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How Can I Encourage Him? - Getting Hubby to Pick Up the Slack


MomofOneStepmomofTwo wrote: I don't mean to post on this board and sound like I'm blasting my husband. He is a wonderful man and I am crazy about him. Been married for five years, have one daughter and two stepdaughters from his prior marriage.
I am really bumming, though. He and his partner had a terrible falling-out two years ago, and he got really depressed and seemed to shut down.
He started up his own practice last year, and I borrowed money from my parents to run an ad for him. The phone is ringing, but it's been two years and I want him to go out there and get a full time job. I'm working full time, not by choice, but by necessity because his income is so sporadic. I am only making 24K a year, and it's not nearly enough to support a family of four (plus one who doesn't live with us, but constantly needs money!) I budget as best as I can and have cut expenses as much as I can, but it's just not enough. We are juggling utility disconnections every other month. I can't take it!
He has an advanced degree and his earning potential is INFINITELY higher than mine. Why am I struggling to support us when he could be making at least four times what I make?
How can I support him while also telling him to please get his butt in gear?
Any advice? I want to stay home with the little one more than anything, and I'd like to do it before she starts school in three years. But the end doesn't seem to be anywhere in sight!
What can I do?

MomofOneStepmomofTwo replied: I'm just really worn out and tired. I miss my baby girl, I'm resentful that he's working at home (working, yes, but not bringing in any tangible or regular income) and the house is a mess every day.
I love to clean and cook and take care of the house, but by the time I get home from work, I'm too worn out. And the baby doesn't nap with him very often during the daytime, and it seems like she gets fussy the minute I get home and I spend an hour and a half comforting her.
Sorry. I just feel really alone here. Can anyone throw me a lifeline? Let me know I'm not nuts? Maybe offer some advice.

momofone replied: Would he consider a career outside the home with steady income?

MomofOneStepmomofTwo replied: I am so relieved to have gotten a response! I feel so alone and so trapped!
It's been a sore spot for a long time now - I don't know whether he doesn't WANT to work or whether he's TRULY waiting for business to pick up. He tells me about these things that are "coming" and I believe him, but I want some firm plan of action. He's older than me, by quite a bit, and I don't know what his deal is. But I don't want to pick a fight, just find some way to let him know how I'm feeling without hurting HIS feelings.
Long story short, he's a lawyer and was in a partnership with another guy for several years. He's not a good business man or financial manager, so the other guy had control of the "firm's money". My husband and he took monthly "draws" for their salaries. Then two years ago, his partner went nuts or something and took all the money and left the country or something. He stopped returning my husband's calls, we had to move into a new, less expensive house so we wouldn't get evicted, and he SHUT DOWN, quite literally, for nearly a year. He's starting to resemble himself again, but I don't want to do anything that might throw a monkey wrench into the progress he's made. I know this sounds terrible, but I don't think he's DELIBERATELY not supporting his family, he's just sort of rosy-eyed and has this idea that things are going to be okay. As the one who manages the household bills, I don't think they will be. And it's taking a terrific toll on me.

Calimama replied: I would just be honest with him. Tell him you love and support him but the arrangement you guys have now is draining on you and the family and you need him to step up and help. Good luck. hug.gif hug.gif

MomofOneStepmomofTwo replied: So I guess the answer to your question is no. He doesn't want to take another job because he thinks his business is going to pick up. And he doesn't want to jeopardize his potential with his new business. But I don't want to keep waiting for potential that might not come to be.

grandma replied:
That is good advice!

sparkys2boys replied: I think that you guys really need to sit down and talk this though. Wishing you all the best in working it out hug.gif

bawoodsmall replied: I could be wrong(it happens every now and then... emlaugh.gif ) but is it possible he needs to seek professional help for maybe some depression issues? It sounds like he may not be very happy right now and it may help him. Coming from experience in that area it sounds like it could be the case but if i am totally of base I apologize.

momofone replied: You said you have a step daughter who is 19 Can she possibly temperarily help with some bills til things get better if she works?

lisar replied:
I agree.

luvmykids replied: hug.gif hug.gif You're definitely not alone, our situation for the last year was very similar....I agree that some depression could have set in, which can make it nearly impossible to get your tail in gear. I understand all your feelings and although we all have to do what it takes to suck it up and get by some time, you shouldn't have to feel like it's all on your shoulders.

I hope you're able to talk about it, my only advice is to try not to be aggressive or condescending, try to talk more about how you feel than pointing the finger at him, kwim? Good luck hug.gif

MomofOneStepmomofTwo replied: The 19 y/o lives with her boyfriend and her own little girl and is struggling to get by and on welfare. So she doesn't have any money. And his ex wife would have a field day with that!
And I agree that he's probably depressed, but his low point was two years ago and he seems to be coming out of it. He's very fragile right now, I think, and I don't want him to feel any additional pressure - he's told me repeatedly what a failure he is and how he doesn't deserve me and a bunch of other sad stuff.
I don't want to hurt him, but I don't know how much longer I can deal with this. I'm getting to the point where I see him and the SD who lives with us as a huge drain on my finances. And that's a horrible way to feel/think. I love them both, but I feel like I'm holding onto a cliff by my fingernails and they're ripping!

momofone replied: I was also thinking that the utility companies sometimes offer discounts based on income. That might be something to look into. Or maybe social services for advice with financial help if needed.

Sorry you are going thru this hug.gif hug.gif

DillsMommy replied:
Thats what I was thinking. Just sit down and talk to him, dont get mad though. Just tell him that you can no longer do it alone. It's stressful and you feel alone. Tell him basically what you said to us. He's probably just in a rut. I think sometimes if the "man of the house" feels like he can't provide for his family it can be very depressing and stressful for them too.

boyohboyohboy replied:
what about some type of marriage counceling? that way it could be suggested to him a change not by you, but by someone else and maybe not make him feel so confrontational?
I agree he might be feeling like he isnt able to support his family and its depressing him. can he go and get into another firm, as a lawyer?
maybe sit down with him when you do the bills each and everytime so he can see that ends are not meeting?
i think its something you are going to have to be careful about how its worded, but its certainly something you are going to have to talk about, and more then once.
good luck, i hope you are finding some comfort here.
we all go thru these hard times. hug.gif

holley79 replied: Sweetie I honestly have no clue. If he has a depression issue and this is what's holding him back maybe check into someone for him to talk to. Best of luck to you sweetie. hug.gif

mysweetpeasWil&Wes replied: I don't really know what to say, but I do agree with Monica about trying not to point the finger and just let him know in a non-judgemental way that you can't do this alone anymore. Keep stroking his ego by saying how much you support him with his business and all. Maybe showing him the bills will help. hug.gif


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