I agree, but he's very, very resistant. He's incredibly private and I suspect he secretly thinks it doesn't work (he's said as much to my about my own counseling).
Yes - I try not to harp about it. But if I say anything too pointed, he gets defensive. "I had 2 gigs last weekend!" or "I give 3 lessons every week." He seems to think it's about worth, when it's not - it's just about CASH IN THE BANK.
Or he blames my job, says I don't get paid enough.
I do think there's probably a much larger psychological issue(s) behind this. Possibilities include:
Realizing that he isn't going to be discovered and get famous as a musician. Realizing that he's going to be one of those dudes who has a "real" job and plays music on weekends.
Thinking that anything other than music is "wasting" his time.
In another life I married one of those guys. And I watched as a number of others went through the transition.... When they were young it was all about making a living as a musician and not "selling out". They scratched their way along day by day until one by one they all came to the realization that music doesn't pay, unless you get really lucky, and most people don't. So one by one, they started getting day jobs...and coming to terms with the fact that this was how it was going to be.... they found ways to make it better.... my exDH actually put together a new band and hired some great musicians, put together a fun but sellable song list and started doing high end gigs around town. They had to put on suits and look the part, but it worked...they started to be THE band for high end engagements so they guyss that had day jobs got a significant boost from their weekend work and my ex DH got a living wage by getting an extra share for running the band and providing equipment... he now makes a good living. But it took a little "selling out" to do it.
The music world is harsh and your DH will have to come to that realization and do something about it... but it is a hard thing to accept for those guys that really love it.
Whether you stick with him through that time will depend on how you feel.... If you do, you WILL be the primary breadwinner until he figures something out. You will have to accept that.... I did and it turned out to be good. It was actually other things in our life that led to the split..... He's now doing quite well in the music business with his 2 weekend bands....
Best of luck! Life with a musician is NOT easy........
The problem is, this has gone on far to long. Remember you teach people how to treat you. He knows full well his not working is the problem. He's not depressed, he doesn't need a councelor and he's not stupid. You have two choices here you can go or you can stay. It really is just that simple. If you are going to stay then be aware, there is nothing YOU can do to change the situation. That job lies on his shoulders. He has repeatedly shown you his true self. Believe what you are told. You don't have to write him a letter, or rant and rave. You say " you have 1 month to find a job, if that goal is not met than you will be moving out". Then walk away... talk to a lawyer find out what your rights are. About the third week of no job, start the packing, and move in the fourth week. This really isn't about him, its about you and your self respect.
I am sorry this is happening to you and I do feel really bad for you, but in the end you have to do what is best for you, or you will be on here in 20 more years saying the same thing.
I have been here and done this with my first husband. He went throught several well paying jobs. He quit each one. I worked in a well paying steady career. While he went through career after career, I worked more and more. He didn't find another career, surprise, surprise. All the while, "our" my money went from our savings acount to a joint savings account with his dad....long story.
I gave him ultimatum. I was prepared and ready to leave. On July 1st, he still didn't have a full time job. He did start a part time job middle of that month. I still left. Before I left, he tried all of the things he had neglected the previous 4 years. It was too little too late.
I am glad I left. I pleaded. I begged. I tried counseling, he wouldn't go. While I think our relationship could have been saved, I was done. I couldn't allow myself to try again. I was over it. It was too little too late. He tried. I actually liked him more after we were separated than the previous 5 years.
I left and I was happy I did. It wasn't easy. But, it was the kick in the cajones he needed to go back to school, yet again, to be a teacher so he could have summers and holidays off. He didn't want to work...admitted as such. His daddy funded his life...
We had issues, but I am very happy now.
Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!
Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!
I need to tell him that this is how I feel (which is so very hard for me to do). ...He pretty much shuts down once things get emotional; and I tend to bottle things up for so long that when I DO broach the subject, I get very emotional.
Have not read the whole thread but this scenario is not uncommon. A former partner of mine was chronically ill (hep C) and did not work, and I think really did have issues of resenting me, just the control aspect.
but on what you just mentioned, men (stereotyping but its true) tend to become emotionally "flooded" long before owmen do and certainly long before many of them realize it. When we are flooded (and women certainly can and do get flooded as well) we CANNOT focus on a discussion, we shut down, pull back, withdraw, sob, whatever. WE ARE OVERWHELMED! So a good couples therapist (really, REALLY recommend one trained in the Gottman method) or pick up any of john Gottman's books, can help people a) recognized when they are getting flooded and b) self soothe! (and also work out signals with their spouse so that the spouse does not continue to engage until they have calmed down).
Also, a therapist can help structure your conversation so that it comes down to dreams-what yours are and what his are, so you both understand each others, and can support each other getting there. Finances (and work) are very very common areas of stress and disagreement-work, spending, priorities and so forth tend to be hot issues until people get beyond the DON'T SPEND! BUT i WANT TO!
level of communication (some people kind of do this on their own anyway).
I third or fourth or whatever the counseling recommendation because I know it can work, particularly when you are saying that you do really care about thim, woudl like this to work, can still remember good things about him and why you married. I always ask couples to describe "why" they picked each other , how the courtship went, what their wedding was like (if applicable), amazing that even couples who are in disagreement can have this basically loving, warm undercurrent of affection that drives them to want to work things out.
The trick to telling someone how you feel is to just do that, and not move into blaming them, bringing in a zillion other issues, upping the ante if they appear to shut down, getting snide and contemptuous and so on, which does further shut down their partner.
The problem is, this has gone on far to long. Remember you teach people how to treat you.
This, and when I read the original post my first thought was : "you married the musician temperment." Not to disparage musicians or other creative performing type people for that matter, but they are what they are. Their art is their work is their life. The money will come or not. Many are perfectly happy living very meager existences if that is what it takes to allow them the freedom to devote time to their art.
Texan is exactly right. If you want to leave, then set the steps you will take, and do it. And did I read it right that he said, "You need to earn more money" ? That's ridiculous, and not even a good response.
Speaking as someone who will never be considered for anything requiring tack or diplomacy-you already decided you are done, and you neet to talk to a few lawyers about your options, and what it will do to you financially. I do know you need to end this before he is entitled to your retirement, and the lawyers will be able to tell you about that. If you don't want to leave, then figure out how to move forward. The Dear Abby question about "Are you better off with him or without him" is so true. There's a reason so many couple split after the holidays too, and the end of another year seems to be a trigger for reflections about where your life is going. Only you can decide what to do, and once you are clear in your choice and how to procede you will feel better.
It sounds like you are more the mother in the relationship, than the wife. I don't envy you, because having to carry the entire burden must be awful. Something will clearly have to change, and it's going to take a lot of effort from both of you to do that. If either isn't willing to commit to improvement, then there might not be a future for the two of you together.
SmartAlex, I thought that too. Ugh, poor OP! I still remember one of my good pals telling me years ago to never date guys in a band, around a band, or thinking about starting/playing in a band. I had been complaining about this cute guy I met (this is over 10 years ago!) and how he was so boring and only wanted to talk about "the band". He is a loser with various infrequent jobs too!
I'm sorry OP! I do hope he comes around. As an aside, I am going to pick up the clarinet again next month I think. With school and work (and horse show season I braid too!) I don't have time for horses much so the clarinet it is. I could start a band for fiscally responsible females!
The Knotted Pony
Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.
Ask him point blank what is his exact goal, and how does he plan to get there? Then go over the last few years of progress (none, right...stagnant?). Ask him if he is content to do what he's doing right now forever. If he says yes, you have your answer. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this....I've been there, with a leech of a boyfriend who got kicked to the curb once I realized he lacked any real ambition outside of saying "I wish" and "Wouldn't it be nice if".
OP, I've been where you are. I worked and he worked at working. I had 2, sometimes 3 jobs. Drove a 1973 army green Monte Carlo; it floated (worn out shocks) and grew oats in the trunk. He had no problem borrowing from his parents, and letting me pay them back. I would never ask my parents for money- if I can't make it on one job, I found a second, so borrowing was totally foreign to me.
I landed a job with the Southern Pacific Railroad and he was so thrilled. I left him. He found a job with a great company and has been employed ever since. Go figure.
It came down to that I resented him so much I couldn't stand to be around him. As someone here pointed out, you have to decide how you want to live and go from there. A few years ago I was having a pity party and my brother told me, "You are alive for a very short time but your dead a really long time. Live YOUR life, not someone else's."
"How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?" Julian Lennon
I feel like your husband does not have a good idea of how you feel about this... I may be reading your posts wrong but it seems like there is a very little communication, very little of you actually conveying your thoughts on the matter except for some small hints.
I think divorce/separation is really overkill for this situation. YOU need to be more clear and firm with this man. Men are extremely literal. You must TELL them what you are feeling or what you want, or you will never get it. They, for the most part, do not pick up on subtle hints or actions. This doesn't make them bad people no more than women are for being too emotional/etc, just requires different ways of handling situations.
I don't think you need a divorce or separation, and I don't think you need counseling yet either. You see counseling one way, where as he may feel vulnerable and uncomfortable about it, defeating the point or just making him feel awkward and uncooperative.
Start by telling him how you feel.
"Babe, I think your musical talents are great, and its wonderful that you enjoy what you do. I love how you pitch in around the house, I really appreciate it. You know what though, I was thinking that I would really love to own our own house/car/Unicorn/whatever, and we could really use the extra income to do that. And while we're at it, we really need to set aside $ in savings in case of emergency. I'm having a real hard time doing this on my own and I need you to contribute more financially by getting and keeping a steady job. Can you help?"
Keep your tone light and pleasant. No ultimatums or getting emotional, just level headed objective conversation.
Now that you have spoken directly about the way you feel, surely if he is a
good man like you say he is, he will be inclined to help. If its the same situation six months from now with no change, ok, time to hit the road. Judging by what you have said so far though, it does not seem that you have been as honest and direct about your feelings as you need to be.
Originally Posted by barka.lounger
u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.
Speaking from experience, it's very difficult to find a decent job these days. Rather than issue an ultimatum, I would sit down with your DH and develop a budget. If you are currently earning x and you need x +2 for living expenses and some savings, tell your husband that he needs to find a job to contribute the difference. If he can make the amount necessary through giving music lessons and performing great, if not, he needs to find a job to make up the difference.
Focus on the goal (honey, we need $x in regular income a month) and not his shortcomings. After this discussion if his "solution" is that you need to make more money, I would seriously consider calling it quits.
Set up your plan to leave, and leave. You can move out and still be married, and he can find a job or not. But tell him you, and your income, are moving, so he'd better be able to pay the rent, or find a place he CAN afford.
My niece has been in love with a musician since Junior year in HS. She's graduated from a nice 4 year school. He's smart, witty, talented; in addition to music he's a card carrying member of the SAG. He's attended three colleges, never for more than 3 semesters, never graduated. He's a delight to talk to, look at (think David Krumholtz from Numb3rs only cuter). But my niece knows she is pulling most of the financial weight. Right now, she's fine with that. But she's not pushing for marriage. She's looking out for herself. But it has got to be so hard for her, because they are a perfect couple and he's as crazy about her as she is about him. In a year or two, she may not be fine with his grasshopper life style, and she'll be able to walk away without having to consult a divorce lawyer.
~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
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This issue isnt about you, its about him. His work ethic. Er, rather, lack of. Surely he could get a job somewhere, doing something. In a pizza shop, driving a truck, something. Until you put his feet to the fire, he isnt going to change. Why would he? Either you resign yourself to support him the rest of your life, or leave and change your own world. When people tell you who they are, believe it.
I call this the musician syndrome, my son suffers from it. The lesson money is good when he gets it. He gets just enough odd jobs to keep his gf happy whom he lives with and had a training horse every so often which brings in a chunk at once to get them over a hump.
He is a hard worker but I at this time do not ever see him doing a serious job, ever! He is happy on ramen noodles.
I told his gf she should leave, many times but she loves him so stays. This sumemr they were living in a trailer with no power or running water but due to her job promotion now are renting a house from us once again.
You have to decide if you are willing to support him to the grave. If not you will either leave or cause him to get a job.
This is not advice to the OP, just a thought.
When/how I grew up it was expected that the wife stayed home, raised the kids, took care of the house supported her husbands business with dinner's for the boss etc.
Then woman's lib hit and everything was changed.
So I don't see why the roles can't be reversed. Some men may have goals of being the house husband/father and I don't see why it should be disparaged.
Mainly, at least to me, an open discussion and agreeing to the roles is needed.
If this post were written with a swap of gender I don't think it would have gotten the responses it did.
Only a mostly male BB would we be outraged if a man posted his wife didn't work, didn't want to work and the husband was advised to leave her?
I agree with you to an extent, Chall. Working vs SAH can be either spouse.
My oldest sister is very happily married to a great guy. She works full time, he does odd jobs. She provides 80% or so of their income and all benefits. They both agreed to this, they're both happy. And the income coming in is definitely sufficient to support both with savings also.
However, if both spouses did NOT agree for one to support the other and the single steady income isn't enough to support both and one is refusing to work steady...that has zip to do with women's lib or goose/gander. And that would be no matter which gender was screwing off. As is heard so often on this female dominated BB the other way around, wives having fits that their spouses are tired of supporting the family and home and future while all wife's income goes towards supporting horses. And yet those are generally treated to tons of "kick him to curb" responses.
I do agree to vigorously pursue counseling (not suggest it to him, demand it) and follow through seriously on the counseling. And if counseling doesn't work, set parameters and stick to them. (gets regular job or divorce or whatever) And it doesn't matter that it is the husband dicking around, I'd suggest the same if it were the wife.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!