Wife no longer wants to work.
We’ve been married for just over 4 years and things have been going great. No children and aren’t planning to have any. Combine that with the two of us making decent/ok salaries in our moderate cost-of-living area, and we have a comfortable life. Could be better of course, but I’m working on that and I was under the impression that she was too.
She told me yesterday that her “dream” was for me to make enough money for her to be able to quit her job and stay home. This came as a pretty big shock to me, as it was the first I’ve ever heard anything like this in the years I’ve been with her.
I asked if things were ok at her job. She said they weren’t bad, she just doesn’t care for it. Not even hates it, just doesn’t like it (welcome to the club). She denies suffering from depression or anxiety. I asked her what she plans on doing with herself if she quit. She was vague and noncomittal: maybe going back to school, maybe starting a business, maybe volunteering somewhere. And of course, everything with the house would be 100% her.
Her justification for all of this is that apparantly, early in our dating, I said that I would be ok if my future wife didn’t work. I don’t remember this, but it wouldn’t necessarily surprise me if it happened – we started dating when I was 18, living at home and had little real-world experience.
I’m not happy with this at all. First, I just make ok money. To replace her income and continue our current standard of living, I would need to earn twice what I do currently (we earn almost exactly the same right now). I am looking for a better job and naturally I hope it’s a big improvement – but this kind of jump is by no means guaranteed or really that realistic in the near future.
Secondly, and more importantly, I’m against this idea on principle. Other people can have their standards, but I don’t respect an able-bodied adult simply choosing not to contribute financially. The concept itself is bizarre to me. Again, we have no kids and there won’t be any. The only system that makes any sense for our situation is that we both go to work and we both earn. Taking care of a small house for two adults is nowhere near equitable to that.
And as a bonus, I’m pretty irritated that she feels entitled to do this because of something I said as a literal teenager. Yeah, I might’ve said that. But… shit happens? I’m older, and now understand the everday stress of working and what goes into a household. And that’s absolutely not what I want.
I explained all this to her as calmly as I could, and she didn’t take it well. Apparantly this was something I “promised her” and she wants to do it as soon as it’s feasible. I said it would be extremely disrespectful and stressful to me if I ended up getting a much better job, only for her to quit and put us back to square one with all the pressure on me. I can’t make her keep working, but if this happens she will do a huge amount to damage to our marriage.