The problem isn't just with him staying home, but the fact that the OP doesn't earn enough to support both of them, and he said the solution is for her to earn more money. It's one thing when this is the agreement, but this isn't the case here. If the roles in a relationship fit the ideas of the two people in it that's great, but that's not the relationship here. Think about where this relationship will be ten years from now, and it is really depressing.
Going to sort of expand on what Chall said and play devil's advocate. OP, you were with DH for 5 years before marrying him? Did he earn more income/more steadily that whole time? I'm guessing not. So it is rather unfair for you to act all betrayed or let down simply because the man you married is still the man you married.
The economy sucks now, so people are less likely to splurge on music lessons, and of course jobs are harder to find. But beyond that, your paycheck won't go as far, either. Plus, you indicated you got an education for a relatively low-paying field. Does that mean you accumulated student loans knowing it wasn't a lucrative field? What I'm getting at is that your financial situation isn't all his fault. And you own a horse? Sounds like you want him to change to support what you want, not to just prevent homelessness.
Marriage is a commitment I take seriously. Your husband hasn't changed, and news flash, likely won't. But you are not his victim. You chose to marry him, chose your career field, and chose to own a horse, so do not blame him for everything. And the fact that he does help around the house is way better than some husbands
You guys need counseling, as others indicate. Not to fix him for you, but to both honestly assess your situation and contributions to it. And I may get flames for this, but I'd sell my horse, or lease it, before divorcing my husband (unless he were abusive, cheating, etc.). But choosing your somewhat selfish desires (horse, for example) simply because you aren't as enamored of your husband now is a bit petty. Again, he hasn't changed, so if you do leave, try to learn from your mistakes and not put it all on him.
Theres several sides to that coin. Back when I got married at 20, in college. The man I was with 5 years later wasnt even close to the man I married in college. He had finished school, he had gotten a great job, and we had moved and purchased a house. No more than I was the same person that I was at 25 than 20.
I think the issue would be the same if genders were reversed. If the OP was making $100,000 a year, this thread probably wouldnt be here. What would happen to house hubby if the net gets yanked from under him. Will he move under a bridge, or put his big boy pants on and get a job so he can put a roof over his head and eat? He can still play with his toys, like all of us do.
I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a young man to progress to things like...employment as they mature. My husband was still doing rodeo, staying out all night and buying new trucks when he was in his early 20's but he certainly isn't doing that now!
Wow. Just read this whole thread on my "lame" computer (took a while!) A few thoughts and questions.
I was also wondering about the gender issue until I got to page 5 and there it was discussed!
It seems like this is about expectations and communications.
How was this relationship defined at the start? Was it with dreams of the OP working at her career and "helping" SO while he pursued music? And did the OP start recognizing reality while SO was okay with being the "starving musician"? Sometimes people assume others will mature as they do, but it doesnt always happen. From the SO's point of view, this is how things have always worked, so he may be content to scrape by in hopes of a big break. Whereas the OP is realizing that she is not content with this lifestyle and each partner's contribution. She "changed" but in her mind, it is only realistic.
The feeling that they have not been able to have a full, meaningful conversation about this is concerning beyond the financial aspects. I would hope that each person could feel heard even if they fundamentally disagree, but this does not seem to be so. It concerns me that other aspects of communication may also be avoided when the topic is difficult - not good in a relationship!
Let me share a story: My sister married a Man About Town type - went to lots of parties, knew people, out most nights enjoying the finer things. She was not that young and when they were first married all seemed fine. He earned plenty of money so that was never an issue. Eventually they started having children. The party lifestyle was getting old for her. She assumed hubby would want to "settle down" once they had kids. He didnt - he wanted to go out and party as he always had. She wanted a more stable lifestyle. They eventually split. They had talked about having kids before they married, but neither really understood the other's vision. It happens.
I agree with the other posters that you CHOSE to marry this man based on who he was - no one should get married under the assumption/expectation that the person you are marrying will change into something better. To do that sets you up for a fairly unhappy marriage. For example, I married a man who is responsible, tidy, works hard, and earns a decent living. He is not, however, God's gift to romance and open emotion, which did bother me for a while. But when I married him, I did so knowing that those things were not likely to change and I am fine with that. He is a GOOD person and loves me (and vice versa) and that's what matters.
However, one of the key components of a marriage is that it is a PARTNERSHIP. Both parties need to always make an effort to improve themselves and the relationship. OP, if you feel as though you are the only one contributing not just financially, but emotionally, then yes, you have a problem. And if your DH is going to assign the blame for your issues only to you and not acknowledge his lack of contribution, then yes, you have a problem. If it is going to work, both parties need to contribute - not so much financially, but emotionally as well. And so if counselling is a route you want to take, your husband needs to be just as a committed to the idea. If he's not truly committed to making the marriage work, then there's your answer.
I'm not a big fan of ultimatums. Open, frank discussions give a marriage a solid foundation, not emotional or financial blackmail.
I've been married for 19 years and counting. About 8 years ago, my husband and I went through a tremendously rough patch, wherein I DID pack up the car and just drive. I turned off my phone and just drove off down the highway. About 2 hours later I had probably 15 or 20 messages on my phone, from him, my friends, my sister, everyone---he had called everyone, trying to get ahold of me.
When I did drive home, he was ALL set and ready to finally go to counseling...which we did, weekly, for about 2 years, and every 2 weeks for an additional year. It was the BEST thing we ever did. We had a very problem-based counselor, and let me tell you, he heard the message from her when he wouldn't hear it from me (it wasn't about employment, but other things). We also learned a ton of communication skills, and for those two years, we saved the "big" fights for when we had her as a mediator. Saved our marriage.