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dh earns 22000 a year means 1300 per month in hand - no prospects to improve his salary - diffcult to accept

(77 Posts)
Hotpotatofood Mon 08-Apr-13 09:24:22

we have small 2 kids. dh about 40 works full time; leaving home at 7.00 and coming back 5.00 pm. bringing 1300 monthly into bank account. I earn more and generally believe in career development, but with my dh this has been the same of 8 years and i do not see any motivation in him to improve. can someone point me into the right direction - how can I accept that HE does not want to improve his development and salary and he is going to stay for another 25 years in the same job. I do not see it changing and find it hard to accept

lougle Mon 08-Apr-13 09:31:04

It depends if he is working to his potential and is fulfilled in what he does?

nkf Mon 08-Apr-13 09:35:08

Hard to accept because you want a more dynamic husband? Or because you want more money coming in? Or because it feels unequal in terms of contribution? Do you know why you find it so hard?

ClaraOswald Mon 08-Apr-13 09:46:34

Is he finding his work fulfilling?

Why does it matter so much for you? Do you want to cut down your hours at work?

Hotpotatofood Mon 08-Apr-13 09:51:45

hard to accept - 1. lack of initiative and his lack of going forward/ dynamics 2. the money that he is bringing - maybe it is better to go part time for him and spend more time with kids ( at least I could see a positive element of kids spending more time with the parent)

lougle Mon 08-Apr-13 09:58:49

Is he different now to when you married him?

Hotpotatofood Mon 08-Apr-13 10:01:46

i considered cutting my hours but as I am main earner i decided not to shake my work situation

Hotpotatofood Mon 08-Apr-13 10:02:56

he is not diffident to when i married him - it is just NOW i realise how it is important to go forward in life and be driven rather than passive in life

Mutt Mon 08-Apr-13 10:04:36

I think you're being massively unfair.

Not everyone is ambitious and it isn't as if he is is a feckless waster who doesn't want to work.

This is your issue - he appears happy with his lot - and you need to get over it.

rustybusty Mon 08-Apr-13 10:05:04

I would say thats a pretty decent salary tbh. I think you are being quite unfair to him.

Eskino Mon 08-Apr-13 10:05:24

I don't think this is the right time to be thinking about leaving a stable position to look for one that is better paid. Also, If he's happy in his work, this counts for a lot.

Mutt Mon 08-Apr-13 10:05:34

If you wanted a dynamic husband, then you obviously married the wrong man.

MoreBeta Mon 08-Apr-13 10:06:57

Hotpotato - you should take advantage of this and do what me and DW did years ago BEFORE we had children.

We sat down and agreed that she would have the high flying career and I would take the strain at home with a more flexible job. Sounds like your job and your career prospects are better so you need to maximise that but your DH needs to agree to take the pressure off you by taking on more at home. That way those late meetings, working away, training days, schmoosing with clients etc can all happen and you can relax knowing all is covered back at home.

Honestly, it is imposisble for both parents to pursue a fast moving career and have children without buying in 24/7 childcare cover. Better to work around the circumstances you have and make it into an advantage.

StuffezLaBouche Mon 08-Apr-13 10:08:09

Hang on, if you're earning more then your combined monthly household income must be 3k or more? Unless you're in an expensive part of the country, that sounds ok to me. And I would take very unkindly to someone who started telling me what job I should be doing, actually.

Maybe he is happy doing what he is doing at the level he's at? Not everyone wants to 'climb the career ladder'.

If you're both working and are able to pay all the bills etc., and your DC's are happy and healthy, I don't think there is a problem here.

Booyhoo Mon 08-Apr-13 10:13:20

umm. if you want more money then YOU go and earn more, seeing how progression is YOUR thing.

if this guy is the same as when you married and chose to have dcs with him then he hasn't broken any promises and shouldn't have to put in more hours just to meet some 'desired criteria' you have decided is now important.

poor guy.

22k is £1480 net monthly. I am pedantic. If hes paying into a pension etc then thats a good thing.

I think if you were a man coming on here writing this about your wife you would be called a lot of names.

Life isnt about money. If you feel that money is more important than loving your spouse then I really pity you.

EndoplasmicReticulum Mon 08-Apr-13 10:18:33

My husband earns less than that. He is not ambitious at all, and does the minimum at work as they have not given him a pay rise in years. These things may or may not be connected! However, in our case this works out fine as he has been able to change his hours to do school runs, and he does majority of child-wrangling in term time.

I definitely did not marry him for his money. I married him because I love him.

Viviennemary Mon 08-Apr-13 10:18:47

I also thought he should be coming out with more than that in his hand. And I agree that life isn't all about money but it is nice to have a bit more. At one a lot of my friends were better off than us but it's changed now. You can try and work out if there is any retraining either of you can do if you are set on improving things financially.

Hotpotatofood Mon 08-Apr-13 10:42:27

yes, he is paying into pension so it comes from £1480. I do want to find a compromise - as MoreBeta said to find his strengths and utilise that. if I accept that it is Ok as it is now - it will mean that he will stay there till he is retired there - it is a bit SAD

ELR Mon 08-Apr-13 10:46:32

Is he happy though? If he is then you have to accept that maybe he likes doing and being where he is, everything in life doesn't have to be bigger and better.

Mutt Mon 08-Apr-13 10:48:14

It might be SAD for you, but maybe not for him hmm

Have you spoken to him about what he wants?

How would you feel if someone was forcing you out of a job you are satisfied with and into a path of career devolopment you had no interest in?

Mutt Mon 08-Apr-13 10:48:48

I feel really sorry for your DH.

givemeaclue Mon 08-Apr-13 11:01:18

Happiness at work counts for a lot. As does job security.

VenusRising Mon 08-Apr-13 11:06:40

Maybe he needs to take up the slack at home more as beta has said, so you can flex your earning potential.

Tbh I couldn't stick a man who had no gumption. But then I married a man who had a lot and he still has.

Sorry for your situation. People do change and maybe you have, but he hasn't so much? Maybe time to have a little family counselling to address the changes, and perceived failings?

I feel really sorry for your DH.

expatinscotland Mon 08-Apr-13 11:16:31

I agree with Beta.

duchesse Mon 08-Apr-13 11:26:12

If he enjoys his job then that is brilliant and you should try to be happy for him. If he doesn't then maybe a few nudges to get him pointing in the right direction might be needed. As Beta said, he could take on more of the caring role for your children and leave you free to soar. Have you broached the subject with him?

SprinkleLiberally Mon 08-Apr-13 11:29:19

I felt as you feel once. DH in a job he loves and earns ok. But there is no ladder for progression. None. Nor are there opportunities for other jobs in his field in our area. I was frustrated.
However there have been many advantages for us, mainly for our children. His hours are normal not ridiculous. His boss is ok and he has some flexibility which helps us when kids are sick/inset etc. We are a better team and truely equal this way. Our kids see equal parents too. My job is not secondary.
Also it is not his fault that there are no promotion opportunities.

peedoffbird Mon 08-Apr-13 11:30:50

You don't seem to understand what a great position you're in. You clearly have reasonable money coming in each month. I would give anything to be in your situation and I feel sorry for your dh. His self confidence must be shot to pieces.

Scrazy Mon 08-Apr-13 11:31:46

It's not much less than I earn full time, agree it will be slightly more take home pay than you have said.

It's not a minimum wage job but it's not a great income. I am trapped because I like where I work but there is no chance of promotion or a salary rise. I have asked. However, to jack in a job like this in these times would be stupid.

You earn more so can have a nice lifestyle anyway. I wouldn't see this as a problem, personally.

BackforGood Mon 08-Apr-13 11:35:34

I don't understand why you find it sad, that he is content confused
To me, 'contentment' is a great place to be, and somewhere that some "driven" people never get to.

Hotpotatofood Mon 08-Apr-13 11:41:17

ok. will try to utilise his strengths. maybe reducing his 5 days to 4 days will free him up for spending more time with kids and at home.

sheeplikessleep Mon 08-Apr-13 12:01:36

My DH hates his job.
I wish he was happy in it. He comes home stressed and miserable. I keep telling him to look for something else, but he doesn't know what he wants to do.
If your DH is happy, count your chickens.

I DO think though that if you earn more / and are more career driven, then why not you push your career and ask your DH to be the primary 'carer' of the kids (i.e. sickness, school hols etc)? I think that's a fair request.

ssd Mon 08-Apr-13 12:07:44

poor man, you sound a miserable pita

DontmindifIdo Mon 08-Apr-13 12:17:42

well, it's sad but this is why attitudes to career and money are important things to discuss early on. While some people on here with think you are wrong for having this view, I don't, but I think you are wrong to have waited until now to think about it.

It's so odd, so many couples, before making big commitment to each other will make sure they are compatible on attitudes to sex, religion, children, education, politics etc, but money and careers seems to be ignored. If he's been earning the same for some time, then I guess the amount he was bringing in when you first got together was comparable to ambitious friends/friend's DPs, so it wasn't as obvious he didn't feel that way, it's just that now it'll be noticable he hasn't moved up when others have.

As others on here have said, it's unlikely you'll change his attitude to career and money, so it'd be more productive to sit him down and say that yours should be the primary career for the family, so he goes parttime, is the one to do look after the DCs when sick etc. If he needs to take on more of the housework and running/managing the family/household so you can free yourself to work late/go in early to the benefit of you all, so be it.

chanie44 Mon 08-Apr-13 12:20:10

I know how you feel. I'm the higher earner in our relationship and my earning potential is higher. I spent years trying to push him to aim for more, but the reality is that he just isn't career minded. However, since having the children, he has found a new qualification so he can earn more money.

It does sometimes upset me knowing that I've had to cut my maternity short and swap with him. However OH is totally committed to our family and he is a very caring partner. It's taken me years, but I wouldn't swap him and I suppose the pay off for having a laid back partner is that he isn't career minded.

BackforGood Mon 08-Apr-13 12:21:11

But we change as we age, don't we Don'tMindIfIDo ?
When I was 23, I was going to change the world /be the top manager, etc.,etc, but, once I had my own family, I realised that the 'reaching the top of the tree' was far less important to me than the balance of life as a whole. Not something I've have predicted when dh and I first met.

Booyhoo Mon 08-Apr-13 12:27:40

Sorry, have you just decided to change your husbands hours at work? shock

I can just imagine the responses if a man posted about utilising more of his wifes strengths and reducing her hours to suit him!!

JourneyThroughLife Mon 08-Apr-13 12:32:44

I understand how you feel. When I married (rather a long time ago) we were both young and new to the workplace, so both earned smallish salaries. As the years went by my DH moved into work which was very low paid and always would be...more of a vocation. Fine. But he had no ambition either. Was happy trotting along and didn't take up what I thought were fantastic opportunities because he "wasn't interested". I got very frustrated but eventually realised I had to separate out what I wanted and what he wanted. I realised I was more ambitious myself, and it wasn't fair of me to be "pushing" DH just because I wanted to get on and though he 'ought' to be the same. Eventually we split...there were several reasons but one of them was that I wanted to be free to have a dynamic career, I couldn't keep pushing DH to achieve what I wanted, I should be doing it myself.
I think you either learn to live with this and accept that this is the way your DH is, or you look at what you want for yourself and achieve it yourself, don't expect him to be doing it though if that's just not him.

Hotpotatofood Mon 08-Apr-13 13:21:15

JourneyThroughLife - interesting point, thank you for sharing that. it exactly I feel - "pushing" hims - whilist it does not change much - he is who is is and there is no point in my energy going towards pushing him. so I just have to accept and work around it for the benefit of our family and children.

Fairylea Mon 08-Apr-13 13:25:33

He's obviously contented at work and has a stable job earning more than the minimum wage. What's not to like??

My dh earns 16k and I have chosen to be a sahm and we manage, we could earn more or I could go back to work but we choose not to. If he earnt 22k I would be over the moon! smile

I think you're being a bit unfair. If he's happy and you can manage that's better than many many people. Maybe it's a case of loving what you have rather than aspiring to have what others have.

blueshoes Mon 08-Apr-13 14:02:21

I don't respect men with no ambition or drive. I don't understand people at work who are content to coast and not better themselves within the hours that they work.

OP, needless to say I would be frustrated in your position. Once a man has children, he should be MORE motivated to provide for his family and work harder than ever. I see that amongst my friends and colleagues. Men tend to go for ever more promotions because children are an expensive business. Heck, even I changed jobs to get more money. I cannot afford to be contented. I have to maximise my income for the hours I am away from the home (when I am unable to be physically available for the family).

I don't know how you can change him. I will think that you will have to be the one to go for it and he be move available at home, but I hope you can reconcile that with how you perceive him.

Mutt Mon 08-Apr-13 14:13:40

blueshoes - perhaps not everyone thinks that money is everything in life. Perhaps some people think that being content in what you do and working hours that enable you to spend time with your family, takes priority over striving to get to the top in your chosen profession.

Now there's a thought...

Booyhoo Mon 08-Apr-13 14:25:56

Totally agree mutt. During my school years my mum worked really hard to progress her career, lots of courses, working away, evenings locked in the kitchen studying and we werent allowed in, weekends spent tiptoeinv round her as she caught up with paperwork. She did it for us. To give us a good life, with a nice home and holidays etc. but we never saw her. We didnt actually get the benefit of her effort because she was always too busy to book the holidays or sprnd weekends with us . I really feel i missed out on alot of my mum as a child and we arent close at all. By the time she decide she was happy with what shed acheived we were teens and dudnt want to be at home with her anymore. Shed missed our growing up which is really very short time with children. She has a lovely big empty house now.

Mutt Mon 08-Apr-13 14:31:17

That's a big shame booyhoo sad I wonder if your Mum would choose to do things differently if she could have her time over again.

Blue shoes, is it just men you feel that way about?

Be glad he has a job, my dh was made redundant.
He's happy, he is providing for your family and seems happy with his lot.

I don't see your problem? confused

Pumpkin, they are both providing for their family

Yes i know that. Was just saying i don't understand what the problem is.
Sometimes one partner has more earning potential, whereas the other one doesn't.

bigkidsdidit Mon 08-Apr-13 14:47:15

I understand. Some people are ambitious and driven, some aren't. I am and I love that DH is too; I would not be suited to a man happy to stay in the same job for 25 years. IMO you need to talk properly and perhaps do as Morebeta suggests

defineme Mon 08-Apr-13 14:52:05

He has a stable job, earns what for many in dual income households is a very decent amount, a pension, hours that mean he'll see a lot more of school age kids than most-when I get home at 5 I find there's time to do jobs, cook tea and talk to the kids-bliss.
If he's happy I think you're being desperately unfair.
If you see there's better quality of life/time management to be had from him going part time eg the kids are in nursery so you'd save a day's fees, get some housework/admin done/ spend some time with kids: then by all means suggest this, but a marriage is a partnership not a dictatorship.
Go be driven yourself and stop trying to live your life and his.

Hotpotatofood Mon 08-Apr-13 15:14:15

it is not just about earning potential - it is about having initiative in life. i feel like I have to push my dh for things to happen - starting from shopping for family and ending with his work situation

theonewiththenoisychild Mon 08-Apr-13 15:14:59

I think you are being unfair. you can't just decide to change your husbands life probably not for the better just because he isn't all that career driven. climbing the career ladder Is all well and good but the higher you get the more responsibility and longer working hours. what if he doesn't want all that?

dashoflime Mon 08-Apr-13 15:18:32

I don't get it. £22,000 is a good wage. Better than over half the population earns

see here

And its not even the main wage in your house! You must being doing fine for money.

There must be something more to this

Bonkerz Mon 08-Apr-13 15:23:03

Surely it's about work/home life balance. Dh is on less than 19k and now stuck at deputy manager level in his job. He used to be manager on 26k BUT he was stressed and hardly home and was on call overnight too which meant no downtime. 4 years ago we decided to cut his pay and job title and I went back to work too. We both now work 40+ hours a week earning 21k between us but I'm home with our children and dh has 2 days off a week and also has good hours in a job he can leave 'at work' iykwim. He has no desire to go back to management level and I don't want him too!

Booyhoo Mon 08-Apr-13 16:42:39

Yes mutt i do think she would have made different choices if she got to do it again. I think it only hit her when we were around 16/17 and always either studying, at sport after school or out at weekends that she had missed out on what could have been some greAt family time. She was always stressed too. She certainly didnt appear to be enjoying the pressure she was putting on herself.

MoreBeta Mon 08-Apr-13 16:54:04

Hotpotato - "i feel like I have to push my dh for things to happen - starting from shopping for family and ending with his work situation"

Sounds like you need to have the talk.

Tell him what your career plans and aspirations are. Find out what he wants. Put a plan to him that suits you and see how he responds. He might jump at the chance.

By the way, tell him that online shopping is a doddle. He need never go to a shop again if he gets organised.

blueshoes Mon 08-Apr-13 20:57:08

Boohooy, sorry about your mother. It does not sound like she had a balanced approach in your growing up years.

But just because someone is ambitious at work does not mean they end up neglecting their family. You can decide that within the hours that you are out of the house at work, you will apply your time effectively and to maximum advancement of your career and earning potential.

That could mean doing courses, being visible at meetings, giving presentations, offering to take on more/different responsibilities, changing departments or changing jobs. Things that require initiative and strategic planning, rather than plodding along head down in a rut.

Of course not everyone is like that. But we all prefer and value different things, including the OP.

blueshoes Mon 08-Apr-13 21:04:00

OP, if you think your dh lacks initiative, his lack of progress in his job sounds like just a symptom of a wider problem. I don't think his attitude is something you can change.

Was he like that when you married him or did it get worse over the years?

Hotpotatofood Mon 08-Apr-13 21:20:08

i think he was like that when i mariied him, but then we didnot have kids and did not have pressures as we have now.

Fairylea Mon 08-Apr-13 21:36:37

I feel sorry for your dh. If you were happy doing something and someone came along telling you that you must do more and making pushing for more a condition of the relationship with them then I think that's highly unreasonable.

Not everyone wants a high flying highly paid job.

Me for example.... I used to be a senior marketing manager in London. I was earning 35k and facing a new position earning 45k plus when I realised how desperately bored and unhappy I was so I literally chucked it all in and moved from London to Norfolk.

I then worked part time at a hotel as it was all that was available and quite enjoyed myself and then met dh. I then had ds and didn't want to work anymore so now we manage on dh's salary of well under 22k!

Do I have any plans to return to work? Nope. Never..not unless I'm dragged kicking and screaming. I get an odd buzz out of managing our budget and bidding on everything on eBay. It's tight yes but there is so much more to life than money, and I know that even more so after experiencing the type of highly ambitious well paid career you'd like your dh to have.

peedoffbird Tue 09-Apr-13 10:28:06

Bonkerz I agree with you. It doesn't make sense. 22 grand is a fantastic wage when there is an even higher one coming into the same household. Out of touch I think.

DontmindifIdo Tue 09-Apr-13 10:39:47

Actually, depends where they are in the country, £22k in the South East is not a well paying job, it's about £10k less than you'd pay a receptionist in most of London. I think we have an office junior on about that.

The general lack of innitiative is going to be hard if you're different - feeling you have to "mother" your DH as well as your DCs is poision for a relationship unless you are the sort of person who likes to take that sort of role. You aren't the first person who's found differences in priorities/attitudes, while not a big deal before DCs come along, are a huge issue once they are there.

Do you generally feel he's not pulling his weight? Not just income, just generally in the relationship? Would you feel comfortable that if he went 4 days a week, when the DCs were at school/pre-school that day, he'd do the other household admin without you requiring to leave him a list of things to be sorted/thought about?

Is it that he's happy to do what he's told too, but not think about what might be useful/needed?

Some times that can be changed, little by little, but it's going to be a long slog, only you know if it's worth it, but staying as you are, you'll get more and more annoyed and it'll ruin what you've got if you're losing respect for him. Few marriages survive once one side has lost respect for the other.

blueshoes Tue 09-Apr-13 11:09:49

£22K is nothing in London.

OP, what are his interests? What gets him excited and motivated?

Hotpotatofood Tue 09-Apr-13 11:29:09

thank you for supportive comments. I will chat to my dh what his interests are ...maybe it needs to be a long talk to make a plan and agree on how we want to live. generally, I do feel that I have to leave the list of things to be he is just doing it but not initiating/ organising. maybe I need to sit with him and again decide who is responsibel for what so that he has responsibilities and I do not need to monitor/ constantly remind him

duchesse Tue 09-Apr-13 15:06:17

£22,000 doesn't strike me as a terribly high wage either, especially if there are no progression prospects. I guess people have very different ideas of what a good wage is.

Crutchlow35 Tue 09-Apr-13 18:40:27

£22k not a good salary? What planet are people on.

VenusRising Wed 10-Apr-13 00:20:39

It depends where you're based.

nkf Wed 10-Apr-13 07:46:48

It depends where you're based and how you want to live. But it sounds to me as if what really bothers the OP is that her husband is happy for things to stay the same for the next 25 years. That's a long time.

Lj8893 Wed 10-Apr-13 14:45:00

I'm shocked that people are saying 22k is a low salary! Granted its not a particully high one, but it is very reasonable!! I'm on 12k and my partner is on 14k, and we are both still on more than minimum wage!!!!!

DontmindifIdo Wed 10-Apr-13 15:25:21

Lj8893 - I guess it comes down to what it's being compared too - I would assume in London/South East, for most office jobs, that would be the pay range for someone very junior. If they are London based, and he's earning that after 8 years experience, then he's not really progressing at all.

He's not working part time, so the wage isn't prorataed down or anything.

nkf Wed 10-Apr-13 15:29:34

It also depends on what you want out of life and what you feel you are capable of and should be striving for. I agree it might be grim to be the OP's husband. If you are doing your best and you are happy and fulfilled at work and you like what your joint incomes can buy for your family, it must be annoying to be pestered to become ambitious and so on.

But if you like go getting types and want to move up and up and buy a bigger house and all the many things money can buy and your partner seems to be cruising along and not bothered about the things you care about, that can be annoying too.

I don't think either are at fault exactly but it could be that having children has prompted a change of values. And that needs airing.

blueshoes Wed 10-Apr-13 16:47:26

My friend is married to a man like this and continues to be 15 years later despite occasional moans about him from time to time. But they don't have children, just a dog. AFAIK he hasn't changed.

noddyholder Wed 10-Apr-13 16:49:20

He may be happy though. Concentrate on your own career and earnings and things will be fine.

noddyholder Wed 10-Apr-13 16:50:21

If you earn more what is the issue?

M25Meltdown Wed 10-Apr-13 17:03:58

Can I just say, money goes further outside of the London and the Home Counties, so whilst £1,300 is a good salary in some parts of the country,it won't go very far in other parts of the country.

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