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#1 of 20 Old 02-27-2007, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mamas, I'm really scared that dh and I are unraveling, and over such a stupid thing as money.

We recently made a difficult decision that, betwween two jobs, he should take the one that paid less but gave him more satisfaction and time with us. The problem is, neither of the two pay "enough" for us to feel like we are living comfortably, and able to save for things we need and financial emergencies. In the short run, we'll be fine, we can budget and be frugal. But we've moved (for my job) to a part of the country where his long-rangen options are pretty bleak, and these jobs may be all he can ever get.

So he's feeling resenful that I moved him from a part of the country and a job that he enjoyed that paid him really well. And he's scared, like I am, that he won't find another comparable position.

Meanwhile, my job isn't going that great - I'm bringing lots of stress home, and beginning to regret our move. I also really want him to apply for a couple of higher paying jobs in his field that we both know he wouldn't like, but that would pay almost double and include retirement. And he thinks I'm selling out and asking him to compromise by doing it. But I"m so scared about money that I do want him to sell out and compromise FOR OUR FAMILIE'S SAKE! So I'm resenful,too.

We keep having these long discussiosn (mostly me talking and him avoiding looing at me) folowed by him surfing the web literally all night followed by me going to work sick to my stomach.

We love each other so much. But I am really worried that resentment and avoidance and lack of spontaneity and fun are going to damage our marriage. We've been married 9 1/2 years, and have gone through one similar rough patch, 5 years ago, so I know we can fix this. But right now I just don't know how.

Thanks for reading. I feel really really alone right now.
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#2 of 20 Old 02-27-2007, 12:19 PM
 
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Sorry no real advice... just wanted to give a hug.
Sounds like you guys need to sit down and have a good talk about what can be done to make both of you happy. A marriage is about compromise and both partners need to be happy with the situation. I hope things start working for you guys. Don't fall in the huge percent of marriage that gets divorced of something as stupid as money.

Mommy to Two
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#3 of 20 Old 02-27-2007, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you for the hug. i can'tn tell you how much I needed it.

I am so fearful that we will end in a divorce. both of our parents are divorced and remarried, his several times. the odds are against us. but we've done so well in the past at getting through these things. i am so scared though.

we both grew up without enough money and saw what it did to our parents. or rather, saw how they handled it and how that hurt their marriages.

i talked to him about compromises last night. he's not willing/ready to hear it. he doesn't want to compromise his job so that we can have more money (enough for the dental bills we're going to have over the summer, enough to remove the trees that just fell on our back ard because of a blizzard). I feel like I'm wlling to do almost anything - like I'm the one whose going to compromise and find a parttime job this summer (I ama college professor and make good money and had hoped to research adn waatch our son over the summer break, now I'm thinking of getting a paper route) and that I'm the one who is going to extend my student loan debt by getting lower payments so we can make ends meet.

i feel like he is in denial about all of this. and want to be. because if he realized the situation we were in he'd have to act.

I am angry. and scared. and I miss my husband right now, the distance he's putting between us is really hard to deal with.
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#4 of 20 Old 02-27-2007, 02:37 PM
 
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I could not read without posting, where to start....

I have been where you are, my dh took a high paying job at a multinational firm and frankly it almost tore us apart, he hated it and frankly the hours were horrible on us. In the end he ended up getting fired and frankly it was a good thing or else we would be divorced.

To top that, a year after he got fired we relocated to Maine because of the joint custody of my son with my ex. We went from living in Chicago with almost a 6 figure income combined to a rural state like Maine where my dh who is a writer has no choice but to be self employed.

Right now we are darn near $200, 000 in the hole and my son is 3 years away from college and I have a 19 mo dd. However in the end neither dh or I would feel good about doing jobs that are not us.

Money is huge, with my debt load I know this but marriage is a compromise and I know while I would love for my dh to be a corporate raider that's not who he is and I guess my advice is maybe to let go some of what you think is important as far as money.

I hear you about stuff needing to be done but I would focus on repairing the relationship and once you are even footing maybe he might be willing to find that middle ground.

Shay

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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#5 of 20 Old 02-27-2007, 03:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by shayinme View Post

Money is huge, with my debt load I know this but marriage is a compromise and I know while I would love for my dh to be a corporate raider that's not who he is and I guess my advice is maybe to let go some of what you think is important as far as money.

I hear you about stuff needing to be done but I would focus on repairing the relationship and once you are even footing maybe he might be willing to find that middle ground.
I agree with this. There are no easy answers.

I really do sympathize with your situation. I am also an academic and I know so many couples who have also been through the wringer with moving and jobs and resentments, etc. I know how rough it is.

So with the current jobs that you 2 have are you at least able to pay day to day expenses? Is it mostly the future (college, retirement, etc.) that you are worried about? I work FT and my DH is a SAHD and just works a few shifts a month. So we are O.K. financially but not putting away money like either of us would like. But we figure we have many years to come to get to that.

My mother was a full time student when I was in high school and she also had a paper route to bring in a bit extra cash. She actually enjoyed it. So I don't think that's a bad idea.

And other than that I think as long as you and DH keep talking you'll be on the right track.
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#6 of 20 Old 02-27-2007, 03:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rainy32 View Post
that I'm the one who is going to extend my student loan debt by getting lower payments so we can make ends meet.
We're just beginning to get into something like this... and it is so difficult.

But first, I wanted to stress to not worry about repaying student loans--even if they go on and on don't stress about it because they are usually have such a low interest rate... also, check if the loan holder, but if it is direct loans and you've made all your payments on time for 3 years they will lower the rate by an entire interest point!



my dh is totally miserable at his job (and I know because I used to work there, too and they drove me nuts--tons of needless stress) and has decided to find another job... but we just had another baby and he is still in school (due to graduate december 07...) so it will be tough for him to find something to do that works with his school schedule and pays well enough. I hate money stress--but folks worry about the money not because of the money itself, but because it is essentially your will--your ability to act--and when you can't act you feel powerless.

dh also has some chances to work as an independent contractor with some folks he really likes in an exciting field, but then we don't know what to do about health insurance... which is a really dumb reason to stay at a job, but with 3 kids and a baby that was just recently in the hospital we can't be without insurance.

 hh2.gif  ~~~~~~~~~~hh2.gif
 

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#7 of 20 Old 02-27-2007, 07:50 PM
 
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Couldn't just read and not post.

We are six: Me : Dh : Ds1('00) Dd('02) Ds2('05) Ds3('08) and, wow! Soon to be seven, Dd2 due 4/23.
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#8 of 20 Old 02-28-2007, 10:09 AM
 
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I also really want him to apply for a couple of higher paying jobs in his field that we both know he wouldn't like, but that would pay almost double and include retirement.
Not a good idea.
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#9 of 20 Old 02-28-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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It sounds like you're frustrated and scared, but still wanting him to make all the compromises. If you are unsatisfied with your job and its causing you a lot of stress, why not consider changing YOUR job?

I say this as someone who was married to an academic and now divorced...but...I think people on that track tend to over inflate their own importance and the importance of their job. It's not realistic that everyone else will change and bend around you, and its definitely not a compromise. I hope this doesn't sound too harsh...it just seems like you're putting the burden on him to fix things, and resenting the idea that you might have to change a little to fix things (like not wanting to work over the summer). There just comes a point where maybe you will have to compromise and sell out for YOUR family's sake.

(And just a little anecdote...I heard a couple of years after I graduated from undergrad that my favorite prof had left the school around her tenure time...got asked to leave. It shocked me, because she was great, innovative, committed, but I also knew that the politics in that department were horrid. I tracked her down and called her up, and instead of being in a tenure track English professorship, she was a writing prof...and LOVED the change! Less stress, she still got to teach, and was free of the politics! I share this story to say that sometimes we might fear compromising our dreams, but at the same time, you never really know what benefits might be hiding in the shadow of the future...)
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#10 of 20 Old 02-28-2007, 01:26 PM
 
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How long have you been at your new job? How long have you been living on less income? Maybe you need to sit with everything for a few more months before making major decisions.

I absolutley would not be pressuring DH to get a better paying job, he left a good paying job for you, moved for you, (and to a place with bleak employment options in his field) if he is somewhat happy at his new employment place, leave it be. You do not have the right to pressure him to take another job at this point.

Besides, do you really want both of you stressed from work? Noooo....

So my advice is to take a few moths, then re-assess.

Say something like - "I know we took a chance moving here and taking new jobs, but some things are not working out. What can we do to fix it?"

This is fixable. Stay strong

kathy
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#11 of 20 Old 02-28-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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I agree with the last few posts. Would you consider taking another job?
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#12 of 20 Old 02-28-2007, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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one of the reasons I haven't looked for a professioin outside of academia, besides loving what I do (teaching and researching), and finding it fulfilling, is that dh adn I both agree that its best for our son if I'm home 4 months out of the year (summer and January), and able to work only 20 hours per week at my office the rest of the year (and grade/write/think at home when I have time, otherwise) . That my being an academic allows us to parent in the way we want to. Any comparably paying job in a related field would be a 9-5 (at least) and year-round.

I understand why some of you are questioning my willingness to compromise, and I agree that I shouldn't ask dh to take a job he would hate, but I think I might have been unclear in my original post, because I was upset - we both agreed that we needed/wanted to move from our last place, and because I'm the one with the degree and the better paying job, we knew I would be the one to get the job that would move us. I had 6 offers off of 11 applications, we chose the place that suited us best as far as the position for me, cost of living, proximity to family, school system for ds when he gets old enough, and opportunities for dh.

The reason I am worried about taking a summer job is that doing so will limit the amount of time I am able to do the essential work of being a professor: preppign classes, resarching, and writing. I've got 3 years now to get tenure, and without it the money situation is much worse.

I'm feeling a little defensive right now, to be honest, like I just got a bit ganged up on for being honest about my fears about money and dh's inability to help me with those fears right now. Jster's response especially hurt (and I know you didn't intend it to) because I am not one of those academics who inflate her own importance, or the importance of what I do. I got the PhD and all of the student loans that go with it, and I love my schedule and students and the chance to read and write, but I'm well aware thath I'm not saving the world. But to chose to leave academia would be a very big deal, and I'd want to think about it much more before doing so.

I really do agree that it is important to look at my own role in this - especially in my attitude towards money, and that I can only change myself, my attitudes, and my expectations, and that it IS a bad idea to ask dh to apply for a job he would hate.

Kathy - I think you're right, we need to take a few months to assess. That's where we are at right now - wev'e agreed that he'll work the job he will love, and then when he is laid off in November (its a seasonal position only) we'll see how much unemployment is, and whether or not we think he should apply for full-time, year-round (perhaps not even in his field) positions that pay more. And we've also agreed that if full-time, year-round jobs come open during the summer, and he thinks he might like them, he will apply. But he won't apply for the two I found over the weekend that I know he would hate. And I won't ask any more.

Carmel and Shayinme thanks for your posts

Kalamazoomom - I appreciate your perspective, and that's where we are right now: I work full time, dh has been unemployed seasonally adn watching our son, and now will work full time for the next 7 months. we'll be able to cover our day to day needs (including paying off our debts), but will stress about unexpected expenses, and I am very worried about our long-term outlook.

keep the advice and thoughts coming, even when I don't fully agree, I appreciate the varied perspectives. and it helps to think about how dh is feeling right now, too.

I should say (gosh this is a long post), dh and I had a good night last night, we just didn't talk about it, and had fun playing with ds. it felt nice, and I could finally eat for the first time in a few days.
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#13 of 20 Old 02-28-2007, 04:32 PM
 
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I would just hang in there for a while, and acknowledge together that moving is really, really, REALLY stressful. Each of you probably takes whatever feelings the other one is expressing in the moment out of stress ("eek! I'm scared about money!" or "No, I can't handle another change!" or "Works stresses me out!") and interprets the feeling as being more permanent and significant than it might in fact be.

We moved cross-country for my work as well, and it was a very, very stressful experience. I know that my husband was especially freaked out by my feelings of being stressed out about work - we moved all that way with all of the attendant hardships, and then to hear me say that I was worried about work or money after he went through all that? It just freaked him out! Try to be understanding of each other, and maybe just don't change too much for a while, and see how things settle.
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#14 of 20 Old 02-28-2007, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yes, mammastar2, that is what is going on: we're taking these transient fears and thinking "we're always gonna feel this way!" i think the stress of the move (we've been here 7 months now) has finally caught up to us, after the excitement of the move wore off.

and, we had avoided the stress of the move by living off of our savings, and now we're both regretting spending the money we did on some of the things we did. but at the time we anticipated he'd be able to find the job he wanted at a comparable pay rate. but, now that we know better, we'll do better.

its just scary to feel so powerless. powerless over money (except now, how we spend it), powerless over him (though of course I am!). I need to turn my trust over to the universe, and I'm having a hard time doing it.

but hearing from others that they empathize and have made it through is really helpful.

and, you're right, my fleeting comments about my stress and worry at work are just magnified by him, and contribute to him feeling powerless and freaked out. I need to destress before I come home!
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#15 of 20 Old 02-28-2007, 05:20 PM
 
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more hugs

Glad you are feeling better! I am glad you have decided to sit with the issues for a while...in a few months it will be clearer to both of you what is and is not working.

My 2 cents, I would NOT take another job either (unless I was in dire poverty) because your schedule rocks!

Kathy
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#16 of 20 Old 02-28-2007, 05:47 PM
 
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more hugs

Glad you are feeling better! I am glad you have decided to sit with the issues for a while...in a few months it will be clearer to both of you what is and is not working.

My 2 cents, I would NOT take another job either (unless I was in dire poverty) because your schedule rocks!

Kathy
That too . See, our stressful move that I mentioned above was to somewhere far away from family, with a high cost of living, a crazy work schedule, and a patchy school system. I'm thinking, count your blessings!

Long-term, if you're going for tenure, I would imagine your financial situation can only improve. I was shocked when I started my first 'real' professional job at how it still only seemed to just cover the bills, and the student loans, for the longest time. It will ease up.
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#17 of 20 Old 03-01-2007, 03:26 PM
 
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I say this as someone who was married to an academic and now divorced...but...I think people on that track tend to over inflate their own importance and the importance of their job. It's not realistic that everyone else will change and bend around you, and its definitely not a compromise. I hope this doesn't sound too harsh...it just seems like you're putting the burden on him to fix things, and resenting the idea that you might have to change a little to fix things (like not wanting to work over the summer). There just comes a point where maybe you will have to compromise and sell out for YOUR family's sake.
..)
I have to disagree with the statement about academics and overinflation of the importance of the job. As an academic and the primary wage earner for the family, I think what you may sense as overinflation may be the pressure of the tenure track system and the hoops one has to go through to be granted tenure. I am in my final year of a 6 year process for tenure. I think people just don't realize how it all works and what is required beyond the basic job requirements. There's a lot of pressure there because of the consequences. If you don't get tenure you are out of a job. period. And then it's a huge black mark when you go to look for another job.
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#18 of 20 Old 03-01-2007, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Kalamazoo mom, thank for that last post. You said it better than I did/could have.

One of the stresses I'm feeling at my job right now is that I left a tenure track position one year from tenure (I'd have it right now) to move here, and I'm frustrated with being "junior" again (I have 2 years credit towards tenure, but no tenure yet!) after already going through the pressure of it once.

Way OT, but I know someone who teaches at Kalamazoo College, and I've always had a favorable impression of the place. I don't know, of course, if that's where you're at, but given your screen name, it stands to reason
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#19 of 20 Old 03-01-2007, 04:30 PM
 
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Hi Rainy!

I'm sorry that it seemed I was attacking you...and having made it to tenure track positions you're doing a great job in an academic career! I just think that sometimes, for what families have to give up to have a parent in academics (being geographically restricted, taking on the extra pressure of tenure, the enormous student loan debt, etc.) there isn't often a consideration of what other teaching options are out there and a true cost/benefit analysis. Whether the pressure comes from the tenure track or not, the pressure is inherently a part of being an academic, and at some point you chose that road. Though it may not be as much "fun" in an academic sense to teach at a high school or junior college, for instance, the pay is (in many areas) just as good without those stress factors. Just my experience, I've had teachers in my family and a brush with the academic world, and it really doesn't seem to be worth what you give up. But it's what you and your family have chosen. I just wanted to point out that, since you were having some concerns over whether your husband was taking the responsibilities and frustrations of family life, that maybe your role (being an academic) was not fully taken into account. And I say this as someone who comes from a culture of blaming as well...it's sooo much easier and sooo much less honest sometimes to look at other people and say they are the ones causing the problem, when really we contribute and create a lot of our own problems.

I'm glad you've been able to let it go for a bit and just enjoy your family, it sounds like that's what you need right now, to have some areas where you can escape from the stress! Good luck.
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#20 of 20 Old 03-01-2007, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks jster!

dh and I had a great talk last night, and just a good evening in general. we're having a blizzard here, and we are usually tv-free, but we rented a family movie and watched it on our computer with our ds. it was really lovely. and later we talked about how he envisions some of his options, and he's done more thinking about them, adn in more creative ways, than I was giving him credit for. we're in a much better place today than we were a week ago, and partly its because of everyone's help here in giving me perspective.

--rainy32
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