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would you be happy for your dh not to work in the following circumstances?

(54 Posts)
hambler Wed 22-Jul-09 23:12:42

I will try to be brief.
I worked my butt off in my 20s and 30s and built a successful business that kind of runs itself now - I work 3 long days a week.Very stressful, but only 3 days. Now in late 40s
DH and I have been tog 15 y , 3 kids. I had made a lot of money when we met. He had debts which I paid off.

He has never had a decent job. Was a kind of default househusband when kids young. (ie my job paid all the bills - ha had no job)
He had part time job for 5 years, took voluntary redundancy
Great with kids, ok at house stuff. He watches a LOT of telly We rumble along fairly happily. Sometimes less so. Everything I earn goes in a joint account which he freely spends

I am pretty easy going, he is very uptight.

I recently went on one of those examine your life type weekends (not my thing but a friend of friend dropped out and i took her place). Now I feel a lightbulb has gone on in my head and I feel like a mug and a meal ticket.

For the first time I am really questioning the reationship based on the financial foundation. I realise ours is an exact transposition of many husband/ wife set ups and I would never question the typical SAHM mum's position.

But I am feeling taken for a ride
I have changed a couple of details to protect the innocent


mrsjammi Wed 22-Jul-09 23:16:01

Message withdrawn

hambler Wed 22-Jul-09 23:18:15

To clarify when kids were tiny I did not work either,
Kids hitting teens and he still does not work

anothermum92 Wed 22-Jul-09 23:20:11

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ABitWrong Wed 22-Jul-09 23:21:28

Hmm, I think I would be wanting him to contribute.

anothernamechangeyawn Wed 22-Jul-09 23:21:34

Well, we're in a similar position I guess, although I see it differently. The way I see it, DH has made sacrifices so that I can continue in a job I love. Plus in his work he'd have to be away from home alot, and I've been very clear I'm not happy with that now we have DS.

Why do you say he was a "default" househusband? It sounds like he was doing a valuable job - nobody ever said that both members of a couple have to work, especially when there are children to look after.

It makes me really mad when men and women are treated differently on this score. A woman is always the worthy SAHM, working hard in an unpaid job to support her husband and children. A man is seen as a sponger - you only have to see the comments on Wife Swap and other equally educational programmes. If you're happy with the relationship and feel that your DH has pulled his weight in other ways, then I don't see why you would be questioning it now.

Having said all that, DS is still pre-school age and needs someone at home (we're not keen on using full time childcare). I know DH wants to get out and earn money when DS goes to school. It sounds like maybe your DH doesn't feel that way?

Tortington Wed 22-Jul-09 23:22:42

sounds like a nob

mrsjammi Wed 22-Jul-09 23:25:23

Message withdrawn

HolyGuacamole Wed 22-Jul-09 23:26:04

I think you have been really lucky to have been able to have one of you stay at home with the children. So many people just don't have that option. I look around me and most of my friends with children work crazy shifts, hardly get to see each other and are always playing catch up with housework, washing, grocery shopping etc.

I sort of think too, that if your life is going ok then you don't really need to examine it. Maybe the weekend concentrated more on you as a person, rather than you as part of a family unit? Not saying that is wrong, just that, that is maybe what is leading you to re-evaluate things?

I think it sounds like you have done a really good job with your DH smile

hambler Wed 22-Jul-09 23:27:50

anothermum, no I have not spoken to him as it would without a doubt cause a row. He has lots of hobbies - expensive ones I pay for grin
Our relationship is okayish. This weekend thing has really shaken me though.

Abitwrong, that is what I think/

anothermanechange, by default househusband I mean he did not have a job anyway, and i did. I was able to delegat the running of the business so i was at home most of the time when the kids were young. I would have been delighted for him to be out earning!

This weekend (coupled with a frank discussion from a very dear friend)has made me think of him exactly as a sponger and it is a really uncomfortable place to be

HolyGuacamole Wed 22-Jul-09 23:27:52

OK, I missed the part that your children are teenagers now. I still think you've both done a good job, but yes, it's time he got out and sorted himself out with a job.

mrsjammi Wed 22-Jul-09 23:31:53

Message withdrawn

kathyis6incheshigh Wed 22-Jul-09 23:38:40

Suppose he wasn't at home all day, what jobs would you have to do that he isn't doing?

If he did get a job, do you think he could make a serious contribution to the household income or would he be earning way less in any case?

If he really is just sitting around while you do all the work, that's not fair and needs to be addressed. You need an equitable distribution of labour. However, your earning power is not going to be the same if he's been at home looking after your children for years and you can't blame him for that.

kathyis6incheshigh Wed 22-Jul-09 23:39:18

sorry, 1st line should read 'that he is now doing'

gaelicsheep Wed 22-Jul-09 23:39:34

I suppose it comes down to how much you need, and needed, the money? Were you all clothed and fed OK, or were huge sacrifices being made? We're managing - just - but it's a mutual decision while DS is so young.

I also agree with mrsjammi that it is not just so easy as going out and "getting a job". Depending on his age, his background and where you live it could be relatively straightforward or extremely difficult. DH, for example, has been turned down for countless local jobs because he is a) overqualified (in his field), or b) has no experience (for dead end, low paid jobs). There is nothing more demoralising, and it makes me hopping mad when people make out that you can just walk into a job if you want one.

LittleMysMum Wed 22-Jul-09 23:39:41

Agree - at present my dp works bloody hard with our 2yo ds and will have our dd as well when I finish mat leave, but don't have joint account and will happily support us both while the lo's are at home and maybe even early school years (I kind of feel like I want someone at home in case they're ever ill IYSWIM), but he'll be on his own financially by the time they're teenage...

hambler Wed 22-Jul-09 23:41:13

Ok I seem to be digging a deeper hole here!
I do AT LEAST half of all the domestic/childcare stuff , as I am home half the time. I earn ALL the money, and always have , apart from a brief spell when he worked part time.
Mrs Jammi so far out kids are quite well behaved, no teenage traumas and much les work than when younger

I have very relaxed outlook, he can spend what he likes, do what he likes, go where he likes ( he goes off alone on tours of European cities twice a year )

Just suddenly I feel massively as if it is all so unbalanced.

The friend in question told me over a few wines that when I got tog with dh at first my friends were shocked as he seemed like he was after a meal ticket and had no prospects sad
cvstardo he is not a nob, unless you meant me?

gaelicsheep Wed 22-Jul-09 23:44:00

In our case, my view is that DH has been royally cr*pped on for many years by work and family, and I'm quite happy for him now to have his own time. So if he can find something he enjoys that pays as well, all well and good. Otherwise I'm quite happy to support him in whatever he wants to do with his life once DS goes to school.

hambler Wed 22-Jul-09 23:47:20

thanks for all your comments and especially for not calling me a heartless cow, but if anyone thinks I am, please say.
gaelicsheep we dont need the money at all! It's about him living off me.
mrsjammi no if I am honest we have not been that happy but I have swept it under the carpet. It is like a light has gone on in my head and I have thought well of course we are not happy, I m doing all the work!

Kathy, I would like him to do ALL the domestic stuff on the days I am working. I think the house should be clean(it isn't) and the laundry put away, (it isn't)

God I feel wretched

kathyis6incheshigh Wed 22-Jul-09 23:47:20

Well if you really do do all the earning and at least half the domestic stuff, that is not fair. And I would say exactly the same if you were a man and he was a woman!
He must have loads of leisure time that you don't have.
I think you need to talk to him about the unfairness and how he would like to improve things - whether that means him finding a job or taking on more responsibility at home.
I would probably present it in terms of 'we deserve equal me-time' rather than 'You are a freeloader' and see where it goes from there.

gaelicsheep Wed 22-Jul-09 23:47:29

There's no hole to dig Hambler. You musn't fall into the trap of trying to justify yourself on here - been there, done that many times in different guises. Just see it as a useful way of working through how you feel.

There have occasionally been times when I have resented DH a bit. That's been when he's gone out and bought a new book or CD or something when he's had some casual work. Whereas I pay all the bills and never ever have any money for myself. But then I remind myself how much he does for me and DS and give myself a sharp slap.

Again it's all relative. Are your DH's European trips at the expense of you spending money on yourself? That would start to be a problem I think.

hambler Wed 22-Jul-09 23:48:25

Xenia /solidgoldbrass are you out there? I would love your takes on this

gaelicsheep Wed 22-Jul-09 23:50:20

Hmm, yes he should be doing the domestic stuff when you're not there. DH doesn't manage to do it all, but that's because he has a toddler under his feet and I have the same problem! I think we share things pretty equally, given how much hard work DS is (bless him). If DS was at school I'd definitely feel differently!

oneopinionatedmother Wed 22-Jul-09 23:56:07

it's you know best.

Is the real problem you'd like to spend more time at home too?

then is there a way he could get interested in something and let you have some time with the kids?

Laquitar Thu 23-Jul-09 00:19:09

Well, tbh i can see why you are questioning this.
There is not much childcare to do during school hours plus you are there half time. I would expect him to do something for the community like many SAHMs do.

It seems like you are financially comfortable.This makes it easier for him to work as he can become se. (money bring more money, flexibility etc).

Also, you could both work torwards early retirement, then you can both enjoy 'expensive hobbies' wink

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