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NYNewYork posted:
So...My husband recently lost his job. He's built his 15-year career in an industry that has been devastated by this economy. He's a smart man but has all but blatantly refused to broaden his horizons & look into a new industry. He is currently consulting part time (with a decent-but-not-great hourly rate) and claims to be job searching, but says there's nothing out there. Reality is, I've seen him apply to less than 10 jobs over the course of 4 months. I've forwarded him links to jobs with no success. I, too, lost my job. In hopes for supplemental income, I started an online business nearly 1 year ago. I gave birth to our second daughter 7 months ago. We both agreed that if at all possible, it would be best for our family for mom to stay home (at least part-time). Every minute of my day and often into the night is filled by taking care of the kids and trying to grow my business. In my wildest dreams, I would never imagine being in this situation. My husband has a $100k college degree from a prestigious university, is a wonderful human being and a great father. We've had numerous discussions (initiated by me) about this topic but nothing happens! I have no idea how to motivate him or make him acknowledge the harsh reality that we've created for our family. We can barely pay our bills, are behind on our mortgage, and clearly need but cannot afford marital counseling. Problem gets deeper. Even though I adore him, I simply cannot bare the thought of having sex with him. I swear, that's all he thinks about! He says it makes him sad, which I understand. He hopes that since I'm no longer breastfeeding (after 7 months) I will be more interested. I keep telling him how stressed I am and that breastfeeding isn't the answer. Yet time and time again, he makes passes at me & almost pouts when I turn him down (or pretend to be sleeping). I want to scream "You get a real job, i.e., fulltime with health benefits, and guess what; I'll have sex with you!" — At a loss. Advise?
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Jeremy3456 responded:
You have big problems, allright. Remember your wedding vows - "for better or worse" . . . . of course for people in your generation those vows mean nothing.

You sound like you entered this marriage as a gold-digger and nothing more. Under those conditions your husband is under great pressure to perform as a breadwinner. He's probably hanging on to the occupation he worked in for 15 years with the skills and contacts he made in it. I don't know what that occupation is, but I can understand if he wants to keep at it and not throw away those 15 years of expertise. To throw that away and go work at Wal-Mart is a huge step down that will be hard to get back up from. Okay, the economy is bad, and maybe he should take what job he can get. But I get the impression that if he doesn't bring home the money he used to make, even if he is employed full-time, you won't have sex with him then either.

By tying money to sex so directly, you know what that makes you look like.

Your husband is not alone. There are literally millions, tens of millions of Americans either totally unemployed or underemployed. Many of them have advanced degrees and were/are specialists in their fields. Why don't you honor your marriage vows, put money aside for a few minutes once in a while, and enjoy sex without tying it to your financial demands and worries? It would make you both feel better. You and he would be relaxed, feel more connected, and have some enjoyment in life that doesn't cost any money at all. Look at the situation like you're both in this thing together----which you are, but the problem is you don't see it that way. You see it as him doing something adverse to you.

He is making passes at you is his way of re-kindling that connection you supposedly had with him. If he realizes that your connection was really only about money, your marriage will be over. Maybe you're a trophy wife and you simply care only about going to the highest bidder; I don't know. But him wanting to initiate sex even during these financially stressful times is something you should take him up on. That is the purpose of sex and marriage: it should be a place of comfort and being able to lean on each other. You seem incredibly cold. Maybe you should scream at him to get a real job, but don't be surprised if he screams back that he should get a real wife.
 
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tmlmtlrl responded:
I can understand to a point how you must feel especially if he actually pouts. I'm trying to believe here that you really love him and are just at your wits end.

He sounds like a prideful man and right now the world is letting him down. He is at least trying and trying to hold his pride together at the same time. He needs his wife to be his rock while the rest of the world is beating him down. Sometimes we have to temporarily trade places in that respect.

Can you imagine the confidence he could have in an interview if his wife loved, supported, enjoyed him and had sex with him on a normal basis? Try making yourself feel sexy, turn the lights off, and you make the moves on him. TRY

And congrats on the at home business. You have things to be grateful for and happy about. Try to focus on those things. This time will pass and it will be better if you do it together!
 
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alaska_mommy responded:
Jeremy, a gold digger? Really? That was harsh.

I've been there, my hubby at one point was out of work for I think 5 months waiting for that "perfect job" to come along. I was working, but we took a big cut in pay. It drove me nuts! I felt like, don't you care about our finances? Go work at McDonald's, if you have to, for Pete's sake! But he refused. He sunk into a depression and our relationship was strained. I can totally see how in these circumstances a deep resentment and anger just sort of bubbles beneath the surface, and those feelings (plus the stress of being a mom AND having a home business) can block any desire for sex.

Your hubby needs to get his act together and start thinking about his family instead of himself. Have you really talked to him and told him how you feel?
 
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Elle0317 responded:
Re-read your very last sentence. What does a full time job or health benefits have to do with sex, unless you use it as barter system.....and only certain type of women use sex for barter. You sound very selfish and very much a gold digger. Did your vows say anything about health benefits? How about for richer or poorer. How about for better or worse??

Why would man who spent $100,000 on a degree just to up and leave the field in 15 years. What you are asking of him isn't logical. A new industry would require new training, and new training requires a lot of money! Not to mention the down time while he is training for a new profession.

I think you need to take some time and really reflect what your vows mean to you. Counselling my not be cheap, but neither is a divorce.
 
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FCL replied to Jeremy3456's response:
"of course for people in your generation those vows mean nothing. "

Isn't that rather hypocritical coming from someone who is divorced?

Also, you make some huge assumptions about OP. She lost her job too. You have no idea what she did nor how much she earned. She is not simply interested in money, she is trying to save her family and their home. A trophy wife? Would a trophy wife have set up her own business that she works at day and night? Her husband needs to pull his weight in this marriage because marriage is a partnership (and not just about sex as you seem to imagine).

To the OP - I agree with Alaska_mommy in that he needs to get out there and find a job. It's not going to kill him to take a job he's overquaified for while looking for something in his line of work. Also, it's harder for people to find work after long periods of unemployment. Employers will often take a better view of someone who has done any kind of work over someone who has done nothing simply because it shows they are willing to work. It's time he stopped his pride getting in the way. His experience won't melt away if he decides to flip burgers while seeking more appropriate work. Heck, you are behind in your morgage and your bills are barely being met something has to be done.

Do you have a financial adviser or a CPA among your friends? If so, could you get them to review your finances with you so that he sees with his own eyes and with information coming from an outside source how hard things are and how much harder they are liable to become?

Also, has he been screened for depression? His lack of motivation could stem from there ...
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
 
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alaska_mommy replied to Elle0317's response:
It's posts like these that make people stop posting on forums like this. She came here looking for advice, not to be called a gold-digger. You ever had your SO laze around not looking for work while you're busting your rear with work and kids? You might not feel very much like having sex either! And marriage vows mean staying faithful to that person, not giving them sex whenever they feel like it.
 
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J5DC2 replied to alaska_mommy's response:
I agree, she came here to look for some help because she is obviously in a tough situation. To call her a "goal digger" without regard to her situation is cruel. Only someone who has never experienced these kinds of problems can be indifferent to her situation. It seems to me that her husband is either dealing with depression, which is very possible, or his pride is getting the best out of him.
Having said the above, you might need to try a different approach than the one you having been trying. Take some of the advice from tmlmtlrl I thinks she has good points in her post. Love and understanding always helps. Even if you don't feel like making love to him, still do, because after all, love is not only a feeling, but actions. Push him to find the job of his dream at the same time support him with love and try to work with him on job searches. For a man sex is very important when it comes to feel loved and close to his SO.
I only hope my post helps you, even if it just a little bit.
 
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wonderingaboutthis responded:
The way I see it, you as a couple have two problems. The first is obvious, being unemployed is hell and extremely hard on both members of a couple. I agree somewhat with what others have said here, the husband needs to look for any job right now, but at the same time, he cannot be faulted for trying to get work in his field using his degree. He can do both - work for Wal-Mart while continuing to look for employment in his chosen profession.

But I see a problem behind the scenes with that scenario - while I won't use the term "gold digger" I have to wonder if he'll get any support from you when the short Wal-Mart checks start to appear. I personally hear you saying you expect to be 'kept in the manner to which you're accustomed" and I can't imagine you being any less critical of him with short paychecks as you are with none at all.

Great, you are trying to grow an online business, but I wonder how long you'll continue that once your husband finds a good-paying job? I hear so little emotional support from you with comments such as "refused to broaden his horizons" and "applying to less than 10 jobs in 4 months". I've been unemployed before, and let me tell you, in this economy simply having 10 jobs to apply for is a pretty good track record in a 4-month period. What I hear loud and clear is you won't be satisfied with anything less than the money he made before losing his job, period. You need to consider yourself as half of a team and show him some real support rather than belittling his efforts. I wouldn't have much perserverence either if I heard those comments from my wife.

And wow..."You get a real job, i.e., fulltime with health benefits, and guess what; I'll have sex with you!" What a statement! The worst thing either half of a couple could ever do to the other is to use sex, or the lack of it, as a reward or a punishment! You wonder why some people called you a gold-digger here? Read that statement back to yourself and see how it sounds. Turn the tables around - suppose you were the one unable to perform your motherly duties due to the economy, and your husband said to you "No sex until you straighten that out"!

At a loss.....really? You two have financial problems, I agree. But I get the distinct impression it's you who has no idea what it's like out there trying to find decent-paying work. He'a already got enough pressure on him without you acting as his adversary instead of his life partner. A man you married for better or worse, and you can't "bare (sic) the thought of having sex with him" because he can't pull an employment rabbit out a hat for you? Your financial problems will get better, eventually, but you'll definitely still need counseling for your attitude on sex with your husband.
 
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InsightsOf33 replied to wonderingaboutthis's response:
Hi, I am no expert and I too have issues with a partner not getting a full time job or a high paying one or something more stable. However, withholding sexual pleasures from your husband can be very depressing for a guy or for any individual for that matter. See, the world is already saying he is a failure judging from what you have said yet you are expected to be his partner, the one who will believe in him when the whole world doesn't and his cheerleader when everyone thinks he cannot make it. When depression hits, sex may not be your favorite activity but keep in mind that sex is one way to truly connect to your partner and giving him that might inspire him to be a better provider for you.Sex is not a prize you can withhold as you deem necessary, it is a gift given to married couple to unite them as one. Think about it
 
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Jeremy3456 replied to FCL's response:
FCL, my first wife was of your generation (I'm older) and the marriage vows meant nothing to her. Immediately after the wedding ceremony she even took the money set aside for the minister and used it for herself.

I know a marriage is a partnership, and NYNewYork is not treating it like one from what I can see from her post; she is treating it like a business. Like a gold-mining business that's having layoffs because the gold is running out, and extreme demands from one of the partners in upper management.

I don';t think her husband has lack of motivation; he's trying to get work in his hard-won field. In case you don't watch the news, there are tens of millions of unemployed people out there. It's possible he's intuitively trying to save his marriage and is afraid to take chances outside of his field for fear of failure because he has more on the line to fail than not getting one particular job. I think he is well-aware of his finances and how hard things are. I wonder if Mrs. G. is aware of finances and how hard things are; or if she is aware, if she cares.

Yes, her husband could go to work at McDonald's or Wal-Mart with his $100K degree but I don't think that would cut it with her, either. Her husband made ten or so applications in four months. We don't know details of his profession, but if he's specialized and trying to use his degree, that's probably not bad. Unless he's applying for jobs as a fast food worker, it can take weeks to research a company, make contacts, phone calls, tailor your resume, and then spend hours making that application on their website where you still have to enter every address and phone number of where you've ever worked. Working several leads simultaneously is an exhausting, full-time job. I've been there and done that. It's the most frustrating experience you can ever go through. Her husband must be going through hell doing this under the demand of being either successful or being called a failure by his wife.

He could put his training aside and finally get some low-paying job on the nightshift or whatever, but I know from experience that it's very hard to get out of that hole once you enter it. I did it for three years. Long hours, exhaustion, loss of contacts in your field, not being available when employers call, and a general downgrading of life occurs. And guess what, student loans don't go away because you can't pay them. And potential employers for "real" jobs use services that check on potential employees. They scan databases, credit agencies etc. and if they find that he's working at McDonald's, the employer would have some serious doubts about his worth for a real job. I speak from experience from both sides of the hiring wall and not from my armchair.

One is more likely to get hired if one still has a job. It's possible to stretch out your "work" activity on a resume with volunteer work, consulting, serving on a board or whatever, at least for a while and make it look like you're not unemployed. You can even gain some experience and contacts by doing so which may be useful in getting the next job.

Sorry but I cannot agree with the blind male-bashing replies to the original post. Get out and get a mortgage-paying job yourself, and submit to the ruthless criticism of a selfish, demanding partner if you think it's so easy. I'd like to see how long you last under those circumstances.

The more I think about this, the more I think the man's marriage is already over, no matter what kind of job he gets.
 
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dfgbull responded:
Just a few things. Your husband has just been told by the "world" that he is a failure, not valuable, and undesirable. He turns to his wife (who is supposed to love and support him) and that message is repeated VERY loudly. The best way to help a man regain his confidence and motivation in life is for the woman he loves to send him the message that he is valuable(as a man and husband) is not a failure, and even though the "world may say he is undesirable, that he is extremely desirable to his wife.

Withholding sex will make it even harder for him to succeed in his job search.
 
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FCL replied to Jeremy3456's response:
Jeremy, please stop making assumptions. You assume that I am younger. You assume that I have never had to support a mortgage. You assume that I have never had to do work that was well beneath my qualifications and capacities because I couldn't find anything in my field. You assume that I have never had to scrape to survive. Youy assume that I have never been out of work. Youassume that I don't know how hard it is to find a job. Well, you're wrong on all counts. Supposing your assumptions about the OP were wrong too and you're just applying what happened in your particular case to hers?

I maintain that doing something positive to find work, no matter what kind, is necessary when you have a family to take care of.
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
 
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tmlmtlrl replied to Jeremy3456's response:
Jeremy, care to point out the "blind male-bashing replies to the original post"?

It does seem that this post has struck a nerve with you.
 
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NYNewYork replied to FCL's response:
Oh Wow"026this was my first time to post any type of online forum and"026very interesting response. All feedback is helpful. As for being a gold-digger, I only LOL. I omitted many details in my first post, so I guess I can see where angry Jeremy is coming from (well not really). Some important omissions: my husband's DEGREE is in a field other than where he's worked for 10-15 years. I'm saying, use your degree, you can do it. I've emotionally supported him for almost four years while he started his own business until that went completely dry. And then finally accepted a project-based job, which we knew would end. Yes, he started consulting, but it's VERY part-time. He's convinced his hourly rate as a consultant will be financially better than succumbing to a full-time job in these crazy times. I don't agree b/c he hasn't looked hard enough. I think he can do better. I do think he's scared to re-join the work-force but I think its the right thing to do. And yes, I have helped him look for jobs. As for being unemployed"026 I know. It's rough. Been there myself & even in a not so bad economy, I remember applying to 10-20 jobs per week and it still taking a LONG time. 10 job applications in 4 months"026we'll never get anywhere. I wish I could find a way to break through to him on this. Its not that he's lazy by any means. And, yes, I've started looking for FTwork as an alternative. Now, my comment, '"I can't bare the thought of having sex with him''"026ok, I was being dramatic. We argued all weekend, as I wrote that original post. It's more like"026 I just don't want to have sex. Period! After the hormone change & breastfeeding & stress & daily exhaustion"026and maybe, yes, some anger towards my spouse for feeling like he's not doing his part, sex is the absolute last thing on my mind. Yet, I've tried. I don't think that I intentionally withhold. I realize men are 'wired differently' especially when it comes to sex & I certainly don't want to add frustration but since when did sex become a free gift with the purchase of marriage? I agree that it is a gift, but there needs to be a balance for it to all work. I think the financial stress and instability of not having a steady income is a bigger deal than having SEX. Not sure how to move forward with that. But I do agree with those of you who remind me about partnership & being each others' rock. I will try to keep that in mind as I go thru these days. We've talked about this time & again but he's a typical male, not a super communicator, which is why I wish we could do therapy. He typically either lashes out (defense mode) or agrees that he's the one who needs to get the full-time job - for our family, but actions speak louder than words. I wish I knew how to motivate him. As for the sex"026I will keep trying. Easier said than done. Would love some book recommendations"026on both communicating with your spouse"026& sex.


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