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You Asked: My Husband Expects me to be a Housewife!!

Dear Sugar--

I am recently married to a wonderful and extremely loving man. We have been together for almost 6 years and he is my prince charming. On our honeymoon, he dropped a total bombshell on me -- he wants me to quit my job and be a housewife!!!

Now, I understand that many women enjoy being housewives and I have the utmost respect for them, but being a housewife is just not for me. I recently landed an amazing job at a very prestigious law firm and feel like I didn't bust my *ss in school for the past 7 years for nothing. Before we got married he was happy that I wanted to keep my job and now he is all of a sudden adamant that I quit. I don't know what to do, I love my husband and he is being incredibly generous by offering to be the sole provider, but being a housewife simply won't be enough for me. HELP! -- Unstimulated Sonia

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Unstimulated Sonia --

Yikes, it sounds like you and your new hubby have a serious conflict of interests here. I can completely understand why you don't want to give up on a career you have clearly worked very hard to achieve and I quite frankly feel you shouldn't have to. What is sparking your husband's sudden change of heart? Have you told him how important keeping your job is to you? Have you expressed your disinterest in being a housewife?

It sounds like your husband has an idea of what marriage is "supposed to be," perhaps he grew up in a household where his mother stayed home while his father brought home the bacon, but that lifestyle isn't for everyone and he needs to understand that. If you are forced to stay home, chances are you're going to end up resenting him, which is bound to cause serious problems in your relationship. Marriage is all about give and take, so while your husband might have an ideal of how he wants your life to be, you need to do what makes you happy. Starting a new life with your husband takes some work, and there will be highs and lows, but I suggest you sit him down ASAP, let him know how you feel, and demand that you come up with some sort of a compromise. I wish you luck Sonia, and congrats on your wedding!


Join The Conversation
Taffy222 Taffy222 9 years
Give him my number!!!!!!!!! Men like this are JERKS!!!! HE changed his mind. You say before the marriage he was OK with you keeping your job. Now after the marraige he wants you to quit. I can say that I think he's jealous! He thinks that if you're out of the house all day you'll come in contact with other men. He may also just want to be the provider. I say do yourself and other women a favor and get a divorce. You wouldn't be happy being a house wife.......I DREAM of being a housewife!!! First you need to tell him you are NOT quitting your job EVER ask him if he can live with that? If not get divorced and let him find another woman to marry that he can take care of. I know MOST women are like you. They LOVE the office. I don't think it's right he doesn't consider your wishes but quite honestly if we had enough money for me to be at home that's where I'd be! It's such a shame that you two don't agree with this important issue. I think you're extremely luck to even have a man who thinks this way. A large share of men now wouldn't want to have a wife at home.
sugar-and-spice sugar-and-spice 9 years
*your home
sugar-and-spice sugar-and-spice 9 years
maybe he is just insecure that you're earning much more than he does... then if that is the case, make him feel secure by letting feel that he is still The Man of our home. Let him pay for everything and try to be *dependent* on him financially - men want to feel needed. :p
clarapl clarapl 9 years
What raises the red flags is that he is not just expressing a preference--you say he is "adamant" that you quit job. And as the one guy (I think!) poster said, that's just as unreasonable as if you suddenly demanded that he quit his job! Who does he think he is to even ask this of you, let alone demand it?? He pulled a bait and switch on you, which is really manipulative. Others have faulted you for not discussing this before marriage--but why would you if he was always supportive of your career in the past, and kids are not part of the picture? Who would talk about whether it's OK for wifey to work after the wedding?? This is 2007, not the 1950's! (Thank God.) I hope you think about all this carefully before you decide to bring children into this marriage. Good luck!
wasabigizmobunny wasabigizmobunny 9 years
Someone who really loves you wouldn't force you to do anything against your will. I would have serious second doubt about the marriage if I were you.
applebees3 applebees3 9 years
DON"T GIVE UP YOUR JOB> he sounds very controlling and why quit a good paying job to stay home-kids or no kids. Being at home must be a bore
junebrug junebrug 9 years
This needed to be talked about a LOOOONG time ago. That he sprung that on you in unfair and frankly odd. Maybe he thought you would like the idea and be happy, maybe he thought you were hoping to be able to quit or something. But either way, you need to discuss this ASAP. Others on this board have given you some terrific ideas if you do happen to decide to quit your job. If that's simply not going to happen, make sure he knows that in the gentlest and kindest way possible. Make all the arguments -- money, your schooling, all that. In all likelihood when he finds out you don't want to quit, he'll lay off. I don't know what to say if he simply refuses to have any way but his own, but it's better to know now than after a decade of marriage.
anorthan anorthan 9 years
p.s. missro21- I also didn't think I wanted to have children in my very early 20's- that's the funny thing about getting older- you don't always feel the same at every stage of your life.
anorthan anorthan 9 years
I know it seems like something that should have been discussed but if you never talked about children in your future than I can see how the topic of staying home never came up. I am a stay at home mom and never had one talk with my husband about it until my son was born. I didn't think i wanted to stay home but once I saw him I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. Now that being said- it has been the hardest thing to adjust to and i've been doing it for 8 years now. If you don't think its for you don't do it!! one of the other comments posted said you'll end up resenting your husband (which is true) but even worse you won't make a very good mother if your not happy. There is nothing wrong with being a working mom. Find the best day care your money can buy and cherish your evenings and weekends with your children.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I'm baffled that in 6 years, and especially while gearing up for marriage you two didn't sit down and discuss your futures. I find that really odd. But, I do think it's reasonable for you - since neither of you bothered to cover this ground - to assume that you would continue doing what you're doing after the wedding. I'm curious whether he is actually adamant about you quitting your job, or whether this is something he just brought up to see if you would be interested. We girls sometimes read more into what is said than what is meant. You two really need to sit down and have that discussion about your futures that you should have had *before* you married each other.
bluejeanie bluejeanie 9 years
if you decide to quit your job, please educate yourself and read "the feminine mistake" by leslie bennet. volunteering is great and all, but should the need for two paychecks ever come up, you need to be hire-able. all that volunteer time isn't really what employers are looking for. think of it as an insurance plan.
KerryG KerryG 9 years
I have to say I find it a little strange that you've been together for six years and yet neither of you seem to have noticed this glaring conflict of interests. Somewhere along the way, there was a major breakdown of communications,and it's extremely important that you figure out where it was so you can prevent things like this in the future. Otherwise, your marriage is likely to be both unhappy and short. Try to figure out what his reasoning is: does he want the status symbol of a non-working wife? Does he want kids? I agree with popgoestheworld that you may inadvertantly sent him some conflicting signals as well. Referring to him as your "Prince Charming" kind of suggests to me that you approach the world with what I call the "Pretty Princess" approach to life - more concerned with having a guy - any guy - than how suitable the guy really is for you, and with having a fairy tale wedding and living happily ever after than figuring out what "happily ever after" really means to you. "Pretty Princess" personalities tend to want and expect (or think that they do, anyway) traditional marriages of the sort he's now announced that *he* wants, so he may have thought you felt the same. You two need to have some very open and honest discussions if you're going to save your marriage. Don't let him pressure you into anything you truly don't want to do (especially if kids are the issue - the *last* thing you want to do is bring children into the world and end up resenting them for "trapping" you), but remember that compromise is an important part of marriage, too. If it's the status he wants, putting your legal skills to work as a volunteer for a non-profit (or several) you care deeply about might be a great compromise.
hills hills 9 years
marrige is surposed to b about compromise, like u said he was fine with u having ur job before ur marrige. its not fair to go back on that espeshially now u are married. i think u need to talk to him and tell him its not for u and that u just would not be happy being a housewife and explain to him that further down the line u could b bored, unhappy and just fed up so i think its wise that because u want to keep ur job u should, not just for furfillment but for the fact it could cause some problems in ur marrige if u dont. ask him y he suddenly has a change of heart too. there must be a reason. i hope it all works out for u!
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
popgoestheworld raises an interesting point - being a housewife isn't all staying at home nowadays! I work for several non-profit organisations who would fall over themselves to have a part-time legal advisor coming in maybe once or twice a week. What if you started your own business from home? Would that change matters? It is all very well and good working for a prestigious law firm but did the issue of how he wanted you to stay at home and have kids vs. what you want to do with your life not come up before now? I hope you work things out. Six years of relationship and a new marriage thrown away over something so .. bizarre.. seems like a waste of effort.
tbo tbo 9 years
The big question is, why does he want you to be a housewife? Is it because he wants kids, or is it another reason? If it's not related to kids, this is just flat-out unreasonable for him to spring this on you, and is also not a demand he really has any business making of you any more than you would of him. Where things get more complex is if you guys are planning to have kids soon. If you've already talked about that, he may have read a lot more into the discussion than actually was there. In particular, he may have assumed that you would stay home with the kids. This isn't necessarily because he's sexist--he may figure that it's the most economically rational choice. Why? The question of whether one parent should stay home involves many factors, but has a substantial economic component. When you consider marginal tax rates, childcare costs, increased transportation expenses, and other costs of having both parents working outside the home, there's often little or no financial benefit as compared with having a single earner family. Having one parent home with the kids may also directly benefit them. Depending on your respective careers, it may make financial sense for you to be the one who stays home (he may have figured all this went without saying). You may also be able to work out a compromise, where you alternate taking time off from your career to stay home, but this isn't practical with some careers. On the other hand, if you are or soon will be earning more than him, he should probably be the one to stay home.
bluejeanie bluejeanie 9 years
you guys never talked about this before you got married? it's totally bizarre that he wants you to quit the job you worked so hard for just to become a housewife. i mean, what the hell? do any modern men even find that attrative???? you guys don't even have kids so what would you do? talk to him about hit, hopefully he'll come around. if that's not the life that you had invisioned for yourself then you may need to rethink your relationship. nobody should be forced into economic dependence if she doesn't want to.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Grouchy popgoestheworld strikes again, sorry in advance. It's funny to me that you use the term "Prince Charming" which to me is old fashioned and describes the exact type of lifestyle he wants for you. Someone to come in and rescue you from the big bad world and make sure you live happily ever after. Even Cinderella's prince probably didn't relegate her back to cleaning floors though. I am sure your husband has an image he wants to portray, that he is so well off you don't need to work. But what does he want you home for? You didn't mention kids. If he's loaded, I'm sure you pay for a cleaning service... Does he just want you bored? Anyway, the first point is your husband is a disrespectful ass for pulling this on you, despite how loving and wonderful he normally is. Who would represent themselves one way and then demand something completely different come the honeymoon. Sorry but that is just mean. The second point, is I would die and go to heaven to be "just" a housewife, and let me tell you, you would not find me at home dusting. I can't even count the number of classes I would sign up for and all the volunteer work I would do. I'm sure lots of non-profits would be drooling for use of your expensive law degree. Just another perspective if it ends up you acquiesce to his demands... Anyway, good luck. Sorry this turned out like this. Guess even after 6 years you don't always really know people.
Marci Marci 9 years
I wonder why he waited until the honeymoon to mention that little piece of news. It's not like he didn't have any idea of what you're like before then. So you need to really sit down and talk this out. It's not going to be an easy one to work out because he has his own idea of what marriage is supposed to like. But he loves you and hopefully will want you to be happy and fulfilled. I guess compromise will be the key here. Can you please let us know how this works out for you? I'd really be interested .
TygrTygr TygrTygr 9 years
You'll work it out, don't worry. Sit on the couch and powwow about this. Reassure yourselves that your marriage will be forever. There will be plenty of time for all the different stages of it. Blessings to you both.
missro21 missro21 9 years
There had to be some type of warning signs that you wanted to keep your career and that he wanted Mrs. Brady. Not that there is anything wrong with being a housewife (it is a real job), but that sucks. When dating I make it clear to guys on the third date that I am not into kids. Then as we get to know each other, I make if very clear that I do not want kids and that there is no changing my mind. So did you all not have a talk about this? Anyway, if he loves you can work out. Maybe quit your job once you have kids or offer to let him be Mr. Mom. I am sure there is a compromise somewhere...
millarci millarci 9 years
I can't believe someone would drop this bombshell on you. How unfair! No woman should have to quit her job and become a housewife if she doesn't want to.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
this should have come up before marriage and been agreed on. if you are just out of school and on to your career it seems almost impossible that he would expect you to stop now. what did he think you were working toward? since he seems to have changed his mind without letting you know this isn't really acceptable. does he have baby fever? dual income has many benefits. maybe that's the way to show him that your way is good at least for now. and if you don't have any kids, what would you do all day at home? bor-ring.
nessabum nessabum 9 years
i really hope you work this out. this may take a lot of discussing and hard work, but there's no point in losing this new marriage because i'm sure you've worked really hard to make it happen. explain how you feel and tell him that that wasn't what you had expected when you entered in this marriage. good luck to you.
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