Boyfriend has student debt

I’m 43 and my boyfriend is 44. He attended law school in his 20’s and still has $70,000 of debt to repay. We’d like to buy a house together and I’m concerned that he won’t be able to service all the debt that he needs to with his loan payment and his half of the mortgage payment. Ideally, I’d like payment of the mortgage to be a 50/50 commitment, but I’m wrestling with the fact that I may have to pay more. He works for the state and does not make more than $87,000.

He’s never really paid attention to his finances and I’m worried that he’s going to underearn. It’s hard for me to understand why he isn’t more motivated to get a better job to repay his debt faster than he already has. We’ve had some discussions about it, and I’m trying hard to stay patient with this situation. I would like to start a life together with him – he’s kind, caring, non-judgmental, sensitive, a great lover, attentive, and is great around the house. He’s also wonderful to talk to. I don’t see myself leaving him over the debt, but I’m having a hard time coming to accept that I may have to pull more of the financial weight in the relationship.

I just feel like he’s been really irresponsible to himself by allowing the debt to linger and that he hasn’t been responsible to himself by not working in a job that pays him more than he makes now so that he can pay off his debt faster.