Author Topic: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work  (Read 16024 times)

DebtFreeBy25

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SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« on: February 18, 2016, 03:30:27 PM »
Our current situation has me at the end of my rope. Any suggestions or feedback would be helpful.

The basics:

Me: 29, Currently freelance writer and editor, moved on from a technology implementation role ~2 weeks ago
Him: 30, Unemployed industrial mechanic, laid off in July 2015
Reported 2015 income: ~$100k (combined)
Minimum yearly expenses: ~$15k for the household
Maintain separate finances and share expenses by dividing out monthly and yearly bills
Child-free
Debt-free
Total net worth: ~$300k (combined, includes our home which we own outright)

My husband was laid off from an industrial mechanic job that he hated in July. Although he hated the work, he made ~$80k a year and had awesome benefits. He immediately filed for and began collecting unemployment. Although I (and a few family members and friends) sent him leads for jobs, he didn't appear interested in actively pursuing any of them. He claimed that he applied to 2 jobs a week, but there's no evidence to support that. In September he began working under the table for a family business. He brought home about $400/a week which combined with his unemployment was a decent income.

Unfortunately, the work with the family business is seasonal, and he hasn't worked for them since December. It's still TBD when business will pick back up, likely in April. His unemployment is running out or has already expired. (We have separate accounts, and I don't meddle in his finances.) Working for the family business is not a living wage job and does not include any benefits. He has about $80k of personal assets which is good. The problem is that he is still not actively seeking another job. I've helped him with leads and his resume, but he doesn't seem to spend much time looking for work. When I mention going into business for ourselves, he isn't interested in that option either. His father keeps telling him to get a job, any job, or go back to school.

I am very much against him going back to school. Why? Because he has already spent over 6 years and ten of thousands of dollars pursuing an undergraduate degree that he didn't finish. He already has enough credits for a bachelors but isn't eligible for one because they don't fit neatly into a specific major. His credits are now expiring as he's been out of school for years, and his planned degree is mostly worthless without a doctorate. It seems to be assumed that I would support us if he were to pursue a degree, and I've made it very clear that I did not sign up for that. He doesn't really want to go back to school and would have no better idea of what he wants to do the second time around. The problem is he doesn't particularly want to do anything. When I ask him what his plan is, he has no answer.

Considering he has substantial savings and we maintain separate accounts, how does this impact me? I recently resigned from a technology implementation job that I hated (the company and my most recent project, specifically, not necessarily the work). Although I had actively been looking for another job for six months, the long hours (60+/week) and frequent travel (50%+) hampered my ability to apply and interview for other positions. I knew I had to make a change, and the only way to make that happen was by leaving my previous job. I'm currently doing freelance writing and editing, which are my side gigs. I would really like to seriously pursue self-employment or non-profit work that enjoy (which pays terribly), but our current situation is not conducive to that. Because of my husband's employment situation, I feel obligated to aggressively pursue full-time corporate jobs paying $75k+ that I am unlikely to find fulfilling. In the past week and a half, I've had 7 interviews even though I would have preferred to take some time off.   

I'm particularly concerned about my husband's long-term unemployment because it's a situation we've experienced before. When we were first married, he didn't work for about 2 years. The first time around, he spent down his savings and then we were forced to live on the $35k/year I was making at the time. I was about to file for divorce when his father got him an interview for the industrial mechanic job. He got the job, and we relocated. Now he's been permanently laid-off (RIF) from that job, and we're back to square one.

Does anyone have any advice? Yes, he is clinically depressed and also has generalized anxiety disorder. (Those both apply to me as well.) Yes, he knows it. No, he won't do anything about it. I've tried alternately talking about it and not talking about it, and neither seems to make any difference. He is not interested in counseling as he really does not want to discuss the situation with anyone.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2016, 03:40:49 PM »
He is willing to weigh you down and let you support him rather than get help. It sounds like you are ABLE to support him, especially as it looks like your expenses are reasonably low and you have savings, but do you WANT to? Indefinitely? He may get a job next month, or he may not. If he does get one, it looks like you can expect this cycle to repeat over and over again, indefinitely--get job, bitch about job, lose job, wallow, spend all his money, drive you to brink of divorce, get job at last minute. It doesn't sound attractive to me.

I would try one more time to have him get help: An ultimatum. Tell him you're making him an appointment, and he's going, or you're filing for divorce. My favorite advice columnist, Carolyn Hax, says this is the only appropriate use of an ultimatum, to get someone over the hurdle to getting help.

All of that is of course, as my mother would say, just one woman's opinion!

CNM

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2016, 03:41:25 PM »
I don't have any real advice to give of my own, but I did recently read a similar question to an advice column on The Toast. (http://the-toast.net/2016/02/17/aunt-acid-february-2016/)

Basically, the advice is to take a look at the relationship and see if it's worth it.

tj

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2016, 03:47:24 PM »
If he's not willing to get help, or seriously look for a job (2 applications per week is NOTHING) I'd seriously consider the divorce route.

You shouldn't have to go to corporate America to support him if he's not willing to make any effort for himself.

That sounds harsh.

The only last ditch effort I might try is to see what his plan is for your coupled life? Where does he see the two of you in 10 years or 20 years or 30 years? If he doesn't have an answer to THAT, then I'd say I'm done. I need someone who sees a future with me, not just "meh" about it. If he has no passion for a career, that might be forgivable if he has a passion for something else. It sounds like he is not passionate about anything.

As an aside, since you mentioned your own depression and anxiety issues, i might consider therapy for yourself as opposed to asking this of random internet strangers.

druth

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2016, 03:50:05 PM »
My cousin went through something very similar.  He didn't feel like looking for work in a highly paid field though he claimed he was.  He ultimately declared that he was going to go back to school (and of course she was going to subsidize it).  Well, long story short she didn't want to subsidize his school and now they are divorced.

I'm not saying that you need to get divorced but if it were me I would only put up with so much of this.  If he has enough money saved up to FIRE, then that's great, but it sounds like he doesn't, so when he runs out of money he is going to start spending down the money you are earning.  I know that having a 'mine' and 'yours' concept of money is really controversial around here, but that would be my breaking point.  Especially the idea of you moving to a different job you don't want just to cover for him.

To that end, I would tell him you aren't willing to subsidize him, and he needs to find a job - any job - even if it isn't in his field and even if he is 'too good' for it, so that he can cover his basic living expenses.  You need to decide for yourself what the course of action is if he won't though.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 03:52:44 PM by druth »

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2016, 04:02:06 PM »
Some good advice here already.

Speaking as someone who has been in a similar position (5 years ago my wife was laid off from a job/career she hated and was suffering from depression), I would recommend the following:

1) Worry about fixing the depression first. Sounds like your money situation isn't dire. Getting a job only happened for my wife when she addressed her depression.
2) Re-assess where your partner is mentally. Have they always been this way? Or is this a temporary setback? For my wife it was a temporary issue triggered by some bad experiences at her former job and childhood traumas that were never addressed.
3) Assess your relationship. This will be a lot of work. Are they committed to you and you committed to them?
4) Get help. The first way to make that happen is for you to start talking about the depression. Every day. To anyone who you think might be supportive. Make it real. Often times this disease isn't treated because everyone around you thinks it is a fiction.
5) Be patient. This will take awhile. Eventually, my wife's family and I were able to get her to see that she had a serious problem like a 911 emergency problem. I actually ended up taking her to the hospital so they could put her on 24 suicide watch. From that point on she realized she had a problem and knew she needed to get help. And that was the start of a 2 year journey of her taking CBT classes, medication, therapy, etc.
6) Once the depression was addressed it took her about 6 weeks to land a job.

Good luck. The good news is that this is some real life hardship - if you get through it not only will you both be more badass but your relationship will be much stronger and much better.

Cassie

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2016, 04:08:09 PM »
I would ask him to address the mental health issues, perhaps meds, counseling, etc but in the end if he wasn't willing to seek help I would divorce him.  I wasn't married to my hubby at the time but he had similar issues and since we were living together I did give him an ultimatum.  So he went on meds even though he didn't want to and found a job. This was 19 years ago and we are now married and both semi-retired. You can't do all the work-he has to be willing to seek help.  Hugs:))

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2016, 04:14:51 PM »
Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. A couple points for clarity:

- He is still actively contributing, and since our expenses are so low, it's expected that he'll be able to contribute for quite some time.
- It's expected that he'll return to the family business when it picks back up in the spring (unless he's somehow found a full-time position). It pays enough to cover his expenses but isn't a "real job" (no benefits, no progression, etc.) by any means.
- He's been medicated before and it didn't make that much of a difference.
- He is willing to work but extremely ineffective at finding work. Looking for work is more of a problem than actually working. He worked a job that he hated for over three years because it paid well.
- No, he doesn't want me to take over his job search. I have begrudgingly offered several times.
- He's very frugal and consistently contributes to domestic duties (more than I do honestly). Most people have this image of a lazy, non-working spouse, and that's not him.

If he has no passion for a career, that might be forgivable if he has a passion for something else. It sounds like he is not passionate about anything.

This really summarizes the problem. He doesn't have any potentially income producing passions. He doesn't really seem passionate about anything, but that may be the anxiety and depression there.

Frankies Girl

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2016, 04:16:19 PM »
You keep such separate finances that you really have no idea how much money or debt he really has. How do you know he has substantial savings? He took money under the table, he expects you to support him going back to school... you have no idea unless you ask and he chooses to share everything.

He refuses at this point to work and has decided going back to school is a viable plan to pretend to be accomplishing something but expects you to subsidize his hiding from the real world. He has performed "under the table" work while collecting full unemployment benefits. This is fraud. Despite you keeping things separate, I have a feeling that if the IRS discovers this hidden income, they can and will come after you as well. I would be super, super pissed about this. Goes to lack of integrity/honesty and the lack of concern of how it would hurt the spouse (you) if caught out. And not once did you get a say in this? He's just telling you this is what is happening?

He has made a decision without your input many times over and refuses to get help or be present in your marriage as a partner and treating you like an equal decision maker or care how his choices effect you.

You quit your job (without consulting him?) as well.

You don't mention caring about him at all or wanting to supporting him, and there seems to be little care/concern from him towards you based on his own decisions. I wouldn't necessarily call them selfish (well, kinda), but definitely made without considering the partnership - only how things effect him and it sounds like you feel the same way about him - you are both unwilling to compromise.

You both have mental health issues that he refuses to even discuss with you, let alone seek help for. So he lets his anxiety and fears and apathy control how he makes decisions.  You don't say if you're getting help, but you obviously aren't being comforted/supported by him, or comforting/supporting him either.

Why are you married? You are leading almost completely separate lives - money, well-being, decisions effecting jobs, disregarding each other in all aspects of decisions about your future and direction of your lives. You don't seem to be on the same page for anything.

I would seriously consider counseling to find a way to come to terms that you do not have a working marriage. It might be salvageable, but it sounds like neither one of you wants to give what is necessary to be in a real relationship. Not saying that is bad, but you seem to have no reason to be together; you want different things and no one is there to support the other in what they want and there is no room for compromise.

I'm really so sorry you're in a relationship like this. It sounds very lonely and frustrating and you deserve better. It may be the best thing for you to get out and not feel so beholden and suffocated by someone else that refuses to do anything to help themselves or their marriage. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 04:18:11 PM by Frankies Girl »

backyardfeast

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2016, 04:28:53 PM »
OP, you've given a pretty bare bones description of your marriage, and it does lead to the kind of conclusion that Frankies Girl outlines.  But, of course, you may be leaving out some more loving details...I hope?

Truthfully, if he is actively contributing to the household chores, is earning enough at his low-key job to contribute to his share of his expenses, and has substantial savings (although FG is right, you don't say how you can be sure of this, but presuming you are), there isn't technically a problem.  If there's something more you want from him, another reason you want him to be earning more--whether that's psychological for you or about shared goals like FIRE--then that's the thing to talk about. 

First, I'd give him a break and some breathing room (although maybe that's what you've been doing), then I'd try to talk with him about your fears and goals and ask how he feels about them.  Explain your own dreams and that you would prefer to share those future scenarios with him, if that's true.  How he contributes to or engages with those goals are really up to him, and then it's up to you to decide if that's enough for you.

But if you've been down this road before, I agree with the others that it's also time to get yourself some counseling, and to do some deep thinking about what YOU want.  If you love him and want to keep your marriage, that may mean pushing him a little harder towards help.  If you want to be done and free, that's ok too.

human

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2016, 04:34:25 PM »
Sounds like you're both unemployed . . . you don't want to work for corporate america because it will lead you to the place he's currently in, but he better shape up and get real? Sounds like you both would benefit from a trial separation.

pbkmaine

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2016, 04:35:31 PM »
Are you better off with him or without him?

tj

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2016, 04:41:10 PM »
Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. A couple points for clarity:

- He is still actively contributing, and since our expenses are so low, it's expected that he'll be able to contribute for quite some time.
- It's expected that he'll return to the family business when it picks back up in the spring (unless he's somehow found a full-time position). It pays enough to cover his expenses but isn't a "real job" (no benefits, no progression, etc.) by any means.
- He's been medicated before and it didn't make that much of a difference.
- He is willing to work but extremely ineffective at finding work. Looking for work is more of a problem than actually working. He worked a job that he hated for over three years because it paid well.
- No, he doesn't want me to take over his job search. I have begrudgingly offered several times.
- He's very frugal and consistently contributes to domestic duties (more than I do honestly). Most people have this image of a lazy, non-working spouse, and that's not him.

If he has no passion for a career, that might be forgivable if he has a passion for something else. It sounds like he is not passionate about anything.

This really summarizes the problem. He doesn't have any potentially income producing passions. He doesn't really seem passionate about anything, but that may be the anxiety and depression there.

a passion does not have to be income producing. if my future wife was incredibly passionate about some form of volunteerism or teaching music to kids or something thats good for society but not monetarily successful, i wouldnt have a problem subsidizing someone if i was in love, especially if they already had a decent nest egg.

Are you in love with your husband? also just because one med didnt work doesnt mean others wont.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2016, 04:43:11 PM »
I'm single by choice, so probably not really qualified to answer. But hey, it's the internet:

Were I in your shoes I'd need a sit down "let's talk about life" discussion.

1. What I want.
2. What you want.
3. What we---together--want.
4. What we both think we need to do to get to our goal of: xyz. (buy a farm, live in a penthouse on Central Park, own a café...lead photo expeditions to Africa...whatever it is.)

And then see what you can get out in the open as far as life goals, etc. 25 means you have years ahead of you to sort it out....but if you feel the way you 'sound' on the internet (from my living room) then you're not happy with the status quo and desire SOME sort of change.

But since you're in a committed relationship, both parties have to agree on what that change will be.

The first step is talking.

RamonaQ

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2016, 04:45:23 PM »

- He's been medicated before and it didn't make that much of a difference.

Medication for depression isn't a one size fits all situation.  It's entirely possible that he will have to try several different meds before he find one that work.  Also, medication alone often isn't enough.  Has he tried talk therapy?  You mention you also have depression/anxiety.  What are you doing for yourself along those lines?

Quote
He doesn't really seem passionate about anything, but that may be the anxiety and depression there.

Pretty much textbook depression.

tj

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2016, 04:48:59 PM »
I'd also like to add that you have 300k in assets including a paid off hose, but 15k in expenses. This is a 5% withdrawal rate with no rent payments. You guys should be fine with part time jobs if your expenses are sustainable. How much of this equity is in your house? I'm not saying you shouldn't work, but it seems like you guys need to have a heart-to-heart and figure out what your perfect life looks like. There's no reason to go through the motions.

earthshine

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2016, 04:49:47 PM »
I agree with others who mention starting by treating the depression.

Sometimes a supplement that boosts serotonin can go along way until the root cause is determined and addressed.

RamonaQ

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2016, 04:49:59 PM »
A question for clarification - you said that your combined income last year was about $100k and the job he got laid off from was about $80k.  So were you only bringing in $20K?  And you left that job to pursue freelancing?

Are you talking to each other about goals and employment decisions and just everyday life?  I understand you keep separate finances (my partner and I do too).  But a few things you said - not being convinced he was applying for jobs, not knowing if his unemployment has run out, even the way that you described your career change - gave me the impression that you're not really discussing things and are functioning as pretty independent/isolated units. (But of course that's just an impression from someone who doesn't know you at all from the few paragraphs you wrote.)

MrMoogle

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2016, 05:02:44 PM »
A question for clarification - you said that your combined income last year was about $100k and the job he got laid off from was about $80k.  So were you only bringing in $20K?  And you left that job to pursue freelancing?
He was laid off in July, so he probably only made ~$40k, so she was bringing in ~$60k.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 05:05:38 PM by MrMoogle »

RamonaQ

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2016, 05:21:57 PM »
A question for clarification - you said that your combined income last year was about $100k and the job he got laid off from was about $80k.  So were you only bringing in $20K?  And you left that job to pursue freelancing?
He was laid off in July, so he probably only made ~$40k, so she was bringing in ~$60k.

Gotcha - I should have noticed that.  Thanks.

cloudsail

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2016, 05:45:26 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it kind of sounds like you're unhappy that he doesn't want to go back to a well-paid job that he hated and is instead doing something that makes much less money, but you are pretty much doing the same thing? I get that somebody has to bring home the bacon, but it does seem a little unfair to push your husband to do something that you don't want to do either.

He should definitely seek treatment for the depression though.

expatartist

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2016, 06:26:38 PM »
It is good you are drawing the line now. I haven't until quite recently, and our challenges have been going on for nearly 9 years. We too keep separate finances. I wonder whether this separateness contributes to 'my decisions are my own' behavior from both of us. We have the added complication of being from 2 different countries and living in a third. He is 47 and I am 41. Maybe we can be an example of what not to do - it's a long read but as short as I'm capable of right now.

What has happened with us, several times: DH gets fed up with job, quits with no backup plan and (usually) very little savings...when we met 12 yrs ago, my attitude to work (enough to make ends meet while pursuing my art and for visa sponsorship) and money was immature.

What he did after quitting his most recent job: Very little. Several months later, I asked how many jobs he'd applied for that week. "None." How was the Coursera finance course going, the one he wanted to take to be more qualified for the project management positions he was going for? "Haven't started it yet." When did he plan to? "Soon." When I asked, he said his savings were due to run out the following month. He had a bit left on credit I think, but only a few thousand in savings in a good interest-bearing acct at home.

Next morning I presented him with three conditions if he wanted to stay:
* Apply for 10 jobs/week
* Take 2 relevant free online courses
* Go to 2 volunteer/networking events per week

"When do you want me to leave?" he asked.
"Tomorrow night."
So he caught a train down to visit his ailing friend in Hainan, a.k.a. "China's Hawaii".

This wasn't intended as a thread hijack, more a warning. As other posters said, it's good to make expectations clear. Also, I can't tell you how many of my friends have confided recently that their relationships are dying in large part due to depressed husbands who refuse help or treatment of any kind. Best of luck.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 11:29:28 PM by expatartist »

Axecleaver

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2016, 09:48:11 PM »
expatarist-

You deserve your own thread or journal. Please post a new thread, I would follow it with interest.

DebtFree -

Having walked this path myself, what I've found to be most important to my depressed loved ones is that I will be there for them, love them and support them, but not forever unless they contribute to the cause. Let him know that you love him and support him, but it's high time to get his shit together. Get him started on either meds or exercise stat. Keep him accountable. Don't let a day go by where you fail to get him out into the sunshine and exercising.

It sounds trite, but this is the most important thing to do with someone who has anxiety/depression problems. Before you know it they will be winding their own crank and you'll never even know they once needed an hourly pick me up. It's rough - hold the line and never give up.

arebelspy

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SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2016, 02:04:32 AM »
- He is still actively contributing, and since our expenses are so low, it's expected that he'll be able to contribute for quite some time.
...
- He's very frugal and consistently contributes to domestic duties (more than I do honestly). Most people have this image of a lazy, non-working spouse, and that's not him.

If he's contributing monetarily (via saved up assets and little money made from the  seasonal family business) and via household duties, I think it's okay to take this slower than the immediate ultimatum.

Ultimately, you want two things (probably in this order?):
1) Him to get help
2) You not to be affected

The second is good for now.  Via that quote above, you aren't being affected, per se. Your expenses are so low (15k combined) that he should be able to pay his half for quite a long while. 80k saved up?  He could go for a decade.

That may not move you in the direction you want, financially, but it's also not leeching, yet.

I don't think you have to take that corporate job.  That's your mindset, not his. I don't think you should, unless you want to.

Lots of good suggestions in here on potential ways to approach this--talking about the future and dreams is one good way, IMO.  I just wanted to add that, while you want to help him ASAP, if he's seeing everything as okay, then it's you with the problem right now. He may just be using some FU money he has saved up, and gathering a little from side gigs.

Work on it, but delicately. I don't know that an ultimatum at this moment is necessary, or wise.

Good luck!
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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2016, 02:06:27 AM »
Check out some books also, like The Upward Spiral.

I'd MUCH rather have my depressed love one agree to read a few books about it than agree to apply for a few jobs. Getting to the root of the problem, basically.
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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2016, 07:52:49 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it kind of sounds like you're unhappy that he doesn't want to go back to a well-paid job that he hated and is instead doing something that makes much less money, but you are pretty much doing the same thing? I get that somebody has to bring home the bacon, but it does seem a little unfair to push your husband to do something that you don't want to do either.

He should definitely seek treatment for the depression though.

That's how I am reading this too. You both don't want to work and then resent each other for not wanting to work. Well, that seems like a great recipe for success.

If this were my situation, I'd just get a real job. Doesn't mean you have to go back to what you were doing before, but you need to take care of you in case this marriage is taking a long walk off a short pier. To me, it seems like you two have very little real communication about your finances and goals, both long and short term. You both need a lot of marriage counseling on top of what he needs for his depression. You need to be ready for divorce if that is what it comes down to. Resentment is a poison that will kill any relationship though. It is an unsustainable course.


DebtFreeBy25

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2016, 08:06:39 AM »
A question for clarification - you said that your combined income last year was about $100k and the job he got laid off from was about $80k.  So were you only bringing in $20K?  And you left that job to pursue freelancing?

Are you talking to each other about goals and employment decisions and just everyday life?  I understand you keep separate finances (my partner and I do too).  But a few things you said - not being convinced he was applying for jobs, not knowing if his unemployment has run out, even the way that you described your career change - gave me the impression that you're not really discussing things and are functioning as pretty independent/isolated units. (But of course that's just an impression from someone who doesn't know you at all from the few paragraphs you wrote.)

Regarding 2015 reported income, my husband make 80k in 2014. He worked slightly fewer hours in 2015 and was laid off at the beginning of July. I started 2015 with a 60k salary, received a small raise in March and a larger raise at the end of June which brought me to 65k. I didn't have any side income that will be taxed for 2015. I haven't filed our taxes yet but our gross income is around ~$105k.

I had wanted to leave my job since the summer of 2015 but didn't because my husband got RIF-ed in July. (The short version is I was misled regarding travel, timeline, stability, responsibilities and other key factors when I accepted my most recent project and regretted taking the position almost instantly.) I pursued other positions as aggressively as I could for those six months, but the hours and travel requirements of my previous job left little time and energy to find something else. The demands were only getting worse, and I knew that if I didn't leave my job that it was extremely likely that I would still be there, completely miserable, in another six months. (I did have a couple offers during that time period, but the salaries were too low, especially when factoring in the unemployed spouse.) My husband was aware that I did not plan to stay in my previous job. Freelancing is something I'm doing while I figure out my next move. I'm also hoping to build a relatively steady side income that I plan to continue even when it's no longer my primary occupation.

That's how I am reading this too. You both don't want to work and then resent each other for not wanting to work. Well, that seems like a great recipe for success.

Nope, I do want to work. I'd highly prefer to never work for another unethical corporation again (which summarizes the past 3 years of my life). But, yes, I want to work full-time or nearly full-time in some capacity (hoping to be able to volunteer late in life) indefinitely. I also haven't had more than a week off at a time for the past 7 years, so I'm a bit burnt out and grouchy.


I don't think you have to take that corporate job.  That's your mindset, not his. I don't think you should, unless you want to.

Lots of good suggestions in here on potential ways to approach this--talking about the future and dreams is one good way, IMO.  I just wanted to add that, while you want to help him ASAP, if he's seeing everything as okay, then it's you with the problem right now. He may just be using some FU money he has saved up, and gathering a little from side gigs.

Work on it, but delicately. I don't know that an ultimatum at this moment is necessary, or wise.
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This is excellent advice. I am a high stress/ excessive worry individual. Even though my logical brain knows differently, my panicky little human brain believes that this is a catastrophe in the making that needs be resolved ASAP.

Thanks for the book recommendation! We're both avid readers, so that's something he may actually be willing to do. (To the best of my knowledge he's never read a "self help" book in his life, so I'd probably have to check it out, read it and then convince him that it's worthwhile.)

expatarist-
 Get him started on either meds or exercise stat. Keep him accountable. Don't let a day go by where you fail to get him out into the sunshine and exercising.

Yes to sunshine and exercise! Sunshine seems to be vital to my well-being. I forgot how much exercise does seem to make a difference in his mental health.  My husband is a generally athletic guy, but it does seem to fall off a bit when he's depressed. Daily exercise would be a good place to start.

arebelspy

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2016, 08:11:31 AM »
Yes, I'd be much more interested in getting him exercising, eating healthy, sleeping enough, and reading a few positivity and self help books applicable to him than I would getting him applying for a bunch of new jobs this minute.  Give it a few weeks or a month and work on turning around the mental state, so he decides to start applying on his own, hopefully.

It'll be tough though. I'm glad you're on his team.
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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2016, 08:26:15 AM »
Quote
in another six months. (I did have a couple offers during that time period, but the salaries were too low, especially when factoring in the unemployed spouse.)

Can you elaborate on "too low " salaries? It looks like you guy are killing it with what you have saved up and you have rock bottom expenses. Do you just think it's not worth your time to go to work if you make less than X amount?

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2016, 08:38:20 AM »
I also haven't had more than a week off at a time for the past 7 years, so I'm a bit burnt out and grouchy.

I have never had more than a week off at a time since I started working more than a decade ago. I'm not saying this as a point of pride, or as if it is a good thing, but I don't think it's all that uncommon really...at least in the US.

Giro

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2016, 09:07:41 AM »
I have also never had more than a week off.  I don't really know anyone who takes vacations that are longer than a week at a time.  I do think it's a U.S. thing.

I'm reading that neither person wants to really work.  At least in something that does more than support a very minimalist lifestyle. 

Get help for depression for both of you, then decide if you need to end the marriage to find someone who is more willing to supplement your lifestyle.


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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2016, 12:03:43 PM »
There is some great advice here about exercise, books, and health.  I am not a fan of divorce, but I agree it sounds like you two are hardly married.  Your initial post made it sound like you two don't talk about the future in any significant way.  If you two really have expenses of $15,000 a year, and assets of $300,000 you are probably at FIRE now so give yourself time to dream.  Even a low paying job of $30,000 a year gives you a 50% savings rate.  I see a major disconnect between what you want in life, what you have in life, and what you think you need.  In all things time seems to be on your side at this point, so use it.  If you really want to put pressure on your husband for whatever reason I would start with an ultimatum like do this or I am leaving.  warning he will probably not do it, and you will need to leave for a few days.  Maybe he will beg you to come back, then things will be fine for while, and then bad again.  Leave again.  As Mark Gungor says even a dog can be trained.  Just remember your situation as described sounds like you have all the time in the world to make it work if you will.

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2016, 12:24:12 PM »
Sometimes an ultimatum is the only thing that scares a person enough to make changes and sometimes it just brings to an end a marriage that was doomed anyways.  I don't think it is fair for him not to work and live off the $ he has. How will he explain a 10 year gap in work when he does need to work?  If his not working is bothering you then it is a big problem in your marriage. It is fine to be supportive but most people have trouble doing it forever when the person is not trying.

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2016, 12:33:18 PM »
I'm with the others who don't see this is as a major problem. Dude has ~$80K saved up and is paying ~$7,500 a year in expenses. He has plenty of time to decompress and enjoy life(although he does not seem to be doing that). Bigger problem is your attitude and his health issues.

In his shoes, I would probably take 6 months or so off work before hitting the grind again, although my personality is such that I would be doing *something* constructive after a couple of weeks, at most. Even if it was mowing the neighbor yards for $10 a pop.


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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2016, 12:38:59 PM »
I'm sorry that I am going to do a threadjack but feel like I need advice (I should probably go to a therapist...). My husband and I have had our ups and downs, rough patches. I thought we were doing reasonably well, except for the fact that he has emotionally withdrawn, for years. the last few years he unilaterally had us stop doing stuff as a couple, both as dates and with other couples we used to know for the last few years. This hurt my feelings because he still does a lot of stuff socially, but not with me. As I work full time and watch the kids in the evenings that he is going out or working, I let my social life go, other than a few good girlfriends. Because of a financial responsibility He needed to work more and so scheduled himself on all the days I have off. Recently he said some things that made it clear he doesn't feel the same about me. Looking on the internet the things he does and says are sign of either depression, mid life crisis or even an affair. I know this will not get better unless he is willing to work on himself and this marriage, but of course I can't make him. He says he feels trapped, that we are too "enmeshed". How long do I wait? We share a house, 2 kids and all our assets are joint. I am the primary breadwinner. I know many will say I am better off without him, but I still love him (I want the old him back) plus we honestly don't have enough money for 2 residences.  ETA. Except this past year (he made 20K) he has never made more than 10K a year the years we have been together. That had been the source of past arguments but not recently.     
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 12:42:19 PM by partgypsy »

arebelspy

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2016, 12:41:52 PM »
I don't think it is fair for him not to work and live off the $ he has.

Isn't that literally the definition of FIRE?

And what plenty of people do with FU money, via a gap year?
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Giro

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2016, 12:51:06 PM »
I don't think it is fair for him not to work and live off the $ he has.

Why the heck not?  That's what savings is for.  I plan to not work in a few years and live off of the money I have for the rest of my life. 

The only thing I see wrong that he is doing is breaking the law by not paying his taxes on income he's earning. 


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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2016, 12:52:31 PM »
They are married so it should be a joint decision. It should not just be 1 person deciding they are not working.

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2016, 12:56:00 PM »
Partgypsy: I am sorry for the pain you are experiencing.  Seeing a therapist sounds like a good idea. Ideally both of you should go together to work on the marriage. Unfortunately, if you end up splitting you will probably end up paying him alimony since you are the main breadwinner. Hugs:))

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2016, 01:54:13 PM »
I had a boyfriend who was laid off from the store where he worked... he collected all his unemployment for a year until it was about to run out and immediately was hired by another store and picked up where he had left off. So he got a year's vacation with the pleasurable experience of me nagging at him the entire time, only to come out the other side in the same position, not better off but not worse off.  I worried the whole time. To me it was the crumbling of all future plans--for him it was a chance to take a break. And the facts serve that we were fine in the end. Some people need to be under serious pressure to get their ass in gear. I hope that will be the case for your spouse.

If I were in your shoes I would work more on the exercise/health/love/relationship until you can see how things go with his seasonal work in April and what he does to get extra work/a new gig following that period. I get the sense he's just not ready but will find the right job in time.

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #40 on: February 19, 2016, 02:29:23 PM »
I had a boyfriend who was laid off from the store where he worked... he collected all his unemployment for a year until it was about to run out and immediately was hired by another store and picked up where he had left off. So he got a year's vacation with the pleasurable experience of me nagging at him the entire time, only to come out the other side in the same position, not better off but not worse off.  I worried the whole time. To me it was the crumbling of all future plans--for him it was a chance to take a break. And the facts serve that we were fine in the end.

Far be it me to judge, but I don't see that it is all fine.... as Cassie said earlier these things need to be a joint decision. He can't just decide to take a year off and knowingly stress you out over it.

arebelspy

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #41 on: February 19, 2016, 02:35:23 PM »
I had a boyfriend who was laid off from the store where he worked... he collected all his unemployment for a year until it was about to run out and immediately was hired by another store and picked up where he had left off. So he got a year's vacation with the pleasurable experience of me nagging at him the entire time, only to come out the other side in the same position, not better off but not worse off.  I worried the whole time. To me it was the crumbling of all future plans--for him it was a chance to take a break. And the facts serve that we were fine in the end.

Far be it me to judge, but I don't see that it is all fine.... as Cassie said earlier these things need to be a joint decision. He can't just decide to take a year off and knowingly stress you out over it.

True.  The thing is, he may just not be viewing it the same.  Like, he might not see this as a big deal at all, and is wondering why you're stressing.

Communicating about it is key.
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Reynold

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #42 on: February 19, 2016, 02:42:29 PM »
A site which may be better than the MMM one for relationship issues is Athol Kay's "Married Man Sex Life".  Despite the name, it has a lot of ways for both men and women to improve their relationships, and he has written a couple of books about it.  There is also a very active forum where you can triage your relationship and get feedback which, as a warning, like here, can be fairly brutally honest.  I have never seen the term "facepunch" used there, though, so at least you have that going for you. :)

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #43 on: February 19, 2016, 02:43:12 PM »
I had a boyfriend who was laid off from the store where he worked... he collected all his unemployment for a year until it was about to run out and immediately was hired by another store and picked up where he had left off. So he got a year's vacation with the pleasurable experience of me nagging at him the entire time, only to come out the other side in the same position, not better off but not worse off.  I worried the whole time. To me it was the crumbling of all future plans--for him it was a chance to take a break. And the facts serve that we were fine in the end.

Far be it me to judge, but I don't see that it is all fine.... as Cassie said earlier these things need to be a joint decision. He can't just decide to take a year off and knowingly stress you out over it.

I kind of disagree with this.  If they have separate finances and he is able to meet his 50% of the household expenses. Then he should be free to heal however that may be deemed necessary.  He needs to get healthy.  There has been a lot of chatter on here about getting help.  The issue with that, as I see it, is that there is a lot of stigma for mental health issues in society.  They are even more intense when the person experiencing the mental health issue is male.

I think if I were in this situation, I would do a couple of things.  I would talk to my SO and let them know that I have become a little worried.  Make sure that they are able to meet the financial commitments of the house hold for the immediate future(a year or two at least) then focus on helping them understand that mental health issues are not subject to ridicule, at least from me, and that seeking help is ok.  The health of the individual is the most important here.  It may delay FIRE a year or hell even 10, but better to FIRE 10 years late then destroy ones self in the process. A little communication and compassion can go a tremendous distance in this case I feel.

I think an ultimatum is the  worst thing the OP can do.  This is going to intensify any depression/anxiety that the SO is feeling. 

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #44 on: February 19, 2016, 03:35:05 PM »
I was in a situation like this w the ex. We were towards the end of our relationship, when he resigned his well paying job to figure out what he wanted from life. It just extended the relationship agony with 7 months, as i couldn't just leave him, depressed and unemployed. It was hard. I feel for you.

Of course he didn't figure it out, he ended up taking a similar job in a different city, where he moved alone. He has been doing this on and off jobs ever since, living off savings in between, because i guess never figured out what makes him happy...

I friend of mine ( and a psychiatrist) told me sth which was helpful in breaking up an recovering from that toxic relationship, so I ll share: it is a personality type. He is ok being unhappy. He is not going to change. You wont change him. She saw lots of these people who always had somebody around who wanted to support them and help, but it was impossible. Look after yourself. If this is what you want to do and choose to do, it's ok, but you will never make him happy. Does he make you happy?

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #45 on: February 20, 2016, 07:08:31 AM »
There is some great advice here about exercise, books, and health.  I am not a fan of divorce, but I agree it sounds like you two are hardly married.  Your initial post made it sound like you two don't talk about the future in any significant way.  If you two really have expenses of $15,000 a year, and assets of $300,000 you are probably at FIRE now so give yourself time to dream.  Even a low paying job of $30,000 a year gives you a 50% savings rate.  I see a major disconnect between what you want in life, what you have in life, and what you think you need.  In all things time seems to be on your side at this point, so use it.  If you really want to put pressure on your husband for whatever reason I would start with an ultimatum like do this or I am leaving.  warning he will probably not do it, and you will need to leave for a few days.  Maybe he will beg you to come back, then things will be fine for while, and then bad again.  Leave again.  As Mark Gungor says even a dog can be trained.  Just remember your situation as described sounds like you have all the time in the world to make it work if you will.

He doesn't talk about the future because he's too depressed. I don't talk about the future because there are too many unknowns right now.

I was in the low paying but somewhat fulfilling job the last time my husband was unemployed. That experience burned me in terms of ever relying on one income, especially a low income, again even though we have low expenses. (Quick side note: even at 30k you're still having taxes and insurance premiums deducted from your gross income, so that salary would only net around $900/pay assuming the insurance is relatively inexpensive.) Yes, we survived. Yes, we paid down debt. But I was continually stressed out about our finances and honestly more than a little embarrassed that my salary was so low. While I personally don't care a lot about money, I hate being seen as a failure. I have a masters degree and frequently got the "look of disappointment", or occasionally outright condescension or pity, for earning so little in my early 20s. (My salary was public record.) People treat you differently based on your position and how much they believe you earn. I briefly worked another low paying gig for a few months 3 years ago before getting promoted to regional manager. The way some people (probably most common in the US) treat those that they perceive as "less than" is appalling. (My sympathy/empathy goes out to anyone working in food service, retail or any other service sector job.)

My specific concern regarding my husband is that this is not the first time he's been in this situation. The way he handled unemployment years ago does not suggest that he learned anything or is likely to handle it differently this time around. While he definitely has more resources now, his last period of unemployment ended because his father got him an interview. I'm not counting on my FIL, me or some  other third party being able to swoop in and fix it this time.

Note to all of posters who keep insisting we don't want to work I am currently working and have brought in ~$1000 in freelance projects this month. I also just left my full-time job 2 weeks ago and had vacation time that paid out. In addition to working on side projects and hustling new freelance work, I'm also currently interviewing for full-time positions. I have either worked (~11 years total) or been actively looking for work (about 6 months total) since I was 18 including the entire time I was in undergrad and then grad school. (Although I desperately wanted a job at 16, my mom forced me to be the primary caregiver for my much younger brother and sister, so that's why I got such a late start in the workforce.)

My husband worked summers on a family farm since he was 12 years old. At 15, he got his first real job doing greenhouse, landscaping and maintenance work for a small business and worked as many hours as he could there for several years. Between that job and working for his (somewhat distant) family business he typically worked full-time hours the entire time he was in school. We relocated for my job early in our marriage, and he was unable to find work in an extremely rural area where he had few connections. Then there was the relocation for the well-paying job that he hated but worked until he was laid off, and now we're caught up. It's not that he won't work when he has the opportunity. He's just terrible at looking for work and has only worked places where he had a personal contact. (Unfortunately, none of his connections have gotten him in the door for an interview for an appropriate job this time around.)

Side note: We're both from impoverished backgrounds and paid our own college tuition, including have to pay off debt in both cases. We paid for every vehicle we've ever owned and our current home in cash. I doubt either of us are what anyone would picture as someone who "doesn't want to work".

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #46 on: February 20, 2016, 07:16:58 AM »
I had a boyfriend who was laid off from the store where he worked... he collected all his unemployment for a year until it was about to run out and immediately was hired by another store and picked up where he had left off. So he got a year's vacation with the pleasurable experience of me nagging at him the entire time, only to come out the other side in the same position, not better off but not worse off.  I worried the whole time. To me it was the crumbling of all future plans--for him it was a chance to take a break. And the facts serve that we were fine in the end. Some people need to be under serious pressure to get their ass in gear. I hope that will be the case for your spouse.

If I were in your shoes I would work more on the exercise/health/love/relationship until you can see how things go with his seasonal work in April and what he does to get extra work/a new gig following that period. I get the sense he's just not ready but will find the right job in time.

This rings somewhat true at least in my opinion. I am super type A, and no one worries as much as I do, nor should they. It is possible that he will get it together now that there's increasing pressure to do so.

What he did after quitting his most recent job: Very little. Several months later, I asked how many jobs he'd applied for that week. "None." How was the Coursera finance course going, the one he wanted to take to be more qualified for the project management positions he was going for? "Haven't started it yet." When did he plan to? "Soon." When I asked, he said his savings were due to run out the following month. He had a bit left on credit I think, but only a few thousand in savings in a good interest-bearing acct at home.

Hugs to you. This situation sounds incredibly stressful. Kudos to you for saving yourself.

For others who are following, the obviously difference here is that my SO is a super saver with low expenses.

I think an ultimatum is the  worst thing the OP can do.  This is going to intensify any depression/anxiety that the SO is feeling. 

Agreed. In addition to being all sorts of anxious and depressed, he hates ultimatums and despises having someone tell him what to do with his life. There is no forcing him to do anything.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 07:26:47 AM by DebtFreeBy25 »

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #47 on: February 20, 2016, 08:36:41 AM »
I'm sorry that I am going to do a threadjack but feel like I need advice (I should probably go to a therapist...). My husband and I have had our ups and downs, rough patches. I thought we were doing reasonably well, except for the fact that he has emotionally withdrawn, for years. the last few years he unilaterally had us stop doing stuff as a couple, both as dates and with other couples we used to know for the last few years. This hurt my feelings because he still does a lot of stuff socially, but not with me. As I work full time and watch the kids in the evenings that he is going out or working, I let my social life go, other than a few good girlfriends. Because of a financial responsibility He needed to work more and so scheduled himself on all the days I have off. Recently he said some things that made it clear he doesn't feel the same about me. Looking on the internet the things he does and says are sign of either depression, mid life crisis or even an affair. I know this will not get better unless he is willing to work on himself and this marriage, but of course I can't make him. He says he feels trapped, that we are too "enmeshed". How long do I wait? We share a house, 2 kids and all our assets are joint. I am the primary breadwinner. I know many will say I am better off without him, but I still love him (I want the old him back) plus we honestly don't have enough money for 2 residences.  ETA. Except this past year (he made 20K) he has never made more than 10K a year the years we have been together. That had been the source of past arguments but not recently.     

You do not need this guy, or any guy for that matter. The facts, as I understand them, are that you earn most of the income, are the primary caretaker for your children and sacrifice yourself so that he can have a life outside work. He says the two of you are too "enmeshed" because he has no personal assets and little earning potential. He is purposefully avoiding you by working on your days off and going out solo (and leaving you with the kids).

This is not a relationship worth saving. In fact, it sounds like it's not even a relationship because only one person is making an effort (you). You deserve better than this. You deserve a partner who wants to spend time with you. You deserve a partner who pulls their weight. You deserve a partner who takes responsibility rather than foisting as much as possible on you.

Based on this description, I'm not buying that it's depression or a mid-life crisis. He still goes out. He has friends, some sort of job and a life outside your family. That doesn't sound like a person in crisis. You've tried to talk about the issues, and he's not interested. If someone shows you their real feelings, you should believe them. Whether he's having an affair or not is irrelevant, you're getting nothing out of this marriage and deserve better.

LeRainDrop

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2016, 09:22:19 AM »
I'm sorry that I am going to do a threadjack but feel like I need advice (I should probably go to a therapist...). My husband and I have had our ups and downs, rough patches. I thought we were doing reasonably well, except for the fact that he has emotionally withdrawn, for years. the last few years he unilaterally had us stop doing stuff as a couple, both as dates and with other couples we used to know for the last few years. This hurt my feelings because he still does a lot of stuff socially, but not with me. As I work full time and watch the kids in the evenings that he is going out or working, I let my social life go, other than a few good girlfriends. Because of a financial responsibility He needed to work more and so scheduled himself on all the days I have off. Recently he said some things that made it clear he doesn't feel the same about me. Looking on the internet the things he does and says are sign of either depression, mid life crisis or even an affair. I know this will not get better unless he is willing to work on himself and this marriage, but of course I can't make him. He says he feels trapped, that we are too "enmeshed". How long do I wait? We share a house, 2 kids and all our assets are joint. I am the primary breadwinner. I know many will say I am better off without him, but I still love him (I want the old him back) plus we honestly don't have enough money for 2 residences.  ETA. Except this past year (he made 20K) he has never made more than 10K a year the years we have been together. That had been the source of past arguments but not recently.     

You do not need this guy, or any guy for that matter. The facts, as I understand them, are that you earn most of the income, are the primary caretaker for your children and sacrifice yourself so that he can have a life outside work. He says the two of you are too "enmeshed" because he has no personal assets and little earning potential. He is purposefully avoiding you by working on your days off and going out solo (and leaving you with the kids).

This is not a relationship worth saving. In fact, it sounds like it's not even a relationship because only one person is making an effort (you). You deserve better than this. You deserve a partner who wants to spend time with you. You deserve a partner who pulls their weight. You deserve a partner who takes responsibility rather than foisting as much as possible on you.

Based on this description, I'm not buying that it's depression or a mid-life crisis. He still goes out. He has friends, some sort of job and a life outside your family. That doesn't sound like a person in crisis. You've tried to talk about the issues, and he's not interested. If someone shows you their real feelings, you should believe them. Whether he's having an affair or not is irrelevant, you're getting nothing out of this marriage and deserve better.

+1.  (Partgypsy, I also used to follow your journal on the GRS forum, back when I visited that site a couple years ago.)

MrsPete

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Re: SOS: Spouse all but refuses to work
« Reply #49 on: February 20, 2016, 09:29:03 AM »
... You quit your job (without consulting him?) as well ... You don't mention caring about him at all or wanting to supporting him, and there seems to be little care/concern from him towards you based on his own decisions ... You both have mental health issues that he refuses to even discuss with you ...

Yeah, these are the things I was thinking too. 
That's how I am reading this too. You both don't want to work and then resent each other for not wanting to work. Well, that seems like a great recipe for success.

Yep, that's what I'm thinking too. 
Yes, I'd be much more interested in getting him exercising, eating healthy, sleeping enough, and reading a few positivity and self help books applicable to him than I would getting him applying for a bunch of new jobs this minute.  Give it a few weeks or a month and work on turning around the mental state, so he decides to start applying on his own, hopefully.

It'll be tough though. I'm glad you're on his team.

I totally agree that getting him healthy in mind and body is the key, but I'm not sure she's on his team -- but it's time to join. 

« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 09:34:13 AM by MrsPete »