Husband vs. job

PashanApril 28, 2003

I need some advice regarding an ongoing battle between my husband and I. We have 4 children and he works full time. I also work, but only three nights a week. I work from about 4:00 to midnight on Monday, Thursday and Sunday. I don't make a ton of money, about $350 cash a week. (I am a server at a fun family restaurant). I have had this job for 3 1/2 years, since I quit my office job to be a SAHM. The money helps us tremendously and I really like my job. I have lots of friends at work, my guests, managers and co-workers respect me. Here is my problem:

My husband hates my job. He says "he misses me" and that "he can't wait until I quit". He carries on like I am there 70 hours a week. I point out to him that we need the money and that I NEED to get out of the house anyhow... I take his comments very personally and it is very hurtful. I usually suggest when he starts this fight that "he could quit HIS job and stay home with me all day if he misses me so much". He makes the bulk of our income and his company holds our health insurance. He always points out these facts (which I interpret as "how much more important his job is than mine"). I get tired of him "comparing" our worthiness. If I made the same amount of money as him, it would be the same story, right?

I get tired of justifying my job to him. He is jealous of a variety of my regular guests and co-workers. I usually tell him about my night when I get home from work just to include him but he invariably gets jealous so I've quit telling him anything about work. He always has insisted that I should "work from home". Of course he never had a job for me to do "from home". I even asked, "and what do you expect me to do with a 10, 5, 2 and 1 year old all day?" There is no way I could get ANYTHING done working from home. He doesn't get it.

I will also add this: he does a fantastic job with our children, is a great cook and cleans like a maid! He is a great father and other than this fight, a great husband. I just am very tired of justifying my job to him. He doesn't understand how much working contributes to my self-esteem, self-worth and our family's lifestyle.

About a year ago we had a complete blowup over this and he dropped it for a while. He started in again tonight and I hung up on him. He called me back (I was on my cell) and apologized, but I just don't know if I can take this argument starting up again.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to shut him up and get him over this? I appreciate any advice you can give me...


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He works full-time, AND cooks, AND cleans? Wow...and you guys have been stewing over this for more than a year?

That's not healthy. I have the opposite problem. We really don't need the money but DH is still to nervous about managing on one income to let me quit, and I want to be a sahm.

I just feel that there should be some room for compromise. Can you find a part-time job that would mean you are only out of the house when the kids and DH are in school, so that you can be a family in the evening? I notice you are very attached to this job, and I'm sure it's partly because of the friendships you have cultivated.

Gosh, this is going to sound like I'm taking your DH's side on this, but I really am trying to be objective. I think a reasonable compromise would be for you to get the mad-money and out-of-the-house time with a job that wouldn't take you away from your family when they are at home. Are the younger ones in childcare in the early evening to allow you to go to the restaurant? If so, work an earlier schedule.

Also why is he being "hateful" to say that he "misses you" and "can't wait until you quit". It could be that he simply misses you, like he said.

I hear very strongly that you need something to do, for the extra money and peace of mind. But it actually sounds like this has more to do with the friendships you have made at work that you don't want to lose, than with DH's jealousy.

You are stuck with 4 kids all day every day. That's hard. You are to be admired for your SAHM job. And it IS a job. And it sounds like you've basically been pregnant for 4 years straight. That can't be easy on a marriage. At the same time, your DH works all day then two weeknights a week he has to come home and do Mr Mom duty so you can go work, which you really enjoy.

You and DH already have to share your time with FOUR (again, amazing how you do it) kids! You've survived a few years of pregnancy and childbirth. And now you two have to share your time with a restaurant full of interesting people. I can see how you want to be out of the house. I really can. But I can also see his point of view.

His idea of working from home? HA! No way. Very few jobs out there even available to do from home, much less with 2 toddlers biting at your ankles!

Best of luck to both of you! You sound like you want to get rid of a long-nagging problem, and I think with such a large family, you don't need any more stress to bear.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2003 at 8:02AM
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The point of my work schedule is so that we don't have to pay a babysitter, child care is horribly expensive! If we pay for childcare, I won't be able to work. Period. At $4 (and that's low) per child per hour I would pay about $100 a day for a babysitter. I'd net a total of about $30 for 3 days work. That's if I even made enough to pay for a babysitter. Lunch servers at my restaurant make about $40 a day. So I'd have to actually shell out $180 from my own pocket to work. I only have one child in school full-time so I actually would need child care for 3 children.

For clarification, it's not "mad money" at all. We can't afford for me to quit my job. My job puts food on the table and pays the mortgage. His divorce left him with alot of bills that we are required to pay. My step-daughter is disabled and our portion of medical expenses is rather high.

What I want from him is respect. I feel like he doesn't respect how hard I work at home or at my job. He has no concept of it at all. He just complains about how late I work, how much the managers ask of me... He never asks how *I* feel about my job. (I do enjoy my friendships, but even if I were to quit my job, I would still have those friendships.)

I didn't point out that he NEVER has asked me "Do you *WANT* to quit?" He just assumes that I do and want to hear him complain about it. Apparently the decision isn't up to me at all. He doesn't want me to work, so he assumes I don't want to work. Um, that's not the way it goes!!

I understand his point of view to a certain extent. He actually told me one time that he was just jealous of the customers who have become my regulars because I talk about how much fun we have on Thursday nights. (I've quit talking about work completely with him now). I told him he was welcome to come in ANYTIME he wants to eat. My mom and some cousins are in every Thursday as well as some other regulars. I have worked there for 3 1/2 years and he came in and ate ONE time while I was working. I gave up asking him to a long time ago!!

I personally think he enjoys the pity party and just wants to feel sorry for himself. I miss him while he is at work but I don't expect him to feel sorry for me when he gets home because I was lonely all day.

I am only out of the house two nights during the week. All weekend (until Sunday evenings) I am home with him. The other 3 nights a week I am home with him and we do nothing!! What he misses is me breathing on the couch next to him while the TV is on. We don't go anywhere, we don't DO anything together! Hell, we hardly talk about anything. What the heck does he miss so much?!?!? The last time we went out together was in March for dinner and a movie, the time before that was in October of last year. If I suggest doing something he can come up with 12 reasons why we can't. (Babysitter too expensive, he's too tired, it would take him too long to get ready, nothing to do...) I gave up along time ago trying to get him DO something with me!!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2003 at 11:08AM
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Sorry, didn't mean to get you started LOL

Look, it really seems like your family has a lot going for it to be having so much unresolved conflict. Don't know if he feels as strongly in his opinion, but you certainly feel strongly about yours. You also see a lot of "jealosy" and "hateful" things, wanting a "pity party", in the vibes you get from him. This situation as it stands is not healthy. I still can't believe you've just been living under this shadow for a year now.

It sounds like you are not willing to compromise or maybe even if you were, you don't see a route to a compromise. I think you should talk to a neutral third party for counseling. Maybe a pastor or counselor. Maybe the two of you can brainstorm a route to a solution that you haven't thought of yet.

Not only do you have 4 kids but I see from your bio you also are a stepmom to one additional kid. That is a lot, and you definitely don't need this shadowing you.

Your original post wanted advice but any advice is sure to have some tone of compromise suggested in it. But at the moment, you seem to simply think DH is dead wrong in his opinion, and until you can see your way validate some of his feelings a bit I don't see a solution happening. And at the same time, he needs to understand where you're coming from, with your financial worries, and your personal needs.

Maybe someone else here has an idea.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2003 at 12:14PM
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I'm reading between the lines here and I see this issue as a power struggle between you and your DH. Sounds like your DH wants to control the situation a little too much and you are refusing to consider anything accept your own preferences. There's nothing wrong with working 3 nights out a week, except that it's causing so much friction in your marriage that your relationship is strained.

You have a few choices here, you could compromise and find a part-time job during school hours. You could continue to stonewall and hope the issue just goes away, or you could passively cave in and quit working altogether.

In my humble opinion, you should at least consider finding part-time work while the kids are at school. You certainly will make more than $350/week working part-time and it would eliminate the friction over your working at night.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2003 at 7:48PM
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MY KIDS AREN'T IN SCHOOL!!! I have three children to pay daycare for, ages 2,3 and 5!!!!!!! Obviously the 2 and 3 year old are home all day, my 5 year old is in afternoon kindergarten and is only at school from 12:30 until 3:30. I can't think of a job that would allow me to work from 1:00 to 3:00, pay for daycare and still make money...

I quit my daytime job 3 years ago so that *we* could take care of our children. WE made the decision for me to quit my full-time job and just work parttime evenings. And I am not being "uncompromising" about this at all. When I first started this job I worked Monday night, Thursday night, Friday night, all day Saturday and all day Sunday. I cut back at his insistance to three nights a week.

You're right, I could quit. Of course we could starve to death or lose our house. I used to work full time before our youngest two were born and we barely broke even after paying gas and daycare for the older two.

Thanks for your advice though, I appreciate you guys taking the time to answer. I don't mean to sound unappreciative but this isn't me being uncompromising with my husband. I HAVE compromised with him on this subject before. I don't feel like he has compromised at all with me.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2003 at 12:51AM
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Stick to your guns, Pashan! Part of being a family (especially a family with as many challenges as yours faces) is learning to do whatever it takes to get the job done. In this case, your children need your job to have their basic needs filled. We are only talking three nights a week here - I could see your husband's point if you were gone every night of the week (but then, again if that's what it took to pay the bills, then, you gotta do what you gotta do).

Your children also need a mother who has her own needs met. I think you are feeling a bit guilty because you enjoy what you do. Don't. A happy mother makes for happy children!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2003 at 9:29AM
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Dear Pashon,

Take a deep breath. Be calm for a minute. We're not doing a very good job of helping you, are we? Sorry! I didn't realize your kids were so young. I understand your point about day care, there's no way you could work days and have anything left over. I understand now, why working at night is so important. Also, it still sounds as though your DH is trying to control your time away from him and that you are trying to retain some independence.

We're in a tight spot too. After my husband was laid-off for 9 1/2 months last year, we were buried in debt. His new job is a good one, but he makes $30,000 less than he used to and that's scaring us to death. So, I'm thinking about working 2 jobs until we can get out from under these bills. I wouldn't be home much either, but it's necessary for our financial health - just like your job is vital for your family.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2003 at 11:33AM
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Lea and Puddle, thank you, thank you, thank you!! You're right, I do feel guilty for liking my job. My husband doesn't really enjoy his. It is very physical and he works very hard. To him it is a necessary evil. I think he is jealous of that as well (That I can enjoy work and he can't).

I guess I did need to hear that it is okay to work and not feel guilty about trying to financially care for my family.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2003 at 1:18PM
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I, too have four small children. I can certainly relate to loving a little break sometimes, and also to money being tight so you need to bring in some income.

It does occur to me, though, that your dh is working full time AND has ALL of the kids completely BY HIMSELF 3 full evenings a week, whereas you have only some of the kids full time by yourself when he is at work, and the oldest is at school.

He may feel frustrated that he has to bear the brunt of the kids those evenings, when he is very tired from a job he doesn't love, and you get to go to your fun job, where all your friends are. Is this really the only way you can work? Where do you live?

Is sitting REALLY 4 an hour PER CHILD for ongoing, not one-time-only sitting? That seems extremely high, especially when you'd need care for only 2 or three of them if you worked when the oldest is at school. Could you possibly work out a trade with a friend, where you work a couple of days and she works a couple of days and you trade off care? I do that a lot.

Or how about a job at a daycare or preschool? None of my four are in regular school yet. the oldest will be in kindergarten next year. I work two days a week at their preschool. I even get to take a break to nurse the baby each workday! I get paid, plus all my kids are free, I do not have to pay their tuition. It is such a fantastic setup and it does not put the brunt of childcare (while I work) onto my husband.

The kids will be little such a short time longer. If he has already worked a grueling day and is exhausted, the thought of having all the kids by himself for the rest of the day may be overwhelming. Your job sounds like a blast! I don't blame you at all for wanting to do it, but I really do think it sounds like you are the one with the sweet deal.

Of course, if it is really 4 bucks an hour per kid for a regular babysitting job, then why not keep other kids? you;d be rolling in the dough! here, for full time care for a non-infant (meaning 12 months and up) it is usally 85 bucks a week, with some lower and some higher, plus some places offer considerable sibling discounts. I understand that you would much rather keep your wonderful job, but tough times call for tough choices. Your marriage has GOT to be a top priority. I keep other kids here a lot, but not every day since I work at the preschool and also as a muralist out of our home, painting murals, and my husband does have to keep the kids then. I really, really, really empathize with you wanting to keep things as they are. But in all fairness I wonder if you should really consider a few alternatives and maybe cut this current job back to one night a week and find another way to bring in some income during the day.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2003 at 4:10PM
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I'm not married, so maybe I don't have much right to be posting here, but as hard as I've tried NOT to post, you can see which part of me won. :)

As soon as I read your post, Pashan, I was right back into my last relationship. Whenever I did something on my own, it was "Oh, but I miss you when you're not here" or "Why are you going out? Don't you want to spend time with me?" And, just as you said in your post, all we ever did was sit around and watch TV. Or I would watch TV and he'd play on the computer.

This was all his way of being controlling. He wasn't going to come right out and say "You are not allowed to go out" because that doesn't sound right, and because by saying that it would make *him* the bad guy. So he tried to make me feel guilty with his offhand remarks and did his best to make it seem as though he wanted what was best for me, when all along all he cared about was what he wanted. Most times it worked. I would stay home, with him, and FUME the rest of the night. He got what he wanted. I was miserable.

Granted, I'm sure there are a lot more variables (ie: the children) in your life than I had, but when you're justifying yourself to him, and he's jealous of your job and friends, something's not right. You need to have a serious talk with him about what really is the issue behind his negativity.

I don't want to get jumped on by anyone for this post, so PLEASE just know that I'm relating my own experience, and your post just struck me so deeply when I read it that I was compelled to respond.

Good luck to you Pashan! Please keep us posted.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2003 at 4:39PM
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You have every right to work if you want to or need to. I agree with the other posters, it sounds like your husband is trying to control you. You are a person, a SAHM with a very important job. Your's is just a stressful as his. Many couples work different shifts inorder to make ends meet and that also means someone has to be home with the kids. It is not babysitting, it is caring for the kids you created and wanted. I understand also that he may be tired when he gets home and if he doesn't like his job than it is just an added stress, but you deserve to get out of the house too and if you are bringing in money to help pay the bills than it is just as important as his job. The fact that you enjoy your job is just a plus, everyone should be so lucky. I believe your ability to work outside the home is giving you a sense of partnering in the household. Not only are you raising the kids and keeping the house, you are also contributing to the household budget, these are all very important things. The boost in self esteem is right there at the top. Your kids are benefiting from a mother who is happy with herself because she has found a balance between being a SAHM and a working mom. Your husband should count himself very luck to have such a conscientious wife and mother. Have a long talk with him about how you feel about the "big picture" and hopefully he will be more understanding. Marriage as well as parenting takes two people and the more fulfilled both people are, the better off the marriage and the kids are.

Good luck

    Bookmark   April 30, 2003 at 5:40PM
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Pashan, I have the opposite problem of you--DH wants me to work more hours. My DH and I have 3 school-age children and I work 23 hours a week teaching preschool. One reason I love my job is because I am working while my kids are in school. It means a lot to me to be here when they leave in the morning and be here when they get off the school bus (and no child care!). But I always feel like I am justifying why I won't/can't work more hours. I couldn't even imagine my DH suggesting I quit! And, I really can't. We need my income to pay the bills. But I am always feeling guilty of not working more hours. I've decided that no matter what, guilt is just not a good thing and really needs to be dealt with. You should not feel guilty for liking your job. (You are lucky!) And if your job is needed to pay bills, your DH should be glad you worked it out so that you don't even have to pay child care! Here's another thought....perhaps, just perhaps, he misses you. Rather than quit your job, could you find some time together when you aren't working? Do you get out much (I know that's hard with small children!). Try giving him extra attention while you are home with him. And don't feed into it when he makes comments to you. (Guilt makes us tend to get defensive...and that almost always fuels an argument.) Focus on him when he's home, and enjoy going to your job. Good luck and please keep us posted!


    Bookmark   May 1, 2003 at 2:59AM
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bless your heart. Of course you are doing the reasonable thing considering the ages of your children and you all should be commended for managing to have them always in the care of a parent.

I think you hit the nail on the head. You enjoy your job and having you enjoy something that doesnt include him most likely bothers your husband (which doesnt make him controlling and I hope he is not in other areas of your relationship). Try to accept the fact that he is going to have an attitude about the job you enjoy and contributes to the household income, and avoid rising to the bait. I would turn off my cell phone til my shift was over and tell him to call the work phone if he had an emergency (but I am pretty aggravating and independent myself).

If possible, set aside an evening so that he has you all to himself. These are hard years in a marriage and strangely, the ones we all look back on with rose colored glasses.

good luck to you and yours.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2003 at 2:04PM
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OH my gosh! I can definitely understand where you are coming from. I lead a double life -- I am a stay-at-home Mom who also runs a thriving business from my house. Some days I don't get any work done because the kids aren't cooperating, other days I am very productive. Since I am HOME all day with the kids and my work, I sometimes just want to escape by myself. Having 30 min. to myself is a luxury. At first my hubby didn't understand my need for "time alone" but I think he finally gets it. I spend all day working/caring for others and don't much have time for an independent thought of my own! I live my life and carve out work time based on everyone else's schedules, so there isn't much left for me.

Although I would NOT want to change my work-at-home status, I think it becomes all the more important that we take time for ourselves. This is true for all SAHM's, whether you work at home or not.

Your job gives YOU lots. First of all, you get to take a much-needed break from the demands of mom-dom and childcare. My kids are 4, 10, 12 and 17 -- so they are a bit older and less demanding than yours. And I can't imagine the responsibility you have in caring for three kids 5 and under -- one of which is disabled + one more! Wow! Yes, I love my kids dearly, but "MOM" is not the only hat I wear. I'm lots of things, not just Mom. And when I spend 24/7 caring for kids and ignoring my own needs, I get very crabby! So, you need to take some time to do something JUST for you. And for you that's your job.

Secondly, your job gives you the extra income your family needs -- without which there would be a financial struggle.

Your husband probably does miss you, and he misses your help at home when you're not there. I once went on a 1-week business trip during my first marriage, and my then-husband told me "I'll never say this again, but taking care of kids is hard work ... and I don't know how you do it" ... Yes, he's probably tired when he gets home and on the days you work he has to take full responsibility for the kids. No matter how good a Dad he is, that's a handfull! Women have done it for ages, but it's a new thing for Dads, isn't it? Let's face it, most men don't excel at multi-tasking. I know mine can't cook dinner while chasing kids, answering the phone and mentally make a grocery list! So, while it's probably not just "oh honey I miss your beautiful face" ... it's more like "I miss having you around. I miss working together to take care of kids and house stuff, and it's hard on me when you're not here" ...

Can you put together a household budget to show him in black-and-white how your job HELPS the family? And what would happen to that budget if you quit? How you may end up in a precarious financial pickle if you quit?

Aside from that, explain to him that your job gives you the social interaction you don't get at home. Jeez, I have held conversations with some SAHM's and all they could ever talk about was diapers and drool. (SAHM's don't spam me -- NOT every one is like that!!). But the point is, we all need interaction with adults, we need friends, we need time for ourselves. That's not selfish, that's reality. That's life. And in your case you not only get social interaction, you also get an income that keeps your family afloat. I think working evenings is the perfect solution for you. Childcare is expensive -- and if you worked during the day your kids would be without a Mom, AND you'd lose half your income!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2003 at 2:53PM
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I think your course of action is perfect, but the comunication style with DH leaves a bit to be desired. If both your incomes are required to make ends meet, there isn't much of an arguement to be had. If he complains about missing you when you head off to work and wants you to quit, you both know that quitting isn't really an option. Proposing that he quits his job does nothing to further the discussion. If anything, it makes his arguement look more reasonable. Working opposite shifts and trying to raise 4 kids is far from an ideal situation for a happy marriage.

Next time it comes up, I'd toss the ball back in his court. "I know this isn't ideal and that you miss me when I'm gone. We need to make ends meet though and I need regular contact with people who are old enough to drive. If you have a better solution, I'm all ears, but I refuse to have this same arguement over and over and not get anywhere. Just think about it for a bit, and let me know who you think we can spend more time together without me quiting this job."

I think most men (me included) are most frustrated by situations they don't like, but have no ability to change. We want to do something to "fix it" immediately and if we can't, it really grates on us. Having a plan to "fix it" makes us happier, even if it is just a marginal improvement.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2003 at 3:44PM
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What a guy! I think you just said, far better, what I was unsuccessfully trying to say!

I hope she is able to finally get rid of this nagging conflict so they can enjoy their life and family from here on out.

You're so right about guys' 'fix-it' mentality. I can't tell you how many times I come home and just want to vent, but DH thinks I am wanting him to 'do something about it'. Sometimes we just want to know that someone sympathizes.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2003 at 9:18AM
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Great advice Bill. I guess the part that really got to me was when she said that when they are home together all he wants to do is watch TV. He doesn't have anything specific in mind, just wants her there. My first thought was that he just didn't want the responsibility of the kids and by having her there took care of that problem. Like I said, when you work all day and come to kids, which is like a 2nd job, we are all tired and want to just veg out, but when you make the choice to have children, you must understand that they need and deserve your attention. There is no room for either person shucking their responsibilities to the other person. Kids are alot of work, but they are only with us for a short time and we need to enjoy every minute they are at home. As we all know, as they grow up, they become more and more independent and they get involved in other activities and it will become less hectic then when they are small children. I have always worked and there are some days I come home and just want to go to bed, but I have responsibility to my kids and I know they are learning by example, so I try to do my best and when I can't I apologize and do my 2nd best.
Good luck Pashan, this is a tough issue to tackle. I hope your husband listens to you and realizes that you are a very important member of the family and your needs need to be met just like everyone elses.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2003 at 1:18PM
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From pashan's first post

"I will also add this: he does a fantastic job with our children, is a great cook and cleans like a maid!"

Doesn't sound like a lazy guy that is trying to shirk his responsibilities. Many men want to just "hang out." We do this with our friends and we like to do it with our families. Guys can sit together and watch tv and be perfectly content. Most women wouldn't be. There is absolutly nothing wrong with a man desiring to just be near his wife. Personally, I really like to work in the garden with my wife - I'm just happier when she is there working with me even if we are just working side-by-side not saying much of anything. Maybe it's something inherent in being male - who knows. However, if the ONLY thing he is willing to do is sit and watch tv with you, then you have a problem. If you say, lets do X and the response is "No, lets watch tv" that means he is causing the problem. If you just always let him decide, and he decides TV, that isn't a behavior problem, that is just his preference.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2003 at 1:48PM
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I think if you go back to one of Prashan's original posts, you will see that she has tried to get her husband to DO things with her and as she says,

"I am only out of the house two nights during the week. All weekend (until Sunday evenings) I am home with him. The other 3 nights a week I am home with him and we do nothing!! What he misses is me breathing on the couch next to him while the TV is on. We don't go anywhere, we don't DO anything together! Hell, we hardly talk about anything. What the heck does he miss so much?!?!? The last time we went out together was in March for dinner and a movie, the time before that was in October of last year. If I suggest doing something he can come up with 12 reasons why we can't. (Babysitter too expensive, he's too tired, it would take him too long to get ready, nothing to do...) I gave up along time ago trying to get him DO something with me!!"

So I guess maybe we have our answer.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2003 at 6:03PM
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Okay, I'll weigh in on this. I don't think he misses you so much as he misses knowing what you are doing every minute when you are away from the kids and him. I agree with the posters who have said it's more of a control issue. Sounds to me like he is jealous of your independence. He probably has some insecurity issues. Besides, 350.00 a week is a substantial amount of income. I think you are doing the right thing by sticking to your guns in this case. You love your job, you're contributing financially to the family, the children are fine. He should support you in this effort, IMO.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2003 at 10:10AM
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You are right, StepMom. Had I read Pashan's post more carefully, I would have picked up on that. Now that I've reread it, I think it's more of a control issue, too.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2003 at 3:33AM
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Pashan, I'm completely on your side here. The job is not the problem, the fussing about the job is the problem. For years I felt guilty about everything---my job was supposed to be to keep everyone happy all the time. You know what? it's not possible!

I think you need to tell him very clearly that you LIKE your job, you NEED your job, and you intend to keep your job. He needs to just grow up and get used to it. I would also refuse to have any more conversations about it. Hang up if he calls, walk away if he brings it up while you are with him. Tell him that once all the kids are in school you will consider a day schedule, but for now this is how it is going to be. If you don't have some outlet of satisfaction the marriage isn't all that certain of being a forever thing.

Gently but firmly. No need to hurt feelings unduly or be caustic. The proof will be in meaning what you say and doing what you say you will about it. No one gets everything they want all the time. It sounds like you have too much going for you---all six of you---to let this go on any longer.

Know what I'd do? I'd let him read this thread.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2003 at 12:43PM
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Here is a private e-mail that I got and wanted to share with you all! She has some great advice.

I have an idea that would help you with your
> husband. It is sort of like
> reverse psychology. The next time he says "I miss
> you, I can't wait for you
> to quit your job" heave a heavy sigh and say "I miss
> you too, it is hard to
> have to work when we need the money like we do, I
> would rather be home with
> you. Do you think you will get a raise soon, or that
> we could get your child
> support decreased so we could afford for me to stay
> home more? I think I
> would still like to work a day or two just to feel
> like I am "pulling my own
> weight", but, it is hard to be away from you four
> days a week" Then heave
> another sigh.
> The problem is, *you* are jumping on the defensive,
> when *you* haven't done
> anything wrong!!! Can't you see that this is reverse
> role playing? Imagine
> the husband- who comes home to his 1950's wife and
> she says "I am so lonely,
> why do you have to work late?" He gets defensive and
> says "SOMEONE has to
> put bread on our table!!!" She isn't critisizing him
> for working- she just
> wants to hear him say he MISSES *her*, too!!! So,
> turn it back on HIM. But,
> in a *nice way*. So, he remembers that the reason
> why you work is in part
> due to his past debts, but, that you still love him
> and miss him!!!
> Also, if he is just trying to get a little support
> (it could be that he is
> playing the martyr here, and just wants you to
> reassure him, like the 1950's
> wife situation) hearing you say you would rather be
> home with him might do
> the trick. Just a little role reversal. I say the
> same thing to my DH all
> the time "I wish that you didn't have to work so far
> from home, I never see
> you!" and he usually replies "me, too, this drive
> sucks and I miss you". I
> feel reassured, he doesn't take my comment
> personally. It isn't a personal
> comment. The drive is the enemy, not my husband. In
> your situation, DH isn't
> making you the enemy (though it feels like it) the
> part time job. Also, tell
> him that. you could say:
> "you know, I take it personally when you come down
> on me for working when we
> need the money, instead of saying 'why do *you* have
> to work?' how about
> saying to me "I hate that WE *need* you to work
> extra hours- then I would
> recognise that you feel bad about our income
> situation, instead of believing
> you are coming down on me for something I feel we
> have to do right now".
> Good luck!
> Lizzie

    Bookmark   May 9, 2003 at 9:22AM
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P: It's pretty obvious that your husband is jealous of your job and jealousy is caused by insecurity. He sees you having fun at work and more than likely feels like you couldn't have that kind of fun with him. Sitting around the house watching TV is the worse thing you can do. Start planning "fun" activities when your together. Sometimes let it be a family thing, maybe even getting together with another couple & their children and sometimes let it be just the two of you doing something fun, possibly with another "fun" couple. Your husband sounds like he may be a little more reserved than you are and would love to come out of his shell and have some fun. The fact that your having fun without him is really a threat to him. Getting him to go may be a problem, but plan activities in advance to avoid his excuses for not doing anything. This whole thing is not about your working or his missing you at all. It's just about his feeling insecure.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2003 at 6:44PM
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I tried to post a follow up a couple of times, but I messed up and it didn't get posted. I finally gave up. I think I am gonna try this one again!

My hubby and I had another long talk about his attitude toward my job. He apolized for his comments (he knows how I feel already...). He admitted that he was just tired and stressed when he "picked the fight" again. He knows my job is a necessary evil.

However, I also know how hard he works and what a great father he is. I have been taking classes for about 6 weeks to qualify to take my real estate license exam. (I will be finished tomorrow!) My wonderful husband has been taking care of the house, home and children while I've been working and been in class. He has done a wonderful job! I understand his stress lately!

I will be embarking on a new career soon. I will continue to work at the restaurant until the real estate begins to create income, at which time I will quit serving and bartending altogether. We talked about the time that I will have to put into a new career and he agreed to it fully before I ever started classes. He is all for it, knowing the hours will be longer, but not as late. (I have to work at the restaurant until after midnight). I will also be able to do quite a bit of work from him. (With his help watching the children).

We both feel very positive about this!

Anyhow, that is what is going on in our family right now...
Thanks for all of the advice everyone!!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2003 at 11:55PM
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