Author Topic: How to get spouse to see reality? Fighting for a "career" that doesn't exist  (Read 34467 times)

GizmoTX

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"just tell me what to do and I'll do it."

While this might sound like he's malleable and wants to do well, I think it's just a cop out for him taking responsibility for himself.  You are not his mother or his boss.  He is a grown man and needs to figure out what to do and then do it without you nagging him over everything every step of the way.

My experience with this kind of statement is obviously not positive.

Exactly. It conveniently switches any responsibility back on you. "Hey, you didn't tell me to do _____."

Better to agree on measurable goals & deadlines, & let him worry about how he's going to make them happen.

Spondulix

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I could be completely off-base, but one question that pops into my mind is whether husband isn't being passive-aggressive himself, punishing OP for being more successful than he is in the field they both work in. Sorta like, 'I may not be able to make it professionally, but I AM powerful -- watch me pull you down personally/emotionally/financially, Miss High-Earner.' If that is the unspoken or unconscious dynamic, I sympathize with the OP, because that would be devastating. Still, it's reasonable and right to protect yourself and the children you hope to have.
I've wondered the same thing, at times. He says he doesn't care what I do or how much I make as long as I'm happy. But the thing is, that isn't true - just as is isnt true for me. I've suggested moving out of state to lower expenses, and he has no interest. I'd be happy quitting my job and volunteering, but I know he doesn't want to move back into an apartment. So, it seems no different for me to say, "you want to work 3 days a week and eat out every day? You have to pay for that yourself - in addition to all of your house/family responsibilities."

I don't exactly think he has an obligation to earn the absolute most money he can earn, but he needs to do a hell of a lot more than he is doing. I don't think people should stay for years in jobs they loathe but pay a lot, but neither do I think a healthy adult should be able to blow off real work because it isn't creative enough. Your husband seems to think he is a special snowflake.
"Special snowflake" - I'm going to use that one. It reminds me of this, which is part of what's going on here, I'm sure:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wait-but-why/generation-y-unhappy_b_3930620.html

My point being, if you are feeling taken advantage of (and I would certainly say your husband is taking advantage of you from my perspective) it needs to be fixed through therapy at the very least....and if he won't address it the long term future of the relationship needs to be considered though that is very hard to do. I sympathize with you but you need to look after yourself somewhat.
(sorry, I hope I do not come off as just bitter - I am mostly not...I just get mad when I see similar things happening to other people)
It doesn't sound bitter at all - actually, I feel like it's reinforcing that I need to take more action here (therapy, as well as asserting my needs more in the finance issue). We did couples therapy a year ago and it was going great (he even saw the therapist on his own to work through some issues, including time management). The therapist even told me privately he was being more proactive and working harder than the majority of couples she works with. So I know he can do this things if he has the tools to be able to manage. I've done therapy on my own for a couple years (not really to deal with issues, but because I enjoy the introspection and the growth I gain from it).

MMMDude - you're totally right about the balance of effort. I'm starting to see more clearly that the issue here time/personal management and priorities. I've seen him take days off during the week (cause he'd rather do a house project, or go have lunch with a colleague) only to say he can't spend time with me on the weekend cause he has to catch up on work. I get that there's unpaid time that goes into being freelance (maintaining relationships, accounting, etc) but with no time management, it's affecting his clients and his business as much as his relationship with me.

I guess I don't really see it  much differently than a husband with a SAHW.

I think the problem is that you are working your butt off, and he's not.  And he's enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Well?  What about it?

I'm kind of confused.  Sounds like he has FU money, thanks to you.
To be clear you're talking about a SAHW and not a stay at home parent, right? I have zero interest in him being a SAHH and I be his sugar mama, and I wouldn't let him do the same for me unless he could do it, also. If anyone is going to get a handout from my earnings, it should be US together. Plus, it should be a decision that we would make together. But the fact is that it's not - he quit his job without giving US the opportunity to financially plan for it, and I had to take up extra work to make sure we had enough money to pay our bills and keep our house.  When I found myself out of work for about 4 months in 2013, I had planned for that by having a healthy emergency fund.

Right now my job is the easiest one I've been in ever! There was a thread recently about how little people work - I was one of the posters there about how I work about 3 hours a day on average.  My job is really easy and the hours are great, and I'm very lucky - but I worked incredibly hard to get to that point. When I hear about my husband's business, he talked for years about how he wasn't getting any closer to his dream job - but his effort has been pretty half-assed, to be perfectly honest. He's done very little to seek out new clients. I have no sympathy or patience anymore - It's like a single friend who complains a lot about how they are single, but is taking little to no initiative to meet people or go on dates. You  try to help by sending invitations to speed dating, trying to set them up with someone (who they aren't interested in going out with), help them start an account on a dating site that they don't ever check or update... There comes a point where you say, wtf is really going on here?

So that's part of why I'm like, this has gone on long enough. The discussion isn't about his needs or my needs anymore, but is this something that we can do together? It's a really good point what a couple people have said about "can we make this work around a family?" Right now I don't know he answer to that.

Spondulix

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There are a ton of resources out there for learning these things. Check some books out from the library. the 80/20 Rule books would be a simple place to start. Creative Live sometimes has free classes on these topics too.
That is extremely helpful - if you think of any other good books, please send! (He loves audio books, and will listen to just about anything I recommend)

My experience with this kind of statement is obviously not positive.
Lol, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.

TerriM

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MMMDude - you're totally right about the balance of effort. I'm starting to see more clearly that the issue here time/personal management and priorities. I've seen him take days off during the week (cause he'd rather do a house project, or go have lunch with a colleague) only to say he can't spend time with me on the weekend cause he has to catch up on work. I get that there's unpaid time that goes into being freelance (maintaining relationships, accounting, etc) but with no time management, it's affecting his clients and his business as much as his relationship with me.

SPondulix, honestly, I think my husband thinks of me the way you think of your DH.  And in fairness, he puts in more solid work hours, and my hours are all over the place--I'm on call for the kids at any point, and on the forums now waiting for the dinner to cook.

The catchup thing is real guilt.  It's a sign of bad time-management.  I have bad time-management in spades, so I've done the same.  Everything is deadline driven, my todo lists are all over the place, and that is what happens when you don't plan ahead and consider the consequences of saying "yes" to things midweek because you don't have a schedule at all.  I'd start there with him.  He'll feel a heck of a lot better about himself, too. 

One of the things that I found was that having Sunday as a day of rest forced me to think about when other things would be done.  Same thing goes for having a week work/weekend play schedule.  Working at home is really tough--you said that--from a time management perspective because home and work get so intermixed.  It's hard to separate out what should be 8-5 from what should be the rest of the time.

TerriM

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Spondulix, how does your DH feel about having kids?  Just wondering.....  Is this a goal he shares?

TerriM

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There are a ton of resources out there for learning these things. Check some books out from the library. the 80/20 Rule books would be a simple place to start. Creative Live sometimes has free classes on these topics too.

If anyone has time management resource suggestions, I would love them.  Anything but Fly Lady.

NumberJohnny5

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So, he makes $25k/yr after expenses? And you get some use of his business equipment? So what's a more reasonable number...say $30k/yr? There's large portions of the US where $30k/yr would be considered so-so for a couple, and rather good for one-half of a couple.

What are HIS goals? Is he meeting those goals? Ok, so YOU'RE making lots of money, and covering a lot of the bills. YOU want to retire early. Does he? Do both of you want the house you're paying for? The meals out you're paying for? What would happen if he got to pick the expenses, would those expenses be reasonable for a couple making a combined $50k-$60k a year? If so...what exactly is the issue? If not, then I'd focus on that. "Hey hubby, since we BOTH want this house which costs us $2,000/mo, and want to spend $200/mo on phones, and $1,000/mo in car payments, etc....well, I don't feel it's fair for me. It would really help if we reduced spending, you increased your earnings, or both!"

Also, for every minute you think "my life sucks because my partner has it better than I do!", devote a minute to thinking "my life is so awesome!" Please don't be the type of person who's only happy if everyone else around you is less happy than you are (it's easy to be that person, because it's standard human behavior). If you have a job you love, are saving buttloads of money for retirement, and have a supporting husband...life's pretty awesome! Yeah, he might have it a bit more awesome than you, but that doesn't take away from your awesomeness.

Also...to the responses about how childish he is for wanting you to give him direction in his life. Maybe he's perfectly happy with how things are and sees no need to change. Obviously YOU see a need for him to change. Instead of resisting (which, again, is the general human response) he wants to please you, and is open for suggestion. Of course, maybe he's all talk and no action, you'd obviously know that better than I do. All I know, is if my wife was really pissed that I wasn't doing something (say, buying roses) and didn't tell me, I'd just be upset because she seems upset. If she told me "hey, I'd like you to show me how you love me" and I said "sure, what would you like me to do to express my love" it's not because I don't love her. Rather, it's because I did not know there was an issue and/or did not know how to solve it. If she knows the problem AND the solution, that's extremely helpful.

Just a note, I know some of this has been addressed already. Was basing my post mainly on the initial info given.

scrubbyfish

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...he would have earned close to $60k, not $40k.

To be clear, he only earned $20k, which is part of the problem. A lot of self-employed people (me included) like to hope/imagine/assume that costs will go down, and like to view the larger number as the "real" one. But if we're inattentive and experimental, the costs will probably run about the same from year to year.

I feel for you!

The whole "just tell me what to do" piece, too... My last partner used to say exactly that, about most aspects of our lives. It turned my stomach, was very yucky for me. I don't want to tell a 40+ year old "what to do", especially when it's basic adult stuff, like implementing a bedtime for a 4 year old earlier than midnight. I balked at that, this "leaning on" as another poster put it. In my case, he wasn't leaning on me for money, but for life instruction and it felt burdensome. I felt like I was parenting more people than just my kid. We went to a counsellor, who was also concerned that my partner demanded that if I wanted him at an appointment (including his kid's birthday party), that I remind him of it the day, the hour, and the minutes before.

Now, he was a VERY hard physical worker, and skilled. But also very haphazard much of the time, dreamy, coming and going from work at will, getting into trouble for that then merely finding new strategies to wander off and not get caught, lol. He had previously run his own business, for a stretch with success and then...not. While we were together, and at my prompting, he was assessed and diagnosed with ADHD. And then absolutely refused to do any of the treatments -medication, cognitive behavioural therapy, other therapies, life skills classes- to address these pieces. Eventually, I had to accept that he was very committed to doing things the way he was doing them, and that the overall picture was extremely unlikely to change. I had to accept that despite what I believed to be a good heart in him, conversations with him were not actually going to be fruitful, our life together would probably not ever be collaborative, and he would be AWOL regularly. Amazingly, I didn't leave on any of those bases, lol! I did feel he was "worth" these challenges. But I do feel for you, and I agree with you and the others that the imbalance needs to be addressed. For what it's worth, I'm one of those dreamy, haphazard entrepreneurs, too (and it shows in my income levels) but I'm aware of my oddities and put a LOT of effort and systems in place to ensure no one is having to pick up the slack for me.

lifejoy

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A thought experiment that helps me is: what would I be doing with my career if I didn't have DH and his higher earnings? That was eye-opening, and helped me to proceed in a way that will help me earn more... Even if it sucks in the short term. But it feels good to be doing my best and to pull my own weight.

backyardfeast

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Just wanted to add perhaps a different perspective on the whole, "DH wants me to tell him what to do, which feels like parenting to me" thing.  Don't know if you're familiar with the Myers-Briggs personality types, but this aspect (and potentially much of the dynamic you're describing) is a classic J vs P personality clash.  If you're not familiar with that system, it might be helpful for both of you to understand where the other is coming from.

But I wanted to share the story of a close friend of mine, who re-married late in life and after just a few years with her wonderful husband, was struggling with similar issues.  She is a classic type-A personality.  She's not had an easy life, has had to work hard for all of it, and is a planner, super-organized, see-the-consequences ahead of time, never put off until tomorrow, etc kind of person (Myers-Briggs J).  Her new DH worked part-time for years, goes with the flow, spontaneously changes plans all the time, doesn't seem to follow through, muddles along, never seems to realize there will be consequences, etc. Classic "P".

So anyway, my friend started to feel like she was the one doing all the heavy lifting, all the thinking ahead, all the goal setting, all the pushing.  It was driving her crazy.  There's been lots of good advice here already around the conversations about "growing up" etc.  And some of that applied, and they did go to therapy, which was helpful.  But in their case, he is also almost 60.  So to some degree, that ship had sailed!

What finally brought her a great deal of peace was realizing that instead of resenting the fact that she was doing all the leading, she could in fact see it as a positive that her DH was totally willing to be led by her.  Truthfully, she is GOOD at, and enjoys, leading, being organized, thinking through, etc.  At one level, it was a gift to have a partner who was completely happy to have her be in charge, trusted her decisions, and was willing to support and roll with them.  At the same time, as he was actually quite befuddled by what structure, planning, etc *actually meant*, it was a huge gift to him for her to provide hime with some structure (Ps often want and need structure and have no idea how to provide it to themselves).  In other words, part of their conflict was her perception that partnership meant both people had to contribute equally in the same way, rather than each person doing what they are good at, in harmony together.  Of course, this also hinges on her appreciating what he brings to the relationship in other aspects of their life, and that she learns from him too. 

I know that this might not totally apply in your case, but it was a real recognition for me that all of us in these generations are muddling through the major gender role changes of the last 40 years.  At one time, all of this would have been moot: of course one person would be in charge (the man) and the other would follow (the woman) (of course in real life this was always way more complicated!).  I think it's worth considering that, gender aside, there's nothing wrong with this *type* of partnership, if it isn't oppressive.  Being on the same page with your goals is obviously key, too.

Anyhoo--hope that's helpful!  Good luck to you.

scrubbyfish

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backyardfeast, that was an awesome contribution! That sounds so right on, the J and the P and how different people contribute different things. I know I really enjoy flowy people, and have loved learning from them how to let some things go, enjoy what comes, etc. (Interestingly, I was just like that myself before, yes, severe hardship trained me to plan.)

OP: Is some of what comes up for you is that you'd love to be able to kick back like DH does? I know I struggle with normal functioning, and often wish I were in a position to daydream 24/7. (Actually, I'm mostly there now. I guess I'm all set again.) A spouse providing for all of one's needs does that, but what happens when the spouse wants a break? Yeah.

If my last partner had actually followed through on the stuff he wanted to be directed around, that totally would have worked. So, I guess it's the "just tell me what to do [and then I won't actually do it]" combo that stinks. I'm very organized, planny, yadda yadda and several people ask me for direction in small things. I give my thoughts, and notice that some people really consider these in deciding what to do, and other people dismiss them before their thought process has even really begun. Therein lies the difference for me. But it was only your post that clarified this for me, so now I know more going forward! Thanks :)

p.s. I was conversing with a guy the other day as we were lining up a date. At one point, I realized that he was relying on me to narrow down the details more than I already had, and I just opted out fast as can be. It was like I was allergic now. I thought, "Oh goodness, I can't do all that again!!"

Hey It's Me

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Aside from the obvious relationship stuff (which I don't feel qualified in giving you advice about,) you can actually take advantage of his side business and low earnings to net you some pretty hefty tax benefits.

Since his income is coming from a home business, he can take advantage of a host of deductions, as well as taking advantage of special retirement accounts to defer his income. You can use all further expenses/deductions/credits in excess of his income to offset some of your taxes, assuming you are filing jointly (which you should definitely be doing.)

Just some quick an easy math:

He makes a net income from his business of $20,000. Even using traditional retirement vehicles (IRA and 401k), he can deduct this number to zero taxable income each year.

Further, you two can deduct expenses for the home office (I believe $1500/yr), travel expenses, business meals, travel, etc. Fantastic!

On top of that, because you'll be filing jointly, you can take advantage of his deduction and personal exemptions as well, reducing your taxable income by $20,600 in 2015. That's on top of all the other deductions and credits you can take advantage of because of your husband's side business.

Bright side inserted.

firelight

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We have a similar situation. I earn more than husband and he is happy earning enough to keep himself happy. I knew it coming into marriage. So our rule from the start has been to use his salary for our living expenses. Basically live within his salary.... that has showed him how much is really needed to keep up our lifestyle and has made me less resentful since my salary is not "needed" and is more "good to have". I still work super hard, take care of finances and in most cases tell my husband what to do in case of finances. But I know that I'm doing it to pad our accounts and that he is not taking advantage of it. And he knows he can't quit spontaneously because we would be down to zero living income in that case. Further once baby came it has been easier for me to transition to sahm.

Is there a way for you to live on his income? Assume uve become a sahm and bank your salary. That might make him more hesitant to take low paying jobs.

Second, how important is it that your husband be happy with his choices? I've found that if I push my husband to chase money,  he gets very cranky and that affects our lives. I prefer him making enough for us to live comfortably and be happy than for him to earn big bucks and be miserable and make my life miserable too.

Spondulix

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Spondulix, how does your DH feel about having kids?  Just wondering.....  Is this a goal he shares?
Yes, I made sure we were on the same page about that long before we got married. Although, talking about kids and the reality of having kids are different things. We're both seeing that it's not going to work with things how they are now (just from watching our friends have kids and make that transition). Me being a planner, I'm trying to think ahead and anticipate issues (I don't want to be a 60 year old with a high schooler) and he doesn't want to deal until it happens. But, that's a classic example of J vs P! (That is a great way of looking at it, backyardfeast!)

So, he makes $25k/yr after expenses? And you get some use of his business equipment? So what's a more reasonable number...say $30k/yr? There's large portions of the US where $30k/yr would be considered so-so for a couple, and rather good for one-half of a couple.

What are HIS goals? Is he meeting those goals? Ok, so YOU'RE making lots of money, and covering a lot of the bills. YOU want to retire early. Does he? Do both of you want the house you're paying for? The meals out you're paying for? What would happen if he got to pick the expenses, would those expenses be reasonable for a couple making a combined $50k-$60k a year? If so...what exactly is the
After tax is likely under $25k. I do recognize that in a lot of the country that's liveable, but I live in one of the most expensive cities in the country (and he is unwilling to move - I've brought it up as an option). I think he's happy with where he's at and how things are going - no goals for the future, just living life day to day. It never used it be that way - he had some drive in the companies he worked for, negotiated for higher income, wanted to own a house and save for down payment. Once we got the house and quit his job he turned into a housecat, and that's when things started changing.

Thinking about it more, my frustration is really about him not being able to cover our monthly expenses, whether something happened to me, or if I wanted to take time off (like maternity leave). I'd have to look at my budget again, but I think we could cover the necessities on $3-4k a month - but that would mean 0 business spending (and him basically working while I'm on maternity leave).  What if we wanted to do it together? I would have to plan for it and save for it myself... It gets pretty lonely having to plan for your future together alone. Now, I'm the first to admit that there were many years where I was probably looking out for my career above everything. I think I even missed his 30th birthday party because I had to work. So in some respects, he might be looking at it that he's doing what he needs to do because that's what I did (and his dad was pretty MIA growing up because of work priorities).

In terms of his goals - I can barely get an answer from him about what his goals for this year are, let alone ten years from now. He gets very agitated talking about the future, and that is very frustrating for me - not only on a personal level, but it makes it incredibly hard to plan for anything. There are practical and financial reasons that I'm asking (and I'm not even asking for solutions, but just his opinion)... for example, are we happy enough to stay in our house for five years, or could we move? That impacts the types of upgrades we do to the house, where I put our extra cash, etc. He freaks out if I even bring it up.

Now, I get the whole "look at the bright side of your situation", and he certainly has his strengths and contributions that are my weaknesses... but when you can't get a spouse on board to even have basic conversations about the future, it gets really old. In his defense, if I were 7 months pregnant, I know he would say, "do we have enough in savings? Do I need to do anything?" So I know he is cognizant and thinking. His hair is on fire long after the fire has already been put out (and maybe that's a good analogy for my life...) More often than not, it comes across as too little effort too late. When I try to bring future things up when it's important to me, it's like pulling teeth.

Really, I wouldn't care about him making $20k if he wasn't saying things like "we need a new roof ASAP" (12k), let's redo our piping in the house (3-4k) or "I really want to move to this nicer area across town" (bigger mortgage, need to save for down payment). If he were looking for ways to cut costs and spending so that our money could go further, sure, I'd probably be more forgiving. But the fact is that he's not changing his spending habits til I point it out. The $20k in business expenses doesn't even include the other $5-10k that was spent on house projects he took on.

I know I'm probably turning all complainy-pants and this is turning into a bit of a therapy session, but I really do appreciate the perspectives and knowing that it's not just me (and my therapist) trying to come up with solutions. Scrubbyfish - I totally relate to your post, and you're right that it's tough when you see the person is worth the trouble. It's just a matter that he's settled and is totally fine where he's at, and I'm not getting what I need. I asked what he'd do if I moved out, and he said get a job cause he couldn't pay for everything...

happy

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I asked what he'd do if I moved out, and he said get a job cause he couldn't pay for everything...

I try not to buy into these threads, but Spondilux, I see red flags all over the place. Open disclosure: my two long-term relationships were some sort of variations of this story, so I might be projecting. Neither ended well.

1. counselling/therapy
2. separate finances….you work your butt off to go FI, he can puddle around forever if he wants.

former player

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...
 He gets very agitated talking about the future
...
when you can't get a spouse on board to even have basic conversations about the future,
...
When I try to bring future things up when it's important to me, it's like pulling teeth.
...
 It's just a matter that he's settled and is totally fine where he's at
...

If your husband were really "settled" and "totally fine where he's at" he wouldn't be actively agitated about the future and avoiding talking about it - he would be saying *I love our life and want to carry on as we are - with/without babies".  He's not saying that, and he's not really saying what he does want, either.  So what is he really thinking about the future?  And why isn't it something he wants to share with his wife?  Obviously there was a time when he was thinking of the future: that's what getting married is all about.  But what is he thinking now, and why isn't he sharing it with you?

DeltaBond

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"just tell me what to do and I'll do it."

While this might sound like he's malleable and wants to do well, I think it's just a cop out for him taking responsibility for himself.  You are not his mother or his boss.  He is a grown man and needs to figure out what to do and then do it without you nagging him over everything every step of the way.

My experience with this kind of statement is obviously not positive.

Exactly. It conveniently switches any responsibility back on you. "Hey, you didn't tell me to do _____."

Better to agree on measurable goals & deadlines, & let him worry about how he's going to make them happen.

I'm gonna agree with these two people here, that this is a "blow someone off" statement.  My current husband and I dealt with that one, and it did not work.  I explained that I was not his parent and refused to continue living with someone who considered me their caretaker.  In our case, we love each other and I no longer have to tell him to help with things.

Your spouse feels that helping at home with chores is "unfulfilling and boring"?!?  Yep, yet another red flag.  So even if you two ever make it to retirement, you will have all of the household chores on your shoulders and again he'll be having fun.

It sounds like you still want to make this work.  If you could look at a video of your lives together 20 years from now, what do you think it would look like?
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 06:10:20 AM by DeltaBond »

mozar

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Have you told him how urgent this is? And not just a passive aggressive "what would you do if I moved out" but more of a "this relationship means a lot to me but its not meeting my needs any more, for example I need to talk about the future"?

Maybe he is unhappy and is subtlety trying to sabotage the relationship? This is basically my last relationship. I thought that if I asked for less and less maybe I would get something. They were constantly asking me to spend money but never was interested in contributing. My ex would become agitated about talking about the future and I slowly realized it was because they didn't see me in their future. I feel less lonely now than I did during our three year relationship.

The break up was pretty easy because my ex met none of my needs whatsoever, but I understand you are wanting to keep trying. I really think you should read John Gottmans Principles of Marriage ASAP. We can go in circles here forever but you need more help than what an online forum can offer.
And getting pregnant is not going to help anything.

cdngenie

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You're situation is very similar to mine, although DH is a SAHD with a side gig that pulls in just under $20k. I'm bringing in roughly 10x that. I knew coming in that there would always be a large differential in our income and absolutely agreed to (and still favour) the SAHD situation, but our kids are now both in school and for the last couple years I've become really increasingly agitated that (a) he has no plan post kids being in school, (b) he's doesn't see a problem in not having a plan.
I think our conflict arises primarily from the fact that I'm the frugal one in our relationship,(so I tend to resent his big purchases but I also get frustrated with being put in the position of denying 'permission' for big purchases... I don't want to be his mom and it feels like he should understand the impact of bigger purchases on the  financial goals we supposedly set together) and that I do feel the pressure of being the sole income in the family while working in a very cyclical industry, particularly given that my efforts to reduce our family spending to minimize the impact of a potential downsizing/job loss aren't really supported. My financial contributions allow our family to have a situation where we have more flexibility with our time... I 'use' my flexibility for income earning purposes (business trips, client dinners) and the quid pro quo is that he gets more time for personal interests. :/

I've read this thread with great interest and i've got some more books on my to read list, but frankly even the fact that I'm the one researching how to fix this, again, is irritating to me at this point. Sorry for the monologue / therapy session.

mm1970

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Is it wrong to think that it shouldn't be my responsibility to have to stay on top of these things?? Here's where I think this issue is very similar to other Mustashians who have a SO who isn't on-board (in their lifestyle/spending habits - relationship aside). When it comes to our finances, his attitude is very often "just tell me what to do and I'll do it." Same thing here - it's like he's expecting me to tell him that he's not earning enough, and that's his gauge of whether he's on track. It's tough because ignorance isn't exactly the types of issue I want to leave a relationship over, but at the same time, I can't continue living this way.  If I could teach how to plan ahead, I certainly would (and he'd probably be open to that), but I just have no idea how to do that.

This is very telling. I don't know if I can tell you that it's okay or it's not.  It bothers you, that's for sure.

I'm not sure how much people can "learn" the skills you want them to have.  I have the skills, so it's hard to know if it's a teachable thing.  His way is "just tell me", but maybe there are habits he can learn.  Make him a list of what he needs to do, and maybe if he "practices" he can learn it?

I dunno.

So, how do people survive if they don't have someone to help them?  I have a friend who sounds similar.  He's not a planner at all, kind of drifts along.  His wife is very structured though and very good at planning.  (But they've only been married 2-3 years).  He survived by the fact that his parents had a lot of money and he has a trust fund (though not a huge one, I gather, they still have a mortgage).

Lia-Aimee

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I agree with FeelinGroovy on this one. I once was in a relationship with someone like that, too - good guy, very different perspective on finances and careers, and much less frugal. In my case, it was a deal breaker (we weren't married, so it was easier for me to walk away.) Good luck, I feel your pain and hope it works out for you.

scrubbyfish

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Make him a list of what he needs to do, and maybe if he "practices" he can learn it?

This reminds me of a positive experience I read of this. Life coach Cheryl Richardson said she'd get all overwhelmed, yadda yadda, and frustrated that her hubby wasn't stepping up. He said, "Just tell me what to do and I'll do it!" He asked, specifically, for a written list. So, when she feels overwhelmed, she writes a list of things she wants done and leaves it out for him. When she wakes up, everything is done (or there's a note next to a given item saying why it wasn't). This works for them.

I wouldn't want that, because I still think it's obvious that dirty dishes need cleaning or that a parent "should" show up for the child's birthday party, and with the cake, if that's what we'd planned together. Definitely I, for one, need to be with a person that can observe, follow through on agreements already made, etc, and not have to be poked at every step of the way. My son has an executive functioning disability, yet I'll be mortified if he grows up leaning on a partner to poke him or to provide for his own spendy ways. I hope I'm teaching him how to be responsible even with his disability.

A friend of mine saved up heaps... She was single into her 40s, super frugal, worked hard. Then she married. The guy is very disorganized, chaotic, and can't hold a job. She doesn't really mind any of that, but he is also extremely spendy. When he decided "they" should donate to charity the money she'd set aside for her dream vacation, she finally spoke up. Good for her! I'm worried for her. Not only is he spending down all her savings, and leaving her exhausted besides, she'd be on the hook for spousal support if she left him now (not that she wants to).

NumberJohnny5

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Before I start, do note I'm not trying to take sides (heck, I haven't even heard one side, so I'm out half the information!). Just trying to get you to think about things that maybe you haven't thought about yet.

After tax is likely under $25k. I do recognize that in a lot of the country that's liveable, but I live in one of the most expensive cities in the country (and he is unwilling to move - I've brought it up as an option). I think he's happy with where he's at and how things are going - no goals for the future, just living life day to day. It never used it be that way - he had some drive in the companies he worked for, negotiated for higher income, wanted to own a house and save for down payment. Once we got the house and quit his job he turned into a housecat, and that's when things started changing.

Have you brought up radical changes, or easier ones? I.e., are you suggesting to move across the street to save $50k on the mortgage, or are you proposing to move across the country to ONLY have a $50k mortgage? Whichever you've tried...have you tried the other? Maybe he doesn't see the sense in going through all the stress of a move just to save $XX a month...or maybe he doesn't want to move across the country and leave family/friends/clients behind. Did you ask WHY he doesn't want to move?

Thinking about it more, my frustration is really about him not being able to cover our monthly expenses, whether something happened to me, or if I wanted to take time off (like maternity leave). I'd have to look at my budget again, but I think we could cover the necessities on $3-4k a month - but that would mean 0 business spending (and him basically working while I'm on maternity leave).  What if we wanted to do it together? I would have to plan for it and save for it myself... It gets pretty lonely having to plan for your future together alone. Now, I'm the first to admit that there were many years where I was probably looking out for my career above everything. I think I even missed his 30th birthday party because I had to work. So in some respects, he might be looking at it that he's doing what he needs to do because that's what I did (and his dad was pretty MIA growing up because of work priorities).

If you're on maternity leave, how will you cover YOUR portion of living expenses? If you've already saved enough that you can cover your half with the 4% rule...that can be turned into a good lesson for him. Could also be turned into a bad one. If you can't cover your portion...you realize that you started the relationship one way (making lots of money) and now want to change (by making zero money as a SAHM). Yes, priorities change...who says your reasons are more valid than his? Even if yours ARE more valid...how does he view it?

In terms of his goals - I can barely get an answer from him about what his goals for this year are, let alone ten years from now. He gets very agitated talking about the future, and that is very frustrating for me - not only on a personal level, but it makes it incredibly hard to plan for anything. There are practical and financial reasons that I'm asking (and I'm not even asking for solutions, but just his opinion)... for example, are we happy enough to stay in our house for five years, or could we move? That impacts the types of upgrades we do to the house, where I put our extra cash, etc. He freaks out if I even bring it up.

Two easy answers for this.

#1. Anytime you start a conversation like this, it ends poorly, so he's trying to avoid it at all costs. I do this very thing, though I've gotten better over time. Seriously, if you "ask" him questions in a confronting tone, and you get upset at his truthful answers...his options are to lie and/or avoid the discussion at all costs. Now, you can't change who HE is, but you can work on yourself...find a book that discusses how to have a discussion without blaming the other party (I can search my Kindle if you need advice, I don't know any titles off the top of my head).

#2. He simply doesn't plan for the future. Lots of personality types don't. I forget which ones plan sooo far into the future, but I know INTJ is one. Maybe it's the NT part, because I think INTPs do and maybe ENTJs do as well. MOST people, when thinking about the future, are thinking weeks or months, MAYBE a full year if they're stretching it. When INTJs think short-term, they're thinking a mere five years into the future; long-term they're thinking 10, 15, even 30+ years out. It's completely possible and NORMAL that he can't think THAT far ahead. In that case, you can tell him a very brief synopsis of what you want long-term ("I want to be FI so I can work or not because that's what I want, and so I can make our children a high priority in my life.") and tell him what he can do to help that ("You can help find ways for us to reduce expenses and maximize income.").

Now, I get the whole "look at the bright side of your situation", and he certainly has his strengths and contributions that are my weaknesses... but when you can't get a spouse on board to even have basic conversations about the future, it gets really old. In his defense, if I were 7 months pregnant, I know he would say, "do we have enough in savings? Do I need to do anything?" So I know he is cognizant and thinking. His hair is on fire long after the fire has already been put out (and maybe that's a good analogy for my life...) More often than not, it comes across as too little effort too late. When I try to bring future things up when it's important to me, it's like pulling teeth.

See above. He may be one of the normal people who have trouble looking that far into the future.

Really, I wouldn't care about him making $20k if he wasn't saying things like "we need a new roof ASAP" (12k), let's redo our piping in the house (3-4k) or "I really want to move to this nicer area across town" (bigger mortgage, need to save for down payment). If he were looking for ways to cut costs and spending so that our money could go further, sure, I'd probably be more forgiving. But the fact is that he's not changing his spending habits til I point it out. The $20k in business expenses doesn't even include the other $5-10k that was spent on house projects he took on.

To be fair, the $5k-$10k in house expenses really shouldn't be counted as a business expense, unless it was solely to help his business (i.e., having fiber run to the house to increase internet speeds and recabling the whole house would count as a business expense; fixing the roof and doing painting should not).

The roof...does it need to be fixed ASAP? Is he offering to do some/all the labor? If so, are you calculating his labor savings towards his contribution to the family? I mean, if he's making $25k after taxes and saving you guys $10k in labor, can he look at it as contributing $35k to the family? If not, why not?

Another thing I'd like to address. He shouldn't be expected to contribute 50% across the board. You're obviously good at long-term planning and probably financial planning, perhaps you'll contribute 90% in those categories. He's good at household repairs and contributes 90% there. That said, there's SUPPOSED to be an imbalance. If you think everything is completely fair, guess what? It's not. We automatically think we do more than we do. If you think you're doing somewhere between 60-70% of all the work (depending on your bias...which DOES exist), then you're near a true 50%, good job!

To everyone saying you should dump him, or there's serious issues...that may be the case, but from what's posted I don't see it. I see an imbalance in earnings and someone who says he'll do what his partner asks of him (again, I don't know if he'll put those words into action). Basically, I see a relationship with similar dynamics as an INTJ paired with a "normal" person. This normal average guy might be willing to help you meet your goals, even if he doesn't share them himself.

Of course, he could be "one of us" and simply doesn't know what to do with his life. Maybe he's seen half of the light (quitting and doing his own thing) and needs help seeing the other side (financial independence). Doesn't quite sound like that's the case, but again, I'm only hearing one side.

scrubbyfish

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Hi NumberJohnny5. I agree with the vast majority of what you said. I disagree, though, with this:

Seriously, if you "ask" him questions in a confronting tone, and you get upset at his truthful answers...his options are to lie and/or avoid the discussion at all costs.

He has a third option, which is to experience his discomfort and respond maturely regardless of that discomfort. Certainly, we want to be kind and gentle with our partners, but in most relationships there will be items of conflict deep enough that one, the other, or both experience discomfort addressing it or having it addressed.

This said, we can do nothing to "make" our partner choose that third option instead of the first two. But I think it's reasonable and fair to expect a partner to do so. I wholeheartedly agree that we can learn to speak in non-blaming ways, gently, considerately of the other, etc, but ultimately, short of verbal violence, how one of us speaks cannot be a reason for the other to lie or avoid, and some people will experience anxiety regardless of how gently a matter is brought up. i.e., The anxiety is not always about how the other is speaking, but can be due to a deep fear of differences, or resistance to communication, or cognitive confusion, etc, which a partner cannot resolve by speaking differently.

Gauging by your post, I'm pretty confident you know all that, but I felt the need to speak to this piece for the general topic.

Basically, I see a relationship with similar dynamics as an INTJ paired with a "normal" person.

Made me laugh :)    I'm probably INTJ or something close, so that's probably my own normal, but what MB type do you see as more "normal"? Are there some MB Types that are far more common than this one, is that what you're saying?

NumberJohnny5

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He has a third option, which is to experience his discomfort and respond maturely regardless of that discomfort. Certainly, we want to be kind and gentle with our partners, but in most relationships there will be items of conflict deep enough that one, the other, or both experience discomfort addressing it or having it addressed.

Maybe. Maybe not. IF I were a therapist (I'm not), and IF you were my clients (you're not), and IF I observed the way you two interact (I haven't), I might be able to provide more useful insight. All I can do is say "hey, have you thought about this?"

Maybe he's not "mature" in that particular area. Or perhaps he's mature enough to realize his own limitations. Personally, I can handle a certain amount of stress/conflict. Past that point, I become a not nice person. I'm the quiet one that if pushed into a corner, will eventually scream even louder than you and say some pretty not-nice things. I also realize that some people need to vent at me and let me know how I'm wrong, so I try to not hide from all conflict.

That said...is there a point to the arguments...erm...discussions? I.e., does HE see a benefit to them? Since they keep happening, I'm guessing he doesn't. He may see absolutely no reason to have yet another "discussion" that has no tangible benefit and only leaves both of you upset. If you just need to vent, then let him know that. Don't assign blame...in fact take some of the blame. Point out that you realize it's not 100% rational for you to be feeling this way, but you do want to express your feelings, because the relationship is important to you. Tell him you feel scared about the future, and you are at an impasse...does he have any ideas that might help you feel better? Whatever idea he has, do NOT immediately deconstruct it and point out all its flaws (even if you've already thought of that very idea and already came to the logical conclusion that it can't work). Tell him thanks for the idea(s) and that he's given you something to think about. Wait a week or so and then discuss those ideas. Not only does he think he's helping, but you're showing him "progress" with these constant discussions. It's not the same thing over and over, the conversation is changing and the two of you are working together.

The anxiety is not always about how the other is speaking, but can be due to a deep fear of differences, or resistance to communication, or cognitive confusion, etc, which a partner cannot resolve by speaking differently.

Are you sure that's the case here? I.e., have you studied ways to have effective discussions, and practiced them? If not, I urge you to do so. It may not make sense to you, but saying "You're not pulling your weight, I need you to work more so I can take off time with a new baby." is NOT the same as "I'd like to talk with you about some things that have been on my mind lately.... I really want a baby, and I want our child to be raised by one if his/her parents; I don't want 100% of one of our incomes to go toward paying someone else to raise our baby.... I don't know what the best course of action is, and I could really use some help working through my feelings."

Basically, I see a relationship with similar dynamics as an INTJ paired with a "normal" person.

Made me laugh :)    I'm probably INTJ or something close, so that's probably my own normal, but what MB type do you see as more "normal"? Are there some MB Types that are far more common than this one, is that what you're saying?

INTJ is one of the rarest types. Of course, with 16 different types, they're all going to be a bit rare, right? I don't remember what the most common types are, but one thing I DO remember (and feel free to look it up, in case I'm wrong) is that most people do NOT plan far in to the future like the INTs do (another note, I'm definitely INT, and a bit wishy-washy on the J/P, so it's possible I confuse the two at times).

Quick quiz. You're studying how to succeed at interviews, and are working on the question "Where do you see yourself in five years?" MOST people need help with that question because they have absolutely no idea, but they need to look like they're "responsible" and "have a plan for the future." I'm guessing you'd need help with that question because "retiring and not having to put up with this bullshit", while it may be accurate, might not come across as the nicest of answers.

Here's some homework. Read http://thomaslauer.com/start/How_to_handle_an_INTJ . For purposes of this thread, focus on #4, #6, the last sentence in #10 (author has a footnote about that one), #12, and #19. Now...we are of course talking about your possible personality type, not your husband's. What I'm trying to point out are possible conflicts you may have when dealing with him. You expect him (and the world at large) to work a certain way. He may not work that way (and in fact most of the world does not).

scrubbyfish

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NumberJohnny5, thanks for all that! Great discussion. I'm not the OP, and I think you meant much of your post for her (as I'm not in any of her situation at all), but I'm still going to ponder it all myself, and look at the links, etc, in case I ever want to be in a relationship with someone like Spondulix's dear hubby, or my own last beloved partner, again :)

Spondulix

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That link is great... And for the most part fits him exactly... But after reading it I thought, this is a list of how to handle a person like this. I've learned through experience that living with an INTJ is very much about following their rules and communication quirks. So, where's the flip side?

What kind of things do an INTJ person need to learn to have a relationship where they aren't total a**holes as partners? It might be me projecting, but I see a lot of selfishness in that list - INTJs inherently don't sound like team players. They sound like people who voice their own thoughts and concerns, don't care with other people think, and who have a lot of difficulty being empathetic, especially if they don't see their own truth in what the other person says.

Rezdent

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Spondulix
I highly recommend getting the book and accompanying CDs called "Crucial Conversations".

The authors define a crucial conversation as one where:
1. The stakes are high
2. The emotions are high
3. Opinions differ.
Sounds like your situation to me.

The information in that book plus lots of practice have helped me in all areas of life.  It totally changed how I communicate. My hubby, my children, my coworkers have all benefitted from my learned abilities to have those difficult conversations with safety, respect and trust.  My life has improved too; I know that sounds hokey but it is true.

Without knowing the particulars of your situation I would guess that safety has eroded in your relationship, possibly because the stakes are so high for both of you.   If there's no safety then your partner will not be able to express their opinions and efforts to make the conversation happen will just frustrate you more.  If you feel like he's avoiding the conversation then your safety may have eroded as well.
You may also want counseling for yourself but the book can get you started in the right direction to rebuild safety and open up the conversations.

scrubbyfish

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Spondulix, wait... Are you saying your DH is the INTJ in your coupleship? I thought it would be you (long term planning, straight-up communication, etc).

iris lily

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It would be best to get this all sorted out before having a baby. Otherwise you will end up doing all the work & resenting it. Paying for daycare is stupid & expensive when he could be doing it since he is not earning much.

This, so much this.

I earn 2 - 4 times what DH earns depending on the year, but he does lots of work around the house, he is brilliant at fixing things and keeping them running, and he is in charge of our finances. Also, with his business, while  it doesn't earn much, he works many hours and he has a great reputation around our community.  He is free for running errands during the day with enough notice.All of those non-tangibles contribute to our quality of life and to our bottom line financial picture.

Also, with his small business he is extremely organized, focused, and on top of paperwork. At tax time it comes out how much he actually nets.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 05:26:47 PM by iris lily »

NumberJohnny5

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Spondulix, wait... Are you saying your DH is the INTJ in your coupleship? I thought it would be you (long term planning, straight-up communication, etc).

That's what I thought too. Though I can relate to her partner, so who knows? I'm going by assumptions.

Speaking of which, I've gotten myself really confused. I remembered the OP's name, or at least the fact that it started with an S. I will endeavor to remember at least the first TWO letters of a poster's name.

NumberJohnny5

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What kind of things do an INTJ person need to learn to have a relationship where they aren't total a**holes as partners? It might be me projecting, but I see a lot of selfishness in that list - INTJs inherently don't sound like team players. They sound like people who voice their own thoughts and concerns, don't care with other people think, and who have a lot of difficulty being empathetic, especially if they don't see their own truth in what the other person says.

The easiest way to deal with an INTJ is to adapt to him/her, of course :)

While it may seem difficult to convince an INTJ to change his/her mind, it's actually pretty easy. Well, assuming you're right and have the facts to back it up (thinking about it, that's harder than it sounds).

The part I wrote about him seeing no point in arguing still stands. A feeling person won't want to argue for no reason because, well, feelings. A thinking/rational person won't want to argue for no reason because it's not rational.

You may also have to realize that while INTJs can come off as assholes, for the most part they don't mean to. In fact, them trying to be NICE can be seen as being an asshole. In the link I posted see #4, and #19. They can be brutally honest because they care about you. They'll also tear apart your ideas not because they dislike you; rather it's because the idea is important to them (probably because the idea itself has merit, though it's possible the idea has NO merit but is still important because it was YOUR idea).

As an INTJ/P, I find I have to work a LOT at the whole relationship thing. I kinda envy Sheldon and Amy's relationship agreement (for those who brag about their non-media consumption, they're characters in a show called The Big Bang Theory). Everything would be so much easier if there were clear expectations on both sides. But all attempts to forge such a document with my wife have been futile.

Again, try to spend equal time thinking about how great your INTJ's qualities are. If you need someone to be brutally honest with you, you know where to turn. If you have a great idea, they'll either show you the flaws you missed and/or help you make it even more awesome. They are INTENSELY loyal. Etc.

Also, see what YOU can do to work around any perceived shortcomings. An example, don't ask your INTJ if your pants make your butt look big...there's a good chance he'll respond "No dear...it's not the pants that make your butt look big...." Instead, ask "Do I look good in this?" in which case you'll get the desired response (unless you don't look good...but odds are he thinks you look good regardless, so you'll just be frustrated that he's "no help"). Don't get upset if you notice your anniversary and birthday listed on his google calendar (in fact, you might want to make sure they ARE listed). I'd forget my own birthday if google didn't remind me. Don't assume every viewpoint your INTJ has is actually his own; as mentioned in #2 of the link, you need to actually ask what his viewpoint is; we're great at playing devil's advocate.

We can also be pretty damned literal. This is neither good nor bad, it's simply good information to have. If you say "I don't feel like helping you with X", you need to realize you didn't say you would NOT help with X, simply that you did not feel like it. Also, if he says "tell me what you want me to do, and I'll try" it means, literally, that he wants you to tell him what you want and he will put forth effort to accomplish that.

All that said, my main point is that I think at least part of the issue here is communication. Pretend you are both speaking completely different languages. If just one of you learns a bit of the other's language, communication will be improved ten-fold. You can either beat him over the head with a stick, demanding that he learn your language (from his perspective he sees someone yelling at him in a foreign language, beating him with a stick) or you can learn how to speak his language (at least now he'll understand why you're hitting him repeatedly with said stick).

TerriM

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I know that this might not totally apply in your case, but it was a real recognition for me that all of us in these generations are muddling through the major gender role changes of the last 40 years.  At one time, all of this would have been moot: of course one person would be in charge (the man) and the other would follow (the woman) (of course in real life this was always way more complicated!).  I think it's worth considering that, gender aside, there's nothing wrong with this *type* of partnership, if it isn't oppressive.  Being on the same page with your goals is obviously key, too.

Anyhoo--hope that's helpful!  Good luck to you.

I really enjoyed reading your post. 

Your last paragraph reminds me of a quote from Big Fat Greek Wedding (not a fan of the movie, but I liked the quote).... "The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants." 

You're very right that the gender roles have been thrown into confusion, and none of us quite knows what the rules are anymore.  If we're all operating under different assumptions as to what the rules are, we're going to get upset when the other person doesn't follow the rules.

Allie

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

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

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

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

That can't be right.

MrsK

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I think it is very hard to be happy in a marriage partnership if you don't respect your partner.  Respect can mean many different things.  For me, I need my DH to work as hard and earn as much as me.  It doesn't have to make sense to other people, but I have learned this about myself.  I have an ex-husband who earned very little and was not very handy around the house.  He was VERY attractive--which may be why he never learned how to do anything useful.  I began to resent him and in the end could find nothing sexual or appealing about him.

I desired a true partner and as a high earner who is also frugal, handy and hard working, I needed to find someone like this to share my life with.  I think you need to ask yourself--am I better with this person than I am by myself? Does he improve your life in any way? 


TerriM

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You know, if you're making $140K working 3 hours a day, you're doing great.  I think you can have your cake and eat it too.  Have a kid, enjoy being home with him/her, and have your husband watch the kid for that 3 hours.  Just tell him what to do :)

olivia

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Even if the OP is actually only working 3 hours a day, that doesn't exempt her husband from working hard.  Working hard could entail doing housework, cooking, making money, etc.  But I would be (rightfully) resentful as hell if I busted my ass while my spouse fucked around being artsy because they were "too good" for a 9-5.

I don't have the answer to your question, but I would not be okay in your situation, and I don't know too many people who would be.  We all want to dick around and just do things we love (isn't that why we're on MMM?), but you have to actually put in the work to get to that point.  The OP's husband is letting her do all the work and riding her coattails.

crispy

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Just because she is only doing 15 hours of actual work doesn't mean she isn't required to be at her job  40 or more hours.  I used to have a job where I called myself a building weight - I just needed to be there to make sure the place didn't blow up and to be there on the rare occasions when it did.  It doesn't sound like she has loads of free time.

There is a lot more at play here than the money situation, and I do think that marriage counseling is what is really needed.  Many of us here are in relationships where one partner makes a lot more or less than the other and few are posting that they are filled with resentment because of this situation.  There are more factors at play here. 
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 08:07:24 PM by crispy »

backyardfeast

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Thanks for the compliments, TerriM and Scrubbyfish, (*blushing*) and OP, I'm glad that sending you down the MBTI (MyersBriggsType Indicator) rabbit hole might be helpful.

Just to clarify, it is indeed the J that is the planner/organizer, ie, you, and your DH, based on your descriptions so far, would most likely be an SFP (I don't know about introvert/extrovert), which is a classic "creative" type.

If you read the description of the INTJ carefully and thought, "this is him to a T!", then there may be quite a different dynamic going on.  As you and Johnny5 have been discussing, the INTJ is a very distinctive personality--if I'm not mistaken Jacob at ERE would be a good example.  They are usually very smart, systems people/engineers/tinkerers, extremely independent, and focused on ideas/abstractions over people or feelings.  An INTJ would not see themselves as selfish; they are right or taking particular actions because, logically, it is simply the right thing to do.  Personally, I think you would be having very different conflicts with your DH if you were both Js, and he an INTJ.  But of course, we're only getting a small picture of him and of your relationship together.

As a case study, my Mom is an INTJ.  She was the boss in our family, that's for sure!  But her long, mostly very happy relationship with my INFP father (another classic creative type) was successful because they understood that they balanced each other out.  My sister and I used to joke that without her, my father would have been the poor poet in the attic apartment, smoking and never going anywhere. :)  With her as a partner, he became a highly functional adult whose warm and loving personality was essential to we kids turning out ok.  But we all spent a lot of our childhoods talking about her and trying to understand her and her decisions.  She was this huge power centre in the family, and, as an adult, I respect her and her parenting decisions completely.  But she didn't have a lot of warm, fuzzy patience for children! :)  If our behaviour wasn't logical, she couldn't figure us out, lol.

That said, she insists that she and my father were complete partners when it came to their marriage and family.  He was totally happy to be the SAHD and play with us, and was completely trustworthy in his taking responsibility for us (picking us up on time, etc).  He shared the housework and learned to cook.  And we all simply had to adapt to the INTJ standards!  But in return, we all gained from her: structure, routine, huge loyalty, lifeskills, and of course, her income to support us.

Sorry if I'm going on about my family! Hope bringing the types to life is helpful for you and anyone else interested. :)

iwasjustwondering

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

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

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

Pigeon

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Even if the OP is actually only working 3 hours a day, that doesn't exempt her husband from working hard.  Working hard could entail doing housework, cooking, making money, etc.  But I would be (rightfully) resentful as hell if I busted my ass while my spouse fucked around being artsy because they were "too good" for a 9-5.

I don't have the answer to your question, but I would not be okay in your situation, and I don't know too many people who would be.  We all want to dick around and just do things we love (isn't that why we're on MMM?), but you have to actually put in the work to get to that point.  The OP's husband is letting her do all the work and riding her coattails.
This is where I am, too. I will also admit that I would not support an able bodied person to be a SAHP, either.

scrubbyfish

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

Offhand I'm not remembering any details from upthread that cause me any alarm in this area, but I can say that this did become a serious matter in the relationship I had with the ex who reminds me of what Spondulix is describing. I believe that most flighty, seat-of-the-pants, spontaneous, creative people can absolutely be fabulous, safe parents -their brain kicks in around child safety- but in my experience, some cannot. It's a serious matter to consider.

Hey It's Me

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The more I read this, Spondulix, the more I'm getting frustrated with you. Here's something I've learned about relationships: a private relationship is a happy relationship. It's fine to come to an online forum to ask for advice, but you've honestly done nothing but !@#$%^&* on your husband this whole thread.

No one on this forum knows his side of the story; all we have is how dissatisfied you are. You want financial advice: your husband and you are making a fortune combined - $165k gross + all the tax benefits of him being self-employed. Get your spending under control and enjoy the smooth ride to financial independence. This isn't a financial question though, it's a relational one.

You're obviously dissatisfied in your relationship, so you have two options: either have a conversation and honestly air your dissatisfaction, or leave him. Neither of those options require you to further !@#$%^&* on this man's life on the internet.

/thread.

Edit: Re-reading this, I was a bit harsh. My apologies.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 10:15:30 PM by moe_rants »

RapmasterD

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What is "reality?" Please ask an Israeli what that is, then a Palestinean. What a BS term.

Here is my admittedly highly subjective "reality."

If I had a spouse that posted this crap about me on a public form, I'd be out the door ASAP, even if I had to sleep on a heat grate and suck down ketchup packets from the local Burger King.

If I had a spouse who even jokingly referred to face punching me...ditto. Yes, I'm intimately familar with that term on the MMM Forum in its relation to use on STRANGERS. But my REALITY is there are limits in its use, including in relation to a spouse you married for better or worse, for richer or poorer.

You've got to give to get. And I'm not talking about material bullshit. You're clearly not showing respect. What would you expect in return?

Bottom Line: You attract your equivalent. Look in the mirror.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 05:35:56 PM by RapmasterD »

TerriM

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

I think the kid will be fine.  I'm pretty disorganized too, but when a kid cries, you respond.   If he doesn't respond to a crying/screaming kid, *then* you have a problem.

That said, he may not find that fulfilling either.

I think the big question here is still whether or not he wants kids.  If he wants to have kids, he'll be more willing to step up to the plate.  If he's *avoiding* having a family, he's not going to try to fix the situation and will even try not to to avoid the responsibility of being a dad.

Hey It's Me

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If I had a spouse that posted this crap about me on a public form, I'd be out the door ASAP, even if I had to sleep on a heat grate and suck down ketchup packets from the local Burger King.

You're clearly not showing respect.

+1

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

olivia

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

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

scrubbyfish

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

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

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

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

That can't be right.

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

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

randommadness

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

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

This. Leave the OP alone. This IS keeping it private. What, do you want her to talk about it with her husbands friends? Her coworkers? She hasn't even stated what profession they are in (that I saw) to keep it even more private.

Also I want to second that from reading she does maybe 3 hours of work, but is required to be there 40. So chill on that too.

RapmasterD

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

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

IMHO, this has very little to do with FI. It has everything to do with showing your spouse respect and not being backhanded on a public forum. Money is just a tool. It's just a how. It's just a reflection. It is not the WHAT. It is the HOW.

As for your male/female remark, right back at you -- calm the fuck down.

And with that I'm done with this. This whole thread makes me want to hurl. I love marriage. I love my wife. Buy bye.