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SUSANHKS's Photo SUSANHKS Posts: 891
10/19/08 4:31 P

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My husband is all for me making money when it doesn't affect him or what he wants to do- but he can be difficult about pitching in to help with the kids. He doesn't particularly like his job, but he refuses to take the risk of looking for one that might be more satisfying or might pay better.

When he comes home, he wants to relax and have no responsibilities. He wants to enjoy the fruits of not only his labor, but of mine as well. He seems jealous of my initiative and my willingness to take some risks in my career. Sometimes he even tells me, that I "just work for fun" because I have a passion for what I do and I enjoy it most of the time. Sometimes he accuses me of working to get away from him, because I sometimes see clients on Saturdays mornings. If I do any work related tasks at home around him, he accuses me of "working all the time" (which I have learned means he's feeling neglected, like I am distancing him).

So sometimes I have to look at whether I am distancing him and ignoring his needs.

Your husband sounds similar--- sounds like he'd be fine with you working too if you worked the same hours he did and you arranged all the babysitting, making sure his time at home is minimally, if ever impacted. When he said he was for it, I bet that was before he realized how it would change his life.

Prior to kids, I used to do alot of caregiving gestures for my husband, like running his baths, putting toothpaste on his toothbrush, etc. We worked the same shifts, and then I still had plenty of time and energy and enjoyed doing those little nurturing things for him. But I no longer have that kind of time and energy. That pretty much stopped when we had kids. I understand those behaviors made him feel loved and now he sometimes feels neglected, and sometimes expresses he can't wait till our kids are grown and it's just us again.

Sometimes it is very hard to support each other. Your husband may well prefer to have you be with him and nurture both him and the kids in the evening.

I think alot of men see the caregiving of the kids as the mother's responsibility, and like another here said, they act like they should get some great honor for doing so, as well as seeming to think we should mother them as well. It is so frustrating, although I admit I sort of set up those expectations of his that I would act in a mothering, nurturing way toward him.

But the "distribution of labor" in a marriage is something that has to be negotiated, kept reasonably fair, and negotiated repeatedly as you go through different phases of life. You can't hold him to any of the positions he took in the past about whether he supports your decision or disagrees with it-- you have to find out what is under those and then negotiate to get the most important needs of you both met, while making some compromises.

And yes, you may have to take some stands that say-- I am not going to let you call all the shots in the family--- you *will* be negotiating this with me. This issue is just too important for me to just say "whatever you want, honey." My husband sometimes tells me I'm "too *%$# independent." I try to see if I'm neglecting my marriage, but beyond that he's just going to have to live with that independence because that's who I am-- if it's important enough to me, I *am* going to do what I think is right to do, even if I have to put up with some conflict and keep negotiating each little thing.

Does he know that you feel so strongly about this that it makes you think about separation?

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10/19/08 3:09 P

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Right now I have very strong feelings of anger towards him. There is a huge strain between us and there usually isn't. I hate this!

Now he will not even talk to me about and gives me the line that just do what I want to do because that is what I always do. He is turning it around on me and making me feel bad. I don't think that I should feel bad about wanting out a couple of nights a week to earn money for our family.

I am now wondering if he is jealous, insecure, selfish, etc. I know that I can do good at it and all that I really want to do is earn some income of my own and help with the bills. Why is this bothering him so much? I am so lost in how I feel about this and him:(

I want to talk to him but he doesn't want to hear it and cuts me off. I get nowhere with it.

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10/19/08 1:56 P

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Wow. That can be really frustrating because the first impulse is to feel like your partner is not supporting you. However, men have not been taught to express their emotions (and even to identify them). He might not know what he is feeling so he is going back and forth with you. I say don't take his flip flopping personally and explain why you need to do your business. That you will feel unhappy, unsatisfied with your self if you don't accomplish this goal --and how that will affect the relationship. Try not to be angry. Hope this helps!

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SEEBEES3's Photo SEEBEES3 Posts: 1,229
10/19/08 12:10 A

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I agree, you really need to talk about this in a safe, non-threatening way. He sounds petrified so be aware that his defense mechinisms are going on hyperdrive. Good luck.


"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. "
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10/18/08 11:59 P

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My husband hates the stress of taking care of the kids and when he does, and perhaps has them bathe or makes them food, you think he wants to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize! Geez, take responsibility for, what are his kids too! I understand that being a SAHM is a job I wanted and enjoy BUT although the husbands work long hrs. they get the breaks that we don't (even a peaceful drive back home alone in the car) Unless he can come up with a better idea or until you do, he needs to step up to the plate.

When I was a kid and my mom went out with her friends, she would have my dad's meals pre-made and left sticky notes all over the door frame: #1 turn on the oven and pre-heat to...#2 take dish out of frig. etc...(take the dish out of the frig.? was he that stupid ?!)

How Pathetic! It's amazing that they can wipe their own bottoms sometimes! BUT, it's ok for us to take care of the kids, house, THEM and work.

I think I'm venting too without lending you a shoulder...sorry.

I don't think I can add anymore words of wisdom to what the girls already have said but, yes, I can relate.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
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10/18/08 10:11 P

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Hi Celeste,
First, don't feel like you must "apologize" or explain why you are posting. We are here to support each other.
I would add my agreement that you sit down with your husband and try to calmly talk about this. Talk with each other when neither of you is angry. Ask him to try and understand your point of view - but you must also try to understand his. But you really need to talk it out - if not, you and he will end up resenting each other, which will turn into bitterness. That's not a good thing.....believe me.

Keep us posted!

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10/18/08 8:07 P

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Hang in there. Talk to him and don't keep any emotion left. Put everything out on the table. It wouldn't hurt alot of fathers to help take care of their children. I know some fathers do. It's not going to hurt him and it's more income for you all. Good luck!

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HDCHAN's Photo HDCHAN Posts: 1,742
10/18/08 7:58 P

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I'm sorry if I am being nosey, but what kind of home based business is it? Is it like Cutco, Tupperware, Pampered Chef, etc?
I'm only asking, because I am wondering how receptive he would be if he could join you in the first couple of ventures out. Maybe if he could see exactly what you would be doing, and the potential for additional income, he would relax a bit about it. He may even get interested enough to help you with the parties from time to time. Then again, he might scoff even more afterwards.. I don't know.
Either way, you will have offered to make him a part of this, which might ease his mind... everyone is right about men getting freaked out about change, and not feeling included seems to be the biggest fear (in my experience).
Just an idea... hope it helps!


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10/18/08 6:57 P

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I think change is difficult for most of us, but especially for men. You going out to do something new will inevitably change the dynamics of your relationship. It's possible that that's what is scaring him. If you can find a quiet time where just the two of you can really talk about this without arguing, you might be able to reassure him that change can actually be a good thing for both of you. Good luck. I hope everything works out for you.



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MODEBB1's Photo MODEBB1 Posts: 656
10/18/08 6:14 P

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Men do not like change. I once told my husband that everyone changes through the years and he refused to see it. They are definitely insecure when confronted with change especially with the wife is changing and he is standing still.

There are no shortcuts to achieving what you want. Dedication, commitment, and effort are needed to accomplish anything worthwhile.

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10/18/08 4:55 P

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Maybe he misses you and the kids. After being gone from home for so long during the day, he enjoys spending time with you in the evenings.

I'm praying that things get better for you. Best wishes on your business! Hugs, Ann.

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10/18/08 4:20 P

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Change is hard in a relationship. I'm guessing your husband doesn't know where this is leading and doesn't know how to respond. He probably never considered what changes would result when you started this home based company.

I do think you need to talk with your husband but be calm and reasonable, not emotional. Tell him what your hopes for the business are and what value it can have for your family. Ask for some time to get it up and running and for things to "settle down". Ask for his help in making your dream come true.

Be patient. Change is never easy. But it can happen. Good luck with the business.

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

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MARTY19's Photo MARTY19 Posts: 53,177
10/18/08 3:22 P

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He sounds terrified at the changes this will bring. You both need to discuss this calmly and rationally. If your kids are old enough, make it a family discussion. Bring up all the positives. Get it out in the open (your feelings included)Marty

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10/18/08 3:06 P

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sounds like he might be afraid to be left with the kids. maybe he is nervous and afraid he will do something wrong? Do you have a friend or a neighbor or a family member that would watch the kids for you for a few hours? I found a neighbor right next to us and she offers to take my kids for me just so I can get a good nights sleep. Maybe just figure out something else to do with the kids and maybe he won't be so uptight about you working at night. good luck and I will pray for you.

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SASSY_QUEEN's Photo SASSY_QUEEN Posts: 10,621
10/18/08 2:56 P

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Sorry Celeste......maybe he is nervous about it....cause it is something new to be home at nite with the kids.....if you were always there before. Ask him to let you give it a try for a month or so and agree that you will reevaluate it with him then.....that way....he may not feel he is stuck in it forever....JO

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10/18/08 2:28 P

I am sorry to see you go through this. I can certainly understand how you feel. Maybe he is insecure about you working away from home.Where before he knows where you were at all times and now you try to spread your wings and that makes him uncomfortable.Try talking to him about it.

No matter how bad the day gets there is always tomorrow.Don't ever give up.
SMD560's Photo SMD560 Posts: 87
10/18/08 2:27 P

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Hang in there - it really sounds like he has his own insecurities to work through. Men are so strong in so many areas, but when they feel emotionally threatened - some don't know how to cope... the flip floppiness, the family night decree - all sounds like he is trying to hang on and doesn't quite know how to.
He could just be threatened by the prospect of your success and losing you to that success. You said it yourself - you are the one who stays at home and takes care of everything. May be his "inner child" (no offense to the men folk)is afraid he's going to have to grow up!

Edited by: SMD560 at: 10/18/2008 (14:34)
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JESSIE262's Photo JESSIE262 Posts: 62
10/18/08 2:20 P

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I can understand how you feel, My parents are in the same situation, But they have been married for 28 years and he still likes to control what she is doing. But just now after all those years she is seeing that this is not working for her, a little to late I say she should had stopped him years ago.
Talk to him and try to work things out but don't but your feeling, needs, and wants aside to please him.
You have to do what is best for YOU.

Best Wishes

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LINDA!'s Photo LINDA! Posts: 115,370
10/18/08 2:18 P

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I can certainly understand why you are upset. If he thought it was good or bad then you would know exactly where he stands. But to keep changing his stance on this must be infuriating. I hope that things would out soon where there is no tension between you. Whatever you do, don't reach for food because you are upset. I certainly know how that can be. I have done it too often myself. Take care. emoticon

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10/18/08 2:11 P

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Okay, I feel a bit whiny but I really need someone to talk to AND I know that you all are here.

So, I have just begun a home based business in direct selling. A very good company to be with. At first dh said to go ahead and do it if it is going to make me I signed up. Then he was against it. Then is was okay and then last night it was not again. It is now creating tension between us and is leaving me feeling upset, resentful, and very angry. If things are going to continue to go like this with him then we are not going to last and I will take our children and leave. I have asked him to stay home with the kids 2-3 nights a week and for about 3-4 hours at a time. He doesn't want to do it because he will be coming home from work after a 10 hour day and doesn't want to take care of the kids. That made me so angry. We hardly ever do anything when he comes home from work so I did not understand why it is all of a sudden an issue. Now all of a sudden he is calling it family time and wants me to stay home all of the time. This makes me super angry because I am a stay at home mom who tends to the house, kids and whatever else is needed. He hasn't been sexist before but seems to be now. If feel like he is holding me back and holding me down. Like if he cannot control it then it is not okay. He asked me why can I not just go out and get a 9-5 job and be happy. It is not what I want and I have tried to look for that in our area and have not had any luck. i don't know what to do about it.

Thanks to those of you who take the time to read this:)

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