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How can I let my husband know that I want to work outside the home and not have him think I have other motives? He keeps thinking I'm not happy in our marriage (I am) and that I want to get a job because I want a divorce(I don't). I just want to get out of the house and make some friends and some money. I have 2 older kids that will be heading off to college in a few years and I want to be able to put away some $$ for them. I love being home for my kids but I have no outside life, no friends, no one but them to do things with or to just head to the corner bookstore with for an hour or two. I'm afraid I might be losing my mind. Is it such a bad thing to want to work?”

17 replies so far...

  • I was in your situation as well...and my husband always found other ways to keep me at home when I told him I was unhappy or felt something was missing in my life. It was a struggle or years, but when a part time job opportunity came up working for my horse vet, I took it. I have to say my household was turned up side down for a few months, even my kids were mad at me. But, overall it was the best decision I made. My husband said the same thing yours is saying, that if I work I will want to leave him. And in my eyes, that showed how much he didn't understand what I was going thru. I did eventually leave him and am in the process of getting divorced, but I will never regret finding my independence. You go girl and you do what YOU need to do to make yourself happy! Life is too short to live how someone else thinks we should!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by ShoeAddict on 2nd November 2008

  • There's nothing wrong with wanting a life of your own. When we become mother's we live for our families, our children , our spouses. Sometimes we want a little time of our own . Whether it's peace or working outside of our home . It is something that we want to have for ourselves. If your husband truly loves you sit down with him tell him how much you love him and that it is only him you love . Let him know how you feel and what you need as person in order to grow. Assure him that you make him happy and that he really needs to have failth in you and your relationship . If he dosent listen to that then there is lack of faith in him . You are a Grown W-O-M-E-N ! do what makes YOU Happy :)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Shelly on 14th February 2008

  • Kate: To clarify...I have 4 children. two middle schoolers and two young children under the age of 5. This next statement should also provide a bit of validity to why I am anxious to get into the workforce once more. In the past 3 years I have moved 3 times to 3 different states for my husband's job. Just when we get settled he was laid off because of the bad IT market. It's hard not having that 'back up plan'. Yet he doesn't quite see my reasoning. Honestly, in my past my employment has been low paying...but immensely more stable than his high paying technology positions.

    I've been in it for the money before...and can have it. At this point in my life I'd forgo the money for a stable position for the next 20 years or so...

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Just Elaine on 13th February 2008

  • Kate-the points her husband makes are in no way valid from a financial perspective-especially if we're talking long term rather than short term here. Time and experience in the workforce increases a worker's earnings which in turn provides the family - especially women- with a buffer against financial disaster due to disability or divorce.

    I think that many people use this "reasoning" to keep women from pursuing paid careers.

    Re read JustElaine's opening question-especially this part:

    I have 2 older kids that will be heading off to college in a few years and I want to be able to put away some $$ for them. I love being home for my kids but I have no outside life, no friends, no one but them to do things with or to just head to the corner bookstore with for an hour or two. I'm afraid I might be losing my mind. Is it such a bad thing to want to work?

    There's something else going on here, and this follow up "reasoning" has nothing to do with it.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Uhura on 12th February 2008

  • Just Elaine - in your update the points your husband makes are valid purely from a financial perspective, but if you arent in it for the money - what does it matter? i am confused about the child care needs as you said they were going off to college? or do you also have smaller kids? couldnt the older ones watch the little ones while you are working part time?
    can i reply to your question only with more questions? :p

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 8th February 2008

  • I don't want to work outside the home

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by bethb on 8th February 2008

  • Hmm..perhaps I left a bit out of this issue: Here's his reasoning for not wanting me to work at the moment. If I go back to work now we will have to pay childcare for 2 of our kids. That's a lot of queso every week and I'd just be working for the daycare payments. That's his argument, his other argument is that if I get a part time job then he'll never see me because he'll be here with the kids and I'll be working. It's a no win at the moment it seems...but thanks so much for all of your input. At least I know I can come here and talk to some absolutely beautiful inspiring people whenever I want! Thanks again.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Just Elaine on 7th February 2008

  • I have to confess that I'm with a couple of the other women here in wondering if there are some bigger underlying issues in your relationship with your husband. But assuming that there aren't...

    The advice to ease your way into working with something part-time and flexible is pretty good. Discuss it with him first, but not in a way that comes across as needing his approval to do it, if that makes sense - this IS about YOU and what will be good for you. And by extension, that will most likely be good for your family too. After all, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy," right?

    Good luck with this.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Florinda Pendley Vasquez on 7th February 2008

  • I have to agree with mamajama... I, too, think that if you tell him what you wrote in your question, in a calm and rational way, he might understand why you want to work right now. Wanting to make friends, get out of the house, and earn a little money at the same time is great!

    Be clear that it's about you, and not about him -- you're not thinking about getting a job because he's not a good provider, or because you are unsatisfied with your marriage, you're thinking about working because it would be fulfilling to you as a person.

    If it makes the idea more appealing to him, approach it as a hobby, an extension of something you already like to do. Who wouldn't want to earn money for doing something they love to do anyway? Love books? See if Barnes & Nobel is hiring. Love coffee? Find out about becoming a Starbucks barrista. If you're just starting out, look for something flexible and something that won't require you to turn your life upside down.

    Ultimately, the happier you are, the happier everyone around you will be. If working is what you want to do, it's a win-win situation for everyone.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 7th February 2008

  • Hey Elaine,

    Firstly, you are a beautiful woman and know that you need to do this for yourself because when kids do go off to college you will really feel isolated. Create the path for yourself now.
    When you do find a job - hopefully your husband will support you and not question you but don't stop yourself because he may be feeling insecure.
    Go for it!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 7th February 2008

  • Your husband strikes me as a wee tiny bit controlling. I think your marriage may have issues bigger than you simply wanting to get a job. I'd suggest starting the application process for jobs that appeal to you and finding a marriage counselor.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KathyHowe on 7th February 2008

  • "Is it such a bad thing to want to work?"


    I'm sorry, I have to addess this one sentence.

    I will apologize ahead of time if I offend anyone, BUT.............. if hubby is the ultra macho type that refuses to consider you working, then there's a BIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG PROBLEM and it's with him.

    No woman in this day and age should subject herself to that kind of attitude. No man has the right to subject her to it, either. Being a SATM is a CHOICE, not a demand. If he refuses to consider you and your feelings, then I would seriously consider counseling. You've already stated you're going nuts, that you have no friends and that the kids are the only ones you do anything with. You're NOT a prisoner and he has no right to tell you that you have to be.

    Sorry again if I offend, but this is a subject that is a total no-brainer. To me, at least. If my husband EVER told me that I couldn't work or that I had to go to him to ask to work, PLEASE! 1st off, I'd never have married him in the 1st place with that attitude and 2nd, I'd tell him where and how to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. This IS the 21st Century after all.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by JKLD on 7th February 2008