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Author Topic: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk  (Read 14397 times)

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2012, 01:32:47 AM »
I really think it's important to think about why you do most of everything.  It's possible that it's for reasons that are entirely about Dark Boyfriend, but it's also possible that it's a dynamic that developed gradually over time in your relationship without either of you ever really noticing it.

Seriously, I had something very similar happen to me.  When DH and I moved in together, I was unemployed and he was a student.  In the grand scheme of things, I had the most time.  Even after I got a job, I spent a good year or two being not really busy enough at work, so I still had a lot of time on my hands.

Because of that, and because my personality lends itself towards doing things myself so I can be sure they are done the way I think they ought to be, I took over a lot of things.  DH is not naturally good at keeping track of details, but I am reasonably good about it.  DH is not naturally good at managing finances (he hates math), but I enjoy it.  DH has also been in graduate school for the entire time I've known him, so he's had a lot of other things he had to keep at the forefront of his mind -- I didn't.

But about a year and a half ago, my job suddenly got a lot more intense than it had ever been before.  I was (and am) pushing all the limits in terms of the level of work I am doing and the amount of it.  When that started, I started forgetting things at home and getting very frustrated with DH that he wasn't doing more.  I felt like I was his mother and had to take care of him, on top of earning the majority of our income and having to work outside the house while he sat at home in his pajamas to do his work.

However, in actually talking with DH (and fighting with him) about that issue, he made me realize that a lot of the reason why he wasn't stepping up to help me is because I had made it very clear early on that I didn't really want his help.  I was more capable, in the beginning, and so I made it difficult for him to help me.  If he didn't do things the way I wanted, I criticized him for doing them wrong, so he eventually quit offering.  In other words, I was taking care of him only because I'd more or less signed up for the job.

Things are a lot better for us now, but I really had to change how I was thinking about the work in our relationship.  If I was going to expect DH to pick up some slack, I really did have to let him do it in whatever way he wanted as long as it resulted in the desired outcome.  So if he does certain things differently than I do, I don't complain about it as long as the outcome is the one we want.  Getting to that point required both of us to work a little bit at it -- DH had to get back into the habit of doing things that I'd been taking care of, and I had to find ways to trust that they would be done in a satisfactory way.  What helped with that was me helping him take charge of things, in the sense that he would tell me what he intended to do to make sure something got done, and I would ask him what he needed from me in order to make it happen.

So it's possible that there is something other than that going on in your relationship, but some unhealthy dynamics grow out of situations that used to work just fine.  The trick is in seeing how it came about and why it's no longer working so that you can jointly find a dynamic that does work for both of you.

If that is what's going on with you and Dark Boyfriend, it was important for me to remember that my DH was and is not feckless -- he was entirely capable of taking care of himself without me, and he can certainly take care of himself now.  I'd gotten into the habit of thinking that he was just no good at it, which wasn't true and wasn't fair.  There are certain things I'm better at, but I'm not better at everything related to responsible adulthood, and I needed to stop acting as though I was.


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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2012, 12:21:06 PM »
I think a lot of people are being extremely generous toward your BF here.

I'm sorry but filling out unemployment paperwork should have been done the very first day he could do it.  When I got laid off, I filled out the application online that very night.  I didn't have the luxury of sitting around and getting depressed or feeling sorry for myself, I had two children to feed. 

I agree with whoever said that he is showing you who he is.  When you really need him for something in the future, expect this same behavior again.  A complete lack of urgency and no sense of responsibility.  If you can live with that, then you are fine.  If not, I'd suggest not saying a word and just finding a way to support yourself from now on.


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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2012, 07:39:31 PM »

I would ask him why he's not doing this, and listen to the answer to see if there's anything beyond procrastination here.

If not, you can explain once more about how important this is for him to do, and what they consequences will be if he doesn't. At that point, it's up to him.

If it's been a pattern of you doing stuff and him sitting back, then you need to do some thought to see how this pattern came up - is sitting back and letting others do things a part of his personality? Is going ahead and doing everything part of  yours, or were you picking up the slack for him?

And think really hard about what you (singular, not you as a couple) will do if he doesn't put in the application, and you guys are left without any income at all, right when you're moving to a different state, because this is the kind of thing that can break a relationship.  If this is a habit with him, or part of your personality, this is going to be a part of your life together - you will be responsible for getting important stuff done, without help.  It's up to you to decide how much of that you can handle in a long term relationship.


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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2012, 08:57:01 PM »
What Miranova said.   You have to decide if this is the future you want, because he's not going to magically change into the man you wish him to be.  I agree that it would be very difficult to balance a career, a house and children with an immature man, essentially another child. :(


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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2012, 11:52:32 AM »
Did he actually agree to fill out all of this paperwork, or is this just something that you think he should do and assumed he would? I know a few people that would rather starve than put their hand out to ask for help, no matter how much they deserve it (even from the government). It doesn't matter how illogical that stance is.

Basically, if he said he would do it and didn't, that's one story. But if he never actually agreed to do it, then you can't remind him, as there is nothing to remind him of.

If he did agree to do it, and didn't for whatever reason, I think you can ask him why without being impolite. Hopefully the answer isn't "I am too lazy."


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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2012, 01:00:43 PM »
One of the best pieces of advice that I have gotten is that people show you who they are every day.  And that we should believe them when they show us who they are.  These characteristics can be either positive or negative depending on what their partner wants in a relationship

I know of at least two happy relationships where the husbands sit home all day, doing no housework or anything else while the wives work two jobs to support their families along with doing all the yard work, laundry, cooking and snow shoveling.  While it isn't the kind of relationship I would choose, it obviously suits those particular couples and I'm happy they found each other. :)

When our youngest was struggling with what to do about her relationship, I told her that she either loved him exactly the way that he is or she needed to set him free to find the person who was going to love him not in spite of his personality characteristics, but because of them.  And I say this as a person who is not the easiest person in the world to get along with. :) 


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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2012, 01:10:06 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. 

I agree a bazillion percent with this. I'm dealing with the fallout now of having married a man whose response to stress is to take absolutely no responsibility, and this sounds like exactly the sort of thing I'd have to deal with if my husband were to lose his job.

I also agree with guihong's course of action. Make sure you can take care of yourself, and stop nagging him. Let the chips fall where they may as a result of his choices, and then see where you're at.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."


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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2012, 01:30:46 PM »
I'm not sure if its the same in all states by in NYS filing for unemployment takes less then 20 minutes and can be done at home from your computer with no paperwork in front of you.  There's really no reason to not file whatsoever.  Also in NY there's a window after which you can't apply.  Oh and the first week after you apply is no pay, and they don't pay for back weeks of unemployment that you didn't apply for benefits for.  So if you need money for say, next month's rent well its already the second week of the month, so if he applies today he gets no pay this week, and then next week, the 20th his payments start.  And the payments aren't really very high and he won't get a big ole' check for all that procrastination time.

Honestly I wouldn't nag but I wouldn't put up with it either.  How is he going to pay his share of the rent?  How will he feed himself?  Pay for electric?  Transportation? Internet? Phone? Laundry?  Are all these going to fall to you?  Are you going to have to break up with him because of this?  You are planning a move - will you move without him?  Will he guilt you into leaving behind more then your fair share of the stuff because he can't afford to replace it?  Is your name on the current lease?  You need to make sure if you leave your name comes off the lease, so when he fails to pay the rent its not your credit that takes the hit - an eviction will stay on your record for 7 years and might prevent you from getting a job (sad, and perhaps unfair, but true none the less) as well as all sorts of other things in life (new car, mortgage, credit, etc).

Edited to change "bankruptcy"' to "eviction"
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 01:54:00 PM by WillyNilly »


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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2012, 01:47:36 PM »
There is a general rule that you've got about 2 years before the lust goggles come off and you can make an truely informed choice about the long term viability of a relationship.

Every action he takes is a gift to you to make an informed decision.


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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2012, 03:22:16 PM »
Along the lines of what miranova said, the minefield here is that you have such a vested interest in what he decides to do, when he does it and, of course, if he does it.  I can think of a million polite ways to approach this with a friend, parent, sibling, or child.  But that's because my goal would be to offer support for whatever problem is causing him/her to not do the obvious thing.

With an SO, the goal is different, because I'd think in that case, you'd want him to be a responsible adult without your prodding.  And there just aren't any good ways to put that.  Even if there was a way, very few people would respond "Oh, I never realized that - I'll get right on it". 

This may be a case of you can't change others; you can only control how you respond to them.

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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2012, 03:47:07 PM »
It came up in conversation, and I lightheartedly told him to do it and that I wasn't going to remind him again.  When I got home from class this morning, he had it done and was on his way to get his taxes done.  I guess maybe he just needed a little wake up call.

I appreciate all of the good advice.  Thank you.


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Re: How to say "I'm not reminding you again" without sounding like a jerk
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2012, 04:19:36 PM »
Great news!  Glad to hear the update.  (I didn't have any advice earlier but was following...I'm a chronic procrastinator myself.)