I am having some issues with my relationship. I'm 19 and my boyfriend and I moved into his parents house six months ago from another city because we had both lost our jobs there and needed a fresh start. They said that we could stay with them as long as we both got jobs. From the moment I got there I was looking for work, filling out job apps, going to interviews. But my boyfriend just wasn't trying, I would try and help him the best I could but something would go wrong and he would get frustrated with me and the online application, and simply give up... His parents would try and help as well. They even went as far as filling out some apps for him. Month in and month out we are trying to help him. The more we help and the more he gets frustrated and shuts us all out... I got a job about a month and a half ago and the pressure is really on him, I understand that, but now it's nothing but negativity, and attitude from him. Because he is so negative to everyone, his parents have had enough of it and have given him until the end of February to find a job or even just show them that he is trying, until they kick him out... His parents treat me like one of there own and have told me if he gets kicked out I am more than welcome to stay. We are fighting way more than we ever have in the two year's that we have been together. If something doesn't change it could be the end of us... Amy PLEASE give me any advice you can!
As you know, losing a job is really stressful and some people handle stress better than others. I would suggest that your boyfriend is really struggling with the loss of his job, having to move back in with his parents...that loss of independence can hit a person pretty hard. It sounds to me like he might be dealing with depression and unless he gets some help for that, its unlikely to get better. He may continue to withdraw and get angry and push you all away. If he is depressed, he may not know how to fix this or even understand that he needs that kind of help.
So here’s what I would suggest. First, in dealing with him, I would suggest to him that he might need to talk to someone about his feelings – a professional. He may balk or refuse, but I think you should make the suggestion anyway. You could say something along the lines of “I’m really concerned about you and about our relationship.” Let him know that you’re not mad, you’re just concerned. You could even offer to go with him. It may work, it may not. But here’s where we move on to step two.
Step two: keep your life on track. Start looking at your future and what it’s going to look like, with or without your boyfriend. Be honest about your plans with him. Start looking at other places to live. It might be tempting to stay with his parents even if they kick him out, but the reality is that he is their son and you need to set a clear path in case you two don’t end up staying together. It will get complicated and hurtful if you stay after they kick him out and won’t help the situation for him at all. Since they’ve given him a deadline, start making plans as if that’s your deadline too. Let his parents know how much you appreciate their support but also that it’s important for you to live as independently as possible. If they’ve been supportive thus far, they will most likely continue to support you, especially as you show them how responsible you can be.
And maybe your boyfriend will take a cue from you. Once the energy in the house is refocused on you and your plans, maybe he’ll fall in line. Maybe he’ll see what is possible. And if you’re planning on moving out of their house and he’s planning on going with you, he’ll need to contribute. Sometimes being a role model is more effective than doing it for him.
Involve him in discussions about options so that he knows he has some. And make sure you know what your options are too. Relationships are really important but you’ve got to take care of yourself first. Otherwise, as you can see, it all starts to fall apart.
Wishing you good luck,
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