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AIBU to be upset that DH doesn't want me to go back to work? :(

(192 Posts)
doubleshotlatte Wed 23-Jan-13 11:45:59

Sorry if this is a bit confused and rambling, I'm too depressed to be coherent and my brain's stopped working after long debates with DH.

So I'd decided to retrain and go back to work this year after 5 years away. Work is TV. Being in a technical/creative role I need to catch up. I was going to pay for the training with my royalties from past work (and the rest with a bursary). Then I would try for a fairly stable, senior job, i.e. not involving travel or late hours (well not too many). Pay would have been decent enough but nowhere close to DH's. But for the 5 days of the course I'd need childcare so I needed to clear it with DH. And he basically said No.

Obviously not in so many words. But he threw enough spanners in the works, asked enough questions to make it impossible for me. In points:
(1) the course is too expensive and a job is not guaranteed without experience
(2) who will pick up/drop off the kids if I have to work in Central London (DH will not, he drives/commutes out of town daily and says the school drop off take a huge chunk of his time)
(3) I had a hard enough time finding work before kids
(4) I'll find it hard balancing work and kids
(5) and besides we had decided that I would be a SAHM doing blogging, that too once a week

After much debate, he conceded I could try for a very local, 2 times a week non-taxing job like temping or admin or shop asst. With all due respect to these jobs, I have 17 years of experience, 2 degrees and expensive training, not to mention bags of talent (so I'm told). Surely I can find better paid/more satisfying work?

And why do I want to work? Because I need the creative outlet, am good at it, I miss it and finally I really need the economic independence. I hate having to beg for/justify every penny I spend just because I didn't earn it.

We have 2 DCs about to turn 5 and 2 next month. One in reception, another just started day nursery 2 mornings/wk.

aquashiv Wed 23-Jan-13 13:28:42

Break it down.
Do the course as long as it not a complete fortune no learning is ever a waste of time it will improve your self esteem and get you back out there.
Then take the others steps as they occur.
Job Seek
Child care. - perhaps source as if he isnt in the equation its amazing how flexible they become when they might start paying through the nose for pick ups when a parent can do it.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Wed 23-Jan-13 13:31:38

Yanbu. Your post makes me want to take your kids to/from school for 5 days.

5 days! Vs. five years of child minding...

What if you get appendicitis? Will he expect you to do drop off-surgery-pick up?

grobagsforever Wed 23-Jan-13 13:38:51

Fuck, another thread about a controlling shit. I'm so sad for you op. Please listen to the excellent advice being offered and keep talking. And please sign up for the course today!

grobagsforever Wed 23-Jan-13 13:39:41

What frequent said, I'll have your kids for five days.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 23-Jan-13 13:40:20

I suppose (being generous) he might be a bit miffed that you had both agreed you'd be a sahm and now you've changed your mind. My dh probably wouldn't like that either as we both agreed that our dcs wouldn't be put in childcare and as the one who earns the least i became the sahm.

But if this is something you really want to do, and it sounds like it is then he needs to take it seriously.

He also needs to realise that if you are both working or on courses then childcare and pickups are dual responsibility.

A friend of mines dh is unemployed at the moment. She's has managed to get herself a part time job and he is looking after the kids. He now wants to start a course and she was saying that the downside of this would mean SHE would need to find childcare. Why does it always fall to the woman!

doubleshotlatte Wed 23-Jan-13 13:46:21

@zzzzz I like it!
need a bit of work on my confidence but will try to do that!

doubleshotlatte Wed 23-Jan-13 13:48:31

@FrequentFlyerRandomDent Lol at appendicitis - yes he probably would grin

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 23-Jan-13 13:50:00

Shit! I just read that if chooses all the decoration, food etc! How did that come about?

Bonsoir Wed 23-Jan-13 13:52:05

It sounds as if you do have some serious decision-making issues in your couple. You need to regain some of the decision-making power - ideally, decisions in a couple should be made jointly, though for practical purposes they are often divided up (normally, the person doing the shopping and cooking will decide what the family eats, taking everyone's tastes and health into consideration).

cory Wed 23-Jan-13 13:52:17

"DH decides meals, food shop, home redecoration (something I love to do and am even consulted on by friends ) and he does it because he doesn't/didn't agree with my choices . "

So what actually happens if you decide to cook something he didn't decide?

doubleshotlatte Wed 23-Jan-13 13:54:02

@grobags thanks for the offer smile I'm sure my kids would love you

As for the control issues - how blind can we women be? - my mom and some friends have been saying for some time there was an issue of him controlling too much of my life. As my self-esteem nose-dived (due to many factors) it just got worse I guess.

My mum, a college prof who's worked her whole life, was aghast when she was visiting and DH refused to eat some porridge I'd made saying it was undercooked and basically chewed me out over it, while I just stood there hanging my head in shame shock then I turned a deaf ear when she pointed it out. ugh ugh, what's happened to me..... sad

doubleshotlatte Wed 23-Jan-13 13:59:02

@cory things get very unpleasant and he kind of eats unwillingly, pointing out that some other meal he had planned would now not come about hmm

@fuckadoodlepoopoo (love the name) it kinda turned out like that when I made my own meal plan just couldn't get anything right, stuff I bought didn't get used/chucked/wasted, was the wrong brand etc etc... in the end I gave up, if he wants the extra headache, so be it

fairylightsandtinsel Wed 23-Jan-13 14:01:44

The thing about agreeing to being a SAHM before the kids are born is that you don't know how you are going to feel / cope with being one. You've done 5 years and want something else, that doesn't seem unreasonable but I agree with Hec upthread that you can't just respond with a general "but I want to" you have to take each logistical problem and talk about how it could be solved. Do some research into the local childcare options and show him, ask him specifically if he can tweak his routine. I don't necessarily agree with those who are suggesting he MUST change his day, it may not be possible without him changing jobs, but if he is able to move things about a bit, even if it is somewhat detrimental then that is a reasonable ask. My DH goes later than he'd like into work on two days a week so I can go in early and he drops the kids off. he does less extra-curricular stuff so that I can do some. Those were changes that happened when I went back part time. Your last post about the porridge suggests that he has let himself get used to this situation and quite likes it. Unless you want to resign yourself to it, you must address it now. best of luck

Ullena Wed 23-Jan-13 14:03:48

Chewed you out over porridge?

I will also offer childcare, op, if you are anywhere in my area (ni) sad And definitely call your mum and tell her everything. Ask if she can help.

Porridge...he'd have had it over his flipping head! [mad]

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 23-Jan-13 14:04:08

I was offered some work last year. Two weeks work which required help with the dcs. I spent ages agonizing over the options, early start, late start, early finish etc so that i could do the job as it might have led to more permanent work.

My dh wasn't that interested in the options which was pissing me off. In the end i found a friend who offered to have my dcs in the mornings and then my dh would need to change his hours at work so that he could do school pick ups. I asked him to ask, he didn't, asked again, he didn't, i went ballistic. He asked, they agreed, he complained that it made him look stupid because the hours he was asking for were weird. This all took so long i lost the work. angry

Like someone said when they've been used to all this stuff being taken care of it doesn't even pop up on their radar.

Fuck Im pissed off now!

BegoniaBampot Wed 23-Jan-13 14:04:10

That's sad OP. my husband wouldn't really want me to go back to work as it all makes his life very easy, I do all the kid stuff, housework etc though he does help with the kids when he's here. Difference is I'm relatively happy with this as I have no stellar career to go back to, the money is ours and he would never pull the stunt with food, control, decor that your's had. What you have revealed a reall quite worrying.

Climbingpenguin Wed 23-Jan-13 14:06:16

sounds to me like you should get yourself out the relationship, find your feet and then do the course/training to start your return to work, even if it is a few years away. Could you move closer to your family?

tourdefrance Wed 23-Jan-13 14:07:00

Sounds like your mum and friends are spot on. Could your dc stay with your mum for the 5 days of the course, even if it meant missing school for a week ? Not the end of the world in reception.

FryOneFatManic Wed 23-Jan-13 14:09:32

Perhaps you could start by talking to your mum. She's seen this all close up. For her to even say anything to you must mean she's actually quite worried, because most people would rather bite their tongues than raising this kind of subject.

ShamyFarrahCooper Wed 23-Jan-13 14:10:17

doubleshott, it happens because they chip away at you. No controlling person starts out like that. It's a slow process and you don't even realise it. It becomes your normal. At some point you get a 'lightbulb' moment. I think you may be having yours and I'm cheering you on.

Your life, your marriage is not meant to be this way.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 23-Jan-13 14:14:15

Blimey op that's awful! The power balance is all off in your relationship. I bet your mum is worried about you.

I had an ex where the balance was all wrong and that was i think mostly because he was older than me and so he thought he knew best about everything. Is there anything like that? Does he generally think he is superior?

How do you feel when he slags off your food etc? You said you hung your head. Do you ever tell him to fuck off and get over himself?

Have you thought about assertiveness training? I used to be a pleaser and learnt how to say no and how to value my own choices and my right to have them through general counselling. I learnt through that the reasons why i was so easily pushed around. Mainly my mum was like it and id actually been brought up to ignore my own needs and feelings for the sake of keeping the peace.

cory Wed 23-Jan-13 14:21:25

A controlling spouse sounds almost like an illness; something that wears you down and saps your immunity so you gradually lose normal resistance. I've seen that described so many times on MN and it is so depressing. But also cheering- because many of these posts come from posters who have finally broken through and cured themselves.

I hope this is a turning moment for you, OP. This is not a healthy relationship, it is not how you would want your children to grow up either to behave themselves or to be treated by future spouses.

Mumsyblouse Wed 23-Jan-13 14:23:31

OP, your mum and your friends are absolutely right. This is extremely controlling behaviour on his behalf and NOT how other people live.

No wonder your husband doesn't want you to go out and get a great job in telly. You might a) realise your life could be fun and enjoyable without his judgment and control over everything (him deciding on how you run the household is really really bad) and b) you will talk with other women who have supportive nice husbands and realise what a dud you have there.

Talk with your mum/friends and start thinking this through. How are you going to get back to being the nice, friendly (and having friends), career-oriented, fun-loving mum who sticks up for themselves and has lots of confidence, like you were before your husband systematically disempowered you?

doubleshotlatte Wed 23-Jan-13 14:24:59

lol @ullena

don't be mad fuckadoodle get even, our day will come, now we can see how things really are. Sorry to hear you lost yr potential job cos of yr DH dithering. Grrr

@tourdefrance that's part of my problem, my parents are in a different country, or my mum would have sorted my life out asap. In my family women not working is not an option. Even my bro is dumbfounded at my situation.

One issue here is my DH's family and their weird views on life. DH is abnormally very close to his mom. MIL is a typical post-war antifeminist/misogynist and I'm still amazed at her response after a day when they were visiting, and I literally hadn't sat down once (DS 4m.o. was ill, DD school run etc) when I sent DH's shirts for ironing to a local service. She was in shock "What?!? You don't like to iron?" I was kind of more hysterical amused than angry though.

ShamyFarrahCooper Wed 23-Jan-13 14:26:31

OP a book often discussed in relationships is called 'Why does he do that' by Lundy Bancroft

A brief summary is here:

Please don't assume this only applies to physical violent men.

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