to not want to support him for 4 years

(90 Posts)
Ballyk Wed 09-Jan-13 13:34:29

namechanged
been with dh 11 years 4 ds 10,9,4 and 2.
2 years ago dh decided he wanted to quit work and go to uni full time (he is the main earner) he was offered a place on the condition that he passed the exam, he failed the exam and was told what he needed to do to ensure he would be accepted next time he applied. Anyway 2 years later and he has done nothing but thinks he will be accepted this year hmm
I have had various part-time jobs and done several college courses since having my dc, since having my youngest dc I have been a sahm but kept my hand in doing voluntary work and extra courses. For me to progress further and do the job I really want to do I need a degree. I have mentioned this to my dh and he says I am selfish and its his turn to study and my turn to work full-time and that I would not be able to cope with a full-time degree as I am unorganized and all over the place confused
We have had lots of ups and downs the past few years and at one point split for a while, I was left skint with a mortgage, debts and the children to support while he buggered off partying with his mates and other women.
Obviously we have since got back together, I never want to find myself in that position again and want to be able to support myself and dc.
AIBU to think fuck him, if he really wanted to go to university that much he would have done everything to achieve this, also he doesn't know what job he wants after doing a degree. AIBU to apply for the degree I want to do (only a week to go for applying) and put myself and dc first.

CailinDana Wed 09-Jan-13 15:11:43

If you're a SAHM, then who's going to look after the children if you have to work fulltime? Or is he offering to be a SAHD while he studies and you work?

TinyDancingHoofer Wed 09-Jan-13 15:14:03

I don't understand why you are together. It sounds like there is zero respect in this marriage. Both of you resenting the other for not being able to do what you want.

Ballyk Wed 09-Jan-13 15:44:27

His deadline is very soon and I've reminded him about it
redexpat- I think thats what I will do
would this be unreasonable!!
we are not arguing as such but think we will be once I apply
Thanks musicalendorphins smile

The idea (his idea mainly) is that if he study's I will be the full-time worker and he will study and do the childcare.

Ballyk Wed 09-Jan-13 15:47:28

TinyDancingHoofer- I think we probably would resent each other if either one of us went full-time. I really don't want to be stuck in a full-time job for the next 4 years while he is at university I feel I have put my career on hold already raising the dc.

Cabrinha Wed 09-Jan-13 15:55:20

It sounds like you see the further study as a way to progress your career and income, and he sees it as a way to have a break from working.

I may not be popular, but I can very slightly see his point that it is "his turn" if you have been doing courses already. Also, it does sound like you are expecting him to cover your family's finances? Or can you work during the course, or is it a course with a bursary?

In your position, I would get the application in before the deadline - and let him deal with his.

It sounds (on the very scant info here) like following your desire will do more for you as a family than his... But I think you need to consider what he wants too. Perhaps that's pointing out that once you qualify you will be able support him whilst he studies? Because if he gets his act together and decides what he wants to do, it should at least be discussed.

But I expect if you just leave him to it, he won't do the application anyway.

Cabrinha Wed 09-Jan-13 15:57:40

Why would it be 4 years? Its more like 2 years 9 months for a standard 3 year degree?
Maybe you BOTH need to wait until your children are older, and save what you can it the mean time?
I really do see that your plan is "better" - but you are asking him to support you for 4 years?

Ballyk Wed 09-Jan-13 16:11:21

Yes I think he does see it as a break from work, I also see were he is coming from it being his turn to study and would happily support him if he had a real desire to do it, knew exactly waht he wanted to study and what the out come of it will be. But he doesn't and I don't really want to give up my studies, voluntary work and the time I have with my dc to work full-time for him to have a break from work for the next 4 years.
His course would be appox 4 years as he will have to do a foundation degree which lasts a year then the standard 3 year degree.
If I got onto the degree course I want then I would receive a bursary as well as other student grants.

Cabrinha Wed 09-Jan-13 16:37:20

Can he do the foundation year (or equivalent to allow him to skip it - A levels? Some kind of Access course?) part time starting now, whilst you start your course? If he can't get a few A levels part time over next 2 years, then he isn't committed enough / able enough to pass the degree.
He can start that now - with your blessing, if you want to support his plans. By the time he's done the foundation, you're half way through your course and he'll know if he really wants to do this - and only have another 2 years to wait til it's "his turn".

"We have had lots of ups and downs the past few years and at one point split for a while, I was left skint with a mortgage, debts and the children to support while he buggered off partying with his mates and other women. Obviously we have since got back together, I never want to find myself in that position again and want to be able to support myself and dc."
When I read that, I just thought you absolutely haveto prioritise your own earning power.

But, even without that; even if everything was hunky-dory -

He doesn't know what he wants to do post-degree, he doesn't know what degree he wants to do, he hasn't applied despite the deadline looming (it took me weeks to put together my application!), and he has taken no action to pass the exam he failed last time. So it is clear that he doesn't want to go to uni that much. Rather a stark contrast to the preparatory work you have put in.

I think Pandemoniaa got it spot on. "... he is now able to control your ambitions by making the ridiculous claim that it is "his turn" to study." It is about control - he doesn't really want it, but he's damned if you're going to get it instead of him.

And as for the "turn" <snurk> - he had his turn. He failed, and took no action to remedy it. His "turn" is now over, and it's "your turn".

Go ahead and apply. Good luck.

Ballyk Wed 09-Jan-13 16:48:16

This was the advice that was given to him by the university 2 years ago when he failed his exam, they told him to either do an access course through the college or get an A level (they said he only needed 1). That was 2 years ago and he hasn't done either which makes me think he doesn't really want to do it, so he has now changed his mind and doesn't want to do that degree but wants to do another one which won't involve any of the above. I think he's lazy and not really that interested if he can't be arsed to do one A level in 2 years how the hell does he think he can do a degree. Sorry for ranting he's just pissing me off, I think the real problem is he doesn't want me going to university full-time

Ballyk Wed 09-Jan-13 16:50:43

Thankyou WhereYouLeftIt sadly I think you've got it spot on

lottiegarbanzo Wed 09-Jan-13 18:30:56

Does he have a realistic idea of what being a SAHD entails, so how much time for studying he would have during the day?

Why would he not be able to do an OU course? Does he work extremely long hours? They are designed to be done part time while working and that's how most people do them. If he couldn't manage his time to fit that in, I don't really see how he'd combine a full-time course with being a SAHD.

An advantage of the OU would be there are no entry requirements, though there are introductory modules for people who haven't studied before / for a long time. Another advantage is low cost compared to other universities, though you still have to know you are able to commit to studying, week in week out for nine months, to pay over £2,000 per module (though there are bursaries if you haven't previously studied for a degree).

It sounds as though you have established a habit of studying and built up your knowledge and CV, so are in a good position to know what the relevant degree would entail and whether you can cope with it.

He comes across as jealous, seeing you as having had the easy option, being able to make choices and pursue interests while he slogs away in a boring job. He may have a point there but, only if he really has the measure of the SAHD role and, he could have pursued his interests in his spare time with an A-level or access course and has chosen not to. It sounds as though he is a dreamer, taking out his frustration with his own lack of organisation, motivation and ability to realise his desires on you (just as his 'time out' from the family was the pursuit of an unsustainable dream).

I really sympathise with your desire to be able to support your family with a better paid job. However, to get there as a family, not making your worst fears of being left alone come true on the way, I think you are going to have to give something, for him to agree to your studying full time for your course. Can you work for a year, or part time? Or plan to support him when you've finished so that he can do his entry qualifications in the meantime, maybe get started part-time or be ready to go with a better idea of what he's studying and why when you've finished?

I really think though, if it's a hobby degree (and let's be realistic that degrees per se do not guarantee improved employment prospects any more) he needs to do it in his spare time. If he started gently with the OU, then by the time you're working full time, he might be able to take a year off and do two modules, so complete his course in a full time manner - and by then the children will all be at school, making that more reaslistic.

3smellysocks Wed 09-Jan-13 19:07:14

why don't you both apply and see who gets in?

3smellysocks Wed 09-Jan-13 19:08:30

In your shoes, I'd insist on studying. He hasn't even a clue what he wants to do so it could all be a waste of time anyway. If you can use your degree, then go for it.

3smellysocks Wed 09-Jan-13 19:09:13

I think hes more interested in haveing a lazy life and thinks being a student will be a break

SantasENormaSnob Wed 09-Jan-13 19:45:58

Who will support you whilst you go to uni?

Ballyk Wed 09-Jan-13 21:24:07

I don't think he does have a realistic view of being a sahd whilst studying, think he thinks it may be easy, commented that he would do a better job than me hmm
I would be supporting myself with the help of bursarys

Ballyk Wed 09-Jan-13 21:25:28

Thank you lottiegarbanzo you have given some really good advice

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 09-Jan-13 21:25:36

Balky, stop re,in ding him of the deadline or helping him to apply.

It seems he is more interested in the lifestyle of a student rather than the benefits to his career, which would be fine if he didn't have children.

I really hope you stick to your guns on this.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 09-Jan-13 21:25:56

* reminding

Ballyk Wed 09-Jan-13 21:28:36

He doesn't work particularly long hours and would have time to study through the ou but us dead against the idea he doesn't feel he would be able to learn that way

BarredfromhavingStella Wed 09-Jan-13 21:31:40

Seems like he doesn't have a realistic view on much tbh & I think being a SAHD whilst studying would be a huge shock to him.

As for the dismissal of the OU course due to working f/t, plenty of people do it-my DH being one of them & he works 50+ hours a week hmm

LessMissAbs Wed 09-Jan-13 22:25:40

You've left out vital information OP. The degree he wants to do and his age. If he is in his mid to late twenties, wanting to study medicine or dentistry, then I'd suggest you support him, because it will reap benefits for you long term. And it can take two years to get in a position to be accepted for these courses, because you may need to resit exams such as the UKCat, which is definately a learned skill, and do additonal A levels and so on.

What has he been doing in the two years since the last exam, and why did he need to give up work to sit it?

I'm torn on this one. The benefits of some degrees in the employment world now are dubious, but even so, he might not progress in his career without one. I don't see anything wrong in principle with supporting a partner through university, particularly if you are a SAHM and he has been supporting you and the family up until now. And theres nothing to stop you fulfilling your ambition to study for a degree - there were several single mothers of young children on my degree course who did exceptionally well.

So borderline YABU in that the two of you seem at loggerheads and not well suited. I'm a bit hmmn at the pair of you not thinking about things like qualifications, degrees and future careers before having children. Your DH sounds like the sort of man who would benefit from the sort of wife who would push him to achieve, rather than hold him back. Which is what you are doing. So yes, YABU for trying to stifle somone's ambition and not having the backbone to take responsibility for your own lack of ambition.

lottiegarbanzo Wed 09-Jan-13 22:59:44

Hmm, interesting LessMissAbs, I don't read him as having ambition, since he has little idea what degree he wants to do or to what end. I read the OP as having realistic ambitions with a defined, profitable end which is very likely to benefit the family.

Anyway, just came back to pick up on the point about style of learning, so why the OU would not suit him. I'd be interested to know what he means by that.

I've done a traditional university based degree and am now doing one with the OU. The obvious difference is the lack of lectures, though you get a lot of audio-visual material with many courses. Also the course material is more collated and spoon fed, you're not expected to have access to a university library so the course text books summarise everything you need. In that way it's easier. The tutorial support is about the same, or even better with the OU.

The other difference is social. You are working at home within the context of your grown up life, rather than being surrounded by other students and able to conduct a social life with them. For discussing the course, the OU web-forums are more relevant than most dicussions with groups of 'live' students I experienced. I got a lot out of the 'in situ' experience at 20, mostly because of all the things I devoted a lot of time to that were nothing to do with my course. Now, I love not having to disrupt my life, open myself to distraction or move from my comfortable home, except for tutorials, to study.

In both cases the material is presented, you go away and do the work, there is some support available if you want to discuss the material but no-one else cares whether you do the work or not. I don't really see much difference. Is he overestimating the amount of staff-time that will be devoted or available to him at a traditional university? Or does the cheap beer appeal?

"What has he been doing in the two years since the last exam, and why did he need to give up work to sit it?"
LessMissAbs, where does the OP say that her husband gave up work?

"YABU for trying to stifle somone's ambition and not having the backbone to take responsibility for your own lack of ambition."
I'm really not seeing this. His ambition is very easily stifled if all it takes is for her to stop reminding him that the application deadline is looming. And given that OP has been doing OU and voluntary work to position herself for the degree she needs to do the job she wants to do, I'm not seeing any lack of ambition in her.

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