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I've been with DBF for three years and I truly love him. As of right now, him having a job is not a ground-breaking issue...he still lives with his parents who threaten to throw him out a lot, but never do. He's had a couple of jobs since I met him, but none of them stuck. For the longest time, he was hired very part-time at a local factory, and was only called in to work when he was needed - which was about four times a year. Then he went to the Job Corps for a year to study landscaping and he did very well and got some sort of special honor during the graduation ceremony. Then he began working at a home improvement store, but quit because his boss was pushing him way too hard (he was the only loader and he ended up hurting himself on the job and never complained out of fear he'd be seen as a liability when applying for future jobs).

Now he's unemployed again. I know for a fact him being with me is the only thing keeping him going in life, and that really scares me. I have no intention of leaving him, but I would love to see him somehow be motivated to work. His parents give him a lot of grief about working, but they like to toss around empty threats when they say he's getting thrown out by a certain date. And he has caught on to their empty threats and never finds a job. His parents never follow through with their threats and the cycle begins again.

He has told me he has no interest in doing landscaping for a living, even if he found somewhere local that needed that kind of help. As far as I know, he doesn't have a "dream job" or a "calling" of some sort that he's ever told me about.

I'm in college at the moment and, as said, hi lack of a job iss not an issue right now. But it will be when we live together on a more permanent basis. Is there anything I can do to motivate him to find work? And please no one recommend I threaten to dump him if he doesn't find a job - I'm not doing the whole passive-aggressive ultimatum thing.

I think there is a good likelihood he might be depressed. He has told me at times he feels worthless, has no desire to work (mostly due to the past rare time he was fired), and basically does nothing but play video games all day and night. He has also told me he contemplated suicide very seriously before I met him. This wasn't an instance of "If you leave me, I'll kill myself" -- he was very very sad before we began dating, and he needed someone who loved him.

His parents aren't the nicest people in the world - they are emotionally abusive to him...particularly his step-father, who seems to think that having raised BF gives him the right to talk down to him. His step-dad has told BF to his face that his older brother (who excelled in the military) is better than BF, that BF was weak for being discharged from the Marines (for having a nervous breakdown), and that I'm cheating on him. The step-dad says this shit to get a rise out of DBF, and BF just shrugs it off. He likely has had to deal with this his whole life and is numb to the insults.

BF has no insurance and can't afford medical care - his good-for-nothing previous employer intentionally hired him just under full-time so they wouldn't need to give him any insurance. So, he cannot afford to see a shrink.

There is nothing in our hometown that is volunteering, no arcades, no coffee houses, no nothing. The mall is a half-hour away, and I am 300 miles away for most of the year. And a vast majority of our friends have either moved away, entered the military or gone to college - the only friend that is still nearby is my ex, who is also living with his mother and collecting welfare because he's lazy.

I also think BF's feelings are influencing his desire to have children. There is nothing wrong with having kids, but BF's reasons, to me, sound ridiculous. For example, his reasons for wanting kids are "so he won't be bored in life" and "so he can make more good people in the world". First of all, no child should ever be given a job, and curing boredom is certainly a job. What happens when the baby ends up being as exciting as a coat of paint? Disappointment. And how does he even know that his child will be a good person? Lots of people come from great homes and end up in trouble with the law. I think his feelings of worthlessness make him think that he can have a child to redeem his rather dull life. Think about it...if you're good at nothing, have no desire to do anything, and have done nothing to be proud of, have a baby! You have something to brag about as well as a little something to let the world know that you not only are having sex, but that you are a virile man.

I know this sounds weird, but I also know some guys really feel extra-manly when they become fathers. It's weird. Like I said, wanting children is not bad, but I think BF's feelings have made him want kids for the wrong reasons. This is not a debate over children, however - I only wanted to use this as an example.

Can anyone offer me any advice? Is there anything I can do or suggest to motivate my DBF to do something with his life so he doesn't turn into one of those 40-year-olds that lives in their mother's basement? Is there any way I can help him try and find his "calling" without being a nag? I know the more I push the issue, the less he will want to do anything. I'm the same way, which is why I never try and coerce him into finding a job. I know how much I hate when someone tries to make me do something.

Any advice (that does not include leaving him) is welcomed.

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