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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1427
Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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Husband and I are at a point of disagreement. The background

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Husband and I are at a point of disagreement. The background is that we are currently receiving public assistance. This includes some cash assistance, carfare, food stamps, child care, rental assistance and medicaid. We are given the opportunity by the state to attend college (must be approved by the state) for two years and obtain a AA. Obviously this is to make us more employable. We are both enrolled and during that time all we have to worry about is making household payments. To me, this is a great opportunity that only comes around once. We are both in our 40s and only have high school diplomas which shuts a multitude of doors in our faces even though we have been working all our lives. This just happened in April and it was the result of job loss. I have a son who is disabled so I couldn't work until he was three and when I returned, the corporate world really changed. The only jobs I can get now are temp and if perm, the salary is quite low.

The problem is this. My husband got an offer for a job. At any other time, that would have been great but I am not happy about it because if he takes the job, we will lose everything we are receiving and I can no longer attend school. The problem is that he would not earn enough to make even a small dent in the debt load. I means we owe close to $90K!!! My thinking is that if we just follow through and focus on school for the next two years, he will have his BA and I will have an AA. This will open all the doors that were closed before and we can make more money. Between the two of us, at that point, we will be able to not only get out of the red but have savings. Not only that, we are racing against time. While others are looking to retire in a few years, we will just be getting out of debt if things go as I think they can and we are old folks, relatively speaking.

We have perfect school schedules. I go during the day and I'm allowed, even though receiving benefits, to work part time. He goes at night. I am there to care for my son who gets out of school at 1:30 pm (it's a special school). We will have to tighten our belts and live a monetarily disciplined life but so what!!! I think that is great. I am trying to communicate this to my husband but he thinks I'm wrong. I asked how much he thought this job would pay and he said about $55K with full benefits. I told him I was looking a the debt to income ratio and quite honestly that is chump change when you consider what we need to just get out of the red!

This job would require him to work full time. It's in another state and he would need a car. A friend has a car he can use but we can't afford insurance, gas and tolls and repairs if anything comes up. We have absolutely no money. We would not receive any help except transitional medicaid and maybe food stamps plus my son's SSI. He said he would have to go to school part-time. My question to him was when would he be with the family? We have a son to raise! He has been off and on in school for years and always took a job and then school was on the back burner. This is the only time he has every had the chance to just focus and get it done. Literally he has been trying to get his BA for 20 years! So the question is, am I wrong here? Help me to see something different or what am I missing. I have no intention of being on public assistance as a way of living. I just want to take advantage of this opportunity that will not come around again...
Hello. I completely understand your situation and I personally know several people in the exact same position. While I do agree with you and your point of view, I also understand why your husband wants to take the job. Men tend to need to be the providers and also straight line thinkers. He is not thinking about everything that you are through to the logical conclusion that you are. He is thinking job=family provider with blinders on to anything other than these facts. He is probably looking at public assistance as being an embarrassing corner he is in and just wants to be off of it as soon as possible. Sometimes, there are other ways to the bigger goal and he is just not seeing it that way.
Your only option here is to keep speaking to him about your point of view and why you are thinking the way you are. Build him up so he knows that he is still the provider in the marriage and that you understand his point of view very well, but there will be a domino effect which will happen if he takes this job. Talk to him about the pros and cons and even write them down to show him. Ask him what he sees as pros and cons and just walk through all of it. I'm sure you have done this, but you just have to keep bringing it up in different ways until he is able to let down his guard and see your side of it. Ask him a lot of things so he feels a part of the decision. Ask him why do you feel this is the best thing for our family, what do you think will happen if you take this job ? etc..
I sympathize with your position and know you are not alone. It's a tough spot a lot of people are in given this economic situation we are all in.
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