Post # 1
Regular bee, going undercover because I am embarrased and ashamed of my feelings.
The title pretty much sums it up: I resent my husband because he doesn’t make enought to support us on his own.
A little relevant info about us:
We met when were in high school and have been best friends ever since. We have been married for 7 months. He didn’t go to college and so he works as a laborer full-time for a local company making ~20k a year. He is smart and a hard worker but just can’t find anyting that pays better without getting a degree. I went to college and am about to start grad school in the fall (my field requires a master’s degree to practice). I will make ~50k minimum starting out in my field.
We both desperately want a family but know that we have to wait at least 3 years until I am out of grad school and fellowship year. I have always wanted to be a SAHM and know that I can’t because we can’t live off of his income alone, and I have student loans from undergrad.
We recently moved into my mom’s house because we can’t afford to live on our own. We live in the most expensive city in the state because it is where my grad school is. We literally have nothing that we could cut out that would make a difference.. We get free cable/internet, his phone is paid by work and I give my sister $20 a month for my phone, our cars are paid off, we have no debt except for student loans, I coupon and look for deals, hardly ever go out to eat, etc.
I also have significant health issues that keep me tired and in pain every single day. I don’t even know how I will even be able to work full time after grad school since just going to class wipes me out (I honestly don’t know how I finished undergrad in 4 years with all the health issues).
I guess I just need advice and encouragement. I love my husband so much and it hurts me deeply to resent him for not making enough. It hurts him too because the resentment has resulted in me being very mean and nasty toward him. I feel so selfish for feeling this way especially because he is disappointed in himself that he can’t provide for us.
Post # 3
Could you transfer schools to a less expensive school? Also, I know *you* wanted to be a SAHM, but would you consider your husband as the SAHM? In the new milenium, it may not be equal but more guys are taking on that role. It’s not as easy if you breastfeed, but you can pump. Other than that, no reason why you should stay home rather than him!
Post # 4
I feel this way a little bit sometimes. FH used to say he was going to take care of me and I wouldn’t have to work, but things happened and that’s not possible now, and not super likely to happen in the future. I love him and I’m sticking with him anyway, because I’d rather have to work with him than be a housewife with anyone else, but there are times when I wish that plan had gone better, and in my darker moments, sometimes very real irritation that it didn’t.
I usually handle it by trying to ignore or distract myself from it until it passes (and it always does, like any other bad mood), or I remind myself about what an awesome life we have and that these things and events I feel upset about are part of what got us here… so they weren’t all bad in the end.
Post # 5
@strawberryicecream: My FI makes about 1/2 what I make (and he has a master’s degree; I don’t), but combined we have a very comfortable income. It’s a tough economy and it’s especially tough for those without degrees. I don’t resent my FI for it though because he works hard and contributes what he can.
Given that you want to be a SAHM, you will obviously be in a very tough situation. While your expected income is around $50k (especially if you don’t think you can handle full time), I would suggest not banking on it in this economy, you never know (not trying to be a downer, but it is a reality). So I wouldn’t get too worked up until the time is closer to graduation/wanting to have children. The economy could change, his employment/salary could improve, you may not be able to get a job and all of this could impact timelines/plans.
Also, if you have a seriuos medical condition that exhausts you, how are you planning to be a SAHM? Not trying to sound harsh, but raising a child is no small feat and it is very exhausting (sometimes more than a full time job). Will your condition limit your ability to care for a child? Will additional help or childcare be needed (which would be extra money)?
Not saying you have to have all the answers now and honestly, 3 years is quite a ways out. I would focus on things that you can influence/change now. Perhaps talk with your FI about educational/career opportunities that could improve his income.
Post # 6
@kay01: +1 My FI is considering doing this! The way my current career is progressing, I will likely make more. He is actually pretty open to the idea, though he is a little apprehensive because of what others might initially think.
Post # 7
@strawberryicecream: honestly, I think almost no matter what your husband makes, it’s a little unrealistic and selfish to resent him because you want to be at home. Yea, it’s a nice dream, and if life were perfect I too wold love to one day be a SAHM. But in this day and age, it’s not very realistic, and why go to school and waste all kinds of money on your education for a high paying field if you know you’d rather be sitting at home?
I’m not saying your feelings aren’t your feelings to have, but at the same time, I think it’s a little selfish to expect your husband to financially support you and potentially a family later on. This is the 21st century, and you’re a big girl who should be supporting herself. While I believe in joint finances after marriage, I still think you share some of the responsibility of financial burden. Just because you get married doesn’t mean its the man’s job to work extra hard so that you can stay at home. And again, after putting so much money into an education, I think becoming a SAHM becomes kind of a wasre of that investment.
Remember why you love your husband, and that its not his paychecks that will make him a good husband and father.
Post # 8
There are a lot of things to consider here.
To OP, I really do feel for you. Is there any way you can persuade DH to go back to school? Even if it’s online?
There are also lots of opportunites to work from home, these days. Maybe try looking for a position that will let you stay at home and work during the day while being with the baby? I know that’s double the world, hassle, and stress, but you might get to be home.
Post # 9
@strawberryicecream: How do you know you will make 50k a year?? I was told that too.
Also, I understand what you’re going through. At times I feel the same way. I could probably support FI but he could not support me and that annoys me at times because he graduated from college 2 years ahead of me. I find myself thinking at times, “You had a two year headstart! You should be way ahead of me with tons of experience.”
Then I hate myself for thinking that. 🙁
There’s not much advice I can give you.. Just try and remember the positives and what you love about him.
Post # 10
You need to get over it. He is doing his best to support you while you go to school in an expensive city and battle health issues. He could just as easily be bitter that his ill wife chooses to take on debt for a degree when she may not be able to work after graduation.
Resenting your husband for not making enough to support you as a SAHW while knowingly pursuing a graduate degree is insane. I’m assuming your not working full-time while going to school and contributing to household expenses, and he is trying to carry the bulk of the load. I feel really sorry for him. You should practice gratefulness.
If you really wanted to be a SAHM, why not work while you can, save and invest, and work toward being able to stay home in five years? Why waste your relatively healthy years pursuing a degree that you may not use? Learn skills you can use freelance, build credentials now, make and save money like crazy, and learn to invest wisely. YOU are standing in your own way. Grad school is not always a wise investment.
Post # 11
I think the grass is always greener on the other side. I was engaged once previously to my first boyfriend and we were together for 6 years. The last two of which we were engaged. He lost his job around year 3 which was about two months before I graduated college and I supported him through the rest of the relationship. I started to resent him so badly. I recognize the economy was not in a good place in 2008-2009 but still somehow thought it was because he wasn’t trying hard enough. I feel really bad for having felt that resentment because he’s such a good person. Looking back, I’m really glad that I was able to be there for him and help him through that tough time in his life financially. Also, I sort of enjoyed being the breadwinner! I felt like a strong empowered woman taking care of my man!
Fast foward to present day – my new FI is very successful. He’s gotten three raises just in the past 6 months. Everytime he gets a raise, I’m happy for him and I know it’s OUR money but a part of me resents him for being more successful than me! I understand it’s ridiculous…but I’m sort of competitive like that. Even if we are in different industries (him in tech and me in finance) – I feel like we need to compete
My advice from having been in your shoes before is hold your tongue when you feel like a nasty comment will come out because it will only hurt both of you more. I’m not with my ex anymore but the fact that I said some pretty nasty things is still one of my biggest regrets as a human being. At his lowest points when he wasn’t feeling like a man I made comments and such that just kicked him down further..
Better times will come, just have to have faith!
Post # 12
@nerdysarah: +1. Could not agree more.
Post # 13
@strawberryicecream: I feel that maybe you are resenting his lack of ambition, not his earning potential. You have health issues and you still did an undergrad degree and then went to grad school. You obviously prioritize education and your partner doesn’t feel the same way. I recently made a thread about “educational gaps” and asked if any bees have them/if it impacts their relationship. It sounds like it is impacting yours.
I would love to be a stay at home mom too, but it isn’t feasible for us. FI and I currently make about the same (though I have more education and a higher earning potential). We are used to the lifestyle that two incomes allows us and neither of us want to give that up, especially after adding the expense of children (more expenses and less income makes no sense to me). Maybe you could encourage your partner to enter into a trade or try a new career path. However, if it only bothers you and not him, there isn’t much you can do.
FI and I work together and are a team so I don’t care who makes more – it all goes towards the same goals anyway 🙂
Post # 14
@nerdysarah: That was very well said. I am not good at delivering tough love in a way that doesn’t offend people, so I’m glad you said it tactfully for me 🙂 Oh, and +1.
Post # 15
Can you expand on why you’re going to grad school if you don’t know how you made it through undergrad (due to your medical problems)? And why you’re racking up such loans on a degree that you don’t really want to use anyway, if you’re planning on being a SAHM? I’m not trying to be mean, I just want to understand your plan here. It doesn’t make financial sense to continue racking up student loans if you’re not really planning on working in that field anyway.
Is your SO interested in any other career fields? It would probably make more sense for him to attend college or get some advanced training so he can increase his earning potential to support you staying at home.
Post # 16
I would have an honest conversation with him about the future and his career options. What field is he in? Could he go to any trade or technical programs that are in his field or related to increase his earning potential? Some companies will help their employees with tuition–for example Home Depot is one I’ve heard of.