Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

questioning my marriage

(45 Posts)
Bigmomma28 Tue 08-Nov-16 16:52:38

Please help me!
I am about to be very honest about an issue I have never said out loud to another human being. I have to say it here because I need honest advice and this is eating me alive!
So I am married and DH is sweet. He helps out a lot at home with chores and the baby as well and I am so thankful.
BUT...he is not ambitious at all! We are currently living in a house owned by his parents and every single time I bring up buying our own property together later in life we have a big fight. He says he is content with where he is. We have a tiny three door car and I find it difficult getting in the back with the baby. I have mentioned the car is unsuitable for parents with a baby; it was hell squeezing in there while coming home from the hospital with the baby but he says he will have to pay more in insurance and petrol so not keen on a bigger car. I have worked all my life and doing just 16 hours now because of baby and will be going back full time next year. He has hinted that I will be doing some heavy lifting financially when I start working full time...I said no problem because we both know I will be making more money than him. Then he has told me that if my income gets up to 50k he will stop working altogether as he sees no need to keep on working where his wife is earning 50k per year.
This attitude of his worries me so much because of my father...he had a highly underpaid job, relied heavily on my mum and never looked after me and my siblings. My mum brought all five of her children up to the best of her ability and we kids struggled to go through school and do the rest.
I love my husband but when he cannot be asked to get a better job or talk about quitting work to live on my salary or make investments that will make our lives better, I feel like my worst fear has come upon me ie I have married a man like my father.
I feel miserable and it is beginning to affect my well being and my relationship with him ie our sex life.
I need advice please, thanks people xx

TheNaze73 Tue 08-Nov-16 17:32:19

Anyone, with that level of drive & ambition, would frustrate the hell out of me.

nicenewdusters Tue 08-Nov-16 18:21:48

Just one practical point to start with. If you will be the higher earner when you return to work, then you decide to buy a bigger car with doors in the back. Even if you don't earn more than him, still make this decision. You'll no doubt be doing more of the running around with your dc in the car, so you have an absolute right to change the car. Why does he get to decide? And while you're at it, ensure you're the legal owner and registered keeper.

What does he intend doing when he "retires" and both of you live on your salary?

Is the fact that you live in a house owned by his parents something that makes you feel uneasy? By this I mean does it make you feel insecure as it does not belong to you? Or is it a form of control by his parents? Does he come from a wealthy background where it's all been handed to him on a plate?

Bigmomma28 Tue 08-Nov-16 18:58:46

Good idea about the car. I will not raise the subject again and will buy myself one when I go back to full time work thanks smile.
Yes I do feel insecure about the house. I am grateful that my parents in law offered us the house because it is a lot more comfortable than where we used to live. However MIL insists on doing the deco in the house, down to the kettle in my kitchen. She says I can speak up if I don't like what she is doing but whenever I do she gets annoyed and does not speak to me for a while. I think she genuinely worries about us but she can be a bit too much. I have had to learn to gently but firmly put my foot down with her and when she gets upset and ignores me I try not to think about it. Also the house is just 5 minutes drive away from hers, don't know if it is on purpose but I have to endure 4 day per week visits which is a bit too much for me.
Yes they are well off financially and they spoil DH a bit both with money and other stuff e.g. his dad comes around to mow the lawn regularly.
Another reason I want to buy a house is because I would like us to build up something for our children to fall back on when they are grown just as his parents have done for him

Bigmomma28 Tue 08-Nov-16 18:59:52

Oh and when he "retires" we just live on my salary as he thinks it is enough to give us a comfortable life :/

Notagain16 Tue 08-Nov-16 19:04:45

So what does he intend to do if he is not working?

What a weird attitude he has re you earning £50k.

I understand where you are coming from. I was with a man who did not want to work but was happy to watch me run myself into the ground working full time yet still complaining about the state of the house. It led to a lot of resentment as he just did not pull his weight.

Lostandlonely1979 Tue 08-Nov-16 19:06:51

No wonder you don't want to get intimate with him. There's nothing sexier than a man with drive (bordering on arrogance sometimes, I've always had a thing for that!) and if he's limp in his ambitions, well... reverse slide whistle sound

He's not going to change unless you prod him into it. Cue more resentment on your part and even less sex. If there's any now.

Sounds like you're the driving force and he's happy to be chauffeured. He needs to understand that's not going to fly long term and he risks losing everything unless he finds something that lights a fire under him.

luckylucky24 Tue 08-Nov-16 19:08:50

I have often joked that if my DH made millions I would retire. I can say that as it will never happen.
Your DH must be really frustrating to live with. Could you get a little place to let out when you return full time? Just under your name as an investment opportunity and maybe a sanctuary in later life?

SauvignonPlonker Tue 08-Nov-16 19:18:58

Is this a reverse?

fc301 Tue 08-Nov-16 19:22:48

How old is he? My DH had v little ambition in his 20s, it has developed over the years.

Bigmomma28 Tue 08-Nov-16 19:28:49

He doesn't intend to do any work after he retires, he says 50k is enough to keep the house running and us comfortable. Oddly enough the first time he mentioned this retirement plan to me was on our honeymoon! I told him off and he said he was just joking and would not say it again however it has come up since then.
I have tried to talk to him about it but he says I should learn to be content with what I have...haha. When he says that I am not sure if I should laugh or cry. I am not greedy just don't want my children to suffer the way I did. Besides I see nothing wrong with us having our own property later. He says we can own the house later as he will be inheriting it...is this way of thinking reasonable or AIBU about the house? And I am afraid I might start to resent him at some point if this continues
He is a sweet person but soon as I mention anything we need to buy or do that involves money..... It frustrates me sometimes and I have had to blame the pill for lack of sexual desire because I worry and wonder if I shouldn't have married him. I know it sounds a bit awful to say but it is a genuine worry for me and I can't keep it all inside any longer.
I am thinking of getting my own place without him as an investment for both children and my sanity

SandyY2K Tue 08-Nov-16 19:29:39

Sorry but I couldn't be married to a man like him. Living so close to the inlaws and wanting to depend on me financially.

I mean does he think 50k is megabucks? And what does he intend to do when you earn that? Become a house husband?

I strongly suggest that you somehow get a savings scheme in your name that he doesn't know about, because one day you'll have had enough and just want to get the hell away from him.

You'll need the money for accommodation for your child/children, because your husband has such little ambition.

To remain in the marriage and be kind of happy, you'll need to decide what you want to spend money on for a decent quality of life and just do it.

The only way he'll change is if he at some point thinks you've had enough.

jules179 Tue 08-Nov-16 19:36:01

Be careful about accepting this situation without considering what it could mean for your assets and pension if you get divorced.

He sounds deeply unappealing. You are meant to be equal partners, and it doesn't seem like he is doing his share in your relationship.

nicenewdusters Tue 08-Nov-16 19:44:10

Do you pay rent or a mortgage on his parent's house? If not, I would say it's a very lucky position to be in. Although given the strings attached - ie his parents - I'm not sure that would be enough to make me want to accept it.

The thing that's coming through very clearly to me is that your life as a couple is about his needs and his wants. I see this so often in my friend's relationships, the compromise is nearly always on the part of the woman. Why does he get to say that 50k is "enough"? Maybe you have ambitions that involve you earning more than that jointly.

Is he tight with money ?

CocoaX Tue 08-Nov-16 19:46:07

I think if he is expecting to retire on the back of your £50k pa and not work towards a house where you can decorate yourself, then start saving for a deposit yourself and buy a house for YOU and DC and leave him where he is.
Sounds like his parents have paid his way and he thinks you will too. What if working full time doesn't work and you want to stick with fewer hours?
Sorry but not even choosing my own kettle? A fully paid, nicely decorated trap.

AmberEars Tue 08-Nov-16 19:46:14

He says you should learn to be content with what you have? Easy for him to say!! He'll be the one not working and being supported while you have the stress of being the only breadwinner. And before anyone says this would be considered ok if the sexes were reversed - I know lots of women who were SAHMs when their DC were tiny and nearly all of them went back to work when the DC started school. This doesn't sound like his plan!

HandyWoman Tue 08-Nov-16 19:55:42

Wowsers. I couldn't handle this. It's like he is still a child and has no plan to grow up, right along into retirement. I would find it deeply unattractive.

Plus you have a daily visit from the parents who still now the lawn and can't even choose your own kettle?

I would have to do a runner, OP. Sorry.

Once you start fantasising about living on your own I think it's time to start considering it seriously. I would see a solicitor and start looking at setting up on my own. I just couldn't live like this. Due to the house situation you might be wise to think about calling time on the marriage first otherwise he would be entitled to half. Solicitors will be able to advise.

HolyshitIfuckedupbigtime Tue 08-Nov-16 19:56:30

If this was in reverse there would be different replies.

MrsBertBibby Tue 08-Nov-16 20:04:30

If you got divorced further down the line, you would be royally screwed, you know.

SleepingTiger Tue 08-Nov-16 20:10:48

Since when do you not buy a bigger car because it costs more to insure and more to fill up the tank? No, you do not buy a bigger car because either you do not want it or do not need it.

You want different things OP

It's that simple I believe.

Notagain16 Tue 08-Nov-16 20:14:45

There wouldn't be different replies because he plans to do nothing when op earns £50k.

I don't know any woman who has given up work completely later in life to live off her husbands wage. In fact I only know one person who became a sahm after having children. Everyone else has returned to full time or part time work.

Notagain16 Tue 08-Nov-16 20:16:03

And the sahm is making a massive contribution to the family. The op's husband will be contributing zilch.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 08-Nov-16 20:17:43

I second PP who's said you'll be screwed if you divorce in the future.

I'd walk out now before he is the 'main carer' of your children is sitting around at home living off you and you stand to lose half the house you intend to buy in future.
He doesn't sound like the kind of man who would take care of his children and take care of the household whilst you work.

He's told you he intends to live off you, & not work.

He's told you exactly what kind of man he is.

It's up to you whether you want to carry his dead weight.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 08-Nov-16 20:19:15

This man is nothing like a SAHM, he doesn't even mow the lawn! He's not going to do the drudgery of day to day childcare and house work.

WombOfOnesOwn Tue 08-Nov-16 20:21:24

I am married to a man who works only part-time (from home, very brief hours) and who may very well discontinue even part-time work if I get another promotion/better job in the next few years.

Let me describe to you a little bit of how he does things -- the kinds of arrangements that had to be made in order for me to feel comfortable being the sole working parent.

My husband does the night wakings with our baby 6 days out of every 7 (Saturdays, he gets a lie-in while I handle the waking, and some Wednesdays we go to his parents' house and they do the night wakes). He gets up before me to play with the baby on the baby's ridiculously early schedule, drives me to and from the transit station daily (it's too long to walk, we're in the US).

While I'm at work, he tackles 3-4 cleaning tasks a day. We mostly are able to keep on top of housework, though we have someone come in twice a month to do a little more of the "deep cleaning" that can get neglected in a house where everyone's always running after a newly-crawling baby!

When I get home, I like to cook dinner (cooking's always been one of my strong points!), so to make it easier, he usually -- unless it's been a crazy day with the baby, which is fine and happens once a week or so -- gets out everything I will need to make dinner, so that it's ready to prepare. Sometimes he'll even do some of the chopping/prep work so I don't have to.

He does 90%+ of the baby's diapers, feeds him breakfast and lunch (dinner is my special baby-and-me time), takes him to appointments, does the dinner cleanup while talking to the baby about what he's doing, and so on. When the baby is a few years older, there'll likely be a sibling or two following, and we intend to homeschool at least during the elementary school years.

In a few years, we hope he won't have to do any paid work at all to supplement our income. But in spite of the non-paid nature of his work, he works HARD in our home. He has spent the last year getting better and better at housework and logistics as I went through the final stages of pregnancy and we started adjusting to life as parents. He's a total whiz at childcare and spends so much time with our little boy ... and it shows, in their deep, loving bond.

If the stuff I'm talking about here isn't something your husband would be willing to do, he's not a househusband or a SAHD, he's a cocklodger who you aren't even having sex with.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

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

Register now