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Pressure from DH

(106 Posts)
BranchingOut Tue 05-Mar-13 09:40:22

Trouble has cropped up again with my husband...

I am sitting down to write this quickly now, otherwise I am in danger of splurging on the first sympathetic person I see at work.

I have posted a few threads before, so feel free to look for some of my old ones. The potted history is that we have been together 20 years, married 10 and have a son of 3 years.

When my son was 1 year old we went through a terrible patch in our marriage. I had not returned to work (employer refused pt working) so was at home for a year. At the end of the year, after a lot of searching, I managed to get a different pt job. During that year DH gave me a really hard time about being out of work, said he wasn't sure about being married anymore and went 'cold' (not really speaking to me apart from neutral matters, no physical affection, expressing lots of doubt about the relationship). This went on for five months.

My previous job had been a senior teacher (SLT) - earning about 50k but hugely long hours and lots of pressure. I was probably earning the most that I could reasonably expect to do as a teacher.

DH works in the city - long, unpredictable hours and lots of pressure, but earns £100k plus.

We have good standard of living, but live in quite an expensive area of London so nothing hugely extravagant. 3 bed house, but nice car and the occasional holiday. Quite a lot in savings - including a £90k inheritance from one of my relations.

I am not boasting about any of this and count my blessings on a regular basis.
I think we are extraordinarily lucky, wealthier than we ever dreamed of being etc.

The job I have, in the voluntary sector, has all sorts of advantages. It is part time, 3 days a week for now but could probably convert into a school hours job when my son is at school. However, the pay is poor - £28K pro rata. So I bring home less than 20k, which is a lot less than what I was earning before. Plus I lurve my job and colleagues, and they are hugely tolerant of all nursery runs etc. The quality of the work I get to do is also excellent - national intiatives etc.

I am due to get a re-grade (slight promotion, maybe £1.5k more) and last night, before we went to sleep, DH suddenly started asking why this hadn't happened yet and feeling that I should leave to get a better paid job. He came out with gems such as 'I have to shoulder all the burden of breadwinning, it would be nice if you could contribute', said that my employers treat me like 'a dogsbody' and that 'You live the life but I am supporting it'. He thinks I should give in my notice if this re-grade does not come through.

I pointed out that my job might involve him giving some of the flexibility around childcare if I were to get a better paid job, but he seems to think that all part-time jobs would offer that. I currently do almost all nursery runs, childcare arrangements etc.

I am just feeling really upset about some of the things he said and wondering which direction things are going in.

I was half wondering whether to confide in my immediate boss, who is lovely, and possibly hope that this might exert a bit of leverage around the re-grade, as I don't think they would want to lose me.

Feeling miserable and biting back a few tears, but relieved to be able to get this out on MN.

Got to go now, but

swallowedAfly Tue 05-Mar-13 14:34:19

yep - mulling on it - i think he is talking about the future not now. as you're fine now and no hardship. he's thinking about if you split and you're still earning this amount and you get your share of all the capital etc imo.

please don't scurry around showing him jobs. gut feeling this is nothing to do with jobs really.

trustissues75 Tue 05-Mar-13 14:43:23

OP - I've just gone and had a quick read too...just a very brief skim, but his behaviour after your child was born set alarm bells off in my you know you are suffering Domestic Violence? Because you are. There's a thread on here for support for those in emotionally abusive relationships....with lots and lots of links at the top of the thread - might be worth you having a read.

Hugs to you.

Bogeyface Tue 05-Mar-13 14:54:28

Are your savings seperate from his? If not, your first move must be to put your inheritance and your portion of the savings into an account in your name only.

I would hate to see him suddenly remove your access to your money.

I agree that this may well be about the fact that he has found out that the less you earn, the more he will have to pay you in child maintenance. Which says everything you need to know about the man.

An exit plan would be a good thing for you to think about. Good luck xx

PanickingIdiot Tue 05-Mar-13 15:00:13

Hmm, but he's also suggesting she quit her job if she doesn't get the payrise. She'll be unemployed then.

I don't think he has thought this through, to be honest. It sounds like he's just ranting at her because he has his head so far up his arse he doesn't understand how good he has it.

Bogeyface Tue 05-Mar-13 15:01:33

I understood it to mean that he wants her to quit for a better paid job, not give up work altogether.

badinage Tue 05-Mar-13 15:02:49

Afraid that this has all the hallmarks of an emotionally abusive, unfaithful man who's looking for an exit.

Haven't read any other threads but that 'bad patch' you had was surely an affair? I should think he is unpleasant to live with most of the time, but saves his worst behaviour towards you when he's got a new woman on the go, so this is why you're getting a fresh batch of complaints now.

Dryjuice25 Tue 05-Mar-13 15:27:40

Definitely something wrong with this banker husband of yours? Why can't he consider the dc in his argument. He is not some kind of martyr at all.He is a grabbing, selfish greedy individual whose marriage will implode just like the banks did because of pure greed and disrespect for you. WTF

Does he actually love you?

Astelia Tue 05-Mar-13 15:49:34

OP this sounds a horrible way to live. Ask yourself do you want the next three years to be like the last three? If not then something has to change.

Your DH sounds nasty, arrogant and critical. And soon your little boy will start noticing what is going on.

As others have said, you taking a PT position enables him to work all hours. Without you at home you would both have to employ staff which would cost a fortune. Also your DS would not see much of either of his parents. Is this what he would prefer?

onefewernow Tue 05-Mar-13 17:41:05

Branching out , this behaviour is not about what you have or havnt done, what you look like or wear, or anything else.

It is all about him being insecure and unhappy in himself, and preferring to take it out on you rather than amend himself.

My brother would never tell his wife that he is failing to cope as well as he thinks he should with his high pressure job, or that he uses a bullish approach with others in order to avoid dealing with himself. His anger is his anger at himself. His critucism of your job or appearance is him externalising his feelings about how others see him, not you.

BUT there is no reason at all why you should listen to it. Stop justifying and stop explaining. Tell him you are happy as you are, want no further discussion about what YOU need to do, and that if he has a problem with that he can fuck off , and you can get maintenance.

You are contributing alright, but you are partly contributing to your own abuse, if you let him get away with this. It is about respect for your life and your decisions. He isn't in charge of YOU.

I think you might want to spend more time on the relationship board looking got patterns about how these relationships operate, because then you will be able to notice that his lack of respect got hour equal partnership is probably evident in far wider ways than over money and work.

I hope that man has a shock coming to him. Final tip- I found ab

onefewernow Tue 05-Mar-13 17:43:53

For your equal partnership - bloody phone.

My tip is to notice whether you tell uoursf you are assertive be shed you argue back. Whilst at the same time letting him win. I used to do that, and never saw it in myself because I appear outwardly strong.

onefewernow Tue 05-Mar-13 17:44:22


AnyFucker Tue 05-Mar-13 19:25:06

I was going to search for your back threads, as they have been mentioned now

But actually, I daren't

Because I have already been very harsh about your H on this thread. And I suspect there won't be any more words harsh enough if all his behaviours towards you were listed here. sad

thecook Wed 06-Mar-13 22:55:51

I am sure I remember one of your old threads where your piece of shite of a husband was suggesting jobs to you and their earning potential.

Get yourself to a family law solicitor love.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 07-Mar-13 04:16:47

An ongoing theme has been him hassling me about whether I am saving, how much I am saving, what am I keeping back from my salary, even before we had our child. I was so fed up that with this job I just arranged for my salary to be paid straight into the joint account, then I take out £300 approx for my own expenses, transport etc

And by any chance does your husband keep back most of his salary for himself, only paying an agreed-upon amount into the joint account?

BratinghamPalace Thu 07-Mar-13 04:41:03

I have NEVER seen a more absurd thread. The op should be marching into the divorce courts by now simply because the DH is feeling under financial pressure. Really? There are maybe two sane voices on here that suggest a conversation with this man. Maybe he hates his bloody job. Maybe he wants to dial down and does not know how. There are a thousand maybes here besides an unfaithful, greedy whatever and all other absurdities that have been thrown at a man none of you know.

Lavenderhoney Thu 07-Mar-13 05:16:50

First of all, make sure your inheritance is in a separate account and open a bank account for your salary. Ensure you have copies of everything, pension stuff, other bank accounts everything. You might already have a will in place with trustees so it's a good place to start to get information.

He sounds as though he thinks he is carrying you and has no concept of marriage being a team, not everything you bring is measured by money. Unfortunately his work life has conditioned him to measure everything by money which appears to include you.

You have to spell out to him that benefits such as school run, time with your ds, etc are things you want to do as part of being a parent, and it won't last forever ( if that's the way you feel)
I don't advise changing your job or hassling for more, especially if you love it and it has the flexibility you need.

You do need to talk though, and if he just wants things to go back as they were or is unwilling to see the benefits of your life together and how your choice of job helps, only then can you decide. He will probably try to negotiate and be hard with no compromise and backing you into a corner, as that works at work with all the other blokes however you are his wife and require an empathy and sense of " in it together" and you all win, not just him.

TheThickPlottens Thu 07-Mar-13 06:23:27

If this were me, i would sit down with him. Tell him it's a meeting, no phones on and it's lasting an hour. He sounds like he's in that kind of work environment so this might get him taking your discussion seriously.

Ask him how he feels about the "burden". Find out what he's worried about not having enough money for. Explain how your job pays and what you want from your career. Don't let him insult you during the meeting.

From my own experience with financial worries and a high earning but saving like mad husband, those meetings work for us. Worth a shot.

Or real counselling with a third party. The cost of that should scare him into listening to you seriously at home.

Having childcare costing figures in your head might be helpful.

P.s. I did see the irony of him accusing your work treating you like a dogsbody whilst he's dictating your career.

BranchingOut Thu 07-Mar-13 08:50:16

Thanks everyone, an update.

The last couple of days have been ok but a bit of tension under the surface. I am sure that if I had just let it go, it would have disappeared.

Last night he wanted me to do something personal for him (physical but non sexual) and I said that I was still feeling really hurt by some of the things he had said. He seemed a bit surprised, said 'What did I say, then?'.

I quoted back the things he said, as listed in my OP and said that talking like that made me feel really small and non valued.

He did not apologise but said something along the lines of he thinks my employer should just pay me properly. I said that I had faith that it would all come right in the end there, maybe in another couple of months (as the regrade is in process) so what did it matter?

I pointed out that I was making a contribution, albeit small (my net pay is a bit under £1k per month, which covers nursery plus my own expenses) and that was still to be valued. I also said that my work offered many other advantages for example, the possible opportunity to convert to school hours in the future.

He said that many private sector organisations would offer similar pt working flexibility - I said, what job am I supposed to do in a commercial organisation, given my skills and experience?

He still insisted that I had 'no idea' how expensive it was to live in London and that I 'have the luxury of this job without the pressure to get something higher paid'. I said that i didn't imagine the colleagues of his who have SAHM as wives (there are a few) were going home and talking to them like that.

I said that if he wanted to do something different then I would be more than prepared to downsize accordingly.

He didn't respond but made general 'it would be impossible' noises.

In the end I told him that he had totally lost perspective, that we were hugely fortunate in our income, good health and our beautiful son, given the fact that some of our contemporaries are now being diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses. (one of his ex-colleagues has a neurological disease and the spouse of one of his colleagues died over Xmas).

He still insisted that I had lost perspective and we more or less ended the conversation there. I have said my piece and am certainly not intending to hand in my notice, so I will leave it there for now.

LTB? Not right yet. But my faith was badly shaken by the five-month episode a few years ago and I am in two minds whether it will work out in the longer term. I have counselling (he does not know) in my lunchhour, just to have someone to talk to occasionally.

A bit of me wonders if he reacts badly to episodes of pressure, as during the episode a couple of years ago he was sometimes saying things that were not entirely making sense. I offered to take our son to his mum's overnight this
weekend, to give him some down-time, but he did not really react to this.

Thanks again, it has been hugely helpful to use MN just to get some of this out.

BranchingOut Thu 07-Mar-13 08:52:21

For info, inheritance is in joint acc but I do have about 6K in personal savings.

MrsCosmopilite Thu 07-Mar-13 09:04:14

I've read most of your post, Branching and your H sounds very controlling. Controlling and seeming to believe that money/status are all.

I gave up a good job in the city a few years ago. I was earning around £50k, but was incredibly unhappy. One day I'd had enough. Told my DH and said I wanted a career change.

I left the job and started to study a full-time degree. I've now qualified and have started on a Masters.
My H works, but earns under £18k. At the moment we're living off that and savings, which are also funding the course.

We don't live in London, but do run two cars and have a small child. We go on holiday once a year. We do have meals out/takeaways from time to time.

I suppose what I am saying (in a clumsy way) is that is it is perfectly possible to manage to be quite comfortable on a reduced salary. Your H should appreciate this, and be aware that happiness and quality of life are far more important than how much someone is earning, and constantly striving to make more £££.

To some extent he sounds like someone I know. But there are other factors involved there. Warning bells still ring for me sometimes when I hear about that relationship.

Even if you decide that for now, it's better to stay put, I think you need to ensure that you have more independence, financially.

GoodtoBetter Thu 07-Mar-13 09:24:47

What a horrible way to live, he sounds really bullying and unpleasant. I hope you are OK. xx

tallwivglasses Thu 07-Mar-13 10:07:01

Bloody hell, it just goes to show that money doesn't buy you happiness. You're thread makes me sad OP. I'm a lone parent on far less than what you alone earn (doing a job I love). I've a feeling if I'd stayed married I'd have ended up under similar pressure. You do deserve so much better than this.

Your DH's behaviour reminds me a bit of a thread that caused a bit of a bunfight a while back where someone whose family had a very high income was concerned why she didn't feel richer (didn't appreciate what she had got).

I wonder if your DH has expectations of the lifestyle that his income should allow (especially if he is comparing himself to 2 high income couples) and some how doesn't feel like he has got what his salary should bring in. To most people if you say you have a 6 figure salary they would assume you are living like a king but if you live in an expensive part of London and send your children to private school then you have spent a fair bit of your disposable income on those choices. The problem arises when you start to see the expensive house and the private school fees as necessities (because that is what everyone you know is doing) so you only count your disposible income after these (optional) "necessities". Suddenly it can feel that you don't have much money because you are spending £3-4K a month on mortgage and school feees and forget that the ability to spend that much is a luxury.

fees not feees (freudian slip based on my feeling that the fees are huge!)

trustissues75 Thu 07-Mar-13 10:32:53

Brattinghampalace - I think you're missing some very vital parts of the post. Some of us on here have been in abusive controlling relationships and this man is showing a lot of red flags for it! Not to mention some of us are reading this thread in the context of the poster's previous threads about her husbund and how he treats her - have you read the poster's previous threads? Because his behaviour has been horrible towards the poster. This is just another episode in his fuckwittery.

If this were an isolated incident people would probably be saying different things, but this incident, coupled with his actions ater bubs was born, coupled with information from previous posts points rather heavily towards a controlling, abusive individual who has little respect for his partner apart from what she's worth to him monetarily! Is it absured to comment that the poster has far more value than this? Is it absurd to point out a pattern of behaviour that is being indicated in this and previous posts? No, it is not. So many many people do not recognise abuse when it is happening - abuse is not just a black eye.

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