(Closed) Unemployed and fighting with DH. Vent & advice!

posted 5 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

O.My.Heart:  Sorry but if I came home from working all day and my stay at home husband hadn’t cooked dinner I would be annoyed too.  Yes, the money you make is a contribution but since he always made sure dinner was on the table when he stayed at home, it should be obvious that he would expect that from you when you stay home.  My husband cleans the house, does the dishes, washes/dries laundry, and makes sure dinner is on the table every night.  When he’s tired I pitch in from time to time but since he’s the stay at home spouse, he prefers to take care of that stuff for me so that when I get home we can spend quality time together instead of doing chores.

Bottomline: Make sure dinner is on the table most nights when he gets home and he will view that along with the money you’re bringing in as a contribution.  Dinner is apparently his litmus test of whether you accomplished anything that day.

Post # 3
2783 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Ok, my husband was unemployed for awhile so I get the stress and shift in dynamic…it also sounds like a case where you value different things. It sounds like he’d rather you cook than clean….neither is wrong persay. Just different.

In terms of acknowledging the money from EI, I gotta be honest, I don’t get what you mean. Technically you’re not really “earning” it persay…you are being given it by the government, so I am confused as to what sort of acknowledgement you’re looking for.

But congrats on the new job!

Post # 4
3276 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Well it’s not your money, you’re not earning it, it’s coming from your husband and actual working people’s paychecks so I wouldn’t count it either. I would also be pissed if dinner wasn’t ready. People make dinner after working all day so I think you can handle it while being home all day. 

Post # 5
5219 posts
Bee Keeper

O.My.Heart:  Yeah, I can see why there is tension. I tend to side with your husband, this isn’t a Stay-At-Home Wife situation. This is temporary assistance and, if you plan on trying to get back into the workforce, your FT job is finding a FT job. Your other FT job when you’re not pounding out resume’s and interviews should be doing your share of the housework while your Darling Husband is at work as well. Unemployment has an expiration date, and not going to lie, it makes me a little stabby that people consider collecting it the equivalent to being a SAHW– those are not the same, at least in my book.


If you both agree that you two want him to be the breadwinner and you stay and maintain the home, that’s a whole different scenario than what you’re describing.

Post # 6
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

If I was at home all day every day, my apartment would be spotless, and Darling Husband would be coming home to dinner waiting on the table every night. I think if you are unemployed, and your spouse works full time, it’s only fair that you assume the household duties as a contribution to the partnership. Money you get from the government that isn’t earned isn’t YOUR contribution.

Post # 7
1231 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’ve never been in a situation like this but I know if I was unemployed and staying home, my husband would be pretty hard on me, too so don’t feel too bad.
At least you know you will be going back to work soon. Just tough it out!

Post # 7
2375 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Congrats on the new job! I totally see his point, because when I was unemployed, I made sure to actually work during the day. I blocked time for cleaning, job searching, running errands, following up on potential jobs, making dinner, etc. I didn’t play around with the cats all day.

Honestly, I don’t see your unemployment check as a contribution. Or at least not from you, since it’s the government’s money. 

Fortunately, the issue will resolve itself in a couple of weeks. And now you know, the stay at home thing isn’t for you. That’s not a bad thing, we’re all good at some jobs and bad at others. I hated staying at home! 

Post # 9
578 posts
Busy bee

Changing relationship dynamics can be painful. I was out of work for awhile and it was incredibly hard on me – Darling Husband took it a lot better than I did. I cleaned and cooked, but I still didn’t feel like I was ‘contributing’ – if Darling Husband had thought that too, I’d have been an absolute mess. When you’re home all day it can get really depressing and you can feel unable to get basic chores done, like making dinner. If it’s at all possible though, maximize what you can get done during the day. It’s important for him to have dinner when he gets home – and if you’re home during the day (and not working from home) – I would really try to make dinner every night. It doesn’t have to be fancy, 20 minute meals are completely possible. If you have a crockpot, you can throw things together in 10 minutes in the morning and open a bag of salad to finish it when he gets home. 

Part of me hates giving that advice: ‘have dinner ready for him when he gets home’, but if you were a man, I’d give the same advice. Whoever has the time to cook should cook. I think on the weekends he should cook to make sure he does a share of it too, but during the week, if you’re home during the day, it’s easier for you to make dinner. And it’s clearly important to him. 

As for the EI… I don’t know. A lot of people are quite embarassed about needing it, so he might be very hesitant to acknowledge it exists. I know when I wasn’t working I refused to claim it, even though we qualified, because we didn’t absolutely, *absolutely* need it to survive. It is a contribution, but some people are ashamed by it, and I’m guessing that’s what’s happening with yout Fiance.

Post # 9
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

I think this may be a values thing. He values the cooking function, even if that means something else does not get cleaned, whereas you value the cleaning function, even if that means something does not get cooked. Maybe it would help for you to write down what you do during the day (cleaned up 3 puppy “accidents”, washed 4 loads of laundry, scrubbed the guest bathroom, etc.) so that you have something to show him about what you did. If he doesn’t value cleaning, he will never notice that you scrubbed the baseboards because he never noticed they were dirty in the first place.

And now I should go scrub my baseboards because they are nasty (a detail I can guarantee you that my husband will never “see”).

Post # 12
9120 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I worked for most of my adult life. If you work, you contribute financially. If you don’t work, you don’t contribute financially. You didn’t earn the money you’re bringing in — I get that it’s important money and that it’s vital, but you didn’t earn it. <br /><br />I’m a stay at home wife and my contribution to the family is a clean house and a hot dinner when my husband gets home from work. I too at one time managed two puppies (!) and a cat not to mention all the responsibilities that come with a deployed husband (and at various times, tending to a neighbor’s home while they were gone but that was an extra cirricular activity if you will.) I love my responsibilities and I do them well. I thrive at being a homemaker and have absolutely no trouble staying busy or motivated — as you said, it’s not for everyone, and if your heart really isn’t in it, I could see you not really pushing to get everything done/done well.

If you want to be acknowledged for things you do, do it for tending home and husband, not for signing for an unemployment check. It isn’t exactly what you want to hear, but you didn’t earn that money, so it’s not your contribution.<br /><br />I understand your disappointment, but you have ways to actually contribute to family and home outside of your unemployment check.

Post # 14
1884 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014


O.My.Heart:  I’m sure this is a very stressful situation for you both, and as you are one another’s closest people, you are also each other’s target for this stress. I’m sure your husband realizes how tough this is and is grateful that EI is coming in. Of course you mean a lot to him – he is just frustrated and stressed.

I am also not a fan of staying at home and doing housework and would rather get dressed up and be at the office working, so I can understand that you’re feeling depressed and unmotivated to do any more domestic stuff.

But honestly, if having dinner on the table is that important to him, could it be worth compromising on? I mean, I work 60 hour weeks most of the time and I still manage to cook simple meals at least 3 times a week. I usually make enough so that it lasts us a couple of days and avoid having to cook daily. My go-to meals are chicken or salmon with oven roasted veggies (cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts etc) and a simple side such as Israeli couscous or quinoa. It doesn’t take me a long time, and is healthy and delicious.  


Post # 15
8443 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I just want him to acknowledge the financial contributions that I am still making… Is that too much to ask for?

O.My.Heart:  It sounds like you’re asking a question and getting an answer you don’t want to hear.  Hopefully things will get better once you start your new job.  Best of luck.

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