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DH and his lack of ambition

(222 Posts)
poppiesinafield Sat 08-Jun-19 08:22:44

I don't even know where to begin but I think I need some help picking apart my feelings before I explode. I have been with DH for 11 years this summer, married for 8. 2 DDs, my older DD 17 from previous relationship, and our DD 8.

My DH is a kind and caring man, he is a good dad, he is considerate towards me, doesn't go out, has never cheated, does his fair share of the housework etc. We don't argue and I would describe our relationship as good on a day to day basis.

BUT, he has worked in the same job (think unskilled, outdoor type job, quite weather dependent) for the entire time we have been together and there is no sign of it changing - he doesn't earn much more than what he did 11 years ago when we met and our income is CONSTANTLY affected by the weather. To give him his due, he is often up early (5am) and works long days but the reality is he very rarely earns a full weeks wages BECAUSE WHEN DO WE EVER GET A FULL WEEK OF DRY WEATHER IN THE UK! His friends locally are all starting to get to the point of doing better in their jobs, having mortgages and better cars. Not that I'm bothered about that sort of stuff really but I am tired of struggling all the time.

From my point of view, when we met I was in the final year of my degree. We then had DD and I worked part time for a bit - at this point I decided against training to be a teacher and now I work in the NHS - my pay isn't amazing but I have the option to pick up extra shifts which I often do and am now in the position where I am certainly earning more than my DH. I often attend training and can see that I will be able to work myself up to better paid positions over the coming years.

This week, after the few bits and bobs that have had to be paid for, DH has £100 left which is meant to have to see us through for a week. This is a regular occurrence when we have a rainy week and puts us back constantly. It means I am now probably going to have to pick up an extra shift tomorrow after I have worked all week. We are meant to be saving for a holiday in August, not one penny has been put back, it will be me working extra shifts that pays for the bulk of it I expect.

Just for clarity I have a horse which I know is classed as an expensive hobby although I keep it as low cost as possible, and I have a large (cheap and old!) 4x4 to tow her around with. But I pay for that out of all the extra shifts I work and feel entitled to it, my main wages go in the joint account for bills, food etc and I don't really touch them.

We have had conversations in the recent past (arguments!) where I have said I am unhappy with this situation and didn't think that after 11 years nothing would have changed where he has said he will try harder, but here we are again skint because he hasn't worked enough. It's actually his birthday on Monday too and we can't afford to go out or anything this weekend. It's just a bit sad really ☹️

SandyY2K Sat 08-Jun-19 08:34:26

Does he realise the impact this is having on you working extra shifts?

From a logical point of view, he needs to look at a job that isn't weather dependent, or this situation will be your life.

If he enjoys that line of work, he could still do it on a weekend day, or it might be something he could do more in the summer.

A job which relies on good weather for income in the UK, is not dependable and would make me feel insecure and anxious.

Divinelyuninspired Sat 08-Jun-19 08:37:07

What happens during the winter months?

poppiesinafield Sat 08-Jun-19 08:38:44

The winter months can be quite dire!

SleepingStandingUp Sat 08-Jun-19 08:39:12

This week, after the few bits and bobs that have had to be paid for, DH has £100 left which is meant to have to see us through for a week how much do you have left? Is that 100 for food and bills or just extras?

Sounds like you need to sit down with a spreadsheet and go through where all the money goes and how many hours you're both working to do that.
He doesn't need to be ambitious, he just nerds to work full time!

RiversDisguise Sat 08-Jun-19 08:41:27

Yep, he needs another job. Nothing fancy. Just stable income.

resisterpersister Sat 08-Jun-19 08:43:18

He needs a new job. He needs to find a job that uses his skills but that's PAYE and gives a regular wage. Do you know of such a job? Is there a decent jobs market where you are?

adaline Sat 08-Jun-19 08:44:58

You say there's £100 left over - what's that for? Is it just for food/fuel or is it also for things like bills? How much do you have left over? What does the money have to cover?

It seems you live a split existence in terms of finances - there's talk of you paying for things whereas surely if you're married, the money is jointly earned?

Would he be open to getting a regularly paid job?

category12 Sat 08-Jun-19 08:46:41

Is he happy in his work? Does he want holidays abroad, meals out, etc? If he's happy as he is and would forgo holidays etc then I don't think it's fair to try to impose your own ambitions on him. He is who he is.

Divinelyuninspired Sat 08-Jun-19 08:46:45

Could he do some evening work eg bar work, catering, security?

Singlenotsingle Sat 08-Jun-19 08:47:18

My dsis finished with her dp because of his lack of ambition, but she never found anyone else with more ambition. (He had a manual job working outside as well).

How does your dp forsee it as he gets older and less energetic? Does he not want to retrain for something easier?

poppiesinafield Sat 08-Jun-19 08:50:15

He is happy in his work I think. The £100 is for food, fuel, the rent... As in we will be a week behind. I had my car MOT'd last week and I had worked a load of extra shifts to pay for it, I had to use a very small amount out of the joint account to top it up but really that shouldn't have been an issue.

RantyAnty Sat 08-Jun-19 08:50:58

He should try to get another job that pays full time.

The stress of having very little grinds you down after awhile.
It would be nice to have a little left over for savings and a few fun things.

Do he work at all in the winter or does he just not work when it is raining?

poppiesinafield Sat 08-Jun-19 08:51:27

I don't think he looks to the future much at all, he doesn't pay into a pension or anything whereas I do - another issue! I don't know what he thinks we will do when we're old.

poppiesinafield Sat 08-Jun-19 08:52:01

He does work in the winter but can't when it's raining

adaline Sat 08-Jun-19 08:53:16

If the £100 leftover is for food, fuel and rent - what's the money in the joint account for?

Not going down the his/hers earnings route - you need to figure out how much money you have for the week as a household, then look at your outgoings and see how much extra you need per month to break even.

Then both of you need to sit down and look at your options. Maybe yo need to be brutally honest - he can't afford to carry on his current job, so he needs to find something else - either a full-time PAYE job with a fixed income each month, or he can get another part-time job to supplement his income.

TheHammock Sat 08-Jun-19 08:54:08

A horse is v expensive though. He is happy in his job. Id be annoyed if i was told to seek out more money - to make family more comfortable after the horse.
An outdoor job you like is very life-affirming.

Thingsdogetbetter Sat 08-Jun-19 08:56:34

I was seeing your side until the whole horse bit. You're complaining about not having a holiday or enough money, but but feel entitled to put what you consider your money from extra shifts into a very expensive hobby (expensive no matter how 'cheaply' you do it).

I'm presuming your dh cares for the dc while you do extra shifts? Pulls his weight with housework when rained off? Or is he sitting on his arse drinking beer paid for out of the family budget??

You don't seem to consider it all family money. You have more hours and more opportunity for extra shifts, but resent 'your' extra money going into 'your' family pot.

Imagine a gender reverse:. I'm a man who works extra shifts to pay for family stuff and, most importantly, my expensive hobby. My wife, who isn't as educated or ambitious as me, doesn't earn enough money as far as I'm concerned and I resent putting my hard earned cash towards things that benefit the family as a whole.

How much does your horse cost per month? Work that out and compare it to the cost of the holidays/mortgage and lifestyle that you seem to feel that dh's lack of earning is depriving you of? You're the one with the degree and the higher earning potential, but you choose a job without "amazing pay". Why? Why is the onus on him to be the one earning the big bucks? Why not you?

adaline Sat 08-Jun-19 08:56:35

Didn't read you have a horse!

How much do you spend on that per week?

poppiesinafield Sat 08-Jun-19 08:57:51

The money in the joint account goes towards food, fuel, rent, bills etc. It generally all goes and we mainly use his weekly income to carry us through the rest of the month along with my extra shifts which get paid a week in arrears. I have used my extra shifts to pay for a lot of car repairs along with a girly weekend away, I also pay my horse's livery and shoes out of that. But I also don't ever go shopping for clothes, we don't have nights out, takeaways or holidays. I think I probably work on average about 50 hours a week

greenwaterbottle Sat 08-Jun-19 08:58:01

Plus he work two part time jobs. I presume he loves his outdoor job. So combine it with a regular income.

boringbertha Sat 08-Jun-19 08:58:37

Can he diversify a bit in his current job? Is he a window cleaner? I only ask because I dated a window cleaner once and he used to have a few cleaning contacts that he did every day too such as office cleaning in the early mornings. I know he couldn't work when it was raining but at least could fall back on the cleaning and it wasn't weather reliant.

category12 Sat 08-Jun-19 08:59:01

You didn't answer about whether he actively wants the same lifestyle you want? If he'd happily forgo holidays etc, then it's all about what you want and not really fair to expect him to change a job he's content in to fund it.

Morgan12 Sat 08-Jun-19 08:59:13

Having a job that he can't do in the rain. In the UK.


I'd be having a very very frank discussion and possibly be giving an ultimatum.

adaline Sat 08-Jun-19 08:59:28

If you can't afford your rent (you say you're a week behind) then surely you can't afford to pay for a horse?

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