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DH handing in notice with no fall back option

(285 Posts)
MummyKWP Tue 23-Jun-15 09:19:49

I'm a full time mum - a decision myself & my DH made together, as we thought it was best for our family.
We have a 2 year old DD & one on the way, due in a few months.
He works in a relatively decent job - permanent, pensionable. It's a good job, but he doesn't enjoy it. He's worked at a higher level previously so feels he ought to be respected more within the work environment.
The thing is, he's decided he's handing in his notice this week without a fall back option. He knows how I feel about it - it's a very vulnerable time for us - soon to have 2 children under 3, and we won't have any wage coming in.
He's trying to set up his own business, but as yet there's no money coming in from that. That sort of thing is always a gamble. He doesn't think so - he thinks it's guaranteed.
I don't feel like I can stop him because he always throws it back & says "don't you trust me to provide?" "Trust me, I'll make this work" etc. He's the eternal optimist...I'm a realist!
We already owe my parents money which he borrowed to put into the business. I hate owing, especially as they don't have much money.
How should I deal with this whole situation? I feel very worried about the future - not something I wanted while 5 months pregnant!

FredaMayor Tue 23-Jun-15 09:29:17

he thinks it's guaranteed

An accountant I know told me recently that 90% of new start-ups fail within 10 years. You need more security whilst your DH's business finds its feet and giving in his notice until that happens is very risky. Too risky.

Accepted, it's also very demanding keeping the old job going whilst working on the new enterprise, but frankly, you are not working and you have DCs. Your DH needs to put on his Responsible hat for all your sakes right now because he is your sole breadwinner.

Delilahfandango Tue 23-Jun-15 09:31:43

Madness!! Just, no! Sorry, but has he engaged his brain at all?!

catsmother Tue 23-Jun-15 09:33:05

IMO he's an irresponsible selfish nob.

Unless you have significant savings which will last you realistically until his business gets going I don't know how on earth he thinks the bills will get paid ?
And presumably that's not the case or else you'd have mentioned it ....

It's also insulting to your parents as it makes their loan being repaid less likely.

How you deal with it though is beyond me as you literally can't stop him.

I guess you could give him an ultimatum maybe ?

Flinging platitudes at you is NOT good enough ..... 'trust me' and all that. His business isn't bringing money in yet .... when is it likely it will ?
You'd be better able to trust him if he explained HOW it was going to work and in order to have your blessing for this he needs to show you (based on any savings, other income (?) etc) how the bills will be met each month, how long you can sustain that and so on. Anyone determined to hand in their notice and wanting to get their OH on side would, I'd have thought, automatically reassured them that this could work, based on cold hard facts rather than silly throw away remarks which are worth sod all.

Makes me really angry that he's stressing you out over something like this when you're heavily pregnant.

Fair enough he doesn't like his job but he needs to work out a solid, sensible, and responsible exit plan before burning his bridges.

This almost smacks of him having, in effect, a tantrum because 'it's not fair' you're at home and he isn't (and in a job he doesn't like). Do you think there might be an element of that to this ?

shovetheholly Tue 23-Jun-15 09:39:01

OK, some thoughts.

1. I do believe that being unhappy at work can be hugely detrimental to your health and wellbeing. I know several people who have quit jobs with nothing lined up, and they have all found other work in a relatively short time, and ended up much happier as a result. I also know several people who own successful businesses who say that you need to have something 'at risk' to get the drive to succeed. However, it has to be said that they all had a head for business and made sensible decisions.

2. However, I would be freaked out in your shoes too with young kids in the picture. It is incredibly destabilizing to have someone who just makes decisions like this, without any apparent consideration to the family's needs. I understand how you feel, because my exP was like this - he suddenly announced he was giving up his job to set up a chess cafe, with no knowledge of chess and no ability to make a cup of tea, let alone a cake. I agree with you that it would be much better for everyone if he worked at the new business alongside the existing job for a time, building it up until he was able to see if it would be sustainable in the long term.

3. I am afraid that the sensible answer may be for you to go back to work after you have the baby to support the family in a steady job, while he runs the business and does childcare. I understand that this isn't the life you expected or wanted, but it sounds like you are the one with your head screwed on.

catsmother Tue 23-Jun-15 09:39:43

He's potentially also placing additional pressure on you because, presumably, if he does leave and you find yourselves in financial shit - you'll feel obliged to try and earn something, anything as you're probably not as irresponsible and selfish as him. Which is going to be a nightmare pregnant and/or with a small baby. He might not have explicitly said that but you can see how easily you might have to face that possibility - quite how that would work I don't know - maybe he sees you 'helping out' with a supermarket shift in the evenings while he looks after the kids ?

I'm probably not articulating that very well and may be letting my imagination run away with me but I do wonder if, because he doesn't like his job, he thinks it's time you also had a taste of doing something you don't like to 'even things out'. But is too dishonest and cowardly to discuss any of this to you. It's not beyond all possibility anyway that he might have had thoughts like this.

catsmother Tue 23-Jun-15 09:51:23

I agree with Shove that feeling trapped in a job you hate can be horribly detrimental and suffocating. Probably a large proportion of the work force feel exactly like that.

However - whilst there's nothing wrong, obviously, in trying to get out asap, your unhappiness does NOT warrant you dumping your shit on someone else, metaphorically speaking, as a fait accompli or unilateral decision.

It's a hard fact of life that few of us are living/working the way we want. Yes, change it if you can but sometimes you have to swallow it down until you reach the point where's it's possible to move on without adversely affecting others. In this case, the financial security of the family should supersede his personal feelings until he can change direction without unduly pressuring his wife and forcing her into a position where she might feel equally, or even more, unhappy.

The key to all this is communication and that means both ways - not just him TELLING her what's going to happen. They should be thrashing out a long term plan together where both of them are as happy as they can be with how they see their future panning out and how this is actually going to be achieved.

Apart from the financial irresponsibility I'd also be questioning how much time getting this new business off the ground was going to take. Obviously that can vary hugely depending on what he's doing but I'd say the majority of new businesses require a significant investment of time and would question whether right now, with 2 very small children, whether this was the right time to do it ? If he's totally occupied with the business - and telling OP he's 'doing it for her and the kids' then he has a ready made excuse to swerve child related duties too.

All in all it just seems so utterly selfish.

anicesitdownandshutup Tue 23-Jun-15 09:51:58

Can he ask for a 6 months/year leave of absence, rather than just jacking it all in. A lot of companies are open to this.

Mide7 Tue 23-Jun-15 09:58:25

If he hates his job that much it might be better ( more healthy) for him to leave. I understand why your stressed about it but there are things he can do in the short term to provide.

MummyKWP Tue 23-Jun-15 10:09:01

Thank you very much for all your comments, advice and feedback so far. You all make some very valid points.

I worked in a job I hated for 5 years, so I totally understand, but I never once even considered giving it up because I knew it was necessary for both of us to be earning a wage in order to pay the bills, at the time (we used to live in a much more expensive city/country with a huge mortgage etc - since having DD we've moved somewhere with a lower cost of living & we rent, enabling me to bring up our children at home. Plus we've cut back massively) I've worked all my life in jobs I haven't really enjoyed, so I get it. But I've never just jacked anything in, and that was before we had dependents.

I know he loves the fact I can bring up the kids, so I don't think he begrudges me that.

He already doesn't do a hell of a lot with regards to childcare or looking after the house (regardless of it being a weekend etc)...I'm allowing him the time to concentrate on the business in his spare time.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of teamwork to be honest. He thinks there is, but really he's the one making the decisions & if I air my concerns then I'm "not supporting him" or "don't have faith in him".

We don't have any savings, but he thinks he might be able to get access to the pension he paid into previously in the other country we lived in. The pension we sort of will be relying on I'm our pensionable years, I suppose!

I'm just not sure how to broach this with him & be heard

Flakedorreadyrubbed Tue 23-Jun-15 10:12:20

If he wasn't your husband, if he was a client and you were a bank manager, would you back him? Do you think he's got the minerals?

MummyKWP Tue 23-Jun-15 10:18:31

Good question Flaked! I never thought about it like that!
Hmmm...I suppose there is something viable there. I've seen the business plan etc. I'm just quite sensible I suppose and don't like risk. But I understand you have to take risks in life.
I just know it's not absolutely guaranteed. I think it will make some money, but nothing like what he's expecting it to make.
I don't care about money at all - once there's enough to pay the bills, I'm happy, so that's not the issue.

I suppose the answer is I just don't know!

SylvaniansAtEase Tue 23-Jun-15 10:20:13

He does not have the right to make this decision alone - no more than you would have had the right to make the decision to be SAHM alone.

You took a JOINT decision for your family external paid options to be undertaken by him. He is therefore NOT in a position to make a solo decision. If he can't understand that, he's not a man I would wish to continue trying to work in a family team with.

Fine about the business. Fine about wanting to quit. But how that happens is up to YOU as well - because thanks to the joint decision for you to stay at home, that paid work is what YOU rely on too!

There doesn't seem to be a lot of teamwork to be honest - no. There isn't.

I think you broach it by saying the above. That him replying to your issues with your JOINT working conditions is manipulative.

This is a big red flag.

Lweji Tue 23-Jun-15 10:26:31

You have to be very assertive that this needs to be a joint decision. If it's not, do you feel like you are in a partnership and do you want to continue being with him?

You could support him when you are ready to get back to work, so there will be a family income, and when you pay off your loan and there are actually signs that his business can make any money.

Why has he worked at a higher level previously? What happened?

Drew64 Tue 23-Jun-15 10:28:23

I totally understand where you are both coming from.
I'm in a job that I hate. I don't like the people I work with. I take no job satisfaction at all. I disagree with some of the ways in which the company I work for reports and carries out business. I dread Mondays so much so that Sundays are not a good day either. I've been known to cry on the way to work.

In some ways I am jealous of your DH for having the balls to leave and start his own business.
I'd love to hand in my notice and start my own business. I have ideas of what I want to do and daydream all the time about it. To the point of doing lots and lots of research, writing and re writing business plans.

In some ways I get where you are coming from in your current situation.
Having a steady income is security and you need to feel confident that you are going to be provided for. Luckily our children are 12 and 15 and my DW is now working (Temp 4 month contract) for the first time in 16 years.

Disliking what you do but still having to do it and provide for your family is mentally crippling and incredibly stressful. You have to leave your family, go somewhere you don't like to do something you hate to ensure that those that you love have a roof over their heads, food in the cupboards and clothes on their backs.
Don't, under any circumstances underestimate the mental turmoil that this causes on some days.

So, my advice...Whilst I get that this will probably stress you out I think you need to trust your DH instincts and ignore all of the statistics that people will quote to you about small businesses failing and going into debt.
At this time, more than ever, you need to stand by each other, support each other, encourage each other. You are both at vunerable stages, you being due and a SAHM and him starting a new venture.
Together and with hard work and dedication you will get through this one way or another and if it all goes wrong you DH always has the opportunity to go back to paid employment.

I fear future paid employment wouldn't be so easy for me to come by because of my age (I'm 51 this year) so if I leave work I HAVE to make whatever I do work.

Flakedorreadyrubbed Tue 23-Jun-15 10:34:02

Ok, well rather than read him the riot act, Id be tempted to try to be a Critical Friend and make sure that his business plan is absolutely water tight. And get him to agree that he STAYS in his job but only until you both agree that he's ready to hit the ground running. Try to put on some practical milestones first, eg

- he discusses the business plan in depth with three agnostic experts, such as a start-up support group, a venture capitalist and someone who is already in the same field but not in competition (maybe a different geographic area.)

- the plan gets adjusted accordingly, and at every turn he must ask the expert "would you invest in this and if not then why not." And make sure he listens.

- have some very clear defined boundaries around contingency - how much you need to live on in the initial stages, how accessible that is, and whether that buffer is already there. That's your seat belt so don't set out without it.

Become his business partner. It will be scary but if you are the sensible analytical to his enthusiastic energy you could make a fantastic team! And you get loads of points for helping him achieve his dream!

I'm actually very excited for you!

DrMorbius Tue 23-Jun-15 10:36:36

Sit down with your DH, work out your financial requirments and then in a calm non-judgmental way, work through some scenario's in a kind of dragon's den session. Tell him "blind faith" as in don't you trust me to provide?" "Trust me, I'll make this work, is not a business plan.

Then ask him to convince you to back him so to speak: -

How much business does he need per week/month to meet your minimum financial requirments?

How much "set-up" costs are involved.

How will he handle the unpredicatability of cash flows?

Does he have the bandwidth/cash to grow the business and meet client expectations?

How will he handle illness/bad luck etc etc?

What is the cost of failing to deliver (this is abig one and often gets missed)?

MummyKWP Tue 23-Jun-15 10:57:48

Wow, Flaked and DrMorbius... That's some really helpful and practical advice, thank you. I really like your way of thinking! Thank you for taking the time to help us out with this one, I really appreciate that.

Unfortunately, before I'd had time to read your replies properly, he's just called me from work to tell me he's resigning with immediate effect - he says he needs to start meeting with potential clients/investors/funders & just can't do that while he's working full time. It's difficult to argue with that in a way.

I cried & nearly threw up! Not really the sensible/practical reaction I'd hoped I'd have!

Oh God, I'm going to have to deal with this now as a reality.confused

Lweji Tue 23-Jun-15 11:02:28

How would you feel if you gave up on this relationship with immediate effect?

Has he actually resigned, can you call him back and say that you need to discuss this properly or don't bother to return home?

AugustaGloop Tue 23-Jun-15 11:03:32

If it were me (and I thought there is something in the idea), I would be supportive but say he has to wait for 12-18 months so that there is potential for you to get a job. That is not a long time to wait in the scheme of things.

Lweji Tue 23-Jun-15 11:04:19

I'd truly hate for this to happen with me and in my last relationship it raised a huge red flag for me when he mentioned something like dropping out of his job just like that. That was a factor in splitting up with him.

Your OH sounds incredibly selfish and thoughtless.

Lweji Tue 23-Jun-15 11:04:43

Ups:
How would HE feel if you gave up on this relationship with immediate effect?

SylvaniansAtEase Tue 23-Jun-15 11:04:59

Sorry, but fuck meeting him the middle if this is his attitude - you do NOT have a partnership, you are NOT a team - and you can be sure that that attitude is going to continue if, as is now likely, you run into difficulties.

I would be contacting him and telling him that it's clear that you have no partnership, that he has NO RIGHT to make that decision for your family alone, and you can only take from this the impression that he sees himself as in charge and does not see you as an equal partner. Therefore, you are looking for a job with immediate effect. You will be expecting him to meet you half way exactly on childcare issues and costs.

He is being utterly shit. Don't take this lying down as it will cost you big time.

DrMorbius Tue 23-Jun-15 11:08:23

OP obviously things have moved on but my sentiment is still the same. You still need to ask him to work through in detail the questions. So that he convines you that he has a viable and sustainable business plan, that has risk mitigation built in. "If you build it, they will come", rarely works in business.

80schild Tue 23-Jun-15 11:12:37

So stay calm and think clearly. It might be okay. If he wants to give this a go you now need to support him. You need to have a conversation about how your life is going to look.

Firstly, his working hours should still be between 9 and 5.
You both need to agree a time / money limit on how long the business should run if it starts failing.
Maybe it would be time to suggest a re-negotiation of the family set up - when the baby is born and you are settled, if the business is still not making money he will have to look after the baby for x hours per week so you can find a job or he has to find a full time job.

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