How Can I Motivate My Partner Who Does Not Want to Work?

When your partner doesn't want to work, it can affect the harmony of the whole household. To avoid any major conflicts, it's important to resolve the situation as soon as possible.
How Can I Motivate My Partner Who Does Not Want to Work?
Isbelia Esther Farías López

Written and verified by the philosopher Isbelia Esther Farías López.

Last update: 11 June, 2022

Are you wondering how to motivate a partner who does not want to work?

Obviously, work and personal frustrations can both negatively influence a person. Oftentimes, during these moments, a couple can experience difficulties. In the case that one person is not willing work, it can cause not only marital problems, but also financial ones. While this may seem like an impossible situation, it’s not.

Only when conditions are at their worst do you truly see how a person reacts to misfortune. Therefore, it’s important to focus on the most positive part of the current situation. Otherwise, the problem will only become more and more negative for a couple.

How to Act Around a Partner Who Doesn’t Want to Work

1. Be patient.

Having your partner at home all the time and not be searching for jobs can definitely be frustrating. However, remember to remain calm and avoid arguments. This is probably not your partner’s first choice, either, and it’s also probably damaging his or her self esteem.

You need to give your partner some time to regain his or her energy. However,  remember to remain attentive to his or her reactions. It’s completely normal for your partner to be nervous or be in a bad mood. Actually, your partner may even feel like a burden on the family as someone who does not contribute financially. Try not to add to his or her stress.

2. Identify the real cause.


Although it can seem difficult, the only way to solve these problems is by talking about them. Then, sou need to discover the real reason why your partner does not want to work.

Sometimes, the difficulties surrounding finding a job (like age, experience, abilities, etc.) can cause depression. Other times, people do not know what they want to do, so they instead decide to do nothing.

It may also be the case that your partner is comfortable and does not intend to enter the workforce or be productive any time soon. The important thing is to identify why your partner does not want to work in order to help him or her solve the problem. 

3. Reassign household chores.

Even if your partner does not want to work, not doing anything is not the solution either. You can r edistribute the family chores to give your partner more tasks and make him or her feel involved and productive. This should be proposed as a collaborative measure.

Household chores will help your partner keep their mind occupied and also teach your partner to value time differently. This is also beneficial to you because you can use this new free time as a way to catch up on your own work or other tasks that have piled up.

It’s likely that, after a while, your partner will want to go back to work and start job searching again. However, sometimes new social interactions and contacts are also needed to help motivate people.

4. Encourage your partner.

The best way to encourage a person is to strengthen their self esteem about their own abilities by praising them or giving them affection. We can help them prepare themselves for job hunting without being pushy about it.

It’s a good opportunity to show your partner that while nothing is easy, it’s also not impossible. The best advice is to not worry about starting out small and setting small goals. For example, starting with a part-time job, a temporary job, or a job in a different field all are great goals. While this might not seem like the ideal beginning, it is a start, and will help motivate your partner.

5. Talk about the impact on your family.

Talk about impact on family

Little by little, it’s important to talk about how this situation impacts your family as a whole.

One thing you will need to talk about are your expectations for how long your partner truly believes he or she will be without a job. Another thing to talk about is limiting the family budget to avoid going into any debt or having other difficult financial situations.

The most important thing when having these tough conversations is to have a positive perspective, be diplomatic, and present these solutions as temporary and reversible.

What if My Partner Still Doesn’t Want to Work?

There are some people who simply have no interest in working. Some people feel more comfortable and happy depending on another person financially. They follow their own routine with little worries, much like a child.

If this is the case, it’s best to consult a professional. If, after some time, there are no improvements or attempts to find a job, the best option is most likely to leave your partner. A successful relationship requires that both people work as a team, are mature and grow and prosper together. A life partner who has no desire to grow will only negatively affect your life and success.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.