Author Topic: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire  (Read 9035 times)

overlord34

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #100 on: April 18, 2017, 07:09:00 PM »
It's interesting to read how those who have separate finances can't imagine joining them and vice versa lol.

So I guess I should provide a little more detail.  Years ago when she was interested in FIRE we joined the finances.  Nonetheless I was doing 90% of the saving because 1) I earned more; and 2) she spent most of her  disposable income on  conveniences, gifts, clothes, etc..  Even so, I was happy to work together toward FIRE because we seemed in sync with our goals.

Then back in 2012 she started a cycle that left me pretty bewildered and frustrated.  First, she quit her ~66k job at a startup partly because it was too stressful and partly because we were going to take a year off and travel.  I would have liked her to have waited until I was ready to quit too but I was ok with her quitting because she really seemed miserable at the job.  Four months went by with her out of work.  Then she tried a couple of things to see if she could find her passion (unpaid internship, 2k trade school) which didn't work out.  Finally she got another job but it only paid mid-30s.

About a year after working there we both quit and went traveling for a year.  It was a tough experience because I was too extreme about our expenses because I was worried about income.  From that experience she decided FIRE was too extreme and she wanted a lifestyle that could provide more income and a more "normal" lifestyle.  So we came back.

When we came back I went back to work.  She was concerned about working another job in the business world that wasn't a respected profession.  So she said she wanted to go to  school.  It was really hard for me to on board with this because I felt very down about her not being interested in FIRE and now I'd be supporting her through school.  Nonetheless, that's what we did because I wanted her to be happy doing something she thought she'd love.  She went to school for a year and a half and now has a low paying contract position in her field (employed for about 9 months).

So two days ago I was talking to her and she said she was thinking of leaving the field and going back to work for her old boss from the 66k job (he now works for a different company).  I was totally shocked.  I had thought that she had gone back to school because she decided this was something she believed she truly wanted to do.  That's why I was prepared to support her through school  Now it seems she really was unsure about it when she went back to school and just decided to go because she didn't want to go back to working in business and hoped it would work out.  It really shocked me that she'd let me support her through school when it wasn't something she was confident about in the first place.

I hear what everyone is saying about there being no you and me only us when it comes to finances.  Nonetheless I'm very frustrated and discouraged about a situation where I feel I've been really focused on FIRE and doing everything I can to try and achieve that goal.  By contrast, she hasn't been interested since 2013 and even when she was, she didn't do much saving or spent a lot of time trying to find herself while I supported her.  Most of the interest and effort on working toward FIRE has been on me.  And other than living with me in a studio - which granted is a big sacrifice for her - she hasn't really made many choices consistent with FIRE.  So I'm a bit at a loss here since it's felt as though I've been making most of the effort to get there.  It's really hard when one partner  wants FI and the other partner just doesn't have that "razor focus" as someone stated, to get there too.
 

Is your wife an introvert?  If so, what you described as your fantastic current life could be a small version of hell to her.  I love DH more than anything, but my God, if I had to live in a single room with him for the rest of my natural life, we would be divorced within a year.  I am not a nice person when I don't have sufficient time by myself.  It literally makes me shudder even to think of it.  I am trying to think of enticements that would make "living in one room forever with DH" worth it to me -- Powerball?  George Clooney? -- and, well, no.  Can't think of a one.  Maybe world peace.  But, damn, y'all would seriously owe me.

The larger point is that you are doing what comes naturally to you, just as she is doing what comes naturally to her.  For you, working longer to buy more living space and convenience is a sacrifice, just as for her, giving up more living space and convenience to work less is a sacrifice.  You are on the MMM boards, so of course the natural inclination here is to confirm that you are "right" and she is a spoiled consumer sucka who values stuff more than people and freedom.  Of course, to another audience, you'd be the crazy cheap miser who wants to deprive her of all of the things that make life worth living just so you can be a lazy bum and sit around doing nothing.  ;-).

In the end, this comes down to the classic question: do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?  If you'd prefer the latter, the place to start is by assuming that her needs and desires are just as worthy as yours, and figuring out between the two of you how much each of you can give to make sure the other has enough of what s/he needs.  I think your posts show that you see that, and it sounds like you have some good ideas to open the conversation.  So go talk!

Great advice.  She is an introvert and expressed this exact same concern that you brought up about why it's hard for her to live in a studio.  So I have been causing her to sacrifice by staying here.  We should move to a 1br because it is making her unhappy to stay here.

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Laura33

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #101 on: April 18, 2017, 08:34:58 PM »
Holy shit, Overlord, that is a hell of a backstory.  This is way beyond you making more and her making less; seems to me you have bent over backwards to help her "find herself," and there's still no end in sight.  I do *not* think in that scenario you need to keep on giving, giving, giving; she needs to be a stable, contributing partner, too.  I think there is a lot of talking that needs to go on between you two. Maybe FIRE isn't the best way to persuade her or motivate her to basically grow up and hold down a damn job -- that seems more your dream than hers.  But maybe you can talk about the pressure you feel being the majority/sole provider (in a HCOL area) while she is spending years figuring things out, how you want her to be happy, but you also need to know for yourself that there is an end in sight.  And then maybe you guys can compromise on something that gets you a little of both; she agrees to save [ner aggressive savings target]; you agree that you will begin looking for a 1Br apartment when your net worth hits $X; she agrees to keep saving $Y after buying 1Br because you want to FIRE; etc. 

I will think more about this -- I saw the post on my way to bed so haven't really thought this through, so sorry if it's sort of rambling and not crystal clear.  I just wanted to make sure you knew that I do *not* think the answer to your current unhappiness is just to suck it up and buy your wife the 1Br -- that is probably a legitimate need on her part and so, yes, should be in the long-term plan, but that long-term plan (a) requires the full participation of both spouses, and (b) must also include your legitimate needs, like not working forever.  And based on your story, that's not happening right now.  So you have every right to be frustrated.

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undercover

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #102 on: April 18, 2017, 09:20:59 PM »
It's interesting to read how those who have separate finances can't imagine joining them and vice versa lol.

I can't imagine joining them with someone that isn't on the same page as me as far as life goals. I can imagine a situation in which joining finances can be highly beneficial IF both parties are on the same page. Combining incomes and sharing expenses is obviously a super powerful tool when it comes to becoming FI. Sharing FI with the person you love makes being FI 100x better I'd imagine.

I'm sorry but your wife seems to be trying to pull a bit of reverse-psychology. If I were her I'd be more worried that you would resent HER vs her resenting you.
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Lagom

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #103 on: April 18, 2017, 11:46:21 PM »
It's interesting to read how those who have separate finances can't imagine joining them and vice versa lol.

I can't imagine joining them with someone that isn't on the same page as me as far as life goals. I can imagine a situation in which joining finances can be highly beneficial IF both parties are on the same page. Combining incomes and sharing expenses is obviously a super powerful tool when it comes to becoming FI. Sharing FI with the person you love makes being FI 100x better I'd imagine.

I'm sorry but your wife seems to be trying to pull a bit of reverse-psychology. If I were her I'd be more worried that you would resent HER vs her resenting you.

Regarding the bolded: I mean, this is my point. Personally, I wouldn't marry someone who doesn't share my life goals but YMMV. Either way, you guys need marriage counseling ASAP. I know what it's like to hear that (especially if your life goals have changed since you married), don't get me wrong, so please don't take offense. I was in your shoes a couple years ago with my ex. But in retrospect that was exactly what we needed, except by the time I was even receiving that advice our relationship was past saving.

I don't begrudge people wanting to keep finances separate but I maintain that if FIRE represents a core value, then both parties should be largely on board and/or completely willing to comprise on things like one spouse working much longer (and also the other working somewhat longer than preferred). I threw away maybe 4-5 years of my life trying to revive a stone-dead relationship because I hadn't realized just how important shared core values really were. I hope for your sake that this is not the case, but let me tell you that I wish someone had told me years ago that it's OK to let a marriage end.

Don't get me wrong, I remain pro-marriage and pro joined finances. I am remarried to a partner 100X better suited for me and we have wonderful children, and a life that is better than I could have hoped for, except for the financial setbacks suffered because I spent too long in my previous relationship.

Again, I am not advocating divorce. I fully believe it's important to try to work through problems within reason. But it does sound like there is a problem and it's something that needs to be carefully and empathetically explored, with good faith contributions and an open mind on both ends.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 11:53:50 PM by Lagom »

firelight

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #104 on: April 19, 2017, 12:12:40 AM »
I agree with Lagom. With that much of a back story, I think you guys are on a divergent path, you towards FIRE and she towards finding herself. They can coexist but needs a lot of communication between you both, which seems lacking. I'd suggest marital counseling too, just to make sure both of you are happy and aware of compromises needed. Also if your wife is unclear of what she wants in life, she might want to work on it throughout her life. In that case, your combined FIRE number might be larger than what you currently plan.

Kathryn K.

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #105 on: April 19, 2017, 05:58:32 AM »
About a year after working there we both quit and went traveling for a year. It was a tough experience because I was too extreme about our expenses because I was worried about income.  From that experience she decided FIRE was too extreme and she wanted a lifestyle that could provide more income and a more "normal" lifestyle.  So we came back.

The OP's wife's job hopping is an issue but no wonder she's not interested in FIRE given what OP shared about what happened when they tried a preview of it.  Who would sign up for something where your partner freaks out if you spend two bucks and you're stuck in a living situation (2 people in a studio apartment) you really don't like?

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #106 on: April 19, 2017, 08:18:38 AM »
It sounds like you resent her. "She let me support her", cry me a river bro.

boarder42

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #107 on: April 19, 2017, 08:44:30 AM »
you really need to be on the same page financially and have similar goals.  if you dont have similar goals on the finances front i can see it leading to resentment both ways you have resentment towards her now.  and if you just do your own thing and FIRE when you can support what you think your life should be and she has to continue working to support what she thinks her life should be you'll just keep diverging. maybe you and her should be evaluating your full set of life goals and plans and if they are that divergent maybe an amicable separation is in order.
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honeybbq

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #108 on: April 19, 2017, 12:29:49 PM »
I also fully acknowledge that I'm on the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to not spending money.  Not because it's a sacrifice for me; I just really have very few wants and am happy with less.  For example, I like living in a studio with my wife.  It means we see each other more, get to spend more time together rather than retreating to a separate room.  So it's been hard to figure out how to balance her desire for more spending with my desire for FIRE. 

Is your wife an introvert?  If so, what you described as your fantastic current life could be a small version of hell to her.  I love DH more than anything, but my God, if I had to live in a single room with him for the rest of my natural life, we would be divorced within a year.  I am not a nice person when I don't have sufficient time by myself.  It literally makes me shudder even to think of it.  I am trying to think of enticements that would make "living in one room forever with DH" worth it to me -- Powerball?  George Clooney? -- and, well, no.  Can't think of a one.  Maybe world peace.  But, damn, y'all would seriously owe me.

The larger point is that you are doing what comes naturally to you, just as she is doing what comes naturally to her.  For you, working longer to buy more living space and convenience is a sacrifice, just as for her, giving up more living space and convenience to work less is a sacrifice.  You are on the MMM boards, so of course the natural inclination here is to confirm that you are "right" and she is a spoiled consumer sucka who values stuff more than people and freedom.  Of course, to another audience, you'd be the crazy cheap miser who wants to deprive her of all of the things that make life worth living just so you can be a lazy bum and sit around doing nothing.  ;-).

In the end, this comes down to the classic question: do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?  If you'd prefer the latter, the place to start is by assuming that her needs and desires are just as worthy as yours, and figuring out between the two of you how much each of you can give to make sure the other has enough of what s/he needs.  I think your posts show that you see that, and it sounds like you have some good ideas to open the conversation.  So go talk!

I think this is an excellent post. Maybe you two aren't that far away from a happy compromise. You just have to lay your cards on the table and figure out what is going to work.
Since you semi-FIRED once, you should use that experience to make improvements. Sounds like she doesn't want to worry about 5$ here or there (lunches, etc) while she is in fire. If you add a $500/month slush fund for her, what does that do to FIRE for both of you? Makes lists, and then make the math work. Maybe you fire in 3 years and she in 5. And I agree a LOT about the 1 bedroom apt. I realize NY is really expensive, but I also need my ME time and it is paramount to me being a happy, productive member of society. If she has reasonable needs (e.g. a little space, a little fun money) figure out how to make it work. It doesn't have to be black or white.

Miss Piggy

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #109 on: April 19, 2017, 12:37:03 PM »
I also fully acknowledge that I'm on the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to not spending money.  Not because it's a sacrifice for me; I just really have very few wants and am happy with less.  For example, I like living in a studio with my wife.  It means we see each other more, get to spend more time together rather than retreating to a separate room.  So it's been hard to figure out how to balance her desire for more spending with my desire for FIRE. 

Is your wife an introvert?  If so, what you described as your fantastic current life could be a small version of hell to her.  I love DH more than anything, but my God, if I had to live in a single room with him for the rest of my natural life, we would be divorced within a year.  I am not a nice person when I don't have sufficient time by myself.  It literally makes me shudder even to think of it.  I am trying to think of enticements that would make "living in one room forever with DH" worth it to me -- Powerball?  George Clooney? -- and, well, no.  Can't think of a one.  Maybe world peace.  But, damn, y'all would seriously owe me.

The larger point is that you are doing what comes naturally to you, just as she is doing what comes naturally to her.  For you, working longer to buy more living space and convenience is a sacrifice, just as for her, giving up more living space and convenience to work less is a sacrifice.  You are on the MMM boards, so of course the natural inclination here is to confirm that you are "right" and she is a spoiled consumer sucka who values stuff more than people and freedom.  Of course, to another audience, you'd be the crazy cheap miser who wants to deprive her of all of the things that make life worth living just so you can be a lazy bum and sit around doing nothing.  ;-).

In the end, this comes down to the classic question: do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?  If you'd prefer the latter, the place to start is by assuming that her needs and desires are just as worthy as yours, and figuring out between the two of you how much each of you can give to make sure the other has enough of what s/he needs.  I think your posts show that you see that, and it sounds like you have some good ideas to open the conversation.  So go talk!

I think this is an excellent post. Maybe you two aren't that far away from a happy compromise. You just have to lay your cards on the table and figure out what is going to work.
Since you semi-FIRED once, you should use that experience to make improvements. Sounds like she doesn't want to worry about 5$ here or there (lunches, etc) while she is in fire. If you add a $500/month slush fund for her, what does that do to FIRE for both of you? Makes lists, and then make the math work. Maybe you fire in 3 years and she in 5. And I agree a LOT about the 1 bedroom apt. I realize NY is really expensive, but I also need my ME time and it is paramount to me being a happy, productive member of society. If she has reasonable needs (e.g. a little space, a little fun money) figure out how to make it work. It doesn't have to be black or white.

These two posts pretty well capture my thoughts about the situation. OP, I understand your eagerness to FIRE, but at the same time, I don't think wanting a bedroom and a little frivolous spending in FIRE is asking too much. There's gotta be a compromise here somewhere...you can find it. :)

overlord34

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #110 on: April 19, 2017, 06:04:47 PM »
But maybe you can talk about the pressure you feel being the majority/sole provider (in a HCOL area) while she is spending years figuring things out, how you want her to be happy, but you also need to know for yourself that there is an end in sight.  And then maybe you guys can compromise on something that gets you a little of both; she agrees to save [ner aggressive savings target]; you agree that you will begin looking for a 1Br apartment when your net worth hits $X; she agrees to keep saving $Y after buying 1Br because you want to FIRE; etc. 

This is totally not rambling and more great advice, thank you.

Honeybbq and Miss Piggy - thanks for the advice and positive encouragement.

 
The OP's wife's job hopping is an issue but no wonder she's not interested in FIRE given what OP shared about what happened when they tried a preview of it.  Who would sign up for something where your partner freaks out if you spend two bucks and you're stuck in a living situation (2 people in a studio apartment) you really don't like?

No doubt I made bad decisions along the way in turning her away from FIRE. 

It sounds like you resent her. "She let me support her", cry me a river bro.

I don't think I'm resentful, just frustrated.  She understood FIRE was a major goal of mine.  So I think she should have given more thought to whether she was going to want the degree before going back to school. 

you really need to be on the same page financially and have similar goals.  if you dont have similar goals on the finances front i can see it leading to resentment both ways you have resentment towards her now.  and if you just do your own thing and FIRE when you can support what you think your life should be and she has to continue working to support what she thinks her life should be you'll just keep diverging. maybe you and her should be evaluating your full set of life goals and plans and if they are that divergent maybe an amicable separation is in order.

This is a great point and brings this thread back to where I started it, about her worried she will feel resentful. If I just do my own thing and FIRE on my own timetable that's exactly how she's going to feel.  We just need to communicate and see where we can reach common ground that takes both of our goals into account. 
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human

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #111 on: April 19, 2017, 06:16:40 PM »
DTMFA MOD NOTE: Just because it is an acronym doesn't make it any less of a jerk comment and adds no actual value to the conversation.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 10:45:04 AM by swick »

the_fixer

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #112 on: April 20, 2017, 07:49:16 AM »
There is always more to the story :)

Fire / frugal living is a departure from the societal norm and you see this same conversation in other situations that stray from what society deems normal. For example with moving abroad, slow travel, living on a boat or RV they are all non typical lifestyles and in each community you will find this same conversation.

Here is one example. I would suggest reading this since it is not about frugal living but I am sure you see how similar they are and maybe seeing it from a non fire / frugal perspective will provide some clarity to your situation.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f92/caribbean-bound-in-june-but-wife-with-cold-feet-183364.html

IMO they typically revolve around one partner that is very passionate about (Insert thing here) and the other partner pulls back for various reasons that rarely have to do with (Insert thing here).

researcher1

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #113 on: April 20, 2017, 08:05:35 AM »
I can't imagine joining them with someone that isn't on the same page as me as far as life goals.

This should read...
I can't imagine MARRYING someone that isn't on the same page as me as far as life goals.

the_fixer

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #114 on: April 20, 2017, 08:24:28 AM »
This site is the perfect example that life goals change, how many people on here have been going along thinking life was just as it is supposed to be and then for one reason or another they have an epiphany that things could be different and their goals for life change.

hell my goals have done a complete about face in the last year.

I can't imagine joining them with someone that isn't on the same page as me as far as life goals.

This should read...
I can't imagine MARRYING someone that isn't on the same page as me as far as life goals.

boarder42

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #115 on: April 20, 2017, 09:20:08 AM »
This site is the perfect example that life goals change, how many people on here have been going along thinking life was just as it is supposed to be and then for one reason or another they have an epiphany that things could be different and their goals for life change.

hell my goals have done a complete about face in the last year.

I can't imagine joining them with someone that isn't on the same page as me as far as life goals.

This should read...
I can't imagine MARRYING someone that isn't on the same page as me as far as life goals.

this is a good point. Before i got married my dad always told me ... "There are two things you can guarantee in marriage, 1. your partner will change, 2. your partner wont change exactly how you want them to." 

And yes this site is a great example when one spouse finds it first and getting the other onboard. b/c you likely were on the same page.  Before finding this my wife and i thought we needed 5MM and our plan was retire by 50.  after finding this site i realized we were way off.  and we could retire by 37.  this is a hard pill to swallow if not presented properly. 
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Moustaches

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #116 on: April 20, 2017, 11:10:01 AM »
It's interesting to read how those who have separate finances can't imagine joining them and vice versa lol.

So I guess I should provide a little more detail.  Years ago when she was interested in FIRE we joined the finances.  Nonetheless I was doing 90% of the saving because 1) I earned more; and 2) she spent most of her  disposable income on  conveniences, gifts, clothes, etc..  Even so, I was happy to work together toward FIRE because we seemed in sync with our goals.

Then back in 2012 she started a cycle that left me pretty bewildered and frustrated.  First, she quit her ~66k job at a startup partly because it was too stressful and partly because we were going to take a year off and travel.  I would have liked her to have waited until I was ready to quit too but I was ok with her quitting because she really seemed miserable at the job.  Four months went by with her out of work.  Then she tried a couple of things to see if she could find her passion (unpaid internship, 2k trade school) which didn't work out.  Finally she got another job but it only paid mid-30s.

About a year after working there we both quit and went traveling for a year.  It was a tough experience because I was too extreme about our expenses because I was worried about income.  From that experience she decided FIRE was too extreme and she wanted a lifestyle that could provide more income and a more "normal" lifestyle.  So we came back.

When we came back I went back to work.  She was concerned about working another job in the business world that wasn't a respected profession.  So she said she wanted to go to  school.  It was really hard for me to on board with this because I felt very down about her not being interested in FIRE and now I'd be supporting her through school.  Nonetheless, that's what we did because I wanted her to be happy doing something she thought she'd love.  She went to school for a year and a half and now has a low paying contract position in her field (employed for about 9 months).

So two days ago I was talking to her and she said she was thinking of leaving the field and going back to work for her old boss from the 66k job (he now works for a different company).  I was totally shocked.  I had thought that she had gone back to school because she decided this was something she believed she truly wanted to do.  That's why I was prepared to support her through school  Now it seems she really was unsure about it when she went back to school and just decided to go because she didn't want to go back to working in business and hoped it would work out.  It really shocked me that she'd let me support her through school when it wasn't something she was confident about in the first place.

I hear what everyone is saying about there being no you and me only us when it comes to finances.  Nonetheless I'm very frustrated and discouraged about a situation where I feel I've been really focused on FIRE and doing everything I can to try and achieve that goal.  By contrast, she hasn't been interested since 2013 and even when she was, she didn't do much saving or spent a lot of time trying to find herself while I supported her.  Most of the interest and effort on working toward FIRE has been on me.  And other than living with me in a studio - which granted is a big sacrifice for her - she hasn't really made many choices consistent with FIRE.  So I'm a bit at a loss here since it's felt as though I've been making most of the effort to get there.  It's really hard when one partner  wants FI and the other partner just doesn't have that "razor focus" as someone stated, to get there too.
 

Is your wife an introvert?  If so, what you described as your fantastic current life could be a small version of hell to her.  I love DH more than anything, but my God, if I had to live in a single room with him for the rest of my natural life, we would be divorced within a year.  I am not a nice person when I don't have sufficient time by myself.  It literally makes me shudder even to think of it.  I am trying to think of enticements that would make "living in one room forever with DH" worth it to me -- Powerball?  George Clooney? -- and, well, no.  Can't think of a one.  Maybe world peace.  But, damn, y'all would seriously owe me.

The larger point is that you are doing what comes naturally to you, just as she is doing what comes naturally to her.  For you, working longer to buy more living space and convenience is a sacrifice, just as for her, giving up more living space and convenience to work less is a sacrifice.  You are on the MMM boards, so of course the natural inclination here is to confirm that you are "right" and she is a spoiled consumer sucka who values stuff more than people and freedom.  Of course, to another audience, you'd be the crazy cheap miser who wants to deprive her of all of the things that make life worth living just so you can be a lazy bum and sit around doing nothing.  ;-).

In the end, this comes down to the classic question: do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?  If you'd prefer the latter, the place to start is by assuming that her needs and desires are just as worthy as yours, and figuring out between the two of you how much each of you can give to make sure the other has enough of what s/he needs.  I think your posts show that you see that, and it sounds like you have some good ideas to open the conversation.  So go talk!

Great advice.  She is an introvert and expressed this exact same concern that you brought up about why it's hard for her to live in a studio.  So I have been causing her to sacrifice by staying here.  We should move to a 1br because it is making her unhappy to stay here.

After reading this I'm more supportive of your wife.  You sound bitter about your wife quitting a job making $66k.  That's not that much money in New York City.  So she was pursuing different ideas and hasn't found something yet.  She went back to school and you paid for it - do you want a cookie?  You are married!  And she even agreed to travel for a year with you to try out a new lifestyle - good on her for telling you it wasn't her thing, instead of sitting in miserable silence.  Traveling isn't my cup of tea either - introverts crave their relaxing times at home sitting and drinking something and reading a book.  It's a bit harder to do that in a studio apartment with someone staring at you the whole time.  Finally, her trying to find herself will eventually lead her to a well paying job doing something she loves.  Maybe that is what she wants, ultimately.
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human

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #117 on: April 20, 2017, 05:01:45 PM »
DTMFA MOD NOTE: Just because it is an acronym doesn't make it any less of a jerk comment and adds no actual value to the conversation.

Fair enough, to finely tip toe on the subject then:

Original Poster it appears you are at loggerheads with your wife. You may want to truly consider why you are together and what your common goals are. It's nice to be in love but if the goals are not shared the relationship may be doomed. After this careful self reflection you may want to revisit the acronym above. I hope that was PC enough. I've been there and things could have ended better or communication could have been better but the end of the relationship was the best course for both involved. This may be another situation where the relationship has run its course. Don't stick it out for years then raise kids in a tense and painful marriage. Good luck.

overlord34

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #118 on: April 21, 2017, 07:42:58 AM »
After reading this I'm more supportive of your wife.  You sound bitter about your wife quitting a job making $66k.  That's not that much money in New York City.  So she was pursuing different ideas and hasn't found something yet.  She went back to school and you paid for it - do you want a cookie?  You are married!  And she even agreed to travel for a year with you to try out a new lifestyle - good on her for telling you it wasn't her thing, instead of sitting in miserable silence.  Traveling isn't my cup of tea either - introverts crave their relaxing times at home sitting and drinking something and reading a book.  It's a bit harder to do that in a studio apartment with someone staring at you the whole time.  Finally, her trying to find herself will eventually lead her to a well paying job doing something she loves.  Maybe that is what she wants, ultimately.

Thanks for the thoughts.  I do question sometimes whether I'm being silly about this since as you point out, we're married.  But doesn't wanting your spouse to be happy work both ways?  Yes, I would love for her to find a well paying job doing something she loves.  But I feel like she's spent a lot of time trying to find herself, while also pushing us to spend more.  This has put a lot of pressure on working toward FIRE, which is something she knows is something that will make me happy.  And after all this searching, she is willing to go back to the business world (which is why she started searching in the first place) so it seems like she's back at square one.  If she took that job I'd be worried that six months from now she'd be dissatisfied and restful again. 

Also while it's great to have a well paying job you love, I think that most of us never find that.  Usually it's a high paying job doing something you are ok with or dislike, or a lower paying job you love.  Any in any event, no job is perfect; there's stress and annoyances everywhere.  We did talk about it some more and it seems like she's going to try and make it in her field by looking for another job in that area. 

Traveling for a year was a mutual decision.  She was even convincing me to quit sooner because she wanted to go.  She only started disliking it once we were doing it.  Also, 66k may not sound like a lot for NYC but most of the reason NYC is expensive is housing.  We have found a relatively affordable housing situation which is how we've been able to live here and save on two modest salaries.

"This site is the perfect example that life goals change, how many people on here have been going along thinking life was just as it is supposed to be and then for one reason or another they have an epiphany that things could be different and their goals for life change."  Great point, thanks for noting this.

I am thrilled to be alive at a time when humanity is pushing the limits of understanding. Even better, we may eventually discover that there are no limits.

bigalsmith101

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #119 on: April 21, 2017, 12:05:08 PM »
Thanks for the thoughts.  I do question sometimes whether I'm being silly about this since as you point out, we're married.  But doesn't wanting your spouse to be happy work both ways?  Yes, I would love for her to find a well paying job doing something she loves.  But I feel like she's spent a lot of time trying to find herself, while also pushing us to spend more.  This has put a lot of pressure on working toward FIRE, which is something she knows is something that will make me happy.  And after all this searching, she is willing to go back to the business world (which is why she started searching in the first place) so it seems like she's back at square one.  If she took that job I'd be worried that six months from now she'd be dissatisfied and restful again. 

Also while it's great to have a well paying job you love, I think that most of us never find that.  Usually it's a high paying job doing something you are ok with or dislike, or a lower paying job you love.  Any in any event, no job is perfect; there's stress and annoyances everywhere.  We did talk about it some more and it seems like she's going to try and make it in her field by looking for another job in that area. 

Traveling for a year was a mutual decision.  She was even convincing me to quit sooner because she wanted to go.  She only started disliking it once we were doing it.  Also, 66k may not sound like a lot for NYC but most of the reason NYC is expensive is housing.  We have found a relatively affordable housing situation which is how we've been able to live here and save on two modest salaries.

Mr. Overlord, please allow me to contribute my two cents.

Let me see if the viewpoint I've taken is accurate:

Very often, you think about early retirement. You think about it often enough that it regularly affects decisions that you make regarding your immediate future, as well as long term. You are naturally austere, and don't mind minimalism and you've paired your lifestyle down to match. You earn sufficient income, and you're happy with the path that your current lifestyle is following. You are goal oriented, and have found a comfortable trajectory for yourself, so it's easy to stay on the bandwagon. However, you're clearly quite anxious about the lifestyle that your wife prefers, and you've yet to come to terms with it.

Lets consider the viewpoint that I've taken for your wife:

She's not often thinking about early retirement. In fact, though she knows you focus on it and that it's important to you, it simply isn't nearly as important for her. She can understand the benefits of it that you express to her, but the direct "enjoyment" of it escapes her. Simply put, it's not a priority for her. Thus, she doesn't think of it. It's not entering the equation when she's completing her decision making process.

Furthermore, she's not settled into her "path". She does not have fulfilling employment, with a safe wage. She also does not have an "end goal" such as early retirement represents for you. Therefore, her actions are likely based on what she thinks is important at the time, and may not consider the implications further down the line. Currently she is capitulating, and living in a studio. She may find rationalization for some of her decisions based solely on that fact. Their may be other things that induce this same effect as well.

She is in a supportive relationship. She very likely believes that she is also supporting you in a manner of ways that seem completely reasonable to her as a trade, but at the same time may be completely undervalued by you. You don't feel the same support from her, because your end goal is different than hers. Whereas she may feel similarly because of her different motives.

An average person without a Definite Chief Aim, will not be "happy" in their current situation unless it is extraordinary. They will find restlessness and resentfulness, and it will motivate them to alter their course. You have a definite chief aim, and it represents itself as FIRE. What is hers? How would she go about it?

You, my good sir, have some communicating to do.
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Stupendous

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #120 on: April 21, 2017, 06:03:31 PM »
If you aren't careful you may end up dropping $100K just so she can find herself and she may never will. Being married allows her to do this because she can rely on your income and go screw around with no consequence. If she was single and on her own this wouldn't fly at all. I think your concerns are all valid. I wouldn't tolerate this from a spouse.

pk_aeryn

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #121 on: April 29, 2017, 11:39:26 AM »
Interesting update on all the career changes, OP.  It sounds like your wife can't get a good (or at least satisfying) place in the working world, it sounds like she doesn't really like working.  So I'm a little surprised she's not more on board with FIRE, except that she wants a bigger place and more spending money.  Do you think if you approached it from this viewpoint (you don't need to try to find a career path anymore!) that she could be more attracted to FIRE?  If you worked a few years longer for both of you, no strings attached for her, allowing a 1 bedroom and a "buy whatever" budget for your wife to feel unpinched, would that possibly make both of you happy in the long term?  Or would you forever feel like "I had to work 5 more years so she could buy that Starbucks today" and be the resentful one.  I feel for both of you, OP, you both have valid points and feelings and this is a tough one to figure out a good compromise.

Moustaches

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #122 on: May 01, 2017, 12:06:19 PM »
If you aren't careful you may end up dropping $100K just so she can find herself and she may never will. Being married allows her to do this because she can rely on your income and go screw around with no consequence. If she was single and on her own this wouldn't fly at all. I think your concerns are all valid. I wouldn't tolerate this from a spouse.

I make 3x the salary of my wife, but I've never thought of it as my money that she is screwing around with because she isn't trying hard to increase her income or cut her expenses.  It's our money, and she contributes more on the homefront in many different ways.  I don't get how people can be so transactional with their life partners.
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ditheca

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Re: My wife is worried she will resent me if I early retire
« Reply #123 on: May 02, 2017, 01:50:07 AM »
My wife dropped out of college and her low wage employment at 18 when we decided to have kids.  A very tough pregnancy made it impossible to continue with either.

She never went back, and spent ten years being an awesome mother of three.  Now at 28, she's finally back in school.  She might, at some point, graduate and start collecting a paycheck.  But if not, who cares?  We live simply.  A couple could FIRE pretty darn quick here with a salary of 66k/yr.

I can't put a dollar amount on how much my wife and kids have improved my life.  If I have to work til I'm 67 like my Pa, I'd gladly do it for them.  Luckily DW wasn't born and raised in Hollywood like Mother and doesn't require a palace... so we'll be FIRE in a hurry, having never come close to 6 figures per year.  I don't make much more than your wife did at her peak, and spent most of my career making far less.

If you've been making triple that and saving most of it, you probably already have enough money to live happily ever after if you're willing to leave NY.