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financial crisis is killing our marriage (long)

(22 Posts)
cariboo Wed 29-Apr-09 22:58:14

dh has always been moody & pessimistic (I used to call him Eeyore) but now that he's been made redundant, is home all day (glued to pc most of the time - what's he doing? don't know, don't care), money's running out, dc both ill (one with epilepsy, the other ADHD + psych problems), and tons of other stresses & worries, living with him 24/7 is driving me to drink. I think I still love him but at the same time, he annoys me intensely. He's quite a bit older than I am & the fact that he could logically retire (if finances permitted) makes me feel trapped with a partner who suddenly looks & acts like a cantankerous old man! If it weren't for the the dc, whose greatest fear is that we divorce, and the fact that financially we seem to be going from bad to worse, I'd leave. Also, since his 1st marriage ended in disaster, I can't bear to hurt him by abandoning him. So yes, I do love him & want him to find his pride and self-confidence but I'm so tired! Separation sounds like a comfortable compromise but I can't do that to my troubled children.

Any thoughts?

HolyGuacamole Wed 29-Apr-09 23:42:03

Him getting another job? Spending all that time in the house together in a non productive way can't be helping.

Is he approachable enough for you to talk to him about finding more work in order to sort out your finances? That must be such a worry.

You say you love him so that is a basis to start with...but you also say you'd leave if it were not for the kids? What, for you, would bring back the happiness? Is it the job? Is it his attitude? A combination of everything?

Northernlurker Thu 30-Apr-09 00:25:18

Well you are more than pulling your weight here - he needs to step up and understand that you have two children not three.

He needs a goal - not even getting another job necessarily - but something small - like he's going to grow some tomatos , then when he's started that you get a bigger goal and hopefully as he makes himself do that stuff you will find your respect for him returning. If I doesn't do that I don't know what you can do - your children are wonderful and their needs are uppermost but you can't spend the next thirty years with a man you don't respect. He has to take responsibility here - encourage, embrace but don't excuse him being crap!

cariboo Thu 30-Apr-09 13:26:24

We're going to get counseling - and this time, no backing out. Each time we have a blow-up, I tell him that we have to get professional help. Things calm down, the crisis passes & nothing happens. I've already made an appointment, which was amazingly fast but I think that's because the dc are involved & could be "at risk". This is so horrifying but if we can stop fighting & stop the tension, that will be a huge accomplishment.

HolyGuacamole Thu 30-Apr-09 14:55:08

Good for you cariboo smile

Wishing you lots of luck!! Let us know how you get on.

unavailable Thu 30-Apr-09 15:49:58

If he is having difficulty finding a job because of his age (you say he is near retirement age)then could he look after the children and home whilst you get paid employment?

He wouldnt have time to be glued to pc, and you'd both have positive roles, with the bonus of not being together 24/7.

Ivykaty44 Thu 30-Apr-09 15:51:42

Can I ask - do you work outside the home?

cariboo Thu 30-Apr-09 22:33:46

Ivykaty, if only I could! Where I live, part-time jobs are scarcer than hen's teeth. If an opening comes up, it's usually filled before it's advertised. There was a peach of a job going last October. It would have been perfect for me - a librarian in an international school library. Well-paid, 40% flex time, same school holidays as my dc... and in a library! (Love books & peace & quiet. Love reading stories aloud.) But no dice. I heard from a friend whose dc attend this particular school that there was a temp covering what was supposed to be a mat leave but the original librarian decided to be a SAHM & the temp got the job. The school went through the motions of advertising because to do otherwise is illegal.

I've tried teaching English, which I'm qualified to do, but what I can earn barely covers driving & parking costs (no public transport available where I live), not to mention the hours of preparing lessons & then correcting homework. TBH, with so many catastrophic events within such a short period of our lives as a family, i'd love to run away from all the drama at home & work in a quiet environment...

fantasizing now.... mmmm.... sunlit, high-ceilinged library, dust motes sparkling in the sunbeams, the scent of beeswax, wood panelling, ancient parquet floor (creaking, of course), remote but kind male research PHD needing my extensive general knowledge, (not forgetting my can-do attitude, 60wpm, dictation, shorthand, wicked sense of humour, tease, cheeky grin, a thesaurus for a brain & great maker of tea & coffee - ta-dah!) to help him complete his next opus. Ahhh!

D'you think I should try to write the novel of decade & save my family from penury?grin

ilovemydogandMrObama Thu 30-Apr-09 22:44:26

Friend of mine recently got a funded PhD. Unbelievable smile

Could you tell your DH that you respect him more if he's working? Sounds like double standards though as if he said this to you, it would be outrageous!

cariboo Thu 30-Apr-09 23:07:31

I don't lack respect for him because he doesn't work atm. He lost his job through no fault of his own, just like thousands & thousands of other people during these past, what, 8 months since Lehman bros went down? I do, however, have trouble respecting a man who has so little control over his frustration & anxiety that he is constantly taking it out on us, his family, starting with a frown, a tightened jaw & lips, then the shouting, the threats, sheer hot molten lava of anger spilled over the slightest frustration or disobedience, scaring the sh*t out of me & the dc. DAMMIT, ITS GOT TO STOP!

cariboo Fri 31-Jul-09 23:05:41

'tis late, must go to bed but an update to say we're both working hard at making this marriage steadier. Will update soon. xx

TDiddy Fri 31-Jul-09 23:58:27

I am so sorry that this is happening to you. So many have been affected. I was recruited to and was in the middle of setting up a new product for a company and they pulled the plans after only a few months!! So I had a few frustrating months at home. Wish I had relaxed a bit more about it. here are my (lengthy) tips:

-Exercise together- jogging, walking, playing tennis. Very good in lots of ways: sleep, endorphins.

-Play more favourite music at home

-Help someone who is struggling- will you both put your troubles in perspective

-Have more sex; it is very good for bonding, releasing endorphins

-Fix things round the house that you haven't been able to fix when you were busy

-Not sure how much money you need to get by but consider giving tutoring to pay for the groceries see link

-Not sure how much cash/savings you have tucked away but you could consider allocating a small portion for starting business or investing. When I was off work I did a bit of day trading but you have to allocate a certain amount of capital for this and not be a stress bunny or addictive. Best not to "play in large size". I played the fx market for couple of hours and it helped to keep me plugged connected to the world. Can give your DH's sense of purpose.

-Help your local MP do some community work. Many of them have lots of volunteers but they always welcome help with campaigning if your MPs politics is aligned with your DH.

-When I was off work, once or twice a week I picked up 3 children of very busy friends from school. They played with my three whilst I made dinner for them. Worked out quite well and made me feel like I was helping someone.

-DH should go out for coffee with his network . Don't ask for a job- ask for career advice/ pointers. Stay positive, people are very attracted to that.

-DH should imagine himself in his own movie: "so the chips are down. what do I do?".

-DH should see it this way: he is taking a couple of his retirement years early in life when he is still young. Can always work a coiuple of years longer when he is older. Have fun now.

-All very difficult to do but it is a mind vattle. Most of all remember that we are all in the elite 1pc of the world's population! really what is the worst that will happen? He will not go hungry, will have somewhere to live.....

TDiddy Sat 01-Aug-09 00:13:45

cariboo- you have a nice way with words and you are maintaining a sense of humour..all very good signs of resilience....

prettyfly1 Sat 01-Aug-09 10:32:48

cariboo this may sound awfully harsh but if you took a full time english teaching job you would earn a fair amount - around 25 k and would still be entitled to tax credits etc to top the amount up. I know you may not want to but in the short term one of you has to go to work - if he is near retirement in the current market he is going to find it tough. The hours are long but your family is going to go under if one of you doesnt go to work - if he cant it has to be you. Even if its a temporary measure its better then nothing.

cariboo Sat 01-Aug-09 10:45:16

Not harsh at all, prettyfly1. I would be delighted to teach english full time. Problem is, there are hoards of qualified TEFL here & even if I was fortunate enough to land a job, my salary would probably just about cover transport & childcare.

TDiddy, you've made my day - not only with your compliment (which does wonders for the ego!) but with all your very pertinent & sensible advice. Thank you!!

elliott Sat 01-Aug-09 10:48:47

I think the idea is that your dh does the childcare! So no need for you to pay for it!

TDiddy Sat 01-Aug-09 11:29:20

cariboo - i meant it!

Sit your husband down and remind him why you married him. Tell him that he is still your man! This is the for worse bit. The chips are down but you will both dig deep now and pull through it.

Can I ask if he worked in Fin services?

TDiddy Sat 01-Aug-09 11:46:11

"Tell him that he is still your man! This is the for worse bit. The chips are down but you will both dig deep now and pull through it."
.....the cliches keep rolling out today smile

MrsTittleMouse Sat 01-Aug-09 12:05:20

DH had a period of unemployment that coincided with a lot of other stressful things. He also became very grumpy and irritable and found it hard not to take it out on me sometimes. So I think that it's pretty normal.

What helped DH a lot was to treat job-hunting as a job. He had very specific goals for each week - to find X number of potential jobs a week, to apply for Y number of jobs, that kind of thing. He would get up at the same time every morning, get washed and dressed, and then go into the study and sit at the desk and get a certain amount done. Once it was done then he would help me with DD or relax and do something for himself. Applying for jobs in DH's field takes quite a bit of work as they often want job talks or lengthy personal statements, which actually was a good thing as it forced him to look at his strengths. We also pulled in anyone that could help - not asking for jobs, but asking to review his CV or asking for advice about the best jobs to look for.

I agree with TDiddy as well about the importance of exercise and sex and generally getting things done. The more positive things and the more structure that you can get in your lives the better.

Regarding the money running out - ideally you should both sit down now and set out a bare-bones budget. Websites like are really good for this. They have discussion boards that have lovely people that will help you eke out your remaining money for as long as it takes. That way you won't be in a position where you have the extra stress of going into debt on the two of you. You have enough on your plates as it is.

DH eventually found a job, by the way, and it has been the perfect fit for him. At the time it was incredibly stressful when he was turned down after interviews, but we now thank our lucky stars that he wasn't offered any of those jobs. Good luck.

TDiddy Sat 01-Aug-09 12:20:45

Bake bread

Become a Prince fan! cure for anything.

violethill Sat 01-Aug-09 18:27:29

I'm confused - why would you need childcare if your DH is not working? hmm

Sounds like the best solution is for you to work full time, and let him be a SAHD for a while.

TDiddy Sat 01-Aug-09 19:12:20

The points that MrsTittle make about structure and sense of purpose are very important. Some people (esp. men) need structure, purpose, status to feel worthwhile. Stripping away the job is a big big blow even leaving aside the financial impact.

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