outofideas: I completely agree!
OP – I feel so bad that you were put in this crappy situation. It sounds eerily similar to what my cousin went through a few of years ago.
Her husband also came home one day and said he was startin a new company with a couple of his friends, in a completely different industry than what he was in. She was mainly a Stay-At-Home Mom as she only worked 2 shifts a month, just to keep her license up to date. She was devastated as he too had this in the works for months. He too (which is why to me this is scary) he gave my cousin the SAME EXACT SPEECH on how he didn’t tell her ahead of time because he was worried she wouldn’t go along with it. As a PP said, better to ask for forgiveness and not permission?
Since she didn’t have a choice in the matter, and since he too didn’t give a whole lot of thought about health insurance (“It will work itself out”), she was able to get a part time position with benefits so she picked up the insurance. Most of the family told her she was nuts, as he did this, it’s up to him to make it right, but like you, she felt responsible for being the only “adult” in the house.
Before he did start the business, she made it very clear that she would be no part of it. He did not use any of their savings for it – he took out a loan with his partners. They created a company and her name wasn’t on it at all, so she had no legal obligation to it.
Long story short, the business did well for about 2 years. Then, like so many businesses, it started to go downhill, slowly at first, then quite fast. The 3rd year she was forced to go back to work full time to make up the difference in income. She told him she would give him one more year and if things didn’t pick up he needed to find a different job. They were barely making ends meet as she made a lot less than him and was covering insurance and daycare costs.
So after that 4th year, things were still very rough and he went back on his word and said he’s not going back to “company life”. They tried counseling. She couldn’t get past the resentment that he broke her trust by not consulting her and then basically blaming her for not trusting him. He finally admitted he couldn’t handle being the sole provider and having his own company was his dream job. He never admitted why he felt like he couldn’t talk to her ahead of time.
After much soul searching, she left him. Once they separated, he realized that he had ruined their marriage, but it was too late. She could never trust him again. She spent years harboring resentment and spent time in therapy herself to try to get past that. She is now remarried, very happily, to a man that treats her like an equal. She finally has a true partnership.
Obviously this is worst case scenario and I’m not telling it to try to make you feel worse. My cousin went back to work because it was obvious her ex wasn’t going to take care of them. Because she had a child, like you, she felt like she had to do something, but at the same time, knowing that she would go back to work enabled him to keep with the business longer instead of getting out. He KNEW she would back him up, even though he blatently said he didn’t think she would. He was a complete coward.
I don’t know what I would do, as I too would feel like I had to do something and be the responsible parent. Please above all, take care of yourself and don’t let this resentment build. Maybe if this is a one-of-a-kind behavior for him, you can give him the benefit of the doubt for a while. Give him a time frame, like if the business isn’t doing X by such-and-such date, he’ll find a different job. (Of course that doesn’t mean he will go back on his word) Let him see how much this has angered and hurt you. I definitely think counseling is worth a shot.
You’re going to be on a rocky road for a while and I hope you’re able to get through this without permanent damage to your relationship.