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  • #378071
    tranquility_17
    Participant

    Hello,

    This is challenging for me to write about because I feel like it’s a trivial complaint compared to what some people are going though, but it’s a situation I am really struggling with. I have been with my boyfriend for 3.5 years. We have a great relationship. We are respectful of each other, our families, our friends. etc. When we met, we both worked good jobs and had active lifestyles outside of work. After about 2 yeas of dating, we decided we would both quit our jobs and move to his home country for about a year and spend some time traveling together. In March of 2020 we both left our jobs, sold everything including houses, cars, etc. However, 1 week before we were supposed to leave, COVID shut down the world and we could not travel to his home country (South Africa). I was fortunate that my job allowed me to stay on and work on a month to month basis remotely. So we traveled the US a bit, spent some time with my family, and explored some other states to live in. Ultimately, we decided to come back to where we met because SA borders are still not freely open. I maintained my job the entire time we were moving around and I’ve continued to grow in my career. He stated trading stocks and has been very successful at it. He has always had a relaxed approach to life and has held good contract jobs and then taken time off, only working when he needed money. He is happy with this lifestyle and by no means does he need anyone’s help financially.  Once we came back to our “home” state, we moved in together. Again, we are very compatible and happy. What I am struggling with is what I see as a lack of purpose in his day to day. I feel bad putting it that way, but I don’t know how else to say it. He get’s up in the morning, surfs, trades stocks, cooks meals, helps around the house, etc. Things most people would do anything for in a partner! I am currently working from home and I have a pretty demanding job, I am taking an online course, and I am very active in a few workout clubs. Because my days are packed and I feel I am constantly working on myself, learning new things, growing in my career, etc. I get annoyed by his laid back contentment. Or perhaps I am jealous? I know very much so that I enjoy being busy and challenged so it’s not the free time I am jealous of, but perhaps his ability to be happy without always striving for more, more, more?

    Anyhow, we discussed having kids and overall I would say be are both happy in our relationship. But this underlying feeling of being annoyed because he’s just hanging out all day is eating at me. I am not supporting him financially so I don’t really feel like I have a right to bring it up to him. Or maybe I just don’t know how. Maybe I just need someone to tell me to worry about myself and not him:) The thing is he seems happy and when I ask he says he is. I just know I would feel lost and like I didn’t have a purpose if I didn’t have responsibilities day to day. I also realize everyone is different but this is my partner and I really beleive in surrounding yourself with others that inspire you and make you a better person. Perhaps that is exactly what he is doing, and I hope I am doing the same for him. But at the  same time, I want to have kids with someone that has a deep work ethic and sets that example and I am not sure I am seeing that in this relationship. Anyhow, any advise or perspectives, or questions are welcome and I though maybe getting this out on paper would help me process it as well. Thank you.

    #378085
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear tranquility_17,

    your partner seems happy with his relaxed approach to life, and he seems to be doing it smartly because he earns enough money to live comfortably and without much stress. He’s not just sitting on his ass the whole day, because: “He gets up in the morning, surfs, trades stocks, cooks meals, helps around the house, etc“. So he cooks, does the housework and brings in the money… ideal combination 🙂

    But I see your issue – you’re concerned that he doesn’t have a good work ethic and might not set a good example for your future children. Your work ethic is different than his: you work hard for your salary (I have a pretty demanding job), and you’re also continuously working on yourself, both as a person and professionally (I am taking an online course, I am very active in a few workout clubs, I am learning new things, growing in my career).

    You’re all about becoming better and growing, while he seems to be content with himself (I get annoyed by his laid back contentment). Well, what if he’s actually pretty developed already, since he’s smart and capable enough to earn money without working his socks off, and also pretty advanced spiritually to be able to enjoy the here and now, and to also trust that the universe has his back because he can always earn money when he needs it? What if he’s already living his personal nirvana and enjoying every minute of it?

    What comes to mind is the well-known story of the fisherman and the businessman (when the businessman tries to persuade the fisherman to create a fishing business, buy a ship fleet, etc… so that he could get rich and eventually retire and fish and relax all day long, like he’s doing now). What if your partner is the fisherman, and doesn’t want to become a stressed, overworked, burned out businessman, but to enjoy life and also provide for his family?

    #378086
    anita
    Participant

    Dear tranquility_17:

    You shared that when you met your boyfriend of 3.5 years, in the U.S., the two of you had good jobs and active lifestyles outside of work. About two years into the relationship, in March 2020, according to a plan you had, the two of you quit your jobs, sold everything including your cars and houses, and were about to move to his home country, South Africa, for about a year, and travel. But “COVID shut down the world”, and South Africa closed its borders.

    Although you quit your job, your employer allowed you to return to work on a month to month, remote basis. You were able to work while the two of you traveled within the U.S. He started trading stocks, working when he needed money, and has been able to financially support himself. After the travel, you returned to the state where you met and moved in together. The two of you currently work from home, and you are troubled (“being annoyed.. eating at me”) about his relaxed approach to life and laid back lifestyle, by the “lack of purpose in his day to day.. He gets up in the morning, surfs, trades stocks, cooks meals, helps around the house, etc… just hanging out all day”, while your days are packed with a demanding job, an online course, a few workout clubs, growing in your career, “being busy and challenged.. always striving for more, more, more”.

    You are thinking about having kids with him, but you “want to have kids with someone that has a deep work ethic and sets that example… any advice or perspectives, or questions are welcome”-

    You wrote: “we are very compatible and happy”- not very compatible, and you are not happy. It may that you manage your anxiety by keeping yourself very busy, “striving for more,  more, more”, while he manages his anxiety by leading a laid back life style. Sounds like he is not troubled by your busy life style (?), but you are bothered by his laid back lifestyle.

    Question: when growing up, did your parents lead very busy lives and were critical of other people (people in the extended family, friends, neighbors, or strangers) who were laid back.. or was one of your parents busy and critical of the other who was laid back.. any such thing?

    anita

    #378096
    tranquility_17
    Participant

    Thank you TeaK for the perspective. You are exactly right…he is not sitting around on his ass, I hope I didn’t portray that. Also, just for clarity, we contribute equally from a housework and financial aspect. Maybe it’s the 2nd part of your last question that is bothering me. He doesn’t want to provide for a family, he wants to provide for himself and for us to split everything else, which I am okay with right now. I don’t know if that will change once we have kids. We have discussed this and he is not interested in being the sole provider. You also have some good points about his current spiritual development and being able to enjoy the present. For that, I think I am jealous.

    #378098
    tranquility_17
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Yes, my parents both lead very VERY busy lives and always have. Now that you ask, I do recall my Mom being critical of my Dad who is more laid back. She still is very critical of him when he even wants to rest and he is almost 70! I am also my Mom’s dumping ground for anything she wants to vent about. She is always calling me to complain my sister-in-law and how my brother does everything.

    #378102
    anita
    Participant

    Dear tranquility_17:

    Reads like, when you were a child, your mother repeatedly expressed anger at your alleged laid back father, and at other real or alleged laid back people, and you naturally absorbed that anger, which is currently directed at your boyfriend.

    anita

    #378105
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear tranquility_17,

    We have discussed this and he is not interested in being the sole provider.

    How about maternity leave? Do you think he’d be willing to provide for you and the children while you’re on maternity leave and beyond, if you decide to take a few years off of work because you feel like dedicating your time completely to children while they’re little? Do you feel he’d support you in that, or he’d expect you to return to work ASAP?

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