(Closed) Wanting your SO to work just based on principle?

posted 2 years ago in Career
Post # 2
9540 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

There’s a middle ground between “You have to work a crappy full time job” and being okay with being the sole provider. 

Being the sole provider can produce a lot of stress, even if you are comfortable if your family’s financial well-being and access to health insurance are entirely dependent on you that’s a lot to handle if for some reason in the future you are worried about your job. And even without the stress, you don’t have to be okay with fully supporting someone else.

But wanting your spouse to work doesn’t mean you have to insist they work a crappy job. If they were truly working a job that was awful you could offer to support them for a short time while they look for a new job or be okay with them going part-time. 

What is important is that you are both on the same page going into marriage. 

Post # 3
47175 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would expect my partner to work- male or female. Getting a free ride through life is not how I was raised. When there are only two adults involved and no plans for children, there simply is no need, nor would there be enought to do, to meaningfully occupy someone’s time staying at home full time.

Rest assured we are not taking about a homemaking and child rearing situation here. That is not what the OP is talking about.

Even if it were, I would encourage all men or women in that situation to find some way to maintain marketable skills. You never know when the primary  (or sole) breadwinner will no longer be in your life.

Post # 4
1180 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

My Darling Husband works pretty much part time, sets his own hours. But he’s 63 so I don’t think that’s what you’re asking.  I’d encourage him to get some trainng, or open a business, or find what will make him happy.

Post # 5
3737 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I would expect my husband to work unless I was making so much money that it would be the equivalent of two incomes. With that being said, I don’t see putting money into savings and retirement as “unnecessary”. To me those are very important and necessary as I don’t plan on working into my 70s and 80s. 

Post # 6
7918 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Between the two of us, I’m the higher earner. He has good income potential, but I have more. He spent the last bit of his grad school recently as just a student rather than balancing work and school, now on the job search.

He makes me so happy and is a great guy. It’s been great having him around with such a flexible schedule. However, his skills are very much in demand now, and he is super smart. It would be a shame for him to not make use of those skills.  It’s not so much about the money as it is just being productive. 

Post # 8
233 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

My husband and I have very different spending habits; I make a little more than him and he spends a lot more than I do. So in our situation, even if we could afford to live comfortably on my income I’d still expect him to work if he planned on continuing his current spending habits. If your guy was a stay at home dad, that’d be one thing, but if he has the time and ability to work I think it’s reasonable for him to contribute to your life/future together in any capacity he can. 

Post # 10
343 posts
Helper bee

mingogo4 :  well. what do you mean by “not working.” Already on this thread, we have the comment that everyone is expected to work (by work they mean, integration into modern capitalist industry) because no one should get a “free ride.”

Underlying this is prevailing cultural attitudes about the worthlessness of domestic work – homemaking, childrearing, etc. Of course, it is not a coincidence that the work traditionally done by women is considered to be low value and the occupation of a freeloader. 

You probably can guess, but I’ll come right out and say that your SO can make significant and valuable contributions to your family as a homemaker.  

Now, for the most part men (and many women nowadays too) are conditioned to believe that “just” staying home is beneath them. Obviously a family won’t function well if one of the members feels this way about how they are spending their lives.

Even people who highly esteem domestic work can find some level of integration with capitalist industry beneficial where mental health is concerned.

From a risk management perspective, it’s good if members of a family who can work make arrangements so that they are ABLE to work – maintain requisite skills, get requisite education etc., Different situations arise in life where the primary $ earner may not be able to continue in that capacity. 

TL/DR: yeah, its fine if you think SO should work “on principle.” But just make sure you’re aware of what “principle” you’re talking about. 

Post # 11
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I can understand your situation. My husband just got out of the military and is going to school full time and definitely isn’t able to contribute to finances as much as I am. I’m pretty much supporting the majority of our living expenses for the time being. The career field he is getting back into just won’t ever match the income level I have with mine and that is ok. It is a rare day that both partners make the same income and can financially contribute the same amounts. There is nothing unreasonable about expecting him to work. But that is neither here nor there because is sounds like he wants to work, he just won’t be making the same level of income as you. Your SO sounds a lot like my SO in that he would be much happier working and contributing what he can as opposed to not working at all.

Even if him working is not financially necessary, it’s important part of a contingency plan and planning for the future. What would happen if you became disabled? Or lost your job? Plus it never hurts to put more money into a retirement plan, or college savings if you want children, or a larger down payment on house. I would tell the exact same thing to a woman coming on here complaining that her husband wants her to get a full time job even if he can support them. If it would put you in an even better financial standing and help prepare for anything that could come up unexpectedly, then I don’t think it is unreasonable. 

Post # 12
1128 posts
Bumble bee

It’s so funny you brought this up!


Fiance had to train for his job from October Through the holiday– which means home study– which means he studied in his apartment and took phone calls.


Meanwhile I drove through Manhattan and Westchester and Connecticut ALL DAY EVERY DAY.  He took 5 days vacation and I was so angry lol.  We had to address it bc I was becoming so resentful.  Unfair yes, but case in point I know how you feel.

Post # 14
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

mingogo4 :  Nope you’re not selfish. It is about working together to build something. That’s completely normal and expected. 

Post # 15
2642 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

If I were in your situation, I would expect Darling Husband to be doing something. This could be returning to school to help him achieve his goals (with or without parttime work), it could be pursuing a freelance career, it could be working parttime at a job he doesn’t really like whilst pursuing a freelance career the other working days, it could be working fulltime – it doesn’t matter what it is, just something. I do tend to think that simply keeping house is not enough of a contribution (however, if there were kids in the picture and he was the sole carer for them it would be different).

Darling Husband and I do split household chores. I wouldn’t say they’re split down the middle – I do more than he does, but I am also particular about certain things so would much rather do them myself. Unlike you, we do plan to have kids and I will be a Stay-At-Home Mom for a few years. During this time, I will be taking on all of the household chores simply because I will be home more (although Darling Husband will still be looking after his garden, I’m not allowed to touch that lol). I cannot see myself being a Stay-At-Home Mom forever – it would drive me nuts – so I will return to the workforce when we’re done having kids.

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