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From the "I'm drowning" thread:



<<Brief description of situation is: DH has not worked in the past 5 years (he's 61) and is not/will not return to work citing health reasons/mental reasons but has not/will not go to get any kind of medical help.>>


I don't want to hijack that thread, but perhaps this phenomena is worth discussing.

Aside from divorce, what strategies might be used to motivate a spouse who decides they no longer want to contribute to the family weal by working?

And how might a spouse who is victimized by this deal with the frustration and resentment (and financial stress) it may cause?




Seattle Pioneer
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If it's OK with both partners, then it's no big deal. I know some SAHM's and also some house husbands. The families I know prefer this arrangement, as it suits their lifestyles and allows one person at home with the kids. However, if the finances don't allow this, then that's where you would have a problem.

I'm not married, so I cannot say. The closest I ever got to this scenario was dating a guy who was unemployed for a long, long time (years). However, he had savings, hustled up small things here & there, did some consulting from time to time, and somehow made it work. I never minded at all, since his finances were his and mine were mine. I cooked a lot for him, but he also cooked for me. I remember those years fondly. We found loads of free stuff to do and I never felt like I was inconvenienced. I imagine it is quite different in a marriage or partnership in which finances are joint, or where the people involved have serious assets (we didn't). I'd be interested to hear people's responses.
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Aside from divorce, what strategies might be used to motivate a spouse who decides they no longer want to contribute to the family weal by working?

Well, it depends on the reason why the spouse stopped working.

Confession time - this happened to us. We ended up getting divorced. There were many other factors leading to the divorce, but the primary one was that when I lost my job, I became heavily depressed. I had never really looked for a job before (all other job changes had been because people came after me) and I didn't know how to go about it. It didn't help that XH was a go-getter, and didn't understand how I could lie around all day and not do anything. He ended up having an affair, and we ended up divorced.

Looking back, there was a lot of blame to go around. But to answer your question - the best way for him to have motivated me would have been to increased his attention towards me, supported me, so I felt like I needed to do something to contribute. The fact that he withdrew allowed me to as well.

I'm not justifying it, just explaining what I felt at that time.

Orinjade
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I don't want to hijack that thread, but perhaps this phenomena is worth discussing.

Aside from divorce, what strategies might be used to motivate a spouse who decides they no longer want to contribute to the family weal by working?

And how might a spouse who is victimized by this deal with the frustration and resentment (and financial stress) it may cause?


Seattle Pioneer


Divorce maybe the only choice. There are multiple versions of the situation.

The OP is dealing with the most difficult situation. Her husband has mental illness issues. When an adult refuses to accept that they are mentally ill, but are not a threat to themselves or others, there is very little that can be done.
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I would just like to point out that SAHMs don't really apply in the spirit of what Seattle Pioneer is trying to discuss. Sure, we don't directly bring dollars into the household, but that doesn't mean we don't contribute to its overall financial well-being.

I know GSF wasn't attacking when she mentioned SAHMs, I'm just feeling hyper-sensitive as I was recently attacked elsewhere on this same subject by a person who is incapable of doing math.

In our case, my being a SAHM actually saves us money compared to my working.

-pp
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Seattle Pioneer,

Thanks for starting this thread. I agree that it warrants more discussion. Even though my finances are the main reason I started the "drowning" thread, obviously there is way more to it than just money.

I'm very angry and resentful that I've been put in this position. Yes, I understand partly the reason that my DH doesn't want to work and I understand that he has medical issues. The part I'm angry about is that he could avoided all this but merely going to the doctor while he was employed and covered by insurance, getting his ailments documented, and then I'm fairly certain he could have been collecting some sort of disability. The fact that he just abruptly quit without even telling me ahead of time made the situation worse. He just went to work on a Mon. morning and that evening he told me he was done.

He was 56 when when he stopped working and making around $65,000/yr. So we took a BIG hit financially. And yes, I could have scaled down our living to a minimum but I was so resentful that I just kept living like always. And then my parents started to fail.

BTW, I didn't mean to imply that DH was lucky his parents passed away in their 80's. I was merely trying to make the point that he did not have to see them suffer well into their 90's and outlive their money. That, coupled with the fact that he did not support my endeavors to help them, did not make me a happy camper. In fact, it made my life extremely stressful with the added stress of the financial situation.

I honestly don't know where I go from here. I'm just taking one day at a time. Thanks to all of you who are giving your input.
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In our case, my being a SAHM actually saves us money compared to my working.


***


HERE HERE!!!!!!


I can only rec that once :(

my sister is a SAHM with 6 kids and she home schools. So the cost of private school, day care and groceries (she has a huge garden) she probably is worth in the 6 figure range being SAHM.
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Aside from divorce, what strategies might be used to motivate a spouse who decides they no longer want to contribute to the family weal by working?

And how might a spouse who is victimized by this deal with the frustration and resentment (and financial stress) it may cause?


That's not precisely the situation I had. Then-wife was fired from her last job, and did manage to collect disability. The financial issue I had with her was that she would not accept any limits on spending for the family weal. God knows I tried enough times to compromise, but she failed to honor her side of any compromise for longer than about a month. At the end, I was supporting the household on my income while she spent her disability income on whatever frivolities she wanted, and thought I should give her more money on top of that.

The sad truth is that when one spouse sabotages the family finances, the other spouse has no resources stronger than persuasion and weaker than filing for legal separation. What form of persuasion might be successful varies widely from one marriage to another. God knows I tried every means of persuasion I could think of, and they all failed.

Because the OP on the other thread probably doesn't know my history, I'll do a Kahuna and reiterate: The issue that triggered my divorce was not related to finances. The financial issues were big enough that I did not wish to seek reconciliation. It wasn't until several months into the divorce process that I realized that the financial issues were really big enough to justify a divorce in and of themselves. But in reality, the financial issues were only symptoms of a deeper relationship problem.

It's very hard to see clearly when you're in the middle of a dysfunctional relationship.

Patzer
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pp: I was the one who mentioned SAHM's, not GSF - not sure if you meant me (?).

I definitely wasn't attacking the concept at all - more pointing out that while that situation could meet the letter of what SP was talking about, it didn't really meet the spirit of it - for exactly the reasons you mentioned. I think a SAHM (or SAHD) - if engaged in the role - can be a contributor to both actual savings, and also a good part of establishing sound home economics. But of course, if unengaged or if the finances are tippy it can be otherwise.
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...In our case, my being a SAHM actually saves us money compared to my working...

In our case, my being a SAHM required significant financial sacrifices, but was worth it due to non-financial benefits.

YG, also hyper-sensitive
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When my step-dad was in his early 60s, he went through a period of depression and stopped working for about 5 years. My mom was fortunate that my grandfather was well off and helped them financially during this time. From the point of his depression, until he passed away from cancer at age 80, DSD only worked part-time if at all. After my grandfather passed away he and my mom went through Mom's inheritance very quickly. I had no idea people could spend so much and have so little to show for it.

A couple of years before he died, I remember one of my step-siblings asking "When does dad get to quit working?" and I pointed out to her that he hadn't really "worked" in so much as actually contributing to living expenses in recent memory. Mom hasn't held a paying job since she and DSD married in 1975, so needless to say she no longer enjoys the lifestyle she was once accustomed to.

LWW
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<<I would just like to point out that SAHMs don't really apply in the spirit of what Seattle Pioneer is trying to discuss. Sure, we don't directly bring dollars into the household, but that doesn't mean we don't contribute to its overall financial well-being.

I know GSF wasn't attacking when she mentioned SAHMs, I'm just feeling hyper-sensitive as I was recently attacked elsewhere on this same subject by a person who is incapable of doing math.
>>



Presumably you reached an agreement with your husband on this issue, rather than deciding yourself and then unlilaterally imposing that decision on him.

Where a couple agree on what they want to do, it obviously shouldn't be an issue.



Seattle Pioneer
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Oops, you're right Ginko! I meant you, not GSF. Mental note: take the 10 seconds to check before posting!

My husband decided it would be really funny to accuse me of sitting around and eating bon-bons all day long. Unfortunately, he picked the WORST day to make that joke. He had to eat dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets for dinner that evening. He hasn't tried to make a similar joke since. :)

-pp
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I'm rambling in from the "Best of" board.

My oldest niece got a divorce last year. Her husband had not worked for a long time. There were a number of issues, including a very serious case of depression, that led to his decision to stop working. She has a good job, and was paying the bills.

But the problem was, he didn't NEED to go to work. She was paying the household bills: rent, electricity, food, travel, and so on. He had what he wanted, and lost the energy and incentive to find a job.

She didn't get the divorce because she was angry, or bitter, or anything like that. She still loves him. But she knew that as long as she could support him, he would not go job-hunting. So she's paying him alimony (they live in California, but had no joint property), but at a certain point there will be a consultation, and it will be up to him to find a job, or at least qualify for disability.

I've been through the part of depression where doing anything at all seems incredibly hard, but her ex's case is vastly worse. I don't know if he'll ever be able to resolve all his issues, but I hope that at some point he'll be able to function on his own.

Nancy
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"It's very hard to see clearly when you're in the middle of a dysfunctional relationship."

Someone put it "When you are up to your a@@ in alligators it is difficult to remember that the original purpose was to drain the swamp."

If OP must be the breadwinner, there are other ways the mentally challenged husband could do his part without seeking a "job".

She should come home in the evening to a clean house with preparations for supper well underway. The refrigerator and the freezer should be stocked. A vegetable garden would be nice. It would be nice if he fixed her lunch to take to work, before he went to bed, and fixed her breakfast in the morning.

If he does these things without a lot of badgering or complaint, reducing expenses is an option and I'd allow the situation to continue.

If instead she comes home to a blaring TV and beer bottles scattered about, and nothing done about dinner, his days should be numbered. And the number should be quite small.

Best wishes, Chris
A little closer to this than I like to admit.
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If OP must be the breadwinner, there are other ways the mentally challenged husband could do his part without seeking a "job".

She should come home in the evening to a clean house with preparations for supper well underway. The refrigerator and the freezer should be stocked. A vegetable garden would be nice. It would be nice if he fixed her lunch to take to work, before he went to bed, and fixed her breakfast in the morning.

If he does these things without a lot of badgering or complaint, reducing expenses is an option and I'd allow the situation to continue.


Interesting.

I'm going to tell my SAHM wife that she better start having my breakfast ready when I wake up, have my lunch ready to go when I leave the house, have my dinner ready when I get home, clean the house all day, etc.

If this is the last post you guys ever see from me... well, you know what happened.

xtn
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Interesting.

I'm going to tell my SAHM wife that she better start having my breakfast ready when I wake up, have my lunch ready to go when I leave the house, have my dinner ready when I get home, clean the house all day, etc.

If this is the last post you guys ever see from me... well, you know what happened.

xtn


I wouldn't expect that of a SAHM but I might of a SAHW. At least that's why I tell DH he should let me quit my job :-)

-Steph
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If there are small children to be taken care of, that is different. However my take has been that OP doesn't have small children. OP's husband, it seems, is parasitic.

There are now many items available in the supermarket that require no refrigeration and can be slipped into a microwave for lunch at work with no trouble. Similarly breakfast items. This isn't the amount of trouble it was 40 years ago!

Best wishes, Chris
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A person who is depressed and/or mentally ill may not be capable of doing those things for themselves, much less anyone else.
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There are now many items available in the supermarket that require no refrigeration and can be slipped into a microwave for lunch at work with no trouble. Similarly breakfast items. This isn't the amount of trouble it was 40 years ago!

Yes, for a price. The price may become prohibitive if one spouse isn't working.

The past couple of years I had high expenses, and went through a budget process that, among other things, squeezed some cost out of my grocery spending. The products you refer to don't make it into my shopping cart; but I've found stuff I can fix with reasonable effort to take to work for lunch, and I've found that I can prepare oatmeal or grits for breakfast with minimal work and no fancy packaging involved.

But thinking back to when I was married . . . the effort to prepare oatmeal or grits for myself in the microwave might have been *too much* because most of my mental energy was devoted to just surviving the emotional atmosphere. I certainly couldn't have mustered the energy to learn to make hash browns or an egg and cheese bagel that's better than what McDonald's serves for breakfast, to name two of my post-divorce culinary achievements. Convenience foods, with their high per-serving costs, were prominent in my grocery cart then.

Living with someone who has a mental illness is exhausting. That's a big part of the problem that spawned this thread.

Patzer
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A person who is depressed and/or mentally ill may not be capable of doing those things for themselves, much less anyone else.

There were days when my niece's husband couldn't get out of bed. And he's not the only one who has faced such problems. Expecting him to plant a garden and clean the house would have sent him under the bed.

But he did eventually get to the point of doing the dishes.

Nancy
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I wouldn't expect that of a SAHM but I might of a SAHW. At least that's why I tell DH he should let me quit my job :-)

Just explain the logistics of how - if you didn't have to work - you would probably we waiting for him when he got home all spread out on the floor in your high heels and leather dog collar every day. He would probably tell you to quit tomorrow....
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Well, I must tell you all that DH actually does cook my breakfast most mornings (when he's up), usually has dinner ready or at least started, cleans up the kitchen and does the laundry. He's a neatnick. Because of some of his physical limitations he doesn't vacuum or clean and scrub bathrooms. He DOES take out the trash and mow the yard (which is small).

So for all that I am thankful. His depression is there and he says he has nightmares every night where he re-lives all the wrongs that have been cast upon him by others. It's more of a paranoia, "poor me" type of attitude.

Thanks for everyone's posts on this subject. It helps.
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PunkinPants,

You wrote, I would just like to point out that SAHMs don't really apply in the spirit of what Seattle Pioneer is trying to discuss. ...

I see this thread is already pretty long, so maybe I'm late to this party...

I'm a little confused why a woman should get special treatment. If it's OK to be a SAHM, why not a SAHD?

As long as the one staying at home provides services that justify their not working - or is otherwise not in any financial need (financially independent) - I don't see why the stay-at-home person couldn't be either partner.

But then that's not what doubloon1214 was complaining about. Neither of them are independently wealthy and she complained because he quit working ... and at their age, it's a little unlikely they have kids living at home. Ironically I think this complaint, while not entirely unwarranted, is a bit of a double standard. Fewer people seem sympathetic to the husband when the wife decides to "take a break" from work.

From where I sit, the US population still seems to have an attitude that the wife working is an added benefit; but holding down a job is expected of the husband. Is this attitude realistic today?

- Joel
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There were days when my niece's husband couldn't get out of bed. And he's not the only one who has faced such problems. Expecting him to plant a garden and clean the house would have sent him under the bed.

But he did eventually get to the point of doing the dishes.


If a person really cannot even feed himself on an ongoing basis, then it's time to let that person go. He's on life support anyway. Only it's a spouse instead of a plastic tube. Let him go.

If he CAN feed himself, then he can dang sure make a sandwich for the wife too.
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"Well, I must tell you all that DH actually does cook my breakfast most mornings (when he's up), usually has dinner ready or at least started, cleans up the kitchen and does the laundry. He's a neatnick. Because of some of his physical limitations he doesn't vacuum or clean and scrub bathrooms. He DOES take out the trash and mow the yard (which is small)."

How about the meal planning and grocery shopping? Doing the laundry?

As Joel points out, if he contributes in this sort of manner to the household, this isn't really different from a woman being out of the workforce early. If this means you can't pay the mortgage, the luxury of having somebody to fix dinner for you may be something the two of you can't afford.

Now, if you are going to keep him, your next problem is reduce expenses so you can pay bills, increase income so you can pay bills, or declare bankruptcy and walk away from your debts.

Personally, I'd go for the reduce expenses. This group is very good, given someone's list for a month or so of where the money went, of suggesting alternatives. You avoided cutting back expenses and now if you don't run out on your debts, it sounds like a lot of rice, beans, and Raman noodles. Fortunately rice and beans is an excellent combination,

Best wishes, Chris
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Some have been wondering - - we have two girls, 28 & 24 - grown & gone out of the house. Both live here in Tampa. The younger one has no relationship with her dad (which only adds to his depression).

Oh...don't think I mentioned...he drinks & smokes so I've been funding that as well. As of late, however, I refuse to buy the liquor. I still buy the cigs. He claims he's trying to put himself into an early grave.
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Oh...don't think I mentioned...he drinks & smokes so I've been funding that as well. As of late, however, I refuse to buy the liquor. I still buy the cigs. He claims he's trying to put himself into an early grave.

I was absolutely stunned awhile back to see how expensive cigarettes have gotten. Our local Shamrock store was running some sort of special on generic brands for something like $5/pack. Sheesh! No way could I justify the cost of a habit like that.

LWW
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Ooops! In that case you don't want to give him access to grocery money, so you are stuck with the grocery shopping.

Chantix isn't cheap, either, and there is some evidence that Chantix users have a higher suicide rate. The cigs gotta go, also. I hope you don't smoke. "Cutting back" prolongs the agony. Cold turkey is less traumatic in the long run. To force someone to quit that doesn't want to do it is a likely losing proposition. If he walks out, he goes where? Would the older daughter take him in? Will he steal from you for cigarette and booze money?

The plot thickens.

Chris
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Alanon is the support group for people living with problem drinkers.

Alcohol is a major depressant. Being depressed and drinking add up to "problem drinker" even if he hasn't been arrested for DUI and doesn't go wild and beat you when drinking. He's been unable to work because of depression? That is a problem! The first step is eliminate a drug contributing to it.

You have been what is called an "enabler".

There will be a group near you. They are likely to have much to offer you, and it is free.

Best wishes, Chris
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If a person really cannot even feed himself on an ongoing basis, then it's time to let that person go. He's on life support anyway. Only it's a spouse instead of a plastic tube. Let him go.

That was part of what led to the divorce. To see if cutting him off could force him to make the effort to take care of himself.

If he CAN feed himself, then he can dang sure make a sandwich for the wife too.

Except that she would have already left for work by then.

But she's much happier. I've seen it in her whole attitude. The humor and joy has come back.

Nancy
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>> Aside from divorce, what strategies might be used to motivate a spouse who decides they no longer want to contribute to the family weal by working?

And how might a spouse who is victimized by this deal with the frustration and resentment (and financial stress) it may cause?
<<

Assuming a couple has enough, "contributing to the family weal" can be overrated. Sure it's a problem if you aren't able to make ends meet, save for the future (i.e. retirement), and all that. But if you have enough sometimes the rat-racey pursuit of more money and more stuff can be counterproductive to mental health and the general sense of well-being.

As it happens, interesting things are happening in our household. For the 18 years we've been married, I've had the larger, steady paycheck and my wife has been in and out of jobs, trying to find her passion, current substitute teaching at the local junior high. Overall so far I've probably contributed 80-90% of the "family weal." So in one sense, I suppose I'm supposed to feel cheated?

I don't. For one thing, we have more than enough for us and not having a full-time employed spouse means my off time is more of my "off" time because she is able to deal with a lot of the other "running a household" stuff I'd have to otherwise do.

For another thing, it's looking more and more likely that the "score" (for those who keep it) will be getting more even in the future. She is now starting in a program which will lead to a position in the ministry, something she's long thought about but never did pursue. Which means that within a few months or so she may have a small congregation and study in an alternative-to-seminary program which would ordain her in 2-3 years (probably). As this is likely something she'd want to do until long after I wanted to retire (probably early to mid 50s; I'm 44 now) it would seem to work out pretty well. I may be a "preacher's wife" before I know it.

Of course, this isn't a "won't work/refuses to work" situation but rather an "I don't know what I want to do with my life so I bounce from job to school and back" situation. But in our past there has been a rather lopsided ratio of who is "earning" in the household. And what may be today, may not be tomorrow. I've never really kept score, and that goodwill has her determined that she wants me to enjoy the non-working life the way she was able to while I had to deal with the corporate BS.

Having said that, from the OP's situation it's tough and not knowing how things were for the years before someone wouldn't work, it's not really something I can say in terms of anyone getting cheated in the long run.

#29
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3. For those of you who exclude any asset you would want to replace if you lost it... I think somebody mentioned cars falling under this umbrella... well I would want to replace my savings account if I lost it too. Does that mean I shouldn't count it in my Net Worth?

It is difficult to determine what is enough to support for the rest of our lives. We have set goals that will allow my husband to retire. Although, I will admit some fear at the prospect. Two goals are left to be completed. One is in process, but the other isn't proceding as well as it should.
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I'm a little confused why a woman should get special treatment. If it's OK to be a SAHM, why not a SAHD?

It's great to be a SAHD! My sister is the breadwinner in her household and her husband is a SAHD.

I only mentioned SAH Mothers instead of Fathers because the post I was responding to only mentioned Mothers.

The reason I stay at home and my husband goes to work was due to our careers - I was a UNIX admin, he was a programmer moving into management. My job required frequent on-call with lots of night and weekend work. We thought that kind of job would cut into our family time more than we would like. If the roles had been reversed, then I most likely would have been the breadwinner and DH would have been the SAH Parent.

I never meant to imply any kind of sexism.

-pp
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<<If a person really cannot even feed himself on an ongoing basis, then it's time to let that person go. He's on life support anyway. Only it's a spouse instead of a plastic tube. Let him go.

That was part of what led to the divorce. To see if cutting him off could force him to make the effort to take care of himself.>>



So......?
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Oh, Patzer. You're one of my heroes. You have endured great trials, and emerged with your spirit intact, if bruised. I'm so glad your daughter has you.

{{{{{{Patzer}}}}}}


--Booa
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So......?

Hi SP. I'm not quite sure what response you're looking for, but so far, other than finding his own apartment (my niece stopped renting the house they were living in, and moved out, so he had to move out too, and she refused to help with the apartment hunt) he doesn't seem to have made any progress. But he's still in therapy, and it's always possible that he's doing better than she thinks. (Everything gets filtered through her, obviously, since we haven't seen him. He doesn't like to come east, and refused to fly out for holidays, on the grounds that "your family makes my stomach churn". He has very poor socialization skills).

She's still paying alimony, but there will come a time when it ends.

Nancy
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But to answer your question - the best way for him to have motivated me would have been to increased his attention towards me, supported me, so I felt like I needed to do something to contribute. The fact that he withdrew allowed me to as well.


_____________________________

Orinjade,

I am sorry that you had to go through this but it has reinforeced to me my previous behaviour. DH has been laid off twice since I have known him. Once before we were married and once after. Previous to us meeting he was laid off for over a year.

During the first one I weathered with him I was as supportive as I could be but did have to lay down the law and tell him that we have a partnership and I couldn't do it all by myself. He was sliding toward depression and If he had gotten that far I don't think I could have stuck with it. Fortunately he found new jobs within 2-3 months each time and we have been back on track for sometime.

Now we have a 7 month old and I would love to be a SAHM at least part time but we cannot afford it. I make a bit more than DH and he isn't interested in being the SAHD. We make enough to pay for daycare but not enough for me to quit and still pay all our other expenses...

Interesting topic, especially in this economy (and in Michigan where the unemployment rate is especially high).
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<<I am sorry that you had to go through this but it has reinforeced to me my previous behaviour. DH has been laid off twice since I have known him. Once before we were married and once after. Previous to us meeting he was laid off for over a year.>>



Layoffs are a somewhat different but related subject, I think.


My brother moved from being a health care provider to the CEO of non profit health care clinic groups, some of which have had 200-300 employees.

He's had to change jobs a couple of times when those jobs came to the end of the line for him. Finding equivalent jobs to which he could commute to and without moving and disrupting his family has been a challenge and taken time.

The last time it took 2-3 years. During that time he worked as an independent consultant for the same type of outfits he had used to run, doing various tasks that needed to be done or replacing clinic managers and such on a temporary basis.

Probably not working full time or bringing in a full time paycheck. Indeed, probably a more comfortable and leisurely lifestyle than working full time in a demanding job.

His wife remained a health care provider, being the chief provider with a job that had benefits year in and year out, being the financial rock in those tougher times.

I recall gently teasing my brother a bit about his good deal and early retirement, and my sister in law pinned my ears back at that. I ESPECIALLY like her for doing that! She understood and accepted the difficulties my brother had finding equivalent work, and wasn't about to accept any teasing about a serious subject.

About a year and a half ago my brother found another job filling the bill of doing what he wanted to do. He has a second home where he lives during the week because the commute is a ways, but he's back with a full time job doing the work he is best qualified to do.

That's doing pretty well, especially considering the recession.

But he and his wife both soldiered on when times were difficult and stressful. I admire both of them a lot for that courage.

Now it's my sister in law who is having difficult time with her employer who has been cutting wage rates and increasing hours of work and general demands on employees and generally making the job and profession significantly less attractive. She has cut back her hours of work to a level she can find acceptable.

And this fall her second and last child will be in college and her husband will be out of town several days/week. She will be confronting the challenge of being an empty nester, and probably not especially happy about it.


Anyway, they have a marriage that has been a real partnership.



Seattle Pioneer
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My situation is way more than DH just "taking a break" from work. He's not taking a break - he's quit, he's done. I'm angry about that!! I know I've been an enabler with the alcohol and I'm not doing it anymore. He doesn't want to quit drinking or smoking and he's not going to. As we all know, we can't force someone to quit something until they're ready. Fortunately, he doesn't go anywhere so there is no issue with DUI''s. If, on the small chance he HAS to go somewhere, he does it in the morning when he's not been drinking. The drinking starts in the afternoon.

I told DH just this morning if he wants to continue those two vices then he will have to take the money out of his account (he has a small amount left in a separate checking acct) to pay for his habits himself. I also told him I don't want to hear anymore "slurs" and screaming profanity about my deceased mother on a daily basis. She's been gone almost a year and yet this continues. Horrible, disrespectful, and every other adjective one could think of to describe his behavior.

Someone asked where DH would go if I kick him out or if he leaves on his own. Who knows?? This is a big part of my problem. He has no friends and has alienated his entire family. How can I ask him to just leave with nowhere to go? What kind of person does that make me? So, I continue to just go from day to day hoping and praying that something will change.

Like it's been said…there's a whole lot more going on here than just finances. That is a huge part of it, but not the real issue. I was in therapy for quite a while trying to figure out what the issue is, until I could no longer afford to go.

Prior to 2005, DH worked (albeit with some relationship problems on various jobs) without any hiccups. Most of our married life, however, I earned more than he so we were always struggling somewhat. What burns me the most is during the last several years before he quit, he was earning more than he ever had and it far surpassed my salary. He is/was a roadway designer.

Sad…thanks for listening!
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Someone asked where DH would go if I kick him out or if he leaves on his own. Who knows?? This is a big part of my problem. He has no friends and has alienated his entire family. How can I ask him to just leave with nowhere to go? What kind of person does that make me? So, I continue to just go from day to day hoping and praying that something will change.

Been there, done that. For a year or a year and a half I just went through the motions, waiting for things to either get better or get enough worse to justify action. It was all I could do at the time, emotionally.

In 20-20 hindsight, that was really the time I should have been doing something about it, but I wasn't ready to. I had to get to the point of seeing something so flagrantly, abusively bad that I could look anyone in the eye and justify kicking then-wife out to starve if she didn't figure something out. Of course, everyone I know judged me far less harshly than I judged myself at the time. And ex-wife has some sort of life today, though I have no direct contact with her. Life does go on.

Patzer
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Layoffs are a somewhat different but related subject, I think.

Layoffs are different. The number of high tech jobs in this area is decreasing. There are a significant number of highly trained good people, who cannot find jobs equivalent to what they had.

There is significant age discriminiation for high tech jobs. Those that were older and were continuing to work because they enjoyed the work accepted forced retirement. Some who didn't enjoy their work and were offered an early way out, took the carrot and never looked back. It isn't so easy for those who should be on the verge of retirement, but have spent unwisely and will never be able to retire.

The reality is that many will never be able to find a job here equivalent to their previous job. A few have found jobs elsewhere and have moved to Texas or the Research Triangle area.

Younger employees have to face the difficult reality that it will be necessary, at least for now, to accept underemployment. I have far more respect for those that have accepted it and moved on, than those who are floundering while holding on to the past. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't or can't continue to look for a better job. Interviewing from a position of doing what is necessary to support your family until finding a better job is a much stronger position than being unemployed for multiple years.

Some older employees are also caught in a web of supporting their adult children and grandchilden. They adult children need to find a job (any job) and support themselves and their children.
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<<I told DH just this morning if he wants to continue those two vices then he will have to take the money out of his account (he has a small amount left in a separate checking acct) to pay for his habits himself. I also told him I don't want to hear anymore "slurs" and screaming profanity about my deceased mother on a daily basis. She's been gone almost a year and yet this continues. Horrible, disrespectful, and every other adjective one could think of to describe his behavior.>>



Some of this sounds like the mental illness you mentioned. I certainly wouldn't want to have my life blighted with this kind of behavior unless someone is getting help to deal with it.


<<Someone asked where DH would go if I kick him out or if he leaves on his own. Who knows?? This is a big part of my problem. He has no friends and has alienated his entire family. How can I ask him to just leave with nowhere to go? What kind of person does that make me? So, I continue to just go from day to day hoping and praying that something will change.>>


Not really your problem in the end. Ultimately, you need to take care of yourself. It sounds like you have been doing your best by your husband, but at some point you aren't doing him any good and you are probably harming yourself.

If you wind up moving out of your home, I don't think you owe him anything. If he moves out, I'd be inclined to offer him $500 or so if you can an an inducement for him to move and to give him some kind of cash cushion.

It might be smart to consult with an attorney to decide on how such a breakup could be managed reasonably and prudently.




Seattle Pioneer
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We understand that DH doesn't like to go to the doctor, and doesn't have health insurance. I don't know the rules in your state but it sure sounds like he needs to see a psychiatrist about treatment for possible major depression. There are medications available that are really helpful. Part of the treatment, of course, will be elimination of alcohol.

With you considering bankruptcy and with a lot of credit card debt, might he be Medicaid eligible?

Most communities of size have some mechanism for offering assistance to people who can't pay medical bills.

Before throwing in the towel on a marriage of well over 20 years it would seem this is an avenue to be explored a bit.

Best wishes, Chris
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Someone asked where DH would go if I kick him out or if he leaves on his own. Who knows?? This is a big part of my problem. He has no friends and has alienated his entire family. How can I ask him to just leave with nowhere to go? What kind of person does that make me? So, I continue to just go from day to day hoping and praying that something will change.

OCD: This is a big part of his problem.

You can ask him to leave; he is an adult. It makes you someone who is taking care of herself and not allowing a toxic relationship to destroy her life.

Minxie
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You can ask him to leave; he is an adult. It makes you someone who is taking care of herself and not allowing a toxic relationship to destroy her life.



I don't feel that comfortable advising what the OP should do in this situation with regard to her marriage. We know only small snippets of information. We know that her husband abruptly quit work without telling her and won't get a job and won't get medical help.

Part of me wonders the history of this. Had their been problems before? Had he had mental health issues? What was going on at his job? I just don't think I know enough to say what she should do.

I also am troubled by this whole thread. On the one hand I sort of agree with many of the posts which says this is not her problem and looking at her husband as being entirely unreasonable including in refusing to get help.

And, yet.... Mental illness is real. Mental illness is just as much an illness as a physical illness. I wonder if she said her husband had a chronic physical illness if everyone would be quite so willing to throw him under the bus. I know that dealing with mental health issues can be extremely difficult. Yet, I can't help but also remember that thing about in sickness and in health.

I don't know the answer here and it may be that getting a divorce or whatever is the best thing. But I'm not sure if there are true mental health issues that I exactly see this the same as someone acting willfully.
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I also am troubled by this whole thread.

You're not the only one bothered by this thread. It seems to me that people have focused on the OP's spouse quitting work without telling her as though all their financial problems are his fault. She has admitted that after he quit work, she did not cut back on the spending, and worse, she started to take cash advances from her credit cards to pay for her mother's assisted living expenses without telling him. She certainly did not have to do that, and if she had chosen not to do it, then most her mother should have qualified for low income assisted living or even a medicaid funded nursing home. Either of these choices would have kept the OP's finances intact, and would have still provided her mother with the housing and services that she needed.

I think there were plenty of mistakes made, and they weren't only made by the OP's husband.
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I am sorry that I have troubled some of you.

Yes, I made mistakes...I admit that. My mother was a very difficult person. Yes, she had her ALF expenses covered but the extra care for her, meaning that she required caregivers in addition to that, even at night, is what caused the problem. And I DID apply for Medicaid - unfortunately she passed away before that went into place.

I will just say that unless you have been in a situation you don't know what you would do. Desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures.

Thank you all for your advice. It's been nice talking to all of you.
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You're not the only one bothered by this thread. It seems to me that people have focused on the OP's spouse quitting work without telling her as though all their financial problems are his fault.

A separate thread was created to discuss the general topic. There has been some discussion of the OPs situation from the other thread, but it isn't limited to her situation.

I agree that all of their financial problems are not his fault, but he is making recovery from the problem impossible. The OP (other thread) has a very difficult road ahead.
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I don't feel that comfortable advising what the OP should do in this situation with regard to her marriage. We know only small snippets of information. We know that her husband abruptly quit work without telling her and won't get a job and won't get medical help.

I am not comfortable telling her what to do in her marriage either. I was responding only to her post:

Someone asked where DH would go if I kick him out or if he leaves on his own. Who knows?? This is a big part of my problem. He has no friends and has alienated his entire family. How can I ask him to just leave with nowhere to go? What kind of person does that make me? So, I continue to just go from day to day hoping and praying that something will change.

Where her husband goes if she does kick him out is not her problem; it is his. If she doesn't want to kick him out of their home, then she needs to be prepared to deal with the potential repercussions involved with someone who refuses medical treatment despite a potential mental health issue and essentially freeloads off the working spouse.

And yeah, I do find it unreasonable of him to not get help if he needs it. Actions such as quitting his job without notice do not only affect his life and the OP should have communicated that to him with her request that he find another job or seek medical assistance. If he had diabetes and refused to take care of himself, expecting her to deal with the fallout such as becoming disabled or blind, would you be so understanding? Shouldn't he be expected to at least consult with a medical professional?

Minxie
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Shouldn't he be expected to at least consult with a medical professional?


Again, not talking specifically about the situation in the other thread, it can be difficult if the not consulting is part of the mental illness itself. Imagine, for example, someone who is schizophrenic and believes that the medical professionals will harm him or kill him. From that person's point of view it is reasonable to not consult with the medical professional. Sure, to someone who is rational, this makes no sense and is irrational. But in that case the refusal to get help is part of the pathology itself.

It is difficult to talk with or deal with people whose mental illness drives their actions. You can't just analyze it as if that person could think and act rationally.

That is not to say that I'm not sympathetic to the family members. I am. It is extremely difficult to deal with for everyone. But expecting that the mentally ill person can just suddenly be rational enough to realize that he or she needs medical help is just not always a realistic expectation.
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It is difficult to talk with or deal with people whose mental illness drives their actions. You can't just analyze it as if that person could think and act rationally.

Of course, it has to be mental illness at work here and not just a case of someone who has made up his mind that he's tired of working and it's time for someone else to support him for a change. I'm sure just being boneidle has nothing at all to do with it.

LWW
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Of course, it has to be mental illness at work here and not just a case of someone who has made up his mind that he's tired of working and it's time for someone else to support him for a change.

The OP mentioned depression, and that he won't get help for it (denial). So, yeah, there's MI at work.

Ishtar
BTDT
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Of course, it has to be mental illness at work here and not just a case of someone who has made up his mind that he's tired of working and it's time for someone else to support him for a change. I'm sure just being boneidle has nothing at all to do with it.


I think I've said -- maybe even more than once -- that I am not commenting on the specific situation in the other thread. I don't think any of us really know enough to opine on that. My comments are directed at situations where mental illness is involved (without commenting on whether the situation discussed is one of them).
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coming very late to this party but wanted to comment, since i got so much transformative help here.

i was married to an abusive man who drained my energy, time, soul, and money. he did not work - he took acting classes and lay in bed saying he was too depressed to do anything else.

my life was saved by Al-Anon (the program for people affected by someone else's drinking), counseling, and clinging to a few friends with whom i could be honest.

it literally seemed impossible that i could ask my husband to leave and stop giving him money. but i put one foot in front of the other, and one day it seemed impossible *not* to ask him to leave.

the separation process was just as agonizing as i expected - well, duh, that's why i avoided it for so long. today: we are both much better off. we have both achieved things we dreamed of when we were together but that somehow never came to fruition. and his stepson (who lived with us, now with his grandmother) has blossomed.

here's a link to Al-Anon, where they have links to meeting info and substantial excerpts from their literature:

http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/english.html

by the way, it helped me tremendously to keep showing up and posting on this board and others, even when i thought some people were being obnoxious bullies. like many abused spouses, i had become very isolated - it's a control technique. so the contacts here were baby steps to ending that isolation and re-emerging.

BB
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<<the separation process was just as agonizing as i expected - well, duh, that's why i avoided it for so long. today: we are both much better off. we have both achieved things we dreamed of when we were together but that somehow never came to fruition. and his stepson (who lived with us, now with his grandmother) has blossomed.
>>



In these kinds of episodes, I'm always interested in what happened to both parties ---- or all parties when it comes to families.


Sometime the separation helps, sometimes it doesn't.

In the case of a good friend of mine, HE was better off, but his ex-spouse was probably worse off when left to her own devices. Worse, his two children lived with the severely depressed mom who had other serious mental issues. They one reliable adult who had lived with them was gone.



Seattle Pioneer
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In the case of a good friend of mine, HE was better off, but his ex-spouse was probably worse off when left to her own devices. Worse, his two children lived with the severely depressed mom who had other serious mental issues. They one reliable adult who had lived with them was gone.



One wonders why the more emotionally stable parent didn't try for primary custody, then.

Despite what SP usually says, it is NOT automatic that the female parent gets primary custody.

Ask Patzer, for example. Or a guy I worked with in the mid-90s who had primary custody not only of his four biological children, but of his step-daughter as well.

Ishtar
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<<In the case of a good friend of mine, HE was better off, but his ex-spouse was probably worse off when left to her own devices. Worse, his two children lived with the severely depressed mom who had other serious mental issues. They one reliable adult who had lived with them was gone.



One wonders why the more emotionally stable parent didn't try for primary custody, then.>>



From time to time he did take custody of one or both children by mutual agreement with his ex spouse.

This divorce would have happened in the late 1970s.


The impression I get is that it was tough on the children living just with their mom. It may have been genuinely damaging to the boy who wound up with severe drug and alcohol problems as a teenager and young adult. At age 40 he's unemployable and been on SSI for years.

His sister is doing well. At age 35 she's a licensed dietician in a hospital and giving some thought to going into the military.

Both single, never married.



Seattle Pioneer
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Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.

A person who is depressed and/or mentally ill may not be capable of doing those things for themselves, much less anyone else.


Thank you! Finally. I was wondering if I needed to post this piece of true wisdom.

joycets
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(posted & emailed) Doubloon, is he a veteran by any chance? If so please get thee to the VA for services immediately (others here can guide you further).

I will be watching your situation and thinking about you with good thoughts & prayers.

joycets
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(posted & emailed) Doubloon, is he a veteran by any chance? If so please get thee to the VA for services immediately (others here can guide you further).

The VA give priority to service related disabilities. The local VA hospital does have a walk in psychaitry clinic. We have taken someone into the clinic and they were admitted under a 5150 hold.

It is very difficult for a seriously mentally ill person who doesn't want treatment to be successfully treated within that system. The VA has offered the services they have available. The person is now blaming the hospital (and us for having him admitted) for destroying his life. He is still claiming that there never was or is anything wrong with him.

They were able to help him find a job.
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The VA give priority to service related disabilities.


All kinds of things are considered service-related.

The big problem with the VA is that you have to be your own advocate and fight and fight and fight for help.

Once you're IN the system, though, it's pretty great.

Ishtar
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All kinds of things are considered service-related.

The big problem with the VA is that you have to be your own advocate and fight and fight and fight for help.

Once you're IN the system, though, it's pretty great.

Ishtar


This is a basic problem with mental illness. Effective treatment requires that the patient admit they have a problem and make an effort to work on it. A major impediment for someone who is mentally ill to obtain treatment is for them to accept they have a problem.

Although many things are considered service related, the situation we are dealing with is not service related.
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