Author Topic: How to get spouse to see reality? Fighting for a "career" that doesn't exist  (Read 35714 times)

scrubbyfish

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And we have people on this threat discussing whether her husband (who we really know nothing about) would be able to take care of their hypothetical kids. Ugh.

moe_rants, I don't know you yet, so I'm not sure how much time you've been around the forum and I wanted to share my perspective of the forum in general and these types of discussions when they come up.

We know we don't know the hubby. We know we're only hearing one person's perspective. We know that none of us have any idea how a given person may parent. We know, too, that the OP is talking about one aspect of one relationship in her life. And most of us have been in enough relationships to totally recognize and understand that frustration in one area does not equal disrespect, hatred, a desire to leave necessarily, etc.

Once in a while on the forums, people will actually say, "Leave this person," but I don't think anyone has said that in this thread. I hear people listening to the OP, and to her frustrations that she feels a need to express. I hear people empathizing where the words resonate, sharing their own subjective and objective experiences where they seem to match, expressing care, and presenting points to consider and encouragement toward additional/new approaches.

Sometimes people bring to this forum bigger questions, scarier questions, like the ones the OP is dealing with right now. That's okay. A lot of us are willing to have the conversation that a post-er needs to find clarity.

Additionally, some of us have learned the very, very hard way that things factor in to FI, family stability/happiness, etc, that we didn't realize, anticipate, or consider. It's pretty devastating to see the effects of those, so we speak up to encourage awareness and proactivity.

None of us are going to "need" the OP to leave her dear hubby, not have children with him, stay with him, whatever. Heck, I have people weighing in on my relationships and I find the intelligent, thoughtful perspectives very helpful. I don't get confused about them -I know that any one person is sharing their thoughts to someone they only know a little bit (me) about someone they don't know at all (a partner). I can keep that in mind, and know that I'm responsible for the decisions I eventually make.

A lot of us join these conversations from a place of trusting that an OP is intelligent, aware that we know very little, and will assess their own situation on its own merits and on the OP's eventual experience. Sometimes, the forum is a sounding board. And the sounding board process can help heaps in a person's journey.

I hear your concern about a person being criticized publicly. If the OP were sharing their names and/or photos, I would feel the same way, for sure. But short of that, I think a sounding board is okay.

NumberJohnny5

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Not sure why some posters are shitting all over the OP.  This is a forum for FI, and this topic comes up repeatedly, from this side as well as the other side (being the trailing spouse).  How is this out of bounds?  She didn't say her husband was a piece of shit, she said he likes to pursue artsy jobs that don't pay well because they're fulfilling.  Calm the fuck down. 

It's also probably not a coincidence that when men post about their spendy wives (ladiez amirite?!!!) they don't get told to show some respect.

To be fair, I think both sides have been shit (shat?) on in this thread. The reason I jumped in was because everyone was crapping all over the husband, when we had no idea how much blame he really deserved. It wasn't until later that a few posted about how awful the OP was (which, again, I don't think there's nearly enough information to flame either side).

I remember reading at least one thread (maybe more) where people were telling a guy to loosen up when his wife didn't immediately jump on board the MMM bandwagon. Yeah, this particular wife was a bit (a lot) spendy, but the guy was throwing this on her all at once, and just before/after they had a baby (timing was WAY off). There were some outliers, the usual "dump her, she's a mindless consumer zombie" and the opposite "you're such a douche, she should leave you" (or something to that effect). Most were "dude, she didn't sign up for an ultra-frugal lifestyle" and "your timing was waaaaaaay off, try again in a few months/year."

I'm not saying there isn't a general tone to the forum. Just saying, both men and women have been called out on their foolish behavior.

Hey It's Me

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And we have people on this threat discussing whether her husband (who we really know nothing about) would be able to take care of their hypothetical kids. Ugh.

moe_rants, I don't know you yet, so I'm not sure how much time you've been around the forum and I wanted to share my perspective of the forum in general and these types of discussions when they come up.

We know we don't know the hubby. We know we're only hearing one person's perspective. We know that none of us have any idea how a given person may parent. We know, too, that the OP is talking about one aspect of one relationship in her life. And most of us have been in enough relationships to totally recognize and understand that frustration in one area does not equal disrespect, hatred, a desire to leave necessarily, etc.

Once in a while on the forums, people will actually say, "Leave this person," but I don't think anyone has said that in this thread. I hear people listening to the OP, and to her frustrations that she feels a need to express. I hear people empathizing where the words resonate, sharing their own subjective and objective experiences where they seem to match, expressing care, and presenting points to consider and encouragement toward additional/new approaches.

Sometimes people bring to this forum bigger questions, scarier questions, like the ones the OP is dealing with right now. That's okay. A lot of us are willing to have the conversation that a post-er needs to find clarity.

Additionally, some of us have learned the very, very hard way that things factor in to FI, family stability/happiness, etc, that we didn't realize, anticipate, or consider. It's pretty devastating to see the effects of those, so we speak up to encourage awareness and proactivity.

None of us are going to "need" the OP to leave her dear hubby, not have children with him, stay with him, whatever. Heck, I have people weighing in on my relationships and I find the intelligent, thoughtful perspectives very helpful. I don't get confused about them -I know that any one person is sharing their thoughts to someone they only know a little bit (me) about someone they don't know at all (a partner). I can keep that in mind, and know that I'm responsible for the decisions I eventually make.

A lot of us join these conversations from a place of trusting that an OP is intelligent, aware that we know very little, and will assess their own situation on its own merits and on the OP's eventual experience. Sometimes, the forum is a sounding board. And the sounding board process can help heaps in a person's journey.

I hear your concern about a person being criticized publicly. If the OP were sharing their names and/or photos, I would feel the same way, for sure. But short of that, I think a sounding board is okay.

That's fair, and very well put; I was a bit heated up myself and my comment may have been less than constructive. I'm going to sit back and try to learn from this conversation, because I have a feeling I may be facing something similar at some point in my life.

Spondulix, I wish you luck in your situation.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 10:26:01 PM by moe_rants »

Faraday

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When I found Moustachianism, it answered questions that had been nagging me, badly, for many decades. I was a near-instant convert and began life changes to right my budget. My wife had no such revelation, even as I told her about it and tried to "enlist" her to back me in this new approach. My own scenario was very similar to what the OP has described: I was the main breadwinner, subsidizing many pursuits of my spouse that ended up going nowhere. She had some job endeavors in which she actually lost money.

This got so bad at one point that I thought I was going to have to abandon our shared bank accounts. But I didn't even have to do that, once I got her to stop spending money we had in the savings account.

It bugged the crap out of me until I finally realized a few things:

First, I had to SELL my wife on Moustachianism as a way to approach and achieve what WE want. And to do that, know what I did? I started talking to her about what SHE wanted - what HER goals were. And what I realized is that many of the things draining our money were things I/We had done in the past that we thought were important. They were not things SHE HAD DONE.

We defined her most important goal and we attacked it and went for it and achieved it. All the while, I worked on achieving the things I wanted as I began to un-do all the things we THOUGHT were important uses of our money, but in fact were only crap. She gave me no argument or pushback on getting rid of those things.

Ya know what happened? I was the one who needed to get a little bit smarter, not her. And as I did, I realized that the only way I could achieve true moustachianism was in accepting HER goals right alongside MINE. When I did that, she became my solid ally and it made our marriage STRONGER every time we stripped away crap we were wasting money on, and every time we achieved a new financial goal - we both could feel the burden lifting from our backs, and that was a powerful thing.

Today, my wife is still not "moustachian" in the classic sense, but she sure is ON MY SIDE and aligned with what I'm trying to do, now that she's seen and experienced the power of these principles to focus and achieve one of HER goals. She will never, ever look at this forum or participate in these discussions, but now that we've achieved one of her major goals (and are working on the next one now) she's happy to let me drive the boat on things like getting rid of cellphones, getting rid of cable TV, getting rid of unsecured debt, refinancing the house and increasing savings contributions. (you know...the important, powerful things...) Likewise, now I discuss ANY purchase over $100 with her beforehand and we come to mutual agreement. It's saved my ass a number of times from buying something I thought was "essential" but realized we didn't need.

Those of us who "find moustachianism" are already seeking the revelation, the right path. Those of us who don't "find" it may not be seeking that revelation. My wife is one of those people. But you  know what - she doesn't really "need" revelation in any form. She trusts her gut and operates on that data, and that's who she is.

However, once she experienced the power of the MMM principles to achieve her own goals, she became my ally. She lets me worry about the revelation but she supports me in the doing. It was a real win when I realized I was the one who needed to be a little smarter!
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 10:32:08 PM by mefla »

scrubbyfish

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That's fair, and very well put...

Thanks, moe_rants :)   

I'm going to sit back and try to learn from this conversation, because I have a feeling I may be facing something similar at some point in my life.

Even though I'm probably going to keep talking in it, that's my overall schtick, too. I have learned so much about relationshippy stuff -the implications on FI and otherwise- on this forum, so I keep taking it in, taking notes for my own growth, definitely for my own benefit right now and hopefully for the benefit of a future partner, too. I really like all the smart, thoughtful people here!

mefla: WOW. That was totally inspirational. YUM.

Allie

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This is another one where I read th eoriginal post, thought "omg, that poor woman being taken advantage of..." But by the end am thinking the opposite thing.

I'm the trailing spouse, SAHM, lunching with friends, Bon-bon eater in my marriage.  Even if I really put my nose to the grindstone, I couldn't make the kind of money my husband has the potential to make.  Part of that is because he naturally has a meticulous attention to detail and a charisma and a leadership style that is amazing...part is that he is specialized in a very particular subset of his chosen profession.  He is in the process of working like a dog to set himself to work a few hrs or months a year to make quite a bit.

Honestly, if he came to me in a couple years after he started working shorter hours making enough to support both of us and complained that I wasn't busting ass to make more money or toiling around the house my head would explode. 

Maybe I misread your posts, but did you really write in to complain about your spouse, who supported you in the past, because he wasn't working hard enough at a job he didn't enjoy to make 35/hr or clean up the house in his spare time when you take home 140k working 15 hours a week? 

That can't be right.

I think it's different than your situation, Allie. Spondulix isn't upset that she's the breadwinner (she has said as much). She's upset that he won't talk about the challenges, won't take turns pitching solutions, won't collaborate on change, won't plan together for their future, is unwilling to consistently contribute to housework, wants to maintain their precise lifestyle (won't move somewhere cheaper), and then pitches for house upgrades of $3000-$12000/pop. And, it may have been said that he's not keen on doing the bulk of the parenting. (I might have one or more of these items wrong, but I welcome any corrections to my effort at paraphrasing/recap.)

I only know you a teeny bit, but my impression of you is very different than all of that. You're a mom, for starters! Further, you're actively working on reducing your personal and family spending. And that's just what I'm remembering about you off-hand.

Sorry for the long quote, my stupid computer won't let me edit it down. 

What I read was that at this time they don't share goals and he wasn't engaging in tasks that she values.  This doesn't mean he isn't working hard or willing to compromise.  He researches and purchases through his earnings equipment she uses.  He maintains a home office that is presumably more than just a chair and computer that she utilizes.  He does do some home improvement tasks, although not on her timeline.  He maintains connections and contacts with colleagues in their industry.  He spends his time and creative energy on his business, but isn't highly compensated. 

It doesn't sound like he is sitting around doing nothing.  She just doesn't value his activities and he doesn't value her goals. 

If I were their therapist, I would have them explore this.  Believing that a partner doesn't value the work you do can be a motivation killer.  I would also have them establish some concrete activities to better align their needs and wants to reduce the festering resentment, such as:

-  set goals for their future (which can include him having a low paying artsy career) that they will plan for and create a roadmap towards...not just her goals, but his as well.
-  establish a budget for spending in line with their goals
-  have weekly or monthly check in meetings to evaluate progress
-  maybe they could both sit down to discuss upcoming freelance projects together and discuss the pros and cons of each one.  If they are in the same industry, this may be a really great way to ensure their (his and her) time is spent in ways that will move them toward their shared goals and possibly offer insight and suggestions.
-  find ways to ask for things from each other in a manner that isn't confrontational.  For example, my husband and I have linked our lists together on our computers.  He can add "milk" to my grocery list or "please iron blue shirt" to my to dos and I can put stuff on his.  It doesn't feel as naggy that way.  If he wants her to tell him what to do it is likely because he struggles with organization and she could help him in this way or because they don't have great communication.

She can't just say she wants him to give up his dream because it's not lucrative and adopt her plans.  She should be working to ensure he meets his goals and he should be working to ensure she meets hers. 




resy

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Thanks for your post, I also have a spouse who doesn't seem to grow up and am reading through all the responses.

Goldielocks

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You guys, I think the point isn't the money inequality, but that OP wants to have kids, and she doesn't want to be holding both the full time job, the full time parenting, and the full time cleaning.  She doesn't mind him being a stay-at-home dad, but she wants him to either be that, or be the full-time wage-earner so that she can be home with the kids.  Daycare isn't going to cut it for her (and I understand that--that's why I'm home).  She doesn't sound like she cares which way SAHM or SAHD it is as long as she's not all of the roles.

So the question is how to push things one direction of the other.  How does she get him to be a full-time full-wage earner so she can stay home with the kids or get him to be the full-time dad?

If he's as disorganized and illogical as OP says, then he should NOT be a SAHD.  Honestly, would the kid even be safe alone all day with him?  It sounds mean, but this man does not sound like someone I would leave a baby with.

I had to respond, yes disorganized people do make wonderful parents.

Yes, dinner may be at 8 pm randomly on a a school night, swim lessons missed due to forgotten times,  and in our case, my DD hair was never brushed before school and she picked out her own clothes ( rumpled ones to boot).  But disorganized people do tend to be highly present to kids and immediate needs.  Creative types don't rely on TV as babysitters while they clean house, and they expose a lot of skills and new ideas to kids.
He is also more patient with crying babies...

I do not always agree with my DH parenting style or choices, but he is a wonderful,  if different, parent for our kids.

scrubbyfish

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What I read was that at this time they don't share goals and he wasn't engaging in tasks that she values.  This doesn't mean he isn't working hard or willing to compromise.  He researches and purchases through his earnings equipment she uses.  He maintains a home office that is presumably more than just a chair and computer that she utilizes.  He does do some home improvement tasks, although not on her timeline.  He maintains connections and contacts with colleagues in their industry.  He spends his time and creative energy on his business, but isn't highly compensated. 

It doesn't sound like he is sitting around doing nothing.  She just doesn't value his activities and he doesn't value her goals. 

If I were their therapist, I would have them explore this.  Believing that a partner doesn't value the work you do can be a motivation killer.  I would also have them establish some concrete activities to better align their needs and wants to reduce the festering resentment, such as:
-  set goals for their future (which can include him having a low paying artsy career) that they will plan for and create a roadmap towards...not just her goals, but his as well.
-  establish a budget for spending in line with their goals
-  have weekly or monthly check in meetings to evaluate progress
-  maybe they could both sit down to discuss upcoming freelance projects together and discuss the pros and cons of each one.  If they are in the same industry, this may be a really great way to ensure their (his and her) time is spent in ways that will move them toward their shared goals and possibly offer insight and suggestions.
-  find ways to ask for things from each other in a manner that isn't confrontational.  For example, my husband and I have linked our lists together on our computers.  He can add "milk" to my grocery list or "please iron blue shirt" to my to dos and I can put stuff on his.  It doesn't feel as naggy that way.  If he wants her to tell him what to do it is likely because he struggles with organization and she could help him in this way or because they don't have great communication.

She can't just say she wants him to give up his dream because it's not lucrative and adopt her plans.  She should be working to ensure he meets his goals and he should be working to ensure she meets hers.

I agree with all of the above. I didn't read that OP thought her hubby was sitting around doing nothing, or that she wanted him to give up his goals for hers, though. I had the impression that she recognizes him working on his business, as well as on some larger home projects, and that the stresses were other things.

Your action list sounds excellent to me. I'd be very interested to hear in a few months if OP's hubby was willingly engaging in those types of collaborative actions.

Also: Having electronically linked to do lists would basically be my dream relationship, ha! I've never heard of that. Yum!

Goldielocks

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OP. You are not alone in your situation, and venting here is far better than with your friends or in real life.  I have a friend whose DH situation is similar to mine, (and yours) but DH does even less chores ( shevhired a nanny and a housekeeper while he was SAH), and yet is very happy with her marriage.

I have been going through this too, to various degrees with my DH.

When I was pushing DH for more, a few years ago, he actually said " I will work if I have to", when he knew how soul sucking work was for me at that time...  His reality of our situation was so different from mine...

Unlike old fashioned roles, one parent as SAH with all the home chores, while the other works; this equal split of workload and effort rarely happens when genders are reversed.  Instead one person becomes responsible for all, with the other pitching in as they can. 

This means a highly imbalanced relationship, off and on, for the rest of your life.

You need to ask yourself deeply if you are okay with that possibility?  It took me about three years myself to realize that my answer was 'yes'.  Years that are more equal in effort are a bonus, but I am willing to be in my relationship regardless.

People do divorce over these things.  You need to self reflect what you really need or want.  There are many ways to invest energy in a relationship, and everyone of us wants it to be somewhat equal, a partnership, not just about money, but where are you if that is not the case?

I do suggest you step up to yourself and figure out if this is okay with you, or a deal breaker, before kids.  After, there are only bad and worse choices if you decide no.

In my experience, there are great years and years like you describe... And even worse..( e.g. my DH had a year as semi invalid) AND It is indeed possible to have great marriage years ahead still without his really changing much.

For my situation, what helped: ( tactical)
, I had to say no to funding any future businesses or self employment.  I can't do the $15k per year and no time for me anymore...  I only agreed to school ( now at four years for a two year degree, argh) and traditional employment or nothing..We set up equal spending allowances which help a ton when he does not ignore them, but at least is a clearly defined conversation.   

And I realized that I do not mind working hard, harder than he does, if I get verbal appreciation and acknowledgement for it.  So simple.  So hard to do.


He makes my life richer in so many ways... Just not financially or relating to chores, but is of great value to me, when I open my eyes to be grateful for it.

Learning to accept was not easy at first, but makes all the difference.


PS on a positive note, it is highly likely that your spouse will be a sah parent, given current incomes, if he is able/ capable.  Would that make the difference?

Kris

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So, I've read most of his thread's comments, though not all, and there are two points I've not really seen come through: 

1) Your husband keeps saying "just tell me what to do, and I'll do it," but in fact his actions show that he doesn't, and won't.  You tell him he needs to do more housework, and he refuses.  You say you need to move to a cheaper area, and he refuses.  You tell him he needs to take on more gigs that pay well, and he says that would be unfullfilling.  He is lying to you with this line.  It's a deflector shield, to keep the conversation from ever moving to a resolution for change.

2)  if you have a child with this man, things will get worse instead of better.  There is no way in hell he is going to do even 50% of the work of raising this child.  You will do the vast majority of it, and he will put the kid in excpensive day care for most of the reast.  And, your child will grow up with one absolutely shit role model parent.  Don't underestimate the power of that in shaping a child.  Not to mention that the added stress/tension will likely make your relationship with your DH worse, meaning that either your child will grow up in a household with two parents who are fighting a large part of the time, or with parents who are divorced and a dad that he/she probably will hardly ever see because he isn't a responsible enough parent to make the effort to see/parent his child without someone forcing him to.

You are a planner.  Someone who can look at a situation now and imagine what it will lead to in the future.  Think carefully about where this is likely to go, and think twice about the life you are creating for a potential child.

Spondulix

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I'm the trailing spouse, SAHM, lunching with friends, Bon-bon eater in my marriage.  Even if I really put my nose to the grindstone, I couldn't make the kind of money my husband has the potential to make.  Part of that is because he naturally has a meticulous attention to detail and a charisma and a leadership style that is amazing...part is that he is specialized in a very particular subset of his chosen profession.  He is in the process of working like a dog to set himself to work a few hrs or months a year to make quite a bit.

Honestly, if he came to me in a couple years after he started working shorter hours making enough to support both of us and complained that I wasn't busting ass to make more money or toiling around the house my head would explode. 

Maybe I misread your posts, but did you really write in to complain about your spouse, who supported you in the past, because he wasn't working hard enough at a job he didn't enjoy to make 35/hr or clean up the house in his spare time when you take home 140k working 15 hours a week? 

That can't be right.
From your relationship, sure, I would look like the real jerk. But the dynamic between DH and I is probably not the same as you and your spouse. For years, DH looked at my successes as competition. For every conversation we had where I shared a success, there was a counter conversation about him saying, "why don't I have the things that you have?" Very often, the moments where I should have been happy about what I was doing, I was instead having to console him and be supportive while he for felt sorry for himself.

This is something we addressed in therapy, and while he is much better about sharing when he is proud of me, it's still one of those issues where it takes time for the good to make up for the bad.

Second point - what do you spend your time doing? Is there an expectation between you and your spouse that you do particular duties? Sure, I'm working about 15 hours a week on my work, but a lot of the rest of that time is spent on paid side projects, and taking care of things like bills, taxes, research (if we need to buy something), financial education (which is how I got here and getting finances in order). I go to work, do work and home duties, come home and spend my free time cooking and cleaning... He works from home and gets to spend his free evenings watching movies and going out with friends. Then, he says he doesn't have time for me on the weekends because he has work to do.

So yea, reading your post I can see why he might think I'm being demanding or difficult. But I completely agree with what some others have pointed out on here that if things don't change now, I'm going to be the breadwinner, responsible for half of our household duties, and raising a child. The balance of power is unequal. I've seen so much worse - and he's not a bad guy. He has full enthusiasm to contribute his share, which I know plenty of couples who struggle and can't even get to that point... So it's just figuring out a way to implement it without me being responsible for being a manager.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 03:01:56 AM by Spondulix »

Lanthiriel

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For my situation, what helped: ( tactical)
I had to say no to funding any future businesses or self employment.  I can't do the $15k per year and no time for me anymore...  I only agreed to school ( now at four years for a two year degree, argh) and traditional employment or nothing..We set up equal spending allowances which help a ton when he does not ignore them, but at least is a clearly defined conversation.   

And I realized that I do not mind working hard, harder than he does, if I get verbal appreciation and acknowledgement for it.  So simple.  So hard to do.


He makes my life richer in so many ways... Just not financially or relating to chores, but is of great value to me, when I open my eyes to be grateful for it.

Learning to accept was not easy at first, but makes all the difference.

Goldielocks, I just wanted to put it out there that I've been in your shoes and spent seven years putting my husband through school for a Bachelors. He was supposed to graduate in 2012 and failed a class--twice--at the very end, delaying his already delayed graduation by yet another year. I fell apart and hauled him into counseling. Many, many weeks of therapy led me to the same conclusion. I love my husband and what he brings to our relationship. I need his laissez faire attitude in other aspects of my life to stop from dying of a heart attack before age 30. Instead of being angry, I turned my attention to setting him up for success in any way possible. We work in the same industry, so I started throwing his name out to contacts, forcing him to meet people, and talking up his applications. I moved us 2500 miles to a better job market just to improve his prospects. And, in the end, it worked. He outearned me in 2014, which just eight months ago seemed like a pipe dream. I realize it doesn't work out that way for everyone, but the huge turning point for me was finally seeing him as a whole person, the good with the bad. My husband works hard and is very smart, he just doesn't seem to live in the same world as everyone else. So once I was able to start bridging some gaps for him socially and just through positive encouragement, instead of being as negative as I had been, things started to fall in place.

Spondulix, you've gotten a lot of good advice, so I'm not sure I have too much else to add. I know that one thing that really helps my somewhat unfocused husband is to define clear expectations. We have a weekly chore chart--seriously--that defines what each of us are responsible for each week by what day. I also manage all of our money, but he gets a separate account with an allowance, and I never ask what he spends that money on. When he was looking for full-time employment, I set an expectation for how many jobs I expected him to apply for. When he needs to make a doctors appointment or rotate his tires or, just today, call to follow up on his 401k rollover, I have to remind him, in writing, to do these things and the absolute latest time they can be done by. Yes, it's like parenting. Yes, I know that if we ever decide to have kids, the vast majority of the parenting will fall on me. But at the end of the day, I come home to a sweet, appreciative, intellectually engaging person. If it's possible, I think what you need to do is, as dispassionately as possible, take stock of your situation. How bad is it really? What is the real root of the problem? Is it the money that's bothering you or the lack of household participation or ...? Because some problems in a marriage can be solved and some can't. I would figure out what's just annoying and what's an actual deal breaker and go to some therapy, with our without him, to set goals and timelines. Best of luck to you!

expatartist

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OP, thanks for posting this. You have started a great discussion which makes me feel a bit less alone in my situation. Part of why I decided not to have kids is because my DH shares some traits with yours. When the kids discussion would come up, DH was keen but would say, "just write down the kinds of tasks I would need to do" if he were a dad. Even before getting pregnant the onus was on me to organize our lives and figure out how we'd do things, when he wasn't willing to keep a long-term, full-time job, or become a SAHD.

Conversely, he gives me the freedom I need to pursue other aspects of my life which remain paramount because we are child-free. We still struggle with some things, but have resolved most by keeping mostly separate finances, and eventually I will buy him out of our rental properties because our management styles are so different.

Ours is not the kind of partnership many envision for their marriages - financially separate and child-free - but it is a way for us to remain very happy overall together.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 04:27:27 AM by expatartist »

Spondulix

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To address a few points that came up -

I actually didn't feel s**t on by any of the "harsh" responses. I wouldn't have said any of what I did if I wasn't prepared to hear that side. Honestly, hearing those opinions (along with everyone else's) gives me food for thought and another way to think of my own perspective, and I sincerely appreciate it (and learned from it.)

The part that stings are the responses that say "how on earth could you speak about your spouse that way to a group of strangers." Let's look at the bigger picture: There are so many people struggling in silence - not even marital issues, but family, financial, personal, etc. To the people who come on MMM and share their massive debt stories - could they share that unguarded with their friends or parents? No way. As many as 1 in 10 adults in the US could have depression - who are those people in your life? These aren't exactly BBQ topics. You don't bring these things up when you're hanging out with other couples together. No one wants to admit that their marriage has serious issues or that their spouse isn't doing their part, and it's embarrassing to admit or talk about openly.

I'm merely suggesting that if you look around, there are probably other people in your life who are struggling just as much (if not more) and have NO ONE to talk to. I'm lucky to at least have a small network, my spouse (in the ways that he can) and a therapist.  That's not to say you have to play therapist to your co-workers, but even just asking a co-worker to lunch or asking a friend if everything is ok at home might have a much bigger impact than you could realize.

Someone condoned me for saying I want to face punch my husband every time this business conversation comes up - We use the term "face punch" to talk about people EVERY DAY.  It's a figure of speech about how we want people to see the reality of what they are doing and how it's affecting the people around them. I don't think there's something wrong with me for using that term just because it's my SO, and anyone who gets their panties in a bunch about that probably should not be on this forum.

I didn't come here looking for sympathy in any way (although the encouragement has been greatly appreciated). I'm looking for ideas to help solve a problem. Sure, I'll admit that I am offloading some of my frustration, but I have NO ONE I can talk to in my life about my actual financial situation. I can't go to my accountant and say, "what can I do to get my husband to take a real job?" I can't call my mom and say, "how do I get DH to maintain his own business?" I came here because THIS is the resource that made the most sense to me for those answers. I am allowing you guys into my private life and it's going to be attached to my name on this forum for as long as I'm around. I've thought through the ramifications of every word I've posted; but I am more than willing to take a couple face punches if I can even get one idea out of this thread that can help move things in the right direction. I've gotten about eight (and more motivation to work towards a solution), which to me is a huge success.

Spondulix

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I see it got heated... thanks to everyone for taking the time to post/discuss, and I really have taken a lot from this whole thread.

NumberJohnny5 - I really hope you don't think I'm awful. I haven't responded much directly, but I've actually taken a great deal from your posts, and I am seeing a LOT more about my husband's perspective from your posts. I find empathy through understanding, and you've helped me find new understanding.

mefla - this is exactly the type of answer I was looking for. Extremely helpful perspective. Thank you!!

allie "She just doesn't value his activities and he doesn't value her goals." Nailed it on the head. Are you a therapist?! Your suggestions are going to be my guide moving forward...

scrubbyfish - I really appreciate your perspective too, as I think you really understand where I'm coming from. Thank you for taking the time to post!!

RapmasterD

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Someone condoned me for saying I want to face punch my husband every time this business conversation comes up - We use the term "face punch" to talk about people EVERY DAY.  It's a figure of speech about how we want people to see the reality of what they are doing and how it's affecting the people around them. I don't think there's something wrong with me for using that term just because it's my SO, and anyone who gets their panties in a bunch about that probably should not be on this forum.

You raise some interesting perspectives overall, but obviously this one...is not your call. Best of luck to you and your spouse.

Allie

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As it just so happens I was!  Now I am way overpaid to sit around telling other therapists what I think will help their clients (when I am not playing at the park or eating PB&J with my kids).  Seriously, if not for the nature of the problems they are addressing it is a great gig.  I like telling people what I think of their problems so much, I sit around and do it in the evening, for free!!!  :)

Anyhoo.  Reading your posts it is easy to see how your situation sparked jealousy on his end, which breeds resentment like no other, and resentment back on yours.  It's a vicious cycle.  If you haven't already, you can also try to really look at the situation from his perspective.  Consider how he would write a post about you.  Maybe not to MMM, but another similar group of strangers.  Write it out.  No, it should not start with my wife is the most amazing woman ever.  Be honest.  What would he complain about, what would he want to change, what would he be asking for etc. 

If you decide you want to salvage this relationship, you need to find a way to move past some of the past hurt.  I think, ultimately, you both want the same thing.   A life where you can spend your time engaging in work you love and time as a family. 



resy

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Thank you for having created this thread,  op. I am struggleling with my marriage and feel depressed about it. Every day I feel a little bit more resentful and spend less and less time with him. He is great in certain ways but I feel he has a lot of growing up to do, even though he is a tad older I have had a much harder time in my 20s than he did and its making a difference I think.
I appreciate everything, from your wording to your attitude as I get SO emotional and I cant form a coherent post regarding it.
Thanks to everyone that responded, from the looks of it you helped the op as well as a couple others, myself included.

Spondulix

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I almost don't want to resurrect this thread from the dead, but there were quite a few people who reached out to me in January who were in the same boat. Hopefully this will help if anyone is still there.

When I started this thread, I felt completely stuck. I'm happy to say that 3 months later, we're working towards new financial goals (together). It's a huge relief to be on the same page. I think that we went through something that seems to be a common issue for couples new to MMM: I quickly changed my financial goals and spending habits and thought DH would evolve with me, and he just didn't understand what was going on and saw no reason to change. Thanks to this thread, I realized that I needed to change the conversation because my resentment was getting us nowhere fast. Once we started talking more openly about it, I learned that talking about our financial situation was like rubbing salt in a wound that I didn't know was there. My enthusiasm about money was just escalating his stress over the business.

One thing that really helped was just integrating finance talk into normal life (so it wasn't like "sit down we need to talk" every time). When we would talk about our day, I might share something interesting I read on the forum, or something I learned about finance or business, and eventually I even talked about this thread and some of the things people suggested. What was great (and what I love about him) is that once he realized FIRE was something I really wanted to do, he started looking for resources I might like, too - finance documentaries on Netflix (that we could watch together), news articles or links, etc. He's been learning about it even if it was intended for my benefit!

One great resource he found was the show, "The Profit." It might seem cheesy, but it clicked - I knew it when he asked me to help him prepare an income statement (6 months ago he couldn't have told you his YTD earnings!) I see now there's a lot of business things he just didn't understand, and coming from me it just brought up that anxiety that the business was doing poorly. It's made such a big difference to be able to talk openly. Before, I was resentful of him spending money on an assistant, but when he asked me to help crunch the numbers, it turned out that the assistant was making him a decent profit on the hours.

We've also talked a lot about the balance between creative fulfillment and running a business, and the reality of what's going on in our field (DIY technology has destroyed the need for professionals, basically). These haven't been easy conversations (and some are on-going), but the key is that we're talking about them. As for me, I realized that I just want security - if I lose my job, get injured, or just want to take some time off, I want to know that I can trust him to financially take care of us. I really don't care what he's doing for work (or how much he's earning) as long as he can do that for us. He's totally on-board with that, and that was one of the catalysts to get him to save more and spend less.

I don't regret at all posting on here - it probably would have taken months (or years) in a tough situation to get to the same conclusions that I did in about 3 days on this thread (thanks to you all). I think this pretty much sums it up:

Today, my wife is still not "moustachian" in the classic sense, but she sure is ON MY SIDE and aligned with what I'm trying to do, now that she's seen and experienced the power of these principles to focus and achieve one of HER goals. She will never, ever look at this forum or participate in these discussions, but now that we've achieved one of her major goals (and are working on the next one now) she's happy to let me drive the boat on things like getting rid of cellphones, getting rid of cable TV, getting rid of unsecured debt, refinancing the house and increasing savings contributions. (you know...the important, powerful things...)

Those of us who "find moustachianism" are already seeking the revelation, the right path. Those of us who don't "find" it may not be seeking that revelation. My wife is one of those people. But you  know what - she doesn't really "need" revelation in any form. She trusts her gut and operates on that data, and that's who she is.

However, once she experienced the power of the MMM principles to achieve her own goals, she became my ally. She lets me worry about the revelation but she supports me in the doing. It was a real win when I realized I was the one who needed to be a little smarter!

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Always glad to see a happy "ending", though of course it's more of a "beginning" for you.

scrubbyfish

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Wonderful, Spondulix!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is really excellent!!!!

And thank you SO MUCH for posting the update!!

Spondulix

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Always glad to see a happy "ending", though of course it's more of a "beginning" for you.
Definitely - it felt like we a transition from an old phase of life (one that worked fine for us for years) to one that's more suited to our goals and where we're going now.

Cassie

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Wonderful!

mozar

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I remember your post.  l love updates!

Zx

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One thing that really helped was just integrating finance talk into normal life (so it wasn't like "sit down we need to talk" every time). When we would talk about our day, I might share something interesting I read on the forum, or something I learned about finance or business, and eventually I even talked about this thread and some of the things people suggested. What was great (and what I love about him) is that once he realized FIRE was something I really wanted to do, he started looking for resources I might like, too - finance documentaries on Netflix (that we could watch together), news articles or links, etc. He's been learning about it even if it was intended for my benefit!

One great resource he found was the show, "The Profit." It might seem cheesy, but it clicked - I knew it when he asked me to help him prepare an income statement (6 months ago he couldn't have told you his YTD earnings!) I see now there's a lot of business things he just didn't understand, and coming from me it just brought up that anxiety that the business was doing poorly. It's made such a big difference to be able to talk openly. Before, I was resentful of him spending money on an assistant, but when he asked me to help crunch the numbers, it turned out that the assistant was making him a decent profit on the hours.




There are finance documentaries on Netflix???? BRB...

happy

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Great update, thank you. The issue of spouses not buying into MMM seems to come up reasonably often, so I think its great to hear the outcome and how you achieved it. Good for others to read/learn from.

sbdebeste

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never saw this thread originally - extremely happy to see it (with all its trials and tribulations) to the end. thank you and congratulations!