21 answers

How to Handle Husband Working from Home? It Is Driving Me Insane

Let me start by saying that he came home early yesterday and when questioned why he was here so early he said he took a job where he can work from home. Also, let me say that we have been here before and he knows exactly how I feel about having him laying around pretending he is working from home. Yes, I know it works for people who are self directed and can control themselves of lingering around all day and making maybe 1 phone call.

The first thing that upsets me is the fact that he just made this decision without even considering our finances, our current situation and my opinion. Are you kidding me? This is his "3rd great idea of job" within the last 2 years that we end up not having a stable income because it starts like this "this is going to be awesome, I am going to make a lot of money..." and then some months later "oh yeah, this is not working so I want to switch to something else"

I am going insane, I don't know what to make of it? He stayed home today and instead of helping out he lingers and keeps my toddler up until hours passed her bedtime, never mind I have to do all the cleaning, grocery shopping with kids screaming in the car, cooking, paying bills on top of working 15hours a week outside the home.

I am asking for ideas how to deal with him being home and/ or what to say to him since I told him I need time to digesthis decision.

Thanks for any advice you can send my way.


What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all the responses I received.I am very touched to see the support and all the great advice I have received. I feel empowered as to what to say to my husband. I guess I just got used to having to worry all the time about stable money for the month but I don'twant that anymore,I am tired of just working on "this month" instead of our future.
Thank you truly for the support and ideas and mainly for opening my eyes to a couple of issues that were brought up. We are having a talk tonight.


More Answers

When you work from home, you need a home office set up where you have a desk, a computer, a printer, a phone and a door you can close. Sure it's easy to get up to use the bathroom, get a cup of coffee, make a sandwich for lunch, but when you're working - you are at your desk getting the work done from your start time of the day to your end time of the day - just like you would if you had to drive to an office building. Anyone who does not have the self discipline to maintain their work hours in their home office is not going to last long.

3 moms found this helpful

I am kinda confused about what is going on here- your husband has taken a job working from home- what is he supposed to be doing? work, obviously. It sounds like he is not. My statement to my husband would be "if you would like me to get a full time job to pay the bills and support our family, I would love for you to stay home and take care of the kids. Your employer is paying you for a service, not to sit around the house."

3 moms found this helpful

I also suggest that you google Non-violent Communication. There is also a book by that name. When we are able to word what we say in such a manner that the other person can hear it rather than become defensive we communicate much better.

Are you saying that although your husband says he has a job that allows him to work from home he is not responsible to anyone? He has no work goals to meet that are monitored by a supervisor? Is he essentially self-employed; perhaps a contractor?

Would it be possible to help him or encourage him to develop goals and strategize ways of meeting them? If he is actually working for someone, could he bring home information that you could go over together? Be a cheerleader sort of person instead of an unhappy wife. It's so easy to be discouraged by your husband's past failures and for him to respond by proving you right

I've seen books written about ways to work from home or how to run your own business. Would he read something like that?

I also suggest that it's extremely important for him to have a space dedicated as an office so that he's not distracted by the tv or children or anything else going on around him. And it's important to have a specific schedule of work times. One can be flexible with them but have to have a basic work schedule and plans for what they will do during that time.

It will take him time to develop a plan and it is important for you to be encouraging and not a nag. I know that a positive atmosphere is very difficult to provide and maintain especially when he's tried and failed before. I can hear your frustration.

The two of you need to talk with each other and decide together on some boundaries for ways that will make this more likely to work for you. The first rule that I'd insist on is that you will continue with the household routine that you've set up and that works for you. This means that the kids bedtimes are the same. Meals are the same unless you agree to a different arrangement. Taking care of your home is your job and you also need to have goals and plans for reaching them. I would include in my list of needs that if he's going to be in the main part of the house he's to help rather than be a distraction.

Perhaps you could make some compromises such as he agrees to watch the kids while you go shopping. The two of you make a schedule for getting household chores accomplished.

Perhaps it's time for some couples counseling. Definitely time to work together on finding ways to communicate with each other. Time to find ways to destress and manage feelings without blaming or being cranky with the other one. Physical exercise does help us destress. Getting away from the house and doing something in which you have fun. Perhaps the two of you could each designate one specific period of time to be only each one's period of time to do what you want.

I know how very difficult it is to be calm, non-judgmental, and supportive. My mother was always critical of my father's plans but her comments and attitude did not change his mind about doing them and made being at home unpleasant much of the time. Some husbands blame their spouse for their failure saying if you had been more supportive, etc. I could've done this. My father never blamed my mother. However, I could see that he might have been more successful if she'd been more supportive. We would have definitely had a happier family even if my father was not a greater success.

Did he change jobs so that he could work at home? Or was he unemployed? There are so many variables that would change the way I'd approach him after "digesting" the decision. The one constant for me is to find a way to be positive in what I said and to not express criticism. One technique for helping with this is to always use "I" statements. You've stated one example. "I'm going insane." Ask him for his help with the way things are so that you can feel sane again.

3 moms found this helpful

It sounds to me like there are a LOT more issues that just a work at home job for your husband. In fact it sounds like no job at all to me and you are rightfully frustrated and upset. BUT...you need to address the underlying issues both with your husband and with your marriage. I would say it is time for some professional help of some sort for the two of you so you can learn to communicate and have a successful relationship.

2 moms found this helpful

You might want to google Non-Violent Communication and learn the basic process. It can really facilitate a heart-to-heart talk about needs – his and yours. This sounds tough, and I wish you well.

2 moms found this helpful

First off, sorry. Stinky situation. But, what your husband says and/or does is not up to you. It's not your decision, and you cannot change him. All you have control over is yourself. How will you deal with it? How will you feel? How will you spend your time and your life? Will you waste time and energy being upset and unhappy? Decide how you feel about this situation and act on that. If he keeps her up till all hours, and she gets cranky and tired, be out of the house during this time and make him deal with the consequences. When he moans and cries about it, point out that it is his fault. Are you genuinely unhappy about doing all the cooking, cleaning, and money making? (I personally wouldn't want my DH doing 2 of those things as he sucks at it) Then stop doing it. Lifes too short to have one that you dont like...

1 mom found this helpful

I am not sure that the problem is him working from home here. I think the problem is that he makes/continues to make major decisions that affect your family without consulting you or even talking to you about it. It's irresponsible of him to just switch jobs one day without telling you. So I think that is something you will need to address for the long term health of your marriage.

BUT if this is what he's going to do... then you will need to set up some boundaries about his work from home. Speaking from personal experience here... He should have a desk or designated area where he works. He should also establish regular working hours, so that you know when he's "on" and "off" and might be available to help you. When he's "on the clock" he should be in his working area and you should leave him alone. The kids should be clear that dad is not available when he's working and HE should enforce that by working and not interacting with them over much.

But honestly? He's the one who should be setting these boundaries for himself. You should not have to do this for him. That's why I think you guys have some bigger issues to deal with. I wish you a lot of luck and lots of patience.

1 mom found this helpful

The instability would drive me nuts. I know that for me a steady income is very important and I could not handle my partner putting us in financial risk, So if I were in your position I would get a very good full time job. That may mean going back to school and getting a degree in a field that you are not in now. there are great jobs that are very secure in the medical field. LPNs and 2 year RN degrees as well as radioloy degrees, the techs who run the various x-ray machines are good jobs anyway, I would look into a stable career and then I would train for it. Your husband can take care of the kids while you are in school. From what you have said this is a pattern and is not going to get better. You have to be the one the family can depend on because you cannot change another person. I would stay in the marriage at least until you have a good stable job. then you are going to have to make a decision where your husband fits in, if he refuses to provide for his family.
Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

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