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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.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 24-Jan-13 17:29:13

Wow! So he's controlling and incredibly old fashioned. How did you, someone from a modern type of family, end up with someone like him? I don't mean just the controlling stuff, that creeps up on you! I mean someone so clearly old fashioned with such defined male/female roles. I don't mean that as a criticism, Im just interested in how it came about.

Jux Thu 24-Jan-13 15:54:58

Does he see himself as the Great Pater Familias, with little wifey removing all inconveniences from his path so he can stride through life without haing to do anything he doesn't actually want to do?

Sadly, there are men around like that. They are called abusers necause they are abusing your good nature, his position within the family, his money etc. Doesn't have to be anything to do with NPD, necessarily.

On the surface it's simple - he doesn't want to have to do the extra stuff to support your career because it would impact on his set up and routine. Below the surface I think there are a whole load of other issues which make him behave like this. I don't know the answer, but hopefully other suggestions on here will help you find it. You have every right to do the career you want, and it's up to him to help you do it - you have done your bit helping him. I loathe men who think marriage is a one way street.

Good luck - your work sounds exciting, I'm not surprised you want to get back to it.

Lollydaydream Thu 24-Jan-13 13:55:15

I've read the thread and whilst I'm not sure I have much to add that hasn't been said I wanted to add a note of support. I hope you can feel bolstered by the weight of support here and know that so many here would support you. I hope you can take this and use it to turn your life your way.

Hissy Brazil Thu 24-Jan-13 13:16:40

The fear here is that if she is 'happy' she will grow strong, popular, beautiful and powerful.

He will not be able to compete with her on these levels, and he knows it, so it's better to destroy her, so he looks and is higher up the ladder than she is.

OP, I think he can't possibly have a woman as an equal, and I think that race also has a part to play in this. He and is family are unworldly and dated in their views. They don't see you as the wonderful person that we can all see shining through, they see a threat.

There's no hope with them. Any of them. You don't have any allies.

Talk to your mum. Frankly. She's on the right side.

pinkbraces Thu 24-Jan-13 13:13:39

I feel so sad reading your OP, I dont know why but its effecting me more than some of the abuse threads I have read. I think its because you sound as if you were such a strong, feisty woman, and your now unable to live your life because your husband wont allow it.

Perhaps if you asked yourself, would you want your daughter to be married to such a man , please start planning how to either change the way you are living or leave.

Hissy Brazil Thu 24-Jan-13 13:10:29

Surely it would be good for your partner? He gets to spend more time with his child and he gets to see his wife happier and more fullfilled

He is allegic to his W being happy, and will do anything, to anyone or thing to make sure that this doesn't happen.

Anything, and anyone (including his DC) are collateral damage. In fact children are the best way of hurting us.

There is nothing usual or normal about this H. Normal rules don't apply here.

delboysfileofax Thu 24-Jan-13 13:07:40

Its so wrong though- i would quite happily be a stay at home dad providing we still had the same income (being a stay at home parent with no income must be really really tough) Its the bit the OP said about controlling the money which scared me. What a dick.

Cakecrumbsinmybra Thu 24-Jan-13 13:05:12

Surely it would be good for your partner? He gets to spend more time with his child and he gets to see his wife happier and more fullfilled
Yes, delboys, most guys would prefer this situation. But OP's H is a different kettle of fish!

Cakecrumbsinmybra Thu 24-Jan-13 13:03:11

I'd say he's not abusive as such, having read thru the NPD recovery link. More like a lazy, misled, patriarchal passive-aggressive. Partly because I let him. Partly because he's very convincing in his sense of superiority.

I'm sorry, I'd still class him as abusive, based on what you have said. And I doubt you are showing him in his worse light either, as you seem like a positive person, and perhaps part of you doesn't want to admit how bad the situation is. Do you really want to stay together?

Mumsyblouse Thu 24-Jan-13 13:01:44

delboys this is why I like to work and my husband likes me to work and I like him to work, we both get a lot of personal fulfilment from our careers and so support each other in pursing them, including both of us looking after the children so the other can go to conferences/abroad or whatever's necessary. As someone else up thread said, of course it would be easier if my husband stayed home, did all the pick-ups, cooked exactly what I liked and generally never left the house, but why would I want him to live like that when I love him and want him to be happy (which he is by working)?

Mumsyblouse Thu 24-Jan-13 12:59:11

Ok, if you think he's just a bit of a lazy 1950's throwback, even in the 1950's my grandma ran her own household, decided what to grow and what to cook and took charge of all household decisions. You don't have as much freedom as she had 60 years ago in all honesty.

One really easy way to tell is: are you afraid to do any of these normal everyday things that other people do all the time: invite a friend over for drinks at your house this evening? cook what you fancy for yourself tonight? leave him with the kids so you can go to the gym? invite your mum to stay for a week and let him know when she's coming? decide to sod the housework, go out for the afternoon and get a takeway this evening?

I know the answer to these questions and you know them too. I bet you avoid upsetting this man at all costs- hence no need to use his fists.

delboysfileofax Thu 24-Jan-13 12:54:09

I really dont understand her partners outlook. Surely it is good for his wife to have a job and career for her mental well being.

I'm male and do all I can to change my shifts around to make sure I can take our child to the childminder. I think it helps that my partner has a good job (and I'm very proud of her career) and so I want to do everything I can to help her. Including taking leave for when she has to go to residential conferences etc

Surely it would be good for your partner? He gets to spend more time with his child and he gets to see his wife happier and more fullfilled

He sounds awful and yes he is abusive.....abuse does not just have to be physical.

He will always put obstacles in your way because he wants you dependent on him...he will grind you down until you are grateful to him for having you, you will think that you aren't worthy of anyone else..that you are useless etc etc.

Your kids will grow up thinking this is normal.

I feel sad for you

He sounds like a nasty, horrible control freak...

AThingInYourLife Thu 24-Jan-13 12:44:55

" Just once I went to a industry meetup only to be called 30min in while I was still on the Tube: "your baby is crying, she wants her mum, is this really a good idea?" he said coldly. I was useless after that, no good for any networking and rushed home too early."

That is a low blow.

It is nakedly manipulative and controlling.

It says that the children are yours, not his (although this sort of wanker always gets all worked up about his children when his wife finly gets sick of him, and that you are not allowed to ever leave them.

wineandroses Thu 24-Jan-13 12:43:15

Op, these words "*your baby is crying, she wants her mum*" and he will do it with bad grace and make my darlings cry and sap their energy, made me shed a little tear. If my DH was willing to use my DC in this way, to get to me, and to have so little empathy for their needs, then by god he would be gone, his feet would not touch the ground. Your H is abusive, but not just to you, to your DC too. Please plan your exit. He will know that the best way to control you will be through your DC. What a bloody horrible way to live.

redexpat Thu 24-Jan-13 12:42:43

OP abuse does not just mean physical violence. There is emotional and financial abuse too. Once you understand this you will see that the way he treats you is in fact abuse.

diddl Germany Thu 24-Jan-13 12:27:50

If he´s not doing something so that you will-how is that not abusive?

He gives up after 5/30mins?

What if you weren´t contactable-he would have had to cope then, & likely would!

Using your children to stop you doing something-that is seriously mean & twisted imo.

He´ll be telling you that if you love them, why wouldn´t you want to always be there for them!

Hissy Brazil Thu 24-Jan-13 12:18:12

Sweety, you can't see he's abusive so much yet, but he is. When you try to stand up for yourself on this, he's going to go for the low blows.

You'll have to do this by yourself. With OUR support of course.

I'd also venture that some level of racism has a play here too.

I'm so sorry. It's really a very horrid situation.

AThingInYourLife Thu 24-Jan-13 12:16:20

"And because if I force him to do it, he will do it with bad grace and make my darlings cry and sap their confidence, I don't want that."

So he is abusive to your children as well as to you?

How did a bright, funny, interesting woman like you end up with such a loser?

Your mother must be horrified.

doubleshotlatte Thu 24-Jan-13 11:38:27

@OneLittleToddlingTerror You're right, that did happen! I spent an evening lovingly ironing his shirts only to be told I was doing it wrong, I should have used the steam from the iron just so, not water just so etc. I also used to iron stuff before packing in suitcases (don't ask) but he disapproved of that too hmm so I can't win in the ironing department, really grin

doubleshotlatte Thu 24-Jan-13 11:32:55

@Beyondthelimits yes I do deal with tough situations with humour, reminds me how I used to be pretty tough and unflappable. Was on a shoot where local criminals tried to hold us to ransom, I laughed at them too. They're in jail now.

Believe me I'm taking all the advice and offered experiences very, very seriously.

abitwobbly No he is white British. His family isn't very ...erm... cosmopolitan, never been out of Britain nor have any idea of other cultures etc. So any unique aspects of my personality, any aspects of our home life different from MILs 1950s values, were attributed to me being non-white.

May I add that DH and I don't have shouting matches, and I don't do tears or stomp off. I'm very logical and calm. But fear for my babies' feelings stops me doing what I would have otherwise.

While he can be great with the kids, he has left the childcare totally to me. For years until DC2 I had not one day off, not one weekend where he looked after DD. I would ask but he always had "work" to do. Just once I went to a industry meetup only to be called 30min in while I was still on the Tube: "your baby is crying, she wants her mum, is this really a good idea?" he said coldly. I was useless after that, no good for any networking and rushed home too early.

Not one night has he taken a crying baby off me or shared night feed duty. Well he did a few times because I insisted, only to give up 5 mins in and dump the crying baby in its cot so I would have to get up and take over anyway.

I'd say he's not abusive as such, having read thru the NPD recovery link. More like a lazy, misled, patriarchal passive-aggressive. Partly because I let him. Partly because he's very convincing in his sense of superiority.

So yes he wants me to stay an SAHM because he doesn't want to deal with school runs/childcare/illnesses/GP visits or the general unpredictable nature of parenting. And because if I force him to do it, he will do it with bad grace and make my darlings cry and sap their confidence, I don't want that.

LessMissAbs Thu 24-Jan-13 10:51:49

I find this horrific OP.

I don't actually ask my DH if I can do anything - I just do it. If it impacts on him, I will discuss it first, but I will do it anyway. As far as I see it, you only have one life, and who wants to be sitting in the nursing home dribbling, wishing for 10 years that you'd made more of it, while you were still capable?

*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*

You've answered your own question here. It makes perfect sense for you to go back to work, loads of families have both parents working, so basically he is asking you to sacrifice your entire life so he can have what he wants. And its not as if you're being kept in a grand style! You sound full of energy and promise, and I really hope you do go back to work.

You have had loads of great advice. Can I just illustrate this with how a non-controlling DH might deal with similar?

I am currently a SAHM, not out of choice but because my last employers moved the goalposts and DH works odd hours so I just wasn't able to carry on in my job, so we agreed I would be a SAHM for a while.

I was considering applying for a 1 year course that would enable me to get a good 9-5 job that I would be good at and love.

I was chatting through the options with DH - I said I was worried that if I did get on the course, it would basically shit all over his life for a year. He would need to come home a little earlier and take the children to school/nursery /CM every weekday and I would be out full time plus assignments/essays. Plus lots of money for childcare.

He said - go for it, it's only a year and you would love it, we will manage.

I didn't get a place on the course sad but I have a lovely supportive husband and I know he would have been happy for me to get a great job and be happy.

And as for at home? I do iron, because I quite like ironing. The nearest to food issues is that he might ask me to get him a particular thing he fancies, I only cook for him a couple of times a week but make sure we have stuff in the fridge he likes. And I spend his wages on whatever I see fit. He knows we both have the whole family's best interests at heart and he doesn't even raise an eyebrow when I spend his hard earned salary on nice boots or posh wool (I like to knit) We are a team, together.

I feel really sad for you OP - please work on getting your independence back, you are just as important and valid a person as anyone else and there is no need to put up with it.

I dont have anything to add apart from that I deal with shit situations with humour too and am hmm at the people telling you that you are not taking this seriously. I get the feeling from your posts that you are well aware how serious this is, and you don't need posters complaining that you aren't having a complete breakdown
angry

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