Anonymous asks:

Hi there, We have been married for 15 years and are in our early fifties with one child aged 6. We married late and left kids later too. My wife agreed that she would go back to part time work after our child went to school. Our daughter has been in schooling for 3 years now and I have been struggling with the mortgage and bills, keeping food on the table, cars on the road now there are extra costs with Dance classes, school costs and with everything going up at present It’s getting really difficult financially. 

I’ve taken a step back and looked at all things in the home- TVs, cars, furniture, toys, holidays going back to honeymoons and I’ve paid for it all. Every time I raise this issue of money and her getting a job with my wife there is a big argument.

She says she is looking but can’t get anything, I don’t believe that she is looking for work. She refuses to collect any unemployment welfare so her only income is child allowance which is not spent on the child. During these times while raising the issue I then get accused from my wife of harassing her and she calls me a bully.

Then our child hears all the arguments and backs up her mother- also calling me a bully. This in turn will lead to days of a silent marriage.We have slept in separate bedrooms for years. So this just leaves me with no option but to go to work, remain quiet, keep the peace and pay the bills with nothing left in the bank for savings or holidays. I’m just keeping my head above water. Any advice Thanks C


Relationship expert Jessica Leoni said: “Wow - what a mess. I can see why both you, your wife and your child aren’t happy in this situation and it is stressing you all out a lot.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Image courtesy of Unsplash

“Let’s start with the fundamental issue here: your anger at what you see as your wife reneging on a promise to return to work part-time once your child has started school. I don’t know what conversations you had before you had your child, but let’s assume that your recollection is correct and she is backtracking on a promise. I can see why this might be causing frustration on your side. The jobs market at present is booming and there are lots of vacancies. I don’t know where you live, and know nothing of your wife’s skills, but I would say there was a fair chance that she could find a part-time job with unemployment at a record low. What you need to ask yourself is: will your wife working part-time make a big difference to your finances? Yes, childcare will be covered when your child is at school but what about the holidays? Who is going to do it then for around a quarter of the year when all the school holidays are added up including the long summer break which is coming up? Your wife may have highly lucrative skills and her working part-time will transform the family’s finances, but I think you would have mentioned it if she had.

“I think this row over her not working reveals more fundamental issues in the marriage. You clearly out earn your wife because you have taken on the bulk of the family expenditure since you got together. And I suspect you are not slow in making this point to her. The fact that you bring up paying for the honeymoon going back to the start of your relationship 15 years ago shows that this issue has been bubbling up in the back of your mind for a long time. I suspect that your wife might see you as a little obsessed with money and withdraws from you emotionally and sexually as a way of confronting this issue. 

“Trying to resolve this issue is not going to be easy. If your wife really has promised to find work, then you should try to keep her to that promise. Maybe see if you can help her in her job searches. Find some vacancies which might be suitable for her. Help her with applications. See if she is really serious about finding work or if her failure to secure employment is really because she is happier staying at home caring for your daughter. Remember, even if she finds work, you are probably not going to be much better off.

“I know I am not offering a simple and easy solution to your dilemma, particularly with bills rising, but I suspect that you are going to need to be a bit a little less controlling about money if you want to get your marriage on track. This will hopefully ease the tensions with your wife and your child and, in the long-term, make her more likely to properly seek work to please you. It also might get you back in the marital bed.”

Jessica is a sex and relationship expert for the dating site, 

Need Help?

If you need help or advice, you can ask Yin & Yang. It's quick, easy, free and you don't have to leave your real name.