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In a terrible mess and need help

(168 Posts)
fedthefuckupnowwhat Sat 29-Mar-14 15:19:52

I've posted in Relationships in the hope that people will be supportive and not too harsh on me. I don't feel strong enough to field AIBU-style criticism.

I am SAHM to 2 young DC (age 2 and 3). No close family.

I have 2 undergrad degrees but no work experience what-so-ever. I cannot drive.

I have never lived alone (went from living with mum to living with DH).

DH recently lost his 62K job (failed his probation period) and is on 1 month 'garden leave'.

He's looking for a new job but warns me that he 'might need to contract away' (so live away from us).

I can't cope with the prospect of effectively being a single mum (I suffer from anxiety & depression). I don't think I could do the bulk of childcare on my own.

I feel at DH's mercy. We don't have a joint account (DH has always made silly excuses as to why we haven't got around to it).

Anything DH tells me I have to take as gospel because I don't have any other source of info. If he says he can't find a job in our area, I have to believe this - how would I know otherwise? I don't understand his industry (IT management). I feel ignorant and powerless.

I am slowly coming around to the idea of finding a job for myself but feel scared and incompetent, lacking in self-confidence. I have enrolled in a course at my local woman's centre for 'self confidence' and another for 'fighting anxiety and stress'. These courses begin after Easter.

I have also applied for a PhD scholarship (a very long shot) and will discover the outcome at the end of April.

Where do I go from here? I want to be independent and empowered but I feel scared and infantile. I need to take control of the situation (I crave control and my anxiety intensifies when I feel out of control).

Any suggestions most appreciated.

RandomMess Sat 29-Mar-14 15:25:02

Once your dh has another job you need to insist that he pays for some childcare for the dc so you have time and space to do what you need. Certainly with a salary of that much I would expect him to be able to afford it.

If he is going to contract away would it be worth moving to be near your family for support?

fedthefuckupnowwhat Sat 29-Mar-14 15:30:42

Once your dh has another job

I really don't think DH will get another 62K job. He was punching above his weight and clearly couldn't hack it.

He frightened me today with talk of 'contracting away' as possibly being his only hope.

Re: moving near family, I have no family. I no longer speak to my mother (controlling, manipulative, abusive). My father is dead, and my brother is schizophrenic.

RandomMess Sat 29-Mar-14 15:34:45

So what is your financial situation and what do you want to do and what can you afford to do?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 29-Mar-14 15:37:14

He won't find another £62k job, no, fed, too short a time working that will ring alarm bells for a prospective employer but whatever job he does find, he needs to help out with the costs of childcare to enable you to also find a job/do whatever.

I'm sorry for your difficulties, you do sound ever so worried. Do you have access to the CAB who might perhaps be able to advise you?

fedthefuckupnowwhat Sat 29-Mar-14 15:41:15

too short a time working that will ring alarm bells for a prospective employer

Indeed. What salary do you think is doable? He was on 52K six months ago before the 62K job.

He's frightened me with talk of the dole or contracting away. I don't know if he says these things to purposely scare me or to shut me up because I ask too many Qs. Either way, I feel ignorant and vulnerable and I don't like this.

fedthefuckupnowwhat Sat 29-Mar-14 15:41:55

So what is your financial situation and what do you want to do and what can you afford to do?

I'm not sure what you mean? We have no savings and I have no job. Now he has no job.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 29-Mar-14 15:44:30

Are you getting treatment for the pre-existing anxiety and depression? Job-loss (his), lifestyle change, getting back into the world of work (you) and all the various financial pressures are very stressful events that would affect most people.

I think what it sounds like is that you are worrying about everything all at once including things that haven't actually happened yet. Anticipating change is good but it's too much to tackle everything at the same time. So take small steps - such as enrolling on the assertiveness course - and keep the challenges reasonable and manageable.

Your other problem (and please don't take offence at the word) is 'ignorance' i.e. there seem to be a lot of things you either don't know or don't understand. Being in the dark is damn scary and you're obviously an intelligent person so I think 'getting informed' has to be a priority. Family finances are something you should be aware of and involved in.

HowContraryMary Sat 29-Mar-14 15:45:05

If your mother is controlling and abusive, you seem to have jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

Did you not leave home at any time, to go to university? you must have had some independent living?

For an educated woman, with two degrees and hoping to do a PHD, it shouldn't be difficult to do job searches locally to see if there is anything applicable that your DH could do. Most IT jobs these day, in need, can be remote accessed from home.

fedthefuckupnowwhat Sat 29-Mar-14 15:56:48

If your mother is controlling and abusive, you seem to have jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

Yep, I looked for an escape route and fell into danger. I've read that this is unfortunately quite common for people in my situation. I wish I had the foresight when I was younger.

Are you getting treatment for the pre-existing anxiety and depression?

I'm on meds. We were supposed to be getting Relate couple-counselling but now DH has told the counsellors that he wants one-to-one before the couple sessions. So I've recently said that I could do with one-to-one.

it's too much to tackle everything at the same time.

Yes you're right. Anxiety swamps me. It's like a flood that washes over me and I drown in it. Part of me thinks DH enjoys watching this happen to me (that it makes him feel better about himself) so he does stuff to exacerbate it, such as scaring me with the dole, contracting, etc.

Being in the dark is damn scary and you're obviously an intelligent person so I think 'getting informed' has to be a priority.

You are right again. Can you suggest some small steps I can take to overcome my ignorance in family finances?

Did you not leave home at any time, to go to university? you must have had some independent living?

Never. I commuted. I have never ever lived independently, and I'm 31 sad I realise that is pathetic.

For an educated woman, with two degrees and hoping to do a PHD, it shouldn't be difficult to do job searches locally to see if there is anything applicable that your DH could do.

DH went for a different approach to work than I did. He has no qualifications but has shit-loads of experience. He's normally in jobs where all his peers (and even his subordinates) have degrees but he does not. This makers understanding how he manipulates this very difficult for me to understand.

Katkins1 Sat 29-Mar-14 15:58:57

Poor you, it sound as though you have a lot going at on at once. I have to say, I'm in the final year of undergrad (single Mum, one DD), and have my PhD interview next week. It's terrifying, isn't it?

I've not applied for a scholarship yet- am waiting on my interview, then applying. Think very carefully, OP. It's a wonderful opportunity, but could you do it right now with 2 DD's and the childcare, on a minimal (15k a year) scholarship? I think a p/t job might help you get your confidence up first?

I've nearly just done 3 years with a DD, 6, I'm struggling so much to finish my degree, and I've only got one child.

My thought is that studying with a child is very hard, and it almost tipped my depression over the edge. If you are going to do it (and I hope you do!) get some good counselling, set up reliable childcare and be prepared for lots of setbacks along the way. Counselling in itself will give you emotional freedom.

Get your own bank account, too- have the child benefit paid in to it. That way, you have a little money should you ever need it for anything.

Good luck!

Katkins1 Sat 29-Mar-14 16:00:29

Oh, wait, you might not get child benefit, I don't know there! I'm a single mum on benefits, I forget (!). Sorry, get a bank account all the same. Put something in it- in case you need to get away/ decide to leave/ something unexpected happens.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 29-Mar-14 16:01:28

fed... I don't know what he does and, if it's specialised, please don't say it on this board because you might make him identifiable.

If he's looking at contracting jobs then ask him about them - including salary and what the conditions are/would be.

If it were me, I'd be putting my PhD on a back-burner and getting myself financially independent rather than relying on your husband to get another job at that salary.

How has losing his job affected him? It must be quite disheartening for him to fail his probation period.

fedthefuckupnowwhat Sat 29-Mar-14 16:02:52

Get your own bank account, too- have the child benefit paid in to it. That way, you have a little money should you ever need it for anything.

DH gives me an 'allowance' every month. He puts it into a separate bank account (which just happens to have his name on it).

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 29-Mar-14 16:07:31

So how do you get it then? Open your own bank account, get the 'allowance' and put it in there. That's what you do.

fedthefuckupnowwhat Sat 29-Mar-14 16:07:50

I don't know what he does and, if it's specialised

IT management.

If it were me, I'd be putting my PhD on a back-burner and getting myself financially independent rather than relying on your husband to get another job at that salary.

My PhD is my dream. I won't go into great detail but the type of study I would be experimenting with could save lives. It would feel immensely rewarding on a personal level. The uni have already accepted me and I have a head of dept supervising me. My project has even been endorsed by a global organisation who have agreed to collaborate with me. However, we are just waiting to find out if we have been awarded the funding. If it makes me selfish that I don't want to throw this opportunity away then I am 100% selfish and hang my head in shame, but I'm not letting this go.

How has losing his job affected him? It must be quite disheartening for him to fail his probation period.

It's hard to say. On one hand, he hates the job so badly, it was making him stressed, anxious and depressed. So on that front, he's releaved to be out of it. On the other hand, he says he's scared about not having a job lined up to replace it.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 29-Mar-14 16:13:57

Well, you're married and you have children. You have equal responsibility for making a living and, as your husband isn't now working, it's more urgent.

Nobody's suggesting that you give up your dream but you can't have it at any cost. You're dependent on funding for that - will it pay enough to support your family whilst your husband is looking for another job? He needs to support the family but so do you.

Have you actually talked to your husband about his job seeking - and the potential for you to find work also? I assume that you're being supportive as it must have been a horrible blow to him as well as a jolt to you.

fedthefuckupnowwhat Sat 29-Mar-14 16:23:42

You're dependent on funding for that - will it pay enough to support your family whilst your husband is looking for another job?

It'll pay the crappy £15K going rate. I figured that if DH and I were to split up over this, I would still be able to do the PhD as a single mum. I'd have welfare support to do so yes? £15K is like minimum wage?

fedthefuckupnowwhat Sat 29-Mar-14 16:27:23

Have you actually talked to your husband about his job seeking - and the potential for you to find work also?

Yes, I've told him that if I don't get the PhD funding I'll get a job. It'll be nowhere near his salary, but it'll be something. I 100% fully intend to follow this promise through, even though we both agreed on SAHMhood.

kickassangel Sat 29-Mar-14 16:37:06

I'm not sure what the situation is with benefits. If your dh was sacked then he must be eligible to sign on even if he has no payments yet.

Why are you so afraid of claiming benefits? You need something to live on.

You need to get some info about money. If your dh had a 10k pay rise then surely some of that should have been saved or did your dh spend it all?

Does your Uni have any accommodation? They may well have some cheap places for families. Could you move in with the dds and dh join you at weekends? Also ask Uni about childcare. Speak to your advisor and tell them that your husband has lost his job. They will want to keep you as they will want research being done through them. Universities can be quite sheltered and inward looking I would hate that but it could be a good environment for you.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 29-Mar-14 16:41:53

I figured that if DH and I were to split up over this

This makes me wonder whether you'd split up if it meant you 'achieving your dream of PhD' if it paid for you to do that, regardless of what the situation is with your husband. What is the 'this' that you're referring to here?

How would you effectively do your PhD and care for the children as a SAHM?

Are you 'hanging on' to your husband to await the outcome of the funding, OP? I'm sort of getting that vibe from what you're posting.

HowContraryMary Sat 29-Mar-14 16:45:39

Is he a lot older than you?

Where did you meet him?

fedthefuckupnowwhat Sat 29-Mar-14 16:56:06

I'm not sure what the situation is with benefits. If your dh was sacked then he must be eligible to sign on even if he has no payments yet.

Apparently he can't while on 'garden leave' as he's still legally employed.

You need to get some info about money. If your dh had a 10k pay rise then surely some of that should have been saved or did your dh spend it all?

I assume it's been spent.

Also ask Uni about childcare. Speak to your advisor and tell them that your husband has lost his job.

Thank you. That is good advice. I will wait to see if I get the funding then tell them my scenario right away.

How would you effectively do your PhD and care for the children as a SAHM?

I would scrimp and save and spend my £15K on childcare (DH would pay his share). I don't need much to live off. I don't have any expensive hobbies or tastes in clothes, etc. My only hobby is a £20 per month gym membership.

This makes me wonder whether you'd split up if it meant you 'achieving your dream of PhD' if it paid for you to do that

If he said to me "you are not doing this PhD" I would say "I want a divorce".

Are you 'hanging on' to your husband to await the outcome of the funding, OP?

No, I'm hanging on to see if we can salvage anything. I believe that the children would benefit from us staying together and I want to work to make that happen, but if DH tries to control or manipulate me I will have to go. I have no independence and very little self-esteem as it is.

Is he a lot older than you?

He's 13 years older than me. Would you say that was important?

bebows Sat 29-Mar-14 17:09:39

While both of you have no money coming in, unfortunately you dont have the luxury of doing yet another study period which to be fair you dont seem keen to use anyway

sorry but you both have to look for work to pay the bills

fedthefuckupnowwhat Sat 29-Mar-14 17:19:17

bebows the scholarship would pay me £15k per year, which is like having a minimum wage job, which would be topped up by benefits I presume.

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