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DH resents the fact I like work

(47 Posts)
sara00 Tue 04-Nov-14 22:47:34

I have been a SAHM for over 15 years. My earning power is zero, so this put me off applying for work. Plus the fact DH works crazy shifts. Over the past few years little digs from DH about having an easy life and being fed up with housework built up and I applied for a job. DH thought I would have no chance. I got it and have been there about a year.

I love it and am so happy there. Even had a promotion. DH really seems to resent this and also gets annoyed if I have to work late and am not home to put dinner on the table. I have even turned down overtime because of this.

I feel I could really go places in this job. I am only 35 and ashamed to say this is my first proper job. How can I get DH to understand I cannot be expected to work and be tied to the home? Also our 2 teenage sons are seeing this and always take his side which worries me. I cant talk about work or the day I have had as he just rolls his eyes.

I only earn a fifth of what DH does and I think he sees my job as a little hobby and my true role should be at home. How do I get him to adjust? I only work 20 hours, so not expecting him to do much, but dinner on the table for me when he gets home 4 hours sometimes would be nice! Or just not being grumpy when I am half an hour late and dinner isnt on the table at six.

in2theblues Tue 04-Nov-14 22:57:52

Tell him that if he wants dinner on the table to get a cook. If he wants the house cleaned get a housekeeper. If he wants the children educated a governess. A scullery maid could lay his fires and a butler could iron his newspapers.

You on the other hand are enjoying your fulfilment.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Tue 04-Nov-14 22:59:31

So, let me get this straight: he resented you being a SAHM because he thought you enjoyed a cushy life and now he's resenting you because you work and enjoy doing that.

Maybe him being reminded that you've got another 30-plus years of working life stretching ahead of you, and being at home would not be enough for you. What I suspect is really going on is that he likes the idea of you standing by the door in your pinny with dinner ready when he gets home. With you having no outside interests or demands on your time to distract you from being able to serve him totally. Perhaps what he has in mind is some form of unsalaried housekeeper rather than another autonomous adult with desires and wishes of her own?

Is there some way of selling it to him that having some purpose other than skivvying after him and the children gives your life a different sense of purpose to what it was before? The kind of purpose his own working-life gives him?

sara00 Tue 04-Nov-14 23:06:32

He hates working and says the novelty for me will soon wear off. He has a good job, good money, short hours. Plenty of free time for hobbies etc.

I had a similar issue when I used to go out with friends in the day. If he finished at 2pm for example and asked him to do the school pick up so I could stay longer he really resented it, so much I stopped bothering in the end and just always came home for 3.30.

I am just fed up. I do 99% of the housework and I think he has an easy life. Why cant he be happy for me?

scallopsrgreat Wed 05-Nov-14 02:01:12

So basically he believes a woman's place is in the home and clearly his children are not his responsibility.

He is controlling you.

Question is what would you like to do about it? Or more to the point what would you like to do about it when if he doesn't change?

Also, what is he adding to your life (or your children's for that matter if he won't pick them up for school or cook for them or be a decent role model)?

vitabrits Wed 05-Nov-14 02:05:43

He is definitely controlling. I think it is important for you to take the overtime and promotions if you want to, and take little opportunities to explain to your sons that you enjoy work and find it fulfilling.

It really sounds like this is a long-term issue in your marriage which is rearing its ugly head.

maleperspective70 Wed 05-Nov-14 04:57:19

This is the attitude of a Neanderthal.

This will be hard to overcome without a blowup.

All the best.

scarletforya Wed 05-Nov-14 05:06:50

What a chauvinist! Dinner on the table my arse, he knows where the kitchen is. Same goes for the boys.

LoveBeingStartingANewLife Wed 05-Nov-14 05:34:41

Because he will never be happy. It doesn't matter what you do, how you act he will always put you down. Your sons have learnt this is how you treat women. Please try and look at everything in your relationship, what are you actually getting out of it?

TanteRose Wed 05-Nov-14 05:43:49

first of all, sit down with your sons when he is not there and explain why this is important to you, and that they need to respect the fact that you are now working and can't be at home the whole time any more.

tell them they need to start taking on a bit of housework - at least keeping their own rooms tidy and maybe doing some shopping for the family meals etc. Or cooking a meal every now and again.

Then TELL your "D"H that he will be in charge of dinner once or twice a week. He is an adult and should be able to rustle up a meal for 4 a couple of times a week (that should include shopping for ingredients etc.)

DO NOT give up your job - just laugh when he says his stupid things.

heyday Wed 05-Nov-14 06:07:36

This is why women have been held back over the centuries.
It's easy to put you down and devalue you and by doing so it makes him feel more important and powerful.
Don't you dare even think about giving up work whilst you enjoy it so much.
Your DH is jealous and resentful, sadly.
As a bit of a compromise for now why not get some decent ready meals in for the days you have to work later. All they have to do is literally pop them in the oven. However, I do think that they are going to continue to complain. And what has happened previously when they act up? You bow down and they get their own way and can continue taking no responsibility for themselves ie you made sure you were back to Collect children from school.
Hold tight here, tbh I really don't think you will change them as you have been at their beck and call for so long so go stock on the ready meals and keep on enjoying your wonderful job. Share your work pleasure and experiences with friends or other family remembers who do value and understand you.

yougotafriend Wed 05-Nov-14 06:33:41

And I bet you have zero social life too. It sounds like a household from the 1930s not 2014....but whereas in those this set up was normal, now it is not and his attitude is not acceptable.

He is controlling you and teaching your sons that this is how to treat women.... You need to make a stand.

3littlefrogs Wed 05-Nov-14 06:47:37

I know dinner on the table isn't the real issue here, but for the sake of solving that particular argument, get a slow cooker.
I will be leaving for work in about 10 minutes and tonight's casserole is already sorted. It is a one pot meal and will be ready by the time I get home, and there will be enough to freeze a couple of portions for another day.
I still cook in bulk and freeze stuff - my youngest is 16.
They are all capable of sorting out dinner when they get in.
Otherwise - ignore your husband and build up your own career and income.

antarctic Wed 05-Nov-14 07:00:18

He sounds awful, OP.

paddlenorapaddle Wed 05-Nov-14 07:49:32

A normal husband would be happy for you and do anything to make the adjustments needed

In short you can't make him do anything

A slow cooker is your friend

As is reminding your sons that you are a human being in your own right

Don't give up your job or your independence and go for promotions if that's what you want

The real truth is your H can't pretend to be the big man anymore yes he may earn more but you won't be dependant on him for your self esteem and confidence. He's going to find it harder and harder to bully and control you that's what he's really afraid of

Good Luck

PS just told my DH about your op he says you should tell him to get with times or buy him a cook book smile

sara00 Wed 05-Nov-14 08:34:06

Thanks for all your ideas. The slow cooker idea is a good one.

Yes things have been building up over the years and I have just adjusted my behaviour so not to cause arguments. My DH would not cook and would just order a takeway (which he was about to do last night when I came in at 5.30 rather than 5)

I have a few friends, but only see them when DH is at work. Never in the evenings. I lost a very good friend who used to encourage me to stay out and ask him to pick the kids up as it just caused too many rows as DH said she was a bad influence.

His father is 100% the same and grumbles if he is expected to cook and my MIL does 90% of housework, despite now working more hours than FIL. My own mother has never liked DH and thinks he is lazy and controlling. I have 3 brothers who all do their share and my dad who does 80% of the housework and cooking. This is not how I was brought up. My sons do nothing around the house and I am ashamed.

I would love to stay home, but to be honest we cannot survive on one wage. We have debt and every little helps. I dont want a divorce, I just want to be seen as an equal, but am afraid I have given my family too much and it will never happen.

Joysmum Wed 05-Nov-14 08:37:40

Well you're not going to be seen as equal and are selling yourself short sad

TanteRose Wed 05-Nov-14 09:07:48

"I would love to stay at home"

really? I wouldn't if that was my family...

you also say that you love your job, got a promotion etc.

you also say that "it will never happen" - yes it will! don't be defeatist!

just tell them what is going to be happening and stick to it.

You need to get them to respect you more - that is what this is, total lack of respect and you deserve more. You are contributing to the household and trying to get your family finances in order.

bloody well ask for it

SelfLoathing Wed 05-Nov-14 09:23:45

I only earn a fifth of what DH does and I think he sees my job as a little hobby and my true role should be at home. How do I get him to adjust?

To be honest, I don't think you can. If a man thinks like that a wants that level of control, it is deeply ingrained.

I work with a lot of men and I frequently over hear conversations on the phone between man and wife. It is surprising how often the ar*seholes during a conversation or an argument play the "well I'm paying for it so you will do as I say" to the SAHM. Usually it's expressed more elegantly and subtly than that, but that's the gist of the message. All though they whinge about being the hardworking bread winner while their wives just waft around spending their money on shoes, I think a lot of these men really like it.

They like the power and control it gives them. It's the answer to any disagreement about anything. I am paying; so my views carry the weight. If you don't like it, you know where to go.

Keep your job. Let your husband's attitude be like water off a duck's back. I honestly think that's all you can do because that kind of attitude is deep vein stuff.

Flexibilityisaghost Wed 05-Nov-14 09:28:42

He doesn't see your true role as being at home, you did that and he wasn't happy. From what you describe it sounds like you will be in the wrong whatever you do. Your true role as he sees it is to continually try to please him, while he moves the goalposts so you never can.

Twinklestein Wed 05-Nov-14 09:32:06

There's a certain type of guy who resents his wife for being a SAHM, but then resents when she works because she's not home to out food on the table.

I've seen multiple versions of this particular phenomenon.

Essentially, you've got a resentful husband OP, and he will resent you no matter what you do.

Your mother is right he's lazy and controlling.

If I were you I would sit down with him and tell him you've indulged him long enough, and that the chores have to be divided up equally. That if he cannot cope with seeing you as an equal, accepting your work without tantrums, and pulling his weight in the house, the marriage won't work.

You have to face the possibility that he will never change, it's late in the day to be able to change now.

Qresident Wed 05-Nov-14 09:36:02

Someone who loves you encourages your happiness. He sounds controlling and his effect is spreading to the next generation of your family. I think this issue runs far deeper than dinner on the table and should be addressed as such. I'm sorry OP.

BranchingOut Wed 05-Nov-14 09:47:53

My own DH made my life a misery when I ended up being a SAHM for a year after maternity leave, despite the fact that he earned a fortune and I was busy applying for any relevant job.

He has from time to time had the nerve to complain when my work (which I enjoy hugely) impacts on his time/commitments, at which point I do rather relish pointing out that he was the one that wanted this.

He is a lot better these days, but if we ever go through another episode of that bullshit it will be the end of us.

MadeInChorley Wed 05-Nov-14 09:49:26

What twinklestein said. There is a type of man who resents being sole breadwinner and thinks his SAH wife has an cushy life of coffee mornings, then resents her again for getting qualifications and a job and making a life for herself.

He's threatened because you are no longer a dependent on him. You have a new found confidence, feeling of independence and self belief from doing well at work and, crucially, an income. Woe betide that he might have to get off his arse and switch on the cooker a couple of nights a week.

The "I gave up doing that because it only caused an argument" line is a dangerous, slippery slope. Don't do it. Stay firm and provide solutions to your DH's problems to start with - the slow cooker is a good idea, get your DS's to pick up some slack with chores (their future DPs will thank you alsowink). Take the wind out his sails and ignore his protests.

GoatsDoRoam Wed 05-Nov-14 09:51:12

This man like you downtrodden.

He put you down when you were a SAHM, and he is now putting you down as a WOHM.

It wouldn't matter what you do, OP. Your husband just likes squashing you in order to feel like a big man himself.

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