Author Topic: The brick wall of rigidity  (Read 5786 times)

whybe

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The brick wall of rigidity
« on: January 05, 2016, 12:55:36 AM »
First of all,
I'm not a US / north american citizen. I'm Israeli.

I had a conversation with DW about my desire to switch jobs. It's a soul crushing job in the media and I am so over it,  it hurts.

Also we moved away from my current job a few months ago and since then bought our first car (from my dad, in cash, at about 60% of its value) in order for me to be able to get there, about 40 min in traffic . Getting there on public transportation takes between 2x and 3x. So feasible but I'm never home. For reference it used to take me 25 minutes with no car to commute from the old place. Getting any closer to work than that would have meant leaving the city and living in a country house which wasn't an option for both of us.

Anyhoo.. DW refused to discuss dipping into savings for this goal. Savings I made before meeting her. For this very purpose. (She refuses to see this as spending money). However, things for our coming child like brand new furniture and mountains of clothes have a priority and are magically financed by money we did not make this month.

On a larger scale, and I posted on this before, she refuses to see any other model of lifestyle other than work til you drop at 67 and only then retire.  She never saved a dime consciously (she's thankfully not the splurgy type and never been in debt.  I have and have no interest in going back there).
I have grown more and more interested in FIRE over the past year and have tried to breach the topic but was greeted with absolute resentment.

I rant. But what I think I'm looking for is some flexibility on her part, trust, support, and I feel all I'm getting is fear, mistrust and rigidity of thought.


deborah

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2016, 02:43:10 AM »
Why would you be dipping into your savings?

DeltaBond

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2016, 04:42:11 AM »
Anyhoo.. DW refused to discuss dipping into savings for this goal. Savings I made before meeting her. For this very purpose. (She refuses to see this as spending money). However, things for our coming child like brand new furniture and mountains of clothes have a priority and are magically financed by money we did not make this month.

She never saved a dime consciously (she's thankfully not the splurgy type and never been in debt.  I have and have no interest in going back there).

I'm putting these two thoughts of yours together, because I'm not understanding... financing things with money you didn't make this month is debt, yes?

Also, if she doesn't want you to dip into savings that was FOR the purpose of changing jobs (I assume that's what you meant) what is her alternative solution?

If she's pregnant, she may just fear that particular change right now... if she's not pregnant, consider not staying together, because you have very different goals and needs.

matchewed

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2016, 06:36:52 AM »
So if you're just asking the same question why not continue the other thread? Discuss how you've been engaging with your wife and what methods you have been trying and the varying success.

Starting a new thread just seems ranty and is not helping your situation as now you have a disjointed narrative and are duplicating people's efforts to help you.

matchewed

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2016, 06:45:01 AM »
And not to be too face stompy about what I posted above - this is a conversation you should be having with your wife.

You two should be discussing your combined plan. And then discussing how to get there. If you two have two different plans and can't find common ground well... either one of you has to give or you guys are going to be living two different lives together or apart. If you can be okay with that then it shouldn't be a problem.

It also seems that priorities are a problem. She is prioritizing having the child and setting things up for the child. You seem to want to reduce your commute time. Aren't both of you being rigid? And isn't one of you prioritizing themselves and the other prioritizing the defenseless child you're bringing into the world?

Reader

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2016, 07:10:00 AM »
Aren't both of you being rigid? And isn't one of you prioritizing themselves and the other prioritizing the defenseless child you're bringing into the world?
just felt that the quoted comment isn't fair to OP. a defenceless child does not need mountains of clothes and other "baby goods" that the consumer companies are so good at convincing parents to be that they need in order "to give the best" to their children. if OP knows of other (more) frugal mothers, one way to slowly change DW mindset could be to introduce the wife to new friends who are more frugal. then her mindset can decouple spending money from being a "good mum" over time.

You could try explaining FIRE as both of you having more time with the child in his/her formative years. spending more time with children may be understandable to her.

matchewed

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2016, 07:20:13 AM »
Aren't both of you being rigid? And isn't one of you prioritizing themselves and the other prioritizing the defenseless child you're bringing into the world?
just felt that the quoted comment isn't fair to OP. a defenceless child does not need mountains of clothes and other "baby goods" that the consumer companies are so good at convincing parents to be that they need in order "to give the best" to their children. if OP knows of other (more) frugal mothers, one way to slowly change DW mindset could be to introduce the wife to new friends who are more frugal. then her mindset can decouple spending money from being a "good mum" over time.

You could try explaining FIRE as both of you having more time with the child in his/her formative years. spending more time with children may be understandable to her.

Fairness has nothing to do with it. I'm only going on the information given. OP wants to move using savings, OP's wife wants to buy stuff for the baby using apparently not savings according to the OP. That is their respective priorities from the info given. The OP did not mention anything else regarding the baby, only his desire for moving. I think that's a rather sound assessment given the information. If it is wrong the OP can correct me and inform us about his further priorities.

I'm sure that offering frugal alternatives to whatever purchases are being asked for by the wife is a great thing. But that isn't what the OP has been saying. OP said they want to move. No mention about baby.

The rest of what I'm about to say is pure assumption, the OP and wife may be having two different conversations at the same time with each other where neither is actually talking with the other about what the other is saying. They need to get on the same page.

whybe

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2016, 09:11:23 AM »
To the commenter who suggested I find the older thread, I don't know how to do that. It is buried in the forum somewhere and if I breached etiquette somehow I thank you for the correction.

DW is 36 weeks pregnant. 

Baby spending is done from money we got from our wedding, basically cash that's been lying there slowly dwindling with out much of a plan. The savings I want to use are savings I made for years diligently saving above my pension fund. They haven't been integrated into our joint account yet.

About prioritizing myself, I might be and that's a fair point. But I seriously don't want to end up penny less or living off my kids/welfare when we're older. More than that, I want to be wealthy. Can't do that if I'm spending 1000s on spanking new stuff that we can get more frugally or do without. Or a new car. And not taking care of budgets, savings and investment. Early retirement is currently off the table ever since the very mention of me retiring / wanting to be a SAHP at least some of the time was met with harsh sayings and much drama. No willingness to hear me out.

pbkmaine

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2016, 09:21:27 AM »
You two need to go to counseling together to work this out. If she won't go with you, go by yourself. It looks like you are not communicating at all, and a baby is not going to improve things.

matchewed

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2016, 09:24:13 AM »
To the commenter who suggested I find the older thread, I don't know how to do that. It is buried in the forum somewhere and if I breached etiquette somehow I thank you for the correction.

DW is 36 weeks pregnant. 

Baby spending is done from money we got from our wedding, basically cash that's been lying there slowly dwindling with out much of a plan. The savings I want to use are savings I made for years diligently saving above my pension fund. They haven't been integrated into our joint account yet.

About prioritizing myself, I might be and that's a fair point. But I seriously don't want to end up penny less or living off my kids/welfare when we're older. More than that, I want to be wealthy. Can't do that if I'm spending 1000s on spanking new stuff that we can get more frugally or do without. Or a new car. And not taking care of budgets, savings and investment. Early retirement is currently off the table ever since the very mention of me retiring / wanting to be a SAHP at least some of the time was met with harsh sayings and much drama. No willingness to hear me out.

So take it step by step. You hate your job how about the conversation about leaving it?

GuitarStv

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2016, 09:30:48 AM »
Maybe it would help to stress the benefits for the baby of not buying new shit all the time.

- Your child will grow up.  Do you want your child to grow up in a pollution filled, climate crazy, energy starved world in crisis?  Every little bit that you can reduce consumption helps the future.
- New stuff is always somewhat of a question mark when it comes to chemicals.  That 'new stuff' plastic-y smell always makes me a bit nervous.  Used things don't have this problem.
- Kids need clothing . . . but by getting cheaper used clothes, you are saving money for later in the future when it'll be more important.  A 1 year old doesn't give a shit if he's wearing designer threads or a sack cloth.  A 16 year old tends to get a bit more picky.
- It's never too early to teach the lifetime skill of money management and financial preparedness.  What are you teaching a kid by blowing huge amounts of money at the drop of a hat?
- Having a shorter commute time means you will be more involved in your kids life.  It's good for kids to know their daddy.

little_brown_dog

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2016, 09:35:56 AM »
Honestly 36 weeks is not the best time to discuss major life changes with a pregnant woman. She is probably getting uncomfortable physically and may be very nervous about the upcoming birth, especially if she has never given birth before. This woman's life is about to get turned upside down, starting with the very very painful experience of childbirth. Hearing about a job switch may just be too much for her right now. I love my husband but if he was trying to convince me to get on board with a job switch when I was about to pop I would also be rigid and unwilling to listen. Take one big life event at a time.

Hold off until you have the baby and get through the first couple of rough months. Then bring it up delicately. Show her you miss out on extra time with the baby due to the commute and want to be more accessible during the workdays. Framing it as a positive for the family, as opposed to just yourself, will be much more productive.

(this from a new mom who also had her first baby a few months ago)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 09:40:23 AM by little_brown_dog »

whybe

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2016, 01:03:04 PM »
Thanks all.

I am aware of the problems we have communicating. I don't know if DW is aware of the severity. I am aware of the delicate nature of her physical situation right now. I am doing my best to postpone really tackling the issue.

I did bring up my dissatisfaction with my job,  and she expressed concern in my intention of relying on savings in order to enable myself to really dive into the switch and grow faster than if I would just go the "safe route, negotiate a reduction of work hours at current job and use the freed up time to work on the switch. I don't like this idea because it will allow me to be more lax in looking for outside work.
Another point she raised was that she doesn't like not to know that money will come in regularly. I was trying to demonstrate the point that allocating funds as they come in is comparable. 

sonjak

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2016, 01:34:54 PM »
Did I miss where you said what you would be doing for another job?  Do you have another job offer already?  Or are you trying to talk her into being supportive of you quitting your job and living off savings for the next XX amount of time while you look for another job?  If it's the latter, especially with her being VERY pregnant, no wonder she's terrified.  While I empathize with your desire to quit a job you loathe, remember with a kid in the picture, it's not just about you (or her) anymore.

I agree with the others that some therapy might be helpful.  Your tone expresses a lot of frustration and sounds combative and this is the most important time for you to be on the same page and pulling in the same direction.

AZDude

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2016, 02:00:36 PM »
Quitting your job without a plan while your wife is 36 weeks pregnant seems pretty stupid, and a little selfish. In this very specific instance, I side with her.

On the larger communications issues, wait until post-baby(probably like 6 months), and then bring up the idea of counseling. This is probably the worst time you can start talking major life changes because one is about to punch you right in the face(newborn baby at home).

Not to be harsh here, but you need a more solid plan than just quitting and using savings while you figure something out.

Reader

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2016, 06:17:55 AM »
I don't like this idea because it will allow me to be more lax in looking for outside work.
i think it is easier to get a job you want, at the terms you like, while employed (and looking very employable) then to do the same while unemployed. actually, if you do get more lax it probably means that the work life balance is good enough. give the reduced hours a go, quiting is always an option. holding on to a job is much harder.

arebelspy

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2016, 03:18:45 AM »
To the commenter who suggested I find the older thread, I don't know how to do that. It is buried in the forum somewhere and if I breached etiquette somehow I thank you for the correction.

Go to your profile (click on your name, next to your post, or use the navigation bar up at the top), and under profile info you can see all the posts you've made, as well as all the topics you've started.

Here:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/profile/?area=showposts;sa=topics;u=22651

I did bring up my dissatisfaction with my job,  and she expressed concern in my intention of relying on savings in order to enable myself to really dive into the switch and grow faster than if I would just go the "safe route, negotiate a reduction of work hours at current job and use the freed up time to work on the switch. I don't like this idea because it will allow me to be more lax in looking for outside work.

Um, do you just not trust yourself, basically?

Saying "If I quit I'll look HARDER for a job" is ridiculous. If you want another job, you'll pursue it.  Her saying to do reduced work hours is a compromise on her part, and a good suggestion.  It will give you the time needed to look for another job, and that's all you should need, if you have the motivation.  Saying you need to quit to be fully motivated shows maybe you don't dislike your job that much to begin with.  If you really did dislike it, you'd be looking for another job now, even while full time at your current one, just to get out.

Saying "I will be more lax in looking for outside work" just seems like a excuse, IMO, to try and get what you want now.

Anyhoo.. DW refused to discuss dipping into savings for this goal. Savings I made before meeting her. For this very purpose. (She refuses to see this as spending money). However, things for our coming child like brand new furniture and mountains of clothes have a priority and are magically financed by money we did not make this month.

She never saved a dime consciously (she's thankfully not the splurgy type and never been in debt.  I have and have no interest in going back there).

I'm putting these two thoughts of yours together, because I'm not understanding... financing things with money you didn't make this month is debt, yes?

No.  It would be living above your means, yes, but no debt has to be incurred to do this.
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Merrie

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2016, 08:42:46 PM »
Job hunting while still employed is a much better choice than quitting and job hunting. You can wait for the right thing to come along because the alternative is staying where you are and at least you get paid there, rather than just jumping on anything that will give you money because you are desperate.

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Re: The brick wall of rigidity
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2016, 09:55:38 PM »
Grab this attitude http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/10/03/the-practical-benefits-of-outrageous-optimism/

And then imagine being a person who is naturally risk adverse but is now in a new homes 36 weeks pregnant, defending a thesis that you maybe thought you could get out of, your mom and husband are fighting, and now your husband wants to quit his job.

She might not be feeling her optimistic best, but she's open minded enough to support you cutting back your hours while you find a new job. Hug her, and don't call her a brick wall. Talk. Listen.