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Is Your Partner Supportive...?

Anyone out there married AND a PhD student? What kind of support are you getting from your spouses? I'm frustrated because I'm in the writing stage now, but I do most of the cooking and housework, pay the bills, etc. and I work full-time to support the two of us. Husband has been unemployed for a long time. The further along I get in the process, the less he helps out around the house. He stopped looking for work a long time ago. I don't know what to think...

I encourage him to study for his GED since he has the time, but he's not interested.

Dalmations Dalmations 41-45, F 6 Responses Jul 26, 2009

Your Response


it sounds like he's experiencing depression. a major side effect is a lack of motivation/energy/care. unemployment usually leads to depression in men. a helpful book is called 'unmasking male depression' by Dr Archibald D Hart. unfortunately if it IS depression, getting him to seek treatment could be difficult & it means despite wanting to help & support u, he may just not have it in him yet as it sucks the life out of u & gives u tunnel vision so u focus on yourself. the book helped my dad out BIG-time & he gave it to a friend who was having a lot of time off work cos of depression n both men chose to seek help & r doing MUCH better (dad does housework n cooking these days for one thing!). I think it's written by a Christian but Dad's friend is not a believer n still found the book super helpful. best of luck to u cos u r in an incredibly difficult n stressful situation !!

just saw your update n glad things r going better for u !! 😄

Thanks, I'll check out Unmasking Male Depression. In my husbands case, I hadn't realized how much this behavior was influenced by late-onset schizophrenia. I thought once he was on meds and no longer having psychotic episodes that he would return to his previous productive life. I read many success stories of people overcoming late-onset schizophrenia. Unfortunately, the meds create lethargy as do some of the milder symptoms of the illness. That said, I still think it's important for him to work even if just for a few hours a week, and contribute to family life even if it's just taking out the garbage. I think it's important for him to socialize and pursue his interests and not to give up on quality of life. I appreciate your response because I've come to realize that people too often rush to judgment that a person is "lazy" when that person may be battling a mental illness like clinical depression or even schizophrenia.

I think that's so unfair! If he's not working he has more time for domestic chores so should be doing the majority of it. But I wonder if he is suffering from depression. And if so, that needs to be addressed. Regardless, he should be putting in more of an effort. Even if he's depressed he should push himself a little because if he does nothing it will only make him feel bad about himself and further feed the depression.

Ohhhh I just read some of the comments below and realized that this is an old post. lol Ignore my comment. lol

wow ! hopefully things by now have changed for you as this story was written a while ago ! ~ if not i feel very sorry for you !

LOL! Things have changed a lot, thanks! I finished my degree, and he is working full-time. It's more like 50/50 now.

I understand that unemployment can be very hard on people - it's easy to get stuck in a rut, and just give up on everything.

great to hear this ~ and happiness toyou always !

Both my husband and I are doing our PhDs. It is quite difficult. But we are lucky cause I have a very generous scholarship that pays for most of our bills, we both G.A. but like you I do most of the housework and take care of my stepdaughter. He is very supportive but at times I just don't have the energy to read up on my own work. & it bothers me when he says you are being lazy you have to study more. Urgh... But then again that doesn't happen often. I really think your husband needs to contribute in some way. You have to put the pressure on him to go out and start looking for work again. A marriage is a partnership and if he gets used to you doing everything then he will never do anything or amount to anything. One of my relative's wife just left him after 10 yrs of marriage cause 4 yrs ago he closed his business and has done nothing to support her since. A person can take so much. Make sure this doesn't happen to you. End his laziness ASAP, this will be for the good of both of you and your marriage

Thanks for taking my story seriously! I put a lot of time into sending out job applications for him, and at last, he got hired. It turns out he likes this job well enough. The most interesting thing is that once he started working, he started helping around the house - picking up groceries, laundry, cooking, etc. It's not 50/50 - more like 70/30 - but that's a big difference compared to doing absolutely nothing. It's possible that being out of work just had a negative psychological impact on him.

That makes so much sense. When you're out of work, you can get yourself into such a rut. Good for you, for dealing with the REAL problem!

This is what a nervous breakdown feels like.

You may need to add TAKE OUT THE TRASH to your already long to do list.