Wedding & Out of Work DP....(91 Posts)
I've posted before but things have moved on slightly and would be glad of some objective opinions.
I'm engaged to my DP; he is caring, affectionate, honest, loyal and just a lovely, kind man.
He treats me very well and supports me a great deal when I have MH issues (I have bipolar disorder).
He does most of the work around the house, cooks dinners and even runs me a bath. I don't have to lift a finger.
The one snag is that he isn't working, for various reasons he had to walk away from a gym that he part owned last May (which wasn't giving him a living wage anyway). He has been looking for a job since then.
He is applying for many jobs - mainly in his field as a PT or in sports related work, some outside of his field (car sales for example). I often grammar check his cover letters and see the confirmation emails coming through so he's definitely applying.
He has had two interviews which were both unsuccessful. He has another next week (who knows the outcome).
He's now been out of work for about a third of the time we've been together. We are due to get married on 1st December.
The larger part of me thinks that the job market is hard at the moment and I need to give him some (more) time to get a role in his field since he's still having interviews. He will stay at home when we have DC so it's not a big deal that he's not a big earner (as I am).
A smaller part of me thinks he needs to get a job, any job, so that he is contributing to saving for our shared goals (me to take mat leave, wedding, house deposit) and that I'm not sure I want to continue to progress wedding planning until he is working.
The latter would cause a fair bit of disturbance as everyone already knows what date we were planning and everything is booked.
What would you do if you were me?
Would you marry a very, very nice guy who is (possibly) always going to be out of work?
No sorry I wouldn't. I've never even dated some one who was out of work.
If you are partners in every other way, then it might work. He sounds amazingly supportive and kind. But believe me, I know from experience that resentment can be very corrosive.
Can he not advertise as a PT and get his own clients for boot camps etc?
Why would you think he's possibly always going to be out of work? How old is he?
If you feel he has turned his nose up at jobs that he could have done while waiting for a better one, YANBU. I never did joint finances though. What does his attitude suggest? Is it possible he wants to do SAH but hasn't asked? Just hopes to default to it?
I'm not sure why he might always be out of work? He is applying for jobs & getting interviews so it does seem likely that sooner or later he'll be offered something.
For me, if he is your ideal partner in every other way and is truly doing his best to find work, then I wouldn't be worried. You've already agreed between you that he would be the SAHP should you have DCs, which seems to make sense if you are the high earner. You wouldn't resent his not having a job then would you?
I would be more worried if he wasn't trying to find a job. It sounds like he is, so I see no reason why you shouldn't get married.
I wouldn't rush into marriage. I'd want to see that he's capable of sticking a job month in month out, for months on end.
Do you think he is actively avoiding getting a job even though he is trying to be seen to go through the motions of getting one?
I see no other reason why you would state that he may always be out of work otherwise
On face value he lost his job and is looking actively but in a difficult market.
Do you feel he should be applying for more jobs that may initially seem less than he is capable of? I.e. Going for any job rather than the perfect job? If so you need to tell him.
I'd hate being the sole earner when I wasn't married or kids on the scene. You are effectively financially supporting an adult who should be capable of supporting themselves. That would piss me off.
He needs to widen the type of work he's looking for really. How long has this been going on.
Oh and do you know what type of work he did before the gym and how long he stuck that for.
I suppose I'm not convinced about him finding work as he's been looking for nine months without any success.
Also because he's very idealistic and so I'm not sure at what point he will get any job that earns money even if it's not in his area/field.
We've agreed he would be a SAHP once we have children but until that point we do need him to work. Not to cover the bills but to help save for my mat leave/house deposit.
His job history is a bit patchy...
He'd been at his gym for just under two years when he left. I'm proud that he started the gym and kept it going for nearly two years (no mean feat); he worked hard and wasn't afraid of long hours but it never paid him more than £600 a month.
Before that he'd been a personal trainer at a large commercial gym for a year or two.
Before that he'd worked as a sales rep at Audi for a year but hated it and didn't do well (he is not a sales type person so I can see why he wasn't suited).
So that's the last six years or so.
Before that was a mix of extended education (HND, then a degree, then a Masters) interspersed with a year travelling and a few seasons as a snowboard instructor in Canada plus a year working in Florida as a PT/strength coach to a college football team.
I agree that 9 months out of work is a long time.
It's fantastic he supports you by running the household, as to be honest, this is a model that works for a lot of the population, especially when people have children.
My concerns would be:
When you do have children, are you going to be happy with him being the main carer, no choice or would it bother you?
Your health problems, I'm sorry I know nothing about bi-polar, but, in the nicest way, could there be a period in the future (I know this could happen to anyone for any health reason) when you can't work, I am guessing he wouldn't be able to re-create your salary, but would he be able to step up and cover the basics if needed?
Would he start to bore you if he never worked and didn't have a life outside of the home (hope I'm not about to get flamed for that one!)
None of the concerns I have would stop me marrying someone I loved and respected and had a great relationship with, but your lifestyle will be affected greatly when you make this choice (compared to it you found and loved a person earning similar to you) but again, it's your choice.
Has he thought about assessing vocational qualifications (NVQ/QCF etc). There are a lot of new jobs in the field at the moment with training companies willing to train you and put you through the assessing qualification (TAQA); it sounds like your fiancé could certainly assess Sport and Leisure. Just an idea.
If you lost your own job and then looked for work for 9 months without success, would your partner question your future in the same way? If you love him, support him.
Does he do any volunteer work, e.g. Kids coaching etc?
Ah so till about 30 he never did the whole "work every hour to save every penny" thing? Then he went for something he'd enjoy over somethings that pays?
I think you need to see yourself as the breadwinner and that's it. It's fine if you're happy with it but the person you describe is going to find it hard to just do anything to save for a deposit.
Not saying it's impossible, I know one couple where the guy was SAHD till 50, they hit financial problems and he did go and work in a supermarket for long hours, kids had left home by then. But his wife did ask him to go back to work when the kids were at secondary...he got very attached to the SAH life so they had to hit crisis before he reacted.
Again, all your choice, but you are right in your view about him getting work, it does seem unlikely that he'll go all guns blazing for the best pay even just for a few years.
He will never be a high earner and I totally accept that. He prioritises doing something he enjoys and finds meaningful over money and I can't blame him TBH so I accept I'll always be breadwinner but not working at all when we don't have children isn't fair.
He's a great guy and apart from this one thing I can't ask for anything else...he brings me breakfast in bed, totally supports me emotionally and practically in every other way he can, etc.
It's just that I've been brought up with the idea that I should never be dependent on someone else ever, and that you always work. Even if it means doing something you don't like.
I suspect he has been brought up wrapped in a bit of middle class cotton wool and so is much more idealistic about getting a job in his field (rather than just cleaning toilets to bring money in....IYSWIM).
It doesn't bother me at all that he would be a SAHD; to be honest it suits me as it allows us to have a situation where he can support me. With my illness I really benefit from the support he gives me as I don't have to balance working long hours with all the domestic duties.
I tend to go around in circles as part of me also thinks that if he started being out of the house at work and couldn't support me as much it could have a detrimental impact on my MH.
Things are easy for me at the moment as I don't have to really do any household things apart from pay the bills and some of the admin/planning. I'm sort of like a 1950s husband!
Baker...I will definitely tell him about the assessing!
I was always worried about supporting someone else as well, I never even dated anyone I thought they wouldn't work. I suppose what's key here is the affordability and how muc he's ready to do before kids and when the kids are older. Having a SAH isn't a model that works for everyone. Well there's never a one size fits all for anything.
I would ask him to get any paid work, including temp office work, see how he reacts.
Something else to bear in mind is that if you split, he would be likely to get custody of the children through being their primary carer. If you both worked, it would be a different story.
Did you get engaged before/after he lost his job?
For me, I would support him being out of work IF after 9 months he was applying for every job possible. If he was taking his merry time to find something he "liked", I would resent supporting him, no matter how nice he was.
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