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Does financial disparity give a WH more power?

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hikingout posted 11/1/2019 15:20 PM

Well, yes and no. In my sisters case, she suffered from severe anxiety and depression, could not even finish high school because she couldn't be at school with her panic attacks. She did go to work before her husband had an affair, she just never got to the point where she would be able to manage stress or be able to stand to be in classes. She was able eventually to get her GED, but only because it was online. She has borderline agoraphobia now, and can only go to work and to go home. She can't even drive on the interstate and as a result can't go visit her grandchildren when she wants.

This is only one example, but I know women who got pregnant early in life and never had the support or means to go on in their schooling. They could go to work and use day care resources from the state, but if they made too much (above poverty level) then they had to give up 1/4-1/3 of their paycheck to day care.

I guess what I am trying to say is that some situations that get chosen or chosen for you at a young age can take a lot of years into adulthood to rectify. My mom always brought us up saying "don't rely on a man" and that was engrained in me and my sister both, I just was the one who lucked into better brain chemistry. I tell my girls the same thing. But, I would tell a boy that too.


WhyAgainWhyHer posted 11/1/2019 15:26 PM

In my case, he makes significantly more than I do. Well over 6 figures, and I makes barely above the poverty level. If he split, since we are not married, he would owe me nothing going forward. I would get some what of a "settlement" from our years together, but even that is not 50/50, its based on what each brought to the table. So like 90/10, his way. And I have no claim on the house, he owned it and paid it off before we met.

So I stay, as long as I can for financial reasons. The sad part is, we are very compatible and could have a nice life except for his habit of banging his gf.

36yearsgone posted 11/1/2019 16:50 PM

I think when anyone, female or male, decides to forego learning the skills to earn a living, they are giving up their own power. They're not necessarily giving it to the WH or WW. They are just giving up their own autonomy. It's almost like you are agreeing to be the appendage of another person. Appendages can be replaced, but they are useless not attached to what makes them work.

Profoundly accurate.

Loukas posted 11/1/2019 18:50 PM

Loukas:

I don't think this is necessarily true. Every person's situation is unique.

Think what you will, but it is most definitely true. She had a choice. Just because you donít like that choice doesnít mean you donít have a choice. I never said anything about her situation being unique or not.

[This message edited by Loukas at 6:50 PM, November 1st (Friday)]

cocoplus5nuts posted 11/2/2019 07:19 AM

You could have put your kids into school. You could have gotten a job. You could have left for less than ideal reasons. You had a choice. You chose not to. Donít use your kids as an excuse.


Yes, you are right. I did have choices. We always have a choice. Where did I say I didn't? I am not, and never was, using my children as an excuse for anything. I do what I think is best for them. That is not an excuse.

The choices aren't the same, though. A BP who is already working, already has a life set up to be single, has more options in the beginning. I could've left my kids with my fch (not gonna happen). I could've left with my kids and maybe found a shelter. I could've moved in with my toxic, narcissistic mother. I made the best choice for me and my children based on the options I had at the time. If I had other options, I probably would've made other choices.


my intent with this post we to look at the immediate needs for the female during a divorce or separation.
(my bold added)


Even if I had put my children in school, it would've taken me a while to get a decent paying job and save the money needed to get my own place. My fch didn't make enough to maintain 2 households. Not everyone has the means to split immediately.

It may be just the way I'm reading it because I feel a little defensive, but your comments seem angry. Why does the idea that many SAHMs, and women in general, have less viable options than men bother you so much?

[This message edited by cocoplus5nuts at 7:28 AM, November 2nd (Saturday)]

DragnHeart posted 11/2/2019 09:10 AM

IMO society no longer values a parent who stays home be it the mom or dad.

If you arent making MONEY you have no value.

I grew up from the age of 11 taking care of my younger siblings. They gave ME mothers day cards. I didn't have a childhood, could never visit friends. I cooked, cleaned, helped with homework.

I didn't want that life for MY children. I also have children with medical issues that early on required non stop hospital and doctors visits. This was constant and made working impossible. We had a home nurse that came. And even now the appointments are less but still constant.

WH has rarely even been present at any appointment. He went into denial of his children's issues. Shit he still is. He chose.to dive head first into many affairs to escape the reality of his life.

Do.i regret being g home with my children? Not for one second. Do I wish I had my own money, sure. Do I wish I could just up and D him right now sure. But its going to make life harder for my kids and I'm not about to rip them from their home, school, friends.

So judge all you want. This is the choice I made and only I am living with it.

20yrsagoBS posted 11/2/2019 11:59 AM

My son was born in 1996, while WH was heavy into an affair. That AP and WH planned a future together, including their own family. I knew WH would not cross his AP/future wife, and would neglect our son. So, I didnít divorce him. We went on to have a second child. It was not my innocent babyís fault that his father is a cheater. I wanted a family with one set of parents. I sacrificed the security of an infidelity free marriage for that, but donít regret it.

I do regret not enrolling in MC at the onset of our marriage. Perhaps starting off marriage knowing how to be a good partner would have prevented him cheating?

Justsomelady posted 11/2/2019 12:21 PM

Sucks to see so much devaluation of stay at home parents. They make valuable contributions and make sacrifices - including their financial power and security. They do rely on their spouse to be fair to them for a secure life. It is a risk but they take it on for noble and/or valid reasons.

ďI think when anyone, female or male, decides to forego learning the skills to earn a living, they are giving up their own power. They're not necessarily giving it to the WH or WW. They are just giving up their own autonomy. It's almost like you are agreeing to be the appendage of another person. Appendages can be replaced, but they are useless not attached to what makes them work.
Profoundly accurate.Ē

I hate the above statement. An appendage? Just reducing their value to their earning power?

My brother was a sick kid and my mom stayed home, is she an appendage? My friend has sever mental illness and depends on her husbands income as she canít work much more than a very part time retail gig. Is she one too? Staying home is an agreement someone makes with their spouse for many reasons. I hate it being held against them that they arenít financially independent. It sucks and is the reality but it isnít a bad thing to forge an interdependent relationship like that.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 12:22 PM, November 2nd (Saturday)]

Loukas posted 11/2/2019 14:40 PM

Yes, you are right. I did have choices. We always have a choice. Where did I say I didn't?
You did say this-
A BH who has the means to leave and chooses to stay, even if it's for less than ideal reasons, still has a choice. Many BWs, especially SAHMs, don't have that choice.
Then you went on to explain your situation as a BW and a SAHM, implying a lack of choice as described above. So how was I supposed to understand your post?
It may be just the way I'm reading it because I feel a little defensive, but your comments seem angry.
Definitely the way you're reading it, no anger here. I was just pointing out that there was choices.
Why does the idea that many SAHMs, and women in general, have less viable options than men bother you so much?
Once again projection. I never said anything about women having less viable options than men.

Lionne posted 11/2/2019 15:58 PM

I'd never judge anyone on most things, certainly not a choice they make for their family. But we hear stories about fathers (mostly) disappearing so they don't have to pay for their kids, or being underemployed, being paid under the table, etc., all to thwart the CS or SS order. And yes, teaching their kids that mom is robbing them instead of acknowledging the debt. SAHP work HARD, no breaks, no vacation, no lunch hour and have to be prepared to change plans because of the needs of others. If a family decides that one parent stay home, I truly believe there should be some financial arrangement made. Their skills, their dedication should be monetized.
I was a teacher. My hours and schedule closely matched my kids'. My husband never had to worry who greeted them after school, monitored homework, nagged about instrument practice, drive to swim lessons. Fortunately, our financial contributions were roughly equal. But I saved more in my retirement accounts, worked longer because I wasn't constantly losing jobs. I did stay home with my kids for a few years. Loved and hated it.

I do think too many SAHP feel powerless in these cases

DragnHeart posted 11/2/2019 16:11 PM

It's not so much feeling powerless because he makes the money.

It's feeling that no one, NO ONE appreciates everything I do. Of course if I slack off on anything because I'm sick or so damn depressed I want to down a bottle of pills I'm suddenly lazy ass trash who needs to get a job. Ugh!

The problem isn't being a SAHP. The problem is a society that values money over family, that most families have to have two incomes just to survive in a world that has made basic living bloody expensive.

pureheartkit posted 11/2/2019 22:59 PM

Yes, Dragn is correct. The structure of society and money are driving the hardships.

There is no fairness. Those with resources will be fine. Those without will struggle.

silverhopes posted 11/3/2019 03:24 AM

Hmm. I wonder - if we added up all the services a SAHP performs and assign it dollar value based off of folks in similar professions, what would that bill look like?

If you do 2 hrs of cooking per day, that's $30.
If you do 2 hours of cleaning per day, that's $50 minimum.
Since you're at home to meet the kids after school instead of hiring a babysitter, that's anywhere from 3-5 hours before the average person's workday ends, so... about $40-$50 for a cheap babysitter.

If we count the SAHP taking care of appointments that a working parent might have to miss work (and therefore paid hours) for, well... not gonna calculate that today, but know the cost is there.

So that's, what, already at least $130 per day that a SAHP saves a family? I'm sure there are more costs that I'm missing. Plus, only 2 hours of cleaning per day is pretty conservative - it's usually more. And that's not even counting emotional labor. Funny, when you put a price tag on work done in the home, SAHPs are quite valuable indeed.

cocoplus5nuts posted 11/3/2019 08:49 AM

Do I wish I could just up and D him right now sure. But its going to make life harder for my kids and I'm not about to rip them from their home, school, friends.


Right. Why should my kids and I suffer because my fch decided to cheat? Nope, he's gonna pay for that one way or another!

Silverhopes, that has been done many times. The last time I saw a chart like that, I think the number was around 300K. That was many years ago. It's probably more now. I also read (again, many years ago so it's probably increased) that unless one partner makes at least 60K a year, it's not worth it for both partners to work because of the added expenses of childcare and all tha entails.

People don't care. They don't see caring for children as important. That can be outsourced just like everything else.

Justsomelady, I get what you're saying. That's not quote how I read that. It says gave up learning to support yourself, not gave up supporting yourself. So, for example, maybe someone who decided against going to, or finishing, college in order to get married and have babies.

It is an elitist attitude, though, assuming we all have the same opportunities. Many people don't have the means for further education. O, the guy who has to go to work right out of high school because he can't afford college is not going to have the same opportunities as the guy whose family pays for hom to attend Harvard.

Additionally, he fact remains, no matter how much TRP guys like to scoff at it, that women get paid less than men for the same jobs. So, a woman who has only a high school education is a lot less likely to find a job that will support herself and her 3 kids, especially if she hasn't worked for 10 years.

I didn't forgo learning how to support myself. I have a college degree (that I'm still paying for) and had a very lucrative career. I made substantially more than my fch when we met, and he was working 2 jobs. I chose to become a SAHM because of my fch. I thought he valued me for me and that I could trust him to always care for us. I was mistaken.

Loukas, I apology for not being completely precise in my wording. Maybe we should use the word, "opportunities," rather than, "choices." We all always have choices. We don't all have the same opportunities.

Darkness Falls posted 11/3/2019 08:57 AM

There are some lines of work that pay a woman exactly the same as a man for the same work. My company is one of them. Before I had children, I worked the same amount of hours doing the same work as my H and got paid exactly the same per hour as any male with my seniority level. Iím not saying the disparity doesnít existójust that it doesnít exist everywhere.

sickofsurviving posted 11/3/2019 09:19 AM

Not everyone has the same opportunities in life.

I was kicked out of my parents house at 14. Ever try supporting yourself at 14? I worked 2 jobs and went to high school.

I got pregnant at 18. Nobody told me strong antibiotics negated birth control. Things got weird after that. We split when I was 28. After his unnatural relationship with his sister was revealed.

I found out he molested my girls after we had been divorced a few years. He is in prison forever. But that left me with my 4 kids and no child support.

My kids have great educations. All are single and independent. Very financially stable. I made sure they didn't live my life.

Then I got sick. Cancer twice. Lucky twice. But healthy? Nope. Able to punch a time clock? Nope. I guess the $1000 a month disability could be helpful. But I'm not on it. Alimony only lasts 3-5 years in my state.

There is no savings to fall back on. Well not enough to matter. Walking away isnt an option. Oh yes. The go to a shelter option. I just cant. Been there done that.

I know that isnt the original intention of this post. This is my disparity.

silverhopes posted 11/3/2019 09:40 AM

It is an elitist attitude, though, assuming we all have the same opportunities.

Not everyone has the same opportunities in life.

Exactly.

DragnHeart posted 11/3/2019 09:45 AM

Right. Why should my kids and I suffer because my fch decided to cheat? Nope, he's gonna pay for that one way or another!

I've said this exact thing before. Bad enough i have suffered the emotional damage of his affairs, divorcing him.means the loss of my home. Loss of time with my kids. Loss after loss after loss. It's just to much to take when one is already in so much pain.

36yearsgone posted 11/3/2019 14:48 PM

I've said this exact thing before. Bad enough i have suffered the emotional damage of his affairs, divorcing him.means the loss of my home. Loss of time with my kids. Loss after loss after loss. It's just to much to take when one is already in so much pain.

So true.

Datura posted 11/3/2019 15:40 PM

I've said this exact thing before. Bad enough i have suffered the emotional damage of his affairs, divorcing him.means the loss of my home. Loss of time with my kids. Loss after loss after loss. It's just to much to take when one is already in so much pain.

This!!

Also, I wouldn't say I devalue being a SAHP I see how it has disadvantaged me from an employment perspective. I didnt see it as a risk until AFTER my WH cheated. Then I suddenly became acutely aware of how disadvantaged I would be if we separated. I can see why people feel powerless to leave.

As we were married being separated was not something I had ever considered a possibility before.

Also, I never 'forgoed the skills to earn a living' My industry has tanked while I have been a SAHP and outsourced my skills to cheaper countries. Not every career has the same earning potential and I would definitely struggle financially to support a family on my single income despite being highly skilled and fully qualified with years of industry experience behind me. It is why I am retraining and looking at my options now. But as a middle aged woman who has been a SAHP I am acutely aware of the reality. A reality that was never a problem before my H cheated. Because before, we were in it together. We were a team.

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