To expect DH not to work weekends? Really need perspectives please?

(143 Posts)
owlelf Sat 03-Nov-12 08:18:11

DH and u have been together 8 years. Two DC 5&6.

I am the main breadwinner. I have managed to work 4 days a week, one of which is at home. For me this works as I get to see DC and work as well. My job is difficult but it is something that keeps us going financially and for that I am very grateful.

DP is trying to make it in a particular job (I daren't be specific as I don't want any RL friends/ family to recognise me). Trying to make it involves a lot of practise. Around his practise he has always done some paid work in his field. This is minimum wage work. He was very lucky to get sponsorship 2 years ago, this meant he could practise full time giving him a much greater chance of success.

Unfortunately he hadn't had the success we hoped, so now needs to start supplementing things with paid work again.

He plans to take on 3 days of work so that he can continue to practise. This will probably bring in about 25% of our outgoings. The rest will be paid for by me (just).

I'm upset that one of the 3 days work will be a Saturday, until 7pm. This is his choice as it means his week days are free to practise and compete.

I should also say that I do most if the housework and childcare as he is out of the house more than me.

I am beginning to feel a bit resentful that I have to work so hard to keep us going financially. However, he was in this profession when we met and so I did sign up for this IYSWIM.

I wanted him to choose hours that meant we could spend some Saturdays together as a family. I'm furious that he's decided to work Saturdays.

I guess this feels like the straw that could break the camels back. I work hard, I support us all- an I unreasonable to expect my DH to show his gratitude for this by being around at weekends?

ghoulygumdrops Sat 03-Nov-12 08:26:30

I think YABU, sorry. Its only one weekend day, you will still have sundays, more than a lot of families have. I think what he has suggested actually sounds a sensible solution.

mutny Sat 03-Nov-12 08:27:13

Its a really difficult one, tbh. Especially since you always knew his pursuit of this was a long term plan.
while I don't believe we should give up on our dreams the minute we have children. I do believe he should thinking more about his family and the pressure you are feeling.
Have you spoken to him about how you feel?

mutny Sat 03-Nov-12 08:29:26

sorry should posted to soon, that it is completely normal to work st least one weekend day. At least you have a regular weekend day.

I am also a bit shock st your last paragraph.

redskyatnight Sat 03-Nov-12 08:30:21

This sounds ok actually - you still have one family day and he is around during the week to see the children after school - so reducing your childcare bill.

owlelf Sat 03-Nov-12 08:30:38

guouly thank you for your perspective. I have to admit I'm so cross right now that I can't quite see any way in which might be being unfair blush. If I am then it probably makes this whole situation easier- as then it's only me that needs to change.....

cupcake78 Sat 03-Nov-12 08:33:58

Yabu, working weekends is standard practice these days. He will still be home intime to see the children and you have to make the most of Sunday.

owlelf Sat 03-Nov-12 08:34:47

mutny, I have spoken to him. He was really angry, as he always is when we discuss money.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh. I guess I feel as though I have supported him in his dream for a very long time and I would like some support back.

I know working one, or two weekend days is completely normal. I just feel that under these circumstances it would be nice to spend it together.

ENormaSnob Sat 03-Nov-12 08:35:36

Are you both around Sundays?

If so, yabu.

Sorry but YABU. Lots of people work shifts and weekends and while it isn't ideal you do still have Sundays together. You seem to resent the fact that you gave the highest income? I've assets earn white lot more than Dp but I don't expect him to be grateful. We're a team and support eachothrr in any way we can

Fakebook Sat 03-Nov-12 08:36:25

My husband works 7 days a week. Your set up sounds like heaven.

Wonderifitsme Sat 03-Nov-12 08:36:57

Honestly, I think you are being a little u.
Given that your job is difficult, are you sure you're not taking out some of your tiredness and frustration on your DH?

Hs suggestion sounds sensible. But you'll have to make sure you don't end up really resenting Saturdays. Plan nice things to do etc.

Assets= always
white = quite

Bloody fat fingers and small phone

owlelf Sat 03-Nov-12 08:37:20

I know working weekends is standard practise. However in our situation DH is choosing to work on Saturdays so that he can spend most of the rest of the week chasing his dreams, while I work like fury to make ends meet.....

Maybe I need a long hard word with myself !!

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Sat 03-Nov-12 08:37:36

I think you are being a bit unreasonable...probably because you have a lot to juggle and tiredness / stress can mean that you don't look at things clearly. It's not as if you are coping on your own during the week. Working on a Saturday for him means a good clear stretch of time to earn money, you spend time with kids and no need to spend out on childcare.

mutny Sat 03-Nov-12 08:37:43

so is this about him not supporting you and the household finances or the weekend.
I get it if you are finding you job hard and bring the 'main earner' stressful.
But the more I think about it the more I think yabu. Because I don't get the 'circumstances' that mean being home both weekend days is a must.

gettingwiththeprogramme Sat 03-Nov-12 08:38:01

Could your dh work 3 week days and then, say, spend half of Saturday competing and practising? That might be a compromise, and mean you could have Sat afternoon together as well as Sunday?

JackThePumpkinKing Sat 03-Nov-12 08:38:29

It depends. Could he easily work during the week or is Saturday his preference?

The working weekends and not pulling his weight around the house are two separate issues though.

owlelf Sat 03-Nov-12 08:40:09

assets would you still be ok with the situation though if your DH decided to take on a PT job, and worked weekends so that he could follow a dream?

[i hope that doesn't sound aggressive or sarcastic, it is meant to be a genuine question].

ENormaSnob Sat 03-Nov-12 08:40:29

Are you resentful that you are the main financial provider whilst he chases pipe dreams?

Not judging at all, I would be massively resentful tbh.

atacareercrossroads Sat 03-Nov-12 08:41:56

Yabu, he's doing it so he can better himself. Imagine if it was you and he wanted to hold you back?

I understand though, family time is precious but its quality not quantity that matters

OpheliaPayneAgain Sat 03-Nov-12 08:42:05

Following the dream? prctice? Sounds like he wants to be a pro-golfer or somesuch. Is she likely to realistically make the grade?

mutny Sat 03-Nov-12 08:42:40

but you agreed to support him following this dream did you?

owlelf Sat 03-Nov-12 08:42:43

mutiny, I guess it is hard to seperate the two, it's about both. I don't mind doing thd house work and childcare. But I hoped that at least one upside if his choice of jobs was that we got time all together all weekend.

gettingwiththeprogramme Sat 03-Nov-12 08:44:31

Or, could he just do 2 days work in the week, and leave Saturday out? I know this means less money (obv!) but would give you more weekend time all four together.
(I know it's not unusual only to have one day all together at weekend - that's our position too! - but two would be lovely (I assume!)).

owlelf Sat 03-Nov-12 08:44:55

Enorma, yes that is exactly it I think, I didn't dare admit it though blushsad.

I so do want him to make it, but realistically I'm not sure he will. I could never never admit that to him though, I would hate to hurt his feelings and he would be very hurt and angry.

owlelf Sat 03-Nov-12 08:45:47

ophelia I think I am going to need to name change!

owlelf Sat 03-Nov-12 08:47:09

Saturday work is is his choice. So he has more weekdays free to practice and compete.

gettingwiththeprogramme Sat 03-Nov-12 08:49:09

looking on the bright side, if he does go ahead, you may find you spend more time getting together with other parents and children on your Saturdays than you otherwise would have - which can also be nice for your dc - building up friendships - and for you, socialising with other adults. (Sorry re Pollyannaism. I do sympathise with you!)

mutny Sat 03-Nov-12 08:50:05

So you don't mind being the main earner of doing the housework but this is really bothering you?
Personally the housework would piss me off more. I just don't get why all weekend is throwing you off the deep end and why he has to do this to show he is grateful.

atacareercrossroads Sat 03-Nov-12 08:51:18

So its a hobby and a chance to better himself? Do you have hobbies? Go on training with work? Stay late to get stuff done? It does read to me like because you are the earner you resent him doing anything for himself which might take time away from the family. But he has as much right as anyone to do things for himself.

ChickenFillet Sat 03-Nov-12 08:53:25

I think it depends ohow likely this dream is to come to fruition. If i had children and decided to take up saturday, say trying to be the next cheryl cole, then turned 50 and still hadnt made it, and missed out on my children chasing dream unlikely to happn, it would be a massive waste of life, unforgivable i think.
If it waslikely and i made millions at 30, well it would have been worth it!
Possibly ....

UndeadPixie Sat 03-Nov-12 08:53:36

Eight years is a very long time to be chasing a dream! I can understand why you'd be feeling this way, especially if it's not a hobby that brings in a little cash to tide things over iyswim? It is not fair on him to have you doing most of the childcare and housework when you work full time too.

atacareercrossroads Sat 03-Nov-12 08:53:42

Yes that's what I was getting at, its reading like he should be grateful that you keep the family in money and therefore give up anything he wants to do for himself.

The problem is that if up do make him give up him dream, can your relationship survive that? He won't be the person you married and he may resent you for making him give up.

You could end up having weekends together but with a miserable Dp.
Is it really so different to any relationship where people have hobbies that take them away from their families on weekends?

mutny Sat 03-Nov-12 08:55:40

if it is pro golfing many don't become professional until they are older.

How realistic is it for him to find paid work in his chosen field? I wouln't want to fund what is effectively a hobby indefenitely. It didn't happen whilst he could persue it fulltime and presumabably it will be harder now he's having to work as well.

I think I would be looking to agree a timescale whereby if he can't generate an income within say another year he needs to start thinking of something else to do.

Proudnscary Sat 03-Nov-12 08:56:51

YABU for being resentful for being main breadwinner. I am main breadwinner and I simply see us as a team that brings different things to the table.

YANBU if you think he is, as others have said, chasing a pipe dream. If that really is the case he needs to grow up and drag himself into the real world.

YABU for not wanting him to work on Saturdays if this is genuinely a way to get his career going - YANBU if it's a long-term, fruitless exercise.

ChaoticismyLife Sat 03-Nov-12 09:03:43

YABU about the working weekends. However, he needs to start pulling his weight wrt childcare and housework, how he fits it in is his problem not yours.

atacareercrossroads Sat 03-Nov-12 09:05:57

What if he does make it op? Assume hell be away a fair bit. What then? Will that be ok as hell be bringing in money? What if he becomes main earner and then tries to put a block on something you want to do? These are questions I'd be asking myself in your position to try and explore why I felt the way I did.

I think YABabitU but I think he is too...how long does this continue. I think you need to agree together a timescale including some kind of measures that he is getting there. Otherwise this could go on for years and fairly or not you could end up resending him and his hobby (because if it really is not going to ever happen professionally it is just a hobby). So maybe agree a timescale.
And agree a different division of housework. Totally a must. You can support him in his dream but you should not have to become a slave to do so.

AThingInYourLife Sat 03-Nov-12 09:14:08

So you earn the money, you do the housework, you care for the children and he tries (and so far fails) to succeed at his "dream"?

What's in it for you?

You are currently supporting a young family AND his dream whilst having nothing but drudgery for yourself.

What's your dream?

What's the time limit on him coming first?

What's the backup plan for when if he doesn't make it?

I think you're getting a hard time here OP. As I read it you are working as well as doing all the housework and chilcare in order that he can pursue a hobby instead of contribute financially or practically to the family.

By choosing to work on a Saturday he is choosing that his week will constitute 3 days for work, 3 days for a hobby and 1 day for his family. I think that would be unacceptable to a lot of people.

hellsbells99 Sat 03-Nov-12 09:29:42

Your DH needs to pull his weight with housework etc. but regarding his working on a Saturday, then just enjoy his absence! My DH works shifts and is working today - won't be home til 8pm. My 2 dds just get on and enjoy the day. Means we can be lazy without dh organising us and we can do what we want. It is not all bad! But you don't want to spend your w/e doing housework - tell dh if he only works 3 days then he needs to do some of it.

Sausagedog27 Sat 03-Nov-12 09:40:07

I think that the working on a Saturday is not a get out clause for not pulling his weight in the week. What child care do you have in the week? He could be looking after the dc one a day you are at work (which might ease some financial strain if you are paying for childcare). Choosing the Saturday so he can do training in the week does not mean he gets out of his responsibilities for the children and housework in the week IMO. I can completely understand your frustration here- yanbu!

expatinscotland Sat 03-Nov-12 09:43:28

YABU!

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Sat 03-Nov-12 09:43:50

YANBU if this hobby isn't realistically going to turn into paid work. FIL has a hobby like that. He has spent more time and money on it than I care to think about, at the expense of his family home, his marriage and his DCs' education (moving all the time so they have about 3 GCSEs between them). He's approaching retirement age with no savings or assets and still trying to make it in a field where he hasn't got a chance. He's been told so by many successful pros but apparently they just don't understand him.

There needs to come a point at which enough is enough.

Whoknowswhocares Sat 03-Nov-12 09:48:28

Has his sponsorship now ended? if that is the case, then someone somewhere who really knows what they are talking about has decided that the odds of your DH making it really aren't that great. It may be hurtful to him, but that doesn't alter the facts.
Just because you supported him 8 years ago doesn't mean you have to let him chase the dream for ever more! Things change. You need a sensible discussion about where you are headed and how much longer this can continue. In a way, you supporting him is prolonging things. If you weren't available for bill paying, presumably he would have to get a 'proper job'?

willowstar Sat 03-Nov-12 09:48:29

While it is not ideal, I don't think it is so bad and is similar to many families. You both have a reasonable amount of time with the children and one family day, that really is a decent set . My oh often works 6 or 7 day weeks so. Understand the frustration, of course it would be lovely to have more time together, just not possible right now.

lucyellenmum Sat 03-Nov-12 09:48:53

I was ready to steam in here with a big fat YABU, but i actually don't think you are!!

I cannot actually believe that anyone is!!!

From what you describe here it sounds to me like it is some sort of sporting "dream" that he is following. Well, quite frankly, he needs to face up to the fact that if he aint made it by now...........grow the fuck up and take responsibility.

Why should you do the donkey's share of the work while he gets to fanny around "practising"??? You get to work full time AND do the housework while he works a three day week?? Entitled, much???

Its about time he took on some full time work, did his bit and relegated his "dream" to hobby. Its tough in the real world, but hey.

I wanted to go and work with lions like joy adamson and Elsa, for some (VERY FEW) people this might become a reality, but for the rest of us, these things are dreams.

claig Sat 03-Nov-12 10:01:00

It is very dificult and I understand how you feel. But, as you know yourself, it is very difficult to give up a dream or snap out of it. It is a slow process of realisation that will eventually come to him. It is like being in a relationship with a musician or artist, their work or dream is part of their existence. The positive thing is that the sponsorship was a step closer to the dream and that is why the dream probaly still seems hopeful.

Give it more time and he may eventually realise that the dream won't come true, unless of course it does.

claig Sat 03-Nov-12 10:03:36

It sounds like the working on Saturdays is only about to start now, so it would be a bit unfair to stop it before giving it a try.

oldbootface Sat 03-Nov-12 10:17:23

YANBU. His priority now should be raising his family not chasing a dream he's unlikely to fulfil.

YABU for doing all the ruddy housework, you mug! grin

HumphreyCobbler Sat 03-Nov-12 10:25:27

I don't think you are unreasonable. This would piss me off. How realistic is the chance of him fulfilling his dream? And in the meantime you do the rest and have not much time as a family. Bollocks to that.

thixotropic Sat 03-Nov-12 10:25:46

If he were earning, or likely to on the near future then ywouldbu.

but as others have said it sounds like you are doing childcare, housework and breadwinner whilst he fannies about with a hobby.

It sounds like you need a plan.

First you need to ascertain wether he had any chance of success. He, and hopefully you, needs to sit down with a sports psychologist/ coach (to give this dome legitimacy) and set a SMART goal - ie achievable, realistic and Time limited.
Agree this jointly, so that for example he needs to be earning 500 GBP per month by January 2014 or whatever is realistic, and at the same time set the commitment that if he does not achieve this minimum he must relegate this to hobby and pull his weight financially in some other way.

Also, you need do work on pulling back on housework and getting him to pull his weight here. Ime I found just not doing things can work. I used to cook every night, as well as housework and breadwinner. He used to ask what was for tra, and I'd pootle off and cook. Fool. Now I sit on mn, and say 'haven't a bloody clue, what you cooking' it works, if you hold firm.

Good luck op.

mutny Sat 03-Nov-12 10:29:01

lucyellenmum

From what I gather its pro golf. And its not unusual for pro golfers to become pro later in life. So by not having made it now, doesn't mean that ship has sailed iyswim.

I think the problem is that the OP committed to supporting him pursuing this.

I would like to know why the sponsor dropped him (if that is the case).

I also think a review of the situation is in order. If the OP really can not carry on supporting him there needs to be a conversation and perhaps a plan.
But, OP, if he gives up on this will ur feel resentful, that you agreed to support him now are not?

How would you feel?

thixotropic Sat 03-Nov-12 10:29:57

Tra -tea

If it's the profession mentioned by others, can he not work a week day then go and practice on a Saturday. I know plenty who get up at 6am Saturday to be the first off so they can still spend a descent chunk of the weekend with their family.

Can I ask how old he is? And how many hours he dedicates to his profession during a standard week? Has he got a lot better over the 8 years you've been together?

And if it is the aforementioned profession, does the sponsorship cover his costs or does that come out of family money? I know that memberships, green fees, equipment, clothing etc can add up to an expensive hobby

lucyellenmum Sat 03-Nov-12 10:49:39

pro-golf? now theres a contradiction in terms!! Tell him to stop playing with his balls, man up and get a proper job.

Whoknowswhocares Sat 03-Nov-12 10:49:41

Well if it is golf, then the work in the field at minimum wage seems a bit odd. Golf pro's certainly don't charge min wage!

DH works Saturdays. He combines being a teacher with being a (paid) sports coach. The sport involves frequent trips away, anything from a weekend to 10 days at a time. I used to get really resentful blush

I'm now trying to make the best of it. On Saturdays we see friends and do trips to places DH probably wouldn't enjoy much anyway. We watch movies with popcorn and make pancakes for breakfast - things that DH would be neg about. I've stopped postponing days out until DH is able to make it - I don't put our lives on hold just because DH is at work. I also ask DH for a contribution towards these activities from his sport coaching earnings. And there are loads of other families where one parent works weekends, find out which of your friends are in the same position so you can make plans together.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 03-Nov-12 11:30:02

There is a difference between having to work at weekends (no one can object to that, my DH is a musician and has to) and CHOOSING to work on Saturday so that you have more time to do a hobby in the week.

Mrsjay Sat 03-Nov-12 11:31:51

YABU you are being specific to when your husband can work not all work fits in monday to friday uab really precious about it .

HumphreyCobbler Sat 03-Nov-12 11:33:58

But he CHOSE to work Saturday. Did you not read the OP? That means that he could have chosen another day.

Viviennemary Sat 03-Nov-12 11:41:41

In my opinion YANBU. I don't think I'd be very happy to slog away in a job so somebody could chase their dreams. He should leave Saturday free to be with the family and help out.

Sounds like he's being self-indulgent

YANBU

claig Sat 03-Nov-12 12:21:40

I have heard before that Saturday is expensive for golf because everybody is off work and therefore at teh golf club whereas during the week it is cheaper to play golf because everyone else is at work. That may be why he works Saturday and plays in the week. How much more expensive it is on Saturdays, I don't know.

claig Sat 03-Nov-12 12:23:38

How old is he? At some stage he is going to have to get his priorities sorted. It sounds like he still has some way to go there, maybe because he is still relatively young.

owlelf Sat 03-Nov-12 12:29:41

Thank you do much for all of the thoughtful posts.

To answer a few questions- he is mid thirties, yes he has got better over the years, from what I understand there are flashes of excellent performance which are spoiled by a few errors, he is working on ironing the errors out.

Sponsorship was a fixed amount of money from someone who believed in him. Money has now almost gone, hence the need to supplement with a paid job.

Job is minimum wage: bar work, pro shop, green keeping. He could earn more per hour from teaching but his club have restricted this to pros who work FT.

He spends all week practising, playing or in the gym working on fitness. As such he's not around much, hence reason I do lions share of housework and childcare. I don't mind this, it doesn't take long and I understand he needs to put the hours in.

I just wanted the upside to all this to be that we spent weekends together.

I really have no idea whether his dream is a pipe dream, or a real possibility. He is determined it is a reality. For me to suggest otherwise would be like punching him in the stomach.

I have supported him for 8 years, but as suggested by a few posters I am beginning to feel like an 'enabler' in a possibly unrealistic quest.

I think there is a possibility that he would never forgive me if I "ruined his chances", and it may lead to us splitting up.

motherinferior Sat 03-Nov-12 12:30:55

I would be deeply pissed off in your situation.

lisaro Sat 03-Nov-12 12:35:10

YABVVU. If bills have to be paid then that's the most important thing. It sounds very immature to expect every weekend free together.

claig Sat 03-Nov-12 12:36:56

I think he could compromise and sometimes work one weekday and leave the Saturday free, vary the routine maybe.

thixotropic Sat 03-Nov-12 12:40:33

Put his dream to one side

What is your dream?

If it is to support an idealist in an unrealistic quest for an indefinite amount of time, then fair enough.

If not then I think you need to be equally firm with him about what outcome you want to see. Your posts seem to suggest you would like more family time and an equal division of labour around the house.

So, who is ruining whose chances?

gettingwiththeprogramme Sat 03-Nov-12 12:42:38

Could he teach at another club where they dont restrict it to full timers? At least that way he would earn more and then could maybe work less?

Also if it's bar work could he work evenings instead of sats - so that he gets 2 days at weekend with you and dc? or, if its casual agency work, maybe alternate saturdays? (sorry if that's impractical, but might be an answer?)

And as tmlies says, there are lots of other parents in same position, so there can be upsides - outings with friends and other dc!

claig Sat 03-Nov-12 12:43:47

The problem is that OP does not want to end up splitting up over this when it may sove itself eventually as he becomes more mature and realises that the dream may in fact be a pipe dream.

thixotropic Sat 03-Nov-12 12:44:08

Also would he really split up iF you dared to discuss pulling the plug on this? How on earth would he fund this dream and find time to eat and wash his own clothes without you? -don't underestimate the strength of your position here.

YABalittleU, you said it yourself bills meed to paid and you get at least one day at the weekend.
Sadly my dp works late nights and weekends the days he has off I don't sad

motherinferior Sat 03-Nov-12 12:45:59

Have I got this straight: you are working bloody hard in a job that doesn't particularly fulfil you, you are doing all the childcare and housework [shocked], and your partner now wants you to be solely in charge on Saturday?

And people say YABU?

motherinferior Sat 03-Nov-12 12:47:51

And all this 'working weekends is standard practice': in lots of jobs, it isn't. Most of the people I know - in nice, fulfilling, decently paid jobs - do not expect to clock on on a Sat.

gettingwiththeprogramme Sat 03-Nov-12 12:48:30

Yes and presumably when/if that realisation dawns op's dh could then teach f/t which would not be a bad outcome?
I agree with the varying the routine as a short term measure - some sats, some evenings, etc? Of course that might not be practical but bar work should have evening shifts available?

lottiegarbanzo Sat 03-Nov-12 12:59:14

I think you're getting a really hard time here, people are responding as if he has to work weekend shifts but does childcare during the week, when neither is true.

I think if you were posting about your desire to become an opera singer (very similar scenario in terms of dedication, age when breakthroughs occur, reward and likely success) and expectation that your family worked around you, for years and years, to support this, you would be being told you were massively unreasonable, entitled and self-indulgent.

I am afraid I believe that this society conspires to take men's dreams and hobbies far more more seriously than women's, while women are expected to compromise in favour of their families almost immediately. I'm not saying this is always the case, it isn't but I do think it is a deeply seated expectation and colours people's perception of what is normal and acceptable.

I do understand your dilemma and the desire to give him his chance. He is the one who needs to be planning sensibly, thinking about and preparing his back up plan. If he's sensible he can line that up at the same time with a bit of part-time training and networking (teaching, sports administration, managing other players, sports PR). (A close relative trained to be an opera singer and now makes a living in arts admin and PR, so I sort of know what I'm talking about).

In answer to your question, I do think he needs to recognise how massively supportive you are being and that he couldn't persue this dream and have a family, without your doing more than your fair share of everything. Therefore he needs to make proposals and ask you if you can accommodate them, not decide what he's doing then tell you. That's what single people with no children do.

claig Sat 03-Nov-12 12:59:52

He obviously knows he is not fully doing the right thing which is why he gets angry when it or money is mentioned. I think he will see sense and make some compromises over his dream, but the problem is how to discuss it without causing an argument.

motherinferior Sat 03-Nov-12 13:07:51

I am afraid I believe that this society conspires to take men's dreams and hobbies far more more seriously than women's, while women are expected to compromise in favour of their families almost immediately. I'm not saying this is always the case, it isn't but I do think it is a deeply seated expectation and colours people's perception of what is normal and acceptable.

Spot on, Lottie, and I've been thinking that too.

owlelf Sat 03-Nov-12 13:13:44

He doesn't seem to agree that I support him. If you write the figures down then it's absolutely clear that I support us financially. When I try to discuss this he gets very upset and says that "it all comes down to money", with me. That's not true IMO, yes money is an issue here but only because things seem so very unbalanced. I then end up feeling guilty and doubting myself.

Then because I've bought up money, and suggested that maybe he might not make it- he accuses me of not supporting him emotionally.

I want to support him, but in not sure if he's expecting too much. TBH a bit of thanks would go a very long way.

claig Sat 03-Nov-12 13:17:50

Yes, I think you have to make him sort of feel guilty rather than saying he is wrong. Something like you and the kids feel you are missing out on family time and his company and attention at weekends, and is there anything he can do etc. That might make him feel guilty rather than get his back up and make him take you and teh kids more into account.

claig Sat 03-Nov-12 13:19:22

YANBU, you are in the right but it's a matter of making him realise it gently.

motherinferior Sat 03-Nov-12 13:19:40

What about all the childcare and housework you do - doesn't he realise you're doing that?

disembodiedHandbagCrab Sat 03-Nov-12 13:26:53

Yanbu.

What will he do then? Co parent on a Sunday and...?

When was the last time you got to do what you want to do? Or do the dc get an opportunity to follow their dreams at all?

It sounds exhausting to me.

Iggly Sat 03-Nov-12 13:31:16

YANBU

People aren't reading the OP properly.

He's taking the piss.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Sat 03-Nov-12 13:32:13

What lottie said.

I have a 'dream' - a bit more prosaic and realistic than this one, essentially a change of career but one for which I need to put in a lot of initially largely unpaid time and work - but the need to contribute to our family finances and take care of the dc so dh can further his (more immediately profitable) career comes first, end of. So I do my work around the edges of the rest of my life (PT work averaging 25-30h/week and 2 smallish dc). I've been successful in the''dream' work I've squashed in and could be massively further ahead if only I had the time and resources to devote to it. But I don't atm. That's life. My dh would have been happy to put his own plans on hold to support me, but it was more imperative that he work on his career for our long-term future as a family.

I wasn't happy in my 'day job' so I've found a better one, one in which I can feel more fulfilled and can still bring in the income we need. I'm due to start soon. I'm aware I'm very lucky to have an in-demand skill which has enabled this, but I do think your dh needs to put serious thought to finding something that's a halfway house between his dream and his responsibilities, rather than expecting you to show infinite patience and denying the reality of the extent to which you support him. His comments about it all coming down to money are enraging. Money - the money you bring in - is what has supported and enabled him so far.

Iggly Sat 03-Nov-12 13:33:42

The problem is you've made it about money. But it's more than that. Does he do any housework or childcare..?

Balderdashandpiffle Sat 03-Nov-12 13:42:03

Is this what he was doing when you got together?

Iggly Sat 03-Nov-12 13:43:34

I'm not sure if it matters that he did this when they got together. Marriage and children change things!

Journey Sat 03-Nov-12 14:00:35

I agree with lucyellenmum.

I think you need some time for you. It seems as if everything centres around your dh which is unfair.

Your dh working on Saturday could work out okay because your dcs are at age when it is easy to take them out on your own and you'll have time as a family during the week. However, Saturday is a family day and as such I think it needs to be a joint decision because you're left to pick up the pieces on a day when your family should all be together. The fact that your dh has chosen to work that day is also a bit hurtful. It would be different if he had no choice.

If he does go ahead and work the Saturday I would not like him working until 7pm. It's too late. I would ask him to finish at 5pm.

Downandoutnumbered Sat 03-Nov-12 14:13:51

YANBU. What are you getting out of this relationship? What sort of dad is he? Is he any more supportive of your DC than he is of you?

I would be livid in your shoes, but I would have started to be livid years ago. You're carrying all the responsibility (financial and otherwise) of this relationship on your shoulders, he's fannying around wasting time and money on something he's not going to make it in unless something changes dramatically, and he's making you feel guilty every time you try to suggest that you'd like the balance to change. Seriously, why are you bothering to stay with him?

I can only conclude that some earlier posters have been reading an entirely different OP from me!

summerflower Sat 03-Nov-12 14:29:09

It's not just money though, it sounds like (and I have only read this quickly) you are doing the lion's share of the domestic stuff and childcare too. For him to then take Saturdays so that he can pursue dream which a) does not help financially and b) means that you have an additional day doing the childcare etc yourself till 7pm is selfish. So, YANBU!!

wheresmespecs Sat 03-Nov-12 14:35:54

YANBU. and you are getting a strangely hard time from some posters.

Key points. He is CHOOSING to work the Saturday. Yes, lots of us have to work weekends etc. But surely that is just because most of us doing that have no choice.

Of course having children doesn't mean you have to 'give up your dreams'. But you cannot carry on as if you do not have children, or as if you are the only person affected by your decisions. This is simply part of being a responsible adult and parent.

OP, your DP would not be able to pursue this 'hobby that might go professional' without your support, right? It is you being the main breadwinner and doing most of the domestic work that frees him up to do what he wants, right? Then you are perfectly reasonable to ask for some compromise and understanding in return.

It doesn't sound to me as if you are pissed off at being the main breadwinner, btw. It sounds as if you are pissed off at being the main breadwinner and therefore expected to be unquestioningly supportive of your partner's hobby/vocation.

I think your part of the 'compromise’ bargain has been that you have supported him in what is effectively a long term career gamble for 8 years, and you are continuing to do so. You are allowed to ask for something in return.

to those posters who say 'you knew he wanted to do this when you married him etc' - well, be adults. Life circumstances change, your responsibilities change, and hopefully your perspective does to as you learn and grow as a parent.

Have you ever had the 'how long are you prepared to give this a go' conversation? It is a very hard one! and the risk is that he will make you the focus of all his anxieties and doubts about it, if you are the one asking. But he needs to be setting his own targets and goals with this kind of thing. If he is still in the same position in 10 years' time, what then?

aldiwhore Sat 03-Nov-12 14:37:17

YABU. I work 3 days a week for a pittance. My DH is the breadwinner. He's under financial pressure, but I HAVE to contribute something monetary into the family pot. I think he'd prefer me to either earn a lot more (not really possible right now) or work the hours that suit him (not possible either).

I get that you feel you're missing out on one important day off a week, weekends are precious, but I do think you need to respect him for actually working very hard to better himself and follow his path even if there is little financial reward. If he's chasing a dream that will never be realised then YANBU, if he needs to put the time in now to make it and the chances are he will at some point then YABU.

My question to you, are you happy in your role? What are your dreams? Pressure to provide is one thing, but if you hate your job, YWNBU to chase your dreams too... which would mean you both would have to sacrifice a lot.

aldiwhore Sat 03-Nov-12 14:38:03

I do think your house hold chores need looking at, you shouldn't be doing most of it.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 03-Nov-12 14:38:53

YANBU. I agree with recent posters it's not just about the Saturdays or even the money but basically he seems to be trying to live his dream and you do everything else.

He should be grateful that you earn a solid wage and he is getting the opportunity to do this ( and I would say this if it was a woman as well) and should repay this by doing at least his share of the housework and ensuring that you get some time to indulge your whims as well. But he isn't.

The problem is I don't know what the answer is. The only suggestion I can bring is that for the short term you claim Sundays for your own, bit hard on your DC but your DH needs to actually spend time and see them as people and I suspect that even in your "family " time you are the one making sure they have the right clothes on that you have packed what you need and making plans for the day. Hopefully if he has to do it himself from time to time it might give him a more realistic perspective on life. Plus children at that age are magical it's such a shame for him to not spend proper time with them.

whois Sat 03-Nov-12 14:44:40

I don't actually think YABU.

But I do think the working weekends and not doing enough child care or housework are separate issues.

You need to push aside the Saturday problem and come up with a fair division of labour. That will hopefully allow you to be less stressed and tired and you might not be so resentful about Saturday when you are in a better frame of mind.

Also you know, people need to grow up and realise you can't keep chasing a dream forever. Sounds like he's not actually as good as he needs to be or hasn't had the lucky breaks. I'd probably feel he needs to grow the fuck up and get a proper job, or take on 90% of the household work if he can't contribute financially.

thebody Sat 03-Nov-12 14:46:23

Totally agree with Wheresmespecks. Very good post.

whois Sat 03-Nov-12 14:49:35

Actually I've just read more of the post an he sounds like a childish selfish prickto not even recognise how much support you give him.

Sounds like you are a single mother to your children and a fully grown man-child.

Ask him how he is supporting you emotionally/practically/financially????

I hate dreamers like this man. Waste. Of. Space.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 03-Nov-12 15:32:38

I'm almost tempted to post a reverse AIBU on your behalf (but I think people would notice!). Thing is, if you did, you'd be asked all sorts of questions about childcare and what expectations you have that he will cover this whenever you have to travel for a competition, about opportunities for his career development and fulfillment, about family time, your relationship with your DCs, and the money questions would be more pointed - who is paying for the golf lessons, for the DCs' treats and holidays, for your pension, what is your five year plan, what agreement did you make when you got together and again when you had DCs. Altogether you'd be viewed as irresponsible and your DH would be praised as a saint.

The reality is that most female sports and arts professionals, even in careers where people peak late (crucially, the ones that peak in the teens and twenties are not relevant here, there's less inherent compromise) are single or childless, at least until after their career. They just wouldn't or couldn't expect a husband and children to trail around after them or keep house happily while they're forever busy, and might not want to compromise family life in that way themselves.

Your DH is immensely lucky to be able to have a family, as well as pursuing his dream career. He really does think he can have it all, doesn't he! That does beg the question, what was your agreement when you had children? Did he want children?

I really sympathise with your wish for recognition and some gratitude. You aren't saying you want him to abandon his dream, just to recognise that he couldn't have it all without your considerable support (practical and emotional as well as financial) and to apply some realism to planning for the future.

I understand the wish to let him pursue this dream to its natural limit. I actually wish my musical relative had pushed further, partly to capture any tiny chance of success but also because otherwise, at some point a natural limit would have been reached and 'failure' (i.e. not quite being one of a brilliant, lucky, tiny elite) would have been recognised. It is important for the person to recognise their own failure / limits. Otherwise they may become an embittered dreamer 'I could have been a contender but for...(select convenient external factor)'. You don't want that factor to be you.

I think you need to be firmer about asking him for a five and ten year plan. You can put this in terms of concern for him; what if his chances are blighted by injury or other circumstances beyond his control, despite his brilliance? Can you set out the family finances clearly, for him to look at in his own time, on the grounds that you're concerned about inability to afford something for the children and would welcome his input on the best way to alter the figures?

In terms of career fulfillment do you have a reciprocal agreement, whereby, once his brilliant career is established or over, you get your chance to re-train and do something more interesting?

I get the sense that, if he wanted to spend Saturdays doing a coaching course, or administration qualification, as part of his back-up plan, you wouldn't be resentful at all.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 03-Nov-12 15:47:03

(Oof that was long!)

Btw, you say he was 'in this profession when we met'. But he's not in a profession, is he? He earns money from minimum wage jobs. He's an amateur sportsman. He believe he has a vocation and certainly has a dream. He doesn't have a profession.

He is being fucking ungrateful. It is fine for you to do all the financial work, childcare, housework AND emotionally support him.

motherinferior Sat 03-Nov-12 17:10:10

The other thing: people keep saying oh well sole childcare on a Saturday, what's the problem...well, I have just gone out, on my own, for two hours on a Saturday. Because I could, because my DP was at home. It's completely different when you're on duty.

owlelf Sat 03-Nov-12 17:57:12

I am so grateful for the thoughtful replies and will read them all properly and reply to them later.

To answer posters who have asked about the type of partner and Dad DH is- these issues aside, he is a great Dad, very involved with DC (when he is home), plays with them lots, they are very very close.

He is a loving DH, bags of fun, brings a lot of sunshine into my life- except when it comes to his dream / work / money balance.

flow4 Sat 03-Nov-12 18:21:54

owlelf I have been in just your situation, except it was music not golf... And it was a deal-breaker for me too in the end.

I worked and brought in 90% of the money. My earning power was much greater, and it seemed to make sense for me to work, because he would only have got minimum wage in a 'normal' job. At first, it was enough that he did the childcare and saved that us that expense, and had one paying pupil, and very occasional income from gigs. I knew that he loved making music, and I could hear that his playing and composing were both very good, and I thought he had a real chance of making money from it. I was very conscious that I would have wanted him to support me if it had been the other way round.

But over the course of a couple of years, a few things changed, not suddenly but gradually. My job got harder and colleagues left and I enjoyed it less. I started coming home after a long day to find the house in chaos, and the kids hungry and unfed. Basically, he took kids to/from nursery/school as required, and played with them when they weren't there, or played music/composed when they were occupied. And that was it. No housework. Very little cooking.

I had to start making meals when I got home and was tired and hungry, and yet I didn't feel I could complain, because I knew what I thought men who expected their wives to have dinner on the table when they got in from work. hmm But still, when it got to the stage where I was earning 90% of the money AND doing 85% of the housework and cooking, and 60% of the childcare, I started to resent it.

Then there were some bits of work he turned down - nothing major - just a couple of gigs. And he didn't follow up an opportunity to meet with a music producer... And he refused to advertise for more music pupils because he didn't 'enjoy' it.

The worst thing was that when I tried to talk to him about it all, he got angry. He'd say things like "I thought you said there are more important things than money?" and "You're just jealous"... He'd shout at me for being unreasonable, and stomp off, leaving me to look after the kids and everything else... again.

In the end, admitting my own feelings was the key. Because I was jealous: I realised that I too had dreams and passions, but I didn't have time or energy to do anything about any of mine, because I was supporting his. He said he understood this, and would make some changes, but he never did... sad

Dunno if that rings any bells with you... But for what it's worth, I think YANBU, because supporting his dream is one thing, but turning your life into a nightmare to do it is quite another.

Jojoba1986 Sat 03-Nov-12 18:35:50

I don't think you're being at all unreasonable. You have an 'ideal' whereby you're all together as a family on the weekends &, from your perspective, your DH is choosing to threaten that ideal.

I posted on here a while ago about my DH consistently being home later than he said he would be & got eaten alive! He's currently sitting next to me doing work on the sofa. It's not my 'ideal' but at least he's here!

Talk to your DH about it. Explain to him that you value family time & would appreciate it if he could make it a priority. Try to find a compromise that works for both of you. Maybe he could do every other weekend, or half days. Does he have a good reason for choosing to work Saturdays? Maybe they're more likely to be lucrative!

Hope you guys find a solution that works for you. Your feelings are completely valid. You're allowed to feel frustrated if life (or your DH!) throws you a curveball! wink

To be blunt - if he hasn't "made it" in more than eight years (he was already trying before you got together) - well, it's probably not going to happen, is it?

I used to work with someone who had a family member trying to become a professional snooker player. He had attracted some sponsorship, practiced, entered competitions etc. So far, so like your husband. But this young man was realistic. He had set himself a time limit; and if he hadn't made it by then, he would look elsewhere to make his living. Well, he reached his time limit and he hadn't made it big; he reassessed, and found a full-time job. Now, here's another difference between him and your husband - throughout, he was a single man with no responsibilities.

Your husband is, IMO, playing you. He gets all the good bits of being a husband and father, without any of the bad bits. None of the worry about putting food on the table. None of the time pressures of fitting in the household chores. None of the time-juggling at weekends. None of the putting other people first.

Have you ever discussed when it would be reasonable to accept that he is not going to making a living from his hobby pipedream? Will this continue until he's eligible for his old age pension? If not, when? YOu have a right to know when you can expect not to be at the bottom of his selfish priorities.

notmyproblem Sat 03-Nov-12 19:56:24

flow4 very interesting post, thanks for posting it.

OP, YANBU. Sounds like you need to sit down and have a talk with your DH about this and find a compromise. It's his own insecurity and self-doubt deep down inside that causes him to be defensive though, you realise. So you're going to have to go up against that at some point, best of luck and hope you don't damage his ego too much. But you'll end up like flow4 if you don't.

All the other posters who are looking at the OP through their own subjective shit life experience ("YABU because my DH works both weekend days boo hoo") are BVVU. When someone breaks a leg, do you say "well at least you still have both your legs" too? hmm Is it really that hard to read and reply to an OP objectively without needing to see it relative to your own less-than-perfect circumstances?

Dozer Sat 03-Nov-12 20:05:18

Yanbu. It is good that you're not married, since if you were you would probably have to support him financially should you break up!

MummytoKatie Sat 03-Nov-12 22:24:15

YANBU.q and this is something I know a bit about as my dh is an ex junior international at a (minority) sport and BIL is a commonwealth medalist at the same sport. Neither of them play full time any more (dh never did) as it became impossible for them to make a living at the sport.

I think you need to start making long term plans. What is his current world ranking? What world ranking does he need to "make it." how is he going to get there? When is he going to get there? When will enough be enough and he stop trying?

You need answers to these questions and then you can decide if you are willing to sacrifice any more for his dreams.

Personally I would be giving him 6 months of complete support to move a significant (and specified) number of places up the rankings. If he doesn't then I would stop supporting. If he can't deal with that level of pressure then he is not cut out for professional sport. (Again getting this from dh and BIL who would both make excellent bomb disposal experts as they excel under high pressure.)

marriedinwhite Sat 03-Nov-12 22:40:54

YANBU. Sounds as though you have given him 10 years to chase a dream and he hasn't caught it. In the meantime he has acquired responsibilities towards two children, a home and a partner. It's time he started dealing with them. Don't think it's about the Saturdays; it's about you doing the lions share of the work and providing the lions share of the funds and him not supporting you either emotionally or financially. He does what he wants when he wants and takes responsibility for nothing least of all the emotional and financial well being of his family. I think he needs to wake up, grow up and shape up.

Could you say, actually Saturday or Sunday is one of my free days and on one of those days I am going to start following a dream be it writing, drawing, cooking, tennis - anything to make him realise that you have the right to have some of your own time and leisure time too.

I think he's lucky you want to spend Saturdays with him.

McHappyPants2012 Sat 03-Nov-12 22:49:34

Op what are your dreams, because your dreams shouldn't be sacrificed in lieu of his.

Inertia Sun 04-Nov-12 08:37:54

So you earn most of the money in a difficult job, do all the housework, most of the childcare- and DH plays golf 4 days a week ?

And you think you're being unreasonable ?

I don't mean to doubt your relationship, but if he does make it as a pro what guarantees do you have that any money he makes will be considered household money - or will that be part of the dream too, or will he tell you that you are only bothered about money and anyway he needs it all to pay for hotels / a caddy / better clubs ? Will he even want to stay in the marriage if he is off competing all the time ?

He's had a long time to make this work. I think some time limits seem to be set. It's all very well chasing dreams and not being bothered about money when someone else is feeding you and paying the bills. Unfortunately his dreams don't feed his children.

DewDr0p Sun 04-Nov-12 13:36:56

No YANBU, def not.

I agree with everyone else who said you need to sit down together and make a plan. And be realistic about his chances of success here.

The way you described him behaving when you try to discuss it - that is classic avoidance - if he turns it back on you then he can avoid the discussion - my dh used to do this to me (over something else he found very painful to discuss but really couldn't be avoided forever) I would suggest you have to try to break through that and make sure you do have a grownup conversation.

Hope you can talk it all through.

Bogeyface Sun 04-Nov-12 14:19:45

You dont want to tell him that you dont think he will make it as it will hurt him?

I can see that, but sometimes tough love is needed to help someone see the truth.

And he is dragging you down with him! Its easy to not care about money when you arent the one that has to earn it!

Time for some straight talking I am afraid. And if he leaves he will soon realise just how much support you gave him.

motherinferior Sun 04-Nov-12 14:24:20

I've done the emotional/financial support for the Great Genius too. V wearing. (And in my case it made me very bitter and unhappy.)

And now I'm going to get off the computer because Mr Inferior needs to do a bit of work wink. The difference is that this bloke, unlike the previous two (oh yes, I had a distinct addiction to the GG type blush) actually respects the fact that I don't put his work first, I put my own.

I don't think YABU either and I am surprised at the start of the thread so many people thought you were. You have to do all the practical stuff and support your DH emotionally and you don't get anything in return except the potential to have some time together and share the load at the weekends and yet you ask for one compromise to achieve that and YABU? I don't get it.confused

I also agree with Lottie and the attitude that men have that their dreams are more important than anything women might want to do. It is certainly true in this house and has put a strain on our marriage as a result. Whilst you have put up with it this far, you shouldn't be expected to put up with indefinitely at the expense of your own happiness and fulfilment. I also don't think you need to be saying that you knew what you were getting into when you got together. Presumably you were younger, freer and you didn't have children back then. Children and time change things. It isn't a case of pleasing himself anymore and you letting him get away with it. You have children, together. They are the responsibility of both of you and both of you should be making an equal contribution either in terms of time or money. He isn't doing that at the moment.

You do need to have a conversation about where he expects to be in a few years time. I would stomach the Saturdays for a year or so but no longer, not without a decent plan for the future. A difficult conversation to have I know but it is time your DH realised he has had it pretty easy so far but he can't carry on as he is forever.

wheresmespecs Sun 04-Nov-12 19:56:13

lottiegarbanzo makes a VERY good point....

People trying to achieve a dream, over a long period of time, have to be very brave about facing the possibility of failureand if they are ultimately not successful, recognising the (really rather sad) fact they they just weren't good enough. Maybe not lucky enough, sure - but for whatever reason, it isn't going to happen.

Whatever you do, you must be careful OP not to make yourself the figure who 'ends his dreams', as he might see it. You could not live with the person who thinks they could have been a contender if YOU hadn't stopped them.

I've come back to this thread because it's sat in my mind a bit. I am someone who you could say 'pursued a dream' and have been successful - but it all happened pre-DC (now I have a whole new set of life/work challenges of course....) AND I was very mindful of the fact that if it didn't work out, I would need a plan B.

IME' people who are privately very very worried that they won't achieve their dream profession are the same people who refuse to countenance a Plan B. They see it as admitting defeat before they have started, IYSWIM. I didn't, I saw it as part of being a responsible adult. I was absolutely bloody minded in pursuing what I wanted to do, but I set myself goals and limits ("I need to be doing at least x by this time next year") and was adamant that whatever happened, I would not become some sad 40 something with no money living with my parents with broken dreams and a few glamorous photo albums for company! And I never wanted any partner to support me.

I suppose this is just by way of saying it is very hard to be in your position, needing to talk to your partner about all this. It sounds a bit odd, but if he is quite 'reactive' you may need to write him a letter saying everything you want to say as well as you can - then go away for a weekend with the kids and leave him to think it over on his own. Atm if he just gets upset and accuses you of being all about the money etc, you NEED him to see his own position in all this. But that means talking about fear of failure etc, and he isn't going to want to do that at all. So maybe the letter is a way of saying what you need to say without getting into an immediate argument. Just a thought.

wheresmespecs Sun 04-Nov-12 19:58:26

(PS if he is trying to make it as a sportsman, he needs to have a plan B for retirement. Even golfers don't get to keep going professionally into their seventies. if his only other skills and employment history are in green keeping, coaching and bar work, he will very probably have big problems)

owlelf Sun 04-Nov-12 21:58:53

Thank you again for all the thoughtful advice in this thread, MN really is full of lovely, perceptive people.

It's almost too much to take in all at once. I do realise that I need to deal with this via a discussion with DH, but I am a bit afraid of tackling it at the moment. To clarify, I'm not in any way afraid of DH, I'm more afraid of saying the wrong thing- and not making my point properly, resulting in a huge argument which will push us further apart.

I know I sound a bit wimpish, I will do it, I just need a little time to gather my thoughts first.

A letter would be a good plan for lots of reasons, maybe I will do that, I'm not sure yet.

The last poster (sorry I'm on the app, so can't scroll to their post to see their name) made a point that rings very true. He struggles to acknowledge that there is a chance that he may not be successful- he would see this as a weakness that will risk his chance of success. His coach and other people who support him have also encouraged him to think positive and not consider failure.

I'm feeling very emotional ATM, it has been difficult to read posts from so many people pointing out how unreasonable DH is being. I do appreciate the posts though, and I did ask for opinions!!

joanofarchitrave Sun 04-Nov-12 22:23:22

Some amazing posts here. No harm in taking things slowly, there is no immediate rush about sorting this all out at once.

'I think you need to be firmer about asking him for a five and ten year plan.'

This.

'he needs to have a plan B for retirement. Even golfers don't get to keep going professionally into their seventies'.

And this.

Kiwiinkits Mon 05-Nov-12 01:29:44

Are his parents still alive? Does he respect his Dad? Could Dad be the one to have 'the talk' with his son?

Kiwiinkits Mon 05-Nov-12 01:30:51

By the way, you are SO not being unreasonable. I would have been fed up six years ago if I were you. Golf, FFS.

EldritchCleavage Mon 05-Nov-12 01:34:40

He doesn't seem to agree that I support him
That's astonishing, and worrying, given you are main breadwinner, doing the housework and the childcare. There seems to be no balance here-the dreams are his, the drudgery is yours, with lashings of emotional blackmail (has he accused you of lacking faith in him at all?) to keep you in your place.

It is incredibly unfair that you may have to be the one to apply the reality check, and be accused of not supporting him etc, but it seems your husband is rather reality-avoidant. I suspect this is not just because your husband is denying his actual prospects of succeeding (can't be that good after 8 years) but also because he does not want to give up a status quo that allows him to be completely self-indulgent for a more equitable state of affairs.

I am the main wage earner, and my DH has his dreams. Even after the children are at school, I will be supporting him while he establishes himself. The difference is, he more than pulls his weight with the house and children, and we can talk honestly about his chances and how long we will give it etc.

Almost the worst thing about your situation is that it seems a topic not to be broached at all, and the burden the situation places on you is completely unacknowledged. Is your husband grateful to you, or just resentful? If the former, you've got a basis for discussing it. If the latter, the relationship has a real problem but you've got nothing to lose by insisting on change.

Kiwiinkits Mon 05-Nov-12 01:39:31

"DH, can I tell you something? I am struggling in our marriage at the moment. I love you and our children deeply, and I am grateful to have you in my life. But at the moment I feel like the support I give you is going unappreciated. I also feel that the balance of family responsibility is unfairly resting on my shoulders. Can I ask for something from you? I would like to ask you to say thank you to me - in any way you want - for my contribution to this family. I would also like you to think about how you might be able to contribute to the jobs we have around the house. Could we talk about this once the kids are in bed tonight? I love you, from, the OP"

lottiegarbanzo Mon 05-Nov-12 08:06:03

Good to see you back OP.

I think there are two issues; the realism of his career plan and back up and, his failure to acknowledge your role with the family. His defensiveness about the former is understandable though not tenable but the latter is just not on and makes me feel quite cross and sad for you.

This must be wrapped up in the idea that it is support for him, so his defensiveness, based on fear, about his vocation. The only way it would make sense though, is if he was a single man supporting himself and you are looking after the family. He cannot have failed to notice that you do most of the childcare and housework! Does he come from a very traditional family, think this is normal and has failed to compute that, unlike a housewife, you also work?

I do see that he needs self-belief and that a degree of self-delusion about his potential is probably not unusual. He knows the odds of anyone at his level succeeding though. The need for him to recognise his own limits is so important. That's why you need tactics. It is so easy for us to say that he's being very childish and should grow up but how you achieve that is the tricky bit. Do his coaches ever offer him a realistic assessment, or you? Could you ask anyone he respects for a truthful opinion, or to help draw up a plan?

I agree a letter could be a good way forward. I've used that with DP on other issues and was amazed that he suddenly got some things I'd been saying for ages, just because they were in writing and he had time to read reflectively. In person, he goes straight into defensive mode so doesn't really listen, he's just lining up his next rebuttal and sees the outcome in terms of 'win / lose / get away with it' not learning or understanding or caring about my feelings.

flow4 Mon 05-Nov-12 10:33:29

I think I understand the lack of appreciation. The psychology of it, I mean. I spent a lot of time trying to work it out, when my own relationships with Idealistic Ex was falling apart... hmm

I think it goes like this: if he appreciates you, that means you are doing more than he is. If you are doing more than he is, then (a) he isn't doing what he should be doing, and (b) his 'dream' isn't worth as much as he wants it to be worth. Both of those thoughts make him feel bad. If he doesn't appreciate you, he can fool himself into thinking (a) he is contributing what he should, and (b) his 'dream' is worth everything.

He knows this way of thinking is all unfair and deluded, which is why he gets cross and defensive. He just isn't ready to act on that knowledge and make changes.

At least, that ^^ is how it was with my Ex...

For me, the 'deal breaker' was that my Ex went on and on like this - knowing it was unfair, but still not acting to make changes... Maybe your DH can do better... >crosses fingers< smile

mycatlikestwiglets Mon 05-Nov-12 11:58:49

I think you are both being a little unreasonable tbh, and I say that as someone whose husband often works 7 days per week (I also work f/t in a long hours culture), which drives me crazy when it eats into our family time at weekends.

What's the alternative here? It sounds as though your want your DH to work so he can contribute financially and take some of the pressure off you, but you aren't happy with the days he's chosen to work. Is work available for him during the week instead of the weekend? Can he make sure he isn't working on the day you have off during the week so you effectively "shift" your weekend? What about if he worked 2 days instead of three? Would you then be unhappy because he still isn't bringing in much money?

The key is to find a balance you are both happy with. I'm not sure that trying to make him give up on his dream in circumstances where he is being encouraged by his coach that he can make it is likely to be beneficial to your relationship so I would certainly tread carefully there.

NutellaNutter Mon 05-Nov-12 12:01:35

Well I reckon YANBU and this would piss me off as well.

Xenia Sun 25-Nov-12 16:23:25

I have a vfery low opinion of golf (if it is golf) and golfers, jumped up not very fit men who are usually incredibly sexist often quite snobby but in a wearing gold chains kind of way IF it is golf.

So get him into a money making bit of it then - he can sell equipment, never mind hi9t the stupif little balls around whilst feeling important.

Trouble is you married an impoverished loser with no prospects on the bsais you would keep him for as long as you both shall live - you knew the deal. All you can do now is say yes he can work on Saturdays but he needs ot hire and pay for childcare for that day and he needs to spend Sunday morning looking after the children alone and the afternoon cleaning whilst you go out.

amillionyears Sun 25-Nov-12 16:59:37

Two things.
I should bear in mind that your DHs coach may well have a vested interest in saying your DH still has potential, if he is getting paid. Thats me maybe being cynical.

Also, you are reluctant to approach your DH about this. And you are going to take a bit of time looking at this thread and thinking about it all.
I recommend that you order or borrow a book called "Why Women Talk And Men walk". It should help you in ways to approach the subject with him.

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 25-Nov-12 17:28:41

Can someone please say they read a similar thread to this a little while ago. ( not that it's anything wrong with reposting)

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 25-Nov-12 17:31:04

sorry just seen the OP his thread was posted blush

Blu Sun 25-Nov-12 17:53:51

Don't be guilt tripped by his 'it all comes down to money' line. The truth is when holding together a family it all comes down to money, childcare and meeting those and all your other responsibilities as parents in team. And you don't even need to quantify it in terms of cash, you spend more time working for money, you happen to bring in more money per hour, AND you spend more time on childcare and domestic chores.

His choosing to work at weekends means you get to do even more childcare. Surely most people working professionally in anything that you also compete in make it before 8 years non stop practise and before their 30s? Most Olympic standard athletes manage their first championship successes as amateurs, holding down a full time job!

I don't know the best way to approach this with him. Maybe you could get him to see that being a good dad and husband is a sign of success and he will be in danger of jeopardising that if he doesn't pull his weight soon. Maybe you could set a deadline, agree to support him 100% for 6 more months and after that you will be expecting him to contribute more. Or give him a deadline and tell him after that it is your turn to undertake some personal development, go back to uni or whatever. I'm not saying actually jack in your job and do that, but it might make him think.

Also, just because he was doing this when you met doesn't give him a passport for life to carry on once you have children to support.

Blu Sun 25-Nov-12 17:56:34

Of course his coach takes that approach , he doesn't have to pay your DH's mortgage every month, and he presumably benefits from being paid with your hard earned cash!!!

Xenia Sun 25-Nov-12 19:19:09

It is certainly something to talk about before getting together. We did. We knew I would earn more and agreed if nannies did not work out their father would stay at home and look after them and that would have been fine (but nannies did work out). Also people change over decades together but here he seems to think hke's going to be good. If he wants to practise cannot he just get some sort of device for the living room once he's done the irongin and been out at a proper job or on the phone all day selling golf equipment or whatever?

gimmecakeandcandy Tue 05-Feb-13 18:44:11

What happened here op?!

jellybeans Tue 05-Feb-13 18:53:42

I can see why it would be annoying but YABU. My DH works most weekends and difficult shifts/middle of night/Xmas day etc. I've just got used to it. As long as you value the days you do have together it will be fine.

Dahlen Tue 05-Feb-13 19:01:55

I don't think either one of you is being unreasonable.

From his POV, if this is something really important to him, I can understand why he would want to follow his dreams, and I would expect a loving relationship to be supportive of that.

From your POV, he's already had more than two years to make that happen by devoting all his effort into it and leaving you to carry all the financial responsibility and now he expects more at a time you're really feeling the burden.

This all comes down to what you both consider a reasonable timescale and is skewed by the fact you have DC. Ultimately, they come first and if the pressure on you is too much, then he has to forego his dreams in order to meet the responsibility he has towards his DCs.

One thing that sticks out to me is that ont only are you the breadwinner, but you're also doing ore than your 50% of the domestic stuff. That's not fair. It's only ok to expect your partner to support you pursuing your dreams if the act of doing so doesn't half kill them in the process. If his success isn't forthcoming soon, I'm pretty sure you'll start to feel that he's been living his dream at your expense and you'll start to feel very, very resentful.

Supporting our loved-ones dreams should be a two-way street, so that the favour is returned one day. Has he supported you in any of your ambitions, or does he intend to at any point in the future?

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