Unemployed Husband

Updated on May 18, 2009
D.B. asks from Baltimore, MD
4 answers

HELP! My husband has not had a job since before we got married! He seems very comfortable with not working and we are living off of my income alone. We have 3 small children who constantly need and my income alone isn't covering it. How do I gently puch him into wanting more out of life?

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answers from Washington DC on

I was in this same situation years ago.

If you haven't done it already, I would ask your husband to please go get a job, any job, to bring in more money. I would also ask him to take over managing all the household finances, like balance the check book, pay all the bills, budget how much you and he will spend on food, kid's stuff, utilities, etc. You just turn your check over to him and he figures it all out from there. That will give him a very clear picture of why one income isn't enough and should motivate him to do something about it.

If you are concerned he will just spend all your pay check on bad choices, then I would suggest counseling. Your other three children will eventually grow up, but he may not if you make it too easy for him not to.

As the only woman and only breadwinner in a house full of men, you have a right to expect more. Someone who loves you should not want you to be under this much stress.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

In this day and age, it does not matter if the primary source of income for the family is the man or the woman, but only that sufficient income is available. Maybe he would prefer to be the daily caregiver of your children and only have a part time job, if your finances warrant it.

What you really need to do is to set up a strict budget and financial plan, which will tell you what your monthly money needs are. Always include spending money for you and for him and for household needs. They see how much more you need. Then sit down with your husband and work out a plan, together, that will meet those needs.

Maybe your husband and you have very different material needs. Maybe he only wants a modest home and you want something more expensive. Those issues need to be resolved. Just getting him to live to your standards is just as unfair as him wanting you to live totally to his standards. There needs to be a consensus based on solid information.

As for supporting your little brother (age?), that is not your responsibility. That is your father's responsibility and your brother's if he is an adult. And you are not responsible for supporting your father unless he is elderly. If he is also unemployed, he needs to find a job and start paying room and board, or collect unemployment/disability. No matter what, your father and your brother need to be taken care of out of a different pocket. If that burden is removed, you may find that your income alone is sufficient to support your family (you, husband and children) very well.



answers from Washington DC on


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answers from Washington DC on

I was in a similar experience, my husband was unemployed for three years. He was supposedly renovating our house, but not much was done.

I must tell you that it really impacts a man not to have useful work, and can make him depressed and angry. He took it out on me and my son. I have a friend who behaved in a similar way.

We went through all our savings, and ended up in some financial trouble.

He now has been working for nearly a year, and things are better.

Because your children are younger than mine, your husband really could be a stay at home dad, with all the work that entails (including finding ways to save money).

Good luck.

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