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Girlfriend won’t look for a job

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My girlfriend and I relocated together to California and, as I got a great job, she said she could work from anywhere with her job, as it is commission based. In the last 3 years, she has not been able to contribute to the expenses for anything. She does cook every night for my 2 sons, does the shopping and some lite cleaning. I have asked her to get a job, and even got to the point of telling her to get a job, and she will look for a week, and then give up. We have had to move 4 times, I lost my car, my credit is shot, I live in a small apartment now, and she is working for her commission job, but not making any money! She just won’t look for a job that pays regularly. Then her sister moved in with us on a temporary note, and now she is going to have to have her sister move in with us because her sister is sick and can no longer take care of herself.

My kids do not like my girlfriend, they think she is a free loader, and my parent’s have talked with me a lot about my financial situation. I make a really good living, but I have absolutely nothing to show for it, and I am broke. As for my 2 kids, one is now in college, and the other moved in with him to finish high school out of state, back to our home town. My expenses are very overwhelming now, and I have talked with her about getting a job so she can help and take care of her sister. She spends most of her day working on this commission job, and not looking for real work….help.

Girlfriend won’t look for a job

Answered by on -


I’m not sure what kind of help you’re looking for. There must be something really, really sweet about your partner to keep you hanging in. You can’t complain about her not getting a job when you’ve so consistently picked up the slack and let her maintain her fiction that she is working on commission. Rather than try to make her be different, you need to look at what you can do differently.

According to A Conscious Rethink’s website, there can be valid reasons you might feel like you want to get out of your relationship, and they reflect in your girlfriend’s lack of desire for employment:

  • Your partner begins to bother you, there is a constant anxiety, and you catch yourself thinking: “Why should I tolerate it?” Then you become nervous, hysterical, and it affects the general climate in the relationship.
  • When you don’t share common values, it is a problem. At the beginning, you get to know each other and enjoy the state of euphoria. When it comes time to talk about serious things and to learn each other’s priorities and values, sometimes it turns out that they do not match, and you will try to change the partner to avoid future conflicts.


What concerns me most is that you’ve given up having your own son living with you and have accepted the sick sister into the household with no change in the financial arrangements. From your son’s point of view, he’s been replaced by the sister of someone he doesn’t even like. This is likely to have far-reaching consequences to your relationship with him. Is the relationship with the girlfriend really worth that?

Given what little I know, I’d suggest you take a huge step back. You should try moving out. And then establish separate households. Date your girlfriend if you like but don’t support her. Reestablish your relationship on the basis of more equality. She will probably accuse you of being horrible and try to make you feel guilty. If you need to feel guilty (which I don’t think you do but apparently it is a tactic that works with you), feel terrible for underestimating her ability to be a fully functioning adult and for putting her before your own kids. Then please try to be kinder to yourself and do what you need to do to make some important changes.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Girlfriend won’t look for a job

This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on September 29, 2010.

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). Girlfriend won’t look for a job. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 3, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 26 Jun 2019 (Originally: 29 Sep 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 26 Jun 2019
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