My Boyfriend Just Lost His Job and His Home and I’m Really Afraid.

My Boyfriend Just Lost His Job and His Home and I’m Really Afraid.
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I have been dating this guy for a bit over two months. He’s 55, divorced for a while, with two older kids (23 and 26). Things have been fantastic—he’s warm-hearted, a great communicator, attentive, romantic, hard-working, funny, makes me feel loved and safe, has close male friendships and a great relationship with his kids. We have spent a lot of time together and has always been great. I just couldn’t be happier.

At 55, he needs to find a job quickly and a new place to live. He has some savings but we live in the most expensive area of California, where rents are absurdly high.

I hate to be selfish and wonder what will happen to us, but here I am…He’s reassured time and again that his love for me and his belief in us is solid, and I believe him. But in the back of my mind I wonder what this crisis will do to us. He needs some time alone to figure things out, which I understand. I know him well, and I believe we have a future together. I just don’t know how to support him in this and come out strong on the other side. I told him to consider moving in with us (me and my teenage kids) if the housing and job situation don’t pan out, but we both think this would be a last resort. The relationship is too new for that, and he wants his independence for now.

My question is—how do I handle this? How do I best support him? What’s the sweet spot between being really concerned about him and being positive about the future? How do I stop myself from wondering whether this is too big and we won’t survive it? I do love him to pieces and would do anything to help him.

Patricia

This is HIS problem and if you think you’re scared, believe me, he’s even MORE scared.

First of all, Patricia, I’m sorry for you and I’m sorry for your boyfriend. When they say “life isn’t fair,” we all technically understand how true it is, but instances like this make it crystal clear. But the measure of a man is not how he handles himself when life is smooth sailing; it’s how he bounces back from crisis.

Your situation is awful and shocking because it involves a house AND a job, but getting downsized in middle age is something that affects millions of people.

In fact, a Love U Masters private coaching client who was in a 20+ year abusive relationship came to me earlier this year to break her bad man habit. Within two months, she had the most wonderful boyfriend of her life and sounded as happy as you did above. Three months into their relationship, her boyfriend – he’s 59, she’s 56 – got fired from his job. She, too, was worried about their future. She, too, wanted to know how to handle it. Her biggest fear – because her ex-husband was a slacker – was that she’d suddenly become her older boyfriend’s permanent caretaker.

I’ll tell you exactly what I told her:

“This is HIS problem and if you think you’re scared, believe me, he’s even MORE scared. And, just like being a parent to a child who is fearful, the best thing you can do is provide reassurance that everything is going to be okay. He’s already feeling vulnerable and thinking all the same thoughts that you are – except he’s really beating up on himself. Which is why it’s incumbent upon you to trust that he knows what’s at stake and give him the freedom to tackle this enormous problem by himself. The right kind of man picks himself up and makes it his #1 priority to find work and a better living situation – even if both of them are temporary. The wrong guy lets this unfortunate setback defeat him and takes a passive approach to getting his life back on track.”

My client’s boyfriend immediately took to the job hunt and my client was nothing but supportive. Never hectoring him. Never reminding him what he had to do. Never making the situation about HER fear when his is far more important. He got a job within a month.

Your guy has been thrown for a loop but it’s a good sign that he didn’t immediately want you to save him. Give him a wide berth and be extra loving and generous while he’s down. After all, there are few things that can deflate a man’s self-esteem more than being unemployed and homeless. I predict you will be rewarded for your positivity and patience – and so will he. Good luck.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Kevin

    women talk about equality…when they have the ability to go home and say i loss/quit my job and be perfectly fine…”we will get through this together” …for a man not so much the other way around u are about to get left or cheated on or both immediately…there is no equality amongst men and women never will be we need to appreciate each other in the roles biology has set for us

    1. 1.1
      sylvana

      Kevin,

      maybe stay away from dating gold-diggers. Plenty of my friend’s husbands have either lost their jobs or quit them, and there was never a problem. And what roles has biology set? What primate female in nature does NOT provide for herself? As a matter of fact, most females of most species provide for themselves.

  2. 2
    Harry Palms

    Agreed. My sisters ex became disabled. Her marriage quickly unraveled. She’ll tell you that he became abusive and how she had to work 2 jobs now.

    2 years later she married a homeowner 15 years her senior.

    Biology 101 at its finest.

    Men will never be able to boink their way to retirement…

    1. 2.1
      Paula

      LOL. The smartest and most self-possessed women I know are acutely aware that they have way better options than ‘boinking their way to retirement.’ I’m sorry you haven’t had the experience of that kind of woman being interested in you.

  3. 3
    Olongapo

    Hahahaha!!!!

    Men always have had the burden of performance. His job loss and loss of his upscale residence started her clock ticking. He’s been a winner and now he’s not. This absolutely trigger’s the poster’s hypergamous doubt and leaves her wondering not only about the future, but perhaps about her decision making. Women IMO, hate to date down.

    My guess is that if he doesn’t find an equal to/better than, job, and some nice housing, she’ll fade away.

    Happened to me twice. Once when I suffered a destructive fire that destroyed my business and once when my adult child died suddenly. That one fortunately, was a 7 month old dating relationship. Took exactly a month to walk.

    He’s been zero’ed out through no fault of his own and probably needs support from his friends. If he’s strong, he’ll re-build. I wish him luck. The OP is probably not “Ride or die” material.

    Her behavior now will tell him what kind of person she is.

  4. 4
    Malika With an L

    Sometimes disasters come in rather complete packages, and unfortunately he has been landed into this very problematic phase of his life. I have known a fair few people go through something similar and with the help of friends and acquaintances have gotten back on the horse, but it does take time and patience while he works out a plan. We all also like to think we have our stuff sorted and this was a huge blow to his feelings of security as well as his ego.He will need a while to process through his feelings.
    This might actually not be the most challenging phase. I knew someone whose house burned down and in the aftermath he was very calm and practical. It was a year down the line that he started having nightmares. It is at this phase that his partner’s emotional support was most needed.

  5. 5
    Elizabeth

    Wow, when did this page get so full of bitter, pathetic men?! Go back to your MGTOW cesspools on Reddit (or wherever this nasty shit comes from) if you want to sit around trashing women with your spewing vitriol!

    Sylvana, there ARE evolutionary biology reasons for many of the decisions women and men make in dating – Google the term and prepare to be amazed. Rather than making me bitter (like those nasty misogynists above), it explained a lot for me and helped me learn to accept men as they were. Not all men are pigs.

    1. 5.1
      Olongapo

      okay………consider me out’ed and properly shamed. Back to my cesspool.

    2. 5.2
      BBQ

      Perhaps some are bitter but they do ask a obvious question (at least for men). She writes she is “really afraid”. Afraid of what exactly? Afraid for this man that he may end up homeless or some similar situation? afraid they as a couple may no longer be able to combine finances and have the future she had envisioned them having together (no longer be on the same level financially so to speak), or afraid that she won’t be able to end up living on his dime for the most part?

      We don’t know. But as one poster above wrote, to have a reaction like this this early shows this woman is definitely not “ride or die”. Some women will have this reaction and as Sylvana wrote, some don’t (or at least don’t act on it or make it known, which might as well be the same thing).

      1. 5.2.1
        Emily, to

        “Afraid of what exactly?”
        She’s afraid the relationship will implode, that because he lost his job and his home he will naturally become very preoccupied, anxious and possibly depressed and pull away from her emotionally, that their relationship won’t survive the crisis. She’s afraid of how to best support him so that he feels she’s in his corner but not smothering and/or needling him. I don’t think she meant afraid for the loss of future finances, but it’s telling many of the male posters “went there.” It’s like the “no drama” post. Says more about you.

        1. xxxxx

          Sorry, Elizabeth. I agree with you on this one, but you are sounding just as angry and bitter as they men you criticise.

        2. BBQ

          .I can’t speak for the other male posters but it seems they were sharing personal anecdotes, so someone else in fact took “them there” and that’s informed there viewpoint on it.
          This is a relationship blog, it seems that’s been their experience in relationships when potential money trouble becomes an issue. Can hardly blame them for venting some about it. It’s not a personal issue for me, but I can’t help think a man would be far less likely to worry about the relationship imploding had his new girlfriend just lost her job and had to find a new place to live.

          As for the “no drama” post, I agree, it does say more about you. Apparently some women want to normalise their immature tantrums by saying men who refuse to put up with them are doing something wrong themselves. As tho being a hysterical drama queen is something they can “gaslight” men into accepting. Yeah nah, sister.

        3. Emily, to

          “but I can’t help think a man would be far less likely to worry about the relationship imploding had his new girlfriend just lost her job and had to find a new place to live.”
          A man has been dating a woman he really likes for 2 months and she loses both her job and her home (two major life stressors) and he doesn’t know her well enough yet to know how she handles stress or even if she can handle stress (they’ve probably never even had an argument yet for him to see how she behaves), and he’s not worried about the relationship imploding? Seems to me there’s at least a decent chance it might. Seems pretty obvious.

        4. BBQ

          But he wouldn’t be worried about it.

          He wouldn’t be worried about whether she could recover financially or had to take a bad job and live in a crappier house/apartment. He wouldn’t be worried about her dropping him out of the stress of losing her house. Most men wouldn’t worry about it at all. That kind of loss of status/stability in a woman wouldn’t worry a man who was dating her (unless he’s trying to marry into royalty or something).

        5. Emily, to

          “That kind of loss of status/stability in a woman wouldn’t worry a man who was dating her (unless he’s trying to marry into royalty or something).”
          If her losing her job and her home won’t worry you, what would? She gets a haircut you don’t like? A girlfriend of only 2 months is going through two major life stressors at the same time. The likelihood that she’ll be so focused on, frankly, saving her ass so she can get a place to live and money coming in that she won’t have the emotional bandwith left to deal with a relationship is high, particularly if she has other responsibilities like children or aging parents who are going to be a little bit more important to her than a boyfriend of 2 months. Is that not obvious?

      2. 5.2.2
        sylvana

        BBQ,

        you forgot to mention the one thing she DOES seem to be afraid of:

        that the relationship won’t make it. She has actually offered him to move in with her, meaning they’ll be living in her house, on her dime.

        1. BBQ

          Oh did I?
          Maybe you think I should have read the article properly before I skipped to the comments section too huh?

    3. 5.3
      sylvana

      Elizabeth,

      sure, there are biological reasons. But not the ones that most men like to list. As a matter of fact, most of the reason a lot of men like to list go against biological reasons.

  6. 6
    Selena

    “I have been dating this guy for a bit over two months.”
    “At 55, he needs to find a job quickly and a new place to live. He has some savings but we live in the most expensive area of California, where rents are absurdly high.”

    “I hate to be selfish and wonder what will happen to us, but here I am…He’s reassured time and again that his love for me and his belief in us is solid, and I believe him. But in the back of my mind I wonder what this crisis will do to us. ”

    LW sounds overly invested in 2 months of dating. It’s fun to be excited about someone, but you are sill getting to know each other so early in. Crisis? Really?

    What were the reasons he lost both his job and home at the same time? Compensation package? He lived paycheck to paycheck, no cushion/savings/liquid assets? How he got here, and how he handles the situation…might give you the most insight into what kind of long term partner he would be.

    1. 6.1
      Lynx

      Selena wrote: “LW sounds overly invested in 2 months of dating.”

      That was my first thought — at the two month mark I’d barely feel I’d scratched the surface of a guy’s persona, much less think I “love him to pieces”.

      I wonder how much age factors in? Is she “really afraid” of losing this particular relationship? Or is she more fearful that if this relationship doesn’t work out, then there might not be another one ? Rhetorical questions, of course, but she expresses a lot of angst over a person she did not know existed 8 weeks earlier.

      1. 6.1.1
        Emily, to

        Lynx,
        “but she expresses a lot of angst over a person she did not know existed 8 weeks earlier.”
        She’s probably just really excited that she met someone she really likes and is acutely aware it could take a while to meet another person she likes who also likes her and is moving things forward like this guy is.

        1. Lynx

          Fair. And I’m aware I am insanely slow to start new relationships, so I’m not a good judge of relatjonship timelines!

  7. 7
    Jelena

    I agree with Emily, I got an impression that she is asking how to support him in this without interfering too much, or what would be her best role in going through this crisis, it is not about the fear of losing resources as some readers here seem to point out.
    I also agree that if some men here were left multiple times, it would be due to their poor choice of women. There is a saying in my country:” First mistake – on you, second mistake- on me”. It may be useful to change dating/ partner type.

    1. 7.1
      Lynx

      The version I’ve heard: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

  8. 8
    Elizabeth

    Emily,

    Precisely.

  9. 9
    GUY BLAISE

    Bonjour!
    I am French. Your reaction is normal. It shows the level of compassion in you. Yes scared because losing a job and a house can bring great deal of stress which can affect the relationship BUT, if he is mature enough, he wouldn’t blame you and will quickly look for another job. I think American women, you need to change your attitude towards men. You are not responsible of his life or to take care him. There is no reasons for you to feel the stress. If he loves you, I will not act stupid.
    C’est la vie!

    1. 9.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @GB

      There is a significant difference in employment protection between France and the U.S. As a fifty-something man who is over the age of 55, I know without a doubt that this man will face a major challenge while attempting to find a new job that pays as equally well as the job from which he was displaced, which is a big part of why this women is afraid. In fact, most age 55+ men who become displaced from the workforce never reach their pre-displacement earnings without creating their own gig. Corporate America does not want workers over the age of 55, especially men because of how they drive up the cost of health insurance. Healthcare costs do not affect companies in your country because you have socialized health care. The years between age 55 and when one becomes eligible for Medicare (socialized healthcare for those over the age of 65) are precarious for most Americans. The odds are that this man is going to have to take significant reduction in compensation when/if he finds a new gig. Hopefully, the LW is mature enough to not base her attraction to him on his status.

  10. 10
    Noquay

    Agree with Selena and Guy. Two months, you’re still getting to know one another. However, a persons true colors shine through during a period of hardship and change. Evan is right; he will either approach the situation with dignity and humility, or he will whine about it and give up. As a professional who willingly gave up the high paying job, the big house, the status, and has drastically downsized, I can attest that former friends look down on me for opting out of a toxic workplace for a simpler and more sustainable life although I am the same person. I also had a partner who refused to even consider changing where/how he lived and downgrade his lifestyle status to live in the woods. That is OK,as it is a reflection on them. The good thing is that the online and IRL meal ticket seekers vanished when there was no meal ticket to be had. Great.
    It sounds as though the guy in the article did not have any advance warning but frankly, any high end professional should know there is no longer such a thing as a permanent job. Many financial folks suggest having six months of living expenses in savings and remain debt free, AND live below your means as sudden job loss is a reality. Unfortunately, for us middle agers, age discrimination is a reality in the professional job market so his chances of finding an equivalent job are rather low. All this woman can do is offer moral support; be there when he needs to talk. She should not rescue him nor have him live with her and her children. Again, it has only been two months.

  11. 11
    Harry Palms

    On a funnier note, it appears the man in the picture has passed wind and girlfriend is like…HELL NO!

  12. 12
    Yet Another Guy

    “How do I stop myself from wondering whether this is too big and we won’t survive it?”

    If the LW is the typical American woman, this relationship is doomed. However, if she is part of the elightened, the relationship may have a chance.

    I found myself displaced during the dot-com/telecom meltdowns. Most people have no idea as to how much of a tidal wave reckless speculation on the part of Wall Street played on the tech sector as a whole. Dot-com companies defaulting on their debts had a huge impact on their suppliers, one of the most impacted sub-sectors was the telecom sector, which built their networks out like crazy in order to meet demand for bandwidth. When the dot-coms imploded, the telcos were left with surplus bandwidth. I was a principal engineer for an established telecom equipment manufacturer that was taken down by the telecom implosion (a company that employed over 20,000 people). I worked in high-speed optical switch hardware and software design. I earned double what my ex-wife earned at this point in time. What occurred after I received my pink slip was akin to being in an episode of the Twilight Zone. Whereas I gave my ex-wife all of the time she needed to land a position where she did not have to take a reduction in compensation when she was displaced shortly after we were married, she granted me no such quarter. She rode me so hard that I almost cracked under the stress. At one point, she suggested that I take a job at Home Depot, even though I had a severance package that was large enough to go a year without a job. Granted, the job market for engineers sucked royally, but to suggest that your husband take a career ending job at Home Depot pretty much re-enforces what the guys who were labeled as being “misogynists” stated above about men giving quarter to women when they lose their job, but not vice versa. I never once told my ex-wife that I was not going to support her when she was displaced. I heard that on an almost daily basis during my search for full-time employment and I had a severance package in addition to income coming in from contract engineering gigs. I eventually accepted a full-time position in higher education at a substantial pay cut in order to obtain benefits, but my marriage never recovered. I spent the next fifteen years in a dying marriage, ten of which were 100% intimate contact free. So, to all of the ladies who say that women are not that shallow. Well, yes, women can be every bit that shallow and more. As a man, status plays a huge role in desirability. There is just no way of getting around it. As a woman, status plays little to no role in desirability, which is where most women go wrong when they falsely believe that their accomplishments make them more desirable to men. That is merely projecting female traits onto men.

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