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Husband is a disaster

(71 Posts)
Alittlebitofbasil Tue 16-Jun-20 14:12:09

Sorry if this is a long one - I feel like I need to rant! To give you some background, DH and I have been together for 20 years. Met at university in our final year just after his dad died. I went on to do a masters, he did nothing with his degree, I think he was very lost after his DF died and didn’t really deal with it.

He flitted from low paid job to low paid job, not using any of his qualifications. He worked in sales and was fired on several occasions for not hitting targets, including when I was pregnant with DS2. In the meantime, I worked my way up in my industry and did well in my career. l went part time after DS1 was born. We never had any money though as I was always paying off our credit cards, supporting him if he was out of work or supplementing his poor income. Fast forward to two years ago: he finally got a job he was good at and suddenly we had a lot of money. I thought our lives had finally changed for the better and our relationship was the best it had been in years and we were happy. And then he got fired again. He did find a new job the same week which paid well and in the same sector so the stress was short lived. However, I was angry at him for losing yet another job. I also discovered he’s in £12000 of debt as he’s been putting extra money in our account to look like he’d paid more than he actually is. This is ridiculous as he actually has a very good salary but a bit lower than his previous one.

His former employer is now trying to claim from him £50000 in commission earned on contracts that have now been cancelled. So DH has disputed this and we are now £6000 into solicitor’s fees (the tip of the iceberg) whilst awaiting to hear a tribunal date. We’ve no savings so have had to borrow money on the house to pay towards the legal fees.

I’m just so fed up of him fucking up again. I feel like we lurch from one disaster to another, with some nice times in between. He’s a brilliant dad, very kind and caring and would do anything for me and DS’s. When I suffered from depression a couple of years ago, he really was my rock and supported me through it and I can honestly say he’s my best friend. But I’m not sure how many more chances I can give him. Is it too much to ask that he holds down a steady job without any drama or incidences? I’ve told him to get some counselling to help him break this pattern and to maybe think about working for himself but deep down, I’m not sure he can change. Do I give up on someone I love and break the family up because he’s a disaster at work and the cause of much stress in our lives?

OP’s posts: |
SomeoneElseEntirelyNow Tue 16-Jun-20 14:22:45

OP, this is a disaster. He will bankrupt you and your children. You need a separate bank account, a solicitor and a divorce, otherwise you will always be vulnerable. You can stay with him, if you want, but you must not stay married to him. He will sink you.

Snowdown24 Tue 16-Jun-20 14:26:51

How did he get 12k in debt? Sounds like he needs his money controlled, it’s not nice from either partners point of view, but keep going into debt is not really a option either!

Thunderbolted Tue 16-Jun-20 14:28:48

Was he at fault when he lost his last job? Can you go full time and him part time to provide more financial stability?

OnceUponAThread Tue 16-Jun-20 14:33:05

Since you have a good career that pays well, and you say he is an excellent father, why don't you go full time and he part time to look after the kids?

It seems bonkers that you've chosen to go part time and rely on him financially when he's got the more unstable income.

needhandhold Tue 16-Jun-20 14:39:19

Well his former employer sounds like a wanker. They fired him and then want money back! That sounds unfair. Have you contacted ACAS? Hope you’ve got a good solicitor. If he’s a good guy and this is the only thing then I’d say switch roles. Go full time and be the breadwinner while he does the kids and maybe a little part time term time job in a library or something. You’re a team and actually if he’s doing all the school pick ups drop offs, school holiday card etc then that works out as a substantial saving.

Alittlebitofbasil Tue 16-Jun-20 14:39:32

I’ve opened a new joint account for his salary to be paid into so I can see exactly how much he’s being paid and what he’s spending his money on. I’m responsible for paying the bills because he is so terrible with money. I have considered going full time but he actually earns twice what I do so financially it wouldn’t work him going part time and we have three children so someone needs to be around some of the time to do school runs etc. We don’t live near family.

I don’t honestly know what really happened at his last job. DH claims he was partially at fault but doesn’t accept full responsibility for what happened. He always plays the victim which pisses me off.

OP’s posts: |
MissSueFlay Tue 16-Jun-20 14:40:20

Would it be an option for him to support you in your career, so he is a SAHP / part time worker, while you are the main bread wimmer?
I'm not sure I would be happy to go part time from my career that I'd worked hard and and progressed in, and rely on someone with his somewhat chequered employment history. He might make a good SAHP with less pressure on him to hold down a job, and it might give him space to figure out if he wants to continue working for other people or maybe strike out on his own.

MissSueFlay Tue 16-Jun-20 14:42:32

But he doesn't earn twice what you do on a regular basis, it comes and goes, and he runs up debt.

namesnames Tue 16-Jun-20 14:47:09

Op, he will bankrupt you. Mistakes are often made, but they are only mistakes if you learn from them. This is your husbands lifestyle choice given the timescales involved.

A brilliant father does not do this to his family, I speak from experience. He may well love his children, however he is choosing to put their home and family, you, at risk.

The dishonesty he's shown regarding your bank account speaks volumes, don't ignore it.

Alittlebitofbasil Tue 16-Jun-20 14:47:42

I suppose I’m just hoping that he’ll manage to stay in his current job. He’s been there over a year and says it’s going well but I always have this fear that he’ll lose it.

It does make sense for me to go full time, for mine and the kids’ security more than anything.

OP’s posts: |
TeaAndHobnob Tue 16-Jun-20 14:48:26


But he doesn't earn twice what you do on a regular basis, it comes and goes, and he runs up debt.

Yes this. The life you have with him must be so stressful.

If you want to stay with him somehow I think you need to get into the position where you are not relying on him to help pay the bills. So you do full time work, he works round the kids. I would take the view that he's used up the goodwill you have for him around jobs and money and now it's his turn to support you.

amillionwishes Tue 16-Jun-20 14:55:06

Was he a low earner when you went part time? Given his track record when it came to working there's no way I'd have gone p/t as the main earner with a steady income.

I think you need to reverse roles here, go FT and have him as the part timer that does school runs etc. Otherwise you will be in this constant circle of debt and him scrabbling around for work. If you love him and want to stay married I think you'll have to accept he won't change now, it's been 20 years.

Or, you could divorce him before he bankrupts you. Was your depression at all linked to financial worries?

namesnames Tue 16-Jun-20 14:59:59

There are a few utility companies' creditors pursuing former employees for commission paid in 'error', they have heavy backing from what I have read.

You have to weigh up the cost of legal fees.

bigdecisionstomake Tue 16-Jun-20 15:01:15

OP - if you have home insurance check the policy to see if you have any legal cover, this will help towards the cost of the tribunal.

vikingwife Tue 16-Jun-20 15:02:45

What I don’t understand is how is he in 12K debt by putting money INTO your account so it looks like he was paid more ? Where was he taking money from ? Wouldn’t the deposits into the bank account show his employer paying him + His top up payments coming from another depositer?

It makes sense for you to go back full time know.

I do think you need to cut him some slack that sales is a very tough industry with very high turnover ! He is experiencing a dispute with one employer, unless he has stolen money what has he done wrong / illegal exactly ? What does your lawyer say regarding this legal dispute ?

What is the longest time period he has remained unemployed ? You mention him losing a job & finding a new one within the same week. So hardly at home languishing in your daggy house clothes being idle.

SallySunflower15 Tue 16-Jun-20 15:06:27

What is he reason for being fired so many times? It seems like unbelievably bad luck for someone to get fired so often. What's his attitude regarding money? Is he happy to let you pay for everything or does he seem genuinely upset and remorseful about his lack of contribution?

Having had a long relationship with a compulsive gambler who bankrupted us and left me with a lot of personal debt, I can sympathise with how stressful money issues can be even is an otherwise solid relationship. It's not just about money though, it's the trust, stability and respect that goes with it. I bailed my ex out so many times and paid for things so often that I lost all respect for him. I saw him as a manchild who couldn't even support himself never mind a family. If ever we went out for a meal or date night I had to pay. And it's that loss of respect that can spell the end of a relationship sometimes.

Alonelonelyloner Tue 16-Jun-20 15:13:47

Putting aside everything else, I don't understand how someone gets repeatedly fired in life, without being at fault in some way. It just doesn't happen (or I've never heard of it). It's hard to fire people these days without just cause.

He may be a real diamond, but an utterly unreliable and untrustworthy worthy one nonetheless. He's your best friend, maybe time to change your financial dependencies on him to something fitting to a best friend rather than a spouse. Be with him, you love each other, but play it as though you cannot count on him (you can't) and act in life accordingly.

Krong Tue 16-Jun-20 15:14:26

Is it too much to ask that he holds down a steady job without any drama or incidences?

Of course it's not. You deserve better. I can't imagine the emotional toll you are under trying to look after everyone.

Sales isn't the right kind of job for someone who isn't good at controlling money. Your salary fluctuates, you're always chasing the 'oh but if that deal goes through I'll get x' (and it sounds like he's spending it before it happens). The conditions of staying employed are also harder than other jobs as you constantly have to hit targets. Some people can handle this, others can't. He needs something fixed salary, low risk.

Krong Tue 16-Jun-20 15:15:29

@Alonelonelyloner It just doesn't happen (or I've never heard of it). It's hard to fire people these days without just cause

It does in sales. You get targets and those are conditions of your employment. If you're not good at it, and you can't meet them, you're out.

LondonCrone Tue 16-Jun-20 15:16:14

I’m with the other posters wondering why, when you knew your husband didn’t have any talent or ambitions to do well at work, you were the one who went part time. 🤨 It seems like you both have pretty big blind spots and have made massive errors of judgement, but you’re putting all of the blame on him rather than questioning your own choices. This isn’t a good relationship; you aren’t helping one another thrive, or supporting each other. He went £12,000 into debt to avoid disappointing you again? How have you reacted in the past to make him feel that was something he needed to do? This life is what the two of you built together, and it’s failing because the two of you aren’t compatible or working as a team.

Alittlebitofbasil Tue 16-Jun-20 15:18:37

Big - thank you, I’ll have a look to see if our home insurance offers legal cover.

Viking - the longest he’s been unemployed is a couple of months. Ironically, he is a hard worker and has always actively pursued work when unemployed. The legal pursuit involves contracts which DH earned commission on which have apparently now been cancelled, according to his former company. However, our solicitor is still waiting for proof of this as none has been given.

OP’s posts: |
MarieG10 Tue 16-Jun-20 15:27:47


Well his former employer sounds like a wanker. They fired him and then want money back! That sounds unfair.

No it's not... he has done something very very wrong for them to expend legal fees like they are doing. It must have been
Reputationally damaging to them to pursue it.

Op I suggest he starts confessing the truth to you.

KittyKattyKate Tue 16-Jun-20 15:31:28

We never had any money though as I was always paying off our credit cards, supporting him if he was out of work or supplementing his poor income.

Yet you went on to have two more children. Awesome.

I’m convinced he is lying through his arse about the reason behind the £12K credit card debt. You guys have clearly had this problem for years.

namesnames Tue 16-Jun-20 15:34:01


You're right, something doesn't add up.

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