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my dh resents me for not working

(653 Posts)
thestarryskiesabove Sun 23-Mar-14 21:10:10

we have 2 Dc's, 4 & 5, both in full time education, it was always agreed that one of us would stay at home and look after the kids until they were older, whilst the other worked - I am now looking to get a job but have so far been unsuccessful. The fall out is that dh is being really resentful towards me and pretty much treats me like a home help/employee, ie with disdain and contempt. I get that my role is perceived as the easier one, but in reality our hours are pretty much similar in that I am a house wife 7 days a week, I do everything to do with the house and kids from sunrise to sun down - whereas he does a 40 hour week mon to fri. How do i deal with his deep, brooding resentment?, obviously apart from getting a job - thats for the future, i am talking about right now.

HanSolo Sun 23-Mar-14 21:15:08

What plans did you put in place before your youngest started school re going back to work? It's March so presumably youngest started work 7mo ago? That's a long time not to find work [commiserations] Are you in a field that's particularly hard to get back into after presumably a 5 year-long break?

HanSolo Sun 23-Mar-14 21:16:37

What I mean by that question is- does your DH see you actively trying to get work, but struggling because of the current work climate? Or does he just think you're not trying, because staying at home is easier?

Slapperati Sun 23-Mar-14 21:16:51

Leave him to it for a week and see how easy he finds it.

He sounds horrible.

Sneezecakesmum Sun 23-Mar-14 21:19:18

You need to talk to him about your getting a job and any help he can give you to find one.

Tbh unless you are OCD about housework and cooking your life sounds a complete doodle and I can imagine someone working 40 hours a week being resentful.

When you have small children and babies it is very hard and I wouldn't deny its of equal value and equal difficulty to be a SAHM.

When my children started school I did all the washing and ironing on Monday, the house cleaning on Tuesday, cleaned the loos and generally tidied up, cooked etc as well as the school run, homework, bed and bath time during the week. Then I worked every weekend and I still found it a doddle grin

Kezzybear Sun 23-Mar-14 21:19:40

Are u looking for part time work because I think that always takes longer to find. Your Dh doesn't sound that nice. Good luck

thestarryskiesabove Sun 23-Mar-14 21:20:24

i've done bits and pieces of work over the years, but i guess thats not really the point - he is working as much as he would have worked before he had children -so now I am trying to deal with what he sees an inherent unfairness, ignoring the plus sides, after school care, children off sick from school, holiday care etc. I know other couples do it without resentment so i guess i am looking for other peoples experiences of this issue

HanSolo Sun 23-Mar-14 21:22:15

Really slapperati? I think I would find it difficult not to feel resentful if I were on OP's husband's position. That doesn't mean I'd be treating her with disdain/contempt, of course! But I would find it very difficult I think.

FWIW, I do everything to do with the house, and children, sunrise to sun down too, and I work FT too. So do lone parents. I can understand why he would resent that, but if it were me, I would be discussing it with my spouse not being rude to her.

HanSolo Sun 23-Mar-14 21:24:32

Is there anything you could do to be self-employed? That is often flexible. What field are you in, and is the industry strong or struggling atm?

Handywoman Sun 23-Mar-14 21:26:26

You are right he ignores the plus sides like after school care, school hols, looking after sick children etc

And I bet if you went back FT these things would still be your responsibility. I don't think his attitude is about the hours in paid work. It's more about how little he values what you are already providing.

Sneezecakesmum Sun 23-Mar-14 21:28:00

I am utterly amazed!

You feel the 'after school care, children off sick from school and looking after them in the holidays' are onerous duties over and above the ones of taking them to school, cleaning the house and cooking?

It would take any normal capable woman 2 hours to clean, do some washing and prepare food each day. Which leaves a whole lot of time to paint your toenails and drink coffee!

Sorry but moaning because you have to look after your own children as and when unusual circumstances occur like school holidays hmm

Handywoman Sun 23-Mar-14 21:29:57

You are missing the point. The fact that the OP's DH never has to do these appears to pass him by. Hence he is resentful.

thedrunkenduck Sun 23-Mar-14 21:31:09

How about stop doing his laundry and cooking his meals.

He will soon learn I'm sure.

Sneezecakesmum Sun 23-Mar-14 21:33:26

Handy woman. Why are you assuming he will not pull his weight if the OP gets a job?

For him to have been happy to work a 40 hour week to support his DW and DCs without any problems (none mentioned prior to all DCs at school) shows commitment. Plenty of men I know drop the children off at school or have time off for such children.

Viviennemary Sun 23-Mar-14 21:33:48

One person supporting the whole household financially is something that has to be agreed on by both parties. If not it can cause massive resentment.

Sneezecakesmum Sun 23-Mar-14 21:34:17

Sick not such

usualsuspectt Sun 23-Mar-14 21:37:09

Will he be pulling his weight more when you do find a job? will he sort out after school and holiday care? Will he take time off work if one of the children is sick?

gamerchick Sun 23-Mar-14 21:38:36

if he's working monday to friday, could you maybe take on a weekend job? Then he can do the house/childcare thing and you'll be bringing in a bit of money.

Thats how we do it here.. means I bring in a wage (albiet a fraction of his and he does the weekend housework thing etc) and i'm on hand during the week to keep the house and kids as normal.

It does work and you really appreciate putting in your holidays.

Handywoman Sun 23-Mar-14 21:38:54

Because if he is resentful to me it speaks of not appreciating OP's continued contribution. That's why I think he may get a shock about what he will have to contribute in the scenario if 2 FT working parents.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Sun 23-Mar-14 21:39:32

Have you spoken to your DH about this perceived resentment and the effect his behaviour has in your feelings?

Does he know how you feel?

Resentment can really affect a relationship, on both sides.

Could you have a talk about what would help both of you be in a better place?

Could you build a plan together?

Maybe some training or volunteering as a stepping stone, etc.

I have three DCs but one still very little and very much at home. At times my DH is envious of me being at home and the slower pace of home life, but if we ever swap for some reason, he admits he would hate it in the medium/long term and prefers working.

kukeslala Sun 23-Mar-14 21:40:40

would you prefer not to be working (as in paid employment)? what you have said on your second post seems this may be the case.

I dont know if thats good advise, what about if he then decided to stop providing her food etc...

Thetallesttower Sun 23-Mar-14 21:43:34

What the point in his resentment? It won't get you to get a job faster.

As others have said, he may be surprised how much extra housework and childcover comes his way once you are back in f-t work.

I think being contemptuous of others and resentful is deeply unpleasant, this is not your fault, and you staying at home, getting off the career ladder and doing the home drudgery has benefited him career wise massively during this time (not you).

I don't see why people see this as an 'easy' life, you don't want to stay home all the time and frankly I would find it a bit dull, I wouldn't be envious, I would think you might be envious of his very good career entirely supported by you!

He's being a dick, if he became redundant, would you resent him and treat him like the hired help?

BobPatSamandIgglePiggle Sun 23-Mar-14 21:43:50

It depends really - are you trying desperately hard to get a job or are you living it up at home?

There is no comparison really - unless you live in a mansion you are not working hard to keep the house clean. It's nowhere near the same as him working full time. You have hours in the day to yourself.

I'd be resentful too.

Joysmum Sun 23-Mar-14 21:45:03

2hrsca day to do all housework, all gardening, all washing and ironing, all shopping and all cooking, clearing up, decorating,sorting out the kids and doing their reading and homework plus being an active parent and getting to clubs etc? I'm not house proud but it takes me longer to ensure everything is done so that when DH comes home he has nothing to do and his non-working time is leisure time.

I'm currently studying full time and we are all trying to get the balance right of sharing out what I used to do before I studies. It now means he not only works, but doesn't get much leisure time because he needs to take on chores. It's taking him a bit of getting used to because me not being in employment was as much about making his life easier and able to focus on his career as it was about raising our daughter.

thestarryskiesabove Sun 23-Mar-14 21:45:18

sneezecakesmum -

you have totally missed the point of my op. I am not moaning about looking after my lovely kids, i love it - i have done paid work all my life - until now - i am moaning about my DH's resentful attitude and asking for advice about what i can do about it, just to re-iterate - I am not moaning about looking after children!! and talk of 'painting my nails and drinking coffee' - that could have come out of DH's mouth

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