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traveling for work, and, well, my downright stress-causing husband

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
I know, I know. I've posted many times about my not so dear "DH."

But this past month, I think I've seen the light, although to be honest, I am still not sure what to do. I just know that this is not going to work, it's most likely not ever going to change, and it just can't continue.

I've posted before about how my job requires travel, sometimes out of state, and how this is really, really difficult for me to juggle.

It reached a head.

I had to travel out of state for multiple days. Since I work part time (read: just slightly-less-than-fulltime), I don't have full time day care and, of course, the travel being multiple days included days when I would have had no daycare, right?

So, DH came with, and watched our child while I was in meetings.

But did DH take any vacation for this? No. What he did is work extra hours before the trip and after the trip to simply make up the time. He may have used a small amount of vacation, I'm not sure. But basically, he's made up for the time by working really long hours, even longer than usual, and so I got to come home from multiple days of travel, long (hard for me) meetings where I was just exhausted to take care of our child solely by myself while DH made up his hours.

This sucks. I feel like with my job, especially when there is travel, I have to work really hard and then come home and do extra on childcare/parenting because DH makes up his hours. Granted, he doesn't have very much paid-time-off. But shouldn't that open a conversation of he gets a new job with more PTO, I get a different job, or one of us stays home?? Not with DH.

That's not even the whole story. So, after this travel and DH making up his hours, we have the school shut down for spring break. DH covers NONE of it. I cover it all by working from home and using my vacation and paid-time-off. As usual.

I happened to have a doctor's appointment during spring break when there is no daycare. And DH ends up helping me out with that by "taking off" two hours during the morning for my appointment so he can watch our child. And he acts like it's the biggest favor to me. And he chastises me for choosing an appointment time in the middle of the morning instead of, say, 7:30 or 8 a.m. where he could easily go in to work after the appointment and then work late into the evening to make the time up.

As it turned out, he went in really early, came home to babysit, then worked really late to make up the hours. This way, he doesn't have to approach anyone at his job about taking time off. He can just change his schedule on the computer and doesn't have to talk to anyone. That is the reason he does this. He never wants to talk to anyone at work about taking time off. This is so weird to me.

When I expressed how stressful all this was, he said I should be grateful that he accommodated my travel for work and called me his signature names and stupid, etc.

Next week, DH has to travel for work. No big deal for him. It will happen over the course of several days when our child has day care and then doesn't have day care. It doesn't even cross DH's radar because he doesn't have to pick up or drop off (I will do it) and on the days where there is no day care, I'll be home.

This doesn't occur to DH that this is a "big favor" I do for him. It's such a double standard.

The thing is DH is not going to change. He works (works, that is, doesn't earn money) like I am a SAHM or like I don't have a job. He wants me to work, more like expects me to work, but doesn't really accommodate that in a supportive way.

I can't keep doing this. This past travel was so stressful and so exhausting. And it's not a one time thing.

I nearly quit my job out of desperation for how badly things were going.
post #2 of 72
The problem really isn't your job though.

My husband and I have each sometimes been like that about work (especially the "working to make up for the legitimate time off" piece). I sort of get your husband's feelings about making up his schedule and although I totally do get why it's a pain - I am not sure that's the critical issue. For us, we tend to work at night to make it up.

The big deal is his attitude. This is his child. And I don't think he should ever be calling you names or hassling you about an appointment.
post #3 of 72
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Yeah, I know. And I know I sound like a broken record. I don't know why I even posted. I'm not sure what the point was. I'm just so, well, really, I'm totally overwhelmed.

I can't keep this going. I feel like quitting all the time. I feel like I have been telling myself to just keep paddling over the rapids to get to some still water for a long time now, and I keep paddling but the rapids keep coming at me.

Even after a weekend, or a break away from work, I don't feel rested or caught up on things.

My job is so darn hard for me. It's just too mentally exhausting. I know when I'm not doing well, not doing a good job, and when it's beyond my education level, my experience, and when I just don't have anything else to give.

I'm tired of feeling stupid and inept, which is basically in every meeting. The people are simply way more (formally) educated and probably smarter and sharper and have fewer distractions. They're all driven PhD types who aren't primary care givers of young children, save one or two. I'm so, so out of my league and while it's great to learn new things, now probably isn't the time in my life to be at the height of apprentice, and that is what I feel like I am, although the demands of the job require a good level of expertise.

I really want an "easier" job right now, but, of course they don't seem to pay squat, and they don't come with benefits, which I really do need. Sigh.

Thanks for the thoughts. I don't know why I keep posting, though. Time to get back to the grindstone.
post #4 of 72


Do you think it would help if you were able to bring up your fears and doubts about your performance with your supervisor(s) at work?

Sometimes the fear does not reflect the reality. Eg you could say that you really enjoy your job and appreciate the opportunities its given you but also that you've been worried about your performance, that you are having some trouble balancing your home responsibilities with your work demands, and that you'd like to work towards finding a solution that would enable you to do your job at the level it deserves.

There are two possible outcomes from this:

1) Actually everyone thinks you've been doing fine at work, which will be a big psychological load off your shoulders

2) It's true, others have noticed that you're not at the top of your game, but they will definitely appreciate your stepping up and volunteering to try to fix it rather than waiting for someone else to call you out on poor performance.
post #5 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post


Do you think it would help if you were able to bring up your fears and doubts about your performance with your supervisor(s) at work?

Sometimes the fear does not reflect the reality. Eg you could say that you really enjoy your job and appreciate the opportunities its given you but also that you've been worried about your performance, that you are having some trouble balancing your home responsibilities with your work demands, and that you'd like to work towards finding a solution that would enable you to do your job at the level it deserves.

There are two possible outcomes from this:

1) Actually everyone thinks you've been doing fine at work, which will be a big psychological load off your shoulders

2) It's true, others have noticed that you're not at the top of your game, but they will definitely appreciate your stepping up and volunteering to try to fix it rather than waiting for someone else to call you out on poor performance.
Thank you. Good suggestion, of course! I have done this, actually. I care very much about the work my employer does. It is important work and I really believe in the mission. So, if I were doing a terrible job, I would leave so that they could hire someone who could further the mission. It's part of what weighs on me. I really want to do well because I really believe in it.

And the people are usually pretty nice and accommodating. My boss is probably too nice a person to ever say anything mean. Really...that is the personality of most people there. I'm lucky in that regard.

But I know I've flubbed things. I'm not a fool, but I definitely am working in a job slightly beyond my capacity and above my training/education level.

So, when I asked about my performance, they said it was fine, but to work on a few things, which I already knew. The trouble is the things are challenging. And above my skill set. So that is why it's so tough for me.

And I routinely feel bad because I am the least formally educated person on staff. And I know that is a big part of the problem here.

And when it's a part time job, there just isn't much time to devote to getting better at things because on my "off" hours it's all about parenting and household catching up to get ready for the next day at work.

The idea I had for taking part time work slightly out of my field with a bunch of people way smarter and way more educated doesn't seem so good anymore.


In so many ways, I wish I'd never have applied for the job! (And then I think how silly that is because it really is a great place to work, and I've learned a ton, and the people are, well, my heroes in many ways.
post #6 of 72
I'm totally crashing this forum but I saw this in New Posts and I just have to give you a big hug. That sounds so stressful.
post #7 of 72
Let me preface this by saying that I am not trying to defend your DH - my hackles get raised whenever anyone uses the term "babysit" in reference to a father. If a guy feels that he is "babysitting" when he is caring for his own children, he has a warped view of the world. Moms don't babysit. Neither should dads - they should just do what they are supposed to do. But I digress.

I heard on public radio today (an have heard anecdotally before) that Americans are producing as much as ever with a smaller workforce. People are doing more than one job, working harder than ever. They are afraid to ask for raises, promotions, better working conditions. Could this be part of your DH's concern with making up hours? Maybe he is just trying not to rock the boat *at all* in order to ensure that he keeps his jobs in the terrible economy?
post #8 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
Let me preface this by saying that I am not trying to defend your DH - my hackles get raised whenever anyone uses the term "babysit" in reference to a father. If a guy feels that he is "babysitting" when he is caring for his own children, he has a warped view of the world. Moms don't babysit. Neither should dads - they should just do what they are supposed to do. But I digress.

I heard on public radio today (an have heard anecdotally before) that Americans are producing as much as ever with a smaller workforce. People are doing more than one job, working harder than ever. They are afraid to ask for raises, promotions, better working conditions. Could this be part of your DH's concern with making up hours? Maybe he is just trying not to rock the boat *at all* in order to ensure that he keeps his jobs in the terrible economy?
I totally agree with you on the term "babysitting" when referring to one's own child.

And I'm sure the latter part of your post does play into DH's mindset, but the fact is he's ALWAYS been very stingy with time off and gets very rumpled if he has to ask for sick leave, paternity leave, vacation.

He's been doing this for years and years, long before we had a baby. I was naive and thought he would change with a baby or for a baby. Nope.

DH took zero paternity leave. And I had a c-section. And no help at all from family. DH didn't want to "rock the boat" and take paternity leave. And this was a few years ago.

No, even when the economy wasn't bad, DH was this way.

He's very rigid about things like this, and doesn't like to get off his usual course.

And yes it's wise to save your vacation as much as you can for a rainy day, but for me, struggling in my job the way I do, it just burns me out to come off of multi-day out of state travel and then go to work and take on all the childcare responsibilities after school. It's too much and makes me want to quit.

It's not a one time occurrence. It's how he always is.
post #9 of 72


I wouldn't quit the job, stressful as it is. At least now that you have the job, your not-so-dh treats you with a modicum of respect, something utterly lacking when you're a SAHM.

It seems that everything about this relationship is broken (not basing all this on this one thread, BTW!) and you should focus on finding your way out of it.

Hang in there.
post #10 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DariusMom View Post


I wouldn't quit the job, stressful as it is. At least now that you have the job, your not-so-dh treats you with a modicum of respect, something utterly lacking when you're a SAHM.

It seems that everything about this relationship is broken (not basing all this on this one thread, BTW!) and you should focus on finding your way out of it.

Hang in there.
Thanks. I'm curious why you think he respects me now? He still calls me just as many names, just not as frequently. He says I have no work ethic, just not as frequently. I work "part time" (around 30 to 32 hours per week). He brings up that fact that I don't work full time a lot. He uses it as a way to say I have no career interest, no work ethic, etc.

Life is so incredibly stressful with him. Arranging for travel for work with him is so hard. This is a man who buys things and secretly brings them into our home and puts them in his own room. He's done this a number of times. Mid-price to expensive items that he does not discuss with me.

So, obviously when I travel for work or have to work late, it's a prime time for him to do this, unless he travels with me (which I hate).

Also, child care while I travel is a major, major hurdle.

The other thing is that DH has threatened multiple times to destroy everything I own. Would he do this? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. But he has threatened multiple times, not just once or twice in a fit of anger. He's said it multiple times, upwards of 10 times, that he can and will destroy everything I own.

So, I don't really trust to leave him in my home (our home) when I'm not present. I just don't. I don't want to come home and find he's really destroyed everything.

My house will not sell. I've been trying for some time. I just don't know how to get out of this situation. I've been looking for jobs and nothing that pays as well as what I have has come along, and I have such good flexibility where I work that if I did have at least some support (either husband or family or something) I could probably manage.

I feel like in the time I was a SAHM, the economy just fell out from underneath the world. Nothing is the same as it was before...unemployment is high and jobs are harder to come by. I make the same amount of money I did pre-baby, but everything is so expensive. My assets (house) are close to being underwater. Wages are stagnated, and in my field they have not gone up at all in about 10 years. I know that is true for most fields these days.

And I have daycare expenses that bring my salary down to nothing, basically.

I was once independent, working, doing well relative to prices, and had a solid, affordable home that was valued appropriately and a good retirement.

Now I am co-dependent at best, but really I am dependent on DH to help me parent and to pay bills, I have a child, I have day care expenses and child expenses, everything is much more expensive, house values and sales have changed drastically, and everyone is looking for work and most places aren't hiring.

I do have my retirement still (about $30k or $40k probably) and I have been (foolishly) thinking of cashing it in. There would be huge penalties of course (probably upwards of about half) and then I'd have no retirement but I am getting to that point of desperation.

Previously, I would never have considered this, but I feel like I've explored all other avenues.

It sucks that I might take a loss on the house and lose everything, and have to live on retirement for a while. I'm not that young, and I know that cashing out my retirement at this point in my life, at this age, just isn't very good at all. I mean, I'm half-way through my career basically. So, to go back and have to start over with retirement, especially in these times of low-yield investments and the volatile stock market...I'll be working into my 80s. I don't want to end up homeless and broke, and I'm not exaggerating, this can and does happen and I have a very heavy reminder of this personally. I am scared about what the future will hold because nothing seems stable ground. There's nothing to reliably count on that will work out.

I wake up in the middle of the night, running scenarios in my head trying to find an unexplored angle that will reveal a solution. I just don't want to be called a "b****" and worse the rest of my life, day in and day out.

I am so shaky and raw whenever I hear the B word anymore - television, movies, other people talking, etc - it just has such bad associations with it of DH calling me that for everything and for so long. I don't want to hear that I am white trash or red neck or expect more than I'm worth or to remember where I come from, you're no princess - all the things DH lofts my way all the time.
post #11 of 72
I have no advice. Just wanted to send a your way. Stay strong mama.
post #12 of 72
When I read your posts I keep thinking - you're very very responsible to be trying to plan for years and years ahead. Your fears are completely understandable.

But, your childcare costs will go down. (Also, there will be child support.) You will find ways to increase your income.

I really wonder if at your work there's employee assistance, or whether they could increase your hours for a short-term project. Or if there's a shelter or other low-cost housing option. Either of those might make it doable for one year and that's really all you need to figure it out.
post #13 of 72
I'm crashing in here...but I have been reading your threads for a while now and wanted to throw this out there.

You have said many times that you do not have a support system- your family is out of the question and you don't have close friends. Maybe, in addition to working on your financial goals, it is time to start building a support system. Can you find a church or other organization that you could become involved in? Even once a week? Start building friendships and extending your network out beyond your DH and your work.

Ideally you would find someone, or more than one, who could support you while you work through the issues with your husband. AND maybe even someone you could trust to watch your DS every once and a while.

Good relationships (and I'm talking about friends here) take time to strengthen and mature. If you were to start building bridges now you'll have a stronger footing later on.

Good luck, mama!
post #14 of 72
I am no expert AT ALL, but if I were you, I would cash in my retirement and get independent. I know a lot of people who happily work into their 60s these days. Of course, that's counting on good health. I also know someone who had to declare bankruptcy in his 30s and yet was able to bounce back to financial stability in about 10 or 15 years-- so his retirement is what it should be now. I think you should take care of the basics for today first, and then the basics for the future after you get out of this patch.
post #15 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Thanks. I'm curious why you think he respects me now? He still calls me just as many names, just not as frequently. He says I have no work ethic, just not as frequently. I work "part time" (around 30 to 32 hours per week). He brings up that fact that I don't work full time a lot. He uses it as a way to say I have no career interest, no work ethic, etc.
I thought you had mentioned before that he insulted you less and was overall nicer to you since you started working again. I could be remembering incorrectly. It happens with age!

Anyway, I understand now that he is somewhat *less* insulting now.

Overall, in a way, it doesn't matter. The point is that you need some financial resources to leave this untenable relationship, so quitting your job, no matter how stressful, doesn't sound like the best option.

I know you can make your life what you want it to be. you're smart, resourceful, and incredibly articulate. You can do this!
post #16 of 72

Get away from the toxic relationship

Based on this thread, I would guess that you are suffering from lack of confidence in your job in part because you are in a toxic marriage. It sounds like you are committed to trying to do your best and are doing important work. My guess is that if you got out, moved into your own place (cheaper apartment?) and got child support, you'd have the emotional energy to deal with the work and child challenges. Nobody should have to suffer verbal abuse from a spouse. In addition, getting out of the emotionally abusive relationship might open up new relationships that will help you build a support system.

If you are at all able, I suggest you seek counseling to help you sort through all these issues!
post #17 of 72
My marriage was a lot like this, except my ex would have long periods of not working and spending my money on alcohol while I worked and did all of the child care for our dd. I think you are stuck in a terrible relationship and you will be a lot happier if leave him, move into a cheap apartment, and pay a nanny to come with you with rather than having your husband come with you. You can get a temporary custody and child support order put into place while you decide on where to move with the issue of divorce. If you are not ready to do this now then I suggest that you decide on what will be your last straw and then stick to it even though it will be hard and you will second guess yourself. In my marriage and relationship the abuse would spiral and get better at times then worse and worse until it got to the point of violence. That was my last straw, but I wish for myself and dd that I had gotten out sooner. If I had known how wonderful it would be once I adjusted to being a single mom I would have been done with the relationship before dd was born. When you decide to be done with an abusive relationship it is very hard at first, but it is so worth it in the long run. You are not alone and even though it is hard you are worthy of being treated with more respect than this. A women's shelter or hotline such as this national one (http://www.ndvh.org/) can help you make a safe escape plan so you can identify your options and get out. A lot of domestic violence starts with emotional abuse.
post #18 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodchick View Post
I'm crashing in here...but I have been reading your threads for a while now and wanted to throw this out there.

You have said many times that you do not have a support system- your family is out of the question and you don't have close friends. Maybe, in addition to working on your financial goals, it is time to start building a support system. Can you find a church or other organization that you could become involved in? Even once a week? Start building friendships and extending your network out beyond your DH and your work.

Ideally you would find someone, or more than one, who could support you while you work through the issues with your husband. AND maybe even someone you could trust to watch your DS every once and a while.

Good relationships (and I'm talking about friends here) take time to strengthen and mature. If you were to start building bridges now you'll have a stronger footing later on.

Good luck, mama!
I do have friends. Good friends. At least 3 good friends, and, I don't know 10 or 20 fairly good acquaintances that I've known for a long time.

But these are people with their own young children.

It's one thing to be friends, and pitch in during an emergency. Could I spend the night at their house if DH flips out or, knock on wood, our house burns down? Yes. They would be there in a heartbeat.

Can I live with them for a couple of months, or weeks, while I get on my feet? No. And I wouldn't ask them. It would be imposing on them and they have lots of their own issues (not like mine, but different).

Do I have friends who can babysit a few hours? Yes, of course. And they do. Do I have friends with whom I can leave my child for 3 days while I travel for work, expecting them to pick up and drop off at day care. No. And I wouldn't ask them. That would be a major imposition.

I do have friends. But friends are not my parents. It's not that I just need to work on building relationships.

I had a great relationship with both of my parents for decades while I was the giver and the provider. Groceries. Gas. Clothing. Money. You name it, they needed it, and I gave it. I could not sustain that. So, even when I did see and talk to them, they weren't helping me one bit. Neither showed up for my college graduation and that was years before I had drew that line in the sand. Granted, I still love one parent dearly and have a good relationship, it's just very one-sided and I know that is all it can ever be.

As I've said before, I spent decade helping my parents and my family. And, you know what? When I had my one and only baby, via emergency c-section, and really needed help, there was NO ONE there. No one. And it wasn't because of my attitude or because I hadn't reached out to people.

Were my friends going to take off work for a week for me after my c-section? That really isn't a friend's role, traditionally, and I don't think they really understood that I had no one because 1) my parents are alive and 2) not too many people have parents as bad off and dysfunctional as mine.

I'm not religious. I did not grow up in a church or religious environment (as you might suspect, given even the short description of my parents). I am not going to join a church to make connections because I don't have a personal religion. I would be using them, and I just don't believe in going to church because it's not a part of my life at all and never has been.

I realize I probably sound defensive and I don't mean it that way. I'm just trying to find my legs that have caved in underneath me somehow after having a baby. I never expected to become this vulnerable having a child. I have always been independent because I've never had anyone to depend on from the time I was born.

Having a baby changed all that, or maybe it was the combination of that and this darn economy and difficult housing market.
post #19 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
When I read your posts I keep thinking - you're very very responsible to be trying to plan for years and years ahead. Your fears are completely understandable.

But, your childcare costs will go down. (Also, there will be child support.) You will find ways to increase your income.

I really wonder if at your work there's employee assistance, or whether they could increase your hours for a short-term project. Or if there's a shelter or other low-cost housing option. Either of those might make it doable for one year and that's really all you need to figure it out.
Thanks. Yeah, I fully intend once kindergarten starts and day care costs go away to leave DH unless he makes major and substantial long term changes, which I really doubt he will. That opens the door and makes everything infinitely more possible.

It's just the waiting. Living with him and dealing with work on top of that is just, well, just not good at all.

Actually, I suspect my employers suspect something is amiss. They've offered extra hours, which I've taken, and that has bumped up my pay. They also gave me a raise. Like I said, they are really compassionate. And I am so not on the ball for them, and my educational background and training really are pretty limited for this job. It's a stretch of my intellect and that makes everything so stressful at work.
post #20 of 72
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. I just need to suck it up for another two years until kindergarten, which I don't really know how I'm going to last that long, but I will, somehow.

Thanks so much for the thoughtful responses.
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