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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.

FairyWingsAndFlyingThings Tue 07-May-13 14:37:23

For some reason after reading your title op I though your husband was looking for a job as a duck.
I'm a little disappointed.

MurielPuce Tue 07-May-13 14:29:30

Also, yeah, he did complete the Economics degree (got a first) and yes, I know that my parameters for describing his intelligence are laughable (fluency in French, his prowess at the cryptic crossword, etc.), but please allow this is a message board rather than a letter of recommendation. And yes, I know there is a lot going on in/near our current field and I am working the LinkedIn thing to try to stay afloat and/or examining all possible opportunities, but our family needs him to pull his weight too. Since he is the one with skills of some market value (in fact I have a music degree.... got into consulting by accident), it's making me nuts that he doesn't seem to want to use them anywhere except alternative therapy. angry

MurielPuce Tue 07-May-13 14:15:23

Hi there, OP here... so okay, thanks everyone for this, it's been really helpful, and I'm starting to clarify my thinking and find an inner peace about this somewhere. DH and I have talked a little bit, but we're still walking on eggshells.

Now I've had the weekend to mull it over, I think the situation is that I would be more behind a wacko career change if we had spare cash on hand (we don't; we have economised as far as possible; we need real jobs). I'm skeptical about the woo stuff, but it's not just AK that freaks me out; what really enrages me is the idea that faced with job loss his solution is to take a year to study something that may or may not pay off in the end, while essentially bringing in no income. If he came home and said he wanted to go to RADA and then try his hand at a professional acting career, I would freak out in exactly the same way, despite having had a professional acting career myself and knowing that actors are people (who support families) too. If he'd made this decision before we got married, I would be able to think it through rationally, maybe even support it, say, "Go for it-- fly free! Fly far!" and then back quietly away from the relationship to let him plough his own furrow. The thing is that we are now a family unit and support two living, breathing, eating, house-needing, clothes-wearing children as well as ourselves, so making choices to pursue extremely risky careers don't seem (to me) as easy to make.

Looking back over the various postings, I think what's could be going on with him is that we've both been cast adrift by good jobs that are effectively not available to us anymore, and he's reaching out for a lifeboat. He has been helped by a kinesiology practitioner (turns out his GI problems were a wheat allergy-- proposed by AK witch doctor and confirmed by GP-- although my skeptical mind says it was kind of an obvious diagnosis) so perhaps in his fevered jobs crisis he has found some calling to preach the AK gospel to others.... If it's a known phenomenon ("I didn't know where I was going so I talked to an x, and now I am one too!"), then I can see where he's coming from, but since we still can't talk to each other without bad feelings, it's really hard to get a sense of where his logical brain sits on this issue, or if he's even thought through a business plan for the future.

What embarrasses me is that I have unwittingly become the kind of Mrs. I never thought I'd be: giving up on my own ambitions to financially support a partner who doesn't seem to have any issues with a free ride. I can't, just can't talk to my family and friends about this, because I know I'm going to get the "he's a weirdo, I always knew it" speech. This is a challenge he and I are going to have to sort out on our own.

Thank you, mumsnet strangers, for helping me to get my head a little straighter. I really appreciate being able to vent.

greenformica Sat 04-May-13 11:35:57

Someone told me there are part time degrees

greenformica Sat 04-May-13 11:35:34

feet not feed

greenformica Sat 04-May-13 11:35:07

Why doesn't he look into something more practical and NHS approved? Like Podiatry? Lots of old people (and others) that need help with their feed and he could earn a good wage for himself.

greenformica Sat 04-May-13 11:32:22

I've been to one to get my body pregnancy ready. Yes people skills and nutritional knowledge is essential. People go wanting solutions to problems. People talk (sometimes emotionally) about their issues - think of all the typical womens/mens issues (painful periods, infertility, depression, sex drive, addiction etc).

ovenchips Sat 04-May-13 10:50:17

The circumstances I am talking about - living in a stressful situation - is specific to my family circs, it's too identifying to explain but relates to my child and husband both currently having a life threatening condition and being uncertain as to what the future holds.

That's all I was trying to explain. What I have found is that it makes very few other issues matter. Things that I might have had a moral viewpoint about at one time I simply don't now.

IsItMeOr Fri 03-May-13 21:22:12

seeker glad it's not just me who struggles to follow that one. I can see your point about being tempted to compromise - I remember reading something by Viktor Frankl (survivor of Nazi concentration camps) who said that "the best of us did not survive", and explained that he believed some people chose to accept death by resisting in the camps rather than survive in a way that meant compromising their values. Not that I'm claiming I'd do that - luckily never been tested to that extreme.

seeker Fri 03-May-13 20:13:01

I don't understand why being under worry and stress would make you less concerned about the morality of the person you were living with. I can understand how being very broke might make you compromise your moral compass, but not to care less about it. IYSMIM.

Oh, and OP- I don't think your measures of smartness are particularly rigorous- the Guardian crossword in an hour is OK but not brilliant, speaking French is something loads of people can do, as is having lots of general knowledge. What happened to the Economics degree?

LittleFrieda Fri 03-May-13 17:52:20

OP, Did he complete his economics degree?

IsItMeOr Fri 03-May-13 17:40:33

ovenchips you're right, I made an assumption there.

Experiences growing up have left me with a focus on morality as a central part of myself, which I have found has stuck with me through lifes ups and downs. I don't generally worry about the morality and beliefs that others have, but I am intimately concerned with the morality and belief of the people I choose to spend my life with.

ovenchips Fri 03-May-13 16:19:43

IsItMeOr. But OP doesn't think her husband is stupid. In fact she refers to him as a genius. She thinks his plan is stupid, which it may well be.

And if you don't get about the knock on effects of living with tremendous worry and stress, which doesn't leave you with a lot of time to worry about the morality and beliefs that others have, then you're pretty fortunate.

ohyesiknowwhatyoumean Fri 03-May-13 16:19:42

I've ncd for this - been on MN for a few years, since exH left for the OW = who was more supportive of his bonkers beliefs. She was one of his clients and and they have now set themselves up doing couples counseling I believe hmm. Over our 25+yr relationship he had lots of weird therapy and while I was hmm I was generally supportive - he paid for it himself and some of it seemed to help placebo effect

He finally got very involved in something that I just thought was exploitative and bloody stupid and I told him I thought it was dishonest of those who ran that particular kind of therapy to charge people the kind of money they did. This was the relationship killer for him - and was the eventual grounds he used for my unreasonable behaviour in the divorce. Though to be fair I was very happy to be rid of him for that to be the case because I wasn't going to pretend I thought this therapy was anything other than an expensive crock of shit (though with enough common sense good stuff in it to hook people in).

I had lost respect for him when he insisted on pursuing this and it was the death knell of our marriage. He seems happy in la la land with his new disciple and I am certainly happier not having to be non-judgmental about something I judged to be very wrong.

I'm sorry this isn't more helpful OP - but if he is going down this track and you are not it might be a deal breaker.

IsItMeOr Fri 03-May-13 15:50:02

ovenchips I'm perplexed that you struggle to understand why somebody would find it difficult to continue a relationship with someone they think is stupid.

And how does the amount of stress/worry in our lives impact on that? confused

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 03-May-13 15:40:56

OP I am pretty confident I have some idea of the sort of consulting background you come from and what you're trying to do now.

Setting aside the woo thing for a moment: are you absolutely sure that you've both exhausted all avenues for marketing yourselves? My DSIL has just joined a consultancy that is a breakaway from one of the big boys and also did very well freelance. Her sector is retail. Have you really worked the Linkedin thing/all possible options for plying your wares? I know it's exhausting.

I mean - if it were me, I'd be saying to DH before he considers any sort of training course that's paid you guys need an 'EGM' to review this and what options for paid work in your current field there are. You have to pay the bills, end of. If anything I would suggest that one of you considers a contract elsewhere to pay the bills as an interim as opposed to a lengthy and expensive retrain.

I would love to go off and finish my novel but DH can't subsidize us; your DH needs to be realistic about your ability to do this.

He absolutely cannot lean on you to sort it all out while he pursues something like this which has absolutely no gaurantee of a return (and poss worse. Full disclosure: I agree with Seeker, et al.)#

YANBU, I'd be splitting hairs in similar cirucmstances.

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.

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!

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

Reiki practitioner- woo flavoured pyramid selling.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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 14:50:37

Best offer I've had all week!

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

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

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

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