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Wife wants to stay home / post nup? Long read

Old 09-23-2020, 09:36 PM
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Default Wife wants to stay home / post nup? Long read

Long post....



35 years old, married with 2 kids ages .5 & 2.5.


Both of us work.



Myself- career oriented, grew up with parents that made poor financial decisions, determined to not do the same. I want to retire early. Income approx 150k/year.



Wife- works in education, recently stepped down from an administrator role and changed schools cutting income from 55k to 45k and losing pension accrual in an effort to find “happiness”. The new school is a highly regarded, hard to get into, charter school - part of the selling point is the kids are guaranteed to get into it if she works there, so private school quality education for free.



Wife has been unhappy the last 2 years. Only complains about how hard things are, always exhausted, hates her job, both old and new. Wants to stay at home because kids will only be young once. Hates me for resisting. I tolerate it because things are tough with two little ones. She can’t see more than 1 week out. Her Family made poor financial decisions and thinks you should live for today, she is kind of the same though I have reeled her in a bit. Goes back and forth between wanting to stay home one week, the next she is pissed I don’t agree and schedules showings for houses worth 4x what our is worth - “if I have to work I want to live somewhere nice”.



The wife working admittedly doesn’t make a lot of sense. Daycare is 20,500 a year, when you net off her after tax income she is working for minimum wage. That does pay the mortgage but we could get by without.



The wife already promised if she took this step down at work she would be “happy” ...didn’t happen. After the 2nd Baby she was home for 6 months because of favorable timing with summer. Behavior during that time didn’t sell me either, of course she says it will be different, admittedly was a big adjustment during that time and we were in pandemic.



My biggest fear is what happened to my boss. Let the wife stay home, he dedicated himself to work, she never went back to work, they grew apart as he spent long hours at work, she resented him for it, kids moved out, divorce, took half his 401k + alimony and now a guy that should have been able to retire at 55 is working past 65. 2nd biggest fear is I give up the dream of early retirement and wife is still unhappy, there is always something else she wants-like bigger house in nicer neighborhood she always lusts for.



Option A- tell the wife tough shit, keep trucking at work, we aren’t trust fund babies, I live with a resentful bitch.



Option B - she stays home and have her write up a stay at home agreement, what her day looks like, expectations on when she goes back to work, big house discussion off the table, budget, she likely will agree to but won’t comply. When we resent each other in the future she takes me to the cleaners and I work until I die.



Option C- post nupt? Not sure if this is an option. Everything I read about post nuptials is geared around women giving up good careers at the request of their husband. I would want something that basically says “I am not on board with this financially stupid decision that also leaves me “dead to rights” if we ever get divorced. I will agree to it because you say it will make you happy, if you are not happy and continue to be a miserable bitch I’m taking my retirement with me after the kids are gone.



Option D- ?



Self aware enough to know my view of the situation is biased, interested to hear what THT has experienced.





Old 09-23-2020, 10:00 PM
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Holy chit. Is everything a business deal to you guys?


glad I married the woman I did. 20 years.

I typed out a lot more but deleted it.

i got nothing.
Old 09-23-2020, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Bront Antwoord View Post
Holy chit. Is everything a business deal to you guys?


glad I married the woman I did. 20 years.

I typed out a lot more but deleted it.

i got nothing.
fair point, more me than her, just my nature, child of divorce. Feel like I’m chasing ghosts trying to make her happy.
Old 09-23-2020, 10:36 PM
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Based on your tone you sound like you’re resigned to the fact that you two will get divorced regardless of what “option” you choose here.

That’s very sad.

My best advice is you two need to get more aligned on your life goals. A lot of people here are turned off by the Dave Ramsey method but y’all sound like perfect candidates. My wife and I got together as a team and are following his steps (more or less), and it’s done wonders to bring us together as we feel like we’re working towards a common goal. If you’re not religious or he turns you off, you don’t have to give them any money or listen to his stuff every day. The religious stuff is overblown with him anyway as he probably talks about it 5 mins/hour on his podcast...if you don’t like it you can ignore it. I’m a regular listener to the podcast but I don’t think my wife has consumed any Ramsey content since the week we started living on a budget. It sounds like you already believe in the type of stuff he focuses on but you need to get her on board...y’all need to develop your “why” you want to work hard now for the things you want later in life. If you don’t know what he’s all about please just listen to an episode or two of his podcast on your commute. It might do wonders for you. If not, some guy on THT wasted your time with free advice (we all know what that’s worth).

Bottom line, based on your question it sounds like your marriage is already in deep shit and you need to take some drastic measures to correct it pronto.
Old 09-23-2020, 10:36 PM
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Pic. of wife in question?



Old 09-23-2020, 10:52 PM
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No idea what the laws are where you are but a "post nup" sounds pretty sensible to me. Chances are she won't be happy after she stays home either. Well, at first she will, but then she won't, and then it'll be your responsibility again to provide her with a solution. If it were me I'd say "okay, look. I've seen this go wrong before, but you know what you really want. If you really, really want to do this I'll support you, but only if you'll go to a lawyer with me and draw up a post nup that says if you divorce me and take the kids, you don't get half my income and retirement, because the worst case scenario here is you get bored and depressed and miserable and neither want to go back to work nor see me anymore and you take the kids and half my income. The income isn't the problem per se, it's the kids, but in order to make sure you're not going to do that in five years when you're miserable and there's no job to leave to cheer you up, I want an iron-clad deal that says you don't get my money. Without that guaranteed income you'll have to negotiate with me so it keeps both sides motivated to compromise."

Personally I just let my wife stay home, but she wouldn't leave me in a million years and I encouraged her to stay home with the kid. But I did lay down a pretty strict "no keeping the baby weight" rule.
Old 09-23-2020, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Burgmane View Post
Based on your tone you sound like you’re resigned to the fact that you two will get divorced regardless of what “option” you choose here.

That’s very sad.

My best advice is you two need to get more aligned on your life goals. A lot of people here are turned off by the Dave Ramsey method but y’all sound like perfect candidates. My wife and I got together as a team and are following his steps (more or less), and it’s done wonders to bring us together as we feel like we’re working towards a common goal. If you’re not religious or he turns you off, you don’t have to give them any money or listen to his stuff every day. The religious stuff is overblown with him anyway as he probably talks about it 5 mins/hour on his podcast...if you don’t like it you can ignore it. I’m a regular listener to the podcast but I don’t think my wife has consumed any Ramsey content since the week we started living on a budget. It sounds like you already believe in the type of stuff he focuses on but you need to get her on board...y’all need to develop your “why” you want to work hard now for the things you want later in life. If you don’t know what he’s all about please just listen to an episode or two of his podcast on your commute. It might do wonders for you. If not, some guy on THT wasted your time with free advice (we all know what that’s worth).

Bottom line, based on your question it sounds like your marriage is already in deep shit and you need to take some drastic measures to correct it pronto.
Huge believer in the Dave Ramsey philosophy, we are debt free except for the house which is why her staying home is an option. But you are right we are disconnected on big picture life goals. We discovered Ramsey after were were married and same as you she lost interest after week one but just kind of went along with it. She can’t see anything except she is trading precious years with the kids away for difference between her salary and day care cost, starts sobbing uncontrollably, end of discussion. My main concern is she keeps moving the pin on what “happiness” is.

Dave would say we need marriage counseling, I’ve tried to get her to go in the past, she isn’t interested in it.
Old 09-23-2020, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cracked_ribs View Post
No idea what the laws are where you are but a "post nup" sounds pretty sensible to me. Chances are she won't be happy after she stays home either. Well, at first she will, but then she won't, and then it'll be your responsibility again to provide her with a solution. If it were me I'd say "okay, look. I've seen this go wrong before, but you know what you really want. If you really, really want to do this I'll support you, but only if you'll go to a lawyer with me and draw up a post nup that says if you divorce me and take the kids, you don't get half my income and retirement, because the worst case scenario here is you get bored and depressed and miserable and neither want to go back to work nor see me anymore and you take the kids and half my income. The income isn't the problem per se, it's the kids, but in order to make sure you're not going to do that in five years when you're miserable and there's no job to leave to cheer you up, I want an iron-clad deal that says you don't get my money. Without that guaranteed income you'll have to negotiate with me so it keeps both sides motivated to compromise."

Personally I just let my wife stay home, but she wouldn't leave me in a million years and I encouraged her to stay home with the kid. But I did lay down a pretty strict "no keeping the baby weight" rule.
Thanks for the insight/validation, I think you articulated it better than I did. I just don’t believe this is going to bring her happiness...
Old 09-23-2020, 11:14 PM
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One thing to think about is who do you want shaping and influencing your kids during their most formative years?

Usually, by the time you both get off work, pick up the kids, get/make dinner, get homework done, spend an exhausted hour together, get the kids to bed, your impact on their lives had been minimal at best.

The best decision we ever made was to have the Mrs stay home with the kids. Yes, a huge sacrifice (the Mrs made GOOD $$$$), but, at least in our case, well worth it.

​​​
Old 09-23-2020, 11:50 PM
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Bubba60tackle should just call it a day and get a divorce. If you have to have your marriage conditions and daily activities spelled out in legal documents you've already lost. She's not happy. You're not happy. From what is posted it doesn't sound like you'll be able to make her happy. Why pretend everything's fine? Get a divorce now while the kids are small and don't know what is going on.

JMO.
Old 09-24-2020, 12:13 AM
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Both should work so the kids grow up with workers as parents . If not get out now.
Old 09-24-2020, 12:22 AM
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Out now because it sounds to me the longer this goes the more someones going to lose and in the case of marriage we all know who that is that's going to lose.

This is one where you gotta rip the scab off and grind it out.
Old 09-24-2020, 12:37 AM
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Your youngest is 6 months old. I would bet my left nut your wife is suffering from postpartum depression. Everything else going on will straighten out after you fix that if you two where truly happy prior to kids.
Old 09-24-2020, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Copper Collar View Post
Your youngest is 6 months old. I would bet my left nut your wife is suffering from postpartum depression. Everything else going on will straighten out after you fix that if you two where truly happy prior to kids.

"there is always something else she wants-like bigger house in nicer neighborhood she always lusts for."

This and living for today like her parents lived pretty much tells me how this plays out in 20+ years if their still together.

good luck OP
Old 09-24-2020, 01:13 AM
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I can tell you that you are not the only one in your situation. It sounds well thought out but the relationship part is suffering. Life is short and live it to the fullest while you are here. Good luck.
Old 09-24-2020, 01:33 AM
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Could she home school the kids ? Seems there is some crazy stuff being taught in schools and there are home school programs to follow and maybe work with other home schoolers . Success rate of home schoolers is higher than average .
Old 09-24-2020, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Copper Collar View Post
Your youngest is 6 months old. I would bet my left nut your wife is suffering from postpartum depression. Everything else going on will straighten out after you fix that if you two where truly happy prior to kids.
hmm worth a shot
Old 09-24-2020, 01:35 AM
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Kids are only going to be young once. It's shocking how fast they grow up and leave the house. My wife substituted part time when we were struggling. Once my income could support us, she stayed home. She's still home with only a 13 year old still in the house. There were times when we struggled and I had to do my own car repairs, we skipped family vacations, and she clipped coupons to make ends meet. But we both wanted her to raise our kids instead of putting them in day care.

In the last 15 years, I started a couple of on-line retail businesses. She deals with customers and handles the shipping - which takes her about 20 hours per week. The work is flexible and she can do it when she's not focusing on being mom. She's not career oriented or money hungry. I am. If she was working full time, she wouldn't be a big earner anyway. We make more with her home to handle the day to day on the businesses than we would if she was working full time. She proudly tells people that she runs two online retail businesses. Truth is I run them. She's just not business minded so I spend a lot of time in the evening and on weekends doing that. But, I couldn't do that and have the time to handle the part that she handles. I will never tell her that she's not "running" the businesses because there's no point in hurting her feelings and it's good that she feels a sense of ownership.

It works for us.

I vote for her staying home and you working your ass off so she can raise your kids. If you can come up with something part time where she can make some income good. But...she doesn't sound like she's career focused or entrepreneurial. You will need to make it happen because she can't. And don't hold it against her that she's not career oriented or money minded. She can't help who she is and you picked her.
Old 09-24-2020, 01:47 AM
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Also, there are 2 sides to every story and we are only hearing yours, no offense.

If she could write her side of the story here what would it say?
Old 09-24-2020, 02:31 AM
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Tell her that you agree the kids are only young once and you want to spend more time with them too. You will both just work part time and get cheaper cars and a cheaper house to offset the loss of income.

My business partner dealt with a very similar situation your going through. She was bitter about him making her go back to work after the youngest kid was school age and things got worse after he got a separate bank account and told her she can do whatever she wants as long as she pays for it. Ended in divorce.

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