(Closed) Having a hard time having empathy for my husband -sorta long post

posted 3 years ago in Married Life
Post # 2
1128 posts
Bumble bee

rusticchic212 :  I mean I can empathize with your Darling Husband because I know what it’s like to feel defeated after not ending up with the career you wanted to, but I’m more inclined to empathize with you.  Sounds like you are both in the same situation, except at the moment he has the better half of the deal because he has the luxury of sulking.

Sorry if that sounds harsh.  Your Darling Husband sounds like a good guy who’s just a bit depressed.  And maybe he’s in a bit of a rut which happens, but I guarantee staying home won’t fix it.

His aggressive “what do you want to do” type comments sound like maybe he feels like a bit of a failure for putting you in this position.  Even if that’s not what you said to him, I think men feel a natural sort of pressure to provide and at this moment he has sort of buckled under that.

Post # 3
9569 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m sorry but this wouldn’t fly for me.

Darling Husband graduated college right when the economy took a crap so he wasn’t able to get a full time steady job for damn near 3 years, but he worked seasonal positions and used a temp agency for additional work.

Do you ever want to have children? Save for retirement?

Post # 4
741 posts
Busy bee

rusticchic212 :  Is he making money somehow? You say he never asks you for money or expects you to support him financially but you also refer to him as a stay at home husband?

Post # 5
2018 posts
Buzzing bee

It’s great that he wants to be a novelist. However, if you guys can’t financially afford to live on 1 income- he needs a job. Even if he doesn’t love it, even if it’s not his dream job, he needs to bring in an income. 

Why does he get to chase his dream (no job, writing a novel) while you commute 3 hours every day and your financial situation isn’t super great? 

Post # 6
925 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - Vineyard on Long Island

This may be harsh, but even though his dream is to be a novelist, if that’s not bringing in cash or paying the bills, that’s not a full time gig.  As far as I can tell, its quite common for writers to hold part-time jobs to at least have some regular and dependable cash flow while they work on bringing their writing career off the ground.  Similar to the way one would work a full time job and be a part time student, they would be a part time something-worker and a full-time entrepreneuer, kinda.  I also think having an excuse to go out and interact wtih people at a part time job, regardless of what it is, could help your husband with his anxiety and give him some regular social interaction.

Apologies if I’m totally off, I’m only speaking from things I’ve read and talks I’ve had within my circle of friends, but if neither or even just one of you is not happy, there needs to be conversations happening in a non-confrontational way about what can change to bring some happiness.

Post # 8
6839 posts
Busy Beekeeper

rusticchic212 :  I don’t believe one person sacrificing professional happiness for the other is a long-term solution. I have friends who have agreed to take turns–one gets a fixed amount of time to pursue dreams while the other provides and then they switch. It’s a better team approach and less likely to result in resentment. 

Post # 14
853 posts
Busy bee

Has he considered freelance writing? I, too, wanted to be a novelist back in my halcyon post-college days. Got a BA in English/Writing. Eventually realized that it was time to grow up and get a real job so now I work in finance. 

Anyhow, I still freelance on the side for extra cash. It’s not fiction, but it keeps me writing and I do pretty well with it. 

Post # 15
2520 posts
Sugar bee

I definitely feel for you and how much it must suck sometimes to be supporting your husband. But I wouldn’t get caught up in the resentment of “he gets to live his dream” and should be happy about it, because I can almost guarantee that he doesn’t feel that way right now. I’m sure he feels down about himself for not being able to hold down full time employment. I’m sure part of why he’s trying to play the good house husband role is to make up for that feeling of inadequacy. And I’m sure that even if he’s getting a lot of writing done and producing novels, he won’t feel great about it until he actually GETS that literary agent and starts getting published – that’s when the “dream” for many/most creative people begins, with that outside validation and success. In creative work, producing something you’re happy with is only half the battle (or less than half!) and then the publication process is a whole other ballgame, let alone getting paid enough to live. I’m sure he feels stressed and overwhelmed, and pressured to publish something so that staying home will eventually prove to have been “worth it” for both of you. I’m sure he knows he is disappointing you, and beyond that, it’s got to suck when society says the man should be the breadwinner and he’s at home being the house-husband and your patience with the whole thing is wearing thin. And maybe he dislikes you complaining about your job because he’s envious that you HAVE one (not that that’s okay, just trying to see it from his perspective). 

This isn’t to say I think he’s “in the right” here — I have been in the position of supporting a creative who couldn’t hold down a “real job” and was broke and in debt, and it was stressful and frustrating. (We broke up for other reasons.) I feel for you. I’m just trying to point out that I’m sure the situation sucks for him too.

As usual, I suppose, the only way through this is lots of communication and working on a plan together that you can both live with – reestablishing yourselves as a team. It definitley sounds like something needs to change to prevent resentment from building up.Maybe move closer to your job? Tell him his sarcastic comments are hurtful and not okay. Let him know that while you want him to be able to write, there is a firm timeline after which he needs to start submitting to lit agents, and a date after which he’ll agree to search for full-time jobs (I think setting a clear boundary here will ultimately benefit both of you). Maybe you are both focused on your disappointment and stress and have forgotten to be romantic and loving with each other, and you can work on that. 

And lastly, I definitely think therapy for you would be helpful to work on figuring out what YOU want and what changes you need to make in your own life to be happier. It sounds like you’re really struggling with FOMO and sadness about how your life has played out, but you’re still young and you can still choose to change careers, move locations, build new friendships, learn new skills, start volunteering… find something you are excited about. Not everyone finds fulfillment in their job, and I think that is okay, as long as you work on finding fulfillment in other areas. 

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