Covid, twatty DH and how my life has been destroyed

(1000 Posts)
Maiasaur Thu 28-Oct-21 08:30:36

I had a bad pregnancy and was off sick for ages, then on maternity, ended up getting managed out (aka got rid of) because I needed more time off due to my health. I had surgery to fix some issues. DC was approaching two when I felt recovered enough to get a new job. Everything was lined up.

Then Covid happened. Nurseries were closed. Family childcare was unavailable. Someone had to stay at home with DC. Of course in the 2.5 years since I got pregnant, DH had been promoted. So his logic was that we needed to keep his stable well paid job in preference to me starting a new, lower paid job with no security. So I had to give up my job offer and ended up bearing the burden of childcare through repeated lockdowns.

Finally nurseries reopened - but due to the pandemic, places were in short supply. My job offer was long gone. Employers still had staff on furlough and working from home, their finances were tight, so they were cautious about hiring. At this point I’d been out of work for over 3 years. DH got promoted again.

This was the point at which the problems started. DH started to whinge that everything was still volatile, bubbles were bursting and kids were having to isolate, so someone needed to be available to look after DC. And of course he was so important now, he couldn’t possibly do it.

I got a job and arranged a childminder for pick ups and drop offs. Childminder got Covid so DC had to isolate for 10 days, my new employer was not pleased. Then DC got chickenpox so that was more time off work. Covid at nursery again, more time off - and I got fired because I wasn’t able to attend work reliably. During this time DH wouldn’t take a single day off work. This is when he started to say “we can’t put the job of the highest earner at risk, when you earn the same as me I’ll take equal responsibility for DC”.

Of course I’m never going to catch up with him now because I’m four years behind career-wise. So that basically means all childcare has been dumped on me. And if all the childcare is on me I’m never going to be able to catch up am I?

So let’s skip past the fact that I’m angry, resentful, hate DH and often go to bed at 8pm to avoid him. Someone has to parent my DC so I’m currently looking for a job that can fit around that and offer flexibility for sick days. My previous career won’t. So I asked DH to help me assess my options and figure out what I could do that would suit our current circumstances. He was really nasty and said no, it’s not his responsibility to sort out a job for me, he can’t tell me what to do. I said fine - fuck it, I’ll just go back to my career then and you’ll have to deal with the fallout in terms of childcare. Of course he’s not happy with that either, I’m a nasty selfish bitch, and he doesn’t deserve that when he’s working hard to provide for us all.

Honestly, what am I supposed to do here? I have more chance of holding down a job now that the 10 day isolation is no longer required for close contacts. But I’m just getting zero help. He’s staying later and later at work, he’s gone from finishing at 5, to 6, and now he isn’t leaving the office till 6.30. So that puts all of the cooking on my shoulders too because he isn’t home in time. And now he’s refusing to do any grocery shopping or meal planning because I’ll be cooking so apparently I need to sort it, he’s already doing his share by working.

Honestly I’m on the verge of divorcing him to force him to take 50% custody. I agreed to have a baby because we earned the same and would both work and share childcare. I didn’t sign up to be stuck with the whole lot and unable to work full-time just because he earns more.

OP’s posts: |
ElleGettingBetter Thu 28-Oct-21 08:32:34

I would do exactly that.

Divorce him, take half his pension, child maintenance and let him have shared custody. Selfish prick.

FFSFFSFFS Thu 28-Oct-21 08:33:10

Honestly it sounds like leaving him would
Be better for you - and won’t be any worse.

Sweetpeasaremadeofcheese Thu 28-Oct-21 08:34:27

It doesn't sound like he cares about you at all, I'm sorry

NeverDropYourMoonCup Thu 28-Oct-21 08:35:01

Divorce him and have control over your life. But don't ever assume that he will take the DC 50%. After all, he's too busy and important for that. So avoid agreeing to it as there's a good chance he'll get it to avoid paying maintenance, then not actually turn up.

Awomanwalksintoabar Thu 28-Oct-21 08:35:31

Look, I don’t have any advice, but I just wanted to give you a fist bump of solidarity. My career is fucked too, part COVID part other reason. Sometimes I feel super motivated to sort things out, and other times it’s all just too overwhelming to contemplate. I’m starting seeing a therapist next week.

Fetarabbit Thu 28-Oct-21 08:35:51

It sounds like it's a dealbreaker. He isn't going to change to be more flexible as it sounds like he doesn't really care, and you will understandably just grow more resentful as time goes on. I don't see how you could force him to have shared custody though if he didn't want to, largely legally men can not bother if they want to, even maintenance it's possible to get around but thankfully as he isn't self employed by the sound of it he wouldn't be able to wrangle out of it.


KaptainKaveman Thu 28-Oct-21 08:36:09

He sounds like a totally selfish arsehole OP. How dare he treat you so poorly? I'm sorry you have had such a tough time.

As well as demeaning you and your career he is absolving himself of any domestic and parenting role at all, as if they are beneath him. He is a serious arse.

LadyCampanulaTottington Thu 28-Oct-21 08:37:19

He’s effectively keeping you hostage because he won’t take the equal responsibility for parenting.

I rarely say LTB but in this case I believe you would be genuinely better off OP. Nobody can hold you hostage and he’ll have to take equal responsibility.

Justilou1 Thu 28-Oct-21 08:38:23

Get out before you have a manslaughter charge on your hands. (Sounds justifiable though…) Seriously, he’ll be fucked once he has to adult up.

MyOtherProfile Thu 28-Oct-21 08:38:34

This is so sad. He's lost his way and is totally disregarding you. You need to have the talk really, that his behaviour is so bad you are not going to put up with it. He needs to understand that you are giving him an ultimatum.

Bagelsandbrie Thu 28-Oct-21 08:39:11

I’m going to be flamed for this. I know I am. But I can sort of see his point. He’s earning the most, keeping the family going financially. He can’t just take time off to fill in the childcare gaps. I completely understand how fed up and frustrated you are in your own job situation but I think especially with covid etc you both need to do everything you can to protect the main breadwinners job - and I’d say that if it was a man or a woman in that position.

If he’s working long hours and not getting in till late and you’re not working I think the cooking / house stuff should fall to you. It’s different if you’re both working full time.

But - none of this gives him the right to talk to you like an arse. He doesn’t sound very kind in the way he says things and that’s a real problem in itself.

Etherealhedgehog Thu 28-Oct-21 08:41:11

Definitely divorce him. It's the attitude that I couldn't live with, even more than the practicalities. He's saying, loud and clear, that what matters to you doesn't matter to him at all

Rainbowqueeen Thu 28-Oct-21 08:41:18

It doesn’t sound great OP. And he is definitely being a twat
My view is that when one person returns to work after time off then the other person should do all sick leave, inset days and any other leave required for the DC for the first 6 months to give the person returning to work that time to settle in and get a good reputation.
I’d start getting my ducks in a row.
If you want to try talking to him one more time I’d be making it very clear that him supporting you back into the workplace is a non- negotiable and that all housework and childcare outside work hours is to be 50-50.

GoodGrief100 Thu 28-Oct-21 08:41:57

I can see it from both sides to be honest. The way the post has been written, yes of course the way he's spoken to you and behaved isn't right at all, but I can understand him not wanting to put his job at risk when he is the only provider for the family. I am confused as to what you want him to do in terms of looking for a job that suits your family life better? Is it that he has knowledge on the type of job you're looking for?

VaguelyInteresting Thu 28-Oct-21 08:42:33

Just to say -

That after they start school, if they’ve been at nursery, the illnesses tail off dramatically - except this year of course when they’re all ill all of the time.

I would leave him if I were you- but I would spend the next year whilst covid etc settles getting your ducks in a row. By that time your DS will be at school, covid should be endemic and managed, and you might find it easier on yourself. Leaving him now would be, I think, hugely difficult practically.

Can you spend the next year whilst your DS is at nursery (and you have your DH’s salary covering your costs) refreshing your training/ volunteering/ doing short term or part time contracts in your original field? So that by the time you’re ready to leave, you’ll be ready to re-enter your career in the strongest possible position?

I’m a LP with a “career” type job, and would do that in your position.

Rainbowqueeen Thu 28-Oct-21 08:43:23

@Bagelsandbrie why do you think he can’t take time off work?
Why isn’t it more important to have both partners in work so if one loses their job they still have an income?? It’s equally possible that the higher earner will lose their job.

ChaToilLeam Thu 28-Oct-21 08:43:55

He sounds like an absolute arse. It’s one thing to have difficulty managing finances and childcare etc, especially when a big difference opens up career wise but you can talk through that and find solutions together. His attitude is that you are the hired help and skivvy, and he doesn’t care that you are unhappy. I’d be quietly assessing my options, OP.

Topseyt Thu 28-Oct-21 08:48:29

Get a job that you want and tell him that if he doesn't shape up and do his share of childcare you will be divorcing him.

Cloverforever Thu 28-Oct-21 08:50:36

This is the situation I found myself in, and then I was called lazy only working part-time. Its a no win situation.

I very much doubt he would do 50/50 in the event of a divorce though, his job is much too important. My ex doesn't even know its half--term!

ToughLuckCharlie Thu 28-Oct-21 08:52:38

He isn’t a partner in life. I’d have no qualms about divorcing, 50/50 custody and let him find out what it’s like to be a parent without wifey at home picking up all the shit!

userg5647 Thu 28-Oct-21 08:53:45

we can’t put the job of the highest earner at risk, when you earn the same as me I’ll take equal responsibility for DC

He's a dick and I genuinely think the presence of a man like that is more toxic to a child than complete absenteeism. The child grows up thinking it's normal for the woman to do everything at home, that's harmful to both boys and girls.

Honestly I'd leave, get what you financially deserve and also get universal credit support for childcare. You and your child would be much better off.

Bagelsandbrie Thu 28-Oct-21 08:53:55


*@Bagelsandbrie* why do you think he can’t take time off work?
Why isn’t it more important to have both partners in work so if one loses their job they still have an income?? It’s equally possible that the higher earner will lose their job.

In our situation if my dh kept taking time off work his work wouldn’t be impressed, he’d probably he seen as unreliable and overlooked for promotion. If it kept happening he’d probably be put on a performance plan / review and worst case scenario might get sacked. (And yes everyone is going to say places can’t do that - they can and they do, even if they do it under the guise of other reasons).

There’s no way I’d want to risk our households main source of income for a job I’d just started that paid less than the main income in the household.

Every situation is different but it doesn’t always follow that both jobs are equally likely to be lost even if they don’t earn the same. It could go either way but in this situation it sounds like the dh has the more secure, higher paid role.

Maiasaur Thu 28-Oct-21 08:54:40

I am confused as to what you want him to do in terms of looking for a job that suits your family life better?
I have fuck all idea what to do in this situation he’s put me in. I think he should be supporting me in researching options and finding training and jobs that will allow me to facilitate him as he wants me to. But he thinks it’s solely my problem not his.

If I was going to leave I’d need a job. My previous career is too demanding to go back to as a single mum. But doing something other than what I’m qualified for won’t pay enough. I’m honestly just lost and don’t know what to do.

He’s effectively keeping you hostage because he won’t take the equal responsibility for parenting
Yes that’s honestly how I feel. The time I was off work due to pregnancy related illness couldn’t be helped. And I totally agree that during unprecedented and uncertain pandemic times when there was no paid childcare available, it was sensible for us to prioritise his reliable job while I looked after DC. But things have stabilised, we’ve been vaccinated, there are no more 10 day isolation periods unless you’re actually sick. We’re back where we were in Feb 2020 when I had a start date for a new job. Except now he’s not willing to do his share any more.

OP’s posts: |
Purplewithred Thu 28-Oct-21 08:55:21

I can see the point of not jeprodisring the job that’s keeping the household afloat in the short term, but his blank refusal to take any responsibility for ensuring that he has a happy wife, let alone that the house hold has a second income stream in case his job falters, and the fact he’s putting off coming home anyway,, tells me he’s over the marriage too.


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