Author Topic: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?  (Read 5420 times)

figuring_it_out

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How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« on: February 09, 2018, 11:03:32 AM »
If this is already a FAQ, my apologies.

Reading the MMM website has been amazing.  My wife and I are already natural frugal people, so much of the central themes are already a good fit.

However, my wife is very resistant to the idea of me quitting my job.  I have a fancy PhD and can make a big salary with nice benefits (particularly health insurance) in a job I hate, so it is hard to really hard for her to imagine me making the jump.  Also, while not as young as MMM, I'm only in my early 40s.  Part if it is that there is a lot of inertia in how things are. In particular, her Mom is very judgmental about the idea of me quitting, and this is a big influence on her.

The complication is that my wife is already living the retired life, raising our baby boy and managing her and her family's properties.  Frankly, this income would be more than enough for our family to live comfortably on.  Okay, so there is an implicit assumption that I'd be a worthless scumbag as a man if it appeared that I was living off my wife's wealth, even if I have described how I could materially help in managing those properties myself.  I have even offered to take on all of the management responsibilities myself, and I could imagine eventually learning how to do some of the repairs that they have to pay people to do, in the manner discussed in the MMM blog. 

Ok, fine, let's set that aside.  I have amassed my own assets as well.  My own stache is currently the following:  roughly $320K in various flavors of retirement accounts and $575K in an investment account, even after the recent correction.  Neither my wife or I have any debts.  Heck, I could even sell my 2013 econo-hatchback if  I no longer had my 15 minute commute.

One complication.  My wife has about $600K in cash (separate from her real estate holdings) that she really wants to commit to a very nice tear-down remodel of a house she already owns for us to live in.  While I feel weird about the prospect of living in the two million dollar house that would result, it is quite possible that the project would generate positive gains in wealth on paper.  Moreover, who am I to tell her that she shouldn't use her wealth in this way.   Now, this project has us diverging in our thought process.  For her, the idea of this project makes her that much more resistant to me quitting my job, because of the major cash that the project will require.  I have already tried to make arguments for just putting the cash to work rather than "living in it", and moved on to being supportive of the project.  My argument is that this project would be a natural place that I could immediately put my time into becoming an expert about as much as possible.My thought is, let's get the biggest bang from her cash as possible if she is committed to this home renovation. I already went to the library and checked out 5 books about home renovation that I don't have time to read with my current job.   

How do I make this case for letting me make this leap? Or am I off-base?


dougules

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2018, 11:23:36 AM »
That sounds a bit hypocritical, although it's kind of beside the point to your question.  That's a tough one. 

If she throws that $600k into the house, would you still be FI without that money?  The money won't be providing a return, so it won't count towards your stash. 

What do you think is truly the main motivator her to ask you to keep working?  Is she worried about finances?  Do you truly need to keep your income if you pull the trigger on the house renovations?  Is she worried about judgment from her family or less status?  I would think the first step would be to gently try to tease out where her resistance is coming from. 


kei te pai

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 11:32:53 AM »
She doesnt sound naturally frugal with her housing plans! I think you two need to have some really meaningful conversations about goals and values. Does she know or care that you hate your job?

geekette

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 11:45:00 AM »
I bristle a bit at your description of your wife “living the retired life” while raising your child and managing properties. And who takes care of the house, shopping, cooking, and cleaning?  Unless you contribute heavily to those, I would contend that you’re both working.

Insurance is a sticky point, but it doesn’t seem like your wife is lounging around all day with nothing to do. What do you plan to retire to?

JoJo

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 11:52:47 AM »
Look at how much your property taxes would go up for the rebuild.  May be a budget buster for a retiree.

I went to a super bowl party at a friends new house...beautiful house on the lake.  Looked up the stats and it's 25,000 for property taxes.  This is close to my spending for a whole year!

figuring_it_out

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 11:54:47 AM »
OP here: I agree that it is absolutely hypocritical and it drives me nuts. No, the 600k would not affect her FI. Honestly, I think  her major concern is judgment from her family and how it would be perceived rather than financial concerns. I think she would also prefer to have more solid answer about how I would keep myself busy long term, outside of immediate identified needs.  I contend that I need the time and space to think and seek out those opportunities, and I've shown ample evidence of my willingness and interest in continuing to learn and grow my skills. I've already sketched out a verbal" business plan" to how I would approach how I would use my time in the short and medium term.

You'll have to trust me about her being frugal, although she has blind spots like anybody does. The home renovation plan wouldn't be my first choice, but this is something that is very important to her.  Part of the high dollar commitment is the function of living in an expensive urban setting and is less about extravagance.. I've proposed considering less expensive living situations, but that thinking isn't going anywhere.  At some point, a person has a right to say that some things are important to them.

If anyone is still reading this, the other urgent need for more time at home is having a second child, something that our age requires that it happens basically now.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 12:01:03 PM by figuring_it_out »

figuring_it_out

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 11:59:41 AM »
I hear you geekette.  I'm not saying she is doing nothing! i really meant she is living the retired life in the sense that MMM talks about it. I would definitely be taking on much more responsibility at home than I have now.  I welcome it. I want to see my boy! I absolutely want the load lighter for her.  Anyway, sorry for this
   

partgypsy

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2018, 12:12:45 PM »
This is a toughie. Most marriages, assets are combined. But at least from the way you are describing it, or emotionally, assets are split. She and her family have rental properties that generate x, plus she has 600K. You have your 2 retirement funds.
If this house remodel is important to her, and you are on board with it, I can see her seeing, well, I'm managing these properties that are from my family, plus I am donating a rental property +600K to build our dream home, what are you bringing to the table? Is the amount in your retirement funds enough to fund your living expenses? If so, then no problem. Otherwise you need to talk. I guess the first thing would be is to map out expenses after retiring, including the fact you will now need to purchase health insurance for family AND will have a higher property taxes from now on.

LifeHappens

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2018, 12:24:18 PM »
Just the title of your thread gives me pause, OP. You need to "convince" your wife "to let" you retire. Hmm. All kinds of communication and relationship dynamic red flags there.

You talk of hating your job and your wife not wanting to lose status by you no longer working. This speaks to a pretty fundamental values mismatch. If this is a real relationship dynamic you have and not internet language hyperbole, I would suggest speaking with a counselor. Your solutions all focusing on proposing business plan-type arrangements, but I think the issues go much deeper than this.

If I'm off base, I apologize. I speak from a place of seeing more than one marriage fall apart after a spouse makes a major lifestyle or career change.

figuring_it_out

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2018, 12:39:44 PM »
Partgypsy: Yes, the assets are viewed as separate.

Lifehappens:  You are right that the language is awkward.  I don't think the situation is quite as dire as you characterize, but maybe it is. You are definitely on to something.... if she really would NEVER want me to "retire" no matter how big or little my stache was, then we have a major problem.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 12:50:37 PM by figuring_it_out »

inline five

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2018, 12:52:49 PM »
A two million dollar home? Bro you're on the wrong website.

former player

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2018, 01:35:05 PM »
Does your wife know that you hate your job?  What does she think about that?

What are your alternatives to that job?  (You are suggesting learning about property renovations by jumping in on your wife's area of expertise and your wife's project renovating your wife's property. While that's convenient from your career change point of view it might look to her more like a take-over bid.)

You have one child, congratulations.  What are your wife's views on having more kids?  What sort of lifestyle do you and your wife want your child to have?  Who pays for college?

You might try lifejoy's thread on how to convert your SO to mustachianism -

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-convert-your-so-to-mmm-in-50-awesome-steps/

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2018, 01:35:16 PM »
Dude, retire. You have enough, your wife has enough. Live your best life, it’s shorter than you think.

asauer

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2018, 02:02:03 PM »
What if you frame it differently?  Rather than 'quitting' or 'retiring' it sounds to me like you're really just looking for a career change and a chance learn something new.  Would that framing be more palatable for her? 

fuzzy math

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2018, 02:07:25 PM »
As a female who has worked while my DH stayed home and raised the kids for the past 11 years (youngest is now in full time school), I absolutely do NOT see this as bristling or hypocritical on the OP's part. Staying home is work, but it comes with the advantage of getting to be with your child and not deal w all the external BS that a job requires. It is a luxury that his wife has been able to afford due to him working. Retiring would allow the OP to more equally participate in child care and potentially allow his wife to be more active (maybe earn more) in her side business.

I see a dynamic that sucks and I would not want to be veiwed as the worker being forced to continue to work to maintain my partner's status. My DH is now back on the path (school) to working and the understanding is that I will quit in a few years and manage the home while he works.

I know my situation is not the same as yours OP. I just wanted to make sure that your wishes weren't being obscured amongst the politics of traditional gender roles. Everyone should have the equal chance to raise their children if $$ allows. I don't understand your financial arrangement at all, but it seems there's enough to keep you afloat and I'd hate to see you lose your dream due to being forced to impress your in laws (seems unattainable).

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Bicycle_B

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2018, 02:45:34 PM »
OP, good luck on this. 

I will be blunt so please don't take offense - I'm stating guesses strongly, just to give you something to think about.  You're the boss of you. 

As a reader, it sounds like you and her are on different tracks, but you agree that her $ is hers and your $ is yours.  So...

At some point, you either do whatever the hell you want with your pocket money that's less than hers, or you continue accepting her requirements even though you don't like them.  Obviously it's better to persuade and communicate if satisfaction for all can be obtained through such gentle techniques, but you both seem to have already discussed this and formed positions.  Her position according to you is "embarrassed if you don't work at your nice PhD job that impresses mom"; both of you have the position that her money is hers and gives her power; your position is you hate work but don't want to quit without permission.  Now it's possible that the Lifejoy path will work (her post is genius; read it!), and it's possible that more discussion will elucidate a peaceful path to agreement between you and Dear Wife, even if wife joins you in flipping her mom the bird.  But I think it's likely from your description that change will only occur if you rise up from your mental chains and act.

Pull a Bartleby the Scrivener and don't work any more.  Do it suddenly or tell your wife it's coming.  There is no telling what will happen, except that it will be different.  Just be aware that since you are changing the terms of your marriage, you may end up divorced.

I don't think that's the worst outcome necessarily.  I don't think it has to happen.  But most likely, your wife won't back down until she knows you are committed to change come hell or high water.  My first thought is that you should prepare for the divorce contingency, establish a target date for quitting, and tell your wife you  plan to quit.  Then listen to the freaking out, take all threats as emotional expressions rather than permanent positions (again, don't argue - just listen), stay calm, and gradually determine whether you two can coalesce around a new you.  The coalescing can only happen if you stick to your new direction, though.

If you want to warm up to this for a year, start living a life where you rely only on your own funds.  One year of succeeding in this will prove to yourself that you don't need her money.  After that, you are free and should act accordingly. 

Yes, your plans need to include a fair share of parenting.  Yes, my comments are harsh (simply because it sounds like that's a perspective you sound like you need for your own reference).  No, FI at your individual stash level as a parent won't be easy without a job - that's why I suggest trying it for a year. 

Can you negotiate a sabbatical leave any time soon?  That's a great time to live cheap and practice being jobless.

It's preferable for all parties in a marriage to agree.  That isn't happening yet.  At present, you are unhappy while everyone else won't listen, if I read your remarks correctly.  It's going to be up to you to change this deal and yes, that probably means walking away.  If not from the marriage, then at least from the present version of it.

If your kids are young, you've got to fix this now, before they grow up thinking "Dad" means "Sad Sack."

PS.  The other option is dig into why you hate the job.  If somehow the emotions are similar to those at home, some combination of counseling and increased assertiveness will probably be needed no matter what you do.  Perhaps facing the emotions there and working through them (so to speak) on the job would be better, especially if you discover that you are not FI on your own funds.  If you're not actually FI on your own, you will need a job anyway.  Only you can decide which path to explore first.  Or whether to explore each path.  But do something!!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 02:50:35 PM by Bicycle_B »

YttriumNitrate

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2018, 03:00:49 PM »
It sounds like you and your wife have far too much money for you to be working at a job that you hate. Any chance you can become a "consultant" of some sort?

inline five

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2018, 03:11:17 PM »
I agree with the above posters, sounds to me like the wife controls "her" money, there is no we in there, why did she marry you in the first place?

If she won't "share", time to live off her and her life plan, stuff everything you can into savings and retirement, and have an exit strategy. IMO. You guys aren't a team, you sound like roommates.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2018, 03:30:19 PM »
I can relate to some of this, so thought I'd share my perspective. My spouse & I keep "separate funds". Not really, in that we both would contribute at any time to any expenses (and, drained all of our personal, non-retirement funds to buy a house for example), but we have lined them up to cover different bills. He invests his retirement account (a huge chunk of our money) as he sees fit, which is riskier than I'd prefer. I do the same with my also huge chunk retirement account. I'm barely one step above laddered CDs from a risk perspective, so I feel like we balance each other out. ;-)

We both work & make roughly the same, but I'd like to quit my job & my husband would like to remodel our house. We have, without remodeling, enough for me to "retire" & not work again. Ever. We've had lots of discussions on the topic, and while my husband would really, really like to remodel the house (and, like you, it will bring our house up to an eye watering $4-5M in value, so totally not mustachian), my husband has said, repeatedly, that if I need/want to quit for my health & sanity, we will live in this house, without a remodel forever.

There are things he wants. There are things I want. We are wildly different people from a risk perspective. He loves to be maximized & have every dollar working to earn the next dollar. I want flexibility & a more relaxed life. We are both willing to compromise & accommodate each other (& will, in this case) because being married to each other is a helluva lot more important than a remodel. The job thing is harder. If he said I had to keep working at a job I loathed so we could impress others or remodel our house . . . we'd go to counseling.

It sounds really hard, and I wish you luck.

Fireball

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2018, 03:52:19 PM »
In particular, her Mom is very judgmental about the idea of me quitting, and this is a big influence on her.

I hope it goes without saying that you shouldn't give two sh!ts about what the mother-in-law thinks on this topic. If I were in your shoes, I would have heart felt discussions with your wife about why you want to take another direction with your work life and start dropping in the idea of quitting. If she's not a fan of the idea, just tell her if it blows up you'll find a new job(which is true, right?). No big deal. Then, set a date and do it. 

SC93

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2018, 04:00:50 PM »
I'm very sorry to hear you explain your marriage like it is. I think the place to start is with a marriage counselor. The problems go WAY deeper than quitting a job.

I'm not sure if there is any love there or maybe neither of you actually understand marriage. If you got married just for love and the heck with everything else..... why did you involve the government? All you had to do was to go to your choice of a preacher and be married for LOVE. But you 2 chose to involve the government.... which has nothing to do with love.... and the whole idea of involving the government is because of money. Most people never see this until it is too late or never.

If anyone would like to disagree, please refer me to the place in the Bible where it says this couple needed to stop by the court house and PAY money to get a marriage LICENSE.

partgypsy

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2018, 04:26:05 PM »
I asked my daughter who has a lot of common sense, and she said, wait until after the remodel. Work until house is done, and then re-evaluate or quit. You are not going to become an expert working on your first house, and I don't think your wife would want this to be a practice house. If after the house is done and you have plowed some of your own salary into this house to make it feel likes both of yours, then if you want to get into real estate you can practice on a smaller house. Or do something entirely different with your time. She may not want you to take over her job. 

The reason why, is that the house remodel is important to her. Quitting your job is important to you. That way both people are listened to, and hopefully get what they want.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 06:13:26 AM by partgypsy »

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2018, 04:40:47 PM »
Are you sure you two are married? Sounds more like business partners?

former player

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2018, 05:13:27 PM »
Er, there's a young child of this marriage, people.  It's more than a business relationship, and advocating unilateral action or even walking away from the marriage probably isn't helpful.

Cressida

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2018, 07:09:22 PM »
OP, I notice you're new to the forums, so I'm wondering, when did you discover MMM? If it was quite recently, then my experience might be relevant. I read the MMM blog start to finish when I discovered it a few years ago, and it instantly converted me. My spouse did not read the blog, and although I told him about it, it's really not the same. There were some rocky months there where he thought I was being judgmental because of my changed attitude toward spending.

He did eventually come round and is completely on board now. It just took time for him to get used to it.

Now, I don't know if time is something you have a lot of. Is this planned house building imminent? Is there any room for you to stall while you patiently explain the wealth-building power of reducing expenses?

calimom

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2018, 08:22:53 PM »
OP, kudos on the PhD. A lot of work and effort went into that. Did your wife help support you financially/emotionally while you pursued that goal? Is there cache attached to the status of being married to a Dr (of whatever field you're in)? All MIL judgements aside for the moment, is that part of your wife's concerns? I can sort of see it from that angle, so much investment of time, and you want to toss it to manage property and stay home. Also congrats on the badass savings. No easy feat!

Hope you find some sort of middle ground.

Noodle

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2018, 10:06:55 PM »
I am not quite as negative about your situation as some posters here, but I think you and your wife have a lot of talking to do. It is not uncommon here to see a couple where one partner has discovered a problem (I hate my job! I want to be with my kids!) and come up with a solution (retiring! joining the family business!) while the other partner is still wrapping their head around the fact that their marital status quo is no longer a status quo. It is also not uncommon that in a couple, especially one that is not great with communicating, one partner thinks they are having a logical discussion about logistics and money, which can be resolved by offering the right solution/evidence/persuasion, while the other is trying to express their emotions, which need to be listened to, acknowledged and respected before anything can be resolved.

So...what is really going on with your wife's perspective? Does she think you are one of those couples that do better with a little space between you? Does she think that having you involved in work that she is in charge of sound like the lowest circle of hell because you have a habit of arguing or picking at her decisions? Are you consistent in your parenting styles, or is having you home all the time likely to generate conflict over the kids? Do you do your share of the emotional labor? Do you have any history of big ideas that you don't follow through with, or conflict over how you divide up the work at home? Do you have a history of not managing your time and energy well without the structure of work/school? Did your wife support you during grad school with an intended reciprocation later? You don't have to answer these questions for us...I'm just trying to make the point that there's a good chance you already know what the issue is, with a little introspection. Or, you know, ask her and really listen to the answer. Or go to a counselor and get the help of a neutral party coming to a better understanding of each other.

The bigger principle is that the way to convert reluctant spouses is to go ahead and do whatever you're promising to do. So if you intend to learn more about home renovation so you can take more responsibility for the reno, do that now. Do more parenting and housework. Also, I highly recommend the book "Decisive" by Chip and Dan Heath. It gives some good advice for making logical decisions, especially when you're being driven by emotion.

PS The answer for the MIL and all other nosey parkers is that you started a consulting business. It's none of her business whether you are consulting on 6-figure projects or the optimal way to load the dishwasher.

figuring_it_out

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2018, 10:13:09 PM »
Op here. Thanks so much for the various ideas and perspectives. I could certainly do a better job of communicating more of the nuances and assorted details. However, the relationship with my wife is strong, and positive communication is happening.  I even shared the idea of this thread and a few quotes , eg "Dude, retire. You have enough, your wife has enough. Live your best life, it’s shorter than you think."

Calimom:Thanks for your comments.  My degree predates any relationship with my wife.  My position doesn't have cache as much as not having one would potentially be a negative, especially in this town which is famous for asking "What do you do?" as the first question.

I agree with the idea that I could probably sell this idea better by framing it differently. For example, I probably wouldn't "throw away" my education but I don't want to make any promises either.  Would like to take a break and rediscover a natural enthusiasm for it again(or not).

Blah blah blah, thanks for reading..

« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 10:15:11 PM by figuring_it_out »

figuring_it_out

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2018, 10:17:47 PM »
Noodle: Great post.... Just absorbing it now

Goldielocks

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2018, 06:40:18 PM »
The following is a step by step plan to making it happen without a divorce...   Also, please note that the idea to build the house first then initiate is pretty good, too.

1)  Find another job that pays 1/2 your current salary, with no more than 35 hours a week and a very short commute.
2)  Accept it, give your notice to your current job,  and then tell your wife that you are changing jobs, because you were so very unhappy at the last one, and want to invest more of "you" time in the family and child(ren).  You want to have a complete  life, and you need to be happy.  Being around more and not hating your work is essential to that.  And you have managed to find this fantastic new opportunity.

3)  Eventually you should find another degree that you are interested in.  Save your own money to fund it, then..
4)  Start taking a night class (one at a time) for a year, for the pre-req's... then...
5)  Quit your job and take classes almost FT... like, 3 classes a term, then 2 classes a term.  This is so you can "focus" on the material "fully" and get better marks.
6)  Really stretch it out.....   as long as you are technically doing "something" and your family does not need the $'s it is hard to argue with.
7)  When you eventually graduate, only then start "looking" for work in your new field.   Keep your job search to only on-line applications, and veto any that have more than a 30 minute commute, or that pay less than you think "you are worth", or "is worth your time".  Having been out of work for at least 5 years by this point, you will not have a lot of offers.
8)  Pick up a volunteer role during any of steps 5-7 that has some respectibility to it, and also keeps you busy.

Oh, 9) Also look into teaching as an Adjunct professor for 1 class a term, preferrably online or nearby.  As a PhD you should get the job, and it is not too much work, but seems to satisfy the inlaw's need for you to be contributing to society.  "He's an instructor at XYZ college"...

--- and keep up the communication with your wife,  but the above steps really do work, if you make it through the first 2 steps, you are all set. ---

DirtDiva

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2018, 06:07:49 AM »
The following is a step by step plan to making it happen without a divorce...   Also, please note that the idea to build the house first then initiate is pretty good, too.

1)  Find another job that pays 1/2 your current salary, with no more than 35 hours a week and a very short commute.
2)  Accept it, give your notice to your current job,  and then tell your wife that you are changing jobs, because you were so very unhappy at the last one, and want to invest more of "you" time in the family and child(ren).  You want to have a complete  life, and you need to be happy.  Being around more and not hating your work is essential to that.  And you have managed to find this fantastic new opportunity.

 
--- and keep up the communication with your wife,  but the above steps really do work, if you make it through the first 2 steps, you are all set. ---

I like this plan!  My only concern is the communication piece.  It seems like it would be important to include spouse in every step, starting with discussing pros and cons of the new job with him/her before accepting it.  He/she should be fully included in your misery and in at least the first step of your plan to replace the soul-sucking job, in order to maintain and strengthen your relationship. (Steps 3-8 are optional long-range ideas--you might enjoy your new job!)  Or consider moving step 9 to step 1- finding a part-time adjunct gig.

Give him/her some time to wrap their mind around the change in direction.  Paradigm shifts aren't always instantaneous. 

Divorce would not only blow up your precious and irreplaceable family, it would probably blow up your plan to FIRE due to new financial obligations.


partgypsy

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2018, 06:49:41 AM »
The following is a step by step plan to making it happen without a divorce...   Also, please note that the idea to build the house first then initiate is pretty good, too.

1)  Find another job that pays 1/2 your current salary, with no more than 35 hours a week and a very short commute.
2)  Accept it, give your notice to your current job,  and then tell your wife that you are changing jobs, because you were so very unhappy at the last one, and want to invest more of "you" time in the family and child(ren).  You want to have a complete  life, and you need to be happy.  Being around more and not hating your work is essential to that.  And you have managed to find this fantastic new opportunity.

3)  Eventually you should find another degree that you are interested in.  Save your own money to fund it, then..
4)  Start taking a night class (one at a time) for a year, for the pre-req's... then...
5)  Quit your job and take classes almost FT... like, 3 classes a term, then 2 classes a term.  This is so you can "focus" on the material "fully" and get better marks.
6)  Really stretch it out.....   as long as you are technically doing "something" and your family does not need the $'s it is hard to argue with.
7)  When you eventually graduate, only then start "looking" for work in your new field.   Keep your job search to only on-line applications, and veto any that have more than a 30 minute commute, or that pay less than you think "you are worth", or "is worth your time".  Having been out of work for at least 5 years by this point, you will not have a lot of offers.
8)  Pick up a volunteer role during any of steps 5-7 that has some respectibility to it, and also keeps you busy.

Oh, 9) Also look into teaching as an Adjunct professor for 1 class a term, preferrably online or nearby.  As a PhD you should get the job, and it is not too much work, but seems to satisfy the inlaw's need for you to be contributing to society.  "He's an instructor at XYZ college"...

--- and keep up the communication with your wife,  but the above steps really do work, if you make it through the first 2 steps, you are all set. ---

I like this, except for steps 3-8, because that's basically lying/stringing along your wife. I had a husband who kept saying he was going to get a f-t job, but didn't. I was actually OK with him working part time and us figuring out our budget based on that. Instead it was, not wanting to look at budgets or goals and promising that things would change in the undefined future that was frustrating.

Dicey

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2018, 07:49:51 AM »
I'm very sorry to hear you explain your marriage like it is. I think the place to start is with a marriage counselor. The problems go WAY deeper than quitting a job.

I'm not sure if there is any love there or maybe neither of you actually understand marriage. If you got married just for love and the heck with everything else..... why did you involve the government? All you had to do was to go to your choice of a preacher and be married for LOVE. But you 2 chose to involve the government.... which has nothing to do with love.... and the whole idea of involving the government is because of money. Most people never see this until it is too late or never.

If anyone would like to disagree, please refer me to the place in the Bible where it says this couple needed to stop by the court house and PAY money to get a marriage LICENSE.
SC93, ranting about the government, your personal views on marriage, and your interpretation of the Bible does not address the OP's question. You are welcome to start your own thread or journal.

Dicey

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2018, 08:02:18 AM »
To OP: I think you need to work on developing your DIY skills now, while you're still working. Who knows? You might discover you hate it. Do not practice on the new house, as mistakes cost a shit-ton of money. Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity is a good way to learn.

+1 to counseling to improve communication with your wife. She may prioritize having a fancy home or keeping mummy happy over having a healthy marriage. Best to figure that out before bringing another child into the world.

Last word: SABBATICAL. But only if you do the above steps first.

Bird In Hand

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2018, 08:03:59 AM »
The following is a step by step plan to making it happen without a divorce...   Also, please note that the idea to build the house first then initiate is pretty good, too.

1)  Find another job that pays 1/2 your current salary, with no more than 35 hours a week and a very short commute.
2)  Accept it, give your notice to your current job,  and then tell your wife that you are changing jobs, because you were so very unhappy at the last one, and want to invest more of "you" time in the family and child(ren).  You want to have a complete  life, and you need to be happy.  Being around more and not hating your work is essential to that.  And you have managed to find this fantastic new opportunity.

Crikey!  IMO this is terrible advice.  Make a major, life- and finance-altering choice without the knowledge or consent of one's spouse?  This seems like an awesome way to create massive resentment and mistrust, and these can easily plant the seeds of divorce.

If the OP's wife will not take his feelings into consideration regarding his current job, then maybe divorce is not the worst outcome.  But if OP's relationship/communication with his wife is strong, as he says, then I'm sure they will come up with a novel a solution that is mutually acceptable to both of them.  One that doesn't involve subterfuge and blindsiding.

edgema

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2018, 09:19:43 AM »
Back in the real world people don't quit or switch their jobs / retire or make major life decisions without discussing it with a partner.

I find the financial aspects discussed on these forums amazingly helpful, however relationship advice is a topic that I would avoid like the plague. Some crazy things suggested to people, both here and elsewhere.

First people are far braver online than they are in their own lives. Second, too much advice on the forum related to the 'human' aspect of life borders on psychotic. Third, people have only the thinnest veneer of understanding of your current relationship and its history, so are just not in a position to provide anything beyond the generic.

Generically though, it would seem you need to spend some serious time discussing what each of you value and want from life, particularly with another child on the cards.

Phoenix_Fire

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2018, 09:51:41 AM »
Figuring it Out,

I would recommend throwing out a case study.  While you fill out the case study criteria (look at the stickied topic there) it will help you clarify some things and you might come to some realizations on your own.  Then having everyone throw out advice and suggestions will help.  Maybe you both are as frugal as you think, maybe not.  Having others examine your finances might prove to you that you can retire and it truly is a matter of convincing your wife.  It might also result in you finding out you do need to keep working. 

You and your wife do need to work on your communication, as almost everyone else has mentioned here.  You might consider having the "what would your ideal life look like" talk.  If you go first and outline how you would like to retire early, spend time with her and your children, be part of their lives, and some of the hobbies you might do, it could give a new way to view things.  I would recommend that you throw in things that she likes to your ideal life.  If you are able to get her on board with that vision, or a combination of the two, you can take steps towards that.  Maybe she gives up the huge custom home, but there is more travel involved.  That would probably be cheaper and more enriching than keeping up with the Buffetts.  She might not have an immediate answer to what she wants, but if you give yours it will get her thinking. 

I didn't see you say anywhere that your wife is aware of just how much you dislike your job.  This is something that she needs to be aware of.  If you have a deep dread of going to work everyday, she needs to know.  If she does know these things, and still wants you to keep working for the foreseeable future, then you have other issues that need to be addressed.

Good luck.  It can be difficult to talk to our loved ones about finances, but in my recent experience, it can go better than expected.

Goldielocks

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2018, 08:59:38 PM »
I admit that my post was more than a bit tongue in cheek.

Reality is,   some spouses choose to utterly ignore the work related misery of the other.   Some marriages survive for years with refusal to communicate about these types of issues.   My DH actually did steps 3-8 without talking to me, and also was pretty good at utterly ignoring my misery about my own work at this time.

Yet we are still married, and marriage is now better than ever (about 15 years after the start).   It IS possible to take unilateral action within a relationship if you need to, but generally as a last resort before breakup (or worse).   

The "boiling frog" technique is remarkably effective to change the work / role status.  A better way to use the boiling frog technique, of course, is to use it to change your money and spending habits and encourage your spouse to come around by example.

Cressida

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2018, 11:49:40 PM »
This thread took an odd turn, but I just thought of something else: Hard numbers are persuasive. One of the first things I did that had an impact on my spouse was: I estimated our yearly expenses (this is way easier if you're actually tracking them, which I was not, at the time), applied the 4% rule, and determined that if we changed nothing,* we wouldn't be able to retire until our mid-70s. That definitely got his attention. OP, your case is somewhat different since your spouse doesn't share your situation of paid work, but it could still be a useful approach, assuming she has some empathy.  :)

Don't know if that would help, but I thought I'd throw it out there.


*That assumed that we'd never get a raise, which is not likely, but it's useful as a worst case scenario.

Valhalla

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2018, 01:26:15 AM »
Very odd thread, but bottom line you and your wife have different feelings of security, and different priorities.

Could you work a little while longer to become more financially secure, especially with a baby boy in the picture, while you and your wife figure things out? 


spokey doke

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2018, 08:56:07 AM »
I was in a situation with a lot of similarities...hated my academic job that I spent so many years preparing for...and it was my identity, not just for me, but for everyone I knew, including DW's whole family (and they were proud to have a son in law full professor...it's all about the conversations they have with their friends...what can they say about their kids and what is going on in their lives).

She also brought more family $ to the relationship, AND was still working and planned to keep doing so.

But I was just so fed up with my work, I had to pull the plug, but simply quitting wasn't going to cut it (same picture OP - deadbeat husband).

So I had to find something that worked both financially and psychologically (that is had a narrative that, even while shocking to many - giving up the cushy and secure academic job and the identity of a professor - was at least somewhat coherent and compelling).  It also needed to work for me, in terms of providing a satisfying way to occupy a bunch of my time.

I opened a small business doing something I love, and the passion for that, and the quality of what I do, provides a substitute for the previous career.  And I think there are plenty of parallels for you and you are on the right track, but need to be patient and put the time into developing the alternative plan...

Do you have the skills to renovate and repair houses?  Can you get develop them?  Would that be satisfying to you?  I would start putting those library books to use for a while and see how that works out.  If you actually like it and can get good at it and have something of value to show others (DW and her family)...I think that will make the switch a lot easier to sell to everyone.

And yes, at some point you can call your own shots...but it was REALLY, REALLY valuable for me to have DW's blessing and support.  That took some time to cultivate, and it was understandable that she had doubts about my just quitting because I hated my work and could work the numbers to show we had enough for me to do so.

Hang with it, use those PhD smarts to develop a plan and carry it out...
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 11:49:03 AM by spokey doke »

FINate

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2018, 09:34:29 AM »
Honestly, I think  her major concern is judgment from her family and how it would be perceived rather than financial concerns. I think she would also prefer to have more solid answer about how I would keep myself busy long term, outside of immediate identified needs.

You need to know for sure. Use those PhD skillz and treat this as a research project. Without trying to argue your case (hard to do, I know!) ask lots of questions and really listen. Get to the root of what exactly she's concerned about. This is useful even if it just conforms "I'm worried what mom will think" - oftentimes getting people to state things like this outloud is enough for them to see it for how ridiculous it is ("wait, are we really trying to live our life to please others?"). Or you may find out that she's actually concerned about something you didn't already know about. You'll end up with a better understanding if this is just an issue of "not now" (e.g. let's remodel first) or "not ever" (e.g. expectation to work to 70 or whatever). You don't want to waste a lot of energy arguing about things that aren't the main issue, so get laser like focus on the root issue(s) first.

spokey doke

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2018, 10:32:34 AM »
Honestly, I think  her major concern is judgment from her family and how it would be perceived rather than financial concerns. I think she would also prefer to have more solid answer about how I would keep myself busy long term, outside of immediate identified needs.

You need to know for sure. Use those PhD skillz and treat this as a research project. Without trying to argue your case (hard to do, I know!) ask lots of questions and really listen. Get to the root of what exactly she's concerned about. This is useful even if it just conforms "I'm worried what mom will think" - oftentimes getting people to state things like this outloud is enough for them to see it for how ridiculous it is ("wait, are we really trying to live our life to please others?"). Or you may find out that she's actually concerned about something you didn't already know about. You'll end up with a better understanding if this is just an issue of "not now" (e.g. let's remodel first) or "not ever" (e.g. expectation to work to 70 or whatever). You don't want to waste a lot of energy arguing about things that aren't the main issue, so get laser like focus on the root issue(s) first.

Based only on my own experience going through this...DW might not be fully clear about the misgivings, and her understanding/articulation of it may evolve as she confronts it at different times/levels/contexts. And I think that is quite reasonable, as different things will be relevant to the thought process depending on what happens to be going on when it happens (kid gets sick, so insurance has heightened relevance; conversation with her dad might make something else kick in, etc.)  So again, this may take some time and may not yield a final/certain response (but seems worth doing).
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 10:36:28 AM by spokey doke »

dougules

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2018, 10:53:28 AM »
Honestly, I think  her major concern is judgment from her family and how it would be perceived rather than financial concerns. I think she would also prefer to have more solid answer about how I would keep myself busy long term, outside of immediate identified needs.

You need to know for sure. Use those PhD skillz and treat this as a research project. Without trying to argue your case (hard to do, I know!) ask lots of questions and really listen. Get to the root of what exactly she's concerned about. This is useful even if it just conforms "I'm worried what mom will think" - oftentimes getting people to state things like this outloud is enough for them to see it for how ridiculous it is ("wait, are we really trying to live our life to please others?"). Or you may find out that she's actually concerned about something you didn't already know about. You'll end up with a better understanding if this is just an issue of "not now" (e.g. let's remodel first) or "not ever" (e.g. expectation to work to 70 or whatever). You don't want to waste a lot of energy arguing about things that aren't the main issue, so get laser like focus on the root issue(s) first.

Based only on my own experience going through this...DW might not be fully clear about the misgivings, and her understanding/articulation of it may evolve as she confronts it at different times/levels/contexts. And I think that is quite reasonable, as different things will be relevant to the thought process depending on what happens to be going on when it happens (kid gets sick, so insurance has heightened relevance; conversation with her dad might make something else kick in, etc.)  So again, this may take some time and may not yield a final/certain response (but seems worth doing).

This sounds pretty close to what a therapist does.  It seems like a good idea. 

SC93

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2018, 02:18:01 PM »
Are you sure you two are married? Sounds more like business partners?

WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!! DING DING DING

That's exactly what a state issued marriage license is..... it makes you business partners.

SC93

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #45 on: February 14, 2018, 02:22:21 PM »
I'm very sorry to hear you explain your marriage like it is. I think the place to start is with a marriage counselor. The problems go WAY deeper than quitting a job.

I'm not sure if there is any love there or maybe neither of you actually understand marriage. If you got married just for love and the heck with everything else..... why did you involve the government? All you had to do was to go to your choice of a preacher and be married for LOVE. But you 2 chose to involve the government.... which has nothing to do with love.... and the whole idea of involving the government is because of money. Most people never see this until it is too late or never.

If anyone would like to disagree, please refer me to the place in the Bible where it says this couple needed to stop by the court house and PAY money to get a marriage LICENSE.
SC93, ranting about the government, your personal views on marriage, and your interpretation of the Bible does not address the OP's question. You are welcome to start your own thread or journal.


These are not my own personal views. They are facts..... I asked you to prove me wrong.Why can't you prove me wrong? If you don't like what I say and is the truth, don't read what I write.

FrugalToque

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2018, 08:50:23 AM »
My wife and I are already natural frugal people, so much of the central themes are already a good fit.

You want to remodel your house for $600k until its worth about $2M.  I have to be blunt here: this is not frugality.  (Yes, I'm aware that everyone has a weakness, but there are levels.  Mine is "Lots of Lego", others have "Fleet of Pick-ups".  Your weakness, "$2M house" puts you well off the end of the frugality spectrum.)

Quote
Part if it is that there is a lot of inertia in how things are. In particular, her Mom is very judgmental about the idea of me quitting, and this is a big influence on her.
There's a lot of fear, probably, hiding behind this.  Culture brings a lot of baggage with it, and the expectation that you will work for your family is likely part of that baggage

Quote
The complication is that my wife is already living the retired life, raising our baby boy and managing her and her family's properties.
This doesn't make sense as a statement.
If she's raising a baby and managing properties, then she's not "living the retired life", except possibly in the sense that this is something you would enjoy doing, and therefore you could do in retirement.

Quote
Okay, so there is an implicit assumption that I'd be a worthless scumbag as a man if it appeared that I was living off my wife's wealth
Obviously, this a problem that both you, your wife and her mother have regarding you leaving your salaried position.

Quote
... even if I have described how I could materially help in managing those properties myself.  I have even offered to take on all of the management responsibilities myself, and I could imagine eventually learning how to do some of the repairs that they have to pay people to do, in the manner discussed in the MMM blog.
Yes.  You want to take over the property managing, but it's very curious to me that you left out the baby caring responsibilities?  Can you make it clear to us why that is?  Would it help your wife's position if you offered an Equally-Shared Parenting option where you each do a share of the child-minding, the money earning etc. etc.?

Quote
Ok, fine, let's set that aside.  I have amassed my own assets as well. 
...
How do I make this case for letting me make this leap? Or am I off-base?
Yes.  You have enough money to retire.  That's not the issue.  The issue is that you have to sit down with your wife, come to an understanding of all the programming that BOTH of you have endured since you were born, get rid of the irrational things you don't need (Men must have jobs, women caring for babies doesn't count as work etc.) and find a happy point for the two of you.

Toque.

figuring_it_out

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2018, 10:07:37 AM »
Again, thanks for the thoughts.  I've been pondering and applying many of your ideas and suggestions.  Specific thanks to spokey doke for some particularly insightful comments.  Even where I may not agree or I could offer more details or nuance, the comments are interesting. "Any success is due to you, the failures are my own."

Anyway, I think the basic dynamics have shifted. I think my wife is, overall, on board now, and now I'm in more danger of "selling past the close" on the big ideas.   We've actually had this kind of discussion for some time, even before some of the MMM style posts provided external validation for a lot of concepts my wife and I already shared.  But, then the next day comes and it is usually just easier to keep sleep walking ahead with what we are doing.  Part of this are some external events have precipitated action on this issue.  Now, the ball is in my court now to make some of the planning more concrete, particularly with regard to timeline, health insurance, future contingencies, and daily expectations.  Where there is still uneasiness, I have been doing a much better job of (for lack of a better term) "marketing" this idea.  I usually prefer under-promising and over-delivering, to a fault.  Specifically, posts like this: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/04/15/great-news-early-retirement-doesnt-mean-youll-stop-working/ have been really helpful to this end.  Another part of this is that I need to express self-confidence in this path without letting my own self-doubt creep out, as I'm also influenced my social programming like anyone else (as FrugalToque points out above).    I must say that having the MMM posts expressing thoughts that confirm many of our own ideas has really helped in this regard.

One point worth clarifying again: A major driver of this is that I would get to take care of my baby boy as a full partner.  Again, you'll have to take my word for it, but my wife (and my MIL, fwiw) are very positive about how active I am with the boy, even with the constraints of a daily job.  On the weekends and my days off, I'm generally the primary care giver.  It is just that social perception greatly punish "SAH Dads", even for otherwise progressive people.  The bias is to outsource child care; it is a barrier but not insurmountable.

Could definitely rattle on more, but I'll stop it here.  Thanks again.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 10:35:15 AM by figuring_it_out »

Bicycle_B

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #48 on: February 21, 2018, 09:07:49 PM »
Good luck with your new adventure.  Let us know how it goes.

Dicey

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Re: How do I convince my wife to let me make the leap?
« Reply #49 on: February 21, 2018, 09:43:45 PM »
I'm very sorry to hear you explain your marriage like it is. I think the place to start is with a marriage counselor. The problems go WAY deeper than quitting a job.

I'm not sure if there is any love there or maybe neither of you actually understand marriage. If you got married just for love and the heck with everything else..... why did you involve the government? All you had to do was to go to your choice of a preacher and be married for LOVE. But you 2 chose to involve the government.... which has nothing to do with love.... and the whole idea of involving the government is because of money. Most people never see this until it is too late or never.

If anyone would like to disagree, please refer me to the place in the Bible where it says this couple needed to stop by the court house and PAY money to get a marriage LICENSE.
SC93, ranting about the government, your personal views on marriage, and your interpretation of the Bible does not address the OP's question. You are welcome to start your own thread or journal.


These are not my own personal views. They are facts..... I asked you to prove me wrong.Why can't you prove me wrong? If you don't like what I say and is the truth, don't read what I write.
Hmmm, how did I miss this? Should you choose to start your own journal, I fully commit to not reading it, SC93.

My point is not that you were wrong, but that your reply was not germane to the OP's question. You did not ask me personally to prove anything, nor did I attempt to, ergo, your personal attack is uncalled for.

Further, it is a clear infraction of Forum Rule #1:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/forum-information-faqs/forum-rules