My husband refused to get a job, so I bought him a boat

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

Six months before I filed for divorce from my husband of nearly five years, he lost his job.

My husband didn't give me any details about why his boss fired him. All I knew was that he left the house for work early on Monday morning and was home unemployed by noon.

He wasn't a good provider to begin with. Most of his paycheck went toward booze and other recreational substances with a smattering of chrome car and motorcycle parts on the side. Sure, a man is allowed to have hobbies, but prioritizing another set of spare handlebars over paying the mortgage wasn't smart.

Needless to say, it did not thrill me to learn he was unemployed.

I knew it would be difficult for my husband to find a new job. He'd had only one employer his entire working career, and that employer had fired him. Would his boss be willing to give him a good reference?

Somehow I doubted it.

Days ticked by with no sign that my husband was searching for a new job.

He spent his days watching television and his nights partying with his best friend. Looking for work wasn't one of his priorities.

Already pressed for cash, I began taking extra shifts at work. It wasn't enough, but it was more than anyone else was doing to pay our bills.

The days turned into weeks, and there was still no sign that my husband was searching for a new job.

I often returned home from a double shift to find him and his friend sitting on my sofa watching my television and enjoying the cable I paid for but didn't have time to enjoy.

Months passed, and nothing changed until one day my husband and his friend told me they had a plan. They wanted to buy a fishing boat, then neither of them would ever have to find a job again. They would work for themselves as fishermen, spending their days on the water and getting paid cash at the dock for their catch every afternoon upon their return.

I didn't like this idea.

It sounded like an excuse not to get a real job, and neither my husband nor his friend had the money for a fishing boat, but they had already found one for sale.

I didn't have money for a fishing boat either, but I had a decent credit score and a pre-approved loan offer from a local lender. Despite my reservations and my hesitation, I took out a cash loan to buy my husband his fishing boat.

My husband and his friend spent their days on the water, and sometimes, they even caught enough shellfish so each of them got paid. Unfortunately, none of that cash went toward paying our shared bills or the loan for the boat. It went directly from my husband's pocket to the local bar.

This experience confirmed a few things I already knew. My husband would never find a job, and he would not make a living as a professional fisherman, either.

And I shouldn't have bought him a boat.

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