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Annoyed with DH about work. I am probably being a cow but I'm so cross(41 Posts)
DH is qualified and works in a very niche field, one that if he works for himself he could earn a huge amount of money.
He had a well paid job and then decided about 18 months ago to take voluntary redundancy from this role, and start using his contacts to do work on a freelance basis, as he wanted to earn more money, and do less 'donkey work', which would be the case if he was working on a freelance consultant basis.
As soon as he left the job he worked helping a friend with something totally different for about 2 months, with the intention of starting to source his own work after that. However he then started doing very basic work for another friend, and is still doing it over a year later! He has made no effort at all to find his own work, and if truth be told we are absolutely fucking skint! He's earning less than half of what he earned in his employed role before.
And what's worse is he rarely will talk about things, and will instead moan at me if I buy/do anything for or with the DCs, as we have 'no money'. Occasionally he will chat about his work and will say he wants to find his own clients and get into freelancing to earn more, but then he does nothing about it!
I work too, not quite full time, but I do work. However I don't have the same earning capacity as him as my career took a back seat once we had DCs as I've always been the one expected to take time off if the kids were ill, and to work flexible hours etc. Plus the field that I am in doesn't pay as well as DH's field.
I sound like a bitch but I am sick of being skint. All of our outgoings are based upon when DH had his well paid employed job, and we still have these financial obligations. I have suggested we move to a smaller house so we can be mortgage free but he will not hear of it! :-/
I just feel like he holds all the cards here. He took a much lower paid job with no discussion with me or consideration towards the rest of us. He works quite long hours currently so is always too tired to do anything in the house or with the kids. And he won't discuss a way forward. I can't take on any extra hours because of childcare costs.
I am so fucked off.
Shout, cry, shout some more... let him see the emotional cost of his decisions.
Sod being fair to him, coping etc, do whatever it takes to jolt him out of his selfish bubble and talk to you properly.
You're not being a bitch. He has unilaterally made a decision that has massive impact on the whole family - and that is not fair. He has not treated you as an equal player in your marriage. And he refuses to talk about it. Pretty shit behaviour, as it goes.
He may have been tired of being the breadwinner or he may have been fed up of being employed by someone else, but whatever he felt he told you one thing and then did something completely different. At the very least he has led you on and been disengenuous. He has disregarded you, whilst you have absolutely been pulling your weight. Oh and then he's 'too tired' to be a decent parent to your kids or pull his weight in the house.
I would be seriously fucked off too OP.
I'm not being very constructive about what you do about this, but I thought I would validate your feelings all the same!
I have a feeling it is ultimatum time. You are being flexible. So the ultimatum is about the fact that something has to give i.e. down-sizing OR he gets a proper job/follows through on his promises to do lucrative freelance work. Definitely put your foot down.
i don't know, I feel for men in this situation. it must be hard to feel the weight of the family dependent on you and I understand how the mid-life crisis happens when some men can feel like a meal ticket. However, if he's not earning the money he used to and has no intention of doing so in the near future he needs to face facts and allow you to downsize.
Well I certainly have never treated him like a meal ticket! As I said, I work too, and earn money, but it is not realistic for me to be the breadwinner, as my career has played second fiddle to his.
And it definitely hasn't been a case of poor thing working millions of hours a day and me going out and spending his hard earned money. He has always loved the perks of being a high earner and enjoyed spending.
I would be livid. Mainly as he made the choice without you. If he'd said he wasn't that interest but kept working I'd say yubu but he's dropped you right into it.
I wouldn't be livid with the change. I just want DH to be happy and not stressed. However I would insist on living within our means which would mean downsizing so we had money day to day.
He won't move though, or even discuss moving. We jointly own the house so I'm not sure how I can insist on moving when he won't.
Does he spend any money? You need to make life less comfortable for him. Is he pulling his weight with housework and childcare?
Yes he's spending money like he always has done. If he wants something we can afford it, if I want something then we can't.
Nope, he doesn't pull his weight at all in the house or with the kids.
I'm sure you haven't OP but for whatever reason he's decided he doesn't want to do it anymore. I don't really see how you can complain if you're not willing or able to earn the money yourself. i understand the reasons but you must have been party to those decisions too and nothing's forever. If your field can't give you the lifestyle you want, change it (over time)
For me the most worrying part is the way what he says goes re the downsizing. If it's like that over everything I'd be seriously considering downsizing on my own.
Well no not really I wasn't party to those decisions, it's just the way it panned out as he's always refused to take time off for ill kids etc. I haven't said anywhere that I'm not willing to earn the money myself. As I've said, I do earn a wage and I work bloody hard for it!
Oh yes, poor little lamb 'for whatever reason he doesn't want to do it anymore'. Sod his kids, and the mortgage, and the bills, and the car finance he took out! Yes as long as he's happy it doesn't matter what he decides or that he didn't discuss it with me or let me have the tiniest say in it all!
Perhaps tomorrow I'll decide that 'whatever the reason I don't want to do it anymore' about looking after the kids, cooking meals, going to work, doing laundry, etc. Oh no, perhaps not though because as grown adults we can't just stop doing essential things because we feel like it with no thought for anyone else.
You said you're happy with the reduced wage, provided he'll downsize? And I agreed with you. Sounds like he's been laying down the law for too long.
Sounds to me like you need to LTB - give him a kick up his lazy arse and certainly don't let him spend YOUR wages if he can't be arsed to earn any!!!
I haven't said I'm happy with the reduced wage.
What do you think is the main reason he's doing the lower paid work?
(Genuinely prefers it? Not enough to get up and go to go after freelancing work? What?)
Whatever that reason is would inform my response. In your situation, if my partner found something he genuinely preferred doing that was much less well paid I would insist on downsizing the house and all of us cutting out spending. If it was more that he was just being lazy about getting round to sorting out freelance work but really did want to do it eventually then I'd insist on him speeding up.
And by insist - I mean that if talking about it nicely and kindly didn't work I'd give an ultimatum. I wouldn't risk missing mortgage payments and losing my home for the sake of another adult who is being totally illogical.
As a freelancer I'd warn that it takes a lot of discipline and great communication skills - to pitch for work, put up with clients who expect everything down yesterday, chase payment of invoices and put in the hours.
Point is if he wanted to make major changes which affect his whole family they should have been discussed and decided on jointly. Instead he's been disingenuous and deceptive in the way he's gone about things. It's all well and good saying OP should be prepared to earn more to bridge the gap but that's not always possible around childcare etc and it doesn't sound like he would step up with the DC or housework to enable her to. I think the first thing you have to do OP is decide how far you're willing to go if this situation doesn't change, would you leave him rather than continue as you are? Ultimately you can't make him do anything, all you can do is let him know what the potential outcome might be if he's not prepared to compromise but you have to be really sure you're prepared to follow through with what you say could happen. In your shoes I would be telling him there needs to be some serious decisions and changes made or you will be considering leaving but you do have to be prepared to actually do it.
So you're not happy for him to earn less but be happier in his work?
joys the point is though, him earning less by being happier in his work, doesn't work with the spending commitments they have as a family (unchanged since his income dropped). If he wants job satisfaction, he has to accept that he can't continue to live the life to which he's become accustomed. He's carrying on as if he's still on the higher wage and point blank refusing to discuss the problems this is causing.
Plus he sounds like a twat about doing his share with the DC and around the house, when OP also works.
Joysmum mirrors my thoughts.
I think there is a need for compromise economically however, how much value do you put on his health?
As much as I can have sympathy for not wanting to be the main breadwinner I cannot agree that he's gone about it in a sensible way at all.
My Dad chose to give up a high paid stressful job for a lower paid self employed job with better hours. He discussed everything with my Mum, waited until car finance was paid off before taking the plunge and they reviewed all their outgoings to ensure they could afford it. He also really stepped up with childcare for us kids to reduce costs and enable my mum to be the main earner.
That is how you go about it if you "can't take it anymore". You don't just think sod it and leave it all to your partner to struggle through whilst still driving round in your fancy car you're paying through the nose for. OP I think you need to sit down with the joint account and clearly lay out where the money is going. If it becomes obvious that it's actually his spending that's the problem still (which sounds like it is the case) then maybe that will be the motivation for him to step up. It can be his choice too, cut costs or actually do what he said he would.
It would be fine to reduce work and income, if he had agreed it with his partner and they downsized & both reduced spending. But to do it unilaterally, and moan about her buying anything but still buy for himself, and to expect her to continue doing all the chores and childcare stuff? Nah, he's having a laugh.
If he wants job satisfaction, he has to accept that he can't continue to live the life to which he's become accustomed
That's what I said in my first post.
My second post was in response to the OP saying she hadn't said she was happy with the reduced wage. I hope the OP will clarify whether the issue is with living beyond their means or because she expects him to maintain his earning levels even if they were living within their means. This will effect how relevant the responses are that she receives.
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