He's a good man, lovely father, but lives in fantasyland! He's been putting all the eggs in one basket all his life (now late '40s), and has "almost made it" quite a few times, which has kept him going. He's still at it, and I respect his commitment and lack of materialism, but we have two DC, and I'm the main provider. I work part-time and between us we get by financially, but I feel burdened and would also like to devote time to myself and further my studies, for example. I've been dreaming of doing a PhD for years, but it's not going to happen. We have huge rows, and he says he would love to give me more, but just can't get the money together. He just about manages to pay all the bills, while I pay mortage, food, clothes and all the extras. I love him but it's really hard, he just has no initiative apart from what he likes doing. He feels a failure, although he's a naturally optimistic person. It was very attractive to be with someone like this when I was in my 20s, but I'm now 40!!!
I would love to be an artist but I'm not selfish enough yet (will get there one day). I understand his passion but he needs to be realistic and put his family before his dream. I'm guessing you have explained this to him?
Can't he compromise and at the very least work part time?
He does some building work, when he can get it, and is training to become a counsellor (he's great with people), and the hope that he eventually gets there is what keeps me here. As I said, great dad and the kids adore him. He also adores me, and is always telling me that he loves me and fancies me, etc. But I fear for the future, and get quite anxious about it. I'm getting anxious now, writing about it. I just don't have career security in order to provide for everyone. I suppose this is how many men feel...
Very few artists are able to support themselves solely by their art -- either they have family or patrons funding them, or they work in a commercial version of their art (e.g., my photographer friends do wedding photography to pay the bills). It's so unfair for you to have to give up your dreams so your husband can pursue his, even when it's not enough to support the family.
I think you should talk and come up with a date by which he needs to be bringing in more money. He doesn't need to give up his art but he can't be relying on you indefinitely -- he needs a cutoff date.
I know... I/we have other artist friends who've remained single or childless and that is not a problem as they only have to look after themselves and can be very frugal, that's fine and I respect it completely. Sometimes I feel guilty having had children with him, maybe he's just not cut out for it - although our DC are unquestionably the centre of his world, and gets really down at not being able to give them more...
He's training to be a counsellor (my idea) and does some building work. It's going to take a while longer, maybe a couple of years, to qualify and then he'll have to build up the counselling work. A long journey when you have kids, but that is what I concentrate on when I feel really down...
I work p/t as my kids are small and really want to be there for them - also, jobs don't abound, I check all the time. At the same time I'm very aware that I need to think of my future, and my DC won't be little forever. We share the kid's pickups etc. and have a childminder, so we just about manage. We have no family at all near us, so no support.
If his work sells, he hasn't failed. Most artists don't make the big time and just get along. It's a hard draft occupation, and if he's making bits of money here and there by building, it's a bit unkind to call him 'failed'. People don't change, and going from making bugger all money to lots of dosh is a massive shift in attitude. Being an artist who makes a living requires masses of different skills from book-keeping to promotion and PR. It needs a business plan of sorts, and an understanding of the market you are aiming at. Whatever is failing, the art bit is probably fine, but the rest is hard. It takes very thick skin, lots of rejections, and persistance to carry on. Business Link is still going, but will only be online from November. There are often local arts business courses available. Worth looking into.
I can't say exactly what he does as too many clues (i know people who read threads on MN), all I can say is that his art only makes maybe a few thousand a year. I have been suggesting some sort of teaching for years, but he's never sorted that out. His counselling course is only one day a week for now, and the building comes and goes. I need a childminder because my youngest is still at nursery only a few hours a day. The break he has been waiting for has never materialised, basically, and he hasn't really done much else waiting for that bloody break...
Do you like his work? You sound like you've been very supportive so clearly that's not the problem.
He sounds a bit depressed. It's hard to let go of the dreams of your youth if you haven't started to replace them with the dreams of your 40s. I reckon he needs to grieve not being a rock star/Damien Hirst/Rio Ferdinand and then re-find what he does as an enjoyable hobby.
I doubt you'd get a 50:50 split any more than ex-husbands do.
If you work and he doesn't, then if you got a divorce, he'd get the house, the kids, maintenance and your pension, on the basis that he's a househusband, you've always funded him, and thus he's entitled for ever.
Financially speaking at least, you'd be the ex-husband, I suspect.