LoveShack.org Community Forums

Reload this Page LoveShack.org Community Forums > Romantic > Marriage & Life Partnerships

struggling with an unfocused partner


Marriage & Life Partnerships Debunking the old-ball-and-chain stereotype one couple at a time.

Like Tree5Likes
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 28th January 2019, 3:44 AM   #1
Established Member
 
diddilybop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 151
struggling with an unfocused partner

here’s my first thread in awhile and i could really use some advice.

my partner and i have been together for three years and we love each other very much. we live together, and plan to get married and have a family in the future (when our financial situation is in a better place). which brings me to the topic at hand, i’m worried about his financial and job situation because, while we make enough together right now, it isn’t enough to make a living long-term, especially with the plans that we have for the future.

he’s an artist (painter & illustrator) and he currently works for another artist. when he’s not working for his boss, he’s making his own art but i’ll be honest, it feels so unfocused. right now, he wants to put together a comic book or children’s book. he’ll draw out one idea, then a few days later, he’ll start a new one, then the next day, go back to the one started with and then the next day, he’ll start ANOTHER idea. so, he has 4 different comic ideas going on at once but even within the stories themselves, they’re SO scattered. also, when i suggested that he look into printing shops in our area to help publish his book, he just shrugged and gave a wishy washy answer.

so, tonight, we were relaxing at home, he was like, “hey, so i’ve been thinking…since i’m a great illustrator, i was thinking about becoming a tattoo artist! i bet i could make good money with that.” i told him that, “yeah, you're super skilled and a great artist, which could translate well but it requires A LOT of training and time. it takes awhile to get booked enough to make a living.” he seemed unhappy with my response because he felt like i was being negative, but i think i was being realistic. plus, this isn’t the first time where he’s talked about pursuing a career and then not actually following through with it. last year, he wanted to make sustainable handbags, and then the year before that, he wanted to make custom cat towers and trees.

i am very happy to support his dreams but i just wish he’d get it together and come up with an actual plan of action. everything just feels like ideas with no concrete plan or end point. it’s frustrating for me because he complains about his financial situation a lot. i’m not really sure what to do, because when i try to offer my perspective, he shuts down or thinks i’m being negative. or, he wishes i was more supportive.

should i just shut up and let him run around with his ideas, and hope for the best?

TLDR: my partner can’t seem to stick to or follow through with a career, and i don’t know how i can help him. every time i give him advice, he thinks i’m being negative and not being supportive enough.

Last edited by diddilybop; 28th January 2019 at 3:48 AM..
diddilybop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2019, 5:21 AM   #2
Established Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Antipodes
Posts: 12,767
The term 'starving artist' may sound like a stereotype. But most stereotypes exist for a reason.

If you want to stay with him, you may have to reconsider those plans for the future and find more modest goals. But you're going to have to love him and accept him for who he is.
basil67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2019, 1:39 PM   #3
Established Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 14,143
Quote:
Originally Posted by diddilybop View Post
TLDR: my partner canít seem to stick to or follow through with a career, and i donít know how i can help him. every time i give him advice, he thinks iím being negative and not being supportive enough.
I agree with basil67, he wasn't a Wall Street hedge fund manager when you met him.

I have a good friend who owns an art gallery and have met many artists through him. Other than a select few, the majority are also Uber drivers, bartenders, contract workers, etc. Would your BF be open to a secondary part-time gig for the house/family fund?

If financial security is your goal, you've may have simply chosen the wrong partner...

Mr. Lucky
__________________
Happiness is not a goal; it is a byproduct -

Eleanor Roosevelt
Mr. Lucky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2019, 5:24 PM   #4
Established Member
 
diddilybop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 151
thanks for your responses, basil67 and Mr. Lucky. i always appreciate your insight

i love him very much and love that he's not some investment banker or techie bro type. his creative mind is what drew me to him (as well as his kind heart) - i'm a creative type as well. i am also very much ok with not living a super luxurious life, because i grew up in a very wealthy gated community and hated it because it felt so lonely and materialistic. so, living a modest yet happy life is all good to me.

yes, he's totally open to having a part-time gig. i have suggested ideas like, being a driver for lyft, working at an art supply store or at a coffee shop where he could have more of a stable income and it'd help our plans for the future. however, he's said that doesn't like those ideas because it all sounds too stressful and would have to be on his feet all day/or as a lyft driver, he'd be in the car all day. i also found a job where he could teach english to kids in china, because he loves kids, he could work from home and it'd be a flexible schedule, but again, he didn't like the idea of having to wake up early in the morning (because the students in china are in a different time zone).

i actually work two part-time jobs myself, i'm a massage therapist (my true passion) and a remote personal stylist, it's not my favorite thing to do, but i'm good at it and it brings in $$$. i don't want to keep nagging him because he's an adult and can make his own decisions, but i wish he wouldn't be so picky to the point where he's not giving himself enough opportunities.

is there a gentle way to nudge him to at least TRY a part-time gig without being too pushy?

Last edited by diddilybop; 28th January 2019 at 5:27 PM..
diddilybop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2019, 6:19 PM   #5
Established Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 14,143
Quote:
Originally Posted by diddilybop View Post
however, he's said that doesn't like those ideas because it all sounds too stressful and would have to be on his feet all day/or as a lyft driver, he'd be in the car all day. i also found a job where he could teach english to kids in china, because he loves kids, he could work from home and it'd be a flexible schedule, but again, he didn't like the idea of having to wake up early in the morning (because the students in china are in a different time zone).
I'm going to be charitable and say he sounds less than motivated, keeping words like "lazy", "deadbeat" and "apathetic" in reserve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diddilybop View Post
is there a gentle way to nudge him to at least TRY a part-time gig without being too pushy?
Were he a teenage boy and you his Mom trying to get him to do his chores, there are certainly some things you could do. Just not sure if you're prepared to take away his cell phone or limit his Internet access ?

diddilybop, I'm sure you're familiar with the example of the square peg and round hole. That seems to what's going on here. Hope somehow, you get what you want...

Mr. Lucky
Mr. Lucky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2019, 7:57 PM   #6
Established Member
 
diddilybop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Lucky View Post
I'm going to be charitable and say he sounds less than motivated, keeping words like "lazy", "deadbeat" and "apathetic" in reserve.
ah, yes. i have also expressed the same thing in the same way to him, haha.

today, he told me that he thought about our conversation last night a lot and apologized for being unmotivated these days, but assured me that he'll make a bigger effort. he said he felt inspired by my own recent career drive, and plans to do better and work harder. while i can't speak for him, i think he's also overwhelmed by the financial strain that his mother has put on him as well. let's just say, his mom mooches both financially and emotionally more than she should off of both him and his older brother. so, it's possible that he's feeling stressed about the second part-time gig hunt and trying to make it all work.

thank you for your advice and well wishes Mr. Lucky, i do believe in him and i think he will find something that works and makes him happy, and in turn, i'll get what i want too.

Last edited by diddilybop; 28th January 2019 at 7:59 PM..
diddilybop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2019, 8:14 PM   #7
Established Member
 
elaine567's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 17,747
He is a creative and as such needs to put all his energy into creating something out of basically nothing.
That is very hard to do and so he has no time for the mundane.
Making and following through plans is not something he will be good at. Practicality sucks...
His talent is to recognise and latch onto that work that will transform him into a "genius". Unfortunately for many creatives, their true success and worth may be a long time coming, with some only achieving acclaim in old age or even death.
elaine567 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2019, 8:33 PM   #8
S2B
Established Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5,115
Quote:
Originally Posted by diddilybop View Post
ah, yes. i have also expressed the same thing in the same way to him, haha.

today, he told me that he thought about our conversation last night a lot and apologized for being unmotivated these days, but assured me that he'll make a bigger effort. he said he felt inspired by my own recent career drive, and plans to do better and work harder. while i can't speak for him, i think he's also overwhelmed by the financial strain that his mother has put on him as well. let's just say, his mom mooches both financially and emotionally more than she should off of both him and his older brother. so, it's possible that he's feeling stressed about the second part-time gig hunt and trying to make it all work.

thank you for your advice and well wishes Mr. Lucky, i do believe in him and i think he will find something that works and makes him happy, and in turn, i'll get what i want too.
To me, this would get old really quickly.

You want to be nagging him for the next 70 years to bring home enough money?

I think you should do one thing before thinking of getting married...have him live on his own, support HIMSELF and date you - like take you OUT on dates.

If he canít support himself then why are YOU expected to support both of you?

Thatís not right!

Expecting your partner to provide isnít too much to expect - until he can - heís still acting like a child.

Stop being so understanding about his inaction to grow up.
S2B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2019, 10:50 AM   #9
Established Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 480
What s2b said.

Sacrificing for your art or creative pursuits is fine when you are the only one suffering the consequences. It becomes irresponsible and selfish when you put that expectation on others as well.

If you wouldn't be willing to have kids on your own without him don't start a family. Because that better financial situation "someday" will likely not come and will be on you. Also his lack of organization probably won't translate to him being a great stay at home dad either. You wouldn't be coming home to dinner on the table after bringing home the bacon.

So in a family situation with all the financial, time, emotional demands children bring, his contribution would be.....??

I'd think about what you're willing to sacrifice. What can you live with and not become resentful about.

My perspective comes from an ex who wanted the best of both too, a family life and free creative life. He left a good career to pursue film while we had 2 kids. I did the supportive wife role, worked 2 jobs, etc until we couldn't make the mortgage, had to move in with his family. Etc. I should have voiced my concerns from the start and put the family well being a head of his aspirations. I built a lot of resentment. I had an affair (not an excuse, I wasn't putting the family first there either, but that's a different tangent).

Point is, we're divorced and he still doesn't have an income and I'm still supporting the kids, scheduling appts, coordinating their activities, etc. If you don't want to be a single parent without him, don't be a single parent with him. Good luck.
norudder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2019, 10:55 AM   #10
Established Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 17,805
Sounds like if you stay with this guy or marry you will have to carry all the financial weigh. I hope you can handle it. Do you want kids?
stillafool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2019, 12:07 PM   #11
Established Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 14,143
Quote:
Originally Posted by diddilybop View Post
but assured me that he'll make a bigger effort. he said he felt inspired by my own recent career drive, and plans to do better and work harder.
I had a roommate once from a rural area in the South who was always " fixin' " to do things. Unfortunately, I learned with him that "fixin' to pay the rent" wasn't the same as writing me an actual check.

In other words, talk is cheap. I'd set some kind of internal deadline and, unless substantial changes occur, make a realistic decision based on what I see rather than on what I hope will happen. Back off on the suggestions and job search by proxy and let him figure it out. Either he will or he won't...

Mr. Lucky
Mr. Lucky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2019, 5:46 PM   #12
S2B
Established Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5,115
Why does he get the free and easy lifestyle while you carry all the burden of making ends meet?

I really want to know why you think heís a great partner when heís acting so irresponsible?
S2B is offline   Reply With Quote
 

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

 

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Things you like but your partner hates/things your partner likes but you hate hbk4894 General Relationship Discussion 2 9th November 2015 6:46 PM
I'm struggling letting go. Really struggling The Poster Coping 28 14th February 2015 10:44 PM
Feeling tired and unfocused- how do I snap out of it? Kamille Self-Improvement and Personal Well-Being 10 5th April 2011 8:03 PM
Couples Where 1 Partner Does Not Smoke Marijuana And The Other Partner Does Baby Face Nelson General Relationship Discussion 7 24th August 2009 3:24 PM
Struggling with Partner's Sexual Past Guest Marriage & Life Partnerships 17 27th April 2006 6:23 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 1:47 PM.

Please note: The suggestions and advice offered on this web site are opinions only and are not to be used in the place of professional psychological counseling or medical advice. If you or someone close to you is currently in crisis or in an emergency situation, contact your local law enforcement agency or emergency number.


Copyright © 1997-2018 LoveShack.org. All Rights Reserved.