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Coping with being the sole earner and feeling resentful.(67 Posts)
I am the sole earner, juggling being a student with a part-time job so our income is a combination of my student loan and wages. DP had all benefits removed once I started receiving a student loan.
The pressure of being the sole earner, in a low-income household is starting to mount up and I am beginning to feel resentful towards DP. He lost his job through pro-longed illness and was receiving ESA, which he changed to JSA when he was well on the road to recovery and ready to face getting a job again. He has stuggled to find work but has received an unconditional offer for September to study something he has wanted to do for years and could lead to a well paid job. DP is older than me so going back to education is a big deal for him.
His JSA was stopped as they decided my student loan raised our income above the limit, we currently get by on £900 between us a month, to cover rent,bills, car and insurance and general living expenses. We don't have children, but very much want them and are planning on waiting until DP has finished his studies and is earning.
I'm beginning to feel resentful of my DP not bringing any money to the table. In my head he isn't doing enough to find work in the meantime, although I know deep down his choices are limited due to his health but with the right job it would be fine. I feel like he makes excuses for not applying for certain jobs, but I don't know if this is just the resent talking. He does a lot around the house, 80% of the housework and most of the dog walking duties. He doesn't smoke, drink excessively or gamble but he does spend money on video games or his collectable items, sometimes he does spend too much but he is aware of this and has sold on or returned items he has bought on impulse.
I have debts of £2000 which I would like to start paying off, I'd like us to be able to go on holiday and to pay back family that has helped us out when times have been exceptionally difficult. DP doesn't seem as money-focused as me, and avoids the conversation. I am stressed, and feel like I am thinking about money constantly to the point seeing him buy something at £1 infuriates me and I can't get out of my head that it is "my money". I'm sick of being stressed, and feeling pressured by money but I am also sick of being a horrible person. I'm sorry this has turned into a bit of a rant and moan more than anything, but really what I want to know is how you cope with being a sole earner? Do you ever feel pangs of resentment? How do you deal with it?
Thank you in advance!
ETA: he does search and apply for jobs, but not as often as I feel he should. Again not sure if this is me BU because of how I'm feeling.
There is no reason that he shouldn't be looking for work - anything - till his course starts in Sept. You have no children so housework and dog walking are not cutting it at this stage of your lives. The lack of urgency of wanting to contribute would piss me right off too, no wonder you feel like this.
You are borrowing money to pay for his lifestyle.
He needs a reality check.
You have a car and dog and can afford to have both of you studying (one full time) because of various benefits received and the opportunity to have a reduced interested student loan that you'll only pay back when you earn over threshold.
And you want to have a holiday too?
I am not benefit bashing - far better that students are supported if it leads to better job opportunities for individuals, more tax paid later and the general development of a skilled economy. All good.
But come on, you can't have your cake and eat it. With the study, the two of you have chosen to have lean years and that means holidays and paying back family aren't possible.
You're not even really the sole source of income given that it's not his fault your loan stopped his JSA.
Is this a short term issue until September - will he also get a student loan then? Can he work part time during his course?
He doesn't sound lazy with regards to the housework, and he doesn't sound profligate given that he will sell things if he's spent too much. (although better not to spend in the first place, I agree on that!)
It actually sounds to me like he's OK but you're just stressed about money and putting the focus on him. And also frustrated at the low level of money - but that I think you need to deal with by looking at your expectations - two students shouldn't expect to have holidays.
But... you know better how much effort he's putting into job hunting.
I would ask yourself - Do I still love him?
Perhaps what you mistake for love is a duty towards him particularly if he has been unwell. It is easy to confuse the two emotions.
You are not married, no ties beyond cohabitation - do you still want to tie your futures together?
"Do I love him" isn't always a useful question though. Look at the number of women on here who reel off a list of awful ways in which their partners treat them and then say "but I do love him"!
It's a useful question, but not necessarily a reason to stay!
I would try to pinpoint the source of the frustration:
- having no money (but not his fault)
- pressure of sole earner (but not his fault)
- him not bothering to apply for jobs (making both of the above actually his fault)
It's impossible to tell from the OP whether he's a lazy cocklodging arse and whether this is just a difficult time to be weathered.
How was he when he was working OP, and then on JSA? Was he a fair contributor then? Did you have a similar attitude to money then?
Attitude to money is important - it should compatible if not the same. If you both work full time in future but he chooses video games over debt repayments, you're in for a lot more frustration! Even with higher incomes. Because sometimes that just means higher debts.
Cabrinha We don't receive any benefits at the moment, my student loan and part-time earnings are all we have. Dog has been with us since before when DP was working, and is a very much loved member of the family although it is costly. Car is also essential, and I spent inheritance money learning to drive as it is very much needed due to current job and future career requiring me to be a driver.
None of us expected DP to be ill for as long as he was, and it would have been daft to just walk away from my course but I agree, I'm lucky to be able to study at all. I guess the idea of wanting a holiday is a bit much but it would be nice to just get away for a few days, it's been a very tough few months for both our families all round outside of my own financial worries, and it has taken its toll as well as a very messy house move thanks to previous landlord.
He may be able to work part-time for part of his course, I'll have completed my studies by September so aim to be closer to securing full-time work and he will have a student loan so financially we should be on better standing. I just feel in the mean-time he could do more as I have been sole earner since October, his JSA wasn't cut off immediately as they had said we should still be able to claim due to low-income.
Lizzie its a fair question, one I have struggled with in the past, and yes I do love him but it has been a difficult road.
Cabrinha he had his JSA payments made into my account so all money was coming from the one pot and easier to manage. He had access to the account so was able to spend money for himself but his JSA would also be used for household expenses, he would buy shopping etc whilst I covered larger bills.
Have you spoken to him about it yet?
It may be that he still feels that he does contribute his JSA - because it's not his fault that it's been switched with your loan.
Sometimes people post on here that they're losing tax credits when a partner moves in, and they're told that the partner should make it up to them, that it's "family money".
Have you told him how pressured you feel?
If you're getting by on current low income with the very likely change in circumstances now just 4 months away, it may be that he just doesn't feel the same stress that you do.
Not because he's bad or lazy, but because for some people debt is stressful, for others they know (feel) that the change is round the corner. Which it does seem to be here.
My XH would have coasted along the 4 months, I would have been worried about borrowing from family.
He may not be working hard enough to find a job because he isn't feeling stressed and doesn't realise how bad it is for you. He should be trying of course, but I can't tell if he is trying fairly hard, barely at all, or busting a gut. If it's barely at all - he's an arse. If it's fair it hard but you want busting a gut, then he's not bad necessarily - and may need to be made aware of your stress to spur him on.
The fact that you managed the money in your account suggests he's more go with the flow? (I couldn't ever pay into your account!)
Being hard-headed about it, is he someone you will likely be able to rely on, including financially, if you marry and have DC?
If he was unwell again would you want him to SaH with the DC and you earn (which would likely mean him having more time with the DC and you paying maintenance)!if you later broke up.
If not, and you don't want to financially support him and other stuff in the long term, and there's a high chance that could happen, best end it now.
I should add we are VERY lucky to be renting from family who has near cleared the mortgage on the property so we are paying half of what standard rent would be, otherwise I have no idea how we would cope at all.
He is definitely more go with the flow, using my account was also due to the fact his bank is a bit of a pain to deal with, but at the time he didn't want to go through the hassle of switching over when he was ill, his ESA was also paid into my account. He doesn't really think about money in the same way I do, he is very much "it'll be fine" and needs to really see the figures to have the situation hit home, banking apps are a godsend for this. He is very much an impulse buyer but does at least see this is a problem now. He is also a very generous gift giver when it comes to his nephews, and family birthdays but his DSis and DBro are relatively well off so I think that adds to that issue.
He spends about 2-3 hours a week job searching online, small-ish town and high commuting costs so it is a scarce market but I feel he has passed up some potential jobs because of the prospect of starting his studies in September.
Finances aside he is a very caring, loving partner and he is probably the more easy going of us, but this makes it difficult to discuss finances as he is so care-free at times and tries to reassure me it will be fine, whereas I am very number focused. I'm aware this could be a problem on my part too!
It is April and he is not starting college until September, he has plenty of time to get a job. Dog walking, bar tending, shop work, people per hour (admin, data entry, IT), ironing? I would not be happy either op. The longer he stays out of the workforce the harder it will be for him to get out.
I dont think its fair to blame your partner for resentment its student loansvthst hsve reduced your money.
To be honest if two of yoi can study and not work full time you sre priveleged in my eyes. Usually 1 partner studies and the other supports financially.
If you can get to work withoyt the car get rid if it until your studies are over and you secure your dream job. I would rehome the dog too. I know my cst wasnt cheap to look after id hatw to think.what the costs would be for a dog.
your partner should take any part time job whilst studying i thght this is what all students did? I did retail all through studies and they were very flexible.if i was free id call and theyd say yes sure you can do a few hours pop in. My friends did call centre jobs. Sitting on jsa or not working when money is tight and there are no care duties with kids or elders at home is a cop out.
how will you care foe the dog when both of you sre in full time studies or work. Will the dog sit at home allday??
When are you finishing uni? Perhaps its best to complete the year you are currently in and go back to work, clear your debts, go on your holiday, then return back to uni
Your partner definitely sounds lazy to me. In spite of his ill health, is he able to work in a bar or catering? There is a high turnover of staff in those areas so he could pick up something casual or temporary or part-time and could possibly continue when he studies.
I agree that it is a luxury to be able to study later in life. How old are you both?
I hated being the sole earner in my partnership. I always felt it was convenient for exh to pursue his hobbies and make a big show of making lots of plans about doing night shifts, becoming self-employed, starting a business. He never did any of it in ten years. The resentment broke my relationship.
The money you have isn't "your money" it is family money. It's good he pulls his weight around the house and does most of the other things to make your life easier at home, that's what someone who stays at home does, there are lots of threads on here about people staying at home and the other person working and being a single earner.
It's impossible to know whether he's taking the piss re jobs or not without having more idea what his limitations are and what's available locally. I do think you might have to rule out the holiday if things are that tight.
I'm feeling cynical about him too and I feel bad about it, I foresee him doing the studies getting ill again if it's depression, possibly dropping out and your left carrying the can as usual
I don't think you are that compatible lovely to be honest, he sounds like dead weight with no get up and go, you have a baby he will be the mum at home while you flog yourself to death trying to keep a roof over your heads.
It sounds like it's only by luck and others you have an affordable roof over your heads, and it's no thanks to him. If it goes tits up he's not reliable or bothered about dealing with it.
You have an awful dynamic set in stone there the hell I'de have kids with him, you're never see them he's work shy.
I would avoid making any sort of permanent commitment if I felt the way you do towards a partner OP
Honestly? I think you either have to get used to being the sole or main earner or find a different life partner, especially if you want dc - does his health mean he wouldn't be able to look after them? I think you're stressed because this isn't what you want, even if he's a lovely person it doesn't sound as though it's long term viable unless you go after your career and get comfy with having the earning pressure
In terms of how you get comfy with this, you get good skills, you get established in a job where you can see you're well thought of and make sure it's transferable to other companies or industries if the one you work for goes under.
Most of those threads feature one party doing the childcare though peggy. The dynamics and economics are quite different when there aren't dependants to be looked after. In lots of scenarios, one person staying at home is able to 'save' the family more than they'd earn via childcare and sometimes living cheaply by being able to spend time instead of money. That gets a lot more difficult to accomplish with no children involved. Most people without kids could earn more by working than they could contribute to the household via their domestic labour. Obviously that may not be the case here as the DP has health limitations and isn't necessarily able to earn much.
yy harlot. It's tricky, if your dp was my child, I'd be hoping they had a partner that would support them, but accept the non worker/v low earner needed to spend accordingly. Ifnyou were my child, I'd be hoping that you found a partner that was able to support you somewhat also if you fell on poor health so it was mutual, that seems a reasonable expectation. A long term dependent spouse isn't an ideal life imo even if you feel sorry for the dependent spouse.
Ideally a partnership is mutually beneficial, it sounds as if the benefits of this partnership are flowing mostly in one direction
He has stuggled to find work but has received an unconditional offer for September to study something he has wanted to do for years and could lead to a well paid job
Given your description of him this future well paid job sounds like pie in the sky
You may be in for a lifetime of resentment
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