28 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

Jerseygirl is a wise girl. If he even thinks that he's going to be put out, he just might start looking around at what Fr0zen has that he can sell or pawn to get some money in his pocket.

Five months is plenty long enough to have found a way to help you pay rent and other day-to-day living expenses. Fr0zen, you've got to ask him what the hold up is and when he intends to start becoming a supportive part of your relationship... but not before following jerseygirl's advice.

He's showing you exactly who he is and what he's willing to do for the two of you. Open your eyes and SEE.
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 2:30 PM on September 25, 2006

He's showing you exactly who he is and what he's willing to do for the two of you. Open your eyes and SEE

Exactly. Maya Angelou says people always show you right away exactly who they are. Now, you just have to choose to see it.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 2:31 PM on September 25, 2006

I don't necessarily agree with the "throw the bum out" advice. There are lots of different ways people arrange their domestic/working lives. If you want to support he while he pursues his dreams, why not? But you both have to stop bleeding money. You need to take whatever drastic measures required to live within your income: sell the car(s), cut up the credit cards, get a better (or extra) job, move to cheaper housing, etc.

My bet is once he has to face up to how desperate things are, he'll go out and find work.
posted by timeistight at 2:49 PM on September 25, 2006

$25k in debt should make you want to vomit. Listen to what everyone is saying here; your boyfriend has to get any job now because that is what adults do.
posted by xmutex at 2:59 PM on September 25, 2006

He'll be getting his GED the next time the tests are scheduled

There are more than a dozen tests scheduled in Connecticut until the end of the year, all on Saturdays or in the evenings. The next one is October 7. Has he submitted the application form yet?
posted by scody at 3:02 PM on September 25, 2006

I guess I'm jumping on the bandwagon and I'll say something like notjustfoxybrown said:

When my uncle got laid off from his job and couldn't find one in his field, he got a job at McDonald's. He had a master's degree, but he also had a mortgage and a young child. It really doesn't take 5 months to find some kind of job if you really want one.
posted by jdl at 3:13 PM on September 25, 2006

If I didn't have a job and we were $25k in debt I would never stop throwing up. And I've been a flake before, god knows, but that boy of yours needs to find work, any work, no matter how shitty or hideous. God even reading this thread is making me ill.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:14 PM on September 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

I know I get weird when he spends money that we don't have on his car

You let him get you $22,000 further in debt over a period of less than six months buying accessories for his ricer, and he hasn't even bothered to take his GED in four months?

Now that's fucking funny. How come I never meet women like you? Call me up if you're still this gullible when he's moved on to his next sucker. Maybe I can live in your house and have sex with you and eat your food and get you another $22,000 in debt to support my hobby, which is lighting my cigars with other people's money. That sounds awesome! I would love to bankrupt you. Seriously, get in touch.

Your boyfriend is apparently a little boy, so here's what to do.

Stop mixing up your money with his. You do not have a partner in life, you seem to have a very expensive pet. A partner would respect you enough to move heaven and earth to stop squandering your money.

Put him on an extremely restrictive allowance. He has no rent, since you're paying it, and I assume you're keeping the fridge stocked with food. What expenses does this man have? Oh, of course he obviously has access to your credit cards (what deadbeat boyfriend wouldn't?). That has to stop. Cut the cards up. He has to exist on a cash-only basis with you from now until you are debt-free again and he is a grown up. The first might happen; I doubt the second will.

Take away his keys to the house. You wake up together, eat together, and in the morning, when you leave for work, so does he. He has a job too, it's called "looking for work", and you're his boss.

Here's a formula for his allowance:
1. $10 or $15 a day for gas money.
2. That's it. He has no other legitimate expenses, since he has no rent and no food bill and no power bill. Make him a bagged lunch to take with him in the Ricemobile while he's out finding work.

If I was the temp agency, I'd be mean to your mouthbreathing boyfriend, too.

Seriously, this guy is a loser. Dump him. And call me, baby. I can't wait to passive-aggressively bankrupt you, and I promise I won't spend it on being a ricer. I have more refined tastes, like cocaine. Wouldn't you feel better knowing your money is going up my nose instead of out his tailpipe? I know I would!
posted by evariste at 3:17 PM on September 25, 2006 [60 favorites]

Wow. I wish I had more wisdom to add, aside from mentioning that $22K in debt in five months is just unfathomable. What did you buy with that money? You could have had matching nose jobs with enough left over to buy a couple of used Miatas.

He needs to start bringing home some income NOW. Is there a Costco nearby? I always heard they pay pretty well for a retail type job.
posted by MegoSteve at 3:18 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

P.S. I know you don't want to make him feel bad, but that's part of the problem. You need to make him feel bad. He should feel absolutely terrible for doing this to you. Stop enabling his crummy behavior. And, even though evariste has already made his play, I'd like to call second dibs.
posted by MegoSteve at 3:21 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

He needs a job. Any job. Try Cold Stone Creamery or some similar food service job—they're hell, but they do pay the rent if you work enough hours. That's what I did for the first two months after college, 'cause I didn't have a job lined up, and while it really really was work, and it paid, and it kept the refrigerator full and the bills paid.

Since I started working retail at a bookstore for my day job, I've met a number of couples in similar transitional states to yours—they're in between jobs, in between living situations, and usually one member of the couple is contributing less financially than the other is. This can be for a number of reason, most commonly because one's in school and the other isn't, because one has a worse job or worse position at the same workplace, or because one has less motivation than the other does. Whatever the case, the couples I know work together to help each other out, and they talk about jobs and help each other network to find better jobs.

You say you guys communicate about these issues continually—but the fact that you don't even know where he's at in the job search/résumé submission process bespeaks a dangerous hands-off approach to these areas of your shared existence. Sure, you don't want to pressure him, you don't want to nag...but it MUST be something the two of you can talk about. If it's not, then you need to reevaluate things.
posted by limeonaire at 3:23 PM on September 25, 2006

I also x-nth getting a job in the meantime. I graduated from college and ended up working as a pizza hut lackey at Target for a year until I found a job I now love. Even so, I enjoyed my job at Target because I didn't allow my life to be dragged down by that job. If you go into a job with little to no expectations, then the job will inevitably suck. Go in with in open mind because you never know.

Also, even if he only get his GED, it opens up the world to advancement at non-professional jobs such as Target management- if I had wanted to, I could have easily become a section manager and nearly doubled my salary. It had nothing to do with my education and everything to do with the fact I simply did what I was told and went above and beyond the expectations. If you boyfriend gets a job like I had, just showing up to work on time daily and acting like your care is nearly grounds for promotion in 6 months to a year.

If it's his style and has experience, working in a decent restaurant or as a bartender can make bucketloads of money if he's good at it. Work by night, job hunt by day.
posted by jmd82 at 3:30 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

Also, while he schedules that GED test in the next few weeks, you might want to schedule an appointment with these folks. All this debt is in your name, so you'd better get a plan beyond hoping he really does get a damn job. Your credit rating has likely taken a huge hit, even if you're still making your payments -- because your debt-to-available credit ratio has gone through the roof in the past 6 months (not to mention the fact that you just got divorced, which can also do a number on your rating).

I'm sorry if I sound like a broken record, but it makes me sad and angry to see an educated, capable woman come out of a divorce only to willingly trash her financial and personal well-being over the next guy who comes along.
posted by scody at 3:50 PM on September 25, 2006

A few reality-checks:

1. He can take the GED pretty-much whenever he wants. If he hasn't scheduled a test-time yet, that would be priority numero-uno in my books. Having a GED will open a couple of doors. Not a lot, mind you. But a couple. There is simply no excuse for not doing this. The cost to take the test is 13 freakin' dollars! That's, like, twelve mufflers.

You can get test-prep materials for free at the registration sites. There is NO excuse to not have a GED save laziness on his part, or fear of failing. Fuck fear. You can retake the GED three times a year. Only the highest scores are used to calculate whether you "pass" a section. More information, including testing sites and dates of exams, here.

If your boyfriend really is as smart as you think he is, he should have no trouble passing. Hell, the way they administer the GED these days (taking the highest score among composite tests) even if he was an order of magnitude more stupid than you think, he'd still pass.

2. Job. Now. If McDonalds is too demeaning for him, there's always Barnes and Nobles. Once he has his GED he can try some temp agencies, but until that time they just won't call him (oh, they'll process his application, sure, but then he'll be sitting by the phone for four months without a call). Even then, temp work blows. Not the work itself, but the spotiness of guaranteed hours. It simply won't be enough to live on.

3. I just bought a second car. It is a piece of shit from the early 90's. I got it because it has a back seat, and my regular ride doesn't. It runs fine. That's about it. Oh yeah, one other thing: it cost $1500. Where in the fuck does $25,000 in credit card debt go to a car you already own? That's completely, utterly fucked-in-the-head crazy. You could buy ten cars for that much money.

CUT HIM OFF. Sure, you love him, that's great. Give him spending cash for food. That's how you can be supportive. Anything else, he can pay for himself.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:09 PM on September 25, 2006 [3 favorites]

One more thiing....


Tell him you are DONE being his keeper, his mommy and his slave.

You don't want to make him feel bad? What about how he's making YOU feel, not to mention what he's done to your PERSONAL CREDIT??

You two are not married. He can walk out tomorrow and leave you holding the bag full of $25k of 'good intentions".

I said before to give him 2 weeks to find a job. I now realize that was far too generous. Give him a week or throw him out on his lazy ass.

And please let us know how this all plays out. Dozens of people have offered you Very Good advice. At least give us the courtesy of an update.
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 4:18 PM on September 25, 2006

Another previous thread with suggestions about how to save money if you're in a heavy spending habit. Check out the tags (listed in the top right corner) for that post, and see if following them gives you more useful info about decreasing spending.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:35 PM on September 25, 2006

I've always been scared/nervous about money issues and tend to overreact. [...] He tries so hard to make me feel okay with all the debt and my money issues.

One more thing: you are not overreacting, and this situation isn't about your alleged "money issues." (And where, I wonder, did the story come from that you're the one with the emotional problem because he won't get a job while you've gone 25k into debt supporting him?) You should be scared -- damn scared -- and angry as hell. Fear and anger are natural responses to a dangerous, infuriating situation. Respect yourself enough to call bullshit on the "he tries so hard to make me feel okay with all the debt" line -- the only thing he should be doing to "make you feel okay" is moving heaven and earth to earn every penny he can to get you out of this hole that he's had a hand in digging.
posted by scody at 4:38 PM on September 25, 2006

scody's absolutely right. Quit beating yourself up.

Your situation reminded me so much of this one that I thought at first you might be the same person. Both of you are women who seem to be blaming yourselves for your boyfriends' bad behaviours. It's not you; it's them.
posted by timeistight at 4:52 PM on September 25, 2006

Uh I wouldn't show him this thread. Some things are probably better for your eyes only. It's not a time for "See what the internet people said!" Its a time for you to get self-empowered.

A couple things I thought of: If that car is in his name, you need to change that. You pay for it, it's yours. If anything is in his name even the lease to the apartment, any utilities, credit cards, etc -- change it. Don't leave him with any ammunition if he decides to get petty afterwards. If you do decide to kick him out, put one of those steering wheel locks (The Club) on his car (and yours) before talking to him and buy new locks for the apartment doors and install them right after he leaves. I suppose most of this advice could be saved for IF you do decide to go that route and get him out of your life.

Another thing since someone brought it up, yeah your credit score might be a hot mess. The good news is, you can fix it by paying down the debt and keeping available credit. Oh. Do yourself a favor and get a free copy of your credit report to verify what's on it is accurate, please.

Here's what bugs me, the more I think about it, Fr0zen: You seem like such a nice woman with a big heart. You're definitely caring, obviously intelligent and like scody said, I also hate to see you in this situation. Your boyfriend seemingly has no conscience about what he's doing to you or your future, at all. If he was interested in being with you long term, you'd think he'd care that he's fucking up your credit and digging you into a hole that he'd eventually legally share with you if you ever married.

And the thing about him calming you everytime you panic about the money situation? That's deliberate on his part. If you get serious and start paying attention to spending and debt, he knows he's going to get cut off.
posted by jerseygirl at 5:26 PM on September 25, 2006

Do you have any close friends in the area? If so, have you brought them up to date on this situation? Because I think they would react in mostly the same way we are. I know I would; if one of my masters-degree-holding friends told me a similar story, I would be bouncing off the CEILING. Accumulating that much debt that quickly, with no sign of stopping and no near-term means of paying it off, can have life-long consequences. And you only met this guy 5 months ago!! Anyway, we're just a bunch of jackasses on the Internet, but we're right; you may need to hear someone close to you say these things in order to convince you, is all I'm saying.

Also, don't make it a choice between controlling your spending and pissing him off on one hand, and letting it go and keeping him happy on the other. Long-term debt is one of those problems that can tear a couple apart, happens every day in fact, so the choice you actually have is get your finances straight and sour the relationship now, or go bankrupt and sour the relationship later.
posted by rkent at 5:48 PM on September 25, 2006

jerseygirl said: Uh I wouldn't show him this thread. Some things are probably better for your eyes only. It's not a time for "See what the internet people said!" Its a time for you to get self-empowered.

He's probably reading this now, or going to pretty soon. He's listed as a contact on her MeFi profile, and he uses AskMe on a regular basis, on one occasion to ask us about the '91 Civic that he's been wasting fr0zen's money to soup up.

And the thing about him calming you everytime you panic about the money situation? That's deliberate on his part.

Exactly right.
posted by evariste at 5:54 PM on September 25, 2006

Wow. Guess she wasn't kidding about the trying to calm her bit.
posted by jerseygirl at 6:06 PM on September 25, 2006

Response by poster: I don't have friends. That's why I spend so much time on the net. My family - really only my mom - is in Georgia and would be livid. I don't think he knows how scary this stuff is for me. I don't think he really means to be taking advantage of my credit either. I'm not going to leave him over this. All I want to do is help him find a job.

I've come up with a super tight budget. (When he's speaking to me again I'll explain it to him - really I don't know what I did this time). I'm just afraid I'll never be able to get rid of the debt. I make my payments on time and have never been late, so my credit isn't fucked. Yeah my credit score went from through the roof to less than mediocre, but I figured that would happen with one person supporting another on my crappy salary.
posted by fr0zen at 6:55 PM on September 25, 2006

fr0zen, I think you're coming to AskMe so someone will express the righteous anger that you, for whatever reason, feel you can't.

When he's speaking to me again I'll explain it to him

He's a manipulative goon. You even know it, and you want to hear it, even if you feel restrained from saying it yourself. You're trying to nerve yourself up to doing something, and we're the fuel.

I hope it works. Best of luck.
posted by zadcat at 7:49 PM on September 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

I don't think he knows how scary this stuff is for me.

Red Flag #1: Why not? Have you told him? If you haven't told him, why not? And if you have told him, what's his response? Does he dismiss your feelings, tell you not to worry, and/or turn it around as if you're attacking him?

I don't think he really means to be taking advantage of my credit either.

Red Flag #2: He's been getting free rent, free food, free internet, and souping up his car on your dime -- how does he think this is happening? Does he believe credit cards are magic, or that the money is free? Seriously, unless your boyfriend is either eight years old or mildly retarded, I fail to see how on earth he's driven you $25k into debt without any understanding of the situation. Oh, he may not particularly "get it" in terms of what the impact really means; I find that lots of people who take advantage of others (usually out of a sense of entitlement) don't "get" what the real impact is the people who are feeding/clothing/sheltering them. That doesn't mitigate his actual responsibility in the slightest.

(When he's speaking to me again I'll explain it to him - really I don't know what I did this time)

And this is where it goes from red flags to out-and-out RED ALERT to me. So let's see, he's mad at you and has stopped speaking to you? For what? Telling him to get a goddamn job already? And there's already a pattern of him "punishing" you with the silent treatment? Besides, what's to "explain"? All the income and credit is yours. Tell him what the new budget is, and make sure he has no access to your credit cards or bank accounts. And if you won't do that, why not? Are you afraid of how he'll react? Again: RED ALERT.

fr0zen, I'm going to go beyond the scope of the question to say what I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking. From what you have described, it sounds like you are in a perilous situation, and I don't just mean financially (which is bad enough). You are in a place without friends or family (and you imply that you're too embarrassed or ashamed to let your mom know what's going on), terribly in debt, bending over backwards not to upset him, and insisting that you won't leave him: on paper (well, on screen, at least), this sounds like a textbook case of codependency.

It sounds to me like you've come straight out your divorce into a brand-new relationship with someone who is taking significant advantage of you financially, emotionally, and personally -- and you would be well-advised to start realizing that whether or not you think he "means" to do this is completely irrelevant; the fact is, he is doing it, and you are paying a terrible price -- a price that will not be lessened or refunded by continuing to make excuses and enabling his irresponsibility.

Look, I was once newly divorced too. It is an exceedingly fragile time emotionally, no matter how glad you may be to be out of your marriage. I know exactly how it feels to come out of a marriage straight into the arms of a new boyfriend, with the secret, unspoken hope that this new relationship will redeem the failed one, that you can somehow skip the mourning process for all the hopes and dreams that were ended by the divorce. But sadly, it just doesn't work that way.

The aftermath of a divorce -- any divorce, for men and women alike -- should a time to take care of yourself, to claim your own happiness and independence, to get your life back on track (or on a new and better track entirely). Is that happening for you, right now, in your current situation?

Let me put it this way: if your best friend or sister came to you and described your exact situation to you, what would you advise her to do?
posted by scody at 8:12 PM on September 25, 2006 [26 favorites]

He's not speaking to you? He should be kissing the ground you walk on, keeping the apartment in tip top shape, have dinner on the table when you get home from work, etc, etc, etc. Is it possible he's seen this thread and is less than pleased with his impending doom?

Bottom line, you CAN'T help him find a job. Like anything else (quitting smoking, drinkiing, drugs or wanting to lose weight) this is something he has to WANT TO DO for himself. Until that time, he's going to continue to take up space in your apartment while contributing nothing but his pretty smile.

You don't intend to leave him over this? How long do you plan to let him continue on this path? Exactly how much debt is too much debt? At what point will you say ENOUGH?

The fact that you don't have other friends is another point in his favor. He knows you need him for companionship, so the chances of you actually ever getting PO'd enough to give him an ultimatum are nill.

Good Luck with ever seeing your way out of debt and out of this dead-end situation. Be certain that as long as he's around you never will get rid of the debt. Good luck.
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 8:15 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

fr0zen, I hope you take all the comments here as a message from people who are on your side, not as pushy or preachy. You're right to be worried, given the money situation you are in right now! (If he is not scared about the HUGE amount of debt he has helped put you in, he is just not in touch with the adult world.) It must be especially bad if you have no-one nearby you can turn to.

So, don't get paralyzed by fear and worry. Start taking concrete steps to get this situation under control.

1. It's great that you're making your credit card payments on time. Can you pay more than the minimum each month? The more you can pay the better. This might be a good way to ensure you stick to a tight budget, by just getting that money out of the checking account. If it was never there to start with, it won't be tempting to buy things that you don't need.

2. See a credit counselor. You may be able to get all that debt on a lower interest rate, for example. (If boyfriend refuses to go, you should go by yourself. It's your credit that's on the line.)

3. Discuss (or impose) the budget that you mention. Allow a bit of (cheap) fun stuff to let off steam, but otherwise stick to your guns. Maybe you can break down where that $25K came from, and be sure that you're not repeating that pattern of spending. Remember that it is YOUR CALL what happens with YOUR MONEY. If it worries you that he buys expensive car stuff on YOUR credit card, then he doesn't get to buy that stuff -- no negotiation necessary. It's your money. You are not being a bad girlfriend, and it doesn't mean that you're no fun or you don't love him; you are being a responsible adult making responsible decisions about HER OWN MONEY! If he wants to run up his own credit card, he can.

4. Can you reduce any of your monthly expenses? Could you move to a cheaper apartment, or sell an expensive car to get a cheap car, or take public transit instead of buying gas, etc? Cancel cable? Get your internet access at the library instead of at home?

5. If you don't have friends or a support network in your area -- try to get out and meet some other people! This will do wonders for your own mental health, and your ability to see your situation more clearly. Try: going to a church that seems suitable for you; going to a local yarn store to see if they have knitting meet-ups (Stitch-n-Bitch groups); going to bookstores to see if they run book clubs, which will usually be free get-togethers and you can get the book from the public library; going to Craigslist Hartford to see if there are any women looking for a friend in town, or a jogging buddy, or whatever you like to do; volunteer somewhere like the local library for a couple of hours a week... meet some female friends IRL and get out of the house. It will be easier to deal with problems at home if you have some time away each week to get perspective or a sympathetic ear.

6. Finally: You say that you would not consider breaking up with him over this. I assume this means you think he is ready to stand up and face this situation, to pull his own weight rather than letting all the weight fall on you. (You don't owe us an answer about that... but you should be honest with yourself in thinking about it! If your mom would disapprove, and your boyfriend randomly decides to stop speaking to you ! on top of everything else, those are warning signs in addition to the rest of what you've described above.)

Good luck!!
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:16 PM on September 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

I don't have friends. That's why I spend so much time on the net. My family - really only my mom - is in Georgia and would be livid. I don't think he knows how scary this stuff is for me. I don't think he really means to be taking advantage of my credit either. I'm not going to leave him over this. All I want to do is help him find a job.

Fr0zen, I'm really sorry you've ended up in this terrible situation, but you're going to feel so very much better out of it. Dump him, tell him to come back when he has a job. You'll feel great that he's no longer spending your money, and might even meet some grown-up while he's on the beat.
posted by bonaldi at 8:18 PM on September 25, 2006

I've just read your guy's comment on your other thread:
my advice is to relax, and not worry about it. theres not much you can do to change whats going to happen, and worrying isnt going to solve your problems. Be honest and dont worry

listen: I know guys like this, and I've done similar things at a far less serious level -- he is taking the utter, utter piss. Calming you down about the problem is his way of solving it! He thinks that if he can stop you stressing about it, then it's not worth stressing about.

Every time you say "It's bad!" and he says "no it's not, calm down" ... when you calm down, you make him feel like he's right, like it's not a big problem. It is. You're right. It's bad. Throw him out, as soon as humanly possible, after locking up all the valuables.
posted by bonaldi at 8:23 PM on September 25, 2006

Listen to scody. Please, please, please listen to scody.

And ask yourself: What are you getting out of this relationship? It sounds like less than nothing--$25K less than nothing, and a guy who has no concept of the reality of that situation and who isn't willing to help you change it.

Good luck.
posted by fuzzbean at 8:27 PM on September 25, 2006

This guy's posting history here is fascinating. All about cars and video games. Nothing about 'how can I find a job in a new city?'. Nothing about 'how can I contribute to a new relationship while looking for my dream job?'. Absolutely nothing.

Yep. He's a real keeper, alright.

Fr0zen, ask yourself this question and give it some serious thought..... Would I be better off WITH or WITHOUT him?

Please consider what everyone here is telling you. You came to us for advice. Listen to what's being said. Could so many people really be wrong?
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 8:39 PM on September 25, 2006

You're apparently dating my old friend Sam. Sam was a great friend, back when. Always around during the day, always up for fun, always had a little extra money. Rarely had a job. Always dreaming of how he was going to get rich.

(Get this, he wanted to program video games. So he signed up for an ITT/Peterson class [loaned money, of course]. I found a note in his car he wrote to his then enabler, and it went something like "I've been here for hours and we haven't played a game yet." He wanted to "program games" without considering that it might actually, gasp, involve hard work that wasn't much fun.)

Sam was good looking, with a great smile and confident manner that made a lot of women swoon. He NEVER had to leave a bar alone, if he didn't want to. He was always living with some attractive, intelligent woman who I would have given my right hand (come to think of it, a very apt saying) to date. They would let him move in, and they were clearly hopelessly infatuated.

He'd move in with some great babe, give her a promise ring (which she paid for), and two days later be enthusing about the waitress he had a nooner with. (This never struck him as wrong, but let him even think she was looking at some other guy...) His solution to money problems (and they were generally her problem)? Pretend they didn't exist, or his ultimate solution: declare bankruptcy! Everything is free, then! He drove their cars without insurance, ate their food, watched their cable TV, blah, blah.

When things got rough (ie, when the scales had fallen from her eyes or she demanded he show a bit of responsibility), he'd go shack up with the waitress and start the cycle again.

Sam. Super nice guy. Not intentionally evil. Just utterly and completely juvenile and utterly and completely irresponsible--and possibly sociopathic, as he couldn't see anything wrong with what he was doing. Every woman who he left probably has fond memories of their time together but I'm sure EVERY SINGLE ONE is damn glad he's gone.

Wake up, fr0zen. Please.
posted by maxwelton at 9:02 PM on September 25, 2006 [11 favorites]

After my parents divorced, my mom never dated, didn't hang out with anyone other than family and was generally not well. She eventually got a decent, if boring, job, paid off the debts from her marriage, and is basically happy today.

My father went right out and started dating women. Eventually he ended up with a mentally unstable woman who sucked him dry, all the while telling us she was the nicest person in the world when she wasn't completely insane. The third time he caught her cheating on him, he kicked her out. A week later, $50k in debt, he committed suicide.

This is about far more than money. You are, quite simply, in a life-sucking relationship that you need to get out of. Now.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:21 PM on September 25, 2006 [4 favorites]

Woah, hold the phone.

This is the guy? This guy?

A few of the people responding to this thread—myself included—are probably feeling at least somewhat sympathetic to your boyfriend (though clearly the minority). I've been in that boat before, and it sucks not having a job and feeling like you're never going to get one, but at the same time feeling like any 8-5 McJob is going to completely sap any energy you might put towards finding a "good" job.

Then I saw the AskMe threads he's posted.

Your boyfriend needs to take some responsibility for his future, and potentially your (plural) future together. He needs to drop his really expensive fucking hobbies and get on the ball. If he was spending your money to take GED training courses, or spending it driving around knocking on doors, shit, even spending it on computer crap so he can print resumes, apply for jobs.. whatever... well, that I could understand. But what in God's fucking Green Earth is he doing spending your hard-earned dough on his fucking ricer hobby?

And you. What in the hell are you doing? You need to stop enabling his shitty behavior. You need to talk with someone who knows you and loves you—parents, old friends, siblings—someone who will smack you upside the head.

What possible rationale could he give you for car parts? Or track costs? "I need $200 to sign up for racing school so I can become a famous drifter... Just wait until I get that new turbo installed! Honda will be begging to sponser me!"

This is complete, unadulterated horseshit. You simply do NOT have the money to be able to afford this crap.

Ramen. Roof. Those are your expenses for the next two years. Maybe, if you're really lucky, it'll only be two years. Do you think the credit agencies are fucking around? How much more debt do you think you can dig yourself into before they bring down the hammer? What's going to happen when you have to sell your possessions to pay the interest? Are you thinking about declaring bankruptcy? What happens after that? You'll still have bills to pay. Good luck getting credit after your cards are cancelled. How about rent? Is his car big enough to sleep in? Seriously, at what fucking point do you say "Enough is Enough!"?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:28 PM on September 25, 2006 [12 favorites]

Is it actually his car, or is that in your name, too, fr0zen?

I'm not going to leave him over this.

What would he have to do to convince you to leave? He's just trashing your credit and making you feel bad about your good impulses now. There's always a chance it could get worse.

All I want to do is help him find a job.

I think you need to consider the distinct possibility that nothing you do will help him get a job.

Do you think he'll hang around when your cards are maxed, and he can't have videogames or car mods (on your car, no less!) or track days?

Look, I don't know what you lost when you signed away the house you had with your husband, but in this case, I think you'd be lucky to walk away with the debt even if that means losing the car. This kid is not a grownup, and you should not be indulging him like a spoiled child.
posted by caitlinb at 9:50 PM on September 25, 2006

I would like to retract my earlier comment.
I am NOT your boyfriend.
If xteraco is in fact the boyfriend we are discussing, then yeah, you've got bigger issues than just finding him a job.

That said, if you are determined to stick with it, the best strategy may be just doing it yourself.
Sign him up for the GED class, send in resumes yourself, bring home applications from every retail store you pass through.

Your question was "Help someone find a job without pressuring them?".
I'm afraid the only answer to that is "Do it for them".
posted by madajb at 10:49 PM on September 25, 2006

God almighty. I don't usually comment on threads like this, but this is just too sorry for words.

Here is my advice to you: Cut your losses. Start thinking about how to cut your financial, emotional, and social losses, and then do it. Right now.
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:04 AM on September 26, 2006

Wanna be me in 15 years? I don't recommend it.
posted by b33j at 2:39 AM on September 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Forgive me-I have to ask. It's probably nothing, but: are you by any chance missing a diamond tennis bracelet? Because someone with the handle "xteraco" sold one on eBay recently, shipped from Manchester, CT.

I hope and expect that there's an innocent explanation. I shouldn't have been snooping, but curiosity is a powerful force. Where would he obtain a diamond bracelet to sell, after months of being broke and unemployed? I was thinking maybe he was selling it on yours or someone else's behalf, or something. It doesn't really add up though.

I'm not jumping to any conclusions, as much as I'm prone to it. It just seems sketchy.
posted by evariste at 2:50 AM on September 26, 2006 [4 favorites]

There are several small things in your last comment that make me all sorts of sad. He's manipulating you - emotionally, financially, mentally and you are seemingly afraid of him being mad at you or not talking to you. Fr0zen, you need to lose him and get out of this (emotionally, financially, mentally) abusive relationship.

You've stated you were unhappy with your job, calling it crappy. You've stated you were unhappy with CT, calling it expensive and saying that its difficult to live there. Its never too late to pull up stakes and start over somewhere else - new state, new job, new friends, an adult boyfriend.

If you need to talk to someone, I would bet your health insurance covers some visits with a therapist. I think that'd be really great for you because you're seemingly confused/tired/scared/worried right now and likely have a lot you want to talk to someone about - aside from your finances.

You deserve better than Federline, and I think you know this. Stop worrying about him, and start worrying about you. He's made it pretty clear that his wants and needs come before consideration for you, so now it's time to reverse the tables and take charge. I believe in you.
posted by jerseygirl at 4:26 AM on September 26, 2006

I'm insomniac the last few days, which is why I'm up at this hour.

You need friends, fr0zen. Friends are people who care about you and have no ulterior motive for it, not even blood relation. They care about you because they know you and love who you are. You need friends who can tell you things like "you have spinach between your front teeth" or "you need to dump your boyfriend". Things that you don't want to hear, but are good for you.

I know it's probably really scary to think about cutting xteraco off, and it probably seems really cruel; especially because you see a lot of promise in him. But you have to realize that he has a vested interest in maintaining your current situation. Another thing you have to realize is that you are blocking his growth. He will not become a man as long as he has his mommy fr0zen to bail him out of his problems.

I think it's better for you to be apart from men who are romantically interested in you, for a while. Above I was sarcastically claiming I want to be your boyfriend, but the message I was really trying to get across is that you deserve better. Whether better is someone else entirely, or whether better is a xteraco that finally got his shit together—that's really up to you. But this is an intolerable situation.

Honey, you just got a divorce, and the next thing that you did was to get in an even-bigger mess. Please care about yourself enough to draw lines in the sand. To create limits. To create space for yourself to grow.

You need to be single for a while, and find yourself. You will not find yourself in men. You will definitely not find yourself in guys, who are something different than, and inferior to, men. xteraco is definitely a guy, but he's not a man.

You love him and you care about him, but the way you show your love is counterproductive to his own growth. You need to give him some tough love, if you really care about him. Right now your behavior is self-indulgent and overly optimistic. It's self-indulgent in the sense that you not only don't want to "pressure" him, you don't even want him to feel pressured. You're trying to escape from something in your psyche. Escaping from yourself never works. You know why? Because you are always there and will always be able to find you. Where do you think you're going, toots?

I have a friend who is a lot like you. She makes every excuse in the book for her guy. It doesn't matter what her friends tell her, she will agree with them one minute about what a loser the guy she's enabling is, and the next minute, she'll be forgiving him for fucking some stranger or stealing her stuff or disappearing for weeks with an incredibly lame explanation for what he was doing.

The Bible says that when you spare the rod, you spoil the child. There's truth to that.

It's completely unambiguous to me that you need separation and solitude. It's also win-win. If a separation from xteraco becomes permanent estrangement, that means he is not ready to rise to the position. If it leads to him growing up and becoming a man worth your time, then you've just done him the biggest favor anyone has ever done him.

Please think about what you're doing.

I think you're depressed and insecure. You're being a doormat. Have you ever laughed at another girl because she's a doormat for some nogoodnik? Some complete piece of shit? Ever feel sorry for her? Ever feel superior because you know better? You're that doormat now, sweetheart. But you have a good heart and I'm almost certain you have a pretty good brain to go along with it.

No one should accumulate $22000 in new credit card debt in 5 months. That is absolutely insane! I think that's the main reason so many people here are reacting so powerfully.

That is an INSANE amount of money. INSANE.

Look. Do you want to have his baby? Do you want to marry him? Your hopes are currently about an order of magnitude higher than his. He hopes to keep eating for free and finally figure out what to do with his life.

What do you want out of life? Why don't you take some time alone without him to figure that out? I'm afraid that you're learning all of life's lessons the wrong way: by making bad decisions and taking the flak. It's YOUR credit he's ruining. Do you know what credit is? It's reputation. In ancient societies, the gossip of your neighbors could ruin your life. In modern society, it's credit, among other things. This is no joke.

You know how there's a dating website called "plentyoffish"? I've never even actually looked at it, but I LOVE the name. It's so empowering! There are plenty of fish in the sea. This one, you can throw it back in. There are billions of men on earth. How many of them could be your soulmate?

You don't need to be with some guy right after getting a divorce. This is the time to learn yourself, gain confidence and a sense of self-worth, meet new people, and make friends. It is not the time to get twenty five grand deeper in debt. It is not the time to be some immature loser guy's mom.

With love and wistfulness,

Me, some anonymous jerk on the internet who wishes you well.
posted by evariste at 5:06 AM on September 26, 2006 [14 favorites]

Response by poster: (I told him to sell the bracelet, I don't wear jewelry and honestly didn't even know I had it til I moved).

We had a huge talk last night. He promises to stick to the budget. I think he will do it. I'd told him how much debt we were in, but I don't think I was pushy enough to make it clear until last night. He wants to sell the car and he even canceled some plans he had this weekend.

He's also willing to submit his resume to every single job ad I give him. He's willing to try. We are on a budget of 75$ per week for food, etc. When one of my loans comes due it will be 35$. It will not be easy, but we can do it. I think he finally understands the situation. Last night was really hard and gave us both a lot to think about.

I'm always out to please and he dreams. I try to make the dreams come true when I can't really. He doesn't expect me to, but I tried anyway *sigh.* I will not spend any more money other than food for us the cats and the guinea pigs. Anything left over in the bank account at the end of the month will go towards paying off my highest interest card. The next few weeks will be rough, getting used to everything, but I think we can do it - actually we have no choice.

A cheaper apartment isn't really possible. I've been to the realtor and she laughed. Half my salary a month goes to pay rent. My car (not the civic) is no where near paid off - I got it years ago when I was married, but I want to keep it because I don't know that trading it in would do me much good with it's age/value. I'd prolly still owe in the end.

After last night, I think we both understand each other much better - hurt each other as well, but I think that just had to happen. He's not the slimeball so many of you think he is. I'm not even thirty and had to be an old lady/wife (read maid/intertainment when hubby wasn't playing WoW all night) at 18 and stayed in that situation for a long time. He's just going to have to help me take responsibility for our money and it won't be easy on either of us. He swears things and money aren't the most important to him and I do believe him. We'll sell the car if we have to, we can stop spending on food, we'll find free things to do on the weekends.

Cards are getting frozen in the freezer tonight, both mine and his. Budget is being printed out and hung on the door. Everytime we buy something it will using my debit card and get deducted from the budget chart. Cats, piggies, food for us come first. Everything else will just have to wait.
posted by fr0zen at 5:24 AM on September 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: And yeah, I figure I'm codependent and I was diagnosed with depression at 14. I understand what you all are saying and I thank you for it. I can't talk to my mom because I do no right in her eyes when it comes to relationships/money - not that she can talk (divorced 4 times, seemingly on her way to marriage 5).

For once in my life, I'm going to make someone else stick to a plan I made. I'm not gonna wuss out. If he can't take it, then he will have to leave.
posted by fr0zen at 5:32 AM on September 26, 2006 [5 favorites]

OK. Good luck, fr0zen.

I hope he now realizes that he needs to start bringing in some money, by hook or by crook, and moving proactively into his future, rather than trying to wish it into existence.

I believe you can make it work. You have a good heart and, I think, you have pluck. I wish you the best, with or without him. Just don't have illusions. All the illusions in the world plus a dollar buys you a cup of coffee.

xteraco: appreciate this woman and honor her. She's the best thing that ever happened to you. Don't let this all be in vain. You've put her through a lot of shit, emotionally and financially, at a time in her life when she was already really, really vulnerable. It's time to step up and perform and reward her faith in you. Be a man, don't be a dependant or a deadbeat.
posted by evariste at 5:34 AM on September 26, 2006

For once in my life, I'm going to make someone else stick to a plan I made. I'm not gonna wuss out. If he can't take it, then he will have to leave.


I believe in you.
posted by evariste at 5:39 AM on September 26, 2006

BTW, here's a job anyone can get that pays pretty good, and he doesn't even have to leave the house. Maybe he can start with that.
posted by evariste at 5:46 AM on September 26, 2006 [3 favorites]

And here's some money management software based on the envelope method. I bet you'll find it really useful as you start putting your financial lives back in order. Mac and PC versions available.

Good luck sweetie.
posted by evariste at 5:51 AM on September 26, 2006 [2 favorites]

I'm not gonna wuss out. If he can't take it, then he will have to leave.

Good for you, and I'm sure glad you said it—until I read that, I was thinking this was one of the saddest threads I'd read on MeFi. Please do stick to your guns; a lot of us are wishing you well.
posted by languagehat at 6:26 AM on September 26, 2006

Good luck Fr0zen! We're all wishing you well. I am really really glad you had a good serious talk with him and have a plan going forward. I am also glad you have a plan B, too, if things don't work out.

One last thought -- try transferring your existing credit card balances to 0% APR cards, and don't use the cards at all. That will help you pay down the principle instead of paying interest to someone.
posted by jerseygirl at 6:51 AM on September 26, 2006

I was thinking this was one of the saddest threads I'd read on MeFi.

Me too. I woke up thinking about you and am glad to find you have a path forward. Stay strong. This can be done.
posted by FuzzyVerde at 6:53 AM on September 26, 2006

Response by poster: I don't know that I can get 0% cards. I'm using such a high percentage of my available credit that I couldn't get a refinance on my car loan. But I will apply for any 0% that I see. We're putting our cards in teh freezer officially tonight.
posted by fr0zen at 6:58 AM on September 26, 2006

One other thought on the boyfriend / job thing. Clearly xteraco knows cars. Why doesn't he get a job as a mechanic? That IS a job that can pay decently and he clearly has a lot of experience in tearing cars apart and putting them back together.

Also glad to hear that you have a plan of action moving forward!

You mentioned that you don't have many friends and that folks on the net are your friends. Well, we told you what you needed to hear - that your concerns were founded and your worries are justified. And maybe we told you also what you needed to hear about your boyfriend, but that you had a hard time telling yourself - that its time for him to stop acting like a boyfriend and begin acting like a partner. I hope you will use this thread to continue to inspire you (as I suspect the way forward will not be easy) and that you will reach out to this community when you need us.
posted by zia at 7:23 AM on September 26, 2006

Stick to your guns, Fr0zen! Do not renig on the budget. Not by a penny. Keep on him to find a job... now. This is your life and your future we're talking about here... the rest is just details.

Stay strong!
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 7:31 AM on September 26, 2006

You're right to definitely give it a try and see what you can get. Here's a good link comparing the card offers. There are plenty that offer no annual fees, no transfer fees, etc. You may be able to renegotiate with a current card (say you already have a BoA Visa Platinum and they have a 0% APR offer). If they give you a hard time about renegotiating your account to a 0%, tell them you intend to transfer to a 0% APR elsewhere then and they may lose you as a customer. Whatever you do -- do not spend on a 0% card and do not be late at all with payments. It can kill the 0% introductory rate and send you into a crazy interest rate.

Cards you can't transfer out to 0%, call up the companies, tell them you've been a good customer paying on time, how you have enjoyed being member for X amount of time, and ask if they can lower your rate for you. If they hedge, threaten to take your business elsewhere.

Cards that you transfer the balance out of (as long as they don't have an annual fee) leave the credit lines open, write on the back of the card "Do Not Use!!" in black sharpie and keep them frozen. They become open available credit and should help your debt-to-available-credit ratio.

I stand by the freezer advice. I did it to clean up some smaller debt for some future financial plans we have in the next few years and its been great. They're out of your wallet, they're difficult to get to spur-of-the-moment, and any time you think of using them you're reminded of why you put it in the freezer in the first place.

Good luck and feel free to call upon us if you need any more advice!
posted by jerseygirl at 7:38 AM on September 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you all. You've all given such amazing advice and support. I really needed the support. I appreciate every little bit of advice - even that that I don't agree with :)
posted by fr0zen at 7:42 AM on September 26, 2006

Good luck, fr0zen! Be strong. You can take charge of this.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 8:05 AM on September 26, 2006

Good luck. You can do this. You're worth it.
posted by scody at 8:40 AM on September 26, 2006

Good luck, fr0zen. Stay strong. And let us know how things work out.
posted by timeistight at 8:59 AM on September 26, 2006

all of you are right, i take advantage of gullable women, and use there credit cards to fund my rice mobile, 22,000 all mine, none of it went on anything but me heeeellll yeeeeah biatches!

fuck you all, metafilter pussies
posted by xteraco at 12:30 PM on September 26, 2006 [13 favorites]

Xteraco, the woman you love is hugely in debt (partly because of you) and very stressed about it. I think you have bigger fish to fry than worrying about what a bunch of invisible strangers think of you.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:41 PM on September 26, 2006

i got it covered, all i gotta do is get 1 more part for my car and it'll all be ok
posted by xteraco at 1:26 PM on September 26, 2006

no seriously, were working out a deal, where i pay her back what she spent on me, and she's sending me on my merry way... i'll probably have to sell the car, but thats the fair thing to do
posted by xteraco at 1:31 PM on September 26, 2006

i just had to spam it up, coz i hate metafilter pussies
posted by xteraco at 1:36 PM on September 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Or maybe you could, you know, get a job.
posted by timeistight at 1:39 PM on September 26, 2006

And I don't think a boy who lives off he's girlfriend while he plays with his toys she be calling anyone else names.
posted by timeistight at 1:41 PM on September 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Fuck. I'm not "sending you on your merry way." I told you that a hundred times. I love you more than anything. I didn't think about people matching you up to me. I'm sorry for that.

The debt is most definitely my fault, too. I've never denied it. I never wanted to hurt you. I know I should have spoken to you first. I didn't think. I was upset and I didn't have friends to turn to. If I'd known, I would have deleted you from my profile. I'm sorry.

For the rest of you: Paying the stuff back is the least of my worries at the moment. I want the love of my life back. I know he'll help pay for the stuff, I never doubted it. All I wanted to know was how to help him find a job. I thank you all for your advice, although I believe most of you have the completely wrong opinion of him.

You guys don't know him, that's the point of metafilter...I love him dearly and will never stop. I love him for the wonderful person he is. He has encouraged me to live life and do things I never thought I would be capable of doing. I don't want our life together to end over a metafilter post, that I just about sent him last night.

For people who want to learn from my mistakes:
* Never overreact to a joke (it was a money joke that i took seriously)
* Talk to your significant other before posting to metafilter about your relationship.
* Don't continue to overreact as the stress progresses.
* Never, ever stop trying (take that how you need).
* Most of all, stand up for your lover when they get bashed on the net.
posted by fr0zen at 1:43 PM on September 26, 2006 [2 favorites]

Oh, jesus, fr0zen. Can't you see what he's doing? How come you're appologizing when he's the one who won't get a job to help dig you both out of your troubles? Why is it you and not him trying to get him a job?

This guy's an almost illiterate high-school dropout who's holding out for a dream job as a games programmer while the two of you sink into debt. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!
posted by timeistight at 1:52 PM on September 26, 2006 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I think xteraco has a really good point. I think that its best that Frozen and him work together. I think the advice given on how they can work together is the right thing to do. We really don't know their circumstances. It is clear that xteraco has picked up his life and moved to her location, giving up his job in the process. That's a tall order and a sacrifice that has not been credited by the posters here.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:56 PM on September 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Most of all, stand up for your lover when they get bashed on the net.

Sweetheart, you keep learning the wrong lesson here. Stand up for yourself when you're getting bashed -- literally or figuratively -- in your own life. Did you notice how the more you revealed about the situation, the more we all reacted strongly? Because you're describing what many, many of us have either lived through or witnessed in our own lives. You have described a leech who has taken advantage of you at one of the most vulnerable moments in your life. The "love of your life" does not sit around refusing to work, playing with cars and video games, while you bust your ass and go into debt. Trust me, no matter how good he made you feel getting out of your marriage, no matter how much fun he can be or how good the sex is, no matter how secretly terrified you are of being alone... don't sell yourself so short. Just don't.

Notice how you went from being very strong and clear this morning back to practicaly groveling here. Why? Because he got a little upset? Because he turned it around on you and basically said "she's kicking me out, folks!" Well boo-fucking-hoo. fr0zen, I want you to notice what he did, because I bet it's not the first time he's done it, and it sure as hell won't be the last. He turned himself into the victim, and you rushed right into reassure him, and to defend him against all of us mean people who "just don't know him." Notice how the topic is him, now -- certainly not you and not your own well-being, but not even how he's going to get his GED or a fucking job.

Just open your eyes, fr0zen, and see what is right in front of you. True, none of us actually know him -- but from everything you've described, and from everything he's shown of himself here, we've got a damn strong hunch. You don't have a boyfriend, you have a very large, hungry baby. We all believe you deserve better than that. But nothing will really change until you believe it.
posted by scody at 2:05 PM on September 26, 2006 [29 favorites]

There's something to be said for gauging someone based on their reactions. One partner here has posted heartfelt, thought-out details of her personal life and laid it all out and been more than gracious about it. The other throws off a quick one-liners and a "fuck you" to the crowd.
posted by mikeh at 2:41 PM on September 26, 2006

evariste, I think that's a joke; see his comment immediately afterward.

LobsterMitten-yes, I saw that after posting, thanks. However, my reaction to xteraco in general continues to be "Oh my fucking God."

What the hell, fr0zen. I went to sleep with such high hopes for you, and woke up to have them dashed. How can you have all these "lessons learned"? Nobody here needs to be learning lessons except that baboon living in your house.

You have a master's degree. Someone with a room temperature IQ could see right through xteraco. His reactions and behavior are the opposite of inspiring, they're depressing and downright infuriating. I mean, I feel like kicking his ass.

I could really enjoy beating the shit out of him. That would really feel right and just. But can you blame a mosquito for drinking your blood, or a snake for biting you? That is what mosquitos and snakes do. That is their nature. And xteraco is just doing what lowlifes like xteraco have been doing for all time. That is his nature. He will not change. What has to change is you. You have to respect yourself and you have to stop making excuses for this flea. The guy's a vandal, and he's vandalizing your life. Even his writing looks like vandalism.

He has absolutely no sense of self-awareness, any more than any other garden-variety sociopathic lowlife. I'm sure he's extremely charming in person, but he really does not believe on any fundamental level that what he's doing is wrong, and he lacks empathy. You look in his eyes and see something that isn't there, because you do have empathy. There's nothing behind those eyes, fr0zen. People like this aren't fully human the way the rest of us are. He doesn't have that part of his brain that looks at you and sees himself in you, the way you look at him and see something you recognize and want to love and protect. Look at his responses in this thread, and his questions. He displays a complete lack of self-awareness, and an even worse lack of awareness of the effect his actions have on others.

You're never gonna turn this frog into a prince. He wasn't a prince to begin with; you've just been kissing a frog this whole time.

Please listen to what scody said; it's so important:

Just open your eyes, fr0zen, and see what is right in front of you.
posted by evariste at 3:35 PM on September 26, 2006 [8 favorites]

Metafilter: You guys don't know him, that's the point of metafilter.

Both of these people make me very, very sad.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 3:56 PM on September 26, 2006

fr0zen, take a look at what you're doing. You're not standing up for yourself, and you really should. You have nothing to lose by getting rid of this creep. Sorry, that's harsh, but look at how disrespectful he is toward you upthread. Sure he says he's joking, but this is a very serious matter and what he said is far from funny. What he's done to you could take years to undo, and that's just the financial part of it. You're too smart and nice to put up with this.
posted by smich at 4:17 PM on September 26, 2006

well, no i dont have a degree, and i dont capatalize my "i's" so i guess that makes me illiterate (and i cant spell)... i dont have a college degree, and no job... if i appear to be inhuman now, will i be more human if i get my ged, pay fr0zens debt, and get a degree?

i didnt max out her cards, WE maxed em, i didnt know they were maxed, but i knew we were in financial trouble.. i've been looking for a job all along, but didnt wanna take just anything at 7.00 an hour... now that i realize just how severe the financial problems are, i realize that i dont have the leeway to pick and choose.

you all are a bunch of idiots, so ready and willing to tell two people that they arent really in love, and so ready and willing to watch them seperate, it makes me sick.... you're like those types of people who goto those websites to look at mutalated bodys and shit... fuckin sick
posted by xteraco at 4:22 PM on September 26, 2006

Response by poster: Jumping to conclusions about a couple you don't know and saying hurtful things just isn't helpful.

He's not a monster! He has been actively looking for work since he moved here. He left a good job to be with me. It's not like he's never worked and never wanted to. I didn't realize me asking how many resumes he submitted was any of my business (I figured it was nagging), I know now based on some of the advice given here and what xteraco and I have talked about - that it's just fine for me to ask.

This thread has come so close to destroying our relationship through misunderstandings and his and my insecurities. (somehow evariste you and i were suspected in a sordid affair for a few minutes). But in the end I think it has strengthened it. He didn't realize the dire financial straights we were in - I just didn't make it clear that we have no money for food much less for anything else. We're going to do the budget thing.

There is even a lead on a helpdesk job for him :)

I truly just wanted to know if I was overreacting in being worried about our financial situation (I now know I wasn't and how to deal with it - explain and budget). I wanted to know how to help him find a job (I now know that pressure is fine and asking questions of him is not accusing him of being lazy, offering to help is not implying that he's incapable).

He and I have done so much talking and crying. We understand one another much better now. We are both so emotional and jump to conclusions so quickly. We do love one another, but have both been hurt in relationships so that we assume things that are happening in ours that are not. Me nagging, for example, he didn't see it as nagging, but I'd been accused numerous times of it by others before.

(Urgh. There is no way for me to ever encourage him to speak politely/correctly on anything even remotely resembling a forum. If he really was this inarticulate irl, I wouldn't be able to deal. We did meet online and he spoke in full sentences - I swear! Forum type situations just bring out the worst.)
posted by fr0zen at 4:22 PM on September 26, 2006

So, how 'bout getting that GED test scheduled yet? It costs all of 13 bucks, and there are about 15 different dates to take the test till the end of the year. If Prince Charming's actually serious about doing his part and if it really would open the door to a few more job opportunities, he'll take the test at the first possible opportunity. If he ducks it, well, I'm sure there will be a very, very, very manipulative good excuse.

you're like those types of people who goto those websites to look at mutalated bodys and shit

Lucky for you, xteraco, I don't think there's a logic portion on the exam.
posted by scody at 4:34 PM on September 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

i wouldnt need to manipulate her, all i'd have to do is say something like "i dont feel like doing it"
posted by xteraco at 4:36 PM on September 26, 2006

i wouldnt need to manipulate her, all i'd have to do is say something like "i dont feel like doing it"

...and she'd fall for it, right? Is that what you're copping to? That you slack off and duck your responsibilities, and she lets you get away with it because you don't feel like doing something? Like how you didn't feel like getting a job?
posted by scody at 4:38 PM on September 26, 2006 [3 favorites]

i shouldnt have to get a job if i dont want one!
posted by xteraco at 4:40 PM on September 26, 2006 [2 favorites]

and by now, all of you should realize that me and fr0zen are setting here shaking our heads at the dumb responces to my randome fuel for the flames, we did learn some things from some of the posts, but its gone to far

she's actually quite upset, because she didnt come here saying i didnt want a job, she was wanting to help me find one, help being the key word, meaning i'm looking, and she wants to assist , then people jump on here thinking i dont want a job, and all these other thigns... crazyness

also we appreciate the budget advice, but no matter what anybody says, were not splitting up
posted by xteraco at 4:44 PM on September 26, 2006

i got it covered, all i gotta do is get 1 more part for my car and it'll all be ok

Ok, am I the only person feeling like they're being put on here? Did someone hijack xteraco's account, or are you really this fucking delusional. No. It can't be, I'm sorry, obviously I've just been had by some emotional con. Because no one—not outside of bad movies or terrible trashy novels—no one could be this goddamned delusional.

One more part for your car?

You don't fucking get it, do you?

YOU do not have the money. SHE does not have the money. Both of you together? STILL DON'T HAVE THE FUCKING MONEY. Stop thinking about your fucking things for a split second and read this:
I'm always out to please and he dreams. I try to make the dreams come true when I can't really. He doesn't expect me to, but I tried anyway *sigh.*
You do see what you're doing to this person? Do you honestly care so solely about yourself that you can't see you are really fucking up another person's life here?

Now, honestly, I can't understand it, but then, I'm not her. But if you give a rats ass about her at all, you will stop thinking about your shit and start thinking about that "bullshit sell-out life" known as working for the man. Yeah, it sucks not being recognized for the genius that I'm sure you are. Fantastic. Problem is, there's no reason anyone should ever believe it unless you prove it to them through your actions.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:47 PM on September 26, 2006 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: xteraco just took all of our credit cards and cut them to little bits. I put my one card that I'm keeping in a ziplock baggie filled with water into the freezer. He understands the financial situation now. (He agreed to cut up the cards before he came across my post). The post bugs him, but we're working through it. I'm used to not being in a relationship where I can ask for help that's why I came here. I have to realize that I'm not alone in this relationship. This post and the arguments about the nastiness here that ensued have helped our relationship - very strange, but true.
posted by fr0zen at 4:58 PM on September 26, 2006

people jump on here thinking i dont want a job

Bullshit. You admitted it. You admitted you didn't want to take a $7/hr. job (which would have made you $1120/month full-time before taxes -- you think that might have helped out with the rent a teeny bit, huh?), despite the fact that you were both living off her credit -- which you've also admitted to knowing, even if she didn't show you the full extent of it.

But guess what, kiddo, taking crappy jobs to pay the rent until a better job comes along is what grownups do. It's what I did for years till I finally built the career I wanted -- I washed dishes, waited tables, cleaned toilets, and changed diapers when I had to in order to make the rent. (And I did some of that with a master's degree -- so don't go telling me for one fucking second that waiting tables is beneath you.)

You're such a hero, now that you know the score? Prove it. Man up and prove it. You can register for your GED tonight and you can go down to McDonald's tomorrow and get a job. Anything short of that is hot air, and absolute proof positive that you're playing your girlfriend for a sucker.
posted by scody at 4:59 PM on September 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

that was a joke, about "one more part for my car"

Ah. Was this Ask Metafilter question posted by xteraco also a joke, then? Has this been an elaborate, months-long piss-taking at our expense, or is this really some guy who has spent the past two months tricking out his MUGEN-POWER rice monster? Tell me you spent a grand on a big Wing to keep it "aerodynamically stabilized when you're pulling high-G's, yo", and the joke will be complete.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:16 PM on September 26, 2006

Response by poster: I was. I was frustrated that so many weren't listening. It's not that he wasn't looking for a job or was willy-nilly running up my credit cards. I didn't explain well enough to him our financial situation and he *was/is* looking for work.
posted by fr0zen at 5:18 PM on September 26, 2006

xteraco, have you tried looking for a job as a car mechanic? With your mechanical skills, which I'm presuming you have based on the posts you made about your car, it sounds like that is a job that you could get that would pay pretty well and it is a high skill job that you could start full time and then scale back on as you do programming and other more fun things.
posted by zia at 5:18 PM on September 26, 2006

Zia, that's great advice, but usually you either become a professional mechanic from one of two paths: either your dad owned a garage and his dad before him and his dad before him, or you go to trade school to become a real Mechanic. The former path is preferred, the latter path—which I'm going to assume is the case here—is going to cost money they don't have.

Maybe he could get something—anything—in the meantime, save up and in a couple of years, when some of the bills are paid down, go to school (part time, naturally) until he gets his degree to which $25/hr. and up is the base salary. But this will take time. Years. You think Romeo and Juliet are going to be around that long? Be honest.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:27 PM on September 26, 2006

thanks zia for the advice, i'll have a look and see what i can find :)

at evariste "I could really enjoy beating the shit out of him. That would really feel right and just."

well tommorow is your lucky day, punk ass piece of shit, i'll be at the Shaws supermarket in Manchester CT, 8:30am, buying soda with fr0zens money, and guess what, she'll be there to, so she can watch you get your ass kicked!....

i'm not into spoilers either
posted by xteraco at 5:28 PM on September 26, 2006 [11 favorites]

Whose names are on these credit cards that you cut up? How is the debt distributed among all of the cards? I assume these aren't joint accounts.
posted by turaho at 5:31 PM on September 26, 2006

Jesus. MeTa.
posted by interrobang at 5:32 PM on September 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

I'm guessing xteraco is quite young...fr0zen can't be much older, but with a master's she's got to be in her mid-20's, I would think. So some of this is probably just people being young and stupid, on both sides.

A quick google shows he paid $600 for the car, and it looks like maybe $2000 more has been dumped into it, if the parts list is accurate. Stupid spending when you don't have anything (and it's not your money to start with) to be sure, but which begs the question, what HAVE you guys been spending $1000 a week on?

I still think someone needs their butt dumped until they figure out that most adults need a job to get through life--but what do I know, I'm just a metafilter pussy.*

* PS, the "internet tough guy" job has already been filled by a legion of angry 14-year-olds--and it pays squat.
posted by maxwelton at 5:40 PM on September 26, 2006

The short answer is, at five months you have to start pressuring.
posted by drezdn at 5:49 PM on September 26, 2006

if i appear to be inhuman now, will i be more human if i get my ged, pay fr0zens debt, and get a degree?

In a word, YES!

It's absolutely amazing to me, xteraco, that you've felt no responsibility toward any of the bills and expenses of your living in Fr0zen's apartment while eating her food, using her A/C, cable, internet, hot water, etc, etc, etc. How could you possibly live there for going on SIX MONTHS now and feel absolutely no obligation to doing something... anything to bring in some money - aside from selling off her jewelry on eBay, that is.

And what's the hold up on taking the GED test? Not enough opportunities? BS! Cost too much? Wrong again!

How do you ever intend to pay back the debt you've incurred and caused over the past six months? I'd love to know your plan, if you'd like to share.

Sometimes love is not enough......
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 7:21 PM on September 26, 2006

(somehow evariste you and i were suspected in a sordid affair for a few minutes)

I missed that little gem the first time around.

Yeah, baseless accusations of infidelity are the controlling sociopath's stock-in-trade. Notice how that puts you on the defensive and puts him in the victim position?

He's breaking your defenses and sense-of-self down so he can control you forever. Have a nice day.
posted by evariste at 8:06 PM on September 26, 2006 [5 favorites]

Dear xteraco,

If you actually take one of the GED tests that are offered in your area in the upcoming month, I will personally send you the $13 to cover the cost, via PayPal or US Mail or how ever else you want to recive the reimbursement. No, scratch that, I'll send you $20, and the extra $7 can be a graduation present -- presuming you pass.

All you have to do is provide us with proof that you have taken the GED test. You can do this by scanning an enrollment form or receipt or official results letter or some other type of substanative and verifiable proof that you have taken the test. Then post the resulting images to the Internet. Or you can e-mail them to me and I'll post them to Flickr for you, if you want. Your choice.

I make this special limited-time offer because I wouldn't want to presume your profound inability to get out there and work is due to sloth and greed and when it might only be due to poverty. Therefore, let this be the last good faith assumption anyone at MeFi makes about you, and please take the test, and my money, with our apologies and thanks.

Or not. Again, your choice. E-mail's in my profile if you got the pics.


Dear fr0zen,


posted by Asparagirl at 8:14 PM on September 26, 2006 [38 favorites]

Fr0zen, I'll try to comment in answer to your stated question. Having a job, even a crappy job, is good for someone's self-esteem. That paycheck, even if it's not large by many standards, feels great. A job structures time, and co-workers are often interesting and a source of new friendships.

So don't enable. Let your sweetie deal with the natural and logical consequences of his choices. If he chooses not to work, he won't have any money. You don't have to be mean or nag. Let the situation drive the response. You need to put your financial effort into paying down that debt. He needs to figure out how to take care of himself financially.

Meanwhile, call all but 1 card company, and have the limits reduced severely. Do what you can to negotiate better interest rates. Get rid of as many non-essential expenses aspossible. Sell anything you can sell to pay down debt.

Getting the GED done would also feel really great. It's a measurable accomplishment; it's not easy, and you'd be so proud of yourself. You're gonna need it; the job market is pretty hostile without it.

Xteraco, step up and be a responsible adult, and help this great woman deal with this very difficult financial burden that is clearly causing her tremendous stress.
posted by theora55 at 8:18 PM on September 26, 2006

Has nobody else noticed this?

i shouldnt have to get a job if i dont want one!

You don't have to get a job if you don't want one. Of course, if you want to eat, you do have to get a job. It's entirely your decision.

That's so blatant I can't help believing this is a hell of a troll.
posted by booksandlibretti at 8:28 PM on September 26, 2006

Of course, if you want to eat, you do have to get a job.

So far this has not proven to be true. Seems he's getting along just fine WITHOUT A JOB. sigh....
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 8:31 PM on September 26, 2006

Well, from now on. Because fr0zen is going to put her foot down, amirite? (I'm wrong. But I'm hoping.)
posted by booksandlibretti at 8:37 PM on September 26, 2006

fr0zen ... if someone's suggested this, i must have missed it

get therapy now ... even if it costs money, get it

you have problems and issues that are far beyond the capacity of this board to solve

just do it
posted by pyramid termite at 11:00 PM on September 26, 2006

I followed this thread, xteraco, determined to keep an open mind and give you the benefit of the doubt. Then you wrote things like this:
all i'd have to do is say something like "i dont feel like doing it"
and this:
i shouldnt have to get a job if i dont want one!
and especially this:
fuck you all, metafilter pussies
It's no accident that you chose a traditional insult to manliness—calling someone a pussy. This is the insult you fear on a daily basis.

You while away the hours of each day with your toys and not your responsibilities, as a boy does and not as a man. You reserve the perogative to do only what you wish and not what you ought, as a boy does and not as a man. You write like a schoolchild, as a boy does and not as a man. You spend the money of a loved one without thought like a child of generous parents, as a boy does and not as a man. You snivel with wounded pride when reminded of your responsibilities, as a boy does and not as a man. When fr0zen asks you to be an adult and shoulder your responsibilities, you throw it back at her in the form of emotional blackmail—"I'll just leave, then"—in the manner of a child yelling "you don't love me!", as a boy does and not as a man. With your lack of a high school diploma or an easily obtained GED you display a child's contempt for education, as a boy does and not as a man.

In fact, the vast gulf between fr0zen's education in the form of a Master's and your nothingness, between her diligence in employment and paying the bills on-time and your fecklessness, between her love for you and her faith in you and your apparent disregard for her apparent emotional pain—in all this you are, at best, her willful child and she your doting mother. This is the quintessence of being a pussy. You are a pussy and you know you are a pussy.

The only way to become a man would be to find a job tomorrow—at fast food, as a janitor, as a retail clerk—sell your car and stop accepting anything from fr0zen other than a roof over your head and a meal at the table, complete a GED and enroll at a community college, begin paying fr0zen back on the 25K credit card debt, and apologize to her for all you've put her through. When you do, I'll be the third person to know you are a man and will respect you. The first will be yourself and the second will be fr0zen. Good luck.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:22 AM on September 27, 2006 [145 favorites]

Has he signed up for the GED yet, fr0zen? Why not? Did he shout at you about it? Is it your fault?
posted by bonaldi at 3:46 AM on September 27, 2006

Mod note: a few comments removed: meta discussion goes to METATALK, it does not go here
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:10 AM on September 27, 2006

Response by poster: You guys have harrassed the living shit out of him. We had communications issues about the money. We spent the money *together* and he hardly spent any on the car. I don't know where you guys got the idea that he spent 25k on that car...I simply said that I got upset when he spent on the car - I didn't mean that it was a great deal of money spent on it.

Again, I didn't think it was my place to tell him (I have been in extremely controlling relationships up to this point). When I told him the night before he found the thread, he understood and agreed to the budget with no problems.

When he found the thread he was upset thinking that I was going to believe the weird conclusions you all came to about him being a horrible, no good person. Then you all google him, when I'd purposefully left him out of this all - I seriously didn't think about my profile. fuck. If I'd known I would have deleted it and none of this craziness would have happened.

I've requested this thread and the metatalk one to be closed because you are just being horribly mean with no justification. He came on and called you names because he felt attacked by people who never heard his side and have never met him. So much of the stuff you all have dug up is *years* old. Some of it has been completely read wrong. I don't understand how you can be allowed to attack someone on or metatalk. I just don't get it. You don't know his side. You don't know him.

I've learned that I can talk to him about budgeting and be honest about money. That I'm not going to be hated or ignored (as I was in the past by others), that he's going to listen and offer suggestions and help, that I can ask him what he's up to without it being considered prying or nagging. He lashed out at you out of frustration. I would too if I was the type to not just blame myself for starting this whole metamess in the first place.
posted by fr0zen at 7:08 AM on September 27, 2006 [2 favorites]

I doubt you'll read this, fr0zen, and I didn't really want to jump into this trainwreck, but I can't help myself. All I have to say is this: DO NOT, REPEAT DO NOT, GET PREGNANT.

Because I am 20 some years older than you and I have supported my fair share of boyfriends because, you know, I had more opportunities in my life and I loved them and I had faith in them and hell, the band was going to take off any day now. That's how come I'm now a bankrupt 40 something who has no boyfriend and two kids with NO child support.

I'm okay, now, finally - because eventually I realized that I'm better off and happier alone than I would ever be while supporting someone else. So I've given it up - I will never, ever, ever support an adult man again. It took me more than 20 years to learn this lesson. Don't be like me. Because then, among other things, you may have to watch, as I am, your grown, educated daughter falling in love with a young man with no degree, a menial job, little future and no creative spark or perceivable intelligence. That is when it really starts to hurt.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:57 AM on September 27, 2006 [8 favorites]

fr0zen writes "I don't understand how you can be allowed to attack someone on or metatalk. I just don't get it. You don't know his side. You don't know him."

That makes some sense. Calling him a dick because he's screwing you over makes sense, but googling him for ammunition is going a little overboard on spite.
posted by Bugbread at 9:07 AM on September 27, 2006

I think people might have been hoping to find some redeeming information outside metafilter, too, though. fr0zen, if we just go by his posts and comments here, he doesn't come off too well. Before you criticize us for "not knowing his side," consider that he has addressed us directly, so if we don't know his side of things, it's not because he never had a chance to tell us.
posted by caitlinb at 9:17 AM on September 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

i've spent the last two days reading every post here. there is so much anger in this thread and so little people trying to understand.. it makes me sad.

fr0zen, i am 24 and i support my boyfriend also- he has a high school degree but has yet to finish his college degree. he worked part-time for a short while but lacked a desire to pursue that or just any job (and i understand). he signed up for 5 classes this semester but has had trouble disciplining himself to attend so now is taking 2. he grew up in a messed up home and is still trying to find himself.

i sent him this page. i think it made him sad.

your interaction with him reminds me a lot of my interaction with my boyfriend at times. he reacts to hurt by becoming angry - sometimes to an extreme. i wondered if i was in an emotionally abusive relationship. i had sent him that link as well.

ultimately, the most important thing you two need to do is communicate- fairly, honestly, and non-accusing.

xteraco, if you love fr0zen, don't hurt her. this means being stronger than your reactive feelings at times- not judging her for posting this question, not becoming angry because others judge you because of what she posted- and try to understand why she did it in the first place. also, you are the man. you have a woman who loves you, take care of her as it seems she tries very hard to take care of you.

i am glad you guys are sticking to a budget now. xteraco, also know, because i think my boyfriend doesn't know at times, it can be very tiring to support someone (even if it seems things seem to be going well). it is a burden emotionally as well as physically so at the very least, be conscious of this fact everyday this situation continues. be considerate that she may worry about things that she doesn't share with you (like your debt) and try to find out what her needs are. don't leech and not think about it.

good luck to both of you. fr0zen, be strong in the decision you made to support someone you love (even if he seems like the biggest jerk in the known world (because my boyfriend seems like that to others also)). you can stop anytime you want to. xteraco, love her and do what's best for her because she's more or less given up her life for you.
posted by pinksoftsoap at 10:08 AM on September 27, 2006 [6 favorites]

We spent the money *together* and he hardly spent any on the car. I don't know where you guys got the idea that he spent 25k on that car

I don't recall anyone stating that the $25k was spent soley on the car. You can't deny, though, that he's played a huge part in your accumulating that much debt over the past 6 months. Would this have happened if he wasn't living under your roof?? Had he been a responsible adult who contributes to your (meaning both of you) lifestyle and gotten an job... ANY job... soon after he landed in CT, you likely never would have racked up so much on the credit cards. True??

Since locating this thread, X has had plenty of opportunity to state his side of the story... but has he? Nope. He came on here blasting away with childish remarks riddled with cuss words. Rather than say, "Wait a minute... let me explain" he just blasted away. Very mature, that.

Fr0zen, I don't care what he SAYS to you... it's all about what he's done and what's he's doing. His ACTIONS are what should matter to you. It's Wednesday afternoon where you are. Has he located a place to take the GED exam or a class to prepare for it? When does he plan to do so? Someone here even offered to pay for the damned thing and I think I can safely say he's not even considering that offer. Why? Because he'd have to actually DO something besides sit home while you work.

Why don't you just admit that you don't care if he ever works another day in his sad, pathetic, childish life. Be prepared to be forever in debt up to your eyes and beyond, because X does not ever plan to help you pay it down. He's said as much here.... why don't you believe him?

This thread has gotten way too sad and frustrating for me. You came to us for advice, but won't listen to what's being said. You'll only listen to your LOVER who cuts you down whenever he's challenged about what he's going to do about FIXING this situation.

If he truly LOVED you, Fr0zen, he'd get up off his ass and DO SOMETHING. When you come home from work tonight and he's planted in front of the tv or playing video games and there's no dinner on table, remember my words.

He's showing you exactly who he is - For The Love Of God... OPEN YOUR EYES and see him for what he is!!!!!
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 11:35 AM on September 27, 2006

Hey. Let it go. Really.

They've culled everything they need or want to hear from our advice. The comments she marked as favorites speak volumes. They are adults, they are in charge of their own lives. Their decisions, and consequences thereof, are their's to own.

We don't have to live in her house. We don't have to pay her bills. We don't have to deal with her boyfriend. Their future is not our future. We've advised to the extent where we are useful. Enough. Leave them be.

Repeatedly beating them over the head with the same information for three days now isn't going to change anything and generally is proving unhelpful. If anything, all this unrelenting pleading with Fr0zen is probably alienating her.
posted by jerseygirl at 11:53 AM on September 27, 2006 [5 favorites]

I'm thinking, based on review, that I have nothing to add other than acknowledging that Ethereal Bligh's comment above cuts through all denial and self-delusion to the heart of the issue - my compliments sir - the intellect behind your always thoughtfull comments is only further illumined by the laser-like piercing of the fog with this most excellent exegesis.

posted by Pressed Rat at 12:03 PM on September 27, 2006

They've culled everything they need or want to hear from our advice.

they're probably not even reading anymore ... they know what to do ... if they don't do it, that's their problem
posted by pyramid termite at 2:27 PM on September 27, 2006

There's nothing wrong with wasting your own potential. Wasting other people's potential is the problem.
posted by riotgrrl69 at 4:22 PM on September 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

Fr0zen - I just gave up a two year long relationship with a girl because she couldn't hold a job for longer than a few weeks before she'd get fired. It was horrible and hard and I felt awful doing it but it was the right thing for both of us. I was enabling her to do it because she knew she wouldn't ever have to take life seriously as long as she had me as a safety net.
I know it doesn't matter what I say to you - my best friend and his wife are also going through something similar and since neither of them listen to a lick of reason from a close friend, why would you from a total stranger? Still, I really wish I could somehow beam all of my experiences with this directly into your brain and make you see that your too smart and beautiful and rad (I imagine) to put up with anyone who doesn't insist on matching you dollar for dollar, kiss for kiss.

Good luck.
posted by Bageena at 7:26 PM on September 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

I'm gonna delete/close this and keep it out of google because I think it turned into one giant mess for everyone.
posted by mathowie at 1:46 PM on September 28, 2006 [3 favorites]

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