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AIBU to tell redundant DH that I really want him to get a job?

(64 Posts)
geekfreak Tue 07-Jul-09 12:56:52

A bit of background: DH was made redundant from city job a few months ago. He's trying really hard to get another job but it's really hard out there. I have been very patient and supportive since it happened, and have picked up a lot of extra work to the point that I am now working full-time plus some more.

I am now pg and at the very tired stage, and said last week in a wistful manner that I really wanted him to get a job. He took this as a massive criticism, and it took me all evening to persuade him that I wasn't saying it was his fault, just that I found the situation tiring and frustrating, and I am also very anxious about it (haven't slept very well since he lost his job).

I am also a bit frustrated that I am still doing a lot of childcare runs (DD is in childcare three days a week) and a lot of the stuff round the house (washing, cooking, sorting out stuff) but if I suggest that he could do a bit more, DH claims that I am trying to turn him into a house husband (which I am not! I just want to not be working so much with a massive commute and doing so much round the house because I'm exhausted).

Sorry for long post, but views welcome...

AMumInScotland Tue 07-Jul-09 13:00:38

Well, if he's trying really hard to get another job, then I think it was a little unfair of you to say you wished he would get one, as it probably came across as suggesting you think he should try harder.

But if you are having to work extra outside the home, then I don't see why he should not be doing the extra housework, childcare etc to support you in that, on a temporary basis. That doesn't mean he has to be a househusband, and it doesn't sound like either of you want that in the long term. But what he can be is a supportive partner while you are being the breadwinner. That;s not much to ask!

kitsmummy Tue 07-Jul-09 13:03:24

huh? Well surely if he's not working (not his fault, I know) then he should be a house husband right now. You should be doing minimal amounts around the house, even more so as you're pregnant and working full time! YANBU!

AnyFucker Tue 07-Jul-09 13:04:33

tell me to fuck off if you like, but did you get pregnant before or after he lost his job?

wannaBe Tue 07-Jul-09 13:06:50

if he's not working then he should be doing more around the house.

But I think you were unfair to say that you want him to get a job. It's a nightmare out there, and the problem is that there are so many more people out of work that it's almost impossible to get a job.

My dad was made redundant in December and he's found it impossible, and very frustrating.

theyoungvisiter Tue 07-Jul-09 13:08:23

I think yabu to say you want him to get a job - you probably didn't mean it as a criticism but it's not unreasonable to think it would be a sore spot for your DH!

BUT your DH is being far more unreasonable in thinking that he can sit at home all day and still do the same amount of chores that he did as a working man. He SHOULD be a househusband, both partners in a marriage need to work equally hard - his full time job should be 1) job hunting and 2) house keeping (in that order).

expatinscotland Tue 07-Jul-09 13:10:39

You need to make VERY clear to him what he will be doing in the house.

If you're working over FT, he needs to be doing the childcare runs and most of the housework/cooking/chores.

This does not interfere with looking for a job at all. As demonstrated, you work FT AND do all this stuff.

HecatesTwopenceworth Tue 07-Jul-09 13:14:59

I think he is being VERY unfair. You are earning all the family money atm, that's just one of those things, but for him to not ease the burden by doing the school run and doing his share of the housework, well, that's just taking the PISS!! Why the hell should everything be left to you? Housework and childcare is your job because you have a vagina? hmm. No way! All the things a family needs to do - earn money, run the house, look after the kids etc etc - should be split equally! so if you are both working ft outside the home then you do the other stuff 50/50. If only one of you is working outside the home or it's a ft/pt split then the one who works fewer (or no) hours should do the lions share within the home.

The problem is that in his heart of hearts, he thinks the kids and the house is your job. That's a problem.

geekfreak Tue 07-Jul-09 13:15:18

So I've been a bit insensitive? Hmm. Fair enough. Still not sure I should have to spend hours reassuring him that it was about my tiredness and desire to ease up a bit, rather than a criticism (and he still doesn't really believe me and is snapping my head off for the slightest thing at the moment) {hmm}.

I fell pregnant after he lost his job, but we had been trying for ages (it always takes me ages) so decided to keep on trying rather than putting things on hold. Why?

MamaLazarou Tue 07-Jul-09 13:15:28


He is trying very hard to find work. It's demoralising being laid off, and you will not help his morale by putting pressure on him.

Of course you should both talk through your feelings about the situation, as it is a difficult time for you both, and you need each other's support. But try not to blame him for anything, as you have said yourself that he is already doing his best.

However, YANBU to expect him to pull his weight around the house.

expatinscotland Tue 07-Jul-09 13:20:02

What hecate said.

Especially as your child is in childcare thee days/week?!

WTF is he doing all day?!

I've been laid off twice in my life.

Yeah, it mega sucks, but it doesn't take 8 hours/day to look for a job and it's no excuse to expect your spouse to do all the friggin' work and his/her job on top of that.

HecatesTwopenceworth Tue 07-Jul-09 13:20:15

"I fell pregnant after he lost his job, but we had been trying for ages (it always takes me ages) so decided to keep on trying rather than putting things on hold. Why?"

Why? You're probably going to be told that you shouldn't have tried to have a baby after he was made redundant. <sigh>

zeke Tue 07-Jul-09 13:22:08

I'm sorry that you husband has lost his job.

Mine also lost his job in the early stages of my pregnancy and he put me under a lot of pressure to continue working right up until the end of my pregnancy (in a demanding 50+ hr job!). He also did not take on much responsibility for things around the house. There was no meal waiting for me when I got home etc.

I agree that your DH definately SHOULD do a lot more around the house. Surely, he would be doing a lot more around the house anyway as you are tired in pregnancy. If your DH is anything like mine then he probably doesn't see it that way.

I would try and sit down with him and the list of jobs and decide how to divide them up. He may see how unfairly he is treating you when it is in black and white.

HecatesTwopenceworth Tue 07-Jul-09 13:26:15

trying to get inside his head for a minute grin Is he sexist? Is he 'traditional' (nice work for old fashioned sexist wink )

Do you think he thinks that "women's work" is beneath him? That it's not what The Man Of The House does, or does he fear he'll be judged?

Or does he feel less of a man for not being the 'provider' and taking on what he sees as the woman's role would be the final nail in the coffin?

Is his sense of self, or his self esteem or whatever you call it grin tied up with being <insert job title> and he's lost without it?

Or is he just an idle, selfish sod?

geekfreak Tue 07-Jul-09 13:32:20

I do feel for him as I know he feels his identity has been taken away from him. He likes being the provider, so I suppose is a bit traditional.

The main problem is that he doesn't see stuff that needs doing (I think he still believes in the laundry fairy) and he kind of rebels against it if I mention things that need doing. So I feel a bit stuck.

He is lovely and I do love him, I'm just very tired of doing it all and want a bit of help

expatinscotland Tue 07-Jul-09 13:38:00

'The main problem is that he doesn't see stuff that needs doing (I think he still believes in the laundry fairy) and he kind of rebels against it if I mention things that need doing. So I feel a bit stuck.'

Then show him this thread.

Because that's a sack of shit, he's not a teenager rebelling against Mum and Dad.

I'd do my own stuff just for me and your DD and stuff him, literally. I wouldn't do jack shit for him - laundry, food, nada.

MamaLazarou Tue 07-Jul-09 13:50:22

Why some women marry men who believe in the laundry fairy, I will never know.

expatinscotland Tue 07-Jul-09 13:52:47

I agree there's that period of devestation after you get made redundant. But then, when you have a family, things are different, you can't just wallow for months and do FA. Because that's totally uncool for starters.

JemL Tue 07-Jul-09 13:56:48

MamaLazarou - my DH did all his own laundry (not just helped out - did it all himself) cooked for himself, cleaned, etc from the age of about 13 (his parents got divorced, dad left and mum was never there.) I knew him then, so I know that he did all this. And yet he still needs prompting to put a wash on now, even when our laundry basket, or the pile on top of it, is nearly 5ft tall!

spicemonster Tue 07-Jul-09 13:57:13

Why wouldn't he be a househusband if he hasn't got a job and you have? Isn't that what happens to women when they don't work?

Why isn't he doing the lion's share of the washing and cleaning and all the childcare runs, given he doesn't have to be anywhere particular at any time?

I'm sorry, I simply don't understand

MamaLazarou Tue 07-Jul-09 13:57:15

He's not 'just wallowing', though. He is making every effort to find work. The lack of housework isn't a new thing - it would seem he has always been like it.

MamaLazarou Tue 07-Jul-09 13:59:16

Blimey, JemL - that does seem odd (and very frustrating for you). I was under the impression that independent men stayed that way when they got married - mine did!

MummyDragon Tue 07-Jul-09 13:59:23

Gosh, there are so many posts on MN along the lines of "DH cannot see that the housework needs doing" line ... it's such a common problem, so take heart that you're not alone.

I think we're all agreed that, very often, men can NOT be proactive with regard to housework, and they need someone to tell them, politely and gently, what needs doing. Could you try this, OP? Perhaps using a list/spreadsheet if necessary? (Works a treat in our house, after a very stroppy start!).

Re. saying that you wished he had a job: I don't see how that is unreasonable. Yes, you DH has lost his job, which is awful for both of you, and yes, he is suffering from the predictable self-esteem issues as a result, but you were tired and preggers and you just blurted out the first thing on your mind. Of course you wish he had a job!

You do need to have a chat about this, and work out who is going to be in charge of household chores, childcare / drop-offs / pick-ups etc while he's not working and you're pregant, and beyond, if necessary. How do you think you could go about broaching the subject with him?

Like it or not, rightly or wrongly, he IS suffering from massive self-esteem issues, so "I'd do my own stuff just for me and your DD and stuff him, literally. I wouldn't do jack shit for him - laundry, food, nada" as per expatinscotland's post, whilst tempting, is not going to make the sitation any better, and would be downright cruel. You need to use your powers of organisation, persuasiveness and cunning to make him see things your way.

If that fails, then you can try expat's way. But try the softly softly approach first, even if it does choke you! Male pride and all that wink

Is there any way that you can get some time to yourself? Any relatives who can take the kids off your hands for a bit in the evenings/weekend so you can relax, or - dare I say it - can you get a day or two off work?

Congratulations on your pregnancy, and I hope things get easier for you soon.

flowerybeanbag Tue 07-Jul-09 14:02:05

I think your comment was insensitive, however he is BU. 'Turn him into a house husband'? Well if you are working more than full time and he is not working at all, then of course he should be a house husband until he gets a job. Then when he does, you can both review the situation in terms of chores/childcare at the time. But at the moment what on earth else does he expect to be?! Perfectly possible to do the housework and childcare runs and look for a job if your DD is in childcare 3 days a week.

NotPlayingAnyMore Tue 07-Jul-09 14:06:25

Is he applying for jobs outside the "City"? If you've "picked up a lot of extra work", how come he isn't able to?

Either way, letting you do all the work while biting your head off is NOT him being "lovely" hmm

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