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To leave if DH takes redundancy

(113 Posts)
Voiceoffstage Tue 03-Feb-15 17:57:30

Good Evening allsmile

My DH and I work for the same public sector organisation, him for 30 years, me for 27. We met at work some 15 years ago and have been married for 9 years. DH has been offered the opportunity to apply for a voluntary redundancy package. He really wants to leave, he says that he hates his job, he feels under stress (but won’t talk to his manager about it) and says that the job will kill him if he stays. I am a higher grade than him and earn significantly more. He says that I have an easier job (being a manager) and don’t understand the pressure that he’s under - the same pressure that the people that I manage are under no doubt - but what would I know about that?!

My concern is that DH is rather neurotic, he can’t cope with change, he has few transferrable skills (certainly not many that a private sector employer would value), he’s 49 and earns more as an Admin Officer than he would in a comparable job in the private sector – that’s if he could get one(!) Don’t get me started on his pension, flexi-time and 5 weeks a year annual leave(!)

He reduced his working hours 10 years ago to care for his father who died 3 months later. He says that he couldn’t possibly work full-time because of the stress of the job. He is supposed to clean the house on his non-working days, but just runs the Hoover over the carpets leaving a dusty grey edge. All the cooking, shopping & most of the cleaning is down to me or my 18 year old son (from a previous relationship and who works full-time).

I have chronic arthritis, need crutches to get around and take a cocktail of painkillers to get me through the day. Although I work full-time at the moment, I don’t know how much longer I will be able to sustain it. I don’t think that it would be fair to expect me to take the full financial burden of the household and be forced to work full-time if he takes this redundancy.

Of course DH says that he will get another job in no time. He says that he will do 'anything' as long as it doesn't involve writing, using a phone (he has a hearing problem), handling cash or doing maths. This doesn't leave many options! He seems to think that Tesco are just waiting for him to apply to be a night-time shelf filler. He should be so lucky!!

I think he’s being selfish and have told him that our marriage is over if he takes this package. AIBU?

TheWitTank Tue 03-Feb-15 18:01:59

YANBU -you feel the way you feel. For some this wouldn't be a deal breaker, but for me it would. He sounds very self centred. Do you still love him?

Mumtotherescueagain Tue 03-Feb-15 18:11:37

I think your marriage is over in any case because you plainly hold your husband in contempt.
He's not being unreasonable to want to take redundancy from a job he hates. The risk he takes is that you won't like the consequences of that.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Tue 03-Feb-15 18:15:33


I'm a sahm, but dh and I decided that together, I didn't just airily inform him I was leaving work to pursue other projects.

If I were you I would tell him you cannot be responsible for solely earning because of your health, and if he leaves and is unable to find another job you cannot support him.

I can only imagine how you feel, my dad had severe arthritis and it takes great courage to live with the pain. I do not think you will be able to work full time for the rest of your career, my dad had to use a wheelchair once he was in his fifties, and due to accessibility issues and pain he was unable to work full time again.

I think you have to put your health above your husband's desire not to work.

sliceofsoup Tue 03-Feb-15 18:19:28

I think your marriage is over in any case because you plainly hold your husband in contempt.

Just what I was thinking.

Are you this critical of him to his face?

DoJo Tue 03-Feb-15 18:20:10

Would you actually be in a better position if you left? I understand the motivation, but I think there must be a compromise in there somewhere if you want one, but it doesn't sound like you do. Perhaps you would be better off apart if you cannot reach an agreement over this situation.

scarletforya Tue 03-Feb-15 18:21:33


He sounds like a total passenger.

TheFecklessFairy Tue 03-Feb-15 18:22:15

Stress can be a killer - and you're happy for him to continue? I think he would be better off without YOU to be honest.

coconutty Tue 03-Feb-15 18:22:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bowlersarm Tue 03-Feb-15 18:23:28

ywbu to blackmail him.

Can't you talk it through without ultimatums?

PtolemysNeedle Tue 03-Feb-15 18:24:23

If you feel like you want to leave your husband because he doesn't want to do a job that he clearly hates and feels is significantly reducing his quality of life, then you should probably leave him anyway. It doesn't sound like you love him, or even like him.

Amammi Tue 03-Feb-15 18:24:46

If you take the financial and domestic out of it how do you guys get on? Would he be there for you if you become more disabled in later years? I know he's got his issues but he might be good company and better than being a burden to your son or living alone.

Honeydragon Tue 03-Feb-15 18:25:01


How do you get that from the post? He sounds contemptuous of her role in the company.

how would he feel if you opted to do the same if it were offered to you tomorrow? Would he support you, or expect you to continue being the main household earner?

You can't force him to stay unfortunately, but you should be able to expect him to share the burdens of a joint household.

SnowWhiteAteTheApple Tue 03-Feb-15 18:25:39

Would he tell you the same, ie that the marriage is over if you no longer have a job? You don't sound like you actually like him.

It's not clear cut. Has he ever been the main earner and supported you? A job you hate can be awful, what if you look together for something new for him although you may not want to given the message that comes across.

KitKat1985 Tue 03-Feb-15 18:26:01

A bit sad to see how many people are saying to the OP to leave. Whatever happened to 'for better and for worse, for richer and poorer, and in sickness and in health' eh? He's not a mistreating her he just wants to take voluntary redundancy and have a change of job. Is that REALLY worth ending a marriage over?!?!

ministollen Tue 03-Feb-15 18:26:44

Sorry but your DH sounds like a lazy sod. He's been working part-time for the last 10 years. Complains that an AO post is 'stressful', does little to help around the house whilst you struggle with a full-time management role and coping with arthritis?
I'd LTB, do you want to be stuck at home with him every day when you finally get the opportunity to retire on a much larger pension than his?

googoodolly Tue 03-Feb-15 18:27:06

I wouldn't want DP to stay in a job that made him feel that awful. He's quite obviously miserable and struggling - why would you want him to go to a job everyday that makes him feel that way, unless you really don't care or don't like him all that much.

You clearly enjoy your job and despite the arthritis, take painkillers, go to work and bring home a good salary. I think it's VERY easy to say "Oh, just get on with it" when you love your job and don't find it draining and miserable and stressful. I've been in a point where I've dreaded going to work and where I've called in sick because I just couldn't face it. I was VERY close to quitting and DP said he would rather I was happy and stress-free than miserable every single day.

Do you have no empathy for how your DH feels? I think YANBU, purely because it seems as though he'd be better off with someone who gives a shit about his wellbeing.

ahbollocks Tue 03-Feb-15 18:28:19

You dont seem to even like him much OP. He does sound stressed and down, I dont agree with him not helping etc as much as he should but whatever happened to for richer, for poorer?

Littlef00t Tue 03-Feb-15 18:28:25

You handle this work stress much better than him. It certainly sounds like he needs support in managing it better and perhaps identifying what alternative jobs he could do.

I agree just running away doesn't solve anything, but it doesn't sound like he can just carry on without changes.

SoupDragon Tue 03-Feb-15 18:29:24

I think he’s being selfish and have told him that our marriage is over if he takes this package. AIBU?

I don't know about unreasonable but you are certainly being selfish. Which is odd given that's what you accuse him of.

AnnoyingOrange Tue 03-Feb-15 18:31:50

Is the redundancy package good? Would he be able to live on it for a few years or pay off the mortgage or something positive?
What is the impact on his pension? Would he be able to take it early or on enhanced terms because he has been made redundant ?

How long does he have to decide? Can he start looking for other jobs and see how that goes before he has to make a decision

SoreArms Tue 03-Feb-15 18:32:14

I think he needs to be realistic about other job opportunities out there too. I've recently left a well-paid job, relatively niche, but where I have a number of transferable skills and it's been very very hard to find something else. Even lower paid. I have done it, but it took a lot longer than if expected and was very stressful. I guess he'll have the cushion of a redundancy pay out but again, he really needs to properly look at what's out there before deciding. That's on top of all the other completely justifiable points you've made!

APlaceInTheWinter Tue 03-Feb-15 18:35:31

I think by the time you're threatening a marriage is over if someone does x then the marriage is on very shaky ground.

You are very dismissive and disrespectful of your DH so it seems you have bigger problems than whether he takes redundancy or not. fwiw yes I think you're being unreasonable to threaten to end the marriage if he leaves a job that he says he hates.

However, if that is genuinely how you feel then don't threaten him and don't make it about his redundancy - leave him if that's what you want. Don't try to make him jump through hoops to keep you engaged in the marriage. And, if you don't want to end the marriage but you do think he isn't pulling his weight then sign up for couples' counselling. You need to learn to communicate without ultimatums and without competing to see who has the hardest life.

MadisonMontgomery Tue 03-Feb-15 18:37:54

He sounds like he doesn't know how lucky he is! Admin officer jobs are getting less & less available in the public sector - cuts need to be made & as always it's admin that get the brunt of it. Where I work they are talking about downgrading all the admin - so we get to do the same job for less money (but aren't they all lucky to have a job etc etc). Tbh I don't think I could put up with his moaning ways, but that's just me.

If I were you my concern if he took redundancy would be he could potentially find he can't get the same band job that he has now, and he then refuses to work and you end up supporting him.

Mrsstarlord Tue 03-Feb-15 18:38:26


Completely agree with everything you have written

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