AIBU to be the sole breadwinner?

(81 Posts)
stumblymonkey Thu 30-Jun-16 18:28:42

Not a thread about a thread but another thread has got me thinking plus other comments MNetters have made.

I'm 33 and have been with my DP for almost 2 years. We are very happy and are getting engaged and trying to conceive.

I've always been quite successful in my career and have now gone freelance which means I earn a six figure salary.

DP's 'career' has never really taken off. He's a strength coach (personal trainer). When I met him he had his own gym but after two years it wasn't making enough money to pay him more than £300-600 per month. Now he's starting again as a PT in another small scale gym but marketing isn't his strong point and he doesn't have any clients yet (though he does do some marketing its just not been effective).

Since we moved in together a year ago I have paid for everything. At first because the gym wasn't making a profit but I said I'd give him a year to try and make it work since we had enough money. It's been about five weeks now since it folded and he's still not earning money.

In every other way he's my perfect partner: we have fun, I trust him completely, he is kind, loyal, patient. He does his fair share around the house and probably more than me sometimes. He often has a cup of tea ready for me and the dinner cooking when I get in.

It's sort of a role reversal....if we have DC then he will be the primary carer as I work in London.

My friends say they love him but they couldn't live with someone who relied on them financially...

Interested in thoughts...AIBU to marry what MN call a 'cocklodger'?

EveOnline2016 Thu 30-Jun-16 18:32:17

He is not a cock lodger. Cock lodgers just use use and use.

It sounds like a good set up. Plus as a bonus a potential child will have a very hands on father.

I wish dh or I earned enough money for one of us to SAH.

WorraLiberty Thu 30-Jun-16 18:34:01

My thoughts are he needs to get a job.

I've known people over the years who have always thought themselves 'too special' to work for someone else and bring in a steady wage...always chasing the 'self employed business owner' route.

That's ok if they want to build a business in their spare time, but rather than live off of someone else, they'd be better to sign on with a work agency or get a job in a supermarket or something, while building it up.

branofthemist Thu 30-Jun-16 18:34:09

Buy he isn't a civil lodge as he does more than his fair share at home and he is working. Just not earning much.

Personally though, no I wouldn't want to be with someone who went from business to business and was failing due to their lack of business knowledge. Surely he should be looking into marketing to see how to market himself? It doesn't sound like he is giving any of his businesses a good go or expanded his knowledge to give them a good go.

But as you are TTC anyway, I assume this is a good relationship and as he is going to be sahd anyway. What's the point in building a big client base if he will need to cut it right down or stop in the next year - 18 months?

There is no right answer here. Only you know if he is taking the piss or not. If he is then stop ttc and re-evaluate the relationship.

WorraLiberty Thu 30-Jun-16 18:37:31

And actually if I had a failing business and no clients, I really would not choose to move in with someone at that point in time.

I'd wait until I could pay my way.

branofthemist Thu 30-Jun-16 18:37:40

Oh and I have a business in the fitness industry. I set it up part time along side my job an marketing is everything industry.

There are many crap PTs out there. Loads of them. But they do well because of marketing

Arfarfanarf Thu 30-Jun-16 18:37:56

A cocklodger is someone who takes everything and gives nothing.

Someone doing their fair share is not a user, whether their fair share is financial or in other ways.

If you are happy with the arrangement and the plan is for him to be a sahd and he isnt using you for a cushy life and he is making an equal contribution by taking care of home stuff then there's nothing wrong with it.

NikiSaintPhalle Thu 30-Jun-16 18:39:41

Bran is right, I think. If the problem has been pinpointed as a lack of marketing skills, surely it's easily enough remedied?

But assuming you are happy in your work and don't feel exploited/overly pressured by being the sole breadwinner, and he will be happy as a SAHP, there's no reason at all why it shouldn't work perfectly well, apart from other people's sexist hangups about male breadwinners etc. Two of my close female friends are the sole breadwinners in their families, with their male partners being SAHPs.

Dozer Thu 30-Jun-16 18:39:54

Yanbu, but if you have DC, he is the primary carer and you break up you'd probably get less time witht the DC than him and pay maintenance (plus likely more if you were married).

Agree with PPs that he should grow up and get a job.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Thu 30-Jun-16 18:42:04

If you are both happy with the situation & DP is taking on the majority of the household chores while he's at home then it's fine.

Especially if the plan is for DP to be a SAHD in the future. Ideally, he would be working outside of the home until you have children - but you say he was up until 5 weeks ago. Albeit on a low income.

I think if this were a high earning male supporting a low earning female nobody would bat an eyelid. Is this any different really?

Reapwhatyousow Thu 30-Jun-16 18:45:45

You either believe in role reversal or you don't. I couldn't possibly comment on a relationship. Just consider that this arrangement has served generations of families and if you truly love him why wouldn't it work if you are both committed to it doing so. Two halves make a whole.

thestarryeyedsurprise Thu 30-Jun-16 18:46:22

My DP is a personal trainer, he has been for the past 8 years but it did take him a good few years to build up a reputable client base. It doesn't happen overnight. If the roles were reversed I'm sure he would support you.

crje Thu 30-Jun-16 18:47:55

I wouldn't be happy for him to be at home full time before any children arrive.

Is he interested in doing any further education to improve his chances of work?

How old is he?

ijustwannadance Thu 30-Jun-16 18:48:03

It's fine supporting him being a SAHD but he needs to start earning now really. It really isn't that hard to market yourself these days, especially with social media etc. And the fact he has a skill that can be used outside the normal 9-5 is a bonus as he could keep a few clients on on evenings or weekends.
Has he thought about doing those bootcamp things that they do on local parks? Very popular atm and can easily make £100 in an hour with 10 clients.

Dozer Thu 30-Jun-16 18:48:18

I don't think it's a role reversal: before DC most adults of both sexes work FT (if they can find work) to financially support themselves. This man is financially reliant on his partner and they don't even have DC yet.

MollyTwo Thu 30-Jun-16 18:51:06

If it works for you then that's fine. Personally I wouldn't settle for this. So far he really hasn't contributed and seems to be floating about. You could get a cleaner and nanny instead.

stumblymonkey Thu 30-Jun-16 18:58:05

Well I'm not sure a cleaner and nanny would give me the joy and emotional support that he does.

I find that a bit strange that saying a partner is only as good as a nanny and cleaner if they don't earn money...?

WorraLiberty Thu 30-Jun-16 19:00:04

I think if this were a high earning male supporting a low earning female nobody would bat an eyelid. Is this any different really?

I think they might if despite having a failing business and no clients, she chose that moment to move in with her partner.

BeckyMcDonald Thu 30-Jun-16 19:01:05

I think the problem is that he isn't earning any money so is essentially doing his hobby full-time, which doesn't seem very fair. He's going to have to go and work for someone else if he can't make the PT work on his own.

pickleletta Thu 30-Jun-16 19:01:35

Imagine if the roles were reversed ..

stumblymonkey Thu 30-Jun-16 19:01:53

Thanks for the comments, an interesting mix.

I think I probably need to push him on the marketing a bit...he's a great PT with lots more going for him than the average PT (degree in sports science, lots of specific training).

I'd think I'd be 100% fine with him not working once we have DC (we've already agreed we'll split the mat leave so I do the first six months and he does the second).

It does grate a little that he's not earning anything when we don't have children though and I pay for a cleaner so there isn't loads to do around the house. I'll have to speak to him about the marketing again but he's just not great at it or at selling himself or his services so it's a bit of a slog...

happypoobum Thu 30-Jun-16 19:03:56

The thing is, at the moment you don't have children, so yes, you are supporting him whilst he does his hobby. If you are happy then stuff what anyone else thinks.
I wouldn't choose this as an option but I am not you. I would feel pretty resentful if I was the only one working and he was just fannying around

WorraLiberty Thu 30-Jun-16 19:04:36

Only the OP knows whether he sees her as an equal partner or a golden meal ticket. We can't possibly know that.

But OP you said, He does his fair share around the house and probably more than me sometimes. He often has a cup of tea ready for me and the dinner cooking when I get in.

Isn't that completely normal for the first person home to get the dinner and kettle on? And why does he only 'probably' do more than you 'sometimes', if you're working more hours than him?

stumblymonkey Thu 30-Jun-16 19:05:18

To be fair when he moved in he had his own gym and he was working hard (long hours, six days a week). He had quite a few clients but shared the gym with two friends and so by the time they'd paid for rent, the loan for the equipment, utilities, marketing, etc they each took between £300-600 per month.

He moved in with me fully hoping that things would build up and he would be on a normal salary within six months (and I invited him to move in knowing the financial situation so can't blame him).

squidgyapple Thu 30-Jun-16 19:06:11

I can't see the problem.

I know a number of couples where the man is the sole breadwinner - and although this is judged on mn, no one cares in RL.
So why should it matter the other way round?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now