Post # 1
After three and a half years, a great deal of thinking and some major soul searching, I decided to quit my job. Up until very recently, I taught students that exhibited some major behavioral and cognitive challenges. It was not unusual for me to come home heavily bruised, bit, with my clothes stained with urine and blood. I grew to be okay with all of those things, but the school administration was very unappreciative and insanely manipulative. The stress and anxiety associated with work was starting to eat away at me, so after a very heartbreaking goodbye to my beloved students, I bowed out. My SO was very supportive of this move, as he could see how emotionally frail I had become.
I have always been a “go-getter”. I busted butt to get into a prestigious university, and immediately started working 10 hour days after graduation. Aside from when I was young, I’ve never been unemployed or unoccupied. I am lucky in the fact that I have set aside a savings account that equates to over a years’ salary. I quit my old job before having a new one because I wasn’t strapped for cash and needed to get away from the situation sooner rather than later. My boyfriend is also able to support us both on his salary and has offered to pick up a bigger portion of the financial slack until I settle on a new job.
However, I suddenly feel like a lonely housewife. Almost immediately, there was this assumption that I would take care of the entirety of household chores. My SO has started to leave all his dishes in the sink, neglects his laundry, and doesn’t bother to pick up the common areas at all. I spend the first half of my day job hunting and the second half cleaning up his various messes. All of my friends work during the day, so I’m usually left to my own devices. The whole situation just feels really strange, as I’ve always been a workaholic and too busy for my own good.
I just don’t know how to convey all this to my SO. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very supportive and understanding type of guy, but I don’t think he realizes how this whole thing is making me feel. Yes, it makes sense that I would take the upper hand in household chores since I’m currently home all day, but I don’t know how he can just suddenly not have any responsibilities in that area. I feel resentful that he goes to work each morning to a job he enjoys, and lonely when he doesn’t come home until 10pm because of the various club sports he plays after work. I don’t feel like I have anything interesting to contribute to the evening “how was your day?” conversations, and that really bums me out. He will often come home and ask me, “So, how was being a lady of leisure?” and although he says it in jest, it really bothers me.
Hmph. Anyone been through something similar? How did you kick the blues? How do I approach this conversation with my SO?
Post # 3
Before getting into the stuff with your SO, I want to say this first: get out of the house, girl! I’m sure there is a volunteer center near you. Call them. Today. Tell them you have free time. Then go help a cause you believe in.
Reading between the lines of your post, it sounds like you’re unhappy. Not because of your SO making comments or leaving dishes in the sink, but because you’re not working. I honestly think if you find a way to spend your time usefully while looking for a new job, your mood will change immensely.
But talk with your SO. Tell him how you feel. Make sure you two still schedule some “couple” time together so you don’t feel like his maid.
Good luck with your job hunt – you have endless possibilites ahead of you!!
Post # 4
I agree. Volunteer or find a “fun” part-time job for now. Anything to get out of the house a few hours a day. It’ll give you something to look forward to each day.
Good luck finding a full-time job. I think it sounds like you’ll be happier once you do!! Hang in there.
Post # 5
I know how you feel. I have to second lilybay – VOLUNTEER! Get involved in projects, explore new career prospects by volunteering, if you’ve always wanted to run a marathon, start running, learn how to cook, etc. It’ll make a world of difference.
Also, I agree that you definitely need to talk to your SO. Let him know that while you realize that you’re now at home and are willing to pick up more of the daily chores, that you feel disrespected when he leaves his dishes in the sink and his clothes on the floor. You didn’t turn into his maid or mother simply because you are now not working. Sure, you might go to the grocery store more now, or do more of the daily cleaning, but this doesn’t mean that he can’t hang up his towel, you know.
He might not understand that’s how you’re feeling though. I’m sure if you explain to him why you are feeling the way you feel, he’ll want to work with you to help make life happier for the both of you.
Post # 6
Diy projects,work out, get some different activities everyday, visit old friends or family, get out 🙂
Post # 7
Currently I am in a somewhat similar situation as I have been job search for… several… months now. It has been extremely difficult for me to face rejection as I apply to jobs and don’t get offers after interviews. I do most of the household chores, but I still do ask my SO to do some work. I think the hardest part for me is I feel like the one thing I need to do since graduating is get a job and I can’t do that, and I don’t know why or what do to. I’m not sure if you feel similar pressure in your job search but let your FI know that it’s not all fun and games at home during the day. That applying for jobs is draining and can be emotionally difficult. I also agree with others that you need to get things to do. I haven’t done the best job of this and suffer because I’m in a new city. But I have to live my life for me, even if I don’t have a job. I find museums to go to, and have been working on craft projects. Also to contribute to dinner conversation I read up on the news- Really, though! I hate when what I did for the day was “apply to some jobs, go grocery shopping and watch some TV”
I hope you find a job soon and that your FI is receptive to you!
Post # 8
Best of luck, as someone in the opposite shoes (only one working in our relationship) its also really hard. Yes I love my job, but would I rather be cuddled up on the couch watching movies all day, sure.
Try to talk to your BF about what are your chores and what he can still do for you (besides pick up financial slack).
Also, its really hard to have an emotional demanding day at work and then have to come home and contribute to a positive relationship. Its honestly work. However, if he needs to give up some of his sports to hang out with you then you should talk to him about that. Maybe you can go to some of his sport games/practices and help out or talk to other g/f and/or wives.
Just trying to maybe help you see the other side of the coin.
Post # 9
@caszos: I totally see what you’re saying, and understand that it is difficult to work all day and still have the energy to foster a relationship. That was a huge reason why I finally had to give up my job. After being physically assaulted by my students and emotionally pressured by administration each and every day, I had little to give anyone else by the time evening rolled around. It wasn’t particularly healthy, no matter how much I believed in the mission of what I did.
I am endlessly appreciative and comforted that my SO offered to pick up more slack on the bills, but because of my financial cushion, i have not yet agreed to have him do so. I prefer to have things split equal ways – this includes finances and household upkeep.
I guess I just want him to see that I am not in fact, cuddling up on the couch watching movies all day. I haven’t been unemployed very long, but I’m already not a big fan. After being defined by what I did professionally for so long, I feel a little lost.
I commend you for being the breadwinner in your relationship, and understand that it’s a lot of work. Thanks for your advice. 🙂
Post # 10
I can totally relate! Not as much on the housework as on the loneliness sometimes. I do actually work full time but I work at home 95% of the time (and when I’m at the office I’m alone). So I have no coworkers, no human interaction all day (except for weddingbee and gchat, and an occasional call or meeting with a client). FI works in an office all day with people he likes. So he comes home and I’m almost starved for interaction and I’m all over him wanting to chat and hang out and OMG A PERSON TALK TO ME PLEASE, whereas he’s been crazy busy all day and just wants to veg. It sucks! lol.
I don’t really have a solution for you though, sorry. I can just say I’ve talked to FI about this a few time so he understands where I’m coming from (really important to me because everyone seems to think that working from home is like 100% the best thing ever– so not true!). He does make more of an effort to be talkative when he comes home and to ease up on the “eat bon bons all day?” jokes. But basically the situation kind of sucks. Sounds like this is a temporary thing for you and soon enough you’ll find a great job and things will go back to normal 🙂
Post # 11
Just maybe a suggestion: What if you made a list every day of things you are going to do and accomplish? Check things off the list as you complete them. Even little stuff like applied for 5 jobs, laundry, grocery shopping, planted new plants, etc.
This might give you some encouragement that you are still getting stuff done and help your SO see that you aren’t just sitting on teh couch all day. Plus he can then help ask questions about what you did all .day
Post # 12
Hmmm…if you’re still splitting the bills, he should most definitely not be treating you like a maid. My FI is unemployed right now, but he’s still paying his half of everything from savings, and we continue to split the housework 50-50.
It sounds as if your teaching situation was horrendous. No one should have to be assaulted every day at their job, including special needs teachers. I’d be surprised if that didn’t leave some invisible scars. Is this common in your line of work, or was your school particularly poorly-managed?
Post # 13
Try putting yourself in his shoes. What if he left a job he hated without another one lined up and was home all day. While it might be a little stressful financially, you would probably expect that he pick up more housework to take some of the burden off you, esp if you were out so late just as a normal tradeoff. And asking him to give up some club sports might not be such a good idea if he truly enjoys playing them and under normal circumstances (which you are returning to eventually) it’s not such an issue.
And while housework may seem mundane, there are plenty of things to talk about after a long day of it! You have more time now to actually pay attention to sales and organize the household which can be a lot of fun.
If I were you, I would embrace my new ‘responsibilities’ and make more of an effort to take the housework burdens off my DH. Just make sure though that when you do return to work he understands the deal is off 🙂
Post # 14
@mightywombat: Aggression is fairly common among individuals with moderate-severe autism, which is the population I served. While the severity of the behavior was initially a little difficult to cope with, I grew pretty used to it, and understood that it was a work hazard. However, there was absolutely no gratitude or understanding from the heads of the school. We closely dealt with w/bodily fluids on a daily basis, and would receive major flack from admin if we became sick and had to take a day to recoop. All in all, it was excellent for the students and families we served, but poorly managed when it came to staff morale and general wellness.
Post # 15
@izziebear: I am exactly in your same situation! After four years of working at a retail store while going to college, I am finally in my last year of school and am student teaching for the year. I’d be up at 6am to get ready for teaching, teach until 1, and then work from 2 to 11pm. (ON TOP OF HAVING 3 CLASSES 2x a week!) When I would try to talk about it with my boss (because I knew that I could work less hours and my FI would help financially), I got no respect. So I quit. Now, my FI is acting the exact same way as yours!
Yesterday, after coming home from my day at 6pm he almost immediately asked “What’s for dinner?” Ah, seriously?! So, we had a talk last night. That’s what I would suggest you do. Explain to him that while you understand that during the day when you’re not job hunting/interviewing/etc, there is no reason why you can’t clean up but that he seems to be abusing the fact that you are home by leaving dishes in the sink and neglecting his laundry (which I am assuming he did on his own before you quit). Explain that it’s starting to make you resentful of everything and that that feeling isn’t healty for your relationship.
Then, get out and volunteer and continue your job search!!
Post # 16
@izziebear:My ex and I went through this. We lived together… and during that time both of us were unemployed at one point. The only thing I suggest is being REALLY open with each other about feelings of self worth. Being unemployed can make you feel really insecure, even if you’re not totally aware of those feelings. As far as bringing up the chores, I’d maybe say something like “well i know I’ve been doing a lot of the housework now…but I see myself as so much more..I hope you do too. I want more out of life than staying home.” He should get the hint…