Divorcing a Husband Who Won’t Work [HERE’S HOW]

Thinking about divorcing your husband who won’t work? You have reached your limit and can’t watch your partner sit on the couch and do nothing any longer. You have tried everything possible to help him kickstart his career but alas, divorcing a husband who won’t work can be the best decision of your life.

The worst feeling is the feeling of being on your own and doing everything alone. Living with a husband who won’t work or help support your family can cause that lonely feeling every day. This is not directed to those who have an agreed-upon situation where the husband has taken on the role of stay-at-home parent/homemaker, this is directed to those whose husband neither works outside nor within the home!

Before jumping into a divorce, try and support your husband to overcome his laziness. If your support does not succeed, it may be time to leave!

wife upset with lazy husband who won't work

Related Reading: My Husband Lacks The Ambition To Get A Better Job

Losing Patience with an Unemployed Husband

Your alarm sounds at 6:00 am. You get up, make coffee, get the children ready for school, and get yourself ready for work. What is your husband doing? He slept in until 10:00 am.

Of course, you are going to lose your patience. Even more so if you work from home, you have been typing away and attending meetings since 8:00 am. Every 10 minutes, you hear a faint snore. Your unemployed husband is still in bed sleeping! This can make anybody lose their patience.

When he eventually gets up, he only has a cup of coffee and moves to the couch for the remainder of the day. Even though you have been working for almost 7 hours. You now have to fetch the children from school and start preparing lunch and dinner.

By the time dinner is finished, you have ultimately reached the end of your patience. It’s essential to keep your own sanity in mind. Of course, it’s stressful and frustrating having a husband who won’t work or help out at home. It is high time to develop some coping mechanisms for yourself.

Sit him down and talk to him, tell him how you feel and that he needs to pull his own weight around the house physically and financially. If he is not working, he can at least do most of the household tasks and participate in child-care.

If his behavior does not change after you attempt to support and help him, it may be better to simply walk away from him and have one less person to take care of (especially if you are already doing all of the housework and childcare alone anyways).

Related Reading: Co-Parenting vs Single Parenting – Helpful Tips

How Do I Cope with My Husband Not Working?

It may seem impossible! But if you are committed to your own psychological well-being, you can find ways to cope while married to someone who doesn’t work.

There is a big difference between a husband who “can’t find work”, but is actively trying and looking, and a husband who “won’t work.” If you have a spouse that won’t work, you can use the following tips to boost your phycological well-being.

  • Seek group therapy. The best advice is to go and talk to someone who might be going through the same situation as you.
  • Don’t forget about your physical well-being. Take time for yourself, go for a massage, or do some exercise.
  • Put yourself first, don’t let the stress of an unemployed spouse get you down.

Focus on your own well-being if your husband does not want to work and seemingly never will. Rather walk away from the relationship.

There is, of course, the scenario where your husband wants to work and is capable of doing so but has lost his job due to economic reasons. Although your man wants to work, it can still be a difficult situation and put unnecessary stress on the both of you if he suddenly loses his job. It’s important to not walk away from him in a situation like this but instead support him. It is also important to discuss expectations of how he can help you with the children and around the house until he is able to contribute in other ways.

Related Reading: My Father is Depressed, How Can I Help? [HELPFUL TIPS]

How Do You Support Your Husband When He Loses His Job?

It is less frustrating when your husband wants to work but loses his employment. It’s important to remember that it’s not his fault and that he needs support.

Losing one’s job is never easy. It puts unnecessary strain and stress on a relationship. You and your partner can, however, overcome this hiccup life has sent your way.

  • Remind him that you’re going through this together
  • Allow him to take the needed time to process his loss of employment
  • Find the positive out of this negative situation
  • Don’t pressure your partner
  • Help him realize his passions
  • Support him
  • Be honest about your expectations from him while he is unemployed (I.e., you would like him to do the majority of the housework since you are working)
  • Help him find something else

If your husband is willing to work, remind him that you are a team. Support him in his search for new employment. Don’t give up on your husband. The search for new jobs can be challenging. It can take a long time to find new employment, and it’s important for you and your husband to work together as a team.

It is normal for somebody to lose hope when they lose employment. You, as a partner, can use strategies to motivate them.

How Can I Get/Motivate My Husband to Get a Job?

Sometimes your husband only needs a bit of motivation. I believe the saying goes, “Women inspire men to great feats.”

Motivate your husband by doing the following:

  • Have an understanding and a calm mindset toward the situation
  • Talk about your household financial situation; set a realistic budget based on your income and any savings you may have
  • Give support
  • Be patient; it’s never easy to find a new job
  • Help your husband with job hunting
  • Support him in interview-prep
  • Focus on the little things like helping him fix up his resume

If all of the above fails to succeed and your husband still does not want to find a job or work. It’s time to make an important decision. Is the job market really that tough that he fails to find employment? Or does he simply not care? If he does not care and doesn’t want to work, or this has been an ongoing situation of him losing jobs and refusing to find a new one, it may be better for your psychological well-being to divorce him.

Related Reading: Why We Need & Benefit From Family Support

When To Divorce an Unemployed Husband

Let’s be honest, walking away from a marriage immediately because your husband fails to find employment is not right.

If your husband refuses to work and just wants to lie around on the couch all day, then you have a perfectly valid reason to divorce him. This can be tricky. He might act like he is “actively searching for a job,” but in reality, doesn’t want a job because he is more than content with just lying around all day long. Is your husband’s job hunting a reality or a lie? Look out for the following.

When your husband “acts” like he is actively searching for a job, he will:

  • Never have interviews
  • He won’t be able to give a detailed description of the types of roles he is applying for
  • You won’t see him on his laptop actively searching for employment
  • He will tell you he applied for a position, but you will never see the proof

On the other hand, if he is actively searching for employment, you can expect the following:

  • He can give you a detailed description of the roles he is applying for
  • There is feedback from recruiters, and he shares this feedback with you
  • He frequently goes for interviews
  • He spends hours in front of his laptop searching for future employment

If you think your husband might be lying to you and he is not actively looking for new employment, you might want to consider separating from him. It’s advised to first try and support him and talk about the problem. If all your attempts fail, walk away!

Continue Reading: Why Does My Husband Always Make Decisions Without Consulting Me?


Having a husband who won’t work can be challenging. It’s important to distinguish between having a husband who wants to work and contribute financially toward the household—and having a husband who refuses to work and just wants to lie on the couch all day, depending entirely on you for financial well-being.

Be sure of the situation you find yourself in and make the right decision accordingly.

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