Those of us with partners who’ve been laid off – or have experienced it themselves – know just how disheartening, demoralising and downright depressing it is. It’s been a year now – a WHOLE year – I cannot believe it.
Let’s get one thing out of the way. It’s not a lack of ambition that is T’s problem; it’s more like a lack of direction. Not all people know what they want to do in life, although this seems more acceptable if you’re female (it’s okay, increasingly, to say you just want to be a wife/mother/homemaker; not so much for a guy to say the equivalent).
I’m very proud of him for having finished his course, and he now knows he can apply to university and that he can do it. Jumping into the academic world isn’t easy when you’ve been out of it for years, and when you’re not super academically inclined in the first place.
He may not be a straight-A student, but neither am I, and I shouldn’t expect him to be – as long as I do my best, I’m happy, and that’s the same standard I should hold him to.
If he simply wants to work whatever job he can get, that’s fine – but having been absolutely bollocked by the recession, I’m wary of that path. In the longterm, I firmly believe that having a qualification (trade or otherwise) is essential.
So, I guess I don’t really know where to from here. I’m not expecting him to come up with a 50 year plan, but I do expect him to have some sort of direction. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
We’ve clashed over this lots of times – he always reiterates: “I wouldn’t care if we were living out of a car, as long as we have each other.” Call me heartless, call me unromantic but there are some lines I’m not willing to cross.
At the moment, he’s fired up about one of our flatmate’s fathers, who is keen to start up a business and employ both of them. Not a career type of job – just a job. He’s been to the careers counsellors at uni, who clarified the options that we’d already settled on, without giving him anything definitive. He could go ahead with the plan to become a teacher, or he could try to get trade qualified in engineering/fabrication, which is what he was working before. (Or the army, again…something he’s increasingly talking about).
It’s October now, and I thought he would have a pretty good idea of what he wanted to do. It looks like uni is out of the picture, at least for the first semester of 2010 – applications aren’t going to stay open forever. I’ve spent many hours late at night sitting up with him helping him with assignments. I feel I’ve invested a lot of energy into this, and although there’s no way I’d ever force him to do anything, I really do think carrying on with study would be in his best interests.
Whether he could stay motivated through the three years, slogging through papers that he might not enjoy (some he definitely won’t) would be another challenge. For me, I see deadly dull core papers as a necessary evil, but I plough through anyway. To him, he’s so disinterested that he doesn’t put effort in. And that’s something you have to deal with at university.
I know I keep saying I want a crystal ball…..but I really, really, do!!