Did SAHM Friend Make a Mistake?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2003
Did SAHM Friend Make a Mistake?
31
Wed, 06-16-2004 - 2:40pm
My best friend and I are polar opposites. I'm a WOHM and have been since my children were born. My friend is a SAHM and has never worked once her children were born. She is married to a pilot for a smaller airline and money has always been a problem for them once she quit her job. They can't afford to take vacations (even though they fly for free, can't fix up their house, can't afford a computer...) Even though we are best friends and I love her dearly, she has always had an air of superiority with me because she SAH. I know she thinks she is a better mother because of this. (This isn't just me feeling this way, it's because she has made comments over the years). There were time when this would bother me, but now I know I made the right decisions for my family. We both have two children around the same ages. I have two daughters, and she has a daughter and a son. All of our children are bright, polite, and well mannered. Here is where I think she made a mistake -- she is miserable in her marriage and I think she would divorce if she could. Her problem is that she could never support her kids on her own and he doesn't make enough money to support two households. She has been away from the workforce for 14 years. She told me she would never work until her children are grown (they are only 7 and 9), so she is stuck in a miserable marriage with no way out. I'm sure her children sense the problems in their marriage -- they are too smart not to.

I'm fortunate that my marriage is very stable and loving, but I know that if something were to go wrong, I know that I can support my kids by myself.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2004
Wed, 06-16-2004 - 2:50pm

If you are reading things correctly - it's just a matter of hindsight being 20/20.

Mondo

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Wed, 06-16-2004 - 3:23pm

Doesn't sound like she made a mistake.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-16-2004 - 3:57pm
Of course she made a mistake.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-16-2004 - 4:04pm
I agree she made a mistake, but her mistake was in choosing the wrong spouse. If she had married the right man, her work status wouldn't matter. Or would you still think she had made a mistake in choosing to SAH even if she had an ideal marriage?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-16-2004 - 4:07pm
Yes, it's always a mistake not to have F-- Y--- skills or money, whether you want to leave your DH or your job.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2003
Wed, 06-16-2004 - 4:11pm

Playing devil's advocate here....but what do you mean she made a mistake choosing the "wrong" man? Don't plenty of good spouses turn "bad" somewhere down the road? I mean, I can't honestly believe that someone would deliberately choose the wrong person except in rare cases. Wouldn't that be bad luck as opposed to a mistake? And wouldn't the best course of action be to be prepared in case you happen to run into bad luck even if your spouse seems like the ideal guy?


 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-16-2004 - 4:12pm
Hmmm...I guess I have the same problem with that line of thought as I have with prenups. It seems like you're setting yourself up for failure. The skills I have...I made about half again as much as dh before I quit to SAH. But I think telling dh "I want my own money in my own account in case I want to divorce you down the road" would be sending a pretty strong "I don't trust you" message that would damage our relationship more than anything but an affair.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2003
Wed, 06-16-2004 - 4:14pm
I definitely think the spouse is a problem -- he's not in to fatherhood or marriage at all. I just wish my fried would have kept up her skills so she wouldn't in this position. She flat out refuses to work because she thinks that is being a bad mother -- I wish she could see how that it doesn't matter whether you work or not, just as long as you do what is best for your kids.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-16-2004 - 4:15pm
I dunno...I know some people who most certainly should have known they were marrying the wrong person. In the case of someone who "turns bad" down the road, I don't know that I think a mistake was made at all. P&J seemed to be saying (although from her response, it sounds like I took it the wrong way), that SAH was a mistake because she wanted to leave her dh. The corollary is that, if her marriage were good, then SAH wouldn't have been a mistake. And I think that's flawed logic.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2003
Wed, 06-16-2004 - 4:20pm
My friend's husband did not want her to stop working but she insisted. He then expected her to do everything since he was paying for it all. She had to not only take care of the children, but take care of the house upkeep, mowing the lawn, painting the house, cooking, cleaning, etc. He would just come home and sit on the coach because he worked all day. She basically gave up having a life of her own when she did this and now she's paying for it. I'm sure there are many husbands who feel this way. I like the fact that I make as much as my husband (and sometimes more) and I never feel like I have to ask his permission to buy anything. I know what we can afford and what we can't, so I would never just go out and waste our money on something I don't really need. He questions every penny she spends. I couldn't live that way.

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