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DH announces quack job search

(91 Posts)
MurielPuce Thu 02-May-13 07:05:09

Help me, mumsnetters... So, we're having a tough time financially; like everyone else, the bum economy has hit us hard. Both DH and I do freelance consulting, and this year has been so tough! The overwhelming bulk of the income for the past 5 years (easily 2/3rds) has been mine, and because we've both taken fewer jobs to work around the kids, we've had basically no money coming in since December.

Yesterday, while opening another huge mortgage bill, which I will pay, I say, "So what are your plans for work this year?" And he goes, "I'm thinking about taking a course in kinesiology.... maybe get some clients."


First of all, let me say that DH is a genius. Without exaggeration he is unbelievably smart. He can do the Guardian cryptic crossword in an hour. He outperforms winning University Challenge teams, he speaks fluent French & is teaching the kids, he is a statistics nut who actually understands how the stock market works. When I met him he was doing an economics degree. He's incredibly clever, a good dad, and a nice guy.

"Applied Kinesiology", as far as I can make out, is a kind of alternative therapy where you wave crystals over the body correspondent to different organ functions and that connects to muscle functions. For example, if your foot hurts, a therapist waves a crystal near your liver, and presto, your foot is fixed. I think. I'm not sure how it works, or that it does work; the first 10 searches for "kinesiology" on the web return results that say "quackery". DH had a session last year that he felt helped him, and has had like 5 other sessions since, and now wants to go into it as a career.

I can't support this! I mean, financially, I DON"T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY to be the sole breadwinner while he gets set up, even when he is up and running his income prospects are v-e-r-y l-o-w, and I absolutely cannot get behind a job that I am embarrassed to describe to others. Secondly, I love him, but his people skills are TERRIBLE. He is definitely a back-office type of personality. How can he build a career, support 2 kids when the whole job of a therapist relies upon being good with people? If he would have said "teacher training" or "law school" or even "medical school" I would have been 100% behind him, but I am not okay with this!

Am I being unreasonable? Someone, give me advice please. I am too embarrassed to talk to friends or family about it, and every time I look at him, I feel like I could strangle him, so I am absolutely not in a place to talk to him rationally right now.

WaitingForMe Fri 03-May-13 09:13:25

I have a woo practitioner but still take it with a pinch of salt.

I had a somewhat traumatic labour. I had a Reiki session and all my chakras or whatever were rebalanced. Yay I felt better grin

What really happened was that my traumatic labour left me feeling disempowered, my practitioner made my feelings seem important and real then spent an hour focusing on the importance of me. I felt empowered again and was fixed.

The important thing here though is that my practitioner worked in an office while she trained. She didn't give up the conventional life for a more interesting one. She did both and worked bloody hard!

IsItMeOr Fri 03-May-13 09:36:44

Sorry if you thought I was having a go ConfusedPixie, I thought you were asking and so I tried to share what I'd found.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a big fan of the placebo effect, and irritate/amuse DH by insisting that I need Panadol rather than the generic paracetamol that he uses. Now that he got me to read Bad Science, I have been able to explain to him that what I'm buying with the extra cash is the added placebo effect ;)

I realised that what I said about who filled the vials was a red herring. What would be a proper test of the findings, I think, would be to see whether the results were exactly replicated if you went to x other practitioners.

Our minds and bodies are amazing and it seems pretty clear that we don't fully understand how they work yet.

ovenchips Fri 03-May-13 10:05:45

I don't know why the focus is on disparaging the course your husband wants to go on. It's him interested in the subject, not you, nor do you have to be.

I agree it doesn't sound practical and your priority has to be keeping an income, but I don't know why it should be all about mocking the course (I have zero experience/interest in it myself) that your husband seems to have a genuine interest in. Whether you're 'embarrassed' by it is of no consequence. It's not about you.

The situation seems to be that both of your current careers seem to have gone off the boil through absolutely no fault of your own. You both need to decide how you can go forward.

If you wanted to take your life in a direction you never thought you'd want to go in (and this does happen, people can change tremendously) I would hope you'd get a better initial response from your husband than the one you've given him. I hope he'd at least hear you out and acknowledge your interest.

ICBINEG Fri 03-May-13 10:42:17

oven huh? Of course it is about the OP too...

Are you really saying that if one half of a marriage wants to get into business in a way that the other considers is immoral and fraudulent then it is nothing to do with the other?

If my DH did this, we would be talking divorce....certainly this would affect us both and not just him.

ovenchips Fri 03-May-13 10:59:47

I don't think I'm saying that.

What I am trying to say is that if the husband is genuine in his interest in it and wanted to make a living from it, then I think you have to respect his 'belief' in it. The OP doesn't have to agree to 'believe' in it, but the husband is a separate person and can't really be told what is correct, what is 'quack' etc. it's up to him to make his own mind up.

If he was genuinely practising it and genuinely believed in its benefits, then he is neither immoral nor fraudulent is he? As I say I have zero interest in the subject myself but there are genuine (and fake) practitioners of all sorts of things I wouldn't ever consider using.

seeker Fri 03-May-13 12:23:58

Why should anyone respect belief in bullshit?

ICBINEG Fri 03-May-13 12:35:18

oven it is fraud to claim health benefits where none have been proven.

Your belief in the benefits has nothing to do with it.

It is still fraud even if you 'believe'.

ovenchips Fri 03-May-13 13:22:21

If it were fraud in the criminal sense, then how do police allow these alternative practices to operate?

I don't think you have to respect everything you think is bullshit. But do you not have to have some respect for your husband, whom the OP seems to love and be happy with otherwise? Are they not allowed to hold different ideas to you?

I just don't seem to understand this thread where everyone is slamming the OP's husband because he's declared an interest in something that is completely out of the OP's comfort zone and that she has no time for.

If the relationship was good otherwise, I would really want to try to accept my husband for what he is even though the concept would be uncomfortable making to me. To me it's not about the rights or wrongs of kinesiology it's about trying to be a respectful partner and not trying to control the other's views.

So for other people would this almost certainly have to mean splitting up?

seeker Fri 03-May-13 14:05:15

It's not a matter of not respecting something you think is bullshit- it's not respecting something that is bullshit!

LessMissAbs Fri 03-May-13 14:12:36

Ovenchips I just don't seem to understand this thread where everyone is slamming the OP's husband because he's declared an interest in something that is completely out of the OP's comfort zone and that she has no time for. If the relationship was good otherwise, I would really want to try to accept my husband for what he is even though the concept would be uncomfortable making to me. To me it's not about the rights or wrongs of kinesiology it's about trying to be a respectful partner and not trying to control the other's views

Except its views that shes going to have to financially subsidise and pay for!

ovenchips Fri 03-May-13 14:14:43

Seeker So how would you reconcile a beloved husband/ partner suddenly acquiring such an interest/belief after a long and happy time together? Such changes are uncommon but they do happen. That's what I'm talking about. Not what the interest/belief is per se, but how you would accommodate it in your relationship.

ovenchips Fri 03-May-13 14:21:55

PS I agree that the cost and how his plans would be funded does matter. I am not particularly in favour of the OP's husband's plans, they sound worryingly impractical as I said upthread. I am just saying whether OP is also a proponent of kinesiology does not seem relevant.. I don't think you can squash your husband's plans purely on the basis that you think it's bollocks and a bit embarrassing to you.

ICBINEG Fri 03-May-13 14:27:54

oven Embarrassing would not be a problem for my marriage. Immoral would be a problem for my marriage.

At the moment it is against the law to advertise health benefits that are not proven.

Actually taking peoples money should be classed as fraud but isn't might be soon...

seeker Fri 03-May-13 14:28:20

"about. Not what the interest/belief is per se, but how you would accommodate it in your relationship."

I don't think I could. It would mean that the person was not the person I thought he was. It would mean that either he was the sort of person who could prey the gullible and vulnerable and take their money, OR he was the sort of person who could believe unscientific bullshit. I don't think I could stay in a relationship with either.

Dahlen Fri 03-May-13 14:32:23

I think it's a mistake to get sucked into the "is kinesiology really just woo" argument. The point is that it sounds highly unlikely that your DH won't be able to make a viable business out of it.

Any therapy, but particularly holistic ones, requires good people skills. If your DH doesn't have those, he won't be able to establish a good enough client base to make it a viable concern, sorry.

LessMissAbs Fri 03-May-13 14:32:29

In actual fact OP, the more I hear about him, the more inclined I am to believe your DH is a genius. You earn the bulk of the income, despite working in much the same field, and he feels able to announce a career change with you funding his training period, with no finite benefits at the end of it. Clearly some kind of genius at work there.

ICBINEG Fri 03-May-13 14:45:48

seeker yup we would have to leave both our other halves and team up together!

seeker Fri 03-May-13 14:50:37

Best offer I've had all week!

<tries to imagine pragmatic, Yorkshire physicist DP retraining as a kinesiologist. Fails. >

ovenchips Fri 03-May-13 14:52:10

Seeker and ICBINEG thanks for answering. Clearly, I have a different opinion. As long as no-one tries to drum them into me, people's beliefs in anything be it conventional/ alternative do not much bother me.

My family circs mean my life has a lot more worry and stress than most and I think now something essentially idiosyncratic such as personal beliefs do not hold that much importance to me. Don't really have the headspace for it I think!

Really interesting to think you would probably have to end a relationship for those reasons.

seeker Fri 03-May-13 14:55:50

I wouldn't automatically end a relationship if my partner suddenly started to hold idiosyncratic beliefs.

I would if he defrauded the vulnerable either knowingly or unknowingly by making money out of said idiosyncratic beliefs.

VERY different things.

ICBINEG Fri 03-May-13 14:58:08

seeker well DH is also a physicist! We have sooo much in common...we should totally hook up in this parallel universe we have created.

oven it isn't really a fair test because you don't marry someone in the first place if you feel as strongly as I do in the scientific method, and they believe in the healing power of amber etc.

notfluffy Fri 03-May-13 15:00:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seeker Fri 03-May-13 15:01:38

Reiki practitioner- woo flavoured pyramid selling.

seeker Fri 03-May-13 15:03:32

ICEBiNEG- ours isn't a parallel universe- it's the real world. It's them that inhabit the parallel universe!

RocknRollNerd Fri 03-May-13 15:19:47

The thing is, if someone came on and suggested their DH was wanting to go and make a living doing the shell-game on street corners most people would rightly be at least a bit hmm about that and question the values the DH had.

Training up in the preposterous and potentially downright dangerous bollocks which is kinesiology is far far worse. It's all terribly fluffy when it's telling people who have nothing wrong with them that they'll feel far better because the magnets and little vials say they should give up wheat, refined sugar, dairy and red meat - you make cash, the victims clients feel better because once you can't eat cakes, biscuits, ready made lasagne etc then no shit sherlock you will feel better as you're eating more fresh fruit and veg. It's a dangerous ball game when some mum brings a kid in who actually has allergies and the magnets don't suggest giving up lupin and the kid goes into anaphylactic shock when they eat some onion rings on a day out.

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