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to expect to be financially supported by DH whilst I retrain?

(24 Posts)
FlockedWallpaper Tue 17-Feb-09 11:09:51

I have been planning a career change for a number of years (from finance to healthcare). This would be not such a lucrative career path for me but more stable and more importantly for me I would get much more career satisfaction. DH feels this places unecessary pressure on him regarding financial support. Business is v tight but we are in the lucky position to have savings behind us to finance this option, mainly due to DH's hard work whist the market was good.

DH is saying that he is not prepared to (financially) support my choice and that I should fund it myself with a loan. This is for a 2-year full-time course. I have managed to build enough savings for the course fees, so the loan would be for what I have traditionally paid for (we had always split the bills so I had paid for specific agreed stuff including groceries and he paid utilities, council tax). This worked for us in the past. No mortgage.

So, AIBU to expect financial support?

Kitsilano Tue 17-Feb-09 11:15:39

I don't think you are being unreasonable. Your post makes me feel a bit sad actually. Surely you are a team and your finances are joint at the end of the day and you both want each other to be happy? It would be different if paying for it would be a real struggle but if not I think your husband isn't treating you like you are actually married.

For what it's worth before we were even married my dh paid for me to do a 1 year course to retrain because I hated my job and in the end I decided I didn't want to do that either. Now I am doing an Open University course which may or may not lead to something and my dh has never complained - he says he wants me to be happy and we can afford it. He's never once held it against me that I "wasted" the years course after he paid for it.

Is your husband happy in his job? Does he maybe wish he could chnage direction too? Do you have children?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 17-Feb-09 11:15:49


It will be cheaper to use savings than to get a loan and pay interest - probably.

Frankly he's being quite selfish and it seems that he has a mentality that your money is seperate?

If I were you I would stop cooking his dinner or washing his clothes - tell him you aren't prepared to support him domestically while he does his job.

Kitsilano Tue 17-Feb-09 11:18:50

I have a friend who had to use her own savings to pay her traditional contribution to household expenses while she was on maternity leave and when these savings ran out before the mat leave ended she had to ask her husband to "lend" her the money so she could continue to make her contribution to the household expenses. This was while she was on maternity leave after having his child.

Just thinking about it makes me fume.

roulade Tue 17-Feb-09 11:19:18

YANBU it's only 2 years and it is to make you happy!
If he has the career he wants then it is only right that you have the chance to have yours.

compo Tue 17-Feb-09 11:20:37

in the current economic climate I wouldn't be using savings for a career change tbh
I would use savings for the whole family, not just for you
i can see why he doesn't want you to leave a good job to syudy tbh

JHKE Tue 17-Feb-09 11:23:14

I can understand his fear in the current climate but my dh would support me if I really wanted to do something like this, so YANBU

MrsMattie Tue 17-Feb-09 11:24:10

We are using money from our joint savings to finance my Masters (if I get in to do it - fingers crossed). Money is tight at the moment, and the savings are really meant to be for the kid's futures, but when I saw the course and talked to DH about how very much I wanted to do it and how it would facilitate me getting back into work, he didn't even question using our savings. It makes so much more sense than saddling the family with more debt. We don't have individual savings, btw.

Jesus, what a bastard!@Kitsilano

FlockedWallpaper Tue 17-Feb-09 11:24:41

Thanks for your replies. Kitsilano - DH loves his work but contracts are v thin on the ground right now and he is feeling the pressure of this, quite intensely. We have 2 DC. I started planning for this career change some years ago by doing evening classes and voluntary work to get the necessary qualifications and experience to get on this course, so it is not a whim of mine.

AB40N - yes, he does see that the money as separate since he earnt it. That may be the crux. Not sure how to overcome that issue.

JHKE Tue 17-Feb-09 11:28:37

FW - what type of course are you doing?

Nightcrawly Tue 17-Feb-09 11:30:32

I agree with compo. I think you are both being unreasonable and both seeing your finances as entirely separate and failing to look at the bigger picture. You have been planning this change for a number of years, would it be so bad to wait alittle longer? I don't actually think he is failing to support you, he is not telling you not to do it. He is saying that he doesn't think you should use the savings for it and I think he is right. Although I don't think you should take out a loan either.

ManIFeelLikeAWoman Tue 17-Feb-09 11:32:00

Perhaps he wants to keep the savings for real emergencies and hardships, given the current market? If the business hit hard times, you might have to stop your course if funded out of savings. Perhaps he just wants to avoid that.

I don't think either of you are being unreasonable really. It's about your priorities as a couple where savings are concerned, and your attitude to risk.

Kitsilano Tue 17-Feb-09 11:37:11

To see the money as separate because he earned it ignores the contribution that you have made in terms of bearing the children and presumably taking maternity leave and running a household leaving him free him to earn this money.

If he insists on seeing things this way then you should call him on it and demand absolute consistency. Anything you do that is over 50% of the childcare/housework/family administration etc should be recompensed at a reasonable hourly rate. This would take into account your contribution to the family ecomony now and help you to save to fund your studies in the future. You should also request backdated payment for the childcare/housekeeping you did while you were on maternity leave while he was making his money.

He can't have it both ways. Either you are a team and share resouorces OR you are individuals who are each entitled to be paid for their work (in and out of the home) and keep their savings to themselves.

Kitsilano Tue 17-Feb-09 11:38:43

BTW if he is saying no because he worried about your family finances then that is a different matter and one that you shoudl be working out between you. But if he is saying no because it is HIS money not yours then I would put the argument above to him.

Sidge Tue 17-Feb-09 11:41:00

If you're mortgage free then surely it's entirely do-able?

Even using some of your savings, as long as it doesn't leave you destitute then I think he is being pretty harsh.

Does your DH think that the only decent career is one based on a great income? Does he understand how important this is to you personally? And why would he want to increase family debt when you have savings? It's not as if your savings are going to earn you much (if any) interest at the moment.

PeachyHasABrokenKeyboardSorry Tue 17-Feb-09 11:42:32

Would you do the same for him?

If yes YANBU as long as he cn genuinely afford it; if no then YABU

Different couples work differently but equality matters

DH funded me so I will ahev to fund him- I don't want to (will be ahrd because of oter carer reasons) but its what I must do morally

MrsBadger Tue 17-Feb-09 11:45:30

YABU to expect to be supported hmm

DH runs his own business, yes?
If 'business is v tight' then surely not only slashing your income but also spending all your savings is the last thing you want to do at the moment, however happy it might make you personally.
What you don't want to happen is for you to plunge into this then, because of the recession,for DH's business to falter and you run out of money.

My DH started his own business a few years ago and we had some very serious and quite squirm-making talks about cold hard cash.
He wanted to set up the business, like you, for his own job satisfaction, and I was prepared to support him and make some sacrifices (no more skiing, splurging on wine etc, making him a loan from our savings etc) but I wasn't prepared to have it jepoardise the basic family finances, mortgage, bills etc. Hence it depended on my having a stable income in order to absorb the ups and downs of the early months of the business.

Running a business where you personally are responsible for how much money, if any, you make, is very different to being salaried where your paypacket arrives predictably at the end of the month.
If I (say) currently had a yen to eg retrain or be a SAHM I would consider at the moment that this would place DH under excessive pressure if his was the sole household income.
I would make sure he knew what I wanted, how important it was to me, and that I was prepared to wait to get it, make a date to discuss it again in (say) 6m, shut up and soldier on.

blueshoes Tue 17-Feb-09 11:48:22

FlockedWallpaper, could you be entitled to some sort of student loan ie one with low interest or you need to repay only after you graduate and earn a certain amount?

If so, since your dh is worried about his own cashflow, it makes sense to take out a student loan and preserve your savings. If things go pears at his end, you still have your savings and you don't have to make repayments on your student loan.

FlockedWallpaper Tue 17-Feb-09 12:53:06

thanks again for more responses, it's good to get all views. have had network problems so have only just been able to gt back online.

I did not make it clear but I have already started the course, it was 5 years in the planning (I did evening courses and voluntary work to qualify) and DH was OK with it, although somewhat reluctantly at first. I was made redundant last year and was able to temp for a while, before stating this course. There is little temp/perm work for me in current climate. DH has changed his mind about supporting me, as we are not getting on so well at the moment. This is a bigger issue and magnifies the whole situation, but what I am trying to clarify here is whether it is such a big ask for support in the first place.
I would like to think I would do the same for him, especially as we are solvent and he felt the same way about a career change as I do.

FlockedWallpaper Tue 17-Feb-09 13:04:08

blueshoes - i have already taken out a student loan to pay for part of course fees.

sorry to have sprung this additional info (am trying to keep separate as is a whole other major issue) - i am trying to focus on issue of what support is reasonable

i think ManIFeelLikeAWoman has hit the nail on the head with different priorities - we still need to work on that to reach an agreement

PeachyHasABrokenKeyboardSorry Tue 17-Feb-09 13:13:47

If he pulled support then no YANBU

kitbit Tue 17-Feb-09 13:16:09

Daft question, but did you agree all of it beforehand and acknowledge that there would be a need for him to financially support the family while you retrained? Or is he in the position under suffrance? If it was all agreed then I can see he is being a bit unreasonable however if your financial security has changed since an original agreement then maybe he's not so unreasonable to consider the bigger picture in order for the whole family to be stable longer term.

If he was never really happy about it I can't see how you can "expect" him to shoulder the burden of supporting the family by himself even if it's just for a while.

dh and I are a team, with pooled resources. However to tilt that balance would require some hard thought and a result we were both happy with.

Milkmade Tue 17-Feb-09 13:23:32

I would feel put under a lot of pressure if I were asked to support the whole familiy under my wages at the moment - you never know what can happen job wise and there's a lot more security in two income streams. Espcially if he runs his own business there's a real danger that that kind of pressure can lead to him feeling (well it would with me) that he could never take time off and spend with his familiy but rather constantly had to be doing his best to make sure the familiy was finacially stable. Now is a good time to have a nest egg and not a good time to eat into it if at all avoidable in my opinion.

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 17-Feb-09 13:33:35

If he's already feeling financial pressure as contracts are thin on the ground then YABU to expect him to support your retraining at the moment. You may need those savings to cover a rainy day when there is no work.

If roles were reversed and your DH came home and said he was quitting work to go to uni, would you be happy or would you still expect him to provide for the family?

Re-training is a luxury and you both need to be happy with the decision, if you are already having problems then this coupled with money worries can only make things worse.

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