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To not want to work for my husband?

(32 Posts)
notme23 Mon 13-Feb-17 11:57:46

DH has a small but successful company. He has always been self employed as long as I've known him, but he struggled with the admin side of what he does, so I used to help him out with annual returns and things. His business has grown and he wanted me to do more but I said I didn't want to and he would have to start looking for a permanent admin/accounts person.

He finds it hard to trust people so he didn't do this, and he'd leave things to the last minute and beg me to help him out. It got so stressful and to the point where he sat me down and basically said "look, I want you to be the admin person. If you don't then I'm going to keep my wages to myself, you keep yours, and we'll half everything. But I don't think relationships work that way". (We always just put everything into a pot and take what we need, he's very generous to be fair and has always earnt a lot more than me). So I agreed as I felt like he was saying we would split up if not?

I went part time at my job in a retail shop and did admin for him part time from home. He turned the company into a limited company, and put me as company secretary and he is director and we have equal shares in the business. Business is still growing and he started to pressure me into going full time, I was going through a bad time in my part time job so agreed to go full time here, so now I am. I get a wage and we have been able to take a dividend at the end of the year for the past couple of years, although I haven't spent those, they've gone into a savings pot for a new house.

It all sounds very lovely on paper but I actually hate being self employed, and working for myself. I'm good with figures and spreadsheets but I'm not very good at being self motivated, I get easily distracted and I'm not very organised. I used to have my own tiny little business which I gave up because although I liked the work, I hated being self employed and all that entailed. I feel like I'm letting my DH down constantly, I feel like if he got someone else who was good at this type of thing then his business would really soar because he's such a hard worker and amazing at what he does, but I'm not really if I'm honest. Whenever I've been employed I live for holidays and weekends and would rarely voluntarily do overtime, whereas he is the exact opposite. He's a workaholic who has to be practically forced to take time off. I also feel like it's taken a bit of the shine off our relationship and showed him a side of me that he doesn't like which he would never have known about otherwise. I've always done well in employed jobs, because I have a boss and colleagues and supervision etc. I'm a type of person that works best when I'm told what to do and when by, and told if I go wrong or what I'm doing right, if that makes sense. And I don't really see anything wrong with that, everyone is different and we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

We've just had a massive fall out because I've missed some invoices, one as I didn't know the job was complete, and another I didn't charge as much as I should which sounds terrible and I feel awful about but I genuinely don't really know where I went wrong with them? We can correct things now to an extent but it doesn't look great to the customers and embarasses DH.

AIBU to not want to work for him? I'm so scared to tell him, and I am grateful for the opportunities and money that he has given me, but I just think the business would be better without me. I don't want to disappoint him or let him down. Do you think I should tell him, or do you think I should try and just be better? If so does anyone who is self employed have any advice about working better under your own supervision?

notme23 Mon 13-Feb-17 11:58:12

Wow that was really long, sorry!

PaintingOwls Mon 13-Feb-17 12:00:59

The thing that jumped out at me is that he doesn't trust people confused what exactly is the nature of his business?

I don't think it's a good idea to carry on in this resentful set-up.

peppatax Mon 13-Feb-17 12:05:07

No real advice OP but the 'do as I say or I'll separate our finances' would make me wish him luck with his new employee and with dating again....

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 13-Feb-17 12:05:34

YANBU at all. It sounds like he blackmailed you into working for him by threatening to end your relationship if you didn't. That's not nice.

You working for him can't be a condition of your marriage continuing, or your household finances being fair. That's crazy.

And you shouldn't be scared to tell him. Not a good sign.

LexieLulu Mon 13-Feb-17 12:12:13

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but I'm very jealous of the situation you are in. I would love to act as company secretary, accountant, admin and basic company running.

Sorry it's not what you want. You should follow your dreams not do what he wants

Sunnie1984 Mon 13-Feb-17 12:13:03

I would hate to be self employed and to work with my DH, I would murder him!

YANBU and you should go back to another job.

His threat about finances was shocking and if he threatened that again I would be planning my escape route x

tootsietoo Mon 13-Feb-17 12:14:40

I understand totally, I have been in a similar situation. I also understand about him not trusting other people, it is SO hard for small businesses to find competent people to do this sort of work. He must think you're competent otherwise he wouldn't have wanted you to do it!

If you are not a trained admin person it is pretty hard, there would be lots of stuff you don't really know how to do, and it wouldn't be unexpected for you to get things wrong. YANBU and you need to get brave and tell him what you've said above and find yourself another job. And he must not blackmail or bribe you into continuing!

Surreyblah Mon 13-Feb-17 12:19:57

Being company secretary entails significant legal responsibility: suggest reading up on that.

It sounds as though you were bullied into it and are scared to change things, because of your H. sad

notme23 Mon 13-Feb-17 12:31:32

I'm glad that so many of you understand, it's really difficult and I feel really conflicted.

I love him and don't want to disappoint him but inevitably always seem to, I want him to do well but don't know how to sort myself out and I feel terribly guilty for it all because I know a lot of people would love this opportunity.

I just want to add that I'm not scared of telling him because I think he'll hurt me or anything but just because I'm scared the resulting fall out will be the end for us. He's a really good man, he is just used to doing and getting things his own way.

Trills Mon 13-Feb-17 12:33:02

^ 'do as I say or I'll separate our finances' would make me wish him luck with his new employee and with dating again....^


He doesn't sound very nice, does he?

He should employ someone to do the job, pay them a fair wage, and treat them reasonably.

llangennith Mon 13-Feb-17 12:37:50

You'd both be much happier if he paid someone to do the job you are now doing and you got yourself a job you'd enjoy. You have to tell him just that and give him, say, 8 weeks' notice and start looking for another job. It'll take time for it to reach his stubborn brain that you really are leaving his employment but just do it.

Kiroro Mon 13-Feb-17 12:43:08

On the face of it, you are totally R and he is totally U.

Some people are self starters and like being self employed, some people need the structure of employment (me included).

However, there is another issue that you are happy to coast along and live for the weekends (and take the lower pay that entails) but you want to be able to spend the money your husband earns from working hard. He gave you the choice t live with your low-effort-low-pay choices and continue in work but you declined.

OneWithTheForce Mon 13-Feb-17 12:46:52

Hmm, my spidey senses are tingling. Don't take this the wrong way but is it possible DH was so insistent on you taking on the admin because he is hiding something that he doesn't think you will spot, where a qualified accounts person would?

anothermalteserplease Mon 13-Feb-17 12:50:04

A lot of people would really love that set up but you don't so I'd suggest offering your resignation on the back of your arguement today. I've worked with a lot of small businesses and he really does need someone who is motivated and wants to be there.
Couples working together can be great but a lot of the time it doesn't work out because the pressure is too much.

NarkyMcDinkyChops Mon 13-Feb-17 12:51:00

So as your husband he bullied you into working for him when you didn't want to, then bullied you into going full time which you didn't want to, and now as your boss is bullying you about your work, and you're scared he will leave you if you tell you you don't want to work for him (which he always knew but didn't care about as it suited him).

You might love him, but he does he love you? Are those the actions of someone who loves you?

TinklyLittleLaugh Mon 13-Feb-17 12:55:03

I am in a similar situation in that I am a basically idle person who does the admin for my workaholic DH.

My DH never has a go at me though, never. I would be seriously considering doing something else OP. Working alongside your partner isn't for everyone.

Surreyblah Mon 13-Feb-17 12:57:34

You are v worried about disappointing him, letting him down, but what about his actions towards YOU?

at present you need to be sure that you understand your current situation: your legal and financial responsibilities for the company and what that means for YOU. Options for ceasing to be company secretary. Some proper advice would be good.

If he did end your relationship because you did not want joint legal/financial responsibility for the business, or to be an employee, that would be very unreasonable!

Should you ever break up it'd be far better for you not to be embroiled in the business.

tabulahrasa Mon 13-Feb-17 13:03:04

If you're not happy doing what you're doing you need to sit him down and tell him he needs to replace you...and if that leads to him saying you're splitting up, then he's a dick quite frankly.

I did what you're doing for my DP for about a year, it didn't work at all and I made him replace me with an employee, it is not the kind of job I'm good at or enjoy - I have a totally different skill set, and him effectively being my boss was horrendous for our relationship.

So I quit.

Obviously because he's my DP, I waited until he had found somebody else, but even though he wasn't entirely happy at having to get a replacement he accepted that I wanted to do something else and eventually agreed that my replacement was way better than me at it, lol, what he didn't do was make threats or ultimatums...because he's a decent person.

gillybeanz Mon 13-Feb-17 13:07:08

I do bits and pieces for our business, although it's dh job not mine.
I'm crap at it though so we have an accountant.
I know what you mean, I had to get a pt job for some sanity, as it's lovely being with dh alot during the day, I wanted to get out for a bit.
I work in a call centre, min wage and I love it.
They laughed when they saw my cv qualifications, experience and company director as present occupation.

Yes, it does sound good on paper but you have to do what's best for you, not someone else.

user1478860582 Mon 13-Feb-17 13:07:47

The thing that strikes me throughout is that you say you don't want to disappoint him, or let him down. But does he say you let him down?

Looking at it a different way, you helped him out, then he asked you to work for him and then asked you to go full time with equal shares. It doesn't sound like you let him down and actually it seems as though he really values your contribution and sees you as integral to the business.

Are you just putting yourself down? Are you just lacking confidence in your abilities?

TinfoilHattie Mon 13-Feb-17 13:09:06

You're not self-employed.

You are working for your husband's company and drawing a salary. Just because you find it hard to motivate yourself and are working at home doesn't make you self-employed....

But sounds like the problem isn't the job, it's the husband;s control-freakishness.

bluebellation Mon 13-Feb-17 13:10:20

I sympathise OP, as I'm in a practically identical position, with exactly the job responsibilities you've described above. I hate the fact that as Company Secretary I'm legally responsible for so much, and have to put my name to so many important things.

I too drifted into the role, after 'helping out' when his previous admin person left and have taken on more and more over the years. My DH knows I hate it, but the hours I need to do are far from regular, depending on how busy we are, end of month/financial year etc, and I think it would be quite hard to get anyone else to do it so I suck it up.

I think you need to be honest with your DH though if it's making you so miserable. I think 'trying to be better' at the job is hard if your heart's not in it; I know I've made mistakes in the past because, frankly, I'm not that interested in the job, even though I know it's our livelihood. It's very difficult to motivate yourself in these circumstances and that's what you need to put over to your DH, and stress how much better it would be if he had someone who actually wanted to be there doing the job.

user1484394242 Mon 13-Feb-17 13:10:34

Maybe if you worked 'with' and not 'for' him? Be partners and make decisions together. He's not perfect, he must be making mistakes too. If you're on equal ground maybe you'll see those mistakes that he makes and not feel bad about yours.

DH and I have worked together for over 8 years- some months I work longer hours, other months he does. He's a workaholic and when i feel bad for having time off i remind myself that come October, I'll be working 16-18 hours on my feet while he sits. He does all paperwork (bills, tax etc), we both do stock count/ordering from suppliers, I do more physical work, he does more thinking stuff. Neither of us make a decision without consulting the other. Sometimes we disagree- one wants to stock something and the other doesn't. We discuss and don't go ahead until both say ok. I wouldn't do it if I worked 'for' him though.

DH is the director but we work the same hours over the year so we get the same wage. The shares are 50/50

I know you say you have equal shares etc but it has to be not just on paper but with all decisions. Wages that come into the family pot shouldn't be split 30/70 just because 1 works shorter hours than the other.

eddielizzard Mon 13-Feb-17 13:11:41

you do have a right to have a say in what you do with most of your waking hours. this job is making you absolutely miserable and your dh forced you into it really.

if i were you i would tell him what you've told us here. your arguments are very reasonable and sound. tell him you felt he gave you no option but to take on the work, and you've done your best but you're still unhappy and you're aware you let him down and you don't want to be put in this position anymore.

really, if you being company secretary and dealing with all the admin, plus taking full responsibility with no back up is what he requires from you to be in a relationship with him, is it really worth it? can't the relationship be enough?

i wonder if there's something else here: by employing you he gets to take more money out of the company effectively for him. your bonuses are going into a savings account for a house. any money you earn is money he doesn't have to spend. so really it's a win win for him. he gets the advantages of your savings and isn't having to support you financially. i think he doesn't want to employ an admin person because he may have to pay them more and doesn't get that cost back in the same way he does with you.

i'm not being very clear here, but it clearly is in his interests to employ you rather than anyone else.

make a stand. if he really does love you and values your relationship, he'll be happy for you to get a different job so that you're both happy.

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