I’m 43, unemployed, have an inconsistent work history and live with my elderly parents. I can look back over 15 years of my life and see how things unfolded.

I have 2 questions actually:

1. If your peak life earnings at 40, how do you come to grips that you’re probably unemployable even if it’s by fate?

I gave up ever being able to get a mortgage.
I gave up having a wife and being able to support a family.
I gave up having a steady career.
I gave up my youth to seize opportunities when they appeared

So I’m not asking “how do I get a job?”

2)  How do I cash in on all those sacrifices I made to create a lifestyle where I can stay connected to the world in some way or form and not just become another Dilbert waiting for retirement.

America is a terrible environment to sustain a marriage. And Western women in general aren’t suited to a successful marriage. Most women find most men unattractive marriage candidates anyway. I’m not opposed to a ‘life partner’ though. If my resume is terrible for finding a job, it’s even worse for finding a wife.

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3 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    You don’t want to hear anything that is hard for you to hear. So it’s difficult for me to say anything. It doesn’t really matter if life is hard and finding a partner is hard. You need to do it. Life is too lonely to do it alone. And you are stunting your development when you stave off loneliness by living with your parents.

    None of the research matters. There is nothing to do in life except love. Everything else is to support love. Your analysis is not relevant. You have nothing in your life. Get a life partner. Learn the power of commitment. There’s nothing else worth doing.

    Penelope

    Reply
  2. Joe
    Joe says:

    Reading this gave me so many questions:
    When he says he “gave up” having a mortgage, family or career, does that mean he quit pursuing those things or chose to pursue other things instead? Quitting would be a problem, but pursuing other things means you have the other things–whatever they are. That’s good, right?
    When he asks how he can “cash in on all those sacrifices he made”, does he think that NOT having a mortgage, family, or career is somehow a noble sacrifice? Usually people sacrifice to HAVE those things–not to avoid them. Sacrifice is to make sacred, to make something so important that it is worth the cost. What did he gain from his sacrifices? I’m honestly curious.
    “Western women in general aren’t suited to marriage?” What?
    “Most women find most men unattractive marriage candidates” Yes, most PEOPLE find most other people unattractive marriage candidates. Most people meet thousands of people and marry one or two of them.
    This dude’s head is so far up his you-know-what; he is still blaming the world and making excuses.

    Reply
  3. mk
    mk says:

    Averages are useful when you are looking at a group; they become less useful as you get more specific. For example, the average dog may behave in XYZ manner, but I don’t have an average of all the dogs in my house–I only have one dog. I must relate to my dog and train my dog based on his own individual needs and abilities–not on the needs and abilities of a statistical average.

    You are not an average of all the adults in the world; you are one single adult with a very specific history, a very specific set of abilities, and very specific needs. Lumping all adults together, it seems that the majority of them reach their peak earnings at age 40. Also, the majority of them don’t live with their parents. You are already an outlier in one respect (living with your parents); you may very well be an outlier in other respects. You may find your life partner at age 50. You may start a new career at 45. You may build your own home, one room at a time. Who knows what else you may do?

    Advice will have to be generic because I don’t know you personally:

    Use your own experience to help yourself find the next step. Consider what prevented your previous jobs from being more successful; can you fix that? Find something that people value, and learn to do it well. If your resume isn’t satisfactory, you can change it.

    Don’t isolate yourself. Take Penelope’s advice and keep searching for a life partner.

    Take up martial arts or yoga or some other physical activity which would put you with a group. Look for people in your community who could use your help. Volunteer at an animal shelter; go grocery shopping for ones who can’t; mow some lawns; whatever–make yourself useful. In the process, you will make friends & build a “social resume”. Put some significant effort into those friendships.

    With an income & some friends, prioritize your search for a wife. You’ve got your own money to spend on social outings. You’ve got friends to introduce you. You’ve got skills & a reputation that earn you respect and status. You have something valuable to offer.

    Forty-three isn’t the end of life; you’ve just gotten all the early-years mistakes out of the way and are ready to act intentionally and move with purpose.

    Reply

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