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Wife just isn't going to work... Please help.

(97 Posts)
freezerspol Sun 29-Jan-17 12:53:52

Hi, my wife works in a supermarket as a team leader, her pay isn't great. I also have a similar job (working in a restaurant) we are both full-time as we really need the money. Our daughter is 4. She is in Reception.

My wife has been fine lately, no other issues, apart from constantly being off work with 'sickness'. She openly admits that it's because she doesn't feel up to it. The thing is, I do sympathise, but this is for our daughter. I have tried speaking to her and have told her that if there are any problems, we will work through it (even if that means her going part-time) I would try my best to pick up some overtime at the weekend. We only live in a 2 bed flat, so can't downsize.

She thinks I'm being unfair! As her 'offer' is she will do all the housework and other household chores (we currently split these) but the thing is, that's not costing us any money to do that, so we literally would just be losing the whole of her income.

Like I say, going part time would be fine, I'll do my best to work weekends too, but not to just stop all together. At this rate, she will lose her job. Constantly taking 2 weeks off at a time without a sick note and so she gets a disciplinary.

Any advice?

Patienceisvirtuous Sun 29-Jan-17 12:56:24

Could she be depressed. Sounds like she needs to go see her gp.

HelenaGWells Sun 29-Jan-17 13:03:05

Sounds like it could be the beginnings of depression to me as well.

Did she get much time off when your daughter was small? It may be that she's finding it hard to work and wants to be a SAHM. She may be struggling with not being able to have that time with your daughter.

Some people naturally have a desire to work and others have a desire to stay home and fulfil that traditional role. It's not always possible to fit into the role we prefer and that can be difficult.

You need to have an honest chat and find
Out if these feelings are new and
If there are any other signs of depression sneaking in. She will need support but what support depends on the reasons behind her wanting to stay home.

Offred Sun 29-Jan-17 13:03:54

Have you looked at your entitlement to tax credits/housing benefit to work out if you would actually just lose her whole income?

Obviously I wouldn't tell her that I was doing that but I think since you will ultimately be able to exercise no control over her just quitting it would help to be informed about the financial implications.

What had she said about why she wants to give up work completely?

pocketsaviour Sun 29-Jan-17 13:04:14

I agree with Patience, she needs to see her GP. It sounds like she has chronic low-level depression. Can she look at moving to a different job? Although with her sick record, it will be difficult.

freezerspol Sun 29-Jan-17 13:04:39

I've tried going down the mental health route and she swears that it really isn't that. She just wants to be at home, but I don't know what to say to her when it really isn't possible?

Offred Sun 29-Jan-17 13:06:32

Well do you actually know that it 'isn't possible' or why she wants to be at home?

PaterPower Sun 29-Jan-17 13:06:59

It's not fair of either parent/partner to just opt out. Can either of you see any opportunity to change jobs to something better paid and/or more enjoyable?

I've been there (early start of career was retail management) and you'd have to drag me back to it kicking and screaming. What about looking at your local authority for work? Benefits are almost always better than retail or hospitality and they have defined job structures which mean you can pull yourself up the ladder with some hard work and commitment to the job. There are also a lot of different roles available so if something isn't right for you there are opportunities to change internally.

Offred Sun 29-Jan-17 13:08:36

I mean ultimately it is her life and her job. You can't just tell her it isn't possible and expect her to comply. She could just quit her job anyway.

You need to look at top up benefits on entitled to or turn 2 us so you are prepared if she does just quit and you need to listen to why she is wanting to give up work.

Offred Sun 29-Jan-17 13:09:50

Listening doesn't mean agreeing BTW it just means understanding

freezerspol Sun 29-Jan-17 13:12:22

I'm already listening, like I say I will work 7 days a week if that will make her happier and more willing to go. Of course I can't force her, but how am I supposed to pay for the both of them and all the flat, bills, etc. on my own?

Bluntness100 Sun 29-Jan-17 13:12:57

I don't think it's ok to put the financial burden on you to work overtime and weekends to make ends meet as Would rather be at home. If she is sure there is no mental health issue I don't understand how she thinks she can just stop. Can you live off your salary?

HappyJanuary Sun 29-Jan-17 13:13:49

Write down your income and outgoings, asking her how she proposes to pay the bills and buy food.

I'm not sure that it's depression, but it does sound like she hates her job. However, she needs to understand that lots of people would rather be at home, but can't afford that luxury.

Sounds like her choices are going part time or looking for something else, but she is jeopardising even those choices by becoming an unreliable employee.

If the job is making her ill she could see her gp about being signed off for a time to recover, think about her options and start looking for something else.

If she just wants to be a sahm I think she needs help accepting that lots of people would like that too, but that it isn't always possible.

Bluntness100 Sun 29-Jan-17 13:13:54

Ok so you can't live off uour salary. She doesn't seem to be being reasonable, surely she must understand financially it's not an option?

Hugepeppapigfan Sun 29-Jan-17 13:14:19

Have you asked her how she thinks the family will cope without her income? How does she answer that?!

Lucked Sun 29-Jan-17 13:16:48

Yes I agree that in your financial situation with one 4 year old all capable adults should be in employment to some extent. Looking for an alternative job is an option but opting out isn't. It's being a grown up

dudsville Sun 29-Jan-17 13:17:25

That's really unfair of her to do this to you. Unless/until you have come to a mutual compromise in advance she has a responsibility as an earner. She can look for a different job, but it sounds like she simply doesn't want to work. In that case you need to have a think about what you want in a partner and home.

specialsubject Sun 29-Jan-17 13:17:50

work isn't always fun - that's why they pay you.

if there are no other issues then she just has to deal with it. If it is this particular job, she can look into changing jobs.

DorotheaBeale Sun 29-Jan-17 13:19:04

Why is it up to op to look up benefits, tax credits etc? If op's wife want to be a sahm, doesn't she need to take on at least half the responsibility for finding out how it will work for them as a family?

Bluntness100 Sun 29-Jan-17 13:19:15

I agree, how does she propose the bIlls will be paid?

Olympiathequeen Sun 29-Jan-17 13:20:56

Maybe if she just goes off work for a year and see how she feels? Being stuck at home isn't all it's cracked up to be. The rate she's going she'll get the sack soon anyway so maybe just support her for a while and see if it's as wonderful as she thinks it is.

neonrainbow Sun 29-Jan-17 13:22:46

What if you fancied being at home too and jacked your job in? Why should you spend your current free time working and miss out on your child growing up so she can sit on her bum?

Offred Sun 29-Jan-17 13:23:01

No, I agree it is completely unfair to just expect you to be the single earner. It is a choice for her life that has a massive impact on you.

BUT how you are meant to replace her income is through looking at top up benefits. You need to do this ASAP because she may quit or be sacked re the BS sickness and you need to know how your family will manage as a first point. It would be totally cutting off your nose to spite your face to just not find out IMO.

You also need to properly discuss with her why she wants to do this in an adult way and she also needs to understand how it makes you feel.

Chelazla Sun 29-Jan-17 13:23:18

We'd all like to not work, tell her to go to her gp again. If she's adamant she isn't depressed tell her to get a grip and get to work!

Offred Sun 29-Jan-17 13:24:49

And yes the wife theoretically 'should' be the one who does that but if he tells her too she will likely come back saying 'see it will be perfectly fine' and he needs to know whether his family will end up up shit creek if she just walks out and be prepared for that (hideously irresponsible of the wife) possibility.

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