Author Topic: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk  (Read 4675 times)

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Mental Magpie

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I have reminded Dark Boyfriend over the last few days that he needs to file for unemployment.  He also needs to apply to college because it doesn't look like he's going to find a job (this was his idea: either get a job or go to school).  Frankly, I am tired of reminding him (among other things).  How do I tell him, "You need to file for unemployment and apply to college.  I'm not reminding you again." without sounding like a jerk or like a scolding parent?  I'm tired of actually feeling like his mom in constantly having to remind him to do things.  I don't want to sound like a parent though, so I'm not sure how to politely tell him he needs to do all of this on his own and I'm not going to be responsible for it any more.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Deetee

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 01:38:40 AM »
Are you supporting him?

If you aren't, the way you deal with it is by not reminding him again and letting him deal with it.

The only exception is if he wants to remind him. I will sometimes tell my husband I plan to do something by a certain date and he can bug me if I don't do it.

Danismom

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2012, 01:42:21 AM »
I think the approach is summarily different if you are not financially involved with one another.  If you are living together or both rely on his income for anything other than dates, you have a vested interest in his financial situation.  In that case, you are dealing with him more as a spouse than a bf.

If your finances are co-mingled, I suggest getting your monthly budget together and sitting down with him.  Explain that you are not comfortable budgeting for money that you have not yet been officially promised.  Until he files for unemployment and has received notification that he will indeed be receiving it, you don't budget it in.  Work together to figure out how you are going to pay your bills on just your salary.  It is really important to not be the mom in this situation, but be a team solving a problem.  Leave the college thing alone.  He'll do it when he's ready.

If your finances aren't combined in any way (not living together, no joint loans, etc), then don't keep reminding him at all.  Remember that as you are dating you are discovering each other.  Right now, he's showing you how he will handle this situation.  Let his actions inform you about who he is.  You don't have to shape him into who you want him to be.  You can't really do that anyway.  So let go of it and let him show you about himself. 

In either situation, you can choose to stay and support him (both emotionally and financially) without ever bringing up how he isn't doing what he said he would.  Truthfully, most people get pretty down when they go through something like this.  He may be depressed and need some counseling to help him pull his life back together. 

You can also choose to leave.  If you decide that the situation is unbearable, you don't have to stay.  I'm not encouraging you to leave.  Only you know if this is a deal breaker.  For many people, it would be and for many it isn't.  I think there is no right way to go except to stop nagging. 

EMuir

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2012, 01:50:26 AM »
You need to spell out the consequences.  If he doesn't get a job, you will have to cut back on X expense.  I wouldn't give him too much slack, because there's a point where someone needs sympathy, and then there's the point where they need a kick in the behind. Only you can judge which.

greencat

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2012, 01:59:14 AM »
"Last month you said you were going to (whatever.)  Did your plans change?"  It's a lot less confrontational than "Do what you said you were going to do!"

Mental Magpie

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 01:59:33 AM »
Sorry for not clarifying; in my head, everyone knows what I know  ;).

He didn't get fired or anything, he got out of the military (and is pretty happy about it).  He needs to file for unemployment because without his income we don't have snowball's chance of being able to feed ourselves.  I graduate in May and have been applying to tons of jobs and am just waiting to here back.  If I don't get a job, we're doubly in deep trouble.  He is aware of all of this.

We do live together and have for the last 2 years.  We're also moving shortly after graduation.  It's either he files for unemployment or we're broke because I do not as of yet have a job (I will hear back from one by April 15; if they so "no", it's a significantly less paying job for me somewhere in retail until I hear back from other places).

MollyMurr: it's about time for a kick in the butt is pretty much why I want to tell him I'm not reminding him again.

Danismom: thanks for the advice, I really like the team solving aspect you mentioned.  I am just afraid it will turn into Dark Magdalena solving everything instead (and that may be my fault).
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Viscountess

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 02:00:16 AM »
If you have joint finances (living together, shared accounts, etc) then I would tell him how this would affect your overall income and spending budget.  If you have separate finances and not living together, then you might want to have natural consequences work it out.  He doesn't fill out unemployment then he doesn't get a pay check.  If you fall somewhere in between (living together but separate accounts) then make a budget and show him what expenses you will have to cut back on in order to pay rent and bills. 

ETA:  just read the update.  At this point, I think you just need to tell him the consequences of not filing.   
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 02:04:23 AM by Viscountess »
"If you don't like something, then change it.  If you can't change it, then change your attitude towards it."

Dindrane

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 02:01:03 AM »
Honestly, you might just want to tell him, "Dark Boyfriend, I'm not your mother and I don't want to be a jerk, but you're making me feel like both every time I remind you to file for unemployment/apply to college because you haven't done it yet."

But the other facet to that conversation probably ought to be asking him what he needs from you in order to successfully do both of those things.  Essentially, your current MO (reminding him) is not getting anything accomplished, so it's his turn to think of a plan of attack.  Put the onus on him for finding a solution to the problem of the unemployment and college application.

I think the other thing you might want to bring up is that, while the unemployment and school are primarily his concerns, they do affect you.  Particularly if you live together, the unemployment will have some very real financial impacts.  But even if you don't, it matters.  Even though school isn't going to affect your income in a positive way, it does have an affect on your future together.

Finally, try really hard to be open-minded and listen to him when you ask him for his ideas for a solution.  Be prepared to push this issue so that the root cause (if there is one, and if he knows about it) comes to light.

Personally, I have found that when my husband doesn't step up and do things that I expect of him, 75% of the time it's because I have a tendency to be controlling and make it hard and rather unpleasant for him to take charge of anything.  My knee-jerk is to assume that he doesn't know what he's doing and that I can do it better, which is insulting and generally not even true.  It's taken some effort on my part, but he's a lot better at following through on the things he says he'll do now that I am less likely to get mad at him for doing it wrong or take over because of perceived incompetence.

I have no idea if that is even a remote possibility for your situation, but it's worth trying to be open to the fact that there may be something you need to change that you just haven't figured out yet, and that Dark Boyfriend might not be willing to bring up unless pressed.


Danismom

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2012, 02:12:33 AM »
Also, check on the part about ETSing and filing for unemployment.  I honestly don't think an honorable discharge qualifies you for unemployment, but I'm no expert. 

I know a lot of places offer the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University classes.  It costs $100 for the packet of materials which can be *ouch*, but the information is wonderful.  It is Christian based.  I just bring that up so it doesn't come as a surprise if that isn't your preference.  My favorite part about it is that you attend as a couple and it really encourages communication and goal setting as a team.  You aren't inflicting your plans on him and he isn't overruling you.  You do this together.

Still, this is a good time to really take stock as you decide next steps.

guihong

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2012, 08:44:07 PM »
Danismom is right.  Has this been a pattern in the two years you've lived together-you either nag him, or take over the situation?  No one can tell you what to do or where your dealbreakers are, but I'm here to tell you that it is 1000% harder to raise a family and run a household when you have basically an adult child who won't take responsibility for himself.  Taking a parenting role with him will kill the passion in your relationship and erode your respect for him.   He is showing you how he deals with crossroads in life, which come very often, and how responsible he is.  Is he really ready for a live-in relationship that is financially entwined like a marriage?  Those are hard questions to think about.

You have choices.  One of them that I recommend is not to nag him, period.  Then you can take steps so that your credit and financial health aren't impacted by his decisions.  You may have to really look at your relationship, but only you can make that decision.

Agreed that he may be depressed and need counseling, but he needs to arrange that. 



kareng57

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2012, 08:53:27 PM »
I don't disagree with PPs at all, but I'm wondering about your remark that you will be moving soon.

Do you mean relocating to another city, or just a move within the same metro area?

If it's the former, I can understand a job-search being more difficult, although of course that's what you, yourself, are doing right now anyway.

Mental Magpie

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2012, 10:18:00 PM »
We're moving from Missouri to Colorado.

guihong, that's pretty much of what I've been thinking.  It seems there is a pattern of "Well, Dark Magdalena will do it, so I'll just sit back."  I'm trying to curb that now, I guess, because I'm getting tired of it.  In the past, it hasn't been entirely important things or things that needed to be planned in advanced.  Now that it is, I'm starting to see how I do all of the work.  I didn't mind when he had a job because I had more free time.  Now that he has more free time, it's glaringly obvious that I do must of everything.  I have also been thinking about what you said as far as securing myself financially.  I, by myself (plus two dogs), will be fine; I have back ups so to speak.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

shhh its me

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2012, 10:19:09 PM »
  I personal would be funny about it " do you mind researching food banks and homeless shelters?...cause that is about to be our reality. You need to file for unemployment. I'm not your mom I shouldn't have to nag about this. You're going to stave too"

Mental Magpie

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2012, 10:24:23 PM »
  I personal would be funny about it " do you mind researching food banks and homeless shelters?...cause that is about to be our reality. You need to file for unemployment. I'm not your mom I shouldn't have to nag about this. You're going to stave too"

That absolutely sounds like something I would say.  I think that I'm too angry about a lot of other things at the moment to think of the humor approach, which is probably the best way to approach, actually.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

figee

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2012, 01:01:08 AM »
Something else to think about. This might also be about him leaving the military.  My wonderful DH is military and he, and all of his friends are the same.  Very good at their jobs, detail and task-oriented, efficient and delightful.  At home, in the civilian world, not so much.  They don't cope so well with taking the initiative, 'seeing' what needs to be done and then doing it.  I'm not saying it's right, just that institutionalisation can have some interesting effects on people.