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Should I be more supportive?

(25 Posts)
Ungratefulwiife Mon 16-Nov-15 08:17:40

I have NCed.

My DH and I have been together for 12 years, married for over 7 years and have a small baby.

My DH has a well paid job which he hates. He has always hated it ever since I have known him but he seems unwilling/ unable to do anything about it. He has qualifications and could do something else but in his mind he just needs to quit. End of.

I am currently on maternity leave. The plan was for me to return to work part time. My DH would actually prefer me to be a SAHM as he comes from a very traditional family and strongly believes the child should be raised soley by family.

I earn a reasonable wage but it would not sustain our current lifestyle.

We have a decent amount of savings.

DH is miserable about his job. He mopes around the house on a Sunday night, slams around and generally acts like a teenager. Every week over dinner we have to go over his hatred for his job and the alternatives. Every suggestion is met with a negative. He ends up getting dramatic and flouncing saying that he is now tied into his job until retirement because of DS.

He is quite a depressive person anyway - always looks at the negatives and everything is "a problem". If I suggest anything his first reaction is always "no".

Last night he declared that he will quit his job next year. He is adamant.

He is going to do this without finding an alternative/ having a plan and this is what bothers me.

He says that he wants to spend more time with DS. Currently he leaves just as/ before DS wakes and gets back in time for half an hour play, bath and bed. But as soon as he gets home from work he spends the half an hour getting changed, making a snack, reading the paper and ignoring DS. He took DS for two hours yesterday morning so I could catch up on sleep but he woke me after an hour saying that he was bored confused. I BF and so he has spent very limited time alone with DS and although I have no question that he can look after him I do not believe he realises the sheer relentless tedium that comes with it.

I said that if he is going to do that I would need to go back to work FT - I need to have the discussions with my work about this by Christmas. I work for a small company and so I can't mess them about by chopping and changing my hours - if I am going back FT, I need to do so, likewise if I go back PT I can't just up my hours.

I have also offered that he takes the last 3 months maternity leave as shared but he refuses.

The deadline he has given is based around bonuses which are usually paid at the end of the financial year.

In the past he took a three month sabbatical following his father's sudden death. He rented a cottage by the sea and navel gazed for 12 weeks. He was supposed to use the time to think about what he wanted but came back and just went back to his old life.

He says he needs to make a complete break this time or he will just go back.

So, if you have managed to read this far - well done! - I guess my issues are:-

1. What if he quits and is still miserable? I am worried he pins the blame on work when his issues actually run deeper. He is adamant he will be all sweetness and light hmm

2. Financially - I am really worried that we will argue about money. We have plenty at the moment so it's not an issue. However, I think if we look at how we each spend money there will be potential conflicts. For example, he starts hobbies, buys all the kit and then gives up. Our loft is full of snowboards, skis, surfboards, musical instruments etc. But he thinks me going out for a coffee with a friend is a waste as we have a coffee machine at home so she could come here (sometimes I just need to get out of the house!)

3. Expectation - I had a baby expecting that I would work part time. I know this is selfish but now DS is here I am really sad that I am potentially going to have to work full time. I feel that I have been misled. It was always discussed that I would either not work at all or do 2/3 days per week.

4. The future - what the hell is he going to do? We can't afford long term to rely just on my pay. We can scrape by but not save for our retirement/ holidays etc. We also said that we were going to have two children (going to try again in 2017 - we aren't young and so can't put this off much longer) but we couldn't afford for me to go on maternity leave (SMP only) if I were the main breadwinner.

Sorry, I have rambled on! How should I handle this? I don't feel I have the right to say that he shouldn't leave but it's a massive thing for our family. I just wish he would have an alternative job or some kind of plan ( such as retraining/ going back to uni) not just leave.

Am I just being really unkind and unsupportive?

NameChange30 Mon 16-Nov-15 08:26:46

No you're not. He sounds shit. Taking no responsibility for his job/career or his child (he got "bored"?! hmm) How very unattractive.

PreemptiveSalvageEngineer Mon 16-Nov-15 08:27:41

Well, I definitely don't like the gender- based expectations he has.

I don't like his "one rule for me, the other rule for you" attitude (esp with money issues).

I don't like that he can't even spend time with his own child.

Or the lack of impulse control (hobbies, etc).

If he were truly wanting to do something different with his career, he needs to go about it properly. Go see a jobs counsellor, start doing some training, prep himself for when he leaves, not just jump ship with no clear plan.

But the main thing he needs to do is stop taking it out on you and DS.

kittybiscuits Mon 16-Nov-15 08:27:42

I think you've been plenty supportive and in the face of this behaviour you are going to have to start to focus on thinking about yourself and making your own plans because, whether it's his personality or 'depression' this man is only thinking about himself. What hours would you want to work if you separated? Do not let this man become the primary carer for your DS by default. Stop giving him the option to make unilateral decisions that you will fit round. If there is no 'we' in any of these decisions than you have to protect yourself and DS. Sorry for the tone...rushing. I think he has exhausted the support you could reasonably offer.

Cabrinha Mon 16-Nov-15 08:31:52

Unkind and unsupportive?
No, you're being a mug indulging his shit.

I'd divorce the lazy arse now, before you're the higher earner and get a worse financial settlement.

There is not a single part of your post about love, about what he does for you.

My blood boiled at him waking you after an hour because he was bored. What a selfish child he is!

Forget TTC, have the rest of your mat leave - don't share it - go back to work full time, divorce him. Don't forget to take 50% of the paltry second hand value of his accumulated unused loft toys hmm

Ungratefulwiife Mon 16-Nov-15 08:48:20

Wow, thanks for your replies. I really thought I was being unreasonable by not supporting him 100% to leave. I guess if I think about it the other way round I would want him to trust me to do what is right for us all.

I know if I told DH that I was considering leaving if he left his job he would stay there. He is a good man but is blinded by the work issue.

I think I will seriously consider going back full time. I don't want to put DS in full time nursery but I do need to think of me and him in the long term. If DH and separated I would need to work FT, especially if he quit work and couldn't afford maintenance.

A lot to think about.

GrammarTool Mon 16-Nov-15 08:58:01

Why is everyone to quick to say ltb??hmm

OP I don't think you're being unsupportive or selfish. It sounds like you and your dh have different expectations about money/work/parenting. Have you had an open, honest discussion and laid all of your concerns on the table? To me it sounds like he is the one being unsupportive and selfish, but working this sort of thing out always takes mutual support, understanding and compromise.

Having a baby often throws the dynamics in a couple into turmoil and it's also not uncommon for the man to suffer from depression and/or to question things. Have you told your dh you think his difficulties might go deeper than just his work situation?

Sorry I don't have a lot of advice but just wanted to say don't be hard on yourself flowers

whattodoforthebest2 Mon 16-Nov-15 08:59:43

This manchild is about as selfish as they come!

So he likes traditional family life while it suits him, but you can go out and work FT when he can't be bothered to get off his backside and find a better job. I don't think so.

I'd be sitting down with him and telling him that the agreement was that you'd take maternity leave and then work P/T. If he can cover the income he'd be foregoing by giving up work for several years then fine, but perhaps he'd like to look after your DS for a fortnight without any input from you, including taking him to the park, toddler group etc and managing the shopping, houswork, meals etc, just so he knows what he'll be expected to do while you're at work if indeed YOU do decide to go back to work.

I've read on here time and time again - 'he's showing you who he really is - so pay attention'.

Dildals Mon 16-Nov-15 09:04:20

My husband has quit his job actually, 31st of Dec is his last day. He's not sure yet what he is going to do, he wants to work less and spend more time with his family, but actually thinking about I realised there was (financially) not much downside risk since he should be able to get contracting jobs quite easily with his qualifications or a new permanent job. Doing a few contracting jobs will help to see what he wants. I realise I am in a different position than you but could your DH do some contracting to keep the family finances afloat?

DoreenLethal Mon 16-Nov-15 09:10:44

Why is everyone to quick to say ltb??

Because he is a selfish manchild.

If he'd said when the OP woke up> 'I am so sorry for suggesting that you use the coffee machine instead of going out with your friends - the tedium got to me after an hour > humble apologies' then I'd have some positive opinions but as it is - I think the OP needs to consider leaving him to sort his own shit out whilst she gets on with the process of life.

He is the sort of man who has a mid life crisis and then says 'Well, you knew I wasn't happy, so I was bound to have affairs/get into debt buying a sports car/use hookers' etc etc.

CocktailQueen Mon 16-Nov-15 11:33:05

I wouldn't have another child with this man if he gets bored after an hour of looking after this child!!

You have been v reasonable. Your h needs to take responsibility for his own career and happiness. I bet you, even if he gets another job, he'll soon be moaning about it. Sounds like this is his mindset.

He doesn't want to share maternity leave, he doesn't want to look at any solutions, it doesn't sound as if he contributes much - in a positive way - to your home or relationship.

NameChange30 Mon 16-Nov-15 12:11:29

The money thing is very worrying and a potential red flag. It's incredibly hypocritical and controlling to comment on you spending money on a coffee out during your mat leave, when he thinks nothing of spending large amounts of money on non-essentials for himself.

When you discussed having a baby and taking mat leave then going back to work part-time, did you ever discuss finances? Was there an agreement (whether clear or implicit) that finances would be joint and his earnings would be family money to be shared? Or did he think that he would get to call the shots financially?

Obviously you are allowing him to work by doing the childcare, and as a family it should be joint money - don't let him think that you're spending "his" money.

I do think you need to go back to work (whether PT or FT) to hang onto your financial independence. From what you've said I don't think you can depend on "D"H!

PreemptiveSalvageEngineer Mon 16-Nov-15 16:49:37

BTW, don't knock nurseries. Good ones are brilliant. Even standard ones are hood, in different ways, from what you can provide at he. They provide socialisation, experiences (we don't tend to live in properties that can support a sandpit or messy play area, for instance) and Early Years supervision. Of course it's not the same as aa parents love. But it's great in its own way. If ye dig. [Fgrin]

springydaffs Mon 16-Nov-15 17:57:01

How on earth do you put up with him? He sounds an absolute pain!

You are being monumentally 'understanding' with all his mithering and whinging and 'life's not FAIR <stamps foot>

MouldyPeach Mon 16-Nov-15 18:01:52

He's been complaining about his job since you've known him? So for at least 12 YEARS he has hated his job but done nothing about it? Is his job actually ok and he just likes to complain? Because surely if it was that terrible he wouldn't tolerate it for 12 years, there's so much he could have done and changed in that time.

springydaffs Mon 16-Nov-15 18:06:03

There is no way in a MILLION years bed have the staying power to be a SAHD (is that what your suggesting? It is so outlandish I wonder if I must have got it wrong). Surely you can see that?!

I think he'd jerk you around, one minute this, one minute that. Always dissatisfied. Grumbling and complaining but doing precisely nothing to address it - except the dramatic 'I'm leaving my job! With nowhere to go!'

Honestly op don't be mad. He's going to tip your entire family on its head. With absolutely no guarantee he'll stick to it, or to anything.

[Btw 3 months navel gazing! shock ]

category12 Mon 16-Nov-15 18:19:08

I think you're running a huge risk that he would end up at home as a sahd doing the bare minimum, while you work and come home to pick up the slack; trapped by him being primary carer and using the possibility of getting residency, were you to split.

I sympathise with him wanting to leave his job. But he needs some other plan than to decide unilaterally that you'll be the bread winner and give up your hopes to be part-time. Perhaps a compromise would be you could both work part-time?

MatrixReloaded Mon 16-Nov-15 18:40:49

There's a difference between being supportive and enabling someone. How and why do you tolerate the endless whinging about his job ? If he truly hated it he would have done something about it. A person simply doesn't stay in a job they hate for ten years. Your not obliged to listen to these pity parties. Tell him to stop offloading on you.

His intention to quit his job just after you've had a baby would be a deal breaker for me.

pocketsaviour Mon 16-Nov-15 19:08:43

What would happen if, when he goes into one of his endless moans about his job, you just completely ignored him and played on your phone/read a book/called a friend?

You know full well he will always be like this. The problem isn't with the job, it's with him. I don't know what he thinks his life should be like, but it's the old cliche isn't it - wherever you go, there you are. He can leave as many jobs as he likes but he's still going to be an entitled, selfish dick.

Ungratefulwiife Tue 17-Nov-15 13:20:24

Thanks all. We had a brief chat last night.

DH is not suggesting that he becomes a full time SAHD. He still wants me to only go back to work part time.

Our finances are joint. Always have been. We have a joint account into which both our wages are paid, we each get an allowance (he does get more than me but I have never had a problem with that) the bills are paid and the rest saved. We don't question how the other spends their allowance - as above we each have very different ideas about how this is spent! I deal with the finances, he doesn't restrict my access to any money.

We have a decent amount of savings - it would cover the essential bills for a year. No other spending money though and so we would have to reign in our personal spending to the bare minimum.

He wants a year to work out what to do and will look for work (but he doesn't know what work he wants to look for confused). He can't do contracting work in his current sector and part time isn't really an option either.

I am trying to convince him to take 3 months parental leave to try it out before committing us to it. He is going to think about it.

I have tried to emphasise that it's always easier to find a job when you have a job. I worry that after a year out of the workplace he will become "stale"- I am certainly worried about this myself being on maternity leave. He doesn't have great confidence in himself and has refused to go for other opportunities as he thinks he will fail.

I very much think the problem is him and not the job. He has a romantic notion that he will suddenly find a 9-5 fulfilling job that pays six figures!! As he hasn't really worked anywhere else for a long time he has a bad case of the grass is greener - I have tried to tell him that every job has its bad bits.

I also feel I should be supportive - I retrained 7 years ago after being made redundant - but I had a clear goal, a decent redundancy pay off and a part time job and so our finances were not impacted. Plus we didn't have a child to consider then. He was behind me 100% at the time and it has led me to a better job in the long run.

I guess this is why I feel I should support him. I had my chance. But I had a plan of action, an income and a goal whereas he just seems to want an extended holiday.

I should also add that he is not lazy around the house. He cooks and does other chores - I do the lion share because I am home more but I am pretty confident that if he were home he would take over that side of things.

God, when I speak to him I feel awful that I can't agree with him. He is so miserable but I really don't believe that just leaving work is the answer.

MatrixReloaded Tue 17-Nov-15 15:53:32

It's a serious mistake to support him in his idiotic plan. You've already said you will not be able to manage financially on one wage. Supporting someone who's plan is to have you struggling financially makes no sense. The fact he supported you when you were made redundant doesn't mean you have to assist him in his daft plan. It's entirely different.

Why on earth does he think it ok to not contribute financially for a year ?

kittybiscuits Tue 17-Nov-15 16:27:51

If you let him establish himself as the primary carer you will ve leaving yourself in a very vulnerable position. He has talked you down and done a number on you!

MatrixReloaded Tue 17-Nov-15 17:59:33

I think you need to get angry about his plan to put you in financial shit.

Handywoman Tue 17-Nov-15 18:15:51

Oh Lordy OP do you really want a third child? You already have two!

This brief chat is not, repeat not, enough.

If he is not confident enough to apply for other opportunities 'because he think he will fail' then his real plan looks actually to take a Gap Year. From life. Eating up your hard-won savings in the process, and potentially further damaging his future employability. Let's face it, OP, he has form for this.

If he is not happy in his job he needs to do what a grown up would do ie plan to take his career in a new direction, find viable training opportunities, or new employment, he can do this now. Nothing is stopping him. Apart from his sense of reality.

He sounds like he would be a pretty rubbish SAHP too, sorry to say.

Your instincts are right. This plan is a disaster waiting to happen. You need to stand your ground and strengthen your position.

From where I'm sitting I think looking to go back full time may be best - better than relying on a man who still thinks he's 18.

You've been too supportive, I reckon. Your future financial security is in jeapordy if you don't start laying down some boundaries.


redexpat Tue 17-Nov-15 18:30:03

I could not listen to someone moan about their job for that long.

Im v PA so would buy him a life coaching session for Xmas.

Another option for him is to temp for a while. You get a flavour for a lot of places very quickly and it becomes more apparent what you want in a job.

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