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To force DH to take some time off work?

(51 Posts)
fanciedabitofachange Mon 15-Apr-19 16:05:25

Well, I say force, but I guess what I mean is issue some kind of ultimatum in which I make it very clear that the correct choice would be 'take time off'

DH is self employed and in a creative field. He's had a very successful year, professionally, and has achieved a couple of big ambitions. He is in demand for work and it's looking like the next 12 months at least will be comfortable.

But he will not stop working. At all. Not in the evenings. Not at weekends. Never.

A few weeks ago my DSis got married. I was bridesmaid. He worked on the train all the way there, leaving me to juggle autistic 4yo DC and baby DC. The next morning was the wedding, I was obviously busy getting ready etc. DH was absolutely furious that he wouldn't be able to get his work done that morning. On the train home he worked all the way again.

He will not say no to any work offers that come his way. He could. But he won't. And he has no time management skills whatsoever.

I am exhausted. Because when he works all the time I work all the time two, doing absolutely everything for our 2 DC and keeping our home running. It's making me ill. It's making him ill.

AIBU to tell him he just HAS to stop working for a week? He just has to. I can't go on like this.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Mon 15-Apr-19 16:09:30

I think you need to tell him that you're exhausted. It sounds as if you're doing 100% of childcare. I suspect you're also doing 100% of house/shitwork too. And that's not fair.

If you're OK financially, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask him to book a holiday/break for some family time.

fanciedabitofachange Mon 15-Apr-19 16:10:51

I am doing all of the shit work. And child care. Yes I'm exhausted. He doesn't care.

AllTheWhoresOfMalta Mon 15-Apr-19 16:11:20

I think it’s essential for the sake of your marriage. Or he will end up working himself to death or you’ll leave him (at least divorced you’d get EOW off). Issue him an ultimatum.

swingofthings Mon 15-Apr-19 16:12:16

He is probably overwhelmed with the thought that if he stops, doesn't respond to customers, give them what they want right away, he will lose their business and sadly, he might have a point because his success might come from the fact he offers a level of care that no-one is prepared to give. It is very common amongst successful self employed people.

The only way he might change is to realise that he might lose you and his children (physically or emotionally) idlf he doesn't give you more of his time and attention.

AryaStarkWolf Mon 15-Apr-19 16:14:01

Sounds like he's some sort of work addict tbh, I would find that very hard to deal with. Sounds like maybe he actually needs to speak to someone about that

rainbowbash Mon 15-Apr-19 16:15:59

are you working (as employed) yourself/on mat leave?

If not I would let him carry on. one of my DC is severely autistic and I have to work to put food on the table. I'd give anything to be in a position where DH would earn enough for me up leave work.

fanciedabitofachange Mon 15-Apr-19 16:25:28

No I don't work @rainbowbash because I have a baby and my other DC isn't at school yet. Also we can afford to eat, pay mortgage, run a car, go on holiday etc.

chestnut9 Mon 15-Apr-19 16:30:16

Is he a writer by any chance?! I am and I recognise the signs... TBH I'm not sure forcing him to take a week would solve the issue long-term. It sounds like you're not strapped for cash so could more help at home be one practical solution? Outsourcing all the cleaning/ironing etc so at least you're only having to focus on childcare.

I realise it's probably more of an emotional issue i.e. you want his support/attention for the kids etc - but at least dealing with the practical stuff would free up some headspace for you and you might feel less ground down.

rainbowbash Mon 15-Apr-19 16:30:38

being the sole earner can create a lot of pressure to ensure a stable income. He is working for 4!

I'd be grateful, I would not complain but I get that my own experience of being forced to work may cloud my judgement

fanciedabitofachange Mon 15-Apr-19 16:32:57

We get none of his attention @chestnut9 - even when he's with us he's not WITH US. And I know that I bought into that, to some extent. But not 365 days a year. I just can't come second all the time.

fanciedabitofachange Mon 15-Apr-19 16:35:18

I feel you may be projecting a bit here @rainbowbash - it would be impossible for me to hold down any kind of job because of the sporadic nature of DH's work (completely irregular hours, which could change at any minute), and the autistic DC, and the BABY. But if you wish to judge me for that anyway, by all means go ahead.

ScreamScreamIceCream Mon 15-Apr-19 16:37:36

@swingofthings both myself and one of my friends' thought this due to our maternity leaves. My friend started saying "No" to things and found that people would work around her. I have started doing similar and so far it hasn't been detrimental.

OP what your DP should do is if he wants to work on Saturday mornings then he needs to take Wednesday mornings off. He also needs to have a schedule and put his availability on any website he has for a least the 6 weeks ahead. People will then know when he is and isn't available in advance.

Vulpine Mon 15-Apr-19 16:40:09

Take a friend or relative and go and stay in one of those child friendly hotels with childcare. You deserve a break

PotteringAlong Mon 15-Apr-19 16:40:14

She’s not judging you. She’s making the point that going to work can sometimes be easier than being at home, that it would give you a break from every day being the same and it would take some of the pressure off your DH having to be the sole earner.

Vulpine Mon 15-Apr-19 16:41:29

It's not that stressful being the sole earner. He s just being inconsiderate

PotteringAlong Mon 15-Apr-19 16:44:38

When you’re self employed and 2 bad months away from disaster it might be...

sillysmiles Mon 15-Apr-19 16:45:39

It's not that stressful being the sole earner. He s just being inconsiderate

He's the sole earner - who is self employed - that changes things as there is a pressure to constantly work and the knowledge that there is no safety net.

But, that said, OP you need to talk to him and he needs to agree times/days when there is no work, no laptop, no quick checking. I know a significant number of people who work extended ours in their own time (nature of the work). Frequently, they will leave work, have family time and then start working again for a few hours when the kids are in bed.

Vulpine Mon 15-Apr-19 16:46:12

Ive been a self employed single parent. Life is about more than work.

rainbowbash Mon 15-Apr-19 16:46:47

My DH travels a lot, no family or support and I still work. Maybe this is something to look into? taking pressure off your DH and getting time away from the DC.

If you can afford a car/mortgage/holidays on one salary, I suppose childcare costs would not be prohibitive esp as the 4 year old would qualify for 30 h free childcare

fanciedabitofachange Mon 15-Apr-19 16:52:55

We wouldn't qualify for 30 hours childcare because DH earns well over the threshold for that @rainbowbash. We don't receive child benefit either, again because he's over. I receive disability and carers benefits for the autistic DC.

We live well within our means. We have savings.

downcasteyes Mon 15-Apr-19 16:54:26

This is completely unfair.

You need to introduce him to the concept of 'social reproduction'. Basically, his income is dependent on you picking up all the slack around the house and with childcare. It's not a fair division and it is impacting your health, wellbeing and your own career prospects. You have a right to be able to pursue your own work objectives too - and that means him stepping up to more childcare.

fanciedabitofachange Mon 15-Apr-19 16:59:40

It isn't that he travels @rainbowbash - although he does that too. It's that he could find out suddenly that he needs to work until midnight somewhere three hours away, and is expected to just be there. And if I had a job I would always, always have to be the one to take time off for the numerous medical appointments we have, and childhood illnesses etc.

AWishForWingsThatWork Mon 15-Apr-19 17:01:49

Lay it out for him: if your marriage breaks down because he cannot and will not prioritise some family time, some time for doing his share around the house and childcare, and holiday time, then he will be forced to do so when he has HIS children and HIS home to look after by himself for X number of days per week. Because that's where your headed. Your marriage isn't sustainable if he doesn't acknowledge that his attitude towards your lives together isn't fair or reasonable.

Chamomileteaplease Mon 15-Apr-19 17:02:57

You say he doesn't care! Has he always been like this?

A huge talk is in order. Surely he must see that this is not a marriage?

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