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WWYD - get a job or go on benefits?

(32 Posts)
freshstart4us Sun 17-Jul-16 02:26:19

I feel at a crossroads, married 6 years, 2 DCs 4.5 yo DD and 13 mo DS. Lots to be grateful for in our lives but our marriage just feels rocky, tenuous, volatile, unsettled. Don't know that I can do this for the long term.

The breaking straw for me is that DH is insisting I return to work, even though we agreed before having DS (actually DH's idea) that I would stay home until DS started school. Financially, we don't need me to work (no mortgage, he makes OK money) but we won't be saving or going on nice holidays on just one wage. I think these are very small sacrifices to make to have one of us stay home while the DCs are so little; DH disagrees, wants the security and freedom of 2 incomes (we make similar money; he doesn't want to stay home, I've suggested it). I know that when I return to work, I will (as when I went back after DD) still end up doing the bulk of house keeping, cooking and admin. Feel that I'll just end up with two full time jobs, and tbh don't think I will have any quality of life.

If I stay, my life is going to be shit. If I end the marriage and go back to work I will only see my kids half of the limited time I would see them outside work anyway, so my life will be shit. If I end the marriage and go on benefits, I'll see lots of my kids but quite frankly, think life would be a pretty shit then too, although it would give me the opportunity to return to study and financially it would work.

WWYD? Apart from not marry someone who has very differing ideas about the value of a stay at home parent for young kids in the first place.

lalalalyra Sun 17-Jul-16 02:55:04

If he wants you to go back to work full time then he at least needs to be doing half of the work at home.

Is it that he wants the nice things an extra wage would pay for or is he worried about his job for any reason? Just when you mention the security of 2 jobs, if his job is in anyway precarious then it makes sense to have 2 incomes (although he should be discussing, not deciding for you).

Is there any compromise to be had? Part time job? Mystery shopping to earn enough for a small holiday?

Did he agree to you being a SAHM? If he did then you need to push to find out what's behind the change of mind because "I want holidays and it's not fair you are home all day when I'm working" is a very, very different scenario to "I'm worried the current climate means my job is in jeapordy".

freshstart4us Sun 17-Jul-16 03:14:44

Lala we did agree that I would stay at home, it was actually his idea and you are right - it is precisely that he feels resentful of me having such an "easy life" at home. confused

freshstart4us Sun 17-Jul-16 03:31:26

Actually it is more than that. I've actually pushed and fundamentally he doesn't value anyone who stays home, financial contribution is all that matters. So our marriage problems are rooted in respect. Me going back to work won't solve it, though. It will be something else - prob then I won't be a "good enough" mother because I'll work too much, as happened last time. Unfortunately part time roles are very poorly paid and rare doing what I do, so that really won't solve the problem.

Out2pasture Sun 17-Jul-16 03:48:20

would you be able to do casual work in your field (say 1-2 days a week)?
I wanted to be a forever sahm, hubby said no way. i found causal work really beneficial for both us as a couple (as he insisted i work and was) as well as for me (adult interaction). as the children grew up i worked more and more.
yes i did the bulk of the indoor housework and meals, planning for 1-2 days was not that hard.

HappyJanuary Sun 17-Jul-16 03:55:43

Well there are a number of compromises if you want to stay married - full time work with a 50/50 split of housework/childcare or you give up work again, part time work in a different field, returning to study/retraining/volunteering if your DH's resentment stems from you being a SAHM rather than your lack of financial contribution.

But if the marriage isn't working for other reasons, and neither of you are happy, then end it sooner rather than later so you can both be happy.

And if what you really want is to study, and can see a way financially to make that happen, then go for it.

freshstart4us Sun 17-Jul-16 07:19:54

Thank you for your responses. Out I would love to do 1-2 days a week or 2 or 3 or 4 - any part time really, but unfortunately haven't been able to find anything that would cover much more than childcare and think it rather pointless when there is zero financial reward. I'm still bfeeding DS and anticipate doing so for several more months yet and just feel DH is being very unreasonable.

Happy it's purely financial - he hates "paying" for everything, even though my asset sales paid 80% of the cash purchase of our home, making us mortgage free. He is now attempting to be very financially controlling - and tbh the marriage has other problems, mostly stemming from lack of respect. My desire to return to study and put myself on a more family-friendly career path is completely unacceptable to him.

It is just horribly ironic that the government would support me to stay at home to look after our children whilst studying but my husband won't.

Alfieisnoisy Sun 17-Jul-16 07:23:37

Is your contribution to the house protected for you?

He resents you being at home and him paying for everything. He does realise that unless you were there he would be paying for childcare right?

Dragongirl10 Sun 17-Jul-16 07:29:55

I didn't think l would EVER say this but in your situation l think you should leave him , go on benefits for the minimum period to retrain then get your family friendly job and be there for your Dcs as much as possible.

l felt very concerned by your DHs attitude he sounds like a nasty bully, l wonder what sort of a father he will be as they grow up if you stay?

MrsWooster Sun 17-Jul-16 07:42:39

I'm not an ltb merchant but...
Why does he get to "insist"? Write down clearly the pros and cons of all the options and present him with your considered decision, with the justifications (like your asset contributions) as an acknowledgement that this is a partnership(!). Then get the benefits, retrain etc so that your life and that of the members of your family who matter is on the right longterm track.

MephistoMarley Sun 17-Jul-16 08:08:15

Leave him, go on benefits while you retrain and get the Job that fits round the kids when you can.

Ineedmorelemonpledge Sun 17-Jul-16 08:19:43

If you paid 80% into the home perhaps you should charge him rent. confused

Does he control all the finances?

I would draw up a financial sheet, with cost of childcare, cost of a cleaner to cover "his half" of the housekeeping, travel costs to work, clothing for work etc etc and see how it balances out.

I think he'd be very surprised to see the value of you staying at home.

newname99 Sun 17-Jul-16 08:25:42

What was his upbringing like? Does his mum/ sisters work?
If you feel there is no respect then I doubt you can continue with the marriage.Your assessment of options is bleak when really you are in a positive situation if you have lots of equity so enough for each of you to start again.

Have you tried marriage counselling?

WidowWadman Sun 17-Jul-16 08:25:56

I understand where he's coming from. Being the sole earner is a huge pressure. Of course household needs to be shared equally if both work, but you appear rather dismissive and entitled

WidowWadman Sun 17-Jul-16 08:28:28

Apologies hadn't seen the bit about studying and being mortgage free. This makes you more reasonable.

Lilaclily Sun 17-Jul-16 08:32:27

Do you love him?
Would you both be pprepared to go to marriage counselling ?

whattheseithakasmean Sun 17-Jul-16 08:36:10

It is just horribly ironic that the government would support me to stay at home to look after our children whilst studying but my husband won't.

I really wouldn't rely on the government supporting you long term, certainly not in the style to which you are accustomed.

I think part time/freelance/casual work is the way forward and that is where I would put my efforts. Start working your professional networks now, before you are any longer out the workplace.

Your marriage sounds dead in the water, so I would get back a toe hold in the world of work in preparation for splitting up and having longer term financial security without him. Really, do not rely on a man or the government to support you - rely on yourself.

CodyKing Sun 17-Jul-16 08:38:07

Grab a pen and write down your financial contributions

£200 per week childcare
When in school holiday clubs and after school care
Cleaning £10 an hour
Errands -

I like the idea of charging him rent

List his contribution if you split - he'd have the kids and his own house to run shopping and washing ironing plus a full time job

Being at home is a small price to pay short term for them growing up

Has he ever had them full Time for a day or weekend plus the house?? So he can see the easy life

ChicagoBull Sun 17-Jul-16 08:45:36

You shouldn't have to but set out your contribution, housework, childcare, 80% of the house (wtf??? In my eyes that would entitle you to sah on its own) and your terms if you did go back to work in black & white, send him an email or something.
Then I'd leave because he's clearly a twat who can't understand your contribution by himself.
I left one of these twats 18 mo ago and I'm so much happier not having to justify my day & time all the time

LIZS Sun 17-Jul-16 08:54:45

Nannies can get maternity pay if employed long enough. In 5 years' time I doubt you'd be able to exist on benefits for long.

LIZS Sun 17-Jul-16 08:56:11

Apologies wrong thread.

freshstart4us Sun 17-Jul-16 08:59:20

MrsWooster I have asked myself the question about why he gets to "insist" - my answer is, quite frankly, he doesn't. That is why I am so bloody unhappy about it. And why, if I choose to stay and work, it will be for reasons other than his insistence!!

Choosing to leave is, of course, bloody hard. I want us to be a family, I don't want our children to have to live two separate lives. I like working, I enjoy being successful in my career. I just don't want to have other people bring up our kids when it's not necessary.

AyeAmarok Sun 17-Jul-16 09:09:01

I think I'd stay with him as a SAHM (but live a very separate life) until such times as I thought he'd contributed enough to that to make up for 80% of the value of your home!

What an arse.

LiveLifeWithPassion Sun 17-Jul-16 09:09:58

If you hadn't paid 80% of the mortgage and just matched his 20%, how much would your mortgage be? That's your current financial contribution.

I think your dh sounds selfish. He resents you staying at home and sees it as you having a good old time of it rather than in terms of the tangible and intangible contribution you make to family life.

LiveLifeWithPassion Sun 17-Jul-16 09:11:46

I meant monthly mortgage payments.

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