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Question
Posted by: Shoes | 2012/01/11

Time to spread my wings?

Hi CS,

Hope you had a good break.

I have been married for 12 years and have been working with my husband for 15 years. He had a dream to have his own business and I have supported him throughout all of this. I feel it is time for me to move on. I have never had a salary but get food and the house is paid out of the business. I do not have a car and if I want my hair done or buy clothes, I must sell something. I got 2 days maternity leave and 5 days annual leave in 4 years. I feel I have nothing to show for my hard work.

The only thing putting me off finding a new job is my children. When they go to junior school, I would like to be able to spend some time with them in the afternoons when they are home. My eldest will only be going next year, so at least I have a year to do something for myself.

I have approached this subject numerous times with my husband and he always says I cannot drop him now. I feel that I am not going anywhere with my life and have my own ambitions. Yesterday he said he needed to be in the office, so I did the town trips, including loading the truck, which I feel is not very ladylike. I cannot wear rings as they get scratched and my nails are always grotty. Anyway, when I came back into the office, I found he was playing online games. I am very disheartened by this as I feel I put in the graft and he has been playing this game for 3 years now.

Do you think I am being selfish and should carry on helping him out?

Thank you for your time.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sounds like a common and frustrating pattern within family businesses - they tend to aim at meeting the dreams of one person, too often at the expense of others. Can you picture him managing to recruit ANYONE else to take this job, at that salary and benefits, and that sort of job description ? The number of talented masochists on the market is strictly limited.
Clearly, more discussions with your husband are needed. He can't really get away with just saying you can't "drop" him now - in many ways, he dropped you long ago. And to be playing trivial games while you do the work, is unacceptable.
You are not being selfish. HE is being selfish.
Put the problem to him clearly, and without accepting any excuses ( the situation presumably suits him just fine, so he has no motivation to change it ) - ask him to propose ways in which your needs and wishes can be respected and met, to encourage you to continue working with him, rather than seeking work which suits you better, while he would then need to search for someone else mug enough to accept the pittance he seems to think should satisfy you.
Thanks for the good wishes. Not the greatest of breaks, but then I'm really unskilled at not working !

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Romany | 2012/01/11

You are 100% correct to feel this way.
You need to start looking " after your own" . Make your own money and SAVE your own money for " a rainy day" .

Do this asap as it does not get any easier when you get older.

If he insists that you remain in the business, it is time certain things are documented formally. ie. you should, legally become a full partner of the business. Share the profit 50/50. Get a salary , same as his.

Just imagine if he walks out on you guys now? I know one does not want to even think that this can happen but believe me, it can. Then you have NOTHING.

Good luck. Now look after your affairs ! One day when you are old with cracked nails, missing teeth and a wrinkly skin..... will he see the nicely groomed youn women or will he only have eyes for you?

Reply to Romany
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/01/11

Sounds like a common and frustrating pattern within family businesses - they tend to aim at meeting the dreams of one person, too often at the expense of others. Can you picture him managing to recruit ANYONE else to take this job, at that salary and benefits, and that sort of job description ? The number of talented masochists on the market is strictly limited.
Clearly, more discussions with your husband are needed. He can't really get away with just saying you can't "drop" him now - in many ways, he dropped you long ago. And to be playing trivial games while you do the work, is unacceptable.
You are not being selfish. HE is being selfish.
Put the problem to him clearly, and without accepting any excuses ( the situation presumably suits him just fine, so he has no motivation to change it ) - ask him to propose ways in which your needs and wishes can be respected and met, to encourage you to continue working with him, rather than seeking work which suits you better, while he would then need to search for someone else mug enough to accept the pittance he seems to think should satisfy you.
Thanks for the good wishes. Not the greatest of breaks, but then I'm really unskilled at not working !

Reply to cybershrink

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