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To think my life / relationship was better when I was a stay at home wife?

(85 Posts)
tiggerbalm Fri 07-Apr-17 13:56:27

A few months ago I returned to work after a period of unemployment last year due to redundancy. When I first lost my job I was devestated and dreaded the thought of being stuck at home, not contributing anything, feeling less of an equal.

The reality though was different to what I expected. Its in my nature to make the best of things so I did and set about sorting out our house which had been a bit neglected, I learned to cook. Our house was nice, clean and calm, we had lovely food on the table each night for my husband coming home and our evenings free to relax in because everything in the house was done. It was great our relationship and sex life improved dramatically, I looked about 10 years younger, it was wonderful. I felt like a different, better person and it really seemed to work for us.

I did however still feel this pressure from myself, my friends to find another job so earlier this year I started back again and within a month or so things have changed for the worse at home. Before I was unemployed our relationship was muddling along but the spark had gone both of us worn down by work and life and I think we bore the brunt of each others tiredness. At times I had wondered if we were flogging a dead horse but my time off showed that it was just we were both just too exhausted to give the relationship our best and we don't even have kids.

Am I being unreasonable to think that the pressures of work, careers, running a home not to mention kids is a real problem for modern relationships? I am back working now and feel I must but while I get some satisfaction out of my job I was mutch happier at home and my relationship was happier too.

Perhaps what I need is a "wife" myself to run the home and have dinner on the table for me when I get home.

mouldycheesefan Fri 07-Apr-17 13:58:36

I'm about to be made redundant and am quite looking forward to exactly what you describe. But I can see that when I get another job I will find it really hard going back to it.

tiggerbalm Fri 07-Apr-17 14:00:20

I think it is more than it being hard to get back into work, the job is fine really but its more that my fundamental perspective on who I am and what I am supposed to do and be has changed.

Still enjoy your time off!

Hellmouth Fri 07-Apr-17 14:00:48

I understand how you feel. I felt this way when I was on maternity leave!

Roles are reversed at the moment as I am back at work, but DP is not working. I almost wish we could keep it like this because one of us being at home does seem to make life easier!!

catscurledupbythefire Fri 07-Apr-17 14:02:09

YANBU. I forced myself back to work and it nearly ended my marriage!

Darla21 Fri 07-Apr-17 14:02:30

YANBU. It is a problem that both partners working full time leaves less time for each other and can put a real strain on relationships. Do you feel that you didn't really appreciate your time as a housewife until you started working outside the home again? Being a housewife is a very valuable job. From what you've written, it's clear you and your husband would be happier if you didn't work, so why don't you leave your job? Life's too short to be unnecessarily unhappy for even a moment if you have other options.

tiggerbalm Fri 07-Apr-17 14:03:15

Hellmouth yes this is true, it doesn't really matter which of us is at home but one of us being at home taking care of household stuff and cooking would be wonderful all the lovely time together to relax in the evenings together, it made us different people smile

tiggerbalm Fri 07-Apr-17 14:05:56

Darla, its something we have both talked about and are keen on but I do still feel compelled to have a job, to earn, contribute to the household finances and to society. Its how I was brought up and to stay at home feels almost subversive!

badabing36 Fri 07-Apr-17 14:19:37

Could you work part-time for a small no of hours? 8-16 hrs maybe then you get to say I do have a job to yourself. That's what I do.

SteppingOnToes Fri 07-Apr-17 14:20:16

I would love to be a stay at home wife - sadly I am the breadwinner so this will never happen. I'm pretty fed up of my life being nothing but compromises and exhaustion sad

GeorgeTheHamster Fri 07-Apr-17 14:21:55

So keep working but get help - cleaner, gardener, online shopping and so on.

Darla21 Fri 07-Apr-17 14:23:01

I see, well could you work part time or find a job that's flexible, working from home for yourself? It's difficult to go against what you have been brought up to think. I had always worked but I remember just before I got married I left one job and was talking to my Mother about getting another. My husband had always said he'd be happy for me to not work, but I wasn't sure, and was planning to look for a job. She turned to me and said that all she had wanted for me was to have an easy life, and that I should enjoy myself as much as possible if I can. Life throws at you enough problems but if you have the opportunity to make it less stressful, then you should take it.

That really stuck with me, and I took her advice. She was very ill and passed away not long after, so her words were very poignant. My husband and I are really happy and I'm positive our marriage wouldn't be as happy if I was working full time. I work part time from home and love how relaxed our life is. flowers for you OP.

EssentialHummus Fri 07-Apr-17 14:26:32

Please try to get away from the pressure of what society, your friends or your parents think about your career choices (easier said than done). I left a high-pressure job to work for myself doing far fewer hours and earning much less money. I'm a much happier person for it.

There are caveats around what you need to earn to live, and what would happen if you and your partner were to split/he lost his job, but doing something you don't enjoy for most of your waking hours when you have the option not to, is a bit mad IMO.

Kiroro Fri 07-Apr-17 14:30:45

Yeah life is much easier with someone taking care of domestic stuff, freeing up more time!

So you can achieve this by one of you working less, or by buying in more help.

Getting a housekeeper/cleaner for 2x 4 hours a week would cost approx £100 a week and would take care of all cleaning/laundry requirements. Online shop to be delivered for when housekeeper is there. Buy more expensive 'pre prepared' food from waitrose.

Probably a bit cheaper than giving at work.

redwind Fri 07-Apr-17 14:30:53

YADNBU. We made the decision for me not to return to work after I was made redundant. We have a relatively relaxed home life and good relationship compared to most of my friends. There is a huge amount of social pressure to work and lots of friends/family have been hmm about it, but it's always been important to me to live my life the way I want it, not bow to other people's expectations.

I understand the difficulties of being raised under the expectation to have a job and contribute financially, as my parents were the same. But it's your life and you have to make the decisions that are right for you, not based on whatever values were forced on you throughout your childhood.

CherriesInTheSnow Fri 07-Apr-17 14:35:57

YADNBU! This is why my OH is a SAH Dad, our life we be miserable and feel like a slog to get through the days if we both worked, and my guilt would be too much if our toddler was in full time childcare.

I'm not saying at all there's anything wrong with 2 working parents/partners if it suits your dynamic, but I think many people find the same, OP. My OH is a fantastic cook, really organised with our little girl, likes making things clean and tidy etc. I come home just after 4 and it's bliss, honestly. Only an absolutely enormous financial gain would convince me to change our circumstances!

Ginkypig Fri 07-Apr-17 14:38:07

If both of you are happy and able to make that a choice for you then what's the problem? (Sorry I'm being simplistic)

But really if he is ok with you being at home (as in being the sole earner), you both can afford for you not to need to have a job and you don't actually want to work outside the home then why are you forcing yourself?

Families and relationships come in all different forms don't let anyone make you feel the model of your family is wrong if it works for you all!

SocksBoatsAndQats Fri 07-Apr-17 14:38:07

If you can afford it, then why not stay at home? Or just drop your hours. DH and I have always had one of us at home fairly full time the past few years (swapped roles a few times due to circumstances), yeah we're not rich but our stress levels are pretty low and the kids have benefited from it. To be honest, I'm quite keen to continue it, I think it makes life a bit more simpler.

Iris65 Fri 07-Apr-17 14:38:40

There is a difficulty in terms of financial dependence though. I mean its OK if your DP is supportive but what happens if they are not or if you split up?

Goldfishjane Fri 07-Apr-17 14:39:37

even without DC, I hate working.

I had 2 breaks between contracts and it was so awful to go back, I decided to massively cut back and make sure I could retire very early.

if you are only at work for the sake of proving a point, or societal judgement, I'd think again. Check your legal position of course. But don't be miserable just because others have negative ideas of what you want.

Goldfishjane Fri 07-Apr-17 14:41:31

oh sorry, you said you don't have DC either.

I have never lived with someone and I don't do joint finance so the main thing is to check your legal status. If you have access to your own money a different way - e.g. investment, inheritance, then factor that in of course.

HelloFreedom Fri 07-Apr-17 14:42:13


VimFuego101 Fri 07-Apr-17 14:46:51

YANBU. DH and I both work full time and I feel like we only ever just do the bare minimum in terms of housework, helping DS with school work etc. But SAHPs need to be careful they don't put themselves in a precarious position financially if their partner was to leave or pass unexpectedly.

splendide Fri 07-Apr-17 14:47:02

DH hasn't really worked for years and it suits us. We have a toddler now so it's great but actually I liked it even with no DC.

Occasionally I resent doing all the earning but I think overall our lives are better/ easier. I do think he was in a vulnerable position for a while though. I am insured up to the eyeballs now and the mortgage being paid off plus my death in service would leave him a millionaire if I die - but pre-DS and when we were renting he'd have been basically starting from nothing if I'd left him or died.

CherriesInTheSnow Fri 07-Apr-17 14:58:21

It's true the SAHP can be more vulnerable - however even after a split I couldn't imagine leaving OH with nothing, given that we had made a joint decision for him to give up work when we started a family. Not sure it would be the same for everyone though sad

Still, I don't think basing your entire life on what could go wrong is practical - if this is what suits you, go for it!

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