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

posted 2 years ago in Career
Post # 31
Member
1884 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I come from a very different background than my Fiance, with much more education and opportunities to earn money. He makes a fraction of what I make. But what’s important to both of us is that he works, whether it’s teaching (which he’s currently doing) or something relating to farming (which he has done in the past and will do once we’re settled, at least on the side) or opening a restaurant (his/our dream). 

Post # 32
Member
627 posts
Busy bee

Not selfish at all. I think you’re being very fair. Expecting your partner to work is not the same as forcing them to work a full-time crappy job. You sound very willing to be the primary breadwinner, you just don’t want to be the only one working. That’s totally fair.

Post # 33
Member
343 posts
Helper bee

mingogo4 :  well I don’t know if “selfish” is the right word.  You just seem confused about your motives.

You said “I just want to feel like we are both working towards our lifestyle and isn’t 100% on me.” Well, if your spouse is a homemaker, they are definitely working towards your lifestyle, and it is definitely not 100% on you. This is quite apart from whether kids are involved or not. Stay at home mother is a different job, also looked askance at – but a different job. 

I don’t think I suggested homemaking is “the same” as working 40 hrs a week in industry – but is that something you want? To make sure he is “working” as many hours as you? When you say lifestyle, do you mean in terms of $$$? It’s not clear, because you mention you don’t care if he makes 10k or 100k. 

Do you want him to work full time because you think he will be happier that way? Or do you feel you will resent him if he is not doing everything he can to pull in $$$? Or are you wanting him to work as a contingency plan? All fine principles on which to desire your SO to work. 

If you want him to work because homemaking is beneath him … or its beneath you to have a spouse who is a homemaker … or you think homemakers don’t make an equal contribution to the lifestyles of their families … well … I wish you didn’t feel that way, you’re a casuality of 2nd wave feminsim.

BUT if you do feel that way, then he should work. Because you won’t be happy in the relationship if he doesn’t.  It’s not selfish. 

Post # 34
Member
5978 posts
Bee Keeper

If it were financially do-able for one of us to stay home full time I say go for it. Actually, I should say financially attractive not just do-able, because Darling Husband and I and our blended family could survive on one of our salaries but we’d have to cut corners. So I’d rather we both work to maintain a lifestyle that allows for family vacations, savings etc.

But IF one of us made enough that we could easily maintain our current lifestyle on one salary I would totally be okay with it because I think both partners benefit from it. If one person wants to pursue educational goals or do charity work or be a fulltime homemaker, I’d be fine with this. Darling Husband and I both garden (lol he’s far better at it than me) and we love to cook, so I can see that the working partner would also have it easier by the other partner taking on a larger share of cooking, cleaning, gardening etc 

Post # 35
Member
3094 posts
Sugar bee

Do not EVER take care of a man financially just because you can (unless it’s because of illness or having to be a stay at home parent for a certain amount of time).

Trust me  on this.

 

Post # 36
Member
3532 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 29th, 2016

mingogo4 :  I’ve always admired a man with ambition, and I married one! I’m a bit traditional in that I expect the man to be willing and able to provide for us. My husband supported me through grad school when I barely made anything (worked in exchange for a tuition waiver), and now that I have income, he still takes care of the bulk of the bills, allowing me to save my income and contribute to the things I want to. It sounds like your husband needs to do some self exploration and clarify his profesional goals. Since you’re able to support him, he could easily go to school and work part time, so he’d still have some income to bring home until he finds something he enjoys to do full-time. 

Post # 38
Member
706 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

So I’ve seen a similar situation but with reverse gender roles. A friend of my Darling Husband & his wife are kind of like this. He works a pretty good job, probably makes around the low 6 figures. They live in a low cost of living area, and were essentially gifted their very nice, large home by her parents. The only thing they have to pay for there is property taxes…so his salary is enough to provide for them & their children and still have savings left over.

She, on the other hand, barely finished high school and never really was interested in having a career. They have two kids, and it’s very clear she wants to be a stay at home mom & she absolutely loves being a mom. He, however, has made her keep the same crappy job she hates the whole time they’ve been together. She’s a part time waitress at a cheap chain restaurant that I won’t name and makes next to nothing on tips.

I’m not 100% sure on his motivation for that. I think it’s probably mostly resentment because he doesn’t like having the burden of being the breadwinner…plus he works a night shift so maybe he doesn’t think it’s fair he’s stuck with such crappy hours and she stays home? I’m also not sure if he worries that maybe she gets too wrapped up in being mom, and if she doesn’t get out of the house and do something she’d be a crazy hover mom? I don’t know.

Anyways–as far as how it looks as an outsider…honestly it looks pretty strange. I think being a mom is a big contribution to the household…I also think since she came into the marriage and contributed the house she’s definitely not mooching off of him. 

However, I’d say your circumstance is completely different. Without kids to care for, I think expecting your spouse to work when they’re able is pretty reasonable…especially if you can use that as retirement money.

Post # 39
Member
5189 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

lula0508 :  He, however, has made her keep the same crappy job she hates the whole time they’ve been together.

Well he hasn’t made her keep her crappy job, she’s free to find a job she prefers.  I really don’t think it’s unreasonable for him to prefer his wife to work, particularly part time. 

Post # 40
Member
706 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

zzar45 :  True, but they live in a rural area and she doesn’t have an education so opportunities are pretty limited for her

Post # 41
Member
6936 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think every couple needs to do what is best for them, and not worry about how other’s do it. I know couples in all sorts of different employment situations – and for each couple how they do it works for them.

For most people I know either both of them work, or one works and one is a Stay-At-Home Mom. A few of them are WFHM who are able to run their own business on their down time or with the help of a sitter to watch the kids.

I know someone who while now is a Stay-At-Home Mom, prior to that for several years she was a Stay-At-Home Wife (and actually, just the girlfriend before that). The girl has literally never had a job. That being said her husband doesn’t want her to work. He has a job in the same field as my Darling Husband, that requires A LOT of travel (like I’m talking gone 9+ months out of the year). He’s in a position where she can travel with him, and he was specifically looking for that in a spouse. His previous marriage didn’t work out because his wife didn’t like to travel. It completely works for them, and while they (well really, she) get a lot of jugement for it, frankly I don’t see how it’s anyone else’s business. He makes enough for them to live well and that’s what matters to them.

I think that working a crappy job you hate doesn’t have to mean the alternative is to stay home and not work. There are plenty of jobs out there that while don’t pay well would offer a great quality of life. If both parties are ok with not being equal earners that’s all that matters. My Darling Husband makes 3x what I make, and probably always will. That’s completely ok with me.

Post # 42
Member
5189 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

lula0508 :  I just don’t like the idea that he’s making her work. It paints the husband as the bad guy, the reality of the situation is his job is allowing her the freedom to only work part time, without him surely she would have to work full time to support herself? 

Post # 43
Member
9614 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

I would be so salty if I busted my ass all day and my husband was just living the life of leisure. Cleaning up and cooking for two adults is just not a full time job. If I made BIG bucks, I would be okay with a low paying job, volunteering etc. But “earning a comfortable living with maybe a few luxuries” is not the kind of money Im talking about.

Just because you dont NEED his money to scrape by doesnt mean it wouldnt be better if that extra 50k was flowing in a year. That money makes for a better life- better vacactions, housing and earlier retirement namely. If you were making 7 figures or close to it, thatd be another story. My husband way out earns me and we save all my income. So I could Stay-At-Home Mom and my Darling Husband wouldnt care honestly as long as I was happy and was a stellar homemaker… but I feel morally obligated to contribute financially especially because 1) he doesnt make enough to justify it and 2) I will take a few years off to raise littles to preschool so I want to pad the savings as much as possble. 

And its not just about the money, its about the TIME. I would be resentful of being busy all the time while my partner enjoyed early retirement/never launching. I wouldnt respect him or be attracted to him. 

That being said… none of the above applies to childrearing which is beyond a full time job. AND if being a SAH wife or husband makes the couple happy then its no ones business- its just not for me especially while young- retirement savings not complete etc. Some people have really intense jobs with intense hours/travel and life is just better with a spouse to manage the homefront, kids or not. But a standard 9-5 doesnt require that kind of support in my book.

Post # 44
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

zzar45 :  I agree. Also, this happened to my husband with his ex. He went on and got his MBA in his worked full time sometimes two jobs to support his family. She barely graduated high school and rarely worked. When she did it was low paying jobs. Then she decided to cheat on him multiple times and eventually divorced him. Because she didn’t make any money and he did, in the divorce, he ended up having to pay off all of their marital debt. And was on the hook for child support and maintenance. 

 

Same thing is happening to a friend of mine who’s unmotivated ex-husband flunked out of college & who still works Pizza delivery at the age of 40. She, on the other hand went to college while working full time & makes good money. She’s on the hook for child support while he lives in his parent’s basement. 

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