to disagree with DH and that I DO make a valuable contribution?

(98 Posts)
notarealgrownup Mon 09-Dec-13 21:07:00

DH has really knocked me sideways today.
We were chatting about one of his friends wives who has just been promoted to something pretty high up in the NHS, a position that pays about £50,000 pa. He then asked me when I was going to get a "proper job". I was gutted.
Been married for 12 years, 3 DCs and have always been a SAHM. Since youngest started school I have been working from home running a shop on EBAY. I have never had what you could call a career, just moved through various low paid jobs since leaving school. So when I became pregnant with DC1 we both agreed that it made sense for me to be a SAHM.
DH is self employed, and charges £30 per hour ( sometimes more depending on the job), and never works more than 30 hours per week through choice as this leaves him plenty of time to follow his hobbies.
My income is much lower (obviously), but it pays for food, clothing, fuel, xmas and birthday presents, etc. I do not contribute to the mortgage or gas/electric (the proper stuff as DH calls it) as I don't bring in enough.
I chose to work from home in order to be there in the morning and after school for the DCs. Also to not have to find childcare during the school holidays, as DH would expect me to pay for this and not contribute himself.
I realise I will never be able to earn as much as DH, but he seems to see what I do contribute (along with looking after the house, etc) as "not a proper /adult occupation". As though its merely a bit of a hobby.
Sorry for rambling, but just trying to explain as much as possible.

Manchesterhistorygirl Mon 09-Dec-13 21:09:00

Your dh is an arse. I'd say that you're making a fully valid contribution to your family life and finances.

paxtecum Mon 09-Dec-13 21:10:27

OP: He's being a pain.
Does he do any housework, cooking, washing, food shopping?

3littlefrogs Mon 09-Dec-13 21:10:49

You are already doing a full time job.

Who does he suppose is going to look after his children if you are not there?

He sounds as if he has a very nice life, working for himself, 30 hours a week and doing all his hobbies.

He would expect you to pay for childcare yourself if he did work???

He sounds selfish, thoughtless and ignorant.

Does he have any redeeming qualities?

purrtrillpadpadpad Mon 09-Dec-13 21:10:59

God, that makes for sad reading. I'm so sorry. I'm speechless.

JanePurdy Mon 09-Dec-13 21:11:23

Your DP is an arse.

StanleyLambchop Mon 09-Dec-13 21:11:58

Also to not have to find childcare during the school holidays, as DH would expect me to pay for this and not contribute himself.

Why, are they suddenly not his children in the holidays? He sounds like a real charmer, you contribute perfectly well IMO.

livinginawinterwonderland Mon 09-Dec-13 21:12:22

He's a twat. HTH.

purrtrillpadpadpad Mon 09-Dec-13 21:12:24

Can I ask, do you get to spend any of what you earn on yourself?

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 09-Dec-13 21:12:26

Ouch!! Definitely an arse. You need to tell him straight what an arse he is. sad

pianodoodle Mon 09-Dec-13 21:13:37

Sorry he's an utter twat I couldn't be with anyone who had such little respect for me and especially someone who put me down in public like that too sad

I'm glad you disagree with him at least!

Your DP is, indeed, a dick.

Ask him how much it would cost him if you weren't there any more in childcare, cleaners, cooks, chauffeurs etc.

And then ask him if he still thinks what you do isn't valuable.

And then call him a dick and leave him to the children for a weekend while you go off and have fun.

bundaberg Mon 09-Dec-13 21:14:19

do you think he thinks you would like to have a "proper" job/career? maybe he had been under the impression that you would like to retrain once the children were older?

have you ever discussed it?

3littlefrogs Mon 09-Dec-13 21:15:02

Several years ago, when DH and I were sorting out life insurance (I had 2 children aged 2 and 4 and was a SAHM), the financial advisor wrote down everything DH would have to pay for if anything happened to me and he wanted/needed to continue his career. He worked out that I was "worth" about £70K a year.

Your "H" has no idea.

Laradaclara Mon 09-Dec-13 21:15:14

If I were you I'd count up exactly what you do spend. I would think its a surprisingly large amount of your income as food and clothes really add up. You might find your paying more than your fair share financially too and perhaps he should be contributing to that.
As for the rest, he's an arse.
How much time do you get to pursue your hobbies?

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Mon 09-Dec-13 21:15:17

Hello OP your dh is being an arse.
Firstly he agreed to you being a sahm
Secondly he isn't prepared to pay for childcare
Thirdly, you have a proper job and contribute to your family more than he does.

I would tell him you will find a job and everything will be split 50/50 including childcare, organising the cc, bills, housework, shopping, school run, cooking, etc.

meboo Mon 09-Dec-13 21:15:25

I'd have to leave home for a week and let him deal with it all quite frankly.

creighton Mon 09-Dec-13 21:16:29

food, clothing, fuel, presents. it sounds like you are 'contributing' a reasonable amount from your ebay shop as well as running the house and looking after the children.

I think you need to sit him down and tell him never to speak to you like that again, and tell him to get a full time job instead of arsing around for 30 hours a week. cheeky shit.

Euphemia Mon 09-Dec-13 21:17:12

Tell him to read this.

"Based on the 10 most time consuming tasks listed by more than 6,000 mothers, estimated it would cost $113,586 a year to replace them."

That's about £70,000.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Mon 09-Dec-13 21:17:53

You could ask him when he is going to get a proper job, for more than 30 hours a week?

Or when he is going to do his proper share of chores and childcare?

MillyChristmas Mon 09-Dec-13 21:18:20

Was he serious OP, or did he mean it tongue in cheek (even though I totally understand how you feel).

justmyview Mon 09-Dec-13 21:18:27

Sounds like he was dismissive, which was rude, but OTOH, if you agreed 13 years ago that you would be SAHM for tiny children, I think it's reasonable to revisit that when your children are older

If you were going out to work, there's no reason why you should pay for childcare necessary as a result

Euphemia Mon 09-Dec-13 21:18:36

Ties in nicely with 3littlefrog's financial adviser's advice!

livenlet Mon 09-Dec-13 21:18:55

Im so angry reading this you have the most inportant job in the world and not leaving it up to other people to raise your fam. And still make your own money to , hail to you , wat a pric he is

Longdistance Mon 09-Dec-13 21:20:46

grin meboo

creighton Mon 09-Dec-13 21:27:16

food, clothing, fuel, presents. it sounds like you are 'contributing' a reasonable amount from your ebay shop as well as running the house and looking after the children.

I think you need to sit him down and tell him never to speak to you like that again, and tell him to get a full time job instead of arsing around for 30 hours a week. cheeky shit.

purrtrillpadpadpad Mon 09-Dec-13 21:31:55

Creighton, I totally agree.

pigsDOfly Mon 09-Dec-13 21:33:13

So in his opinion food, clothing and fuel is not 'proper stuff' hmmm.

What an arse.

You're doing more than you're fair share OP, a hell of a lot more than 30 hours a week that's a sure thing. Do you get to follow your hobbies? And does he do his fair share of housework and childcare? especially given that he's working not much more than part time hours.

Bogeyface Mon 09-Dec-13 21:39:40

I would stop buying food or presents for him as they dont count as "proper" bills.

And then present him with a bill for his half of the childcare and housework you do. Tell him that yes, you have thought about it and you would like to get a "proper" job, so you need to sit down together and work out his contribution to the childcare costs and how he wants to handle his half of the chores, will he do them himself or pay someone to do them?

Then have the vaseline ready to dress his friction burns from his frantic back pedalling!

notarealgrownup Mon 09-Dec-13 21:51:47

He doesn't lift a finger in the house.
Has never cooked one meal, decorated, mowed the lawn, cleaned the car, washed the dishes, doesn't know how the the washing machine works, not remotely aware of wher the ironing board is, etc.
Only the other day whilst I was rushing to get the kids to school and he was sat reading the paper, I jokingly said "I 'll put the dustbin out then shall I?" To which he rolled his eyes and replied "fine I'll do it, we don't want people thinking I do nothing round here do we?"
I would be quite prepared to go out and get a job full time if I knew I would get help with getting the kids to school, picking them up and cooking them dinner, etc. but I know I won't . He will expect his routine to continue the same because he will still be the higher earner.

Euphemia Mon 09-Dec-13 21:53:22

Oh FFS get a job so that you can pay your bills when you leave this loser. What a disrespectful git. angry

3littlefrogs Mon 09-Dec-13 21:53:40

He sounds awful sad

notarealgrownup Mon 09-Dec-13 21:55:21

I just can't seem to make him see that the only reason his friends wives have "proper" jobs outside the home is because they have a supportive DH working alongside them.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 09-Dec-13 22:01:30

Perhaps he did think you would return to work once the children were at school, not just for the financial contribution but for yourself.

Billing him for childcare and housework would be silly though. Thats just what parents and adults do. If you are at home all day it does make sense for you to pick up the bulk of it if expecting him to pay the bills and mortgage.

Ragusa Mon 09-Dec-13 22:03:10

How can you be with someone like this?!? Please start standing up for yourself. It's not good for you to say the least and it's an appaling view ofhow the world works to show to your kids.

First off, get a time-consuming hobby. Don't negotiate, just say "oh DH, I've signed up for paintballing/ tae kwon do/ feminism and women's rights classes. It'sbon x night every week. I'll bevout from x till x. Stop ironing his clothes or cooking his meals, the lazy, entitled neanderthal. If it's so low-value and easy, hecwon't mid doing it himself, will he wink

Ragusa Mon 09-Dec-13 22:04:39

Sorry for terrible typos.... on phone, fat fingers.

Ragusa Mon 09-Dec-13 22:08:13

PS at the risk of sounding like a miserable old sow, stop joking with him about his feck-arse laziness (the bin comment) next time simply tip the contents into hs lap

optimusic Mon 09-Dec-13 22:09:08

I would be telling him to fuck off and live somewhere else. Then come back in 6 months and tell me how I do nothing and don't make a valuable contribution. What a complete tosser. You aren't his mum. If you really don't want to kick him to the curb stop doing anything for him. Concentrate on you and the children. So fucking what he pays a couple of bills, whoopdewoo.

Ineedanewone Mon 09-Dec-13 22:12:14

Your post has made me sad and angry by equal measure. I was a sahm for 18 years ( 4 dc) and throughout that time my dh always acknowledged how much I contributed to the family, and did diy, gardening, weekend cooking, looked after the kids when I had time to myself at weekends and basically got the unpaid but equal value equation.
I'm not sure how you tackle this, but he is being very unreasonable.

Bogeyface Mon 09-Dec-13 22:14:16

HAppy have you RTFT? He works 30 hours a week, and does NOTHING else. He expects his meals cooked, his washing done, his kids cared for etc AND for the OP to work!

I will concede that billing hims is silly, but then as the only alternative for the OP is leaving him I thought I would throw it out as a suggestion.

In all seriousness though OP, I think that perhaps you do need to leave him, even if not permanently and insist he has the kids 50:50. He will soon be begging you to come back, at which point you might just decide that you dont want to when you have found out what life is like with only 3 kids and not 4.

Bogeyface Mon 09-Dec-13 22:15:07

I would definitely stop doing his washing and cooking though.

Nanny0gg Mon 09-Dec-13 22:17:48

He doesn't know he's born, does he?

Was he brought up to be this entitled?

I don't know any family man who doesn't work at least this 'man's' hours (usually more), plus a commute of some kind, who doesn't do a reasonable share at home, even with a SAH wife. Let alone one that works as well (which you do, OP, whether it's from home or not).

He's an arse.

ShoeWhore Mon 09-Dec-13 22:18:54

What an arse.

If he only works 30 hours a week then he should be able to do all the school runs and childcare. I'd be really tempted to invent get a "proper" job and leave him to it grin Or maybe just stop doing all the really valuable things you do now.

I am so cross on your behalf OP.

Jinty64 Mon 09-Dec-13 22:22:06

If your contribution is not valuable then you should stop making it! See how he gets on then.

Bogeyface Mon 09-Dec-13 22:25:13

Was he brought up to be this entitled?

Good Q Nanny, this has got "My Mum did everything and she worked an 80 hour week. She cant believe that you asked me to take the bin out" written all over it.

notarealgrownup Mon 09-Dec-13 22:25:30

I think I just needed to an outside perspective on this.
TBH I would like him to take a more active part in the family, and I do appreciate the financial contribution he makes. Just wish he appreciated my contribution, even if it can't match his.

blueshoes Mon 09-Dec-13 22:27:32

I would take the insurer's £70K estimation with a pinch of salt. They big up the figure to be able to sell you more insurance. They are also assuming SAHMs are performing their roles to professional paid employment standards.

Would you go back to work if your dh was more supportive of you? Have you had this conversation with your dh? What do you yourself want?

Ragusa Mon 09-Dec-13 22:27:41

stop it with the "even if it can't match his" stuff. You've started believing his propaganda.

Bogeyface Mon 09-Dec-13 22:28:00

You are right, your contribution doesnt match his. In sheer man hours it far exceeds his! And I bet if you added up what he pays for the mortgage and bills with what you pay, you wont be far short financially either.

Have you ever actually compared the figures, with the actual receipts etc in front of you not just guessing?

Bogeyface Mon 09-Dec-13 22:28:59

Another Q about money.

do you share finances? Do you have equal spending money left over? Or do you, I am just guessing here, spend your earnings on food, clothes, car etc and have nothing left while he spaffs hundreds a month on his hobby?

RandomMess Mon 09-Dec-13 22:29:58

Think I would start billing him for the work you do...

RandomMess Mon 09-Dec-13 22:30:26

Actually just go away for a week and leave him charge of the dc wink

optimusic Mon 09-Dec-13 22:32:04

You contribution far outweighs his.
You ensure that the family has a meal on the table.
You ensure that all the needs of the children are catered for, both emotionally and financially.
You ensure the children have clothes on their backs, and shoes on their feet.
You ensure that the children are educated and not just doing the school run.
You ensure the children are stimulated so they will be the best they can be.
You ensue that the home is clean.
You ensure everyone in the home has clean clothes.

Need I go on?

And he does what?
Pays the mortgage
Pays the gas and electric.

Like I said earlier.. Whoopdewhoop.

Don't let this man child put you down.
Don't let this man child say he is better than you. Because he isn't. He is a poor excuse of a father and a husband and he should be embarrassed about how little he does. And I bet that he has excess money, while you scrimp and scrap to buy things for this tosser.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 09-Dec-13 22:34:10

I think you need to show him this thread, he's an arse, a bone idle one at that.

NearTheWindmill Mon 09-Dec-13 22:35:33

If you have been together for 12 years I imagine your dc are still quite small and do need care but why can't you get yourself into a position where you could earn as much as or nearly as you dp. Why is he more valuable than you.

I think it's important for women to work and have their own money, their own savings and their own pension. Even more important when you think they might end up on their own and might need to be relatively self sufficient at some time in the future.

NearTheWindmill Mon 09-Dec-13 22:36:39

And paying for childcare in the holidays if it is an investment in your future career isn't necessarily a negative in my opinion. You won't have to for ever and in a few years you will further up the greasy pole for having got back on again earlier.

antimatter Mon 09-Dec-13 22:41:16

so he brings 40K salary for 30 hour week and says you have no proper job

I suggest you should look at retraining and leave him with the kids for those hours he is not working during the week - I guess it would be 30 hours and split weekends equally half each

spend money you are earning on building your career because he may decide one day he doesn't want to pay bills and mortgage any more...

how old are you kids?

Xmasbaby11 Mon 09-Dec-13 22:43:11

I'm not sure why this is coming up now when clearly the situation has been the same for years. It sounds like you haven't been communicating with each other. You must be upset - he has a poor attitude.

I agree with others that there's no reason why you can't earn as much as DH. You shouldn't undervalue yourself. Childcare is a mutual responsibility, and if DH controls his own hours, he could do a lot more to enable you to pursue a career, if that's what you want.

notarealgrownup Mon 09-Dec-13 22:47:56

The DCs are 11, 7 and 5.
Think I may have left the retraining a bit late......I am 49. How many years would I need to start a completely new career that would enable me to match his earning power ? A lot I should think and I would be in competition with others a lot younger.

antimatter Mon 09-Dec-13 22:49:35

do you think given more time you could make more money from your ebay shop?

Bogeyface Mon 09-Dec-13 22:51:03

I agree with others that there's no reason why you can't earn as much as DH. You shouldn't undervalue yourself. Childcare is a mutual responsibility, and if DH controls his own hours, he could do a lot more to enable you to pursue a career, if that's what you want.

The problem is that the OP knows that he wont take on his share of the childcare or enable her to have a career.

I think that he heard about his friends wife's salary and thought "Kerching!!!!! I could do with a bit of that!" and then just expected the OP to jump to it with absolutely no input from him at all. If he knew what it would really mean for her to work a £50k job with a family then he would never have mentioned it. Because if she did get a job like that then it would mean a hell of a lot more hours than he works, no housework done, no cooking done, etc. Either he would just refused to do it and the OP would be working herself into an early grave just to keep the basics going, while trying keep this income because she knows he wont value her without it. Or he will halfheartedly do it and then leave because "You nag, you expect me to do everything"

Why go through that when she knows he wouldnt respect her any more than he does now, will probably be an utter bastard when he realises that she is outearning and outshining him and she will be unhappy? She is unhappy now but without all that stress, and at least she works a job she loves which she can grow as the children get older.

NearTheWindmill Mon 09-Dec-13 22:51:21

I went back at 43 when mine were 5 and 8. Started at the bottom, part-time, and was on nearly £50k within 7 years. Retrained and took professional quals. No degree to begin with. I had 6 years on you but then I think I still expected to retire at 60 - that's all changed now.

NearTheWindmill Mon 09-Dec-13 22:54:01

And remember (although I'll don my flak jacket for this) at 49 you won't be getting tied up with a boyfriend, focusing on a wedding for a year and then disappearing for two lots of maternity leave. Older women are suddenly quite an attractive opportunity for employers. You can offer 17/18 years of unbroken service to a prospective employer - far better than the average 30 year old who is likely to cost them money and be unpredictable in the context of continuous service. It's one of the joys of getting older.

Tapiocapearl Mon 09-Dec-13 22:57:54

My aunt trained to be a nurse aged 50 and made it to sister before retiring ten years ago.

Tell him, you are happy to work/train as long as he takes on half the household chores, school journeys, childcare and holiday cover.

YouTheCat Mon 09-Dec-13 22:59:45

OP, if you left him he'd still have to contribute financially and you'd be free of a complete using arsehole.

My exh told me when I got a job, he'd do more (he did bugger all). I got a job. He still did bugger all because I was only working 24hours - despite the fact that the rest of my time was taken up with our severely disabled ds and our dd. One of the reasons he's the ex.

Tapiocapearl Mon 09-Dec-13 22:59:53

You should enquire how the other couple )her earning 50k) share the chores/childcare. I bet she does very little

Xmasbaby11 Mon 09-Dec-13 23:00:42

Yes, you're right, I am oversimplifying it. He should respect your role and contribution. You have enabled his well-paid job at the same time as looking after the family. It's mind boggling he doesn't accept and appreciate that.

notarealgrownup Mon 09-Dec-13 23:01:32

Think Bogeyface has just about summed it up in her last thread. Even if I did somehow manage to get a half decent career going, the amount of work I put into the family at the moment would still have to be the same in his eyes.
But if. I thought for one minute that I could rely in him to step up in order for me to pursue a full time position outside the home then I would definitely go for it.

WilsonFrickett Mon 09-Dec-13 23:02:09

Well while I absolutely agree your P is a cock, what are your plans for the next twenty years of your life? It's not too late to retrain at all. Although it wont be possible with that man-child on your back, I agree.

wonderstuff Mon 09-Dec-13 23:13:29

30 hours a week is part time really, you seem to do much longer hours than him. He needs to understand that you could only work at a 'proper' job if he did 'proper' parenting alongside you. I'd bugger off for a few days, leave him to it, I think men sometimes think their wives have an easy job, and underestimate the work involved at home.

My DH has been much more supportive since he spent a couple of weeks as SAHP while I worked.

If he doesn't want the responsibility of being the high earner, and didn't envision you staying at home log-term, fair enough.


The way to change the situation would be to:
1) have a rational discussion about how you both feel about it, and put a mutually satisfying plan into place
2) make sure that he was picking up the domestic slack in equal proportion to you picking up the financial slack
3) bloody well appreciate what you do in the first place.

NOT whine that you don't bring in a huge salary while simultaneously playing personal housekeeper and nanny.

He can't have it both ways.

I agree with others that you coolly suggest he asks these high-earning friends how they divide (or pay for) domestic chores in order to manage two well-paid careers. Once he finds out, hopefully he'll be shocked into a huge apology.

If not, well then I'm afraid you have some serious thinking to do because it doesn't sound like he has much respect for you or appreciation of what you contribute, and that is not a healthy place to be in a marriage.

antimatter Mon 09-Dec-13 23:15:55

I think you shouldn't worry about workload or responsibilities to family, kids are growing fast
as for ^ the amount of work I put into the family at the moment would still have to be the same in his eyes.^ - lower your standard for the sake of your financial freedom
if he wants cleaner flood in the kitchen - he would have to do it!
don't let him define what is it you need to do

here on this thread you were given few examples of those who retrained late

I think accountancy and nursing are 2 I think mature women fit into - would it be something what interests you?

Whoknowswhocares Mon 09-Dec-13 23:17:22

Jeez woman, get a bloomin grip on reality!

He is doing absolutely nothing around the house or with his 3 children, he expects you to not only do everything plus run a business, but tolerate his belittling of your significant achievements ( it's damn hard to make money on ebay, so if you're making enough to cover all those bills on part time hours, you are very,very successful) and tell you to 'get a proper job'

He works PART TIME ffs!!!!
30 hours is a four day week.
He needs to STFU and join the real world

notmyproblem Mon 09-Dec-13 23:20:46

Op, you came on here asking for advice. It's a near unanimous YANBU. But now you're close to defending your H and already creating a list of reasons why you can't make your life better.

I'll tell you one thing. He knows EXACTLY what he's doing when he doesn't lift a finger around the house. That comment about people thinking he doesn't lift a finger? It came from the truth, and he knows it. He knows what a good deal he has going, he knows how to manipulate you and put you down to get what he wants, keep your ego small and insecure and make sure you do exactly what he wants all the time, every time.

Stand up for yourself. Start looking at your situation from an arm's-length. If your daughter was involved with a useless partner like this, low self-esteem, controlled and trapped in a relationship where she had little to no money of her own, 3 kids to look after and no help from her H apart from paying the mortgage... what would you tell her?

You're 49. That means probably another 30 years of living like this. Why would you want to spend half your life pandering to some excuse for a man like your H? Start getting angry and start making plans to change things. For you, for your kids. He can either change and come along for the ride, or stay like he is and get left behind. Either way, your future is bright. But you need to take the first steps. Stop arguing for your own limitations and start thinking about how you're going to fix this.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 09-Dec-13 23:23:11

He earns good money but somehow thinks this entitles him to do fuck all else?

OP, it's not good.

notarealgrownup Mon 09-Dec-13 23:35:37

I totally agree. He has made me feel "privileged " by putting a roof over our heads.
And I really do need to change things somehow as he isn't going to rock his easy life is he?

He is being a cock.

It's not unreasonable if he wants to renegotiate your arrangement, but if he would like you to work longer hours (assuming you agree) he would need to do half the housework, half the childcare and pay half any formal childcare needed. He might need to arrange flexible working to do this, and would have to take half the sick days off too. I bet he hasn't thought this through.

antimatter Mon 09-Dec-13 23:55:57

he will try to make feel you stupid for suggesting any changes because he will be worst off

his hobbies and easy life will go, but then he had a nice lifestyle for years - time to grow up :D

TheDoctrineOfSanta Mon 09-Dec-13 23:58:51

I've said it before and I'll say it again, sadly.

Why does he get a hobby and you don't? Why does he get spare time and you don't? Why does he get spare money and you don't? Why does he get to berate you for not earning as much money but you don't get to berate him for not parenting fully?

Why, in short, does he think he is more important than you?

Writerwannabe83 Tue 10-Dec-13 00:02:34

This thread is so sad - and only reinforces why I will never make the choice to be a FT SAHM. It amazes me how some men can have such outdated attitudes!! You deserve so much better OP and deep down you know that. It isn't easy though, making changes to your life, especially after so long, but I think for the sake of your sanity and self worth you need to put a stop to this! I really hope you find a solution, please don't let your husband knock your confidence or make you feel like you don't do anything worthwhile x

Bogeyface Tue 10-Dec-13 00:06:29

Not no, he isnt going to give up his easy ride without a fight, and maybe not even then.

I would suggest a 2 pronged attack. Spend a while working out what your ideal outcome would be for you assuming he will be out of the picture (either literally or figuratively given that he does fuck all anyway). And plan for that. Maybe it is growing your business, or starting another eBay shop alongside the one you have....whatever it is, work towards that. This is Plan B.

Once you have worked that out, work out what would be the ideal outcome for you and him together (as much as can). Presumably it would be you pulling up the financial slack while he pulls up the house/childcare slack as a PP put it. This is Plan A.

Then approach him with Plan A and see how that goes. Try to think in advance what his objections will be (his hobby, his job, his earnings etc) so you can see them off. If he agrees then give it say 6 months to see if actions match words, if they dont then carry on with Plan B. If he kicks off straight away and refuses to help, compromise etc then straight onto plan B.

Incidentally, you might like to tell him that I read this to H earlier and he said "How is he not fucking ashamed of himself that he cant wash his own fucking socks?!" he was genuinely gobsmacked! If you let it be known to his friends and family that he is that useless, I rather suspect he would not be happy as he knows just how shit he is, he is just hoping you dont.

Abrahamlincolnsghost Tue 10-Dec-13 00:14:40

OP i haven't read the whole thread but it seems that you need to do is look at a few job adverts and write down what support you would need for that job. Then sit down and discuss it with him eg. He would need to get Dc out in morning, collect from childminder or whatever. Also look realistically at how much better off you would be after tax, childcare, cleaner etc

Maybe you are being slightly hard on him in that he sees someones elses wife earning £50K and was a bit jealous.

If however you think in a few years time you will sorry you didn't have a career then this might be the wake up call you needed. I have a career ( albeit part-time) and 4 Dc but its heavy going at times.

custardo Tue 10-Dec-13 00:30:05

you do not need to earn as much as him to have a voice or power within the relationship.

I agree with abraham. You need to tell him that you have applied for X job (whether you have or not.. lets say tesco) you will be working 8-2pm (inc 30 min break) 3 days a week you will be earning nat min wage £6.31 for 5.5 hours

You will earn around £100 pw ( not sure you will pay much tax)

then say

ok, so you will need to make sure they are showered, the breakfast pack lunches, ensure all homework is done and in the bag, get uniform ready and take them to school on Monday, wednesday and thursday. I can pick them up.

Of course I can still make the evening meal. On the days i work, the childcare needs to be shared, ofcourse the rest will need to be split 3 days a week. I propose you clean the bathroom the days that i work and i will clean the kitchen and living area, I will put the kids to bed, but if there are any waking in the night episodes we will need to take turns. I will keep the stairs and the front garden tidy, you need to sort out the recycling, take the bins out and kep the back garden tidy

You can ofcourse look after yourself, so equity really presumes that you do your own washing and ironing. and as you are in a more senior position, it will probably be easier for you self employed and everything, so take days off for school issues ( such as the kids being sick, or school trip finishing earlier etc) that's ok dear isn't it?

MilkyBarButtons Tue 10-Dec-13 00:41:50

Running an ebay business at a profit is not easy in this day and age. You can't be earning a bad amount on what you pay for and when you consider your planning round the children and covering all holiday childcare you're doing an amazing job. Based on that I'd say you had good business acumen.

His £900 a week ain't all that when you consider lack of job security, holiday pay, sick pay and employers conts. I bet you could match it and more if it was all you had to do.

I'd tell him it is over and you're going 50/50 with the children. Remind him that this won't mean a 50/50 split on the assets as you've spent 11 years supporting his career whilst yours took a back seat. Watch him backpedal furiously and then dump the selfish twat anyway.

Bogeyface Tue 10-Dec-13 00:42:18

I have been thinking about this and I realised that I have always assumed that everything would be split. I dont recall a time, even when I was in an abusive relationship, that I didnt just assume that both would do their fair share. That might explain the abuse, clearly he didnt see it that way!

Perhaps thats how I was brought up, although probably not as my father was bog useless when we were kids, far better now though. I have never asked "Do you mind taking the bins out?" and dont get me started on the "Do you mind doing X ^for me^" so implying it is my job and he is doing me a favour! I cook, I do not do the dishes. I dont care who does them, or how they get done, bring in a dishwashing company if you like but I am not doing them!

Perhaps you need to channel your inner teenager notareal and start yelling "ITS NOT FAIIIIIRRR!!!!"

wordyBird Tue 10-Dec-13 00:45:43

You are being undermined, and treated as the paid help. Except you're not being paid for the help; and if you were an employee and not a wife, you would have more rights, better money, and better working conditions.

When you say you pay for food and clothing, etc, do you mean all of it? Because I'm struggling to see what your husband contributes, at all, to your family. To HIS family.

Moreover, this....

"Also to not have to find childcare during the school holidays, as DH would expect me to pay for this and not contribute himself. " truly awful.

Silverdaisy Tue 10-Dec-13 00:57:50

He seems very impressed with his friends wife who is extremely well career wise.

However if he himself only works 30hrs a week - that doesn't come across as particularly high achieving.

Does he want you to do even more work so he can do less?

It sounds like your dp has time to spare with the children. Some of the main earners would love to take less time at the office to be with the kids.

MilkyBarButtons Tue 10-Dec-13 01:01:41

abrahamlincolnsghost and custardo she has a bloody job. She is running her own business, it works around her life and allows her to cover all childcare. She is doing bloody well to be running at a profit and she is not the one who needs a wake up call. If she wasn't doing all childcare etc. by herself she could be earning a great amount.

The attitudes on this thread is the same as I get in RL. Refusal to see my successful and very profitable jewellery business as anything more than a hobby.

TalkativeJim Tue 10-Dec-13 01:03:17

But he isn't putting a roof over your heads.

In terms of the working of the machine that is your family unit, he is a net drain.

Imagine it in terms of 'energy tokens'. Each hour is an energy token. He works x hours and his tokens get translated into mortgage/bills paid. That's it.

He doesn't work full time. The tokens for each hour not worked aren't fed into the family in terms of cooking, shopping, cleaning, childcare, but are spent on himself. This arguably 'costs' 'Team Family' more - how many times have you overspent on a ready meal/not been able to meal plan, as there hasn't been time to shop etc. in advance??- if he was contributing to this side of things, he would be 'paying in' more, and the whole machine would run far better -it always does when there is more than one pair of hands doing the juggling.

You on the other hand 'pay in' all your tokens, and multi-task so that your tokens go further (e.g. While you are childcaring, you also run your eBay business).

And all that domestic drudgery. It must be satisfying to look down on it. Lazy, non-useful twats lucky enough to have a pay packet usually do. But without it-nothing can be. In that sense it's far far more 'specialised' and therefore important than wage-earning. If he dropped dead tomorrow, you would mobilise to fill that gap (as you already partially do - you already earn money). He however sounds as if he would be more or less unable to diversify to fill your (many) roles. And I think he would get a very unpleasant shock to discover how little of your pile of tokens he could buy in with his only asset - his 'great' salary.

And finally -his attitude. We've talked so far in terms of energy gained and lost, but we all know that being a family is so much more than that. As a team, we achieve more. Especially if we know our team members are rooting for us and will be there cheering us on to greater things, picking up slack when we need it - for the good of the team.

But he's a rotten apple at the core. Out for himself. Won't be a cog in the larger wheel of a more successful family where non-external-wage jobs are shared so that both workers can maximise tokens. So again - a drain. The wheel will stay small, the family will be less successful as a whole, because he isn't a good team player.

I'd love to take the two of you, give you both 2 children to care for and £50k, and fast forward five years. I'd happily bet the same amount on you beating him into a bag of hamsters in terms of finance, stability, happiness, success.

Now tell us why you're bothering with him again?

Bogeyface Tue 10-Dec-13 01:06:01


Brilliant post. I particularly love the Tokens concept.

custardo Tue 10-Dec-13 01:09:33

milkybarbuttons, you completely missed my point if that was your response. please re-read

milkybar I agree with custardo. Re-read her post.

In fact, re-read the whole thread if you think anyone said her eBay business was a hobby.

Euphemia Tue 10-Dec-13 07:01:57

Talkative That post is beautiful. If you're not already a professional writer, you bloody well should be! Loving the tokens analogy!

sandgrown Tue 10-Dec-13 07:24:27

Nearthewindmill .you were lucky to have the time and motivation to train for a fantastic job. Jobs that pay £50,000 like hen' s teeth in my area. The poster is already been made to feel inadequate by her husband's attitude so let's give her some support for doing a great job smile

purrtrillpadpadpad Tue 10-Dec-13 07:39:01

Talkative, superb. Just superb.

antimatter Tue 10-Dec-13 08:03:41

Talkative - great post and very easy way to look at family responsibilities.
I shall use it in the future in similar conversations.

Abrahamlincolnsghost Tue 10-Dec-13 08:06:07

Milkybar I know she has a job but she says herself she doesn't have a career!!

IMO careers are a bit overvalued after all you work to live, you don't live to work.

Many career mums on here would give thier eye teeth to have a work from home job and see more of thier kids. I am not saying that is the easy option, working and being a parent is hard whatever way you do it!

purrtrillpadpadpad Tue 10-Dec-13 09:14:06

I don't understand why this thread is focusing on what the Op does. The fact is, as beautifully described by TalkativeJim, she contributes 80% of everything required to ensure the survival of the family. I don't think I'm overestimating that. The point is that she is being horrendously undermined and treated like staff by her DH, who, if we are going to focus on who does what here, works practically part time and spends the rest of his time on his hobbies.

Op, I hope that you are alright. I think perhaps this thread should come to a close now, or be moved to Relationships if the Op needs further discussion. I'm sure if anyone fancies sitting down and splitting hairs they can start a thread entirely for that purpose.

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