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When will he man up?

(86 Posts)
choccybear Wed 03-Jun-15 14:41:00

We have been together 8 years, it's been 5 with children. He was a gardener/roofer when we met (ex-actor) and due to having two children in quick succession, our only option childcare wise was for his to retrain as a childminder. We could not afford nursery fees for two in London. He never had a spare penny, and my wage at the time would only have covered one child's nursery fees. His work was not regular, no sick days, weeks with no income etc. Whereas I have a steady job as a teacher.

Anyway, skip a few years, we have recently relocated abroad to an International school, I am a teacher and he is a TA. Our children have full time free schooling now. However he still earns a pittance. I pay for a maid/nanny and all bills including food. Which means I never have spare cash to spend on myself, well I say never, but maybe once a month a get my nails done/buy a dress etc (all on the cheap). Basically, I have had enough of having a husband who can't provide for me. He never pays for a restaurant/bar bill and never says 'thank you' when I do.

Am I being unreasonable to want him to man up, get a career, learn to drive (I do all the driving) and provide for his wife and two children? In addition to this, he drinks heavily, avoids tidying up, cleaning up, organising anything, the list goes on! I feel like he takes me for granted. He is now 43. Old enough to think like a grown up and now shirk his responsibilities, no? If we earned an equal wage, we could go on holidays and basically not be skint a week after payday.

Of course, when I try to discuss this he talks in vague terms of applying for PGCE, post-grad course of some sort etc. next year. But this has been going on for years too.

I want someone to treat me for a change. But also, long term, I really want him to provide for his children as they grow up (still in EYFS) and have a pension or savings for his old age (which let's face, it is only 20 or so years away)

runningoutofpatience Wed 03-Jun-15 14:47:07

Frankly, this would horrify me. You say when will he man up? He won't. Why should he, when you are supporting him? If he has no motivation to change, he will not do so. I don't know what sort of motivation would work on him, though.

choccybear Wed 03-Jun-15 14:53:47

I know - I am considering an ultimatum. Something along the lines of you have 12 months to show that you have signed up to getting a proper career or leave. We are married and I don't want a divorce, but at the same time, I want to be in an equal partnership.

Hissy Wed 03-Jun-15 15:00:29

Love, <squeeze> you know you can't marry/get with a person and hope they will change. They are the person they are, as you are the person YOU are.

I don't like the fact that he never pays for anything and never says thank you. I think the only thing you can do is to sit him down and tell him that this is making you resent him and you don't want to.

The drinking has to stop though, and he has to clear up after himself, he has to take equal responsibility for life away from work. I guess you don't find delegation easy? Start by telling him you want him to organise x, y or z, and leave it to him.

Does his salary make any contribution to the household? if not, he needs to pay in a proportion, or he pays for the groceries etc. he needs to reduce his drinking, and put the money towards driving lessons.

Sadly though, he is the man you married, he was always like this and will always be, you need to work out if that is what you want, if not, end the marriage and have him go back home.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 03-Jun-15 15:02:17

I think you're being a bit harsh here. Why have you not womaned up even more so that you earn a better salary than you do?

He clearly looked after the children whilst you progressed your career.

He does have a job but just doesn't earn enough for your liking.

I understand you wanting more money but the way your post is worded is you are levelling the blame at your dh.

Take responsibility for the decisions you made. To have children, to not climb the ladder more and don't throw all of the financial responsibility into him.

Hissy Wed 03-Jun-15 15:02:25

Oh and Man Up, is not the expression... it's about Growing Up. YOU have managed to do it, but you are not A Man.

He IS a MAN, but has not needed to grow up, because he never has done before.

The ultimatum really is for you, not for him, either you live with it, or you don't

I know it's shit. sad

Lavenderice Wed 03-Jun-15 15:10:03

On the work thing I think you're being a bit selfish. He gave up his job so you could work, he has followed you when you relocated to another country for your work and has got a job where he can. You want him to learn to drive but say you have no extra money etc...

On the rest of the stuff, yes I agree he should be doing more around the house and address his drinking. But at the minute he doesn't sound like a happy person.

Fearless91 Wed 03-Jun-15 15:10:46

Quitelikely - why should the OP spend even more time at work earning more money for her husband to enjoy when he isn't making any effort himself?

I don't agree with anyone sponging off other people. But this is what he's doing.

He gets treated with meals out, he gets his wife to drive him around everywhere, he barely has to put any money towards things. So yes he does have to man up! And so would she if it was the other way round, but it's not.

Op he isn't changing for a reason. He knows how great he has it. Tell him he has 12 months to prove he's aiming higher or you leave because this isn't the life you want.

hesterton Wed 03-Jun-15 15:16:04

If you imagine this scenario the other way around, I.e. the woman is the TA doing the childcare, you could also imagine contraating responses.

MrNoseybonk Wed 03-Jun-15 15:16:09

He should do more of the housework, but you have successfully subverted gender stereotypes about careers, higher earner and childcare and now you are blaming him?
If he had been the higher earner with a career and you had given up yours to do the childcare then ended up with a lower salary and worse career, would you appreciate him making you feel bad for not having a higher salary and career?

GoatsDoRoam Wed 03-Jun-15 15:24:44

The heavy drinking would worry me much more.

But regardless: this is who he is. This man you have now: that's the man you'll have tomorrow, too.

Can you accept that?
If not, it's time to accept the thought of ending it.

Kewcumber Wed 03-Jun-15 15:30:55

If you wanted someone who was going to earn as much as you, and that was important to you why did you marry a jobbing actor/gardener? confused

The drinking and tidying up are differnt issues and should be tackled.

Kewcumber Wed 03-Jun-15 15:32:23

How many hundreds of women across the country are in lower paid jobs than their husbands and are told by MN "It's all joint money"

IrianofWay Wed 03-Jun-15 15:35:25

Agree with kewcumber.

dollius Wed 03-Jun-15 15:36:14

Yes but how many of them have a full time houskeeper-nanny like this guy does?

123Jump Wed 03-Jun-15 15:46:02

OP, am I right in saying that you are both working FT at the minute? If your DC are in school why do you need a nanny? Aren't his hours the same as theirs?

I actually can't understand the issue that he doesn't earn as much as you. He never has,why is it an issue now? Cant you be the main earner?
Do you have money for driving lessons? if so, he can organise lessons.

With regards the housework,doesn't the 'maid' do most of it?
Drinking,if he drinks too much give him an ultimatum.

NinaSharp Wed 03-Jun-15 15:48:54

So he was a sahp while you went out to work, and now you're pissed off?

Agree with others. If the genders were reversed this would be a very different thread.

Kewcumber Wed 03-Jun-15 15:52:54

But dollius he is working full time. Plenty of women work full time, earn less than their DH and have a cleaner. I assume if they are at an international school the labour costs of a local housekeeper are in line with a cleaner in the UK.

It's like a man marrying a woman who is a sometimes actress/sometimes waitress then complaining when she retrains as a childminder to save money on childcare and subsequently gets a job as a secretary fulltime because if only she retrained she could be an engineer/teacher/doctor etc so they would have more disposable income.

I just don't understand why you marry Mr I'm quite happy pottering about doing gardening jobs and expect him to turn into Mr Ambition.

mynewpassion Wed 03-Jun-15 15:53:47

Yep, different responses if the sexes were reversed.

NoArmaniNoPunani Wed 03-Jun-15 16:00:51

You sound very unreasonable. I agree if the sexes were reversed this thread would read differently.

viva100 Wed 03-Jun-15 16:02:48

Is this a wind up? He retrained as a childminder to take care of your children while your career progressed, moved to a new country for your job and you're upset bc he doesn't make more money than you? Let me make this clear: you're married! Your money is his money! If you wanted Mr. Ambition you should have married some other guy. Instead, you got Mr Family Man. How awful for you.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 03-Jun-15 16:05:34

She hasn't said he is keeping his wages to himself though Fearless. So I'm assuming it's going in the family pot. She just wants more of it, which is fine but to project that into him at this stage in the game is slightly ambitious don't you think (no pun intended) any guy would want to earn more money but his career has been slightly hampered imo by being a sahp. I know my career was.

Skiptonlass Wed 03-Jun-15 16:09:15

Agree with pps re. Gender roles.

The drinking is an issue, however. That does need to be fixed. Has he always done this? Is he really ok with having emigrated? Is he settled into your new country?

choccybear Wed 03-Jun-15 16:20:33

He was a stay at home parent, because he did not have a regular income (even by the age of 40). So me staying at home, was not even an option. He retrained as a childminder, as it was the only way he could contribute to childcare and have a regular income. I would gladly have retrained to be a childminder if he could have brought in the majority of the household income. Would have been far easier than teaching in inner-city London schools.

Yes, I should have been more savvy when choosing my husband/father of my children. We simply got on really well -in addition to that I suppose my bodyclock was ticking and I have probably been ffed up by my first partner dying suddenly when I was 27.

I have never been one to chase a man, more go for ones that chase me. Stupid, I know! BTW Our children do not have the same hours as us, as they start later and finish school at 230pm. Keeping them at school from 715am to 5pm, is not fair on them being so little. Nanny leaves at 6pm and only works mon-fri.

If roles were reversed, I think my husband would be pissed off with me too, letting him work his arse off whilst I sat on the sofa quaffing back booze, contributing the bare minimum, and getting him to drive us all around.

choccybear Wed 03-Jun-15 16:23:48

'Mr Family Man' does not bath the children, eat with them, play with them, brush their teeth, organise playdates, host playdates etc.

He has always drunk too much. But not in the day, so it looks acceptable so to speak.

His career hasn't been hampered by 18months as SAHD, he didn't have one before children or me

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