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Support thread for SAHPs whose partner works more than 70 hours/week?

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
So I have been in here a lot complaining about how much DH has to work. Here is the thing, he just does. That is his job. I have a really hard time not taking it personally. I need help and support.

Anyone else?
post #2 of 89
This is my DH as well. He works 50-60 hours a week Dec-Feb and 60-90 hours a week the rest of the year. This year has been exceptionally bad, lots of 90 hour weeks where he works 7 days a week. It's hard, it's hard on him, it's hard on me, and it's hard on the kids.
post #3 of 89
Me! Same over here. DH works obscene, irregular hours that people have a hard time understanding but I get to stay home so I'm thankful for that. It would be nice to have a nice, regular schedule eventually though.
post #4 of 89
Hi! I'm married to a workaholic.

My dh tolds me he wants to work until the day he dies. His hero is his grandpa who worked until he was disabled, and then worked in their small banana plantation, sitting down by each tree and weeding around it thoroughly, and then laboriously moving on to the next one. All day, every day, until he died.

It is hard on all of us. And dh is currently out of the country, which is even harder, we don't even get to see him in the evening or on Sundays now.

But...I understand that this is dh. I knew he was someone who loved to work before I married him. His work allows me to stay at home and allows our children the benefits of that. And quite frankly, when he's been out of work he was so depressed and defeated that it wasn't worth the extra time spent together because he made us all miserable. It is better when he is draining all his work energy and feeling satisfied that he's "doing something", and then the shorter time we have with him is much better quality-wise. Now, he desperately wants to work for himself, and so with his renovating projects we've at least had the ability to drop by to bring him lunch or a popsicle, and to see what he's working on, and the kids get to interact with him more that way.
post #5 of 89
Thread Starter 
I'm just so lonely. This is just really bringing me down right now. It kept seeming like it was going to get better someday. But someday isn't ever going to come. I am grateful that I can stay home with my son. I'm grateful that dh loves his job. I'm grateful for lots of things and i want to be a big girl and I am lots of the time but it is just getting so old. I am feeling so disconnected from dh. He loves me and he tries and I try and all that but how much connection can you really maintain to someone who you never see. We usually see him like 2 of every 24 hours and during that time I feel like I'm squeezing in all these little things that I can't do with ds hanging on me. And of course there is the dinner to prepare and clean up and then maybe a shower or a bubble bath by myself if I am fried. And the weekends! He tries to take Saturday off but it is not a given. Tonight he is working until like 10 when I will pick him up and then who knows what he will do, probably keep working at home. Or maybe pass out. Tomorrow I will go to my dance class early in the morning, won't go to breakfast with the rest of the girls, and then he will go to the office when I get back. Sunday he will work. What kind of life is this??? I have vowed to start doing the things we would do with dh by ourselves, go out to dinner etc. Truth is that I'm still alone. I don't really want to wrangle my toddler by myself at a restaurant or follow him around the bookstore or whatever. Lots of times it is easier to just stay in. I go to groups and classes and have playdates. Everybody else is busy with their families in the evenings and on the weekends. I have supportive friends who all live far away and have no children and therefore don't really get it. I have no family near by. I'm very miserable right now. I love staying home with my son. It has been a dream come true for me. It suits me very well and I know a job is not the answer. right now I am honestly so bored and so lonely it hurts.
post #6 of 89
We are in the same situation... my DH is military and when he isn't deployed or in another state at training he is usually gone 12 hours a day. Some days/weeks aren't as bad but then he gets deployed or sent to another state to train or out into the field. It sucks... but we get thru it. Like a PP said I know he does this because when we found out we were pregnant with DS1 enlisting was the only way for him to take care of us. He does this for us, so that I can stay home and so the kids and I have all the things we need. He makes a huge effort to make the time he does have with us really count. But it still sucks...
post #7 of 89
DH is the boss so there is some leeway but as the owner of the business, everything falls to him. So he works, a lot. He is usually gone from 7:30am-6pm M-F, he comes home, plays with the kids and eats dinner from 6-7pm, we do bedtime. By the time I get back out at 8pm, he is on his laptop and works until he goes to bed, anywhere from 10-1am. Weekends are hit or miss, there is 1-2 hours a day on the best of days (like X-Mas), and then always at night. Then he is traveling again now He rarely did for a year but it is back to about one week a month.

Our oldest is almost 8, and life has been like this her entire life. His work is different in that he doesn't want to work this much but it is the nature of his line of work. There is always another huge project, something going on. Yes, we do feel lucky that he has work but it also bites. I used to wait around for DH, save things to do for when he might be around, I don't anymore. I plan the kids and I's lives, he is either around or not, but either way life goes on. We rarely eat together as a family because I can never be sure when he is getting home.

Our 4y adores her daddy and wakes up every single day asking if this is a day where he is going to stay with her. That is always hard to see.
post #8 of 89
Hugs to all you mamas, I'm right there with you. The last 2 years have been 80-100 hours a week. But having been with dh a long time, and going through periods of more and less hours. I will say, it gets easier. Our kids are older and that helps tremendously!

I remember when we started living together in 94, I was so lonely! I worked 2 jobs and was still always alone when home. He worked 60 hours at work, and another 20-30 at our business. At one point I tried to force dh to pick one day a month that we would spend together. It was a disaster. He was miserable and bitter and I gave up on that quick.

Like you all, I feel grateful and blessed. Because of him I have been a SAHM for over 10 years. We have a good life and a retirement plan. But he and I have missed much together.

I will say that dh will be 40 soon and he is beginning to say he is sick of all the work. He is trying to cut back and I am so happy to see him more. I too have to answer a lot of questions from the kids about when are we going to see daddy.

Dh seems tired, more so than usual. My mom says it about that time. She believes when they hit 40 they (men) usually slow down. Of course if your husband is only 27 that may sound really depressing to you! Sorry! But just know that is will get easier. Maybe not right away, but life always changes.
post #9 of 89
Ooh Ooh me me! Sometimes I feel like I do all the parenting and housework, but most of the time DH is just not around to help. It's frustrating, but that's life! he usually is working anywhere from 60-75 hours a week. And he works on cars, so he's doing manual labor all day. Blah!
post #10 of 89

I can relate- husband travels

My husband is a workaholic too, his job(s) requires a great deal of time. It's amazing corporate America has gotten worse, my DH is at meetings 7/7:30 am and works until 7PM+ then works a bit at home. When traveling -worse- works late, has dinner with colleagues and then works until 11:00-12:00 at night. I remind him and myself, he is fortunate to be employed with reasonable compensation to support our family but also so he can reach his personal goals too. Alas, it's all has gotten too much. The personal goal goes out the window because he is so drained and stressed out. The projects seem ideal at first but all have these contingences and glitches.

I don't mind when he travels one night a week, gives me one night off from making a full course dinner and having to report to him so to speak about house stuff. Because he has so much going on at work, I pick up the house stuff and dealing with contracter/ managing stuff (I hate it). When he is home I tend to want to run out to take a break for myself from the kids but careful not to do it too often. We agreed to hire a sitter to come in every now and then so I can have a break but it gets expensive which effects my total enjoyment.

Thank goodness we had children late because if it weren't for them, he wouldn't smile anymore and to some point myself too (we're older parents of young children). It has effect our marriage too but we do stop ourselves from the complain/stress madness and go on a date to "connect," which does help but separately, I am getting affected by all his stress. I told him it's like second-hand smoke, it's worse then the actual smoking- feeling helpless, having more time to worry about things plus drowned in housework and child care (2 toddlers)- it get overwhelming. I feel like I can't even complain because his day, at least how he projects it, is worse than mine. Complaining doesn't help but we all need to vent somehow. Can't and don't want to vent to friends, they all have their lives of motion and some live off other's despair and drama so don't want to share there. Thank goodness for forums. Thanks ladies feel better already!
post #11 of 89
Thread Starter 
Mamamom, I love what you said about second hand stress. Very interesting.

Does anybody have any advice for staying connected to your DH when life is like this? My dh used to have so many interests and ideas and now it is like he is ONLY this worker. It is really ALL he does. I miss HIM, you know.

I miss being with him in life. I feel like we're so separate now. A date night would be great if we could squeeze it in but the last two weekends he worked all of friday night.
post #12 of 89

Keeping connected

I do understand, the lonliness was far worse when we didn't have kids. I was in job transition myself at that time and started getting depressed because I didn't know what I wanted to do with myself. I would really rally on a date night with him even if it's twice a month. It's worth the sitter fee. Going to a movie can do wonders when you are in a dilemma and don't feel like you have anything else to talk about (other than kids, house usual stuff). Do you go to church or temple? We don't go every Sunday but sometimes I push it because it reminds us to be connected. Other things I do and have done. Text him a love note, thinking of you. I read a book out loud to him every night for a while. I am not a news buff like he is but I do like shows about business so we watch that together. My husband does talk on the phone, I am not a phone person but I stay on and talk to him because at home he doesn't talk- just plays with kids, sleep and work. Good luck, it is hard, I still struggle with it at times.
post #13 of 89

I stopped counting (and looking at the paystubs) for the hours worked. We also live an hour from "the office".

6 years ago dh worked for a small contracting company, and his hours would range from 20 hours a week to 100 hours a week. And I can honestly say, I like the "normal hours" he has now. When he was home too much it was stressful, and when he was gone all the time, it was stressful.

His hours now are 9 am-6:30pm. He leaves here no later than 8:15, and gets home between 7:30 and 8:00. Unless he stays late to mentor newbies, or catch up, or something "catches fire" (breaks). He works IT, so thing break....a lot. And he works for a big company, so when things break, it's bad.

When we first were married he was in the service, and I HATED IT when he would be in the field, or on duty because he wasn't home. I didn't mind the solid work hours, no matter if it was day or night crew. I came to prefer night crew because then he could help with the baby in the afternoon when he got up, and I could get things done and prepared for the evening.

With his hours now, he's lucky to see either child before he leaves for work, and he usually only gets to see them for a few minutes when he gets home. We're always working on our bedtime routines starting around 7pm. Since homeschool, I've let the kids stay up later, just to maximize the chance to have some time with daddy.

I have also really gotten used to the hours, and my whole day has a routine to it. I get to have a 'slow start' to the morning, and do our homeschooling before lunch (though we usually school through lunch and for a little while after) and then I spend my late afternoon and early evening doing the things I do around the house. This is ideal for me because it's when I feel I function best. I am NOT a morning person, and the kids don't appreciate me doing my work while they're sleeping.


Stressful days - we've had to learn how to complain about our bad days, I usually let him go first, because I'd rather the kids not be able to listen to me rant about them (if they were what made my day stressful). We also communicate via IM through out the day, so we usually give each other a "heads up" so to speak about bad days.

Reconnection - we cuddle. We'll sit together at night and watch our favorite tv shows. It's a lovely way to unwind, with out having to fill the time with talking.

Showers - we 'join' each other when we shower. One of us controls the music on Slacker, and we chat, then we switch places.

Dates - sometimes they involve the kids, once a month we'd like to go out as a family, sit down and eat dinner with out having to clean up. (and on regular nights I don't worry too much about completely cleaning up from dinner, I know the mess will be there tomorrow, and dh will be at work, so I leave it.) And then dates with out the kids, always a meal, sometimes a movie, sometimes window shopping. It doesn't matter, but I LOVE to just hold hands and not have to worry about who has which kid, are there cars, etc.

I'm sure there was more I was going to say, but dh came home mid-post, so it's time for some tv-cuddling before I pass out
post #14 of 89

Dh is going to be on the other side of the country all next week.
post #15 of 89

Can I join your group?


DH averages 90 hours a week of work.  Some of those hours are at home, but that's sometimes harder because if the DCs are up, I have to keep them quiet and out of his hair.  DH also travels a little for work - by a little I mean a 3 day conference here and there and then a big old month long thing every once in a while. 

It is lonely!  And defnitely takes a toll on our family dynamic.  And I get bitter because after all that he gets paid a low salary so we are just scraping by to keep me home with the kids. For financial reasons I need to go back to work but I just can't imagine how I'll handle it because DH won't be able to cut back on hours.  I am taking a class right now and it has been AWFUL for me trying to fit everything in. 

post #16 of 89


I think that I need to join, too!

My DH travels for work, A LOT!  He is probably away for 3 out of 4 weeks per month.  When he is home, he works from home, which is another little piece of hell.  I have to keep the kids quiet, especiallly if he has a conference call, and that is hard on everybody.  He doesn't have a predictable schedule or an office at home, either, so he is on his laptop in the basement, right beside the playroom.  I do my best, but it is hard to expect the kids to stay quiet, or not be able to have playdates, etc.

I also find it difficult that I can't do anything for myself, like an exercise class, or coffee with a friend or anything that requires me leaving the house without the kids.  Also, when he is home, it is usually only for a day or two and I don't really want to take off as soon as he gets home because I want to see him, too.  Sometimes it is the only option, though, and that leaves him feeling upset - I feel like there is no winning.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that he has a great job that he loves it and that it enables me to stay home with our kids.  Sometimes, though, it is just really tough.

I also feel like I can't complain because he just says that I can get a job and he'll stay home with the kids, or that his job is super stressful/difficult too and that I don't support him... (other issues, I suppose...)

Luckily, we live in the same city as both of our families so there is some support for us.  My MIL, for example, takes my kids every second Thursday afternoon until after supper.  Heaven!!

post #17 of 89

You all have my support! Mines been working over 60 hours and he's incredibly exhausted. I'd like him working no more than 50 since he's salaried and his boss said he wouldn't work more than 45 when started 6 months ago, but it's never going to happen. It sucks but it is what it is. But what makes it worse is he's misclassified as exempt and should be technically be getting OT, but bring it up and he'll most likely be out of a job and he won't take that risk. I hate seeing him so tired, and it makes him sad that he rarely gets to see us. He's a great guy and is always there for me when I have a bad day at home, just wish it didn't always have to be this hard.

post #18 of 89


"DH works obscene, irregular hours that people have a hard time understanding but I get to stay home so I'm thankful for that. "



DH and I have made HUGE strides with this issue since our oldest (now 6.5) was born. DH now owns his own business and works from home. He has done every possible thing he can do within the context of his basic personality in order to maximize the time he spends with the family. I'm actually pretty happy with where we are at. 


BUT, I am the pathetic husbandless woman chasing three kids around on the High Holy Days, and I know that lots of my casual social contacts must think he is a total jerk, and it makes me tired. NO, I cannot promise you right now that I will do XYZ on Sunday or on a weekday evening. My husband works Sundays and weekday evenings. No, really, he does. <bangs head on desk>  

post #19 of 89
Thread Starter 


And you know another thing...sometimes I feel like when I am telling people my husband will be working all fri night or all Sunday they give me this slightly pitying look and have the urge to say "No he is not having an affair!"

post #20 of 89


Originally Posted by Harmony08 View Post


And you know another thing...sometimes I feel like when I am telling people my husband will be working all fri night or all Sunday they give me this slightly pitying look and have the urge to say "No he is not having an affair!"


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