Why Can’t Your Partner Keep a Job? (+5 Pro Tips)

Prolonged or frequent unemployment can cause friction in a relationship. In this article, we’ll explore why your partner can’t keep a job. 

Why can’t your partner keep a job?

A steady job brings with it financial stability, consistency and the feeling of fulfilment. If your partner can’t keep a job, it probably already has caused a strain in your relationship. This may help you understand why they can’t seem to stay employed.   

  • There have unrealistic expectations
  • They want to be financially supported by you
  • They are unreliable 
  • They are selfish 
  • They do not have the willingness to work 
  • They want to pursue their passion
  • The jobs they’ve had have been unsatisfying 
  • They are too quick to give up
  • They make bad decisions 
  • They do not want to work for a living

How do you deal with an unemployed partner?

Dealing with an unemployed partner can be hard. Here are some ways that may help you.

  • Accept the situation for what it is
  • Try to pull yourself today
  • Put yourself first
  • Develop a financial strategy 
  • Encourage them to look for a job
  • Intervene with helpful suggestions
  • Empathise but do not enable them

How can I help my partner get a job?

If they are struggling to find employment, here are some ways you can help your partner look for a job.

  • Look for job postings best suited for them
  • Review their applications
  • Brainstorm as a team 
  • Be supportive of their endeavour 
  • Encourage them to take on a temporary role

Unemployment can cause a lot of distress within a relationship especially if your partner has been unemployed for a while. It may be difficult to get through to them when they are stubborn or worse, unaware about what it is that they want to do. 

Being supportive of your partner is important but not at the cost of your own mental health and the added stress of shouldering this financial burden.  If your partner can’t keep a job because of circumstances beyond their control, it is still understandable.

However, not maintaining a job often shows a lack of  willingness on their part to pull their weight within the relationship and it is not fair on you. If they fail to acknowledge or do anything to rectify the situation, you have a problem. 

To know your next move, you must first understand what makes it difficult for them to hold a job.  

Why can’t your partner keep a job?

There have unrealistic expectations

Your partner can’t keep a job if they have unrealistic Expectations about what the job should bring. A good job should bring in money, decent working hours and employee satisfaction.

If your partner expects more than this in terms of money, fewer working hours while doing the bare minimum, they are setting themselves up for disappointment.

The first step here is to have realistic goals that can be met to avoid feeling like a failure. 

They want to be financially supported by you

It’s quite possible that your partner wants to be supported financially by you. Your partner can’t keep a job if they have no interest in working whatsoever and enjoy having nothing to do. 

Being the sole breadwinner is a big responsibility that you shouldn’t have to accept unless you are financially secure and okay with doing so.

If this is something you both have discussed, it can work. If this has been a recent development, it is up to you to decide your terms. 

They are unreliable 

Consider the possibility that your partner is unreliable in other areas of your relationship and in their personal life as well. If you think they are, it makes sense that your partner can’t keep a job.

A person’s characteristics will eventually come to the forefront no matter how hard they try to hide it.  Them being unreliable when it comes to their employment is a big problem, especially when there are responsibilities hanging over your head. 

Put your foot down and ask them to buck up. 

They are selfish 

A selfish partner who gets whatever they want from you including emotional labour and financial assistance may not want to work hard. Look into the patterns of how they behave since they have been unemployed. 

If they seem all too okay with you doing everything for them and show no intention to get back and start working, you have your answer.  your partner can’t keep their job, if they are content with not having one.

They do not have the willingness to work 

Some people may find it difficult to keep a job because they do not have the will to work.  Maybe they have had an easy life with everything served to them on a platter or they have tried to work and made the call that it’s just not for them.

Either way you should not have to deal with the consequences of that decision, especially if they did not consult you while making it.

Their lack of willingness to work could also be because of poor mental health, so it is necessary to understand whether that is the case. For instance, if your partner suffers from depression, it could be why they can’t keep a job. 

They are pursuing their passion

People that switch jobs often may be trying their best to find their passion. Getting stuck in a rut, in a job they hate, may become unbearable to them. 

Your partner can’t keep a job that is making them miserable. Encourage them to take up a temporary job that rakes in some money while also giving them time to pursue their passion. 

The jobs they’ve had have been unsatisfying 

You don’t quit a job, you quit a boss is something we hear quite often. The management and administrative struggles within a job could make it difficult for anyone to keep a job. 

Unless they have been fired multiple times, it could be why your partner can’t keep a job. Tough and unreasonable employers can make work a toxic environment that anyone should not be obliged to stay in. 

Speak to them and resolve the actual issue before you decide to do anything about it. 

They are too quick to give up

Even with the right skills and experience, a new job can be intimidating for people to settle in. It takes time to get used to things at the workplace and one must see it through before it becomes easier. 

Your partner can’t keep a job if they give up at the first sign of a challenge. Help them understand that turning their resignation in at the drop of a hat won’t solve anything. They need to stick around to get better at what they have chosen to do. 

They make bad decisions 

If your partner is someone who frequently makes bad decisions, it is probably why they can’t keep a job. 

They may be trying easier ways to make a quick buck, get involved with schemes that go wrong and do not account for the risks. 

Repeatedly putting you in a dire position by neglecting their financial responsibilities is not something that you should be okay with. Lay down an ultimatum and ask them to step up. 

They do not want to work for a living

Not everyone is ambitious and career-driven. Some people are all too happy to stay at home and take over those responsibilities. 

Society may not be very kind to these individualis, especially men, but you need to focus on what works for the both of you. If this is something that is possible financially, it can definitely work. 

Pushing them to do a job just for the sake of it is pointless. Have an honest conversation and you will find a solution. 


Financial troubles may build up when you have a partner who can’t keep a job and they become another mouth to feed. Not only does it cause stress in the relationship, it could also breed feelings of resentment towards said partner. 

This is not something that will pass. A conversation about how to go about things has to happen for there to be some resolution. The sooner you get to the bottom of this issue, the better it will be. 

FAQs: My partner can’t keep a job

Can a relationship survive unemployment?

Yes, a relationship can survive unemployment if it has already been accounted for. However, when one partner alone carries the financial burden without these discussions, both will be significantly unhappy in the relationship. It will only get worse if it doesn’t get addressed. 

How long is too long when it comes to being unemployed?

Being unemployed for 9 months or longer can be considered as too long because the drop-off in interview requests becomes noticeable. Unless there is something that can explain the gap, it will become troublesome.  






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