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Aibu to feel so defensive when he questions my job

(113 Posts)
Aknotofworry Wed 09-Dec-15 21:42:55

I'm not quite sure what exactly this AIBU is, but I feel stressed. Basically, I work in an admin job which I enjoy but isn't all that well paid I guess. 18K. I'm currently living with my parents and saving a bit. My boyfriend is starting a PhD at an English Uni. We have been talking about moving in together down south - we're currently in a long distance relationship. However, he often says things like 'What are you actually going to do for work?' I make ill advised jokes about dossing about reading and taking baths. 'No but what are you actually going to do?' (This is all still very much at the thinking about it stage.) I say that I'll probably look to get an admin/PA job. And he is very very discouraging about this - 'There's too much competition. What will you achieve that will last behind you? It won't be easy to get that sort of thing. Don't you want to exercise your mind? etc.'

And I feel so awful somehow! To be clear, I'm a recovering alcoholic at a fairly young age, a few years sober now. I find things fairly hard to cope with, but am doing better than I ever have, have more confidence but there are daily challenges. I don't know what he wants from me - is he looking for an excuse to end things? Why am I not good enough for him? Sorry I'm rambling. sad

FreeWorker1 Wed 09-Dec-15 21:49:23

Basically he is on a different intellectual and career path than you.

What have you got in common? You sound very mismatched. I think he expects you to somehow one day 'get a proper job'. Is that what he is saying?

MotherofFlagons Wed 09-Dec-15 21:51:50

It rather sounds like he looks down on people in what he considers to be menial jobs.

Aknotofworry Wed 09-Dec-15 21:52:29

We're not all that mismatched - we both love reading and history for example. We have a similar sense of humour.

Thanks for reading btw, I realise that was quite a wall of boring text. But I'm somehow feeling quite shaky about things and needed to get it out.

JumpandScore Wed 09-Dec-15 21:53:10

Does he want you to move in together? Is he knocking the job or giving you reasons not to move south? I don't think we can tell from what's here but I wouldn't be rushing to live with him either way.

Epilepsyhelp Wed 09-Dec-15 21:53:49

He sounds snobby and judgmental, are you sure he's right for you? I hate the assumption that because it wouldn't be fulfilling for him it automatically isn't for anyone else.

You sound like you're doing amazingly well but moving away with an unsupportive man may not be the way forward..?

Aknotofworry Wed 09-Dec-15 21:56:29

I think part of me is worried about this apparent lack of support. But also I DO need to be challenged - think I'm the type that would stay in a boring comfort zone for life, to avoid fear and pain...but I have to balance that with keeping safe and sober.

Aknotofworry Wed 09-Dec-15 21:57:00

I actually do find my current job pretty fulfilling though!

nameschangerer Wed 09-Dec-15 21:57:18

I disagree with everyone here. I think he's aware that pa jobs in London are tough competition and just wants to know you are taking it seriously.

I had a very similar situation to you. Got an admin job and within a year doubled my previous salary. If he's worry about money he shouldn't be. You can be successful.

But I think he's more hoping you have a plan if you find admin or pa jobs tough to get.

kissmethere Wed 09-Dec-15 21:57:26

Sorry is he a keeper?
What I mean is you're earning a living and it seems to him he wants you to aspire to more than what you're doing.
He may have a point or he may be being unrealistic in what you can do RIGHT NOW. Don't tet to match any expectations you're not ready for.

JumpandScore Wed 09-Dec-15 21:58:42

What's he going to do with his PhD? What kind of work has he done?

Aknotofworry Wed 09-Dec-15 22:00:33

He's going to be at Oxford. Before that he was at Uni, then did some teaching for a gap year of sorts.

RB68 Wed 09-Dec-15 22:00:34

Sometimes people who are very focused are not able to see how you can work to live rather than live to work. You just need to say that working is a means to an end for you rather than about self realisation and the be all and end all. You will of course work but given your background you need or want a low stress job that you get enjoyment from.

Some people struggle to see why someone would in their view "settle" for that, but its about having different priorities.

Sometimes leading a good life is what it is about rather than leaving a legacy that gives you everlasting recognition - which frankly you are not there to appreciate anyway.

There are aso other ways to impact on the world than just academic research - there is also contribution to mindset and cultural change. Is there something else you feel passionate about?

Aknotofworry Wed 09-Dec-15 22:01:15

nameschangerer that's encouraging!

Heyheyheygoodbye Wed 09-Dec-15 22:01:58

Hollow laugh at admin not being a real job. Watch everything fall to pieces without us, matey.

Tell him to fuck off questioning what you do. You don't question what he does.

Aknotofworry Wed 09-Dec-15 22:03:00


FormerlyKnownasFK Wed 09-Dec-15 22:03:23

Nothing wrong with an admin/PA job as a springboard to all sorts of options.

You are already working and employers want candidates with experience. Not a string of qualifications but no idea of how to function in a real life workplace.

Not everyone knows what they want to do until they get a few years of proper work experience under their belts.

I'm not sure I'd want to be with someone who was so unsupportive and dismissive though.

JumpandScore Wed 09-Dec-15 22:05:54

So he's never held down a proper job himself? I asked because my sister spent far too many years supporting an "intellectual" who was far superior to all of us in menial jobs and who thought little things like paying the bills was beneath him.

spillyobeans Wed 09-Dec-15 22:07:11

He is looking down at you because he thinks, intelectually/career wise that he is superior tbh. 18k isnt that bad paid, my dh works 50+ hours a week as a trainee paramedic and hes on 14k...
If you want to have a career rather than a job, are you going to go to uni too? If your happy doing what your doing and plan to get similar job (perfectly reasonable) i think you may get him commenting quite frequently about when you will get 'a real job' - believe me, those comments get old pretty fast. I feel hes being a bit derogatory to you tbh

Aknotofworry Wed 09-Dec-15 22:08:07

Oh no, he has worked as well. He actually did an admin type of thing himself as a teenager, and was a pizza delivery driver. He's not lazy. But I really do feel dismissed.

AnnaMarlowe Wed 09-Dec-15 22:08:25

Well to start with he's wrong about your job. If you have good transferable admin skills, a good attitude and present yourself well on your CV and at interview I shouldn't think you'll have a problem getting a suitable role.

Admin roles are found across every industry as well as in the public sector, healthcare, the legal profession, the police etc etc. In fact, you are likely to have far more employment opportunities than someone with a PhD in English.

As for 'leaving something behind you'... That's not everyone's goal in life and I'd gently suggest that if he thinks it is he's a bit immature.

I have an excellent, fairly high powered well paid job. It's important to my employer. But believe me, it's nothing that will 'leave anything lasting behind me'.

There are other ways to achieve that, if that's important to you. Through your children, through your contribution to your wider family, through your contribution to your community.

If you are currently in along distance relationship be a little bit careful before you uproot your life for him. Shared interests are all well and good but enjoying the same kinds of books don't paper the cracks in your relationship if he doesn't think your job is impressive enough or if in future he doesn't respect you because you're a SAHM.

Time for some proper, detailed discussions about how moving in together would work practically. How does he plan to pay his half of the bills if he's a student?

Aknotofworry Wed 09-Dec-15 22:09:55

He has often suggested that I go back to university. I was studying ('studying') during the worst years of my alcoholism - it ended badly...

Akire Wed 09-Dec-15 22:12:03

What are you qualified in? Do you have some amazing job skills he thinks you or somehow not using?

Even if you do... You are doing a low stressful job that works for you and being a single parent ,sounds decent enough to me.

Maybe you could hint that you will go back to studying same as him once he has finished and can support you!

AnnaMarlowe Wed 09-Dec-15 22:14:57

He's going to Oxford... Hmm.

Be really careful. I'd be inclined to let him settle into his life there for a while before you move to join him.

See if you are still compatible after he's been there 6 months or so.

Aknotofworry Wed 09-Dec-15 22:16:14

I got good Higher results confused That's it! He has this thing about me being really clever, which is sweet I suppose but it's also just not true. That's not false modesty, it's a fact. He doesn't want me to 'waste' this mythical intelligence on admin maybe?

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