c

c

Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Men Who Lounge

In recent months two long time friends who are fabulous mothers, well educated and successful business women, both announced that they were ending their marriage (one of 8 years the other almost 15 years). What was interesting is that these women were ending their respective marriage for the same reason. No, it was not cheating or abuse - the husbands had decided working and contributing to the household expenses (and their own personal expenses) was optional. 

Since hearing about their stories, I have heard more and more women speaking out about husbands who worked (some at really successful careers) when they were first married, but now do no more than take up space on the sofa with no real intention of getting back in the work force.

Some of these men were casualties of the economic downward swirl, others decided to become stay-at-home dads (because the wife made more money - it made sense rather than pay day care, cleaning lady etc.), others just decided they "needed a break from the working world". What was interesting was that these men were not prepared to cut-back or give up expensive hobbies like golf, flying, sailing, traveling, designer clothes, which had once been affordable with TWO INCOMES. And for those who decided to be stay-at-home dads - other than 

dropping the children off at play group or school and picking them up (if they were able to find time in their - no job day); over time -  cleaning the house, cooking, laundry, bathing the children, making sure children complete their homework, was left for the working mother to do when she got home from a long day of working. 

It's one thing to be supportive of a husband who is ill or has not by choice found himself unemployed. In the case of the healthy husband ~ if he is trying (and by trying I mean actually going out and making himself available for potential work) or is taking care of the children and home, so the wife can focus on work and be able to spend her time with the family on week-ends and evenings ... then I get it. Otherwise, Seriously, where has the Hunter and Provider instinct gone in these men?

In most situations that I've heard about children involved but during my research on this topic I came across this article Stay at Home Man - no Kids . This was also an interesting article Alpha Women, Beta Men on how the stay-at-home dad is affecting women.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this seemingly epidemic of men feeling comfortable not contributing to household expenses, and in some cases their own personal expenses.

Do you know someone who is facing this situation? What advise would you give them?

What would you do if your spouse became a Man Who Lounges? 

 photo a7ceed8b-ce4f-45e6-8e44-5208e41b8eab_zps61970480.jpg
Stay in Step with High Heeled Life ...

17 comments:

  1. Luckily I have not. This is an interesting topic. One I had not considered because my hubs has always been the breadwinner in our home. I'll be curious to read your other commenters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer - I too am from the thinking that men should be the providers and of course if the woman needs to pitch in she should (to contributing to household income)... and if the circumstances result in the woman working and the man staying home - if both are contributing equally i.e. the woman works- the man cares for the children, home pets etc. ~ than I think it can work. BUT when the woman is expected to be the bread winner and still take care of children, pets, and home and HIM... there is something not correct.

      I wonder how these men became so comfortable to have the women do it all - while they just "exist". It appears by the comments below that my two friends are not alone. Thank you for stopping by. C.

      Delete
  2. Dearest Celia,
    That is quite shocking and looks like an upside down social pattern of marriage. We know one stay at home Dad, in Germany, who does the household work and she is the bread winner. That's fine; IF that so happens to be. But only for lounging around that is absurd. Where did those go in previous generations? Maybe into a convent where they enjoyed good dining with their own brew of beer? This cannot suddenly be a fact that is flying into our face right now. But were there signs of these men being a kind of 'sissy' before they tied the knot?
    Glad that I never had to face that kind of dilemma.
    Hugs to you and good luck to those women facing a divorce because of their 'couch potato' -- yes, that's what they are!
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) you are most correct. But I wonder how these men - who started out contributing became content with the woman being the provider and in most cases also the homemaker. If the men were pitching in (by truly caring for the children, home etc.)despite not contributing financially that would be a different story. But the woman is still having to do all that when she gets home from work. And this is not just men with children - men without children are seeming to be quite comfortable being "couch potatoes". Will be doing further posts on this ... Thanks for commenting my friend. Hugs and blessings, C.

      Delete
  3. Celia, my daughter married a wonderful, happy, funny guy who was far beneath her station in life. She was in love. It lasted about 3 years for the exact reasons you've outlined. He worked, but made little money and said it took all he made just to run his own life, he absolutely contributed nothing to the household and felt little sense of responsibility. She is a beta she-wolf woman. It didn't last, it couldn't last. And, for me, after a marriage of 20+ years I finally left my husband and started over...he decided he would rather talk on the phone about $billion deals than work. It could only go on for so long and then I had to say bye-bye. It is just so hard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marsha, My heart goes out to both you and your daughter. It seems this is growing concern not just in North America but globally. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences - it will help those reading this, know they are not alone and that they do not have to live unhappy.

      Delete
  4. lol, we would have a difficult time if my husband had decided to lounge when he should have been working ! The work I did , was very well paying but not steady and had an "end date" to it .. so thankfully, my husband worked then when he quit, we could afford to live without depending on me ! One shudders to think how we would have lived if depending on me lol

    I would make an excellent dog walker though -

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you would make a wonderful dog walker! :) So happy that you are settling back in North America. hugs, C.

      Delete
  5. This is interesting topic. I can't imagine my husband doing that as he is the most driven, hard working man I know, and an amazing husband/father who has allowed me stay home with our children and supported me while I pursued a career that I love and start a business. He also helps out around the house and with the kids. I could never be married to someone who wouldn't contribute!
    I do know a couple of moms who make more money at their careers than their husbands. The husbands work less hours, take care of the kids, etc but I don't believe they lounge and not contribute. I grew up with a hard working father (we both did) and that is what I expect... and respect.
    I recently heard there are more women college graduates than men. I'm curious to see what patterns the future will bring.
    xoxo, B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bonjour mon ami .... you are most blessed. And I agree if both people were raised in a home where hard work and partnership was the norm it will translate into their own relationships. I too am curious to see what patterns the future brings ... Hoping more people will share their experiences - so that others know they are not alone if facing this situation - and to know that their hopes for an equal partnership or one where the man is the provider (and the woman can take care of the home/children- instead of working outside of the home - if they choose)is out there. Thanks mon ami for sharing.

      Delete
  6. This totally happened to one of my closest friends. Their marriage also ended in divorce.
    When they had their first child, the husband decided that it would be better for him to quit his 6 figure ++ job and stay home. Some days, she would get home from work and he would still be in his robe!! Not kidding.
    I think it's ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, thanks for sharing this. My hope with writing this post is to let women who are facing this .. know that they are not alone. I was beyond shocked when two of my besties were facing this - and despite all the efforts to make things work ... separation was the only solution. One has 4 boys. Hugs, C.

      Delete
  7. I am so old fashioned and love my man that brings home the bacon! We work as a team, and that is how any successful relationship should be, right?
    Nathalie

    ReplyDelete
  8. Its very rare to find this situation in my part of the world so I cannot comment but the failure of the marriage is due to selfishness on the part of one partner who does not understand/accept that marriage is a partnership of two both pulling their weight in one direction.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is a bizarre little world and definitely not one I would choose to participate in. I am the primary breadwinner and have been since my early 20's, but my husband has always been a very hard worker and brings in his fair share of the income. That is an absolute requirement in my marriage unless as you say, he was physically unable to do so.

    The first thing that comes to mind when I read all this is that regardless if it was a husband or an adult child, if they choose not to work, I would choose not to support them. They would very quickly find out that there is no money for gas, golf, beer, cell phones, cable TV, or any of the other things that most people like to enjoy. I would probably spend my money to keep the house payment paid, keep the lights on, and some basic food in the house, but nothing else. I would remove their access to any credit cards and then just wait for them to get bored enough to go back to work.

    I have the same philosophy with my teenaged son. If he is reasonably pleasant and compliant with my requests for homework, chores, and other behaviors, I am happy to transport him to activities, provide allowance, clothing, and other perks, and keep food in the house that he enjoys. If it ever came to a point where he was defiant and disobedient with us, that situation would be very different. I never lose sight of the fact that I control the car keys, the wifi password, access to every form of entertainment, and all of the money. Those are powerful motivators to make sure that people are behaving in the way they are expected to behave.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Complicated issue with social overtones. I know of one couple who married with an almost 20 year age gap between them (it was his second marriage), where the husband stopped working a few yrs into the marriage proclaiming he'd worked 'enough' and was going to 'retire'- although he was not retirement age and had not earned a pension. I know the wife well and she bragged about her income and position. Who knows what was said behind closed doors, but statistics state that finances are one of the primary issues about which couples disagree. Whomever has the bigger income- or even if they are identical!- there is likely to be issues if the couple does not have a rock solid respect for one another and what each contributes to the union, not to mention the personal character NOT to use money as power play. To have an honest and well rounded discussion we must broach the feminist push for equality and frequent male bashing that has made many men feel inadequate and unneeded. Most men hinge the majority of their identity on their profession or employment position. In this age of plentiful women grads who earn top dollar, I still find men willing to be SAHD quite few and far between. I've only seen them in on tv and movies, quite frankly, and I live in California- the land of alternative lifestyles. Welfare has contributed to this issue of the unneeded male, especially for minorities. Don't misunderstand me, I DON'T believe in women staying pregnant and barefoot, nor do I think women are not valuable in the workplace. Women rock! But should we elevate women while discrediting men? I'm college educated, well read, active in my community, and worked until my daughter was born. I'm going to go out on an old fashioned limb and say there is something to be said about making your spouse feel important, needed and vital to your family. (that's not to say the women you mentioned did not do these things or that they are to blame) In relationships, women need to feel loved, and men need to feel respected. The more unloved a woman feels the more she may act disrespectful to her husband, and vice versa. This may explain why Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:33 that a husband must love his wife and a wife must respect her husband. Both commands are unconditional. The hard part is that respect comes more easily to men, and love comes easier to women! When a man has the respect of his mate, it actually makes him want to become a better person. When it comes to relationships, feeling respected is a huge issue for most men. I'm wondering if men who refuse to contribute financially are lazy, have poor work ethic, feel they cannot compete, feel the work is beneath them or feel it is now socially acceptable- hurrah Hollywood!- to permit their wives to support them. Strange times we live in.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Very thought provoking post. Sorry for your friends. I agree with you 100%, Celia.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Know that each one is appreciated and read. Any questions posed in comments in will be responded to via the Reply button below your comment. - Live Life Luxuriously!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...