AIBU to be upset that DH doesn't want me to go back to work? :(

(192 Posts)
doubleshotlatte Wed 23-Jan-13 11:45:59

Sorry if this is a bit confused and rambling, I'm too depressed to be coherent and my brain's stopped working after long debates with DH.

So I'd decided to retrain and go back to work this year after 5 years away. Work is TV. Being in a technical/creative role I need to catch up. I was going to pay for the training with my royalties from past work (and the rest with a bursary). Then I would try for a fairly stable, senior job, i.e. not involving travel or late hours (well not too many). Pay would have been decent enough but nowhere close to DH's. But for the 5 days of the course I'd need childcare so I needed to clear it with DH. And he basically said No.

Obviously not in so many words. But he threw enough spanners in the works, asked enough questions to make it impossible for me. In points:
(1) the course is too expensive and a job is not guaranteed without experience
(2) who will pick up/drop off the kids if I have to work in Central London (DH will not, he drives/commutes out of town daily and says the school drop off take a huge chunk of his time)
(3) I had a hard enough time finding work before kids
(4) I'll find it hard balancing work and kids
(5) and besides we had decided that I would be a SAHM doing blogging, that too once a week

After much debate, he conceded I could try for a very local, 2 times a week non-taxing job like temping or admin or shop asst. With all due respect to these jobs, I have 17 years of experience, 2 degrees and expensive training, not to mention bags of talent (so I'm told). Surely I can find better paid/more satisfying work?

And why do I want to work? Because I need the creative outlet, am good at it, I miss it and finally I really need the economic independence. I hate having to beg for/justify every penny I spend just because I didn't earn it.

We have 2 DCs about to turn 5 and 2 next month. One in reception, another just started day nursery 2 mornings/wk.

swimmingcat Wed 23-Jan-13 12:48:37

YANBU He should be supporting you, as you have him, over the last 5 years. When does he think you should go back to work? There will be obstacles to overcome in the future too. Or do you think he will keep putting you off?

If you feel ready to retrain and go back, then go for it. There are no guarantees in life and there will always be problems to overcome. Most parents have to juggle and it is difficult, but the end result is your fulfilment and economic independence. That is what you are striving for, and that is a good goal. He should acknowledge that.

I would hate to have to beg/justify every penny I spend, whether I earned it or not.

Snazzynewyear Wed 23-Jan-13 12:50:01

"I hate having to beg for/justify every penny I spend just because I didn't earn it" This is very worrying. If he doesn't want you to work but also doesn't want you having a say in family spending (which is what it should be, not his money) then he is basically saying he wants everything his way and you get no choice and no freedom to make decisions yourself.

To quote something I read on another thread that puts it as briefly as possible 'just because he has a job and a dick does not make him better than you' smile

Bramshott makes a good suggestion. I would make arrangements that get you into the course and then say 'we can work things out as we go'. The course is a stepping stone and you need it (and of course it doesn't guarantee you a job, but if you need it to be in the game, you definitely won't get a job - and your husband knows that...) But if you are paying for it yourself from past earnings, then the obstacle is getting help for childcare for 5 days. Not impossible. Who can you ask? If not family/friends, childminder?

AThingInYourLife Wed 23-Jan-13 12:50:55

"And what's this about permission? I think agreement is required in some way but your use o the word permission is scary"

No agreement is required.

No adult gets to tell another adult that they are not allowed to work.

And only abusive arseholes try it.

Justaoneoff Wed 23-Jan-13 12:52:11

I think that 13Iggis has it right. For the last 5 years, he hasn't had to think once about childcare, and if one of the children is sick and can't go to school - well you do it. And if you are ill, well, you're never too ill to look after your own children. He doesn't even have to consider it, and he likes it that way. He hasn't lost any spontaneity in what he is able to do.

However pressing his job, he is still entitled to 20 days holiday a year, and so he could easily take 5 days to cover your course assuming he had sufficient notice. You say you have the cost of the course covered so how can it be too expensive? The problem is not the course, it's the fact that when / if you go back to work, you both have to think about logistics. That's why he wants you to get a non taxing, school hours job a couple of times a week. It is unlikely to impact him at all, and ultimately your number one job is still going to be the kids, so by default he carries on as he has been doing.

And if you had both decided that you were to be a SAHM, then I don't see why you have to beg for / justify every penny you spend - it surely follows that you both decided that you were going to live on one salary, and as such you trust one another to use the money wisely, and that means you each have equal access to funds, however that is organised. That means it isn't HIS money.

He needs to realise that he is not responsibility free in all of this. If neither of you are genuinely going to be able to do the school run, then you have to ensure that you have a childcare provider who can cover the hours you are away. Then looking at the costs, you see if you can afford it.

To be honest, it is unfair of him to not even allow you to have a crack at getting back into work if you want to do that.

doubleshotlatte Wed 23-Jan-13 12:53:16

@Chelvis lucky you smile (lol at the doormat spinning) I must say that I have loved moments of being an SAHM ....but... its not satisfying because I don't really have full control over choices at home. DH decides meals, food shop, home redecoration (something I love to do and am even consulted on by friends hmm ) and he does it because he doesn't/didn't agree with my choices confused. Luckily he left kids schooling to me, and I managed to get DD into an outstanding school that we didn't really stand a chance at normally.

AThingInYourLife Wed 23-Jan-13 12:56:30

Why do you let this prick run your life?

Snazzynewyear Wed 23-Jan-13 12:57:28

Really, you don't get a say in what you eat, how the house is decorated? hmm DO THAT COURSE. It's well overdue that you got a choice in something.

diddl Wed 23-Jan-13 12:57:57

"DH decides meals, food shop, home redecoration"shock

Oh my goodness!

I am almost speechless.

He really is controlling, isn´t he?

Abitwobblynow Wed 23-Jan-13 12:58:06

I would LOVE it if my DH didn't want me to work....( and could keep me in the manner...).. - that's me, Listen. It got boring, isolating and I got tired of being on committees etc. Who am I, apart from a mother and a housewife?

He then had had an affair, and I discovered that even the above was a lie. No job, no money of my own, nothing to fall back on to.

OP, go on the course, go back to work! Really! He gave you his opinion, now choose to do what you want to do. Good luck.

VeronicaSpeedwell Wed 23-Jan-13 13:01:26

I have nothing useful to add to all the sage advice, but just wanted to say that you absolutely must let your talents shine. It sounds like you've grafted to build yourself the kind of skills and profile many people can never hope to achieve. It's terrible to read about you being told you only have 'permission' to take on work which fits with someone else's agenda. Please don't let him take it all away from you.

Sugarice Wed 23-Jan-13 13:02:22

double Christ, he sounds really controlling sad.

You don't want to spend the rest of your life like this do you?

WilsonFrickett Wed 23-Jan-13 13:02:23

Woah there tiger.

After your post at 12:53 I think returning to work is just one of your issues. He is controlling every aspect of your life, no wonder a return to work threatens him. He will do everything in his power to fuck this up for you OP because he doesn't want you to be independent or have the ability to make a life of your own.

I would tread carefully, start making long term plans and whatever you do, do that course. I think you're going to need it.

LiegeAndLief Wed 23-Jan-13 13:02:23

13iggis has nailed it. Of course he doesn't want you to work. He has got used to this set up where he is in control and can work whatever hours he likes. Life will be less simple for him if you go back to work and he might have to <horror> do drop offs and pick ups etc.

I'm sure a lot of men (and women in the same circumstance) might have similar thoughts. However, a normal decent partner would recognise hat this is important to you and that they are just as responsible for the dc as you are. And support you. And help you work out logistics rather than leaving it all up to you.

Go for it. I wish you luck!

He is a selfish control freak. I think you need to go back to work, not just for the reasons you yourself have given but for financial independence should the worst happen. So many intelligent educated women become trapped by circumstances because they give up their independence. I did, I regret it.

ApocalypseThen Wed 23-Jan-13 13:02:49

I think you know you have to do this, for your own sake, OP.

The fact that you have to beg for money is financial abuse and a good enough reason to work, even if you didn't want to. The fact that you want to, though, means you must do it for your own sake. He has no veto. No veto.

You've given up enough for your family and it's time for your priorities to come to the fore. You may be a mother, but you are also a person and you call the shots for you.

doubleshotlatte Wed 23-Jan-13 13:03:43

@joiningthegang are you an equal in this partneship or the nanny/maid/cleaner for free.

this is kind of how I feel now after this conversation(s)

@Diddl and others who suggested family etc friends - we have no family here (his moved far away to avoid babysitting (no, really)) - friends with small kids won't be free for sustained periods - but I do have a babysitting agency I subscribe to and the kids have mostly been happy with the carers they provided. There is of course a cost involved.

Hang on, small child plucking at elbow grin

LiegeAndLief Wed 23-Jan-13 13:03:51

Massive xpost. Your problems are much bigger than this...

Squitten Wed 23-Jan-13 13:08:39

It sounds to me like you have MUCH bigger issues than whether or not you work.

How do you feel about living with a partner who controls every aspect of your life so completely? He sounds very abusive to me

ApocalypseThen Wed 23-Jan-13 13:08:44

It actually sounds like modern slavery.

OxfordBags Wed 23-Jan-13 13:12:16

Fucking hell, this man is a staggering cunt of epic proportions! No only does his attitude about you working show that as a SAHM, he merely sees you as a vagina that can do housework and childcare, he is so controlling and incapable of respecting you and seeing you as a full human being that doesn't even allow you to do the aspects of that role that are a bit more fun and offer some autonomy and adult, work-style skills (like planning, decorating, etc.). And of course, being a non-person with no worth, you aren't even allowed any say in the money. He treats you like a hateful Victorian father, not a partner and certainly not anything like an equal.

What worries me is that you have at least one daughter - living with a father like this is shaping her future more than school ever will, because it doesn't matter how good a school she goes to if her homelife is training her to be abused and treated like shit on a man's shoe when she's older.

I bet if he had the chance to do a clurse that didn't guarantee a new, better job, but which was a fab opportunity, he'd do it, and not even consult you.

I can't see him bending on this. The abusive, controlling, Master-slave dynamic he's engineered into your relationship totally benefits and pleases him and makes his life work the way that's great for him. Wy should he change or acquiesce? You having needs is bad for him. This is why abusers never change.

Sorry, but you are in a really bad relationship. I am a SAHM and the idea that my DH would even think like this is about as likely as him sprouting wings and flying.

HecateWhoopass Wed 23-Jan-13 13:12:34

"DH decides meals, food shop, home redecoration"

Oh. Wow.

This isn't about logistics is it? Sorry that my previous post assumed a reasonable person who was just asking how things would work.

This isn't that.

What would happen if you just sorted out childcare yourself and did it anyway?

What would he do?

OxfordBags Wed 23-Jan-13 13:13:11

Clurse? Course.

diddl Wed 23-Jan-13 13:13:46

Can you do some redecoration consultancy for money towards the cost of childcare for the course & the course itself?

homeaway Wed 23-Jan-13 13:24:36

If the course is only for five days then can some family just come and stay for that period of time? I see so many red flags here op, your dp sounds very controlling to me and he seems to put his opinion way above yours, the word compromise probably does not exist in his vocubulary. He seems to have total control over your life and I find that quite scary for you . Why is your unpaid job ( cleaner, wife, mother etc.... ) not worth any recognition and why do you have to beg for money ?

I had a nine year break ,but was never denied access to money or made to feel inferior, I did most of the food shopping and we decided what we would eat but that was because oh ate at work smile. When I went back to work it was because I knew that if I didn't at that point it would be too hard to get back in. I am not and never was a high flyer but it was important to me to be able to go back to work.

You need to find a way to do this course not just because it is a way back into your work field but because I feel that there is so much more at stake here.

Omnishambolic Wed 23-Jan-13 13:25:02

Your next post makes it even more important you get to do something you want to do, for once. Does he give you a list of the meals he wants and expect you to go out and buy the ingredients or something?

Even if you don't have family nearby, would anyone be in a position to come and stay for a couple of days and do some of the childcare for you as a one off? I know both sets of grandparents would be happy to help me in a similar situation.

Also I have children of a similar age to you - can you arrange a few playdates to take care of the reception child? I'm sure also that friends with young children would be happy to take care of yours for a morning or an afternoon (I know I would if a friend asked me), it might be a bit patchwork but you could definitely get cover for a week. That's before you even have to start looking into breakfast/after-sch club/additional nursery slots which would cost money.

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