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How selfish am I being?

7 replies

CER · 19/04/2003 06:08

I know that I am being selfish, but am I being unreasonably selfish?

Dh had the choice last year of being made redundant, or moving hundreds of miles away and taking on a more "professional" job. He had months to make the decision and kept changing his mind on a weekly and then daily basis. He decided to take the job, I handed in my notice (had been on maternity leave and hadn't yet gone back) and cancelled the nursery place that I'd reserved when I was 4 months pregnant because they're like golddust where we were living. After this dh decided he wasn't going to take the job and asked if I could get my job back. That would have been no problem but finding decent childcare at short notice would have been impossible.

In the end dh took the job. It was his decision and I told him that I would support him whatever decision he made, but he did know that I and all his family thought he should take the job. This wasn't just for financial reasons. dh's parents said that when he resigned from a job before and couldn't find a new one he got very low.

This looks like it is going to turn into a very long posting so to cut a long story short..

I found that time very unsettling. It had been a stressful year anyway with ds having lots of health problems that required frequent hospital visits. Dh hates new job and 6 months down the line has come home and said that he might just resign. I appreciate how horrible it is to be in a job you hate - I've been there too, but I think that he should try and find another job before resigning. He has now started looking but for jobs with little responsibility, and about half the salary, as part of his problem with this job is that he has to work at home in the evening.

We have talked about me returning to work but neither of us is keen on that and I would definately have lots of work to do in the evenings.

Apart from the job, dh says life is good. We're really happy with the place that we've moved to (countryside from London). I do want him to change jobs but I think that he should at least try another "professional" job before throwing it all in as it is something that he has aspired to for a long time, and the company that he works for appears to be as much a problem as the job. I feel that I am being selfish because I have such a nice life here. Am trying to be as sympathetic as I can but am getting really stressed by this uncertainty all over again.

Sorry to have gone on so long, but would really appreciate an outsiders viewpoint.

OP posts:

CER · 19/04/2003 06:53

I guess that what it boils down to is a) money and b) having been anxious about coming here and moving away from all my family and friends I am now really happy and reluctant to do it all over again so soon.

OP posts:

GeorginaA · 19/04/2003 10:29

I don't think you're being unreasonably selfish to ask your dh to find another job before resigning. The job market doesn't appear to be that strong at the moment (my dh recently had to take a large drop in salary and move area of the country - this was after months of looking) so resigning before you're sure of what you're going to is a bad idea on so many different levels.

Is there any flexibility in what you could cut down in order to accommodate a drop in salary? It wasn't until my dh was redundant for a long period of time that I realised several things I thought were "essential" were only luxuries and we were quite happy doing without (other things were given up with more of a struggle, but needs must and all that). Remortgaging over a longer period of time (e.g. a 30 year mortgage) might give you more flexibility over a monthly take home pay.

It's difficult isn't it. You spend so much of your life in work, that it's dreadful if it's something you hate. It might be worth suggesting to your dh that he see a career counsellor to establish exactly what it is he hates about his current job and determine if there is another "professional" job that he is qualified for but would enjoy more. Hours seem less of an issue when it's something you enjoy doing after all.

Before having ds I went the route of having a less responsible job, and while it was fun at first - nice and "easy" day, I did get terribly bored very quickly as it wasn't stretching me enough. Is your dh likely to be the same? You don't want to go through all the upheaval again to find yourself in the same position in 6 months time.

Good luck. It must be very stressful for you at a time when you were looking forward to being more settled. I hope you can find a good compromise.


jasper · 19/04/2003 22:24

CER I may be being too simplistic here but perhaps your dh might like to consider the following, of which I remind myself constantly.( I am assuming he gets paid a good salary)

That's why it is called "work" and that's why we get paid to do it.


tigermoth · 20/04/2003 16:19

I don't think it's at all unreasonable to ask your husband to find another job before resigning. If, however he's working long, stressful hours and would find it hard to job hunt at work, can you suggest he takes a week off work to attend career advice sessions, get his cv in order, put his name down with recruitment agencies, etc. If he can get all this sorted, the knowledge that he's put feelers out might help him feel better about his future even if he's in a job he hates.

You say he is already looking for jobs with less responsibilty. Do you think you dh might be worried about his job security? This talk about resigning might be because he's heard his company is making a round of redundancies. Have you spoken to him about how secure he thinks his job is?

Or does he feel his company is simply treating him unfairly? Is he a member of a trade union - perhaps he needs to talk to someone who is familiar with his industry, but not part of this particular company.


CER · 21/04/2003 14:15

Thanks for all your advice, I really appreciate it.

Your comment about being bored at work made me laugh GeorginaA, because that's exactly the situation he was in before. Now he has a job that he is qualified for and waited years for the opportunity to do but is seeing the downside, like more responsibility and stress and not being able to walk away at the end of the day. There are still financial changes we could make that would make life easier. We're renting a three bedroom house at the moment and are looking for a two bed one. I'm trying to look on the bright side and thinking that it will be less cleaning!

I do agree with you to a certain point Jaspar. In dh's last job he was in a very friendly team and a lot of his social life was through work. However, I think this job is at the opposite extreme. The company seems to treat their employees like s**t and I think that if a job makes you that miserable you need to leave. Just to put it in perspective, about 150 old employees moved to the new company (it was a takeover) and of them over 60 have left in the last 6 months.

They are making more redundancies, Tigermoth - dh would love to be made redundant and walk away with some money rather than just leave, but it's not going to happen!

Anyway, I had a long chat with dh after I did the last posting and feel a lot better for it. He really didn't realise how stressed I was feeling about it as I was just trying to be supportive and not burden him with my own anxieties. He is being a bit more proactive about sending his cv off so that's an improvement too. I feel a bit more positive now that everything will work out ok.

OP posts:

jasper · 21/04/2003 22:24

CER I am glad things are moving in the right direction and you are feeling a bit less worried about it all.
Good luck with the job hunt for your dh.
I hope my last post was not too abrupt. It's just that I sometimes really dislike my work and at those times it helps to remind myself that I am getting paid to do it!


CER · 21/04/2003 22:48

Jaspar, didn't think your last posting was too abrupt at all - have often felt like saying almost exactly the same thing to dh!

OP posts:
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