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Job friction

(18 Posts)
Awkward77 Fri 18-Nov-16 19:00:12

So..... my partner came home from work today and said that he was thinking of doing a PhD and what do I think? To put it into context, we have been together for 12 years and have a 5 yo daughter. In the early years of our relationship I financially supported him while he went back to university to get a degree. Anyway, to cut a long story short, he worked hard, got a first but was unable to get a job afterwards in his chosen field, so he got a low paid position at a university which was "low pressure" and "interesting". Meanwhile, I have been working my arse off as a secondary school teacher and juggling drop offs and pick ups from school as he has a long commute. He said that the bursary he would get as a PhD student would only represent a slight drop in income. AIBU to think that he is 40 years old and not 21 and should be thinking about getting a better paid job nearer home.

category12 Fri 18-Nov-16 19:08:24

Could he realistically do the PhD and do a part-time job so there is no drop in income? I think if that is possible, then it's not so unreasonable.

You sound resentful tho. So I think some reflection on your part about what would make you happy, where the strain could be taken off and what compromises might work for you both would be good. Perhaps he could put the idea on hold until say dd is in secondary.

Awkward77 Fri 18-Nov-16 19:55:04

It would be full time starting in September. I suppose I'm wonderinghow I feel about him having another 3-4 years doing something fulfilling and interesting that may lead to a better job, whilst I have to remain in my rather unfulfilling job indefinitely to make up for his long commute and low salary. I've made him sound like a bit of a selfish git and that's unfair. He is more of a free spirit than me. I am more pragmatic and so worry about the long term implications. I wonder whether I should be a bit more "chase your dreams!" rather than being so bloody sensible all the time.

Guiltypleasures001 Fri 18-Nov-16 20:04:43

Chasing your dreams is fine as long as you both get to do it, when's your time?

Cary2012 Fri 18-Nov-16 20:07:57

I'd tell him that ship has sailed.

From another secondary teacher!

category12 Fri 18-Nov-16 20:16:37

Well, I don't think you're being unfair, but I think you need to come up with something more positive - for yourself. If you were both chasing a bit of something for yourselves it would feel better and more even, but at the moment it's all slog for you and no end in sight, in fact more pressure in the shape of less coming in from his side.

What's he prepared to give you? Can he do it closer to home, can he do it part-time, can he do it long distance and take up some of the slack at home? Does he see what he's asking from your point of view, or is he treating you like a parent?

Dozer Fri 18-Nov-16 20:18:56

Sounds like he's selfish and unwilling/unable to put himself under stress or do something he doesn't like much for the family. I wouldn't agree to that when you already financially supported him. Would he do the same for you? Doubt it.

Dozer Fri 18-Nov-16 20:20:00

Being a "free spirit" is all very well, if he can pay his own bills and support his family, as you have done.

theansweris42 Fri 18-Nov-16 22:36:48

I think he's not necessarily more of a free spirit, but that he has had and has more freedom...the next plan HAS to take into account both of you.
You're currently doing al, the juggling, it's his turn.
I say this as someone who asked for their turn and it didnt happen and it really was an issue.

ocelot7 Fri 18-Nov-16 22:47:04

To progress at a university he HAS to have a PhD - I assume that's the plan as mostly not necessary for other jobs.

ocelot7 Fri 18-Nov-16 22:47:54

He would probably be able to pick up some hourly paid teaching at £36-40ph

Manumission Fri 18-Nov-16 22:51:04

Two educators who think "he's 40 not 21" and "that ship has sailed" re a PhD?! How depressing.

OohhThatsMe Fri 18-Nov-16 22:54:09

I would tell him, "That's funny, I was thinking of doing that. Why don't you work full time and let me have a go, eh?"

Hidingtonothing Fri 18-Nov-16 22:59:08

I would be completely honest with him, tell him you feel like you're shouldering more than your share of responsibility for keeping the family afloat, both financially and practically and that you're worried you will end up feeling resentful that he is able to pursue a path which is, at least in part, for pleasure rather than the benefit of the whole family.

Would doing his PhD mean his longer commute remains the same and preclude him doing more school runs etc to take pressure off you? How likely is it, realistically, to lead to a better job? Is there anything specific you would like/could do to 'follow your dream' a bit more? I think if there's a way to ease the pressure on you and/or make you feel you're not going to be expected to come second best forever you might feel more positive about what he wants to do but it's not an equal partnership if your happiness isn't being considered and he's not willing to compromise to rectify that.

I would try and have a calm discussion about it but be completely honest about your feelings, it's not fair to either of you to agree to something you know will cause resentment to build up. Have a really good think beforehand whether there's something you would like to do and don't be afraid to put your own dreams up for discussion too, you both deserve to be happy and fulfilled but the needs of the family should come first for him as well as you.

WeAllHaveWings Fri 18-Nov-16 23:02:41

It's fabulous following your dreams when you've left someone behind to keep the roof over your and your dds head. Someone who will deal with the mundane things in life and someone you never have to stop to think if they have needs too.

Tell him he's being a selfish arse and then decide together what both your dreams and the compromises are.

DontMindMe1 Sat 19-Nov-16 02:53:18

If his 1st class degree didn't get him a job in the field he wants after all this time - i doubt a PHD won't help him.
What's he done with the degree all this time?
Have you seen any decent 'return' on this 'investment'?

How about he uses his degree to get a better job first?
And if he's happy working in 'low pressure' jobs then why does he need additional qualifications?

I think he's using education as a way of avoiding dealing with real responsibility.

I'd just say 'sorry mate - it's my turn to do something for me'....and then go do it.

Awkward77 Sat 19-Nov-16 09:52:31

I thought as much.... thanks for the confirmation mumsnetters. I have now gone from aibu to "over my dead body!"

maras2 Sat 19-Nov-16 11:47:47

He's a selfish prick.Tell him to grow the fuck up.DH has 2 'friends' who are perpetual students.Their marriages are in tatters leaving 5 children dreadfully upset (but 2 relieved wives)These 2 took the piss for over 20 years using the 'oh but we'll all benefit in the end' bollocks.Lazy,entitled shits. angry

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