(Closed) Teacher on summer break, husband super critical

posted 8 years ago in Married Life
Post # 31
640 posts
Busy bee

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dontstopbeelievin:  I’m a para at the moment (eventually I’ll get into the teaching field) and I understand your situation completely! My husband can be obnoxious about the fact that I’m home during the summer and don’t start working all the time till August. He’s not quite as patronizing, he tries to be sneakier arbor his irritation. Little texts like “So… did you get any cleaning done today? Just wondering.” Or “Did you notice how many dishes are in the sink? Holy cow supper was messy last night!” Frustrating and ridiculous. Add that to the fact that the answer is always “dishes are done, vacuuming is done, I straightened up the house and everything looks and smells clean AND I made your favorite supper and your favorite dessert so it will be hot and ready when you get home!”

I actually work incredibly hard to keep the house nice and make sure he’s well fed and happy and I don’t even get a thank you! I plan to bring it up and have a heart to heart with him later this week and I advise you to do the same. I understand that it’s irritating but sometimes just sitting down and talking can make all the difference. 

Hope it works out!

Post # 32
1811 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

This is absolutely absurd!!! I am also a teacher (high school special ed math & science) and I taught summer school the first 6 years I was working…I will NEVER teach summer school ever again. Your husband needs a serious attitude adjustment. I’m as subtle as a brick, like another bee said 😉 and I’d flat out be like “Oh yeah, you want to trade? Go get your Masters degree and teach.”

I hope his attitude changes when September comes and he sees how exhausted/drained/stressed teachers are. I read one of those online articles on FB about teachers, and it was titled “The job everyone thinks they can do”…and that’s why we get so much criticism, people think it’s easy. I too have other people in my life who make comments like “Oh, it must be nice” and I just ask them if they’d like to do the job. As an NYC teacher, I DO get paid all summer long, my usual salary, so it’s not like there’s really a reason to go get a summer job.

Post # 33
3949 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I agree with PPs, but it can be hard to leave your SO at home and go to work while he/she is sleeping in! 

However… there are many better ways to handle that jealousy/misperception than your husband’s method.

DH has some weekdays off sometimes (he’s on a rotating schedule), and if I didn’t have time to get something done over the weekend or we need something that’s easier to handle during the week, I’ll ask him to do it instead. But the key word is “ask” – I know he’ll say yes, but it’s still polite to ask. The only time I’ve ever written him a “to-do” list was upon request because he had a lot to do and was having trouble keeping track of it.

I try to always thank him when I come home to clean house or find errands were run because he had the day off.On the flip side, I try to be understanding when he takes that day to lie around and watch TV because he works hard, and let’s face it – who hasn’t spent a day like that once in awhile?

The point of this book is that I think you need to explain 3 things to your husband (1) You’re not just lying around; (2) You are more than willing to help out, but the to-do lists and oversight is demeaning; and (3) during the school year, there is no “time-off” (grading/planning on weekends and nights and such), so you need a chance to regroup and relax before the next year starts.

Post # 34
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

The list of chores and needing to let him know when they’re done? That’s insane. That’s one of the most inappropriate actions I’ve heard about on here in a long time. You need to explain to him that behavior stops. Immediately. You’re his wife, not his kid. 

I am studying to be a teacher, but I work part-time teaching an elective and coaching a debate team. My fiance fully supports my career choice and I think he has always understood how hard it is, but back in June, we were given the opportunity to work together teaching an intensive debate summer course for a week (we’re both collegiate debaters). I’m talking 57 classroom hours in five days, the two of us lecturing. I am glad we got to work together on that, because now he REALLY understands how difficult high school students can be and how exhausting it is.

The work you do is important, and difficult. When you are not being paid shit, getting crap benefits, and constantly dealing with the pressure from your administrators and the parents of your students, plus the emotional stress of helping students, you have EARNED your summers off. We have some of the hardest jobs on the planet.

You need to explain all that to him, and then tell him what an ass he’s acting like. He is really not being supportive of you.

Post # 35
12340 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’m not a teacher or am I married to one either, but if my husband has even a week off, much less an entire summer, he would surely be getting a honey do list  from me of nice to have done things.  I dont think I’d demand a daily list done and reporting, but from a non teacher point of view, that is a LOT of freaking time off.  And for me, it doesnt take that long for me to get bored and even want to get things done.  As for working 10-12 hrs during the school year, I do that for months on end, including weekends sometimes and don’t get summer offs, or school vacation weeks, so Im not really sympathtic to “working hard over the school year and need relaxation time”, maybe your husband feels that way also?   Either way, if you dont like how he’s treating  you, try to talk to him to understand why he’s being so mean about it and then try to tell him how you feel about it and maybe you two can come to some sort of agreement or understanding.

Post # 36
413 posts
Helper bee

This needs to be nipped in the bud ASAP.  Who appointed him chore master?  I’m sure you are fully capable of assessing what needs to be done and completing tasks on your own.  If it’s something bigger you both want done then you sit down together, get a plan, and go from there as far as a goal of when you’d like to complete it.  Someday if/when you have kids, your value of being able to stay home during the summer increases tenfold, so he just needs to suck it up.

Post # 37
1008 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Expecting you to follow his list and tell him when you’re finished with certain tasks is bullshit and I would tell him so. Degrading his wife for take time off that is granted by her job is emotionally abusive and I would tell him that as well. The next thing I would say is that this will not be tolerated and he needs to seek help immediately if he cant figure out why or how to stop.

Post # 38
3162 posts
Sugar bee

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dontstopbeelievin:  Wow, that is absolutely inappropriate, as other PPs have stated. 

I understand, I really do. I work at a school as an administrator and my husband works at the same school as a teacher. We have a modified year round calendar, but he has 6 weeks off this summer and I have to work the entire summer (I got 3 days off for the fourth of July). I get more vacation days than most administative jobs outside of education (about 50 per year), but not as many as teachers/my husband. Sure, I get a little jealous when I am getting ready to go to work and he is sleeping, but I would never say or do any of the things you mentioned. 

During the school year, my husband is exhausted and goes to bed by 10pm because he is so drained (he used to stay up until 1am) at previous jobs. Now, because he is home for the summer, we have worked out an agreement that he takes care of more of the house cleaning/caring for the dogs and cooking. I work longer hours during the summer because it is peak season for student recruiting, so I typically have 10-12 hours days and I work weekends. So I am exhausted when I get home. We have created a fairly good balance that works well for us.

OP, I would suggest sitting down with your husband and discussing this further. Perhaps agree to take care of some more of the houshold duties during the summer. I would steer away from a numbers game in terms of trying to add how many hours you work during the year versus the summer compared to his job…that rarely ends well. I would stick with talking with him about how taking time off during the summer is a job perk, but also gives you more balance in your life. Definitely put your foot down on the lists and checking in, you are not his child, you are his partner. You can create your own responsibilities through compromise, but he should be dictating what you do.

Best of luck, OP.

Post # 39
30402 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Even if he is jealous, it is no excuse for the way he is treating you. He is neither your parent, nor your employer. He has no right to give you a list of tasks he would like accomplished. I suggest you have  a serious discussion about this asap.

In the most desireable situation, he is totally innocent and merely helping you to fill your day.

In the more likely situation, it is evidence of his controlling nature, which is often not seen until a couple is married and living together.

Post # 40
6582 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

In general, I think it’s unhealthy when grown adults try to boss each other around. I am a Stay-At-Home Mom, so I obviously don’t work at all- but my husband would never try that shit with me. He will nicely ask me to pick up his dry cleaning for example- but it is all in the approach!

Post # 41
532 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Wow, your husband is way out of line. Being off in the summer as well as other times schools are closed is just part of being a teacher. Did he not know that before you got married? Sorry but the only people who can give me tasks to work on with dealines are the people writing me a pay check every 2 weeks. 

Post # 42
2925 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

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pinkshoes:  But she isn’t sitting on her ass? She is tutoring, she is probably planning for the next year, attending professional development, etc. I don’t know a single good teacher who isn’t working through the summer. I don’t take kindly to people who don’t respect the teaching field, and that is what I am getting from your post.

OP, you need to sit down with him and tell him his lists are ridiculous. You should obviously be pitching in your weight and managing the house, but I doubt you need an itemised list of demands. It’s one thing for him to leave a note asking you to pick up his dry cleaning. It’s another thing to leave a long chore list like he’s your employer.

Post # 43
6256 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

My OH is a teacher (well, professor) and I feel extremely grateful that she has time “off” during the summer to help with all the things that don’t get done during the school year (errands, painting, house and yard projects, dog stuff, etc). Her flexible schedule is an enormous benefit to us/me. I wish the OP’s partner would look at it that way!! Also, if I do get a little sad that she has so much more flexibilty than I do at my job I think of all the ways she uses it and how insane our life would be if we both worked full time away from home year round!!

Post # 44
3797 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

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dontstopbeelievin:  Oh yeah, people like to do this all the time to me. DH only ever does it in jokes because he knows how much I actually do over the summer. Yes, I enjoy a few weeks of pure laziness as I feel I deserve to. If people really want to complain about it, then I’ll happily invite them to step into my classroom for a week or two during the school year to see literally how draining this job is no matter how much you love it. I completely run our household during the summer (cleaning, laundry, chores, groery shopping, etc.) so my DH enjoys it. It’s July, so the lazy days of June are far gone. Now it’s constant planning, PD, meetings, etc. There may be a few days here and there to completely relax, and believe me, I will enjoy them fully with no shame. 

You need to sit down with your DH and talk with him about this. He doesn’t get to make comments like that to you. Explain (as calmly as possible) that yes it is your summer break and you are enjoying some relaxation, but that he is being completely patronizing and it’s unacceptable. 

Post # 45
171 posts
Blushing bee

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pinkshoes:  I am with you on this one, neither Fi or I are teachers, but I get 3 more weeks of vacation then she does. I have never taken one of these days as just vacation, it always comes with a plan, usually a written list, and usually one that does not have my priorities first. Just like summer vacation is a benefit of teaching, extra vacation days are a benefit of my job, so I use them to get things done around the house.

I feel like teachers are so used to being attaked for having a “easy” job that they jump into it the other way. I am the first to defend teachers when people say they only row from 8-3 9 months a year, with a free period every day. However I think sometimes they get so used to defending themselves that they forget that there are pleanty of other careers that work long, physically, emotionally, and intellectually exausting hours every week. I have a lot of respect for teachers, but I also work 10+ hours every day, all year, have to keep up with professional development, never see a dime for my overtime, that is the reality of being passionate about your work, in any field.

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