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Very direct question to SAHMs - what if he leaves you?

(173 Posts)
handlemecarefully Wed 23-Feb-05 11:26:05

I work part time but I am actively considering giving up. The children drive me nuts sometimes!, but I don't think Day Nursery is right for my youngest one (or indeed any kind of childcare that isn't me)

Although only part time it is a well paid job and keeps my foot in the door on the career ladder. I don't especially mind about binning my career - however my concerns are if our marraige was to break up x years from now after I have had several years as SAHM, how would I support myself and the children (okay so dh would be required to pay child support...). I can't imagine being able to find well paid work again in that situation after several years out of paid employment.

I am a super cautious person (boringly so)and I don't want this rather negative fear to prevent me from taking the plunge - but I do need to get my head around this...

Do the SAHMs amongst mumsnetters every worry about this and how you would manage if you and dp/dh were no longer together and the 'breadwinner' was gone?

BethAndHerBrood Wed 23-Feb-05 11:29:42

I don't worry about this. Life's too short to worry about something that might never happen, IMHO. I'd probably be alright, 'cos i'd screw dh for every penny!!!!

Gwenick Wed 23-Feb-05 11:30:26

HMC. I've never worked, so dont' even have any 'previous experience' to draw on. But I don't really worry about that. I know that if DH 'was' to leave me then I wouldn't need as mucn money to survive anyhow

The mortgage is in his name so I'd have to move elsewhere - and it wouldn't be as big, so thefore not so expensive
He eats VAST amounts of food so my grocery bill would be reduced
He has a car, which needs taxing, insuring and petrol put into (I don't drive).
I'd get a freeview box rather than the basic sky package.

And I know that if that was to happen if I was on a low income I'd get more tax credits etc etc.

So no - I don't worry about it.

handlemecarefully Wed 23-Feb-05 11:33:40

Lol at the eating 'vast' amounts of food comment

Twiglett Wed 23-Feb-05 11:35:49

I will hunt him down and shoot him

OK I cannot ever imagining it happening so haven't worried about it, but supposing he does leave then I'll get maintenance, liquidise the equity in the house and buy outright a house in my home town, send kids to the local schools, and I will be capable of going back to work then and I won't need a highly-paid job (no mortgage you see) so will be able to just work to make ends meet

seriously though, don't worry about the future .. it won't happen

it really isn't worth worrying about

Gwenick Wed 23-Feb-05 11:36:01

I'm not joking HMC . What you or I would probably consider a 'portion' of meat - is only half a portion to DH, we order about 4 cartons of fruit juice (usually 'exotic' ones) each week, about 14 yoghurts/mullerice type things, cream buns, cereal bars AND cereal, biscuits etc etc - all for him!!!

late Wed 23-Feb-05 11:38:17

I am super cautios too but worry every day about road accidents etc parting us! Can't live your life with "if's" all the way to parting unless that is something that you think could happen to your relationship.

FairyMum Wed 23-Feb-05 11:39:31

Not wishing to stir up on yet another sahm-thread here, but that would be one of my main worries. I would also worry about my DH loosing his job, becoming ill or just leaving me without much of a pension in later life. I think women who don't work for years sadly loose out and might become poorer than women who work later in life. It's not fair. I think they should get paid to stay at home.

lockets Wed 23-Feb-05 11:39:48

Message withdrawn

Fimbo Wed 23-Feb-05 11:39:50

My friend used to syphon money off their joint account each week into her own account just in case her dh left her!! She did this because he once said that he wouldn't have the snip "incase" they split up and he wanted kids with someone else!! Well 12 years later, she has her own very healthy bank account and he has had the snip!!!

Twiglett Wed 23-Feb-05 11:41:09

illness, death, old age can all be catered for with insurance policies though

Caligula Wed 23-Feb-05 11:41:30

Maybe there's a gap in the market for a divorce insurance policy, which would pay out like life insurance?

Hmm, can't imagine any insurance company taking it on though!

iota Wed 23-Feb-05 11:43:28

If the old man popped his clogs I'd get loads of life insurance money, so would be rich - if he left me maybe he'd meet with an "accident"

But seriously, I'm an older mum and we have built up joint assets and equity, so finances would be OK with some economies (the subscription to the David Lloyd would have to go). Also he's pay maintenance - can't imagine him not, but then I can't imagine him leaving his family.

mishi1977 Wed 23-Feb-05 11:44:17

i dont worry about it at all
It was hard at first to give up work but being a resonably intellegent woman i think that if we did split etc then i would always be able to find some income and having been able to move up a career ladder am sure i would do someone else said life is too short and i love spending time with my ds and want more kids so am bound to be a sahm for atg least the next 5 yrs....

Gwenick Wed 23-Feb-05 11:44:57

have to say 'thinking' about it I'd be happier (well you know what I mean) if DH popped his clogs rather than left me - the insurance would pay off the rest of the mortgage so I could stay here - it's just SOOO convinient

braid Wed 23-Feb-05 11:45:14

I know what you mean on this one. I've been working part time earning decent money but am giving it up in two weeks time to have all my time with dd. I'm expecting another one in August. I know I'll have a bit a strange time adjusting to not having money turn up in my bank account. All our assets are in joint names so I would be reasonably OK if we split however I know I wouldn't be in the same position career wise as if I'd carried on working. However I've already decided I want to enjoy now with my children rather than pursue the career and miss out on them. If the worst happened I would just have to make the best of it then I think. I am planning to go back to work in some shape or form when the children are going to school but I still don't think I will want anything that isn't part time and flexible.

FairyMum Wed 23-Feb-05 11:45:56

Noone worries about pensions or their partners becoming unemployed?

Twiglett Wed 23-Feb-05 11:49:10

pensions get split

unemployment .. have savings to cover looking for another job for a few months

you might as well worry about getting hit by a bus, abducted by aliens, losing a leg

they each could happen .. but chances are they won't

there's only so much you can plan for .. the other stuff you need to take on faith and try not to worry in the 'now'

Ameriscot2005 Wed 23-Feb-05 11:49:24

I don't worry about it. If DH were to leave, I still think he would do his fair share - yes, I'd have to go out and work to provide for myself, but the kids and the house would be taken care of for a reasonable amount of time.

If he were to pop his clogs, we would be well set - especially if he did it on company time. He's not allowed to die on his own time .

sacha3taylor Wed 23-Feb-05 11:51:47

Going slightly off the subject- My DH has an ex wife and two children [15 &13] His wife met somebody else and threw him out.....Anyway, the current situation i'm in is that we struggle for money [3 kids] and the majority of his wages go to her for child support! She has re-married to a very wealthy man, they have 2 cars, lots of holidays and she is a SAHM ! i DON'T THINK FOR ONE MINUTE THAT HE SHOULDN'T GIVE HER SOME MONEY TOWARDS THEIR UPBRINGING. I am not in the slightest bit bitter and i'm glad his kids have nice things, but it does seem very easy for a women to change their mind about their marriage and [in my surcumstance sp? only] the man is often left to suffer when sometimes they have done nothing wrong!

iota Wed 23-Feb-05 11:52:52

Fairymum - we have sufficent assets to see us through a period of unemployment and I have my own pension from 23 yrs at work, so no I don't worry about it. I did however have a career once and it was a big wrench to give it (and the financial independence) up.

But I know my circumstances are not typical and I count myself as fortunate to be finacially secure.

lou33 Wed 23-Feb-05 11:58:49

i dont worry about it, it almost happened the other week, but i was more concerned with how i would get about being a non driver, and telling the kids, than the money tbh.

Gobbledigook Wed 23-Feb-05 11:59:05

I'm with Beth! It's perhaps not a very intelligent viewpoint but the way I look at it is, I've no plans to get divorced and dh is strongly against it because of the mess that was his parents divorce. I know nobody can predict the future but we make a real effort to keep our marriage good - we talk everything through and we make time for ourselves. We're not perfect of course and we argue but that's life.

The plans I/we make for the future are plans that involve us all, as we are now as a family, and for us that's the only way to do it. You can't plan for every eventuality that may or may not happen so what's the use of worrying about something that will probably never happen? To me it also seems a bit 'morbid' (not the right word I know) and sad to be considering what you'd do in the event of a divorce - it's almost like you are expecting it to happen so it will.

Also, looking at the experiences of people around me who have divorced, I think I'd be OK financially as I'd be entitled to quite a lot from dh anyway.

No, I don't worry about it at all. I don't worry about dh losing his job - he's got a very good one and has been head hunted by 3 companies while he's been there so we are fairly confident if anything happened where he is now he'd easily get another job. Plus if dh lost his job - I'd go out and work and for various reasons, that would be easy for me to do too.

Even if you didn't get jobs straight away with the same salary, it would be easy to get stop gap jobs to pay the bills in the meantime.

If all else failed and I was destitute - there's always Mum and Dad

Gwenick Wed 23-Feb-05 11:59:15

if my DH was made unemployed (well actually he's not 'earning' now as the business isn't actulaly 'selling' anything yet) then he'd be able to get benifits.........don't have any savings

handlemecarefully Wed 23-Feb-05 12:02:11

You are all so sensible! I am being a bit silly to worry endlessly about something that may never happen. He is a decent sort of bloke so I am sure he wouldn't see us in penury. In the end I think you can find 101 reasons not to make a major life change.

Must say I like the style of Fimble's friend who syphoned off money into a secret gay divorcee bank account

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