Post # 1
Ok, so prolly totally out of line here to talk to you guys about this but… there is lots of yelly yelly screamy screamy at our place tonight. FI and I live together, we will have been together for 3 years on our wedding day. I feel guilty as my parents offered to pay for my passport for Malaysia (for honeymoon, meet his family) this afternoon so I jumped straight online to apply for jobs seeing as how I don’t have any moneys coming in. ( I just graduated so lost my student allowance). I want to find a job to pay for at least some of the expenses of wedding and honeymoon but it seems after all, FI does not want me to find a job and wants me to wait till after the wedding. I’m sure he can support me but I feel guilty and need to try and pay at least a little bit of my own way…
I don’t mind the “housewife thing” in itself but feel that if it was my “job” I would get really angry at him telling me “make me lunch now, “please clean this now” (which he does at times anyway).
He really wants me to be housewife, told me that I don’t need to work and don’t stress myself by trying to find a job while planning this wedding and just relax because he has the means to support me but I am scared this makes me less of a woman. I know this is weird but I just do. He told me that if he didn’t have the means to support me he would not have asked me to marry him in the first place. I know that this is majorly cultural (he is Chinese/Malay). I somehow feel owned by him if he supports me even though I know this is not his intention and my Dad even supported my Mother until we grew up. Is this something that a lot of women struggle with and what should I do?
I kind of get it a little, the wedding has consumed me, I feel like 4 months is not enough time to plan but he really wants to do it in April and it will be relieving to be able to just focus on this after years of studying (just finished my last assignments which was hectic). He is frustrated that I won’t allow him to look after me and I am frustrated that he doesn’t understand my need to do things for myself and feel needed outside of the home. I do volunteer in my chosen field but this does not bring in any income and I feel obligated to be the sole housekeepr, which I am not vey good at.
I feel trapped at the moment and I feel as though even if I was to go with what he wants until after the wedding, that he would eventually begin to resent me for it. I’m really stuck with what to do here.
Any comments would be really appreciated.
Post # 3
@marzipanda: Do you want to work? He shouldn’t be dictating what you can and can not do, esp if he is your FUTURE DH. One thing that may be a compromise though, what did you get your degree in? Is there a possibility of doing an internship or fellowship somewhere that you could gain experience in a field and only do a few hours a week? Internships are SO helpful in certain professions that taking the time to do them is really beneficial, but you don’t get paid! Volunteering your time can be really fulfilling, so if you have the chance to do it, I would! Also, compromising for the time before you get married would be nice — as long as he knows your intention is to work (if it is). If not, you could have many issues along the way!
Post # 4
Yes I do want to work and I am in fact volunteering at the moment ( it has only been 3 weeks since I finished my course. I did Community Service Work and am able to do as much “free” work as I want but the Government in Australia/Queensland isn’t very condusive anymore to this type of work (as it was when I first started my study).
I was planning more on just working in a retail or hospitality postion to pay for the wedding (I do have a little bit saved up but not enough to live on for 31/2 months as well as pay for a wedding). I think he does want me to work eventually but doesn’t want me doing retail/hospitality hours which are usually weekends and evenings.
I still feel I need to contribute though……
Post # 5
You are your own person and you need to be able to support yourself. I would never feel comfortable depending on someone for everything. It puts you in a weak position & his demands will only make that worse. That said, if he simply wants you to wait a couple of months AND has the ability to pay for all your daily & wedding expenses then maybe just focus on planning & know that you will start looking in April.
Post # 6
From the sound of it, your FI’s pov may be coming from a combination of cultural pride and not wanting to lose out on time with you on his off times. By pride, I don’t mean the negative kind. My FI once told me that it makes him feel really good to be able to support us both by himself and more manly in some ways. This is coming from a man who is a feminist and completely supportive of whatever choice I make regarding working.
Is there a possibility for creative workarounds? Rather than looking for a retail/hospitality job, you can search for a job in your field. Since you said that the current gov’t isn’t as conducive to your line of work, it may take a while to find a job anyway. If you happen to find one, he might be more receptive to having you apply and (hopefully) take the position. In the meantime, you can focus on planning the wedding! Four months gives you time, but it may take up more of your day, and that might not be possible with a side job.
For the long term, it would be good to have a calm and serious sit down to lay out the issues for your FI as you have in your post. Maybe you already have, but it’s worth repeating if only to stress how important this is to you. If you find the discussion beginning to turn into an argument, you can try nipping it in the bud by saying that it’s not worth fighting over since there are no immediate serious prospects. Just a thought. Good luck!
Post # 7
@marzipanda: hmmm. is this cultural? South Asian cultures are different than western ones and maybe hes reverting to that status quo?
I personally think if you have a degree, use it but hey i’m a modern lady!
Post # 8
I don’t agree that this is cultural. I lived in Malaysia for years and whilst it is still the norm for Chinese/Malay women to give up work when they have young kids, they usually work both before and afterwards. I’m a bit worried about this, because I think he seems very controlling. And, by the way, it is not the norm for middle class Malaysian men to tell their wives to make them dinner etc etc either. If they are that demanding, they would usually just get a live in maid instead.
Post # 9
In the current job market, I wouldn’t be waiting till after the wedding to work. How are you going to explain a four month gap?
Honestly if this was me I’d tell him to shut up and deal with it. I’m not comfortable with being dependant on anyone. I also don’t want to be unemployed for a lenght of time either.
Post # 10
This is something you two should agree on before getting married. Do you want to work?
Post # 11
My hubby is Chinese Malaysian, and he doesn’t have that kind of attitude at all. In fact, his mother worked full time while raising 4 children. Do you think his attitude is going to be different once you’re married? You might want to figure that out before making the commitment of marriage. When I was younger, I was engaged to a man who was very controlling and he was the same way when it came to me and working. I couldn’t get married under those terms.
Post # 12
@Milo: in this market, a 4 month gap is absolutely nothing.
OP- you are you’re own person & wanting to contribute is not a bad thing.
Post # 13
I agree with the posters who say red flag. I would even tell him it’s a red flag and express your concerns about the future. It sounds like you haven’t defined what your “roles” will be in the marriage, and you clearly have different assumpttions. Please talk and get on the same page, or if he’s not willing to compromise that’s something you need to find out. He cannot tell you not to work, and you guys are not even married!
Post # 14
I see this as a big red flag. He’s trying to control you. If he makes all the money, he gets to dicatate everything you do. That’s not right.
My husband makes enough money that I wouldn’t have to ever work again if I didn’t want to. He said that’s what we could do if I thought it would make me happy. I’m in school now so that I can get to a point where I can take care of myself comfortably should the need arise. I want my own career, though. And he’s 100% supportive of that. He’s paying for everything right now because I can’t handle a job and school at the same time (it’s why I dropped out of college when I was younger). But he would never tell me he after graudation that it wasn’t ok with him for me to get a job.
Post # 15
It would concern me if my husband tried to control when and where I worked. I think your husband should support you in what you would like to do especially if you are wanting to help support your family. I would talk to him about how you don’t feel like you are comfortable with him telling you what to do, rather than asking you to do something and respecting your decision if you decide to do otherwise.
Post # 16
Red flag. You want to work. You have a degree. I worry about any woman having no job experience. How will you support yourself or your kids if anything happens to him or if you get divorced? Don’t let him bully you into not working! His pride is HIS issue not yours. This is 2012.