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Feminism: chat

Living in husbands shadow

13 replies

imamearcat · 31/07/2021 04:45

My husband is quite successful, very well paid job etc. No one ever really gives a shit about my job. I always just assumed because it was less impressive sounding,fine. My own family I'm talking here.

Anyway looks like I'm gonna get a big promo at work. I thought my dad would be really proud but it's just like a bit meh 'how is your job going DH?'. It's making me feel a bit bitter!

When we have seen family we've not seen for years they think DH is marvellous, play my job down.

Not sure if it's a sexist thing? Feels pretty crap.

OP posts:

BruisedPear · 31/07/2021 05:39

I completely understand I’m in the same position. My husband has a high profile very high paying career so no one cares about my job or life in comparison. Not even my side of the family!

I know it’s crap and I do think it’s based on sexism and them being your family. I think people tend to be more impressed by outsiders than those close to us. Just my experience.

I don’t think there’s a solution bar telling your family how you feel but in my experience nothing changed. I will say that my husband recognises that people do it and focus on him and his career so he always bigs me up and compliments me to people and in our marriage. Maybe have a word with your family and with your husband and share how you feel? It’s horrible but you might have to become your own cheerleader.

I’m sorry your own achievements aren’t being celebrated congratulations on the promotion Flowers


imamearcat · 31/07/2021 05:51

I'm glad it's not just me! Smile

OP posts:

worrybutterfly · 31/07/2021 06:43

Same situation here. I set up and run my own business, taking home a very good wage and giving me a level of flexibility to look after the DC.

But it's all:
'oh you're lucky to have DH. It means you don't have to worry about having a proper job '
'how is DH getting on at work?'
'it must be very stressful for DH having such an important job'
'DH worked very hard to get where he is'

Me looking after DC most the time, then working in their naps and evenings. But still managing to make enough money to support us both (should DH want to leave his job). Is not worthy of people being proud of.

As you can see, I'm very bitter and angry about it. And I do think it's a mix of gender and money.


Reallyreallyborednow · 31/07/2021 08:38

It’s good old gender stereotyping again. Men have important jobs and earn the money, women do the childcare and look after the house. Sometimes they have a “little job” to earn pin money and stop them getting bored.

I’ve seen this even when it’s woman with the big job and financial responsibility. People still behave as if the dh’s job is more valuable.

Until we have proper pay equality, and women stop giving up work/men start doing so, unfortunately noting will change.


Babdoc · 31/07/2021 09:20

I agree that sexism and misogyny are endemic, but the matter of relative job importance probably just reflects who is the higher earner or has the higher status job, which in OP’s case seems to be her DH.
I am long widowed, but when my much loved DH was alive he was a software engineer, whereas I was a hospital doctor and earned five times his salary. My job was always regarded as more important.
DH’s career wasn’t a huge priority for him, he had a better work/life balance than I did, and he was always very proud of me.


tzarine · 01/08/2021 22:50

bc i work @ home, you assume im a "housewife"
such 50s sexism. also the assumption that i had to be the little woman behind the husband.
we do work in the same line. sometimes i get more recognition, other times he does. it seems to bother other people.
when tzarevich was little, we coordinated our schedules so we could pick up him from school.
husband loved being @ home during the time i commuted, carrying my briefcase. they went to lunch, did art classes.
tzarevich got to see both of us is both roles


Fleurchamp · 04/08/2021 08:14

I suspect one of the reasons I have not been promoted or received a pay rise for 5 years is because my bosses know I have a husband with a well paid job. They think because I don't have to work they can get away with it.
I am currently looking for a new job. I was talking to my MIL about it and said that it was likely I would have to take a full time job because part time ones are never advertised and she asked me what I would do about childcare - DH was sitting next to me, but that's not his problem, is it?


SmokedDuck · 04/08/2021 14:12

There can be a lot of things at work. As was said above, very often people concentrate on the higher status, higher pay job, whomever has it. In other cases you see people get stuck in a sort of rut - if they are used to talking to the SIL about his job they keep doing it - often even if he'd much rather talk about something else. The may have a habit of talking to their own child about other things.

Some families I've noticed talk about careers a lot, and others almost never do. Family culture can vary a lot.


FluffMagnet · 04/08/2021 14:29

My (otherwise lovely, but very 1950s thinking) MIL once decided to regale me at length of all the lovely benefits I could expect as "the wife of a city solicitor". I had the same job as my husband at the time. Also - she has absolutely ZERO idea what our jobs entail, and the "benefits" she talks of seem straight out of mythology. Still waiting for them to materialise, many years on ....


PostMenWithACat · 04/08/2021 14:35

My stepfather recently gave me a talking to about retiring. I am 61 and told me that life was too short to carry on working and women were not as strong as men and I needed to stop working. He continually refers to me as an office girl. My title includes the word Director and I earn 6 figures. Paradoxically when dh was at the peak of his career earning rather more than my six figures he never stopped criticising our modest lifestyle - in his head he could not compute the cost of living in London.


Aprilinspringtimeshower · 05/08/2021 18:49

I remember the exact point in time this first happened to me, nearly 31 years ago.
I was 2 weeks married, went to a “do” with husband. Social chit chat meeting new people. I was introduced as “this is my wife, april” Not one person asked me what I did, what I was interested in, after initial hello I was standing around like a spare part. For an entire evening.
It was a massive shock. 4 weeks earlier I had been someone in my own right worth talking to


RoseAndGeranium · 05/08/2021 19:52

Ugh, me too. We're both academics but he's a big name in his field and I'm not. I started my career over a decade later and have had it interrupted by maternity leave and going part time for childcare, plus since we married I've had a huge commute and less than 5% of his research budget, but no one takes any of that into account. He recently took on a big leadership role in his department and since then it's been wall-to-wall 'gosh, you manage to do so much, you're under so much pressure, you're amazing', especially from his family. I do at least 80% of the childcare, also have an administrative role that has ballooned during COVID plus a lot more online teaching, and I've ended up doing a lot of that work in the evenings or on weekends. I've had to give up some great leadership opportunities of my own because of the commute + caring responsibilities too. Yet his family talk as though I'm some pushy little madam who's forced him into the leadership position (which comes with a pay rise) so I can go part time, whereas in fact he pushed for it pretty hard himself and I've taken a huge childcare-based career hit which might not otherwise have been necessary. Don't get me wrong, these decisions were all jointly taken, financially sensible, and, on balance, right for us as a family and probably for me as a mother. But it really grates that everyone goes on about how wonderful and busy and amazing he is whilst talking about my career as though it's a bloody hobby that he facilitates every now and then by deigning to do a bit of childcare on weekends.


CayrolBaaaskin · 05/08/2021 20:13

I got that a lot with my ex. How I was so lucky to have him with his big important job. I did the same job but at a much higher level (earned about 3 times as much) but my job was irrelevant. I definitely think it’s toxic sexism.

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