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to think my DH should go back to work

(18 Posts)
AliGrylls Wed 05-Aug-09 07:48:10

DH was made redundant over a year ago. He received a good settlement from his employers and one which would probably keep us in a reasonable lifestyle for a couple of years.

The problem is that I think he should go back to work or at least do something constructive with his time (at the moment he spends most of his time checking the financial markets, and he says he has been looking after his investments. He has also helped to set up the resident's committee where we live but this only takes up a few hours of his time in a month). He is spending a lot of time in the house and I am not sure it is normal and I am worried he is festering.

Am I being unreasonable for thinking that he should either go back to work or find something constructive to do a couple of days a week (even if it is voluntary).

IsItMeOr Wed 05-Aug-09 08:51:54

Does he do the childcare?

If not, I'm not surprised that you are concerned that he may be festering. But you don't say what his plans are?

castlesintheair Wed 05-Aug-09 08:55:52

YANBU. My DH did a similar thing a few years ago. The longer you leave it the harder it is to get back in there. However, it hasn't affected him much now in hindsight but it has affected our relationship as I built up a lot of resentment towards him.

expatinscotland Wed 05-Aug-09 09:11:31

Are you working?

Is he doing the childcare and housework?

AliGrylls Wed 05-Aug-09 09:30:01

To be fair on him he does most of the housework and I do all the childcare (which is what we agreed when I went on mat leave).

I am on maternity leave at the moment and thinking about going back to work. I suggested that I go back to work the other day and he said he would not be a full-time dad as it was not how he saw our relationship progressing.

I think the problem is that we are at home together most of the time and we are annoying each other. We have started to argue about really trivial things. We never used to argue at all.

He told me the other day that he thought I had lost respect for him and that I have started to treat him differently. I don't think I am (unless I am doing it subconsciously).

Castlesintheair, what did you do to support / encourage your husband? I don't know what I can do to help him.

IsItMeOr Wed 05-Aug-09 09:40:20

Okay, so he doesn't see himself being a full-time dad. What does he see himself being?

Honestly, I think the way you're writing about him does give a slight impression that you might have lost respect for him a little. I'm too sleep-deprived to put my finger on why I get that impression, but I think it's to do with your not volunteering info on what he does want to get out of life, which makes me think you don't know so perhaps have given up communicating with him as a fellow adult.

Sorry if that's a bit blunt, but need to dash and wanted to try to help.

squeaver Wed 05-Aug-09 09:40:53

Yes it's very hard both being in the house all day. It's so easy to just get on each other's nerves. I have been there and done that (and, to a certain extent, I'm still going through it)

Is he happy with how things are? Is he bored? Lonely? Because if he's not, then this could become a really big problem. He'll get more and more settled and you'll become more and more resentful. The truth is you probably have started to treat him differently, even sub-consciously.

Taking up a new hobby could be a good thing.

Also charities are crying out for help - not just with the voluntary, day-to-day stuff but at senior or board level.

I'm a bit worried about him not wanting you to go back to full-time work. If you just did it, there wouldn't be much he could about it, would there? That'd get him back to work pretty fast.

I think the big problem here is the difference in your expectations of life at the moment.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 05-Aug-09 10:18:32

He's being a bit silly - if you are ok going back to work sooner then you should. It doesn't need both of you to be at home and if he can't find a job and you have one it's a no brainer to me. It doesn't mean he has to be a SAHD forever - but why doesn't he like that idea? Is he a bit sexist?

Acinonyx Wed 05-Aug-09 10:25:13

So what does he expect to happen when you go back to work? Are you going to pay for childcare so he can continue to sit at home undisturbed?? Would he do that if roles were reversed?

castlesintheair Wed 05-Aug-09 11:08:32

AliGrylls, it was really hard and the cause of endless arguments and, as I said, deep resentment on my part. He was quite a closed book about everything which really drove me mad too. Looking back on it, I think being made redundant (or fired as they like to call it) was a big shock for him and affected his self-esteem in a big way. Like your DH, he did stuff, like helping his Dad with his business (unpaid) and starting a project to develop some ancestral gardens (tv project also unpaid), he also did most of the cooking and helped with the DCs a bit. I think as well he was questioning (still is) what he really wanted to do. I think your DH saying he thinks you have lost respect for him suggests he may have similar feelings to the ones my DH had.

It was a difficult time and not one I look back fondly on even though I had 2 young DCs. Although in hindsight it was nice having him around, the worry about the future took the pleasure away iyswim.

I think you just have to let your DH know he has your full support whatever he does but that he must let you know what is going on. He should also be prepared for you to go back to work full-time and deal with the consequences of that. Maybe you going back to work full-time sooner rather than later will help him get his act together more quickly? grin

AliGrylls Wed 05-Aug-09 12:13:14

I think you have hit the nail on the head. I think it came as a huge shock to him and he didn't expect that he would get made redundant.

He has said that if I go back to work more than 2 days a week he will get childcare for the extra days.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 05-Aug-09 12:25:08

so he'll do childcare for two days and pay someone for two days? What for? You would be working to fund childcare while he sits on his arse looking at shares online hmm you'd get no tax credits top up for the childcare as he's not working. Bonkers. Sorry but that's not on. Either both work and you pay for childcare, or one works and the other does childcare. He doesn't get to waste your hard earned cash on nursery because he doesn't fancy childcare hmmhmm

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 05-Aug-09 12:25:44

I meant the other days, not two days.

squeaver Wed 05-Aug-09 13:43:43

Ali - the shock can be a big factor. I don't think my dh has recovered from being made redundant for the first time and that was 5 years (and another job since) ago.

Honestly the best thing for him to do is to connect with other people. This gets him out of the house, keeps him occupied and keeps him engaged with the world. I can't stress the importance of this. Or he'll just close down and things will get a lot worse than they are - as castles has said.

The other important thing is for you two to talk as much as you can. I know it can be boring seeing him all day long and you sometimes just can't be arsed having a conversation with him. But communication is so important at this time.

mumblechum Wed 05-Aug-09 13:52:48

I think he's being pretty unreasonable in expecting to pay for childcare when he's not working.

He should definitely be doing some voluntary work as well, maybe mentoring young people? I'm assuming he was fairly high up the ladder & lots of charities want high achieving people to mentor 16 to 18 year olds.

OhBling Wed 05-Aug-09 14:05:57

Ali - why do you want to go back to work? is it because you feel you need the money? In which case, the comments that it's ridiculous for you to work simply to earn money that then goes on childcare while DH is at home are completely true. If, however, you want to go back to work for yourself because you enjoy it and your DH doesn't want to be a SAHD and you both agree and can afford childcare, then I think that would be fine I would have thought.

It seems to me that the problem is that you had a de facto understanding of how things would be and the roles you would both play and that's changing. I'm guessing your DH worked in finance type job and that was part of who he was for you. Now he's not that person any more and you're both struggling. You both have to work out how you feel about that.

OhBling Wed 05-Aug-09 14:06:43

My word. Does that first paragraph make sense? I must check posts before hitting the send button!

squeaver Wed 05-Aug-09 15:50:28

It does, OB smile. Those are reasonable questions to ask.

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