Husband Won't Work - Talk About Marriage
General Relationship Discussion Although anyone can post anywhere on Talk About Marriage, this section is for people interested in general relationship and marriage advice.

User Tag List

LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1
Husband Won't Work

My mom and I are putting our story on here because we want a third party's view. My father has not worked in almost ten years. He took a severance package in the summer of 2002. He always made less money than my mother, so he stayed at home and took care of the house and brought me home from school when I was in middle school.
My father staying at home was fine when I was younger, but I am now 19 and have not needed him to stay at home since I was in high school. He sits at home all day and does almost nothing but watch TV and smoke cigars all day. He occasionally does yard work, but he seems to save all of this for the weekend when my mother is home so it seems like he is actually doing something worthwhile in front of her.
My mother used to make $120,000-150,000 dollars a year, and my parents bought a $300,000 house in 2001 that was one and a half times their combined income. She has paid for their house, cars, and every other single bill on her own since 2002. She has since had a 20,000 dollar pay cut, making it more difficult to pay the mortgage and all of the other bills on her own. It never even occurred to him that he NEEDS to get a job after she received a pay cut that large.
In my mind, he is lazy and selfish. My mother will have to work longer than she should because she is not able to put as much money into retirement as she would be able to if he were working. They could easily save all of his income. My parent's house is 30 years old and has a long list of repairs that need to be done, and there is no extra money for it. The pool needs to be redone, parts of the house need to be repainted, the foundation is messed up, it will eventually need a new fence, it needs new gutters, new French doors that are being eaten by termites, etc. That's only the outside.
This is also my mom's dream home and she would love to live here into retirement. He has different views, and thinks paying off a house is abnormal. If he would work, they would have no problem paying it off, and could use the money that would be going to the mortgage for maintenance on the house.
He is also extremely mentally abusive. He does not care about how the people closest to him feel. If you criticize him, he will refuse to believe that anything could possibly be wrong with him, and will instead turn the blame on the person doing the criticizing. He is nasty to our neighbors, and when my mother confronted him about it, he literally said he did not care how she felt. He constantly causes problems in our family, often for no reason. My mother is very caring, and puts up with his crap when almost anyone else would have left by now. Instead of fixing the problems or leaving him, she just lets it go. By talking to her recently, I've hopefully made her see that something absolutely has to change, or one of them needs to leave.
The reason he says he won't work is that he feels "he is going to die soon". He has never been overweight, has never had any major health issues, and smokes but is otherwise healthy. He is 60, and my mother is 49. it is a privilege to retire at age 50, not a right. He says he feels he cannot physically work, and yet he can climb a ladder and trim the 30 foot trees for an hour, cleans out the pool every few hours, mows the front and back lawn, puts TONS of Christmas lights on the house every year, plays golf, and goes on 4 mile hikes with me when we go to national parks. Why can he not sit at a desk? I think he will use any excuse to not have to work, even if it means making things up.
I have had enough, and I hope my mother is close to having enough. She wants to go to counseling, but he does not want to go because he honestly feels there is nothing wrong with him. He treats both of us horribly; if something doesn't go his way, he blows up. Even if he were working, my mother needs to realize this is not a healthy marriage. They don't have any communication in their marriage; she has no idea why he doesn't get that it's a problem that my mother is completely taking care of him financially like a child. They have been married for 26 years, but I believe this is only because she lets him get away with whatever he wants.
I believe she should get a divorce, but she does not want to split up half of her money, and does not want to sell the house. I also believe that she would rather be miserable with him than leave him and be lonely. What should she do? How can she make him see that it is a problem that he will not work?

okstate is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 10:18 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 15
Re: Husband Won't Work

Is it possible for your mother to stop enabling him? When paying the bills, she could explain that this is a partnership and she expects him to have income to help with the bills. I would even go so far as to put some bills in his name. However he gets the money, those bills are his. If you don't have lights in 3 months because he didn't pay it maybe he'll get the hint. I feel like this is only an issue as long as she continues to pay everything on her own. It's like a dance...once she stops moving her feet, the course HAS to change.
Ready2work is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on Talk About Marriage, you must first register. Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Important! Your username will be visible to the public next to anything you post and could show up in search engines like Google. If you are concerned about anonymity, PLEASE choose a username that will not be recognizable to anyone you know.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Work Husband/Work Wife gbrad General Relationship Discussion 30 02-07-2013 01:24 PM
My husband is getting off work soon cinimini15 Sex in Marriage 24 05-14-2012 06:49 PM
Husband Out of Work hbgirl Financial Problems in Marriage 7 07-26-2011 08:48 AM
will this work on my husband? Mamie Sex in Marriage 25 06-17-2011 07:50 PM
Husband Won't Look for Work Confused Love General Relationship Discussion 15 12-30-2010 07:08 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome