Respect and Love


I am finding it very hard to respect my husband, being that he's been unemployed now for 2 years and just living off the govt, and it's put our family in a huge financial bind. I feel much resentment about it. We have barely enough for minimal food and gas. I feel real anger towards him for it. (And if anyone has read my other threads, for his affair too).

He has not been job searching hardly at all, for 2 yrs now, as I guess he feels "why should I when I get this check weekly? And also he has no real profession which can make any more than unemployment offers. This really sucks too. I feel so let down, thaty after 22 years of marriage, my h still has no profession.

My issue is this is really affecting my love and respect for him. How do I handle this?

It has caused a rift before, when he was unemployed another time for 2 years too, when he lost his job and similarly did nothing, until his check expired, like a week before. We have been living on a shoe string with our family of 4, and my son even has had to buy groceries from time to time. I have not worked in several years, but have looked for work lately, and nothing yet. I have been severely depressed because of this, and then to top it off, my husband had an affair for the past 3 years, probably to boost his bad self-esteem from not working. It's an all around bad deal here, and I do not know how to handle it. I feel the husband should be the bread winner, and the mom the one with the kids. It is pretty succky lately.

I want to tell my husband I have lost respect for him not seeking work for 2 years, but don't know if I should. He knows my feelings about his affair, and we are back together from that, but this issue is not helping our marriage one bit. Basically, I feel he contributes nothing to the marriage and family, other than occasional housework. I also feel maybe I made a mistake by taking him back when he was unfaithful. And maybe God was showing me a way out from an infidel who also does not provide for his family. OUCH.

Any advice?

Thanks much.



*I don't know if you've read my other posts, but sometimes I think men get a bad rap on these forums. He cheated once? Leave him immediately. She cheated once? Well, maybe you didn't pay attention to her. Yes, I am a man. However, even a few females (I think they where, due to screen names being a bit more feminine) agreed with me. *


He needs to grow up and be a man. After 22 years of marriage, I assume he's already past the age of 40. It's never too late to grow up!

You where right about the affair-I think that was probably the reason as well. If he doesn't get his stuff together and start acting like a man. Get a job, and get one soon. You might may have to have one as well, so keep up the looking for the time being.

I'd sit down and tell him, in NO uncertian terms, to grow up, man up, get up and get a job.


It's hard to know exactly what is going on here.

My first thought is that it would be hard for me to respect a man who was not trying very hard to get work.

I imagine that not being able to find work would be depressing. And that may have been a reason that contributed to the affair. But since it is you and not your husband looking for help, we have to look at this from what you can control.

A question that comes to mind as a result of you saying that he doesn't have the skills to get a job that pays much better than unemployment but that you have always expected the husband to be be the bread winner. Why did you pick him?

Did he seem much more ambitious when young so you thought he was going to do much better? Or did you want a man who was more laid back? If he seemed like an ambitious young man who ran into some unexpected walls then that part of the "for richer and for poorer" part of marriage. And perhaps you needed to help out financially even if it wasn't the most ideal situation.

But if you wanted a more laid back man then perhaps the something different is going on. Is it possible that you wanted to be the one to control the relationship and were willing to trade away some male career aggressiveness to get it.? Could his lack of ambition been a passive aggressive way of taking back some control?

I know that I'm not offering much advice. I'm just wondering what the root of the problem might really be.


yes, let us know where you live, all my relatives ran out of all unemployment benefits after 12 months.

I doubt after 22 years he is going to change. make your plans accordingly.


Do not worry about or try to change him. If you want your life and your marriage to improve, look on your side of the street. It is the only thing that you can do. Make yourself become more virtuous. Work hard on yourself and you may be pleasantly surprised with the effect on your husband.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit