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Am I horrible wife to not want my Dh to go back down A pay grade?

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Specksofwhiteallaround Thu 06-Aug-20 17:03:01

Just before lock down my husband was encouraged to apply for a job within his current company that came with a hell of a pay jump - an extra £20 k a year. I can’t go into detail as he works with the MoD but it’s essentially the same as his old job but a larger project hence the pay increase. He dithered a bit as he thought he wouldn’t get it but went for it and after being vouched for by various managers and coworkers above him he got it. He was told at the time if he was too much for him he could go back to his old job with no penalties.
Roll on four or so months and he’s now stressed, convinced he’s holding up the entire project and wants to go back to his old job. My problem with this is he has a horribly negative view of the world and no self confidence at all so he was exactly the same in his old job, only on top of that we were horribly off with money. We could afford our rent and bills but were having to use the credit card frequently for unexpected expenses. Public transport is sketchy and expensive so we never went anywhere unless my parents happened to visit and take us which is pretty embarrassing. Any treats were not an option and if we were given notice from our landlord we would be in an awful position.
He’s also refusing it acknowledge that he hasn’t actually had any time in this job that hasn’t been during lock down and working from home. It’s not an easy job to do at home, at least five of his co workers and managers have gone off work with stress and he was forced to take a week off before he ended up the same. They’ve now taken on additional staff and he admits things would be easier when they’re actually in a normal work environment but doesn’t seem willing to waiting until September when it sounds like they’ll all be back in work and see if there’s an improvement.
For context we have a six year old son who is autistic and attends a special school, I myself do not work as I have severe social anxiety and ptsd on top of that. I’d love to be able to say to him, fine go back to the old job but all I can think is that we can finally get by without getting into debt or worse having handouts from my family and he’s going to throw it all away and go back to a job that he spent just as much time complaining about and he’ll expect me to be sympathetic about it. I can’t even talk about it to my family as I’m mortified about talking to them about finally standing on our own two feet and giving my son everything he misses out on and then having to tell them we’re right back where we started.
I’m just so demoralised by it all that I can’t tell if I’m being completely selfish and if I should be supporting him with his choice.

Sorry I’ve just realised quite what an essay that is blush

OP’s posts: |
Prig Thu 06-Aug-20 17:07:55

Perhaps look into earning a little bit yourself? There are many people who work with social anxiety, and being around people helps.

Turnedouttoes Thu 06-Aug-20 17:10:51

I think you need to get a job before you start telling him what to do.

But I’d also be encouraging him to stick it out for a bit longer, it’s hardly going to look good to his bosses if he goes back quite happily to his previous lower paid job. Lots of jobs come with stresses, he needs to find a way of managing it

beautifulxdisasters Thu 06-Aug-20 17:12:28

I do get it OP, but this job seems to be affecting his mental health. I would have thought in your situation not being able to work at all due to MH you would have more sympathy.

Ellisandra Thu 06-Aug-20 17:13:51

So you’re allowed to have mental health issues, but he isn’t?

Five colleagues signed off with stress, and him being told to take a week off to avoid the same?

And all you’re talking about is money money money...

FWIW I think it’s worth exploring how to get over the crisis in confidence, for example seeing a confidence coach outside of work, or asking for help to get a mentor inside of work.

But given your post is all about money and your embarrassment with family, I doubt that you’re coming across to him as supportive.

Maybe he needs to stick at it. But maybe you need to recognise that some roles aren’t worth the stress of the extra £20K - and the fact there was £20K to entice him does rather suggest that there was going to be a lot more pressure.

ChicCroissant Thu 06-Aug-20 17:15:37

I am unsure if this is a reverse, but regardless of which partner feels stressed at work and which partner feels too anxious to work, the partner not working needs to be more supportive of the one that does work.

Specksofwhiteallaround Thu 06-Aug-20 17:15:47

I get what your saying but he’s unwilling to take sole care of our child and the only job in our area that I’m qualified for will involve me working evenings and weekends. My social anxiety is very bad right now so it’s not as simple as get a job and it’ll help, I was having daily panic attacks until recently and therapy is not helping very much.
I know I don’t have a right to tell him what to do as I’m unable to work.

OP’s posts: |
Owleyes16 Thu 06-Aug-20 17:15:50

I don't think prig understands 'severe' social anxiety. It's definitely not helped by being around people hmm that being said, it is possible to earn a little money if you feel you can, there are jobs you can do from home on a part time basis, or you could volunteer at a small charity shop to see how you get on to give you a better idea of what you can and can't do. You could also make things at home (cakes, candles, crafts, etc.) and sell them. Putting that aside, you know yourself how important good mental health is and that no amount of money is worth it deteriorating, so I would support your DH in doing what he feels he needs to do for his own wellbeing. You could also ask him if he would be open to counselling or similar to work on managing stress, or both come up with a date by which a decision needs to be made, e.g. 31st September, after he's had a chance to get a better idea of what the work would be like when not WFH.

SarahBellam Thu 06-Aug-20 17:17:00

Have you thought of getting treatment for your issues so he doesn’t have to shoulder the whole burden?

JoJoSM2 Thu 06-Aug-20 17:17:39

It’s his job and his mental health at stake and it’s important to bear that in mind first and foremost.

However, it does sound like a lot of people had faith in him being able to cope with the job. I’d probably just try help him with his confidence or see if there’s anything you can do to help him relax and cope with the stress he’s feeling. However, if he decides to go back to his old post, then I’d support that 100%.

SprinklesMcDoodles Thu 06-Aug-20 17:17:55

You don't work because you have social anxiety but think it's ok to pressure your partner into staying in a job that is stressing him out? That's not fair, there are ways to cope with social anxiety and contribute to family finance. What would you do if he were unable to work?

FTMF30 Thu 06-Aug-20 17:18:43

OP, you sound like a hypocrite to an extent. You don't work because of mental health problems but you want your DH to do so despite it causing him poor mental health.

I understand your worry about money but you seem to be the weak link in this.

ginnybag Thu 06-Aug-20 17:18:55

You have some very good points (it would be bad for his career long term, he hasn't given it a fair shot, you need the cash, you can't rely on your parents forever) but...

Are you doing anything at all to take steps to ensure you will be able to contribute in the future? Even without your issues, your son may mean you can't work while he's young, but that won't be forever.

I ask, because being the only income is a huge burden and a big stress. It's all riding on his shoulders and, if he's prone to stress and self-doubt anyway, that will be making it worse. It may be that he doesn't want to gamble on the new role playing out, when he knows you can 'get by' on the old one and he knows he can hack it.

You'll need to tread carefully. He should stay in the new one, and you should encourage him to do that, but you need to be making steps so that you can have the chance to help in the future.

JulesCobb Thu 06-Aug-20 17:20:14

Can you not look for ways to wfh?

purplecorkheart Thu 06-Aug-20 17:23:03

I think you need to start earning. Look at remote jobs at home.

Beautiful3 Thu 06-Aug-20 17:23:17

I dont think you're being very fair here. You say you cannot work due to mental health. But you dont care that your husbands new position is triggering his mental health?!!!!! Be supportive and understand if he wants to go back to his old job. Maybe look into working from home to help out, e.g. ironing service.

QueenofmyPrinces Thu 06-Aug-20 17:23:32

Sorry OP - but you are being very unreasonable.

I would never ask/demand my husband stayed in a job that was making him stressed and unhappy, just for the sake of money.

MooneyBadger Thu 06-Aug-20 17:24:09

Is the new job likely to go back to a pre-Covid work environment anytime soon?

If so, would he consider giving the job a chance until then? Thing is, that extra £20k will almost certainly be because the new job is so much more stressful.

My DH was in a situation where a better-paid job was causing him a lot of stress, to the point that he was becoming physically ill. He took a lower-paid job and I can honestly say that the improvement in his physical and mental health was worth the drop in income.

ShebaShimmyShake Thu 06-Aug-20 17:28:09

Well you're not being unreasonable to want the extra money, but given how stressful the job clearly is, and that you yourself don't work because of mental health issues (why did that later become there being no suitable jobs in your area?), I don't think you can really make him do it. His health matters too and if he has a breakdown you'll all be even worse off in every sense.

I also don't think that your family's view on it all matters one jot.

BrightYellowDaffodil Thu 06-Aug-20 17:28:14

So it's OK for you not to work because of your mental health but your husband should stay in a job that's damaging his mental health


Maybe look to address your issues so that you can earn some money and shoulder some of the burden before telling your husband what he should and shouldn't do?

Pelleas Thu 06-Aug-20 17:28:59

You're not a 'horrible wife' but you are being unreasonable - your husband's mental health needs to be the primary consideration here. Going down a grade might not be the only solution, but supporting him to do what's needed to put his health right is where your focus should be.

Didiusfalco Thu 06-Aug-20 17:29:03

You must recognise the irony of not supporting his mental health when he is taking the entire financial responsibility for your poor mental health?

MonaMinute Thu 06-Aug-20 17:29:19

Why won’t DH look after your DC? Maybe you could get a job if he was willing to do his share?

JoeCalFuckingZaghe Thu 06-Aug-20 17:29:45

I don't think prig understands 'severe' social anxiety. It's definitely not helped by being around people
It’s not so much being around people, but I understand what they were saying. Staying in your comfort zone deeper engrains and worsen the problem. The more you push yourself out of the anxiety bubble, the smaller the bubble gets and you can manage it more. Obviously stepping straight into a job isn’t the answer but the more you isolate the worse it gets.

That being said, if OP your husband is suffering he needs to take a step back. You if all people know what MH issues can do to you. Is there anything you can do to make an income at home?

Specksofwhiteallaround Thu 06-Aug-20 17:30:50

I know my post reads as only being concerned with money but my husbands been in tears before over our lack of money, every time we have to use the credit card just to attend our sons school appointments and various hospital appointments he get upset so I can’t understand why he wants to go back to that. He was the one who was so relieved to finally be solvent and looking forward to the job, I just wish I’d never encouraged him. I guess the only solution is for me to find work but he won’t want to look after our son on his own all evening and weekends and do his day job on top of it.
I’m really beginning to see how this is going to be my fault regardless, I’ll either be the heartless wife making him work a job he’s not happy in or the wife who makes him work all day then take care of our son the rest of the time sad

OP’s posts: |

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