Let me start off by saying I have a wonderful partner. He is considerate, kind and will make an amazing father one day. I am very excited for our future together, he is (almost) everything I have ever wanted in someone.

The only problem is he is still young (25) and never went to school, so he didn't really get any exposure to other cultures/ideas/philosophies, but also he didn't have any opportunities to explore, or find, his interests. I realize not everyone needs an undergraduate education to find their passion, but for those of us who didn't know from childhood, college was a good place to figure it out. A few lucky others figure it out later on, but the kind of motivation that must be in place to pursue it later in life is not something my partner seems to possess.

He's working in a dead-end job and is already at the glass ceiling... the money he makes couldn't afford rent/utilities in our current house if I weren't paying half and he seems to have no plans of trying to find better opportunities. For example, he has an opportunity to get a small raise at work if he completes some minor certifications. I pushed him and pushed him until he finally got the study materials he needed, but now he hasn't looked at them at all and the deadline is within a month. The carrot is RIGHT there for him, yet he won't go the extra mile to actually earn a bite.

Last night, he says to me that he wants to just be a stay-at-home dad and let me be the bread-winner. I asked him why he thought this was the right 'career path' for him - I told him if he could give me three legitimate reasons why he thought we would be better off, we'd consider it... yet he had nothing. It was everything I could do not to jump to conclusions, but I am having a hard time fighting what seems to be the obvious one: my partner is LAZY. He doesn't want to work - not for his fitness goals, not for career goals (or figuring out career goals)... and I can't fathom how I can help him help himself.

With my career track, I won't be making 'good money' for another ten years or so, and even then, I won't make enough to single-handedly support the kind of lifestyle I want my family to have when we get around to raising kids. I'm not talking anything extravagant here, but there was a huge difference in how we lived our day-to-day lives when it was only my dad working versus when my dad and step-mother were both working. Only one of those afforded us new clothes for school and the other, we were lucky if we could get handmedowns from relatives.

Anyway, the point I'm getting at is this: how do you motivate your man? How do you give him guidance to get back to piloting the ship? He's a sensitive person so I have to be careful how I approach him but the truth is I don't want to have this responsibility - of having to make the safe choices in my career because I won't have someone else who can make up in my absence if my career falls through. How do I get him to WANT to lead? All the time, not just sometimes.

Or, if there isn't a way to do this, how do I accept that this is a shortcoming that I will have to learn to live with? How do I reconcile what I need from him versus what I want from life?