Your spouse refuses to find occasional work, get a steady job, or do anything to earn some money for his family. So you’re left wondering whether you should consider divorcing a husband who won’t work.
You probably feel resentful, betrayed, or hurt by his lack of care for your financial safety. However, you’re still not sure whether divorcing a husband who won’t work is the right choice.
The two of you have been together for a long time and you still have feelings for him. You can’t stand being the only one in the family who earns money, though, and you’re right to feel that way.
Your husband shouldn’t force you to take on all the financial responsibility in your marriage. Nevertheless, there may be something going on that’s making him act this way.
Before filing for divorce, you should definitely try to talk to him and see what’s bothering him. Maybe he’s just lazy but he could be going through something.
If he’s been unemployed for a long time, there probably aren’t any valid excuses for his behavior.
So, can you divorce him? If you aren’t happy in your marriage, nothing is stopping you from leaving him.
I would recommend separation before filing for divorce, though. Divorce requires an intervention or lawyers and it’s a process that will definitely end your marriage.
Separation, on the other hand, may get your husband to snap out of it and come to his senses. It’ll give him enough time to think about everything and realize what he could lose.
A lot of men change their behavior once they’re faced with the possible ending of their relationship. When your husband sees that you’re ready to walk away, he may realize that he has to change.
He’ll need to put in the same effort as you do when it comes to supporting your family. So far, he’s refused to work, meaning he doesn’t want to financially support your family but that may not be all.
Perhaps your husband hasn’t had a job for years now and isn’t even willing to support you in other ways. Maybe he refuses to look after the children or do household chores too.
You can’t let that go on but what will happen if you decide to divorce him?
It may be best that you talk to a lawyer to find out what your husband would be entitled to once you file for divorce.
Before considering divorcing a husband who won’t work, try separating, though, as I already mentioned. Your husband needs to know that he has to change.
You can’t stay in an unhappy marriage but you don’t have to end it immediately either. Even if you’re sure that you don’t want to be with your husband anymore, separation will make you both realize that.
He probably doesn’t understand how serious you are about this but maybe you don’t either. If you’re overwhelmed with negative feelings, you may not be aware that divorce really means the end of your relationship.
If things haven’t been working out for a while now, you may feel differently once you process your feelings. This is why separation is always the best choice before filing for divorce.
It’ll give you both time to think and see what life is going to look like without each other. Maybe you’ll be happier without your husband but it’s good to get used to not having him around before making it official.
Questions to ask yourself before divorcing a husband who won’t work!
1. Does your husband constantly find excuses to avoid working?
Unless your husband can’t work because of some mental or physical problems, he simply doesn’t want to.
He constantly finds excuses to avoid working and it’s been going on for a while. Maybe he says that the jobs in his field don’t fulfill him or that your kids, or even pets, need him to be at home.
Perhaps when you give him an ultimatum from time to time, he does get a job… just to end up getting fired for something he did or to work only a short amount of time until he can claim unemployment benefits.
He actually just wants you to support him financially, which leaves you in a one-sided marriage. Divorcing a husband who won’t work or supporting him your entire life seems like the only option you have.
Maybe there’s still hope and I’ll help you find out but answer a few more questions first.
2. Did he have a job before you got married?
This is a very important question about your husband regarding his past.
How did he support himself financially before the two of you got into a relationship? Did he live with his parents or did he have a big allowance so he didn’t have to work to pay for rent and food?
If he did work, what happened with that job? Was he fired or did he quit?
If he had to stop working because of a certain problem, did that problem go away? Maybe your husband had a good reason to stop working before but now he just comes up with excuses.
Some people hate the idea of going back to work after they take some time off. They most often don’t like working in their area of expertise anymore and they use it as an excuse to not work at all.
Your husband could always decide what he wants to do and try to pursue that line of work. If he wants to work in a different field but doesn’t even try to get the education it requires, it’s just an excuse.
Maybe he only wants to work in the type of job that he really likes. When he’s not qualified for it or there aren’t any job opportunities, he refuses to work altogether.
Unfortunately, we can’t always do only what we like, especially when there are financial problems. If your husband can’t accept that and he’s been unemployed for a long time, it’s not okay.
3. What were his past relationships like?
If you’re considering divorcing a husband who won’t work, it’s important to look at his dating history. His friends who knew him even before you did could help you with this but maybe you even know his exes.
Either way, you’ll need to know what his past relationships were like to answer the following questions.
Did his previous partners support him financially? Has he always refused to work?
Did he always happen to lose his job just as the relationship he was in got serious so that his girlfriend supported him?
Were there some negative experiences in his past relationships that are causing him to try to ruin the one he has with you?
Maybe he was always the one who financially supported his girlfriends. Once he met you, he decided that things were going to be different this time.
He wants you to support him and make up for the struggles he had in the past, which happens more often than you may think.
People project their hurt and resentment from the relationships they had onto the person they’re currently with. This means that your husband may be punishing you for his exes’ behavior by not wanting to work.
You don’t deserve this kind of behavior from him in any way but he’s forcing you to deal with it. It’s not fair and it needs to stop, even if divorcing a husband who won’t work is the only option.
4. Was being the sole breadwinner a part of your marriage agreement?
Did your marriage contract cover the part about financial responsibilities? Were these financial responsibilities discussed before you got married?
Did you consent to becoming the sole breadwinner in a mutual discussion or did this situation surprise you?
If there was a mutual understanding that you were going to be the sole breadwinner and you agreed to it, maybe something’s changed.
Now, you can no longer keep being the only one who supports your family and you can’t take it anymore.
In this case, you should definitely renegotiate the relationship agreement you had at the beginning.
Your husband is supposed to be your life partner. If he respects and loves you as much as he says, he will need to step up and handle his share of expenses.
Maybe you never signed up for this and it wasn’t a part of the agreement but your husband refuses to work. If so, you need to make it clear that you won’t tolerate such behavior.
The two of you need to be equal in the relationship. The financial weight can’t only be on your shoulders and your husband will have to realize this.
I’m about to tell you what you can do regarding his unwillingness to get a job.
5 things to do before divorcing a husband who won’t work
1. Find out his reason for refusing to get a job
Why doesn’t your husband want to work? If you don’t know the answer to this question, you need to find out what’s going on inside his head.
There may be something entirely different going on in his mind, something much greater than his unwillingness to work.
It may be caused by some fundamental issues that you don’t know about, which may be causing other difficulties in your relationship as well.
Communicating well with your husband may lead to new information that you didn’t previously know. It could change everything, so sit down with him and have a heart-to-heart conversation about what’s been happening.
Before considering divorcing a husband who won’t work, ask him what happened at the last job he had. Ask whether something that occurred at that job is the reason why he’s not willing to work anymore.
Find out whether there’s something that’s bothering him and making him unhappy with his life. Don’t attack him and try to get him to open up enough to tell you what’s causing his problem.
It may be a good idea to communicate about this with a counselor as well, if your husband doesn’t open up to you.
2. Consider separation
If your husband doesn’t even want to consider working again after you had this talk with him, think about separating. Sometimes, taking a break from your marriage can actually save it.
If your husband’s unwillingness to get a job is causing you a lot of financial difficulties, you don’t really have a choice. You can’t support him while he does nothing to provide for the family.
If counseling or talking to him has no effect, before thinking about divorcing a husband who won’t work, you can consider separating by giving him an ultimatum.
The separation will give both of you time to realize what you want in life and what you’re willing to sacrifice. He needs to understand that he’s going to lose you if he keeps his bad behavior up.
If he moves out for a certain amount of time, it’ll give you both space but not just that; once he’s on his own, he’ll also realize that he can’t avoid working when no one’s supporting him financially. He will have to snap out of it and get a job.
He’ll have to realize that you may need to consider divorcing a husband who won’t work, so he’ll lose you if the thought of it doesn’t get him to change.
3. Put your family first
When your husband doesn’t support you, you have to put your needs and your family’s needs first. If you have children, you’ll have to look after them as well as keep yourself functioning.
The bills will need to be paid and if your husband doesn’t want to help you, he’ll have to leave. Your man should put your family first too, so if he can’t do that, ask him to move out.
He needs to understand that you can’t have a future together if he’s not going to work. Your family needs to survive, pay bills, eat and even have some money put aside in case something happens.
Working allows partners to contribute to their family and build a future together. Finances provide freedom and stability, as well as the possibility to enjoy your time together without unnecessary worries.
Your husband will need to come to his senses and understand that.
4. Acknowledge how unfair the situation is and how unhappy it’s making you feel
If your husband doesn’t want to work, he’s treating you poorly. By not contributing to your family, he’s not supporting you the way a partner should.
He places all the responsibilities and financial burdens on you and you need to acknowledge how unfair that is.
In some cases, it can even be considered a form of manipulation or abuse. It’s definitely emotional manipulation if he refuses to communicate about it.
If he doesn’t want to work on finding a solution to the problem, he’s not being fair to you. You’re supposed to look after each other but you’re looking after him while he does nothing.
Acknowledge how unhappy that makes you feel and that you don’t have to learn how to survive in an unhappy marriage. Instead, you can consider divorcing a husband who won’t work, even though he knows how it makes you feel.
If you don’t address the resentment toward him and all the other feelings you have, they will only get worse. You will have to confront him about it or you will constantly feel unhappy, exhausted, and overworked.
5. Seek help
If you and your husband have been arguing about this for a long time, it’s very likely that you no longer have any kind of healthy communication. You need support from someone you can talk to, someone who will listen without any judgment.
Try therapy and counseling, or at least try talking to a close friend you can trust. It may be best that you first seek help alone and talk to someone without your partner.
This will help you be entirely honest with yourself and say everything that’s been on your heart. After some time, you can take your husband along and try to work through this together.
4 reasons women don’t end up divorcing a husband who won’t work
1. Marriage provides them a source of familiarity and comfort
Even if you’re feeling a lot of resentment, hurt, and anger toward your seemingly lazy husband, you may still stay with him.
Be honest when you explore the reasons why you’d stay in your marriage because there’s probably something you’re getting out of it.
Most often, women stay married because they don’t want to end up alone or because of the children. They also stay together because they’ve known their husband for a very long time.
During this time, they have accepted that nothing’s going to change. Sometimes, they stay because they feel comfortable with their husband despite his flaws but in reality, they usually just don’t want to start over.
The truth is, even the unhealthiest relationships provide some comfort. There’s no uncertainty since everything is predictable and familiar.
Even if you’re not happy with your husband because he’s not willing to work, you may be satisfied with simply having a partner.
It’s not uncommon for women to stay married just for the sake of being married, out of the fear of being alone.
2. They have low self-esteem
Maybe you think that you can’t start over because ‘you’re too old’ and your husband is ‘the best you’re going to get’. These are just some of the lies women tell themselves when they choose to stay in an unhappy marriage.
They think that no one else is going to want them and that they have nowhere else to go and the cause of this is actually low self-esteem.
Maybe you don’t want to get divorced but don’t let it be because you don’t recognize your worth. Respect yourself and your abilities and know that you deserve to be valued and loved by others.
Sometimes, a person with low self-esteem subconsciously picks a partner who needs help and that’s because it’s less likely that that person will leave them.
This is just one of the many reasons why you should seek help, so speak to someone about the problems you’ve been having in your marriage.
3. They’re too ashamed to leave and don’t want to let others know what their marriage is like
A woman often stays with a husband who refuses to work because she can’t tell anyone the truth. She’s too afraid to talk to her friends or family about the problems in their marriage.
Most often, it’s because she’s ashamed of it. Instead of facing the truth, she works on presenting the relationship as perfect, in order to avoid attention and criticism.
A woman actually stays with a husband who doesn’t want to work because she thinks that admitting the problem to others would mean that she’s a failure – but don’t ever think this way.
Maybe your marriage is worth saving but don’t ignore the signs you’re ready for divorce just because you identify the break-up of your marriage as a failure. You’re not failing even if your marriage is.
It’s not your fault and not all marriages are meant to last. If your husband is not willing to change and work on your marriage, it’s crazy to think that you can make it work on your own.
Both partners need to contribute equally to the relationship for it to work out.
4. They make excuses and try to defend their husband
A woman often takes her husband’s side, even if she clearly shouldn’t. Sometimes, we just don’t want to believe that our partner is selfish.
We don’t want to accept that he doesn’t care about us or our welfare as much as we care about him. After all, no one wants to think that their partner is using them.
We instead try to shield ourselves by making excuses such as, “He’s just depressed,” “He’s waiting for a better opportunity,” or, “He does the best he can.”
Making these excuses or believing the ones your partner makes is not going to fix the problem. How can ignoring an issue ever make it go away?
You need to confront your husband and work on your marriage or consider filing for divorce. Whatever you do, don’t settle by staying in an unhappy marriage.
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