Recent Husband Insolent Activity

Updated on September 21, 2019
R.G. asks from Cleveland, OH
16 answers

Hello, 25 years ago, I left my job to follow my husband pursue his job. I lived in many countries and have now remained in one country for the past fifteen years, raising two kids. The kids are in university, dad works, and I am still at home. When they were little, I took care of all school/sports/lessons/medical/dental. I still cook meals, vacuum/dust/clean/do all dishes/etc., drive the kids to/from university because we have one car and I do all automobile upkeep, house painting and repairs, laundry and care for pets. I do not have time for much else right now, and will find work in some capacity when I have more freedom. Husband has suddenly decided that I could easily be replaced by a hired person. I want to know if anyone has information on how much all my work is 'worth' so I can show it to him.

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So What Happened?

Sorry I did not include the fact that it is a two hour public commute to university for each kid via public transit or a $65 taxi ride each way. I drive them because it only takes 25 minutes and I go on to errands after I drive them! Husband works outside of the home 60 hours a week at a location that is one to two hours away. He also plans solo vacations for himself to Mexico, Arizona and other hot spots without me or the kids. My kids can care for themselves, cook, drive, and have lived away from home over the summer, alone, for months. I am happy to help them so they can graduate debt free. Thank you for all the replies!

More Answers


answers from Washington DC on

I don't know WHERE You live right now - your post sounds like you live in Europe or India.

Here's how much a stay at home mom is worth

I'd be a tad pissed if my husband planned vacations without me or the kids. I would probably hire a private investigator to find out if he's got someone on the two lives...

Why don't your kids live on campus?? I don't understand why you would want to drive them to university on a daily basis. That doesn't make sense. I'd buy a car for my kids to drive themselves!! that's INSANE!!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

If your husband for years has taken vacations without you and the kids and has suddenly decided to ask you how much money your role in the family is worth, I'd be asking myself why I've put up being married to him for so long!

My husband and I do our own thing here and there. But I would never be ok with him taking a vacation without me and the kids!!! And if he asked me how much it would cost to replace me, I'd probably tell him to his face that he's welcome to find out while I go look for an apartment.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I would not waste any time detailing for your husband what you do and how much it would cost to replace you. The issue is why he asked that. He clearly is not valuing all of your work at this time. I would go to a family law attorney and get financial information to him. He/she can guide you on what information you need and what you can expect in a divorce settlement. You can then show your husband how much he would have left if your family is split and frankly he can figure out how to replace your services. You don’t have to justify your worth and the law is clear that you are entitled to half of your family’s assets.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I searched online and found this 2014 article from the British newspaper The Telegraph. It gives the estimated costs for each service in Euros, but you can convert the total to US$ if that's relevant for you. Here's the link:

I'm curious though about the context for your husband's remark... does he think you two need more income and therefore you should get a paying job? Do YOU feel that is the case? If so, it's actually pretty feasible. Your post indicates you live in Cleveland, OH. That's a major city; there must be public transportation available. Your kids are young adults and can figure out a way to get themselves to their classes and other places they need to go; they don't need to be driven there. It may not be as quick and easy as being driven, however they can use the time to study. Your husband and adult children can help do housecleaning, laundry, and cooking--no reason for it all to be your job. If the household needs both parents working, that's how it can be managed--share the tasks which enables everyone to live. If your husband is saying that he wants to separate and he'll hire someone to do all those tasks, that's a different problem and one which won't be solved by showing him the value of the tasks you have done all these years. Good luck!

ETA: based on your added information, you could drop the kids off at school in the morning and then go on to your job, if you want to work for pay. They can either get themselves home on public transportation (using the two hours to study) or be picked up at the end of the day by yourself. It's good that the kids have learned to do all these household tasks--now if you want to work for pay, they and their father and you can work out a schedule so everyone helps cook a couple times a week, does laundry, and cleans the house. It really sounds, however, like the problem is in your relationship with your husband ('plans solo vacations for himself...') and has nothing really to do with the monetary value of your housework. Counseling sounds like a good idea.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I agree with Anne below. There are many aspects to your question. It depends a lot on what you want for your own life. If you do all of these tasks because you enjoy them, fine. If you do them because you aren't sure of your worth, that's not so fine. If you do them because you think your husband won't value you unless you are working 24/7, that's a huge problem. Is he trying to lessen your load, or prove that you aren't efficient? Big difference.

Do you want to work? Would a 2nd salary help with everything? Would it fulfill you and get you into meaningful tasks in view of others, not just your family? Do you children and husband appreciate you, or just pile on more stuff because "Mom has time" or, worse, "Mom doesn't work"?

There have been numerous formulas over the years shown by the women's empowerment movement to show precisely the value of at-home family care work - hours for bookkeeping, cleaning, maintenance, chauffeuring, laundry, personal shopping and much more. You could look at those and you could keep track for 2 weeks of how many hours per week you spend on each one, then do a quick spreadsheet. Factor in that you don't pay into Social Security (and can't collect at 65 based on what you put in) and that you don't ever get a vacation or sick day.

Is there a reason your children live at home? Is it much cheaper? Perhaps they should be developing life skills on how to get to class and how to live independently (cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, food shopping) with the assumption that, at some point, they need to learn how to do this. Is there no Uber or Lyft or similar ride service around? No mass transit? If they are just being lazy, I suggest you are not actually helping them grow up at this point. They are adults and need to have these skills in the likely event that their future life partners will not do everything for them as you have.

My concern is that you said your husband's words were "insolent" so it sounds like he was dismissive and disrespectful. That calls for counseling.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I'm not quite understanding the argument here.
Sounds like you do a lot - and your husband seems to realize this - and he's somehow angered you by hiring someone to do something you usually do? - and he wants you to find a job outside the home?

If kids are in university (how old are they? 18 or 19? early 20's?) - living at home and commuting - they are probably old enough to figure out public transportation and do their own laundry and help with the cooking/cleaning - basically function as adults who happen to share your living space.

It's hard when they become more independent - we've become use to doing the raising and parenting and it's tough when they've grown and we want to keep on doing as we have been but they don't really need us to do that anymore.
I think maybe that you do have the freedom to find work outside the house if you let yourself think about it.
It's just really hard to think about your life and routine changing.
Just when you've got parenting perfected the kids have the audacity to grow up :-)

Rather than focusing on the anger - trying to prove what you do has value - and it does but it's beside the point - be proud of having come so far and raised 2 functioning well adjusted adults - and think about what your next opportunities will be.
Find a part time job and let your husband deal with painting and repairs.
You might find that you enjoy having a job.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I think we need more information...hired out so you can go back to work to make more money than spent on the hired help...hired out and he can divorce you...hired out so you have more leisure time...why "cheaper" to hire out? What is his reason?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Go to a divorce lawyer and get an estimate of settlement so he would know EXACTLY how much you are worth if he decides to "replace" you.
Also provide him with a list of current housecleaning, laundry, cooking and driving services so he knows how much ADDITIONAL cost that will be.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I don't understand, I guess. If I were to find a job and my husband offered to hire someone to do stuff around the house so as to take that off my plate, I'd be thrilled! Maybe he is asking what you think your tasks are worth so he knows approximately how much you should pay the hired help? Did you not want to work outside the home, and feel that your husband forced you to find a job?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I would not look at hired help as a bad thing if you really have no time for yourself. The kids are all grown up, it may be time to find something you are passionate about for yourself, whether it is volunteer work or a job or even just a hobby you love.

But I would talk to your husband about why he said it, it is possible he thinks you work too hard but it is also possible he is tired of carrying all of the finical burden and would like you to pitch in now that the kids are grown.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Is your husband offering you help? If he is? Great. Say thank you and tell him where you need the most help.

If he's trying to replace you with a "younger model" then I'd be a tad upset. However, if he's offering to hire someone to help you? I think it's great.

I would be most put out if he was taking vacations without me and our children.

I would purchase a car for my children to drive to university. It doesn't make sense for you to drive round trip every day. Why don't they live on campus? If that's not possible? Buy them their own car to get back and forth to school. That would open up your day.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Aguadilla on

Hello R., seems you two have been doing your routine rolls for so long that you don't feel comfortable about having you husband want to make a change. If your husband can afford to hire domestic help than I would advise you to accept the offer. I understand the car pooling to uni since I too live abroad and public transportation takes forever where I live and having a personal vehicle is considered a luxury and one more vehicle for the kid is super expensive. Besides going to uni, since our daughter lives with us she also has house chores that she must do so I get a lot of help from her so tell your kids to do their part if they are still living under your roof. If they have time to party, they have time to help with house chores. Regarding the husband, there is no way in hell that I would allow my husband to go on vacation by himself. I go with him, period. That I do find very strange and it would be a red flag for me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

It sounds like your husband has offered to hire someone so that you can have more free time! Why is that “insolent”? You need to make time to take some vacations with him!!

You have not provided any details here about why his comment makes you angry.

Giving you more free time to meet friends for lunch, get your nails done, take vacations like he does - none of that sounds bad!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I am having trouble understanding the meaning of your post/question. You characterize him wanting to hire someone as “insolent”. But you aren’t explaining why he wants to hire someone. Why not? Is it because he hasn’t told you why? Is it because he wants you to go to work and earn a paycheck?

If it’s that he wants you to go to work, that’s far different than if he wants you to have help.

I wish you would explain this to us.

I admit that I have zero understanding of why you would have put up with him going off on solo vacations, EVER. That was extremely foolish of you. You have set yourself up for him only seeing you as a caretaker for his home and not as his partner. I would be stashing money away for the day that he leaves you. Sorry to sound so negative. I just think that your marriage is in real trouble.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i'm looking for the 'insolence.' can't seem to find it.

why not let your husband 'replace' you with hired people? then you'll have the freedom you imply that you'd enjoy.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Why are you looking at hiring someone to help in a negative way? I suggest your husband finally realizes that you deserve time for yourself. You cannot be replaced. Someone hired can be in addition to what you do. Your husband is helping you with household routine tasks by hiring someone to do what he should be doing. Of course you'll continue to drive kids to college if you want. You can choose what you want to do and what makes sense to hire so that you can have more time as an empty nester. You seem to say you want more freedom to have a job.

Perhaps you and your husband had a fight during which he said perhaps in anger he was replacing you. Your and your husbands lives have changed because your kids are venturing out on their own. Such a major change usually requires adjustment that is often difficult. You said the kids lived on their on there own this summer.

Did this argument include you complaining about you doing it all and he not doing enough? Perhaps learning a different way of talking would help both of you communicate with less anger. I suggest you both learn about nonviolent communication. There is a web site and helpful book. It's made a difference in my life.

About the value of what you do. It cannot be measured by it's cost in money. You cannot be replaced!

Or is this argument about separating and/or divorcing? Is he going to hire someone to do what you've done all these years. Sounds like you do most of if not all the work of taking care of the kids. And he vacations on his own?! So he isn't a husband and you're the "hired" help?

If that's what is happening, get a lawyer to be sure you get a reasonable settlement. Be rid of this man who doesn't appreciate you. I would've left this kind of marriage years ago.

I suggest you learn about womens rights. I know separating/divorcing will be extremely difficult. It might be better to have counseling first so you can learn how to stand up for yourself.

I suggest reading about co-dependacy. There are web sights that explain co-dependency. Sounds like you've lived your life depending on him, moving for his jobs. Doing all the work so he'll be happy. You deserve better.

In my first counseling sessions, I read a book entitled Codependency No More. I've gone from feeling worthless to being confident on my own.

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