Does financial contribution determine the success or failure of a marriage? An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for wanting to divorce my husband because he’s unemployed even though money is ‘no issue’ for me?”. Here’s the full story for your context.


Low angle portrait of beautiful family couple enjoying fresh air in the forest
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The Original Poster, OP, and her husband (M37, F33) have been married for 11 years. He has always wanted to work independently (he has no career but works in construction) because he’s uncomfortable in office jobs.

“Frankly, he’s not good at it either.”, says OP.

What Else You Need To Know

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He never quit any job, but he did not particularly enjoy working, arguing that pay was too low. He always said to OP that if she lets him work independently, he’d be happier, and would earn more money.

When the last company he worked for shut down, OP finally got tired of “forcing” him to work office jobs, and told him that he could do whatever he wanted.

Sneak Peek Into The Past

couple fight upset
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It’s important to mention that when they met, they were contributing 50-50, then OP grew in her career and he didn’t, so it became 75-25 (by his request, obviously).

Two years ago, when he had his last job, he said he could only contribute with basic services (while OP pays the mortgage, vacations, and a part of food).

In these 2 years, he had his share of small projects, but his money eventually ran out, and last month he told me he can’t contribute anything anymore.

What Does OP Say?

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OP says, “I know starting a business takes time, but he just doesn’t seem any good at it. He does not know how to look for clients. He’s slow. He’s a bad organizer. He’s bad with people.

The only thing he’s good at, is at manual things. In the course of all these years he gradually bought tools for carpentry, and has made furniture, but it just does not sell…all the clients he has had are my friends or my family.

In 2 years, he did not have any independent clients. I’m just so tired of helping him…first to find jobs, now to find clients and closing the deals.”

What Happened A Month Ago?

Young Asian handsome couple fighting and shouting because of financial dept and unpaid bills due
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Last time (about a month ago) OP’s husband told her he cannot contribute ANYTHING anymore because he’s trying to grow his business, OP blew up at him and told him to get a normal job because clearly his little venture is not working.

OP thinks he behaved like a little child, blaming OP for not supporting him, and telling her that these things take time. Maybe he’s right in one thing, OP has friends who are architects, and they work independently, but she thinks that if you fail basic adulting, there’s no way you could start a business.

OP’s Vacation Moves

couple disagreement
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OP’s husband also acted very resentfully because sometimes OP takes trips alone and buys nice and expensive stuff for herself, while, in his words, “He doesn’t even have money for a new pair of shoes”, but OP doesn’t feel bad at all because she earned her money, and she thinks she gets to spend it how she wants.

OP has also invited him on many vacations (she doesn’t always go alone), but obviously, she doesn’t buy him clothes, and the food she buys is sometimes only enough for her.

“I know some of you would say that’s nonsense, but what am I supposed to do? Support a healthy grown man who made bad decisions?”, says OP.

Aside From Finances

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Setting aside finances, OP thinks they’re very compatible, in love, and are attracted to each other. He has no vices, not a drunk, no drugs. He’s faithful. He likes spending time with family.

He does a lot of stuff in the house, and OP doesn’t have to do anything for him (cook, wash clothes, all of it – he does by himself and sometimes for OP) but it seems like money is just something that makes them both awful to each other.

“I could make a massive effort and cope with the fact that he’ll always be a financial dead weight, but it just seems like this is becoming worse than everything good in our 15 (11 married and 4 relationship) years of knowing each other.”, says OP.

OP’s Final Thoughts

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Should OP just accept it, and enjoy the good things, and cope with the fact that he’ll never contribute anything financially? Many women are SAHMs/contribute close to nothing, but this just seems different to OP…in a bad way.

“Because he’s a man? Am I a jerk? Before you say it: he doesn’t want to go to therapy, he probably has undiagnosed ADHD, and we have a prenup, so if we divorce he literally goes back to mommy’s house without a dime.

House is in my name only. Cars are in my name as well. No kids. I’m not sure I want to go through a very painful divorce because of this, but the way things are worsening is becoming intolerable…”, says OP

Not Sharing Food Is Insane!

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“You won’t even share food with him? I get being annoyed that he has no money but you eat while he has nothing and you are married? That’s crazy to me. You’re the jerk.”

You Think The Only Contribution In Marriage Is ‘Financial’?

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“You’re the jerk. ‘Many women are SAHMs and contribute close to nothing’. Wow. You seem to think financial contribution is the only thing of value that anyone can do. You aren’t acting like a married couple with finances either.”

Sounds Like A Toxic Relationship

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“You’re the jerk. If you have a prenup that covers spousal support then you’ve known who your partner is this entire time, even before you got married.

Sounds like a toxic relationship and you’re expecting failure of him before he even starts. I can understand why he feels the lack of support.”

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