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Am I being unfair on my husband?

(312 Posts)
Crowtakingabath Sat 09-Nov-19 10:49:35

Husband and I are young- early 30s and the main point of argument has always been careers.

I am extremely ambitious and a higher earner and my husband- despite being older- isn't. I have no intention of ever stopping working but I would like him to catch up to me.

He works in academia (limited financial prospects) and sometimes says he would like to start his own business, then he says he won't be able to fund research to get the IP, then says he feels undervalued but doesn't want to work for a private company that would pay him significantly more.

The issue is that if I ever wanted to take a break to go back to education for a couple of years or start my own business, he couldn't pay the bills! I just worry about being reliant on my income all the time. AIBU?

ChilledBee Sat 09-Nov-19 10:53:38

Yes. Not everyone is suited to high paying corporate jobs. Some people do just want to be teachers. I think you should focus your efforts at getting people in normal jobs like teachers and nurses paid more money.

If you want to take years off work, save your big bucks and plan for it properly.

Lifeisabeach09 Sat 09-Nov-19 10:53:46

Yes and no. Never be reliant on anyone else regarding income (always have your own.)
Keep in mind you married this man knowing this is how he is--I don't feel you should undervalue what he offers because he earns less than you.
Also, things change. In 5 years, he might decide to go into private industry. We don't know what the future brings.

EggysMom Sat 09-Nov-19 10:55:31

YABU. Money isn't everything.

Crowtakingabath Sat 09-Nov-19 10:59:41

@ChilledBee I think you are making a fair point although I would never take a career break for leisure. I want to pursue a master's that has a proven salary return (so ultimately beneficial for us) and have also thought about entrepreneurship.

Ultimately though what bothers me is having to have 2 incomes to pay the bills.. I know many people live like that but it makes me feel uncomfortable

ElloBrian Sat 09-Nov-19 11:00:40

Sounds like you married someone with very different values and priorities to you. If you earn more and might want to go back into education, why not save up to pay for yourself to do that?

NotStayingIn Sat 09-Nov-19 11:02:41

He doesn’t need to be able to pay the bills when you decide to stop working, he would still only need to pay his half.

If you are earning so much now save for the future and then you can still contribute your half even when you aren’t working.

Not sure I completely get the problem here? He’s not responsible for your career break.

Crowtakingabath Sat 09-Nov-19 11:02:48

@Lifeisabeach09 I don't intend to rely on his income but I suppose what worries me is that he is reliant on mine. He couldn't live his lifestyle without me propping him up.

I hope he will change but I get annoyed that he thinks of everything that can go wrong in every idea. He's comfortable where he is- he's been there for a decade and I think he doesn't want to change and I don't know if he ever will.

To top it off he is the one who wants to start a family!

GettingABitDesperateNow Sat 09-Nov-19 11:03:23

Lots of people cant afford to live on one salary OP

If you really wanted a break surely he could pay some or most bills and you could use savings from your high salary?

He has an academic job, he isn't stupid or lazy and there are still opportunities for promotion presumably. It's just his ambition doesnt match yours and I think you have to accept this - being happy with your job is really important to a lot of people. His being happy with what he has got is part of him and its unreasonable to try and change him. Imagine he left for a corporate job and was miserable and stressed.

I think if he is always moaning about his work and lack of money then that's another thing and YANBU to be annoyed at his reluctance to help himself

It's not unreasonable though to think you're not compatible and leave him and try and find someone who is ambitious as you are if that will make you happier.

Teachermaths Sat 09-Nov-19 11:03:40


I'm in a similar position

bridgetreilly Sat 09-Nov-19 11:04:32

I would like him to catch up to me

Wow. YABVVVVVU. If you're worried about not being able to manage if you have a career break, you need to change your spending habits not expect him to suddenly become a different person with different ambitions and a different career. Start saving now.

TartanMarbled Sat 09-Nov-19 11:06:16

Academia is hardly a low paying job. If he's been there a decade, he'll be on £45-£55k.

HollowTalk Sat 09-Nov-19 11:07:20

Oh don't encourage him to start his own business! He just doesn't have what it takes to make that work.

I think you're at an age where you need to consider whether you're compatible. Would you be happy if he became a SAHP if you had a baby?

How are finances shared now? Could you siphon off the extra you earn to save for a future MA?

BinkyandBunty Sat 09-Nov-19 11:08:49

Surely these are issues you sort out before marrying someone?

Stressedout10 Sat 09-Nov-19 11:09:03

Yes not only massively unreasonable but very snobbish too

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Sat 09-Nov-19 11:09:35

Yabu. He works and brings in an income. Your joint income supports your joint lifestyle. You want to earn more for you and that's great! But as long as he is able to contribute financially to the partnership (which it sounds like he is doing) then as long as he is happy in his job?

mindutopia Sat 09-Nov-19 11:10:16

It sounds like you as a couple need to live within your means. I’m an academic. I do make a fair bit above the average salary in the UK, but it will never be, say, 100k. My dh is self employed and is the higher earners of the two of us.

You could say I am ‘reliant’ on his salary in the sense we could never live on just one salary. But equally I suppose he is ‘reliant’ on mine. If ever he wanted to stop work, we would have to change our lifestyle. So would anyone who is used to living on 2 incomes and isn’t a 20 something student living with housemates though.

Life isn’t all about money though. Are you and your dh generally happy with the work you do and your work life balance? If you want to work less and have more balance, what can you give up to make that possible?

Crowtakingabath Sat 09-Nov-19 11:11:02

We have a fair amount saved up so I am saving in case something unexpected happens- I suppose even without a pre-planned break stuff can always go wrong. We have a fair amount saved up but his income doesn't cover half of the outgoings. For example we have had to spend £20k renovating our house (it was derelict) and I have had to pay for all of that. In the same way, he could cover half the bills but couldn't pay if the boiler broke iyswim?

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Sat 09-Nov-19 11:12:25

Why is everything so separate OP? Don't you have a joint account?

Anotherlongdrive Sat 09-Nov-19 11:13:30

Yes you are being unreasonable.

Dp earn lots less than me. I knew that when I got with him. I also knew him well enough to know that he does have the same career ambitions as me a d doesnt have the need to climb high. He was quite happy. If I valued someones career ambitions, I wouldn't have been with him. Rather than got with him then moaned.

I value him because of all his other qualities.

If I want to take a career break, I will do what I did as a single parent. Get all my finances in order to the lowest amount and save like demon to it.

You seem to resent he shares your income. Tough shit. Thata marriage. You chose to legally tie yourself to this man, finances and all.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sat 09-Nov-19 11:14:28

I want to pursue a master's that has a proven salary return (so ultimately beneficial for us) and have also thought about entrepreneurship.

Then you need to be able to earn enough to save so you can do those things. I am self employed, its not easy in the early days and I had to get started working evenings and weekends while still working my 9-5, like most people do. You'll have to do the same. If you want to do a masters, you'll have to either save or work around it.

It's a strange argument that he needs to earn more so you're not reliant on your salary - if he did somehow manage to match your income, and you then left work to try being self employed or do a masters, you'd then be reliant on one income... just not yours.

At the end of the day, you married him knowing who he is. His ambitions and career path.

Is there an element in this that your ambition is wearing a bit thin and you're worried that you don't want to keep pushing as much as you have been? A lot of the ambitious people I used to work with seemed to hit a point where they didn't feel as ambitious anymore, they didn't want to keep climbing - they wanted to refocus elsewhere or take some time off or do something else with life for a bit.

Anotherlongdrive Sat 09-Nov-19 11:15:08

For example we have had to spend £20k renovating our house (it was derelict) and I have had to pay for all of that. In the same way, he could cover half the bills but couldn't pay if the boiler broke iyswim?

Your married. Its shared money, surely?

And you knew that the renovations would come from you? That cant have been a surprise?

How did your house become derelict without either of you noticing?

EstuaryBird Sat 09-Nov-19 11:16:13

Please don’t take this as criticism, genuine question!

Did you both discuss your future plans before you got married? If so then whatever you both agreed was your joint ‘vision’ is what you should be aiming for...because that was the deal.

If you didn’t have that discussion then neither of you can expect anything different to how things have always been.

GrumpyHoonMain Sat 09-Nov-19 11:18:38

He clearly doesn’t have drive or ambition to match yours and so probably wouldn’t even be able to make business work. Is he happier being at home and doing housework etc? If so he might be the one to better suited to be the stahp if you consider having kids in the future or choose a really challenging role that needs someone at home?

sweeneytoddsrazor Sat 09-Nov-19 11:20:13

YABU he is happy where he is. This is the man you chose to marry. You should not want to change him or expect him to change. You sound very dismissive of him and the way you throw in the comment a out him wanting to start a family makes it sound like you think its a ludicrous idea. You don't sound very compatible and I would suggest you maybe look at what you both want from a relationship and go from there

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