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AIBU

Workaholic DH still working at 76.

(69 Posts)
Margomar Mon 28-Mar-22 17:30:28

Just had big row with my other half about this. He is paid to run a charity for 2 days per week but actually works equivalent of full time, often at weekends, phone calls, emails etc. I naively had hoped that in our retirement we would at last be able to things together, walks, days out, looking after grandchildren etc. But I’m on my own and at 74 am struggling to keep doing absolutely everything that he has no time for, all housework, gardening, shopping, finances, planning the occasion holiday, arranging for the dog to be boarded etc etc. He has built up a good sum of savings from this extra work, so it’s on top of his pensions. This in the context of us for years scrimping , mostly living on overdrafts and hand to mouth. But I get absolutely no benefit from his private funds, on top of still slogging away at the donkey work. So cross, feel taken for granted. AIBU?

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 28-Mar-22 17:39:49

Get a cleaner and a gardener in, make him pay for it and go out on the days they are there.
Take your GCs out or go shopping, spend some time and money on yourself.
Book a long weekend away and enjoy Your retirement.

NYANBU

Daisymae Mon 28-Mar-22 17:48:35

Maybe talk to him about why he wants to continue to work? How does he see the future and what does he want from it? Maybe he thinks that to actually retire will mean its the end and he is afraid of facing it? Or maybe your ideas are not of interest to him? Whatever, unless you talk things through calmly you won't be able to find some sort of understanding. I agree though that you should find some ways to ease the burden, get someone in to clean, tidy the garden etc.

crazyH Mon 28-Mar-22 17:54:30

Try being married to a “very highly paid professional” who came home every night, moaning about his job and the ‘people’ he had to see. It was so tiresome ? But he thoroughly enjoyed the financial rewards. I stuck with him, rightly or wrongly, for several reasons, three of which were , the children
If I were you, and since money is not a problem, I would use his money to pay for cleaner, gardener, decorator, housekeeper. The worm will soon turn.

crazyH Mon 28-Mar-22 17:55:02

Btw, I am now divorced.

PECS Mon 28-Mar-22 18:05:51

I can empathise somewhat with this. I am a football widow most weekends & my DH (74) also works part time but often fails to consider the impact his work & meetings may have on other aspects of our life. I have to say that he does not arrange meetings to clash with our long-term commitments for supporting our DDs by caring for our DGC after school 2x week. He also does do many household chores so I cannot grumble.
Mostly the frustration is when friends suggest meeting up it can be a struggle to find a date when he is free or it there is some fine weather and we could just pop off for a long weekend... but football or a Monday work commitment prevents it!
I do some voluntary work & occasional paid work, but less than DH, so I am out and about and busy with that. I have friends and a busy life but...

Is there some volunteering/work you could do that would fill a day or two so that chores would have to be left undone or shared?

Sometimes we get out of the habit of airing our feelings and they build up in our own minds. It might only take you to say would you mind either phoning & booking the boarding kennels tor going to do the shopping?

ExDancer Mon 28-Mar-22 18:11:32

My DH is still working 16 hr days (self employed) and will be 83 next month. Learn to live with it and do your own thing - solo.

NannyJan53 Mon 28-Mar-22 18:18:55

My partner is now 71. He retired in November 2020, three months before he was 70. Being on furlough since April 2020 convinced him that being at home full time was not as bad as he had feared!. If it hadn't have been for Covid, I think he would still be working.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 28-Mar-22 18:33:19

The urge to still feel relevant and needed is strong. Use his earnings (at least this isn't all voluntary work it seems) to pay for a cleaner, gardener, whatever needs doing, and agree on two or three days a week when he will be available only to you. And find yourself some interests for the other days.

Dickens Mon 28-Mar-22 18:41:25

Have you talked to him about this?

I think it's appalling that you're left to do all the donkey work of keeping the house / garden, etc, ticking over while he accrues money into his account.

He is benefiting from the 'infrastructure' you are providing - presumably you are doing his washing and providing him with meals, too. The least he can do is pay for someone to help with the cleaning and gardening.

As for the companionship you thought you might share - that's another aspect. If he's not interested in doing things together, you might have to start making a life for yourself - with all that that involves. And let him know that you may, for example, be having a weekend away with friends and he'll have to deal with it!

Don't let any more time go by - you are in the twilight of your years and your life is to be lived.

Margomar Mon 28-Mar-22 21:23:28

Thanks Dickens, you have understood very well that I’m providing the infrastructure, ironed shirts and decent food etc for him to carry on as a presentable professional man. As for getting him to pay for cleaner/gardener it would be like getting blood out of a stone… he said ( during this argument) that I was like Mrs Bucket./Mrs Bouquet? , which is so far from reality,! He would be happy living in squalor, as it is we live in good enough order. I now have a cleaner for 5 hours a month who I pay out of my own pension. I have a huge sense of injustice that our retirement together has never happened, that the only time we will be together is when he gets too ill to work and I will end up being his carer .

Jaylou Mon 28-Mar-22 21:31:27

Maybe you should "work to rule" for a while. Just buy food, cook and wash clothes just for your self and see what the reaction is.

Dickens Mon 28-Mar-22 22:16:52

Margomar

Thanks Dickens, you have understood very well that I’m providing the infrastructure, ironed shirts and decent food etc for him to carry on as a presentable professional man. As for getting him to pay for cleaner/gardener it would be like getting blood out of a stone… he said ( during this argument) that I was like Mrs Bucket./Mrs Bouquet? , which is so far from reality,! He would be happy living in squalor, as it is we live in good enough order. I now have a cleaner for 5 hours a month who I pay out of my own pension. I have a huge sense of injustice that our retirement together has never happened, that the only time we will be together is when he gets too ill to work and I will end up being his carer .

... so sorry to hear this.

Perhaps he needs to experience what it's like to live a disorganised life. It would be a tough thing to do, but if he refuses to co-operate around the house and garden - which are as much his responsibility as yours - then I believe you might have to tell him to iron his own shirts and cook his own meals. It seems like you're being treated simply as the housekeeper, chief cook, and bottle-washer - with little to no reward. A little 'division of labour' is what's needed, not him swanning around all nicely turned out whilst you 'keep house' for him.

Perhaps you really need to think things through - maybe with a reliable friend to discuss the situation with... or perhaps a counsellor? This is obviously upsetting you greatly (as it would most) and I think it's time to take 'stock'. The years will fly by now, and you don't want to be his maid-of-all-work when you're hovering around your eighth decade. There's still time to enjoy your retirement - with or without him.

I wish the best for you flowers.

Elizabeth27 Mon 28-Mar-22 22:45:52

Do you have friends that you can spend time with?

Your husband seems to like working so maybe find things you can join or other people to go on outings with so that you can live the way you want to.

Zoejory Mon 28-Mar-22 22:49:29

Sounds like my Mother.

She was active in numerous charities and fundraising once she'd retired. At 68.

She was the sort of woman that could never stop.

I don't think you're being unreasonable at all. Leaving the donkey work for you isn't fair. Just say you're getting a gardener in and you'll be getting food delivery as you also want some time to do your own thing.

Hithere Mon 28-Mar-22 22:55:42

Yes, I think you are YABU

"I naively had hoped that in our retirement we would at last be able to things together, walks, days out, looking after grandchildren etc."

Workaholics just don't give up being like they are just because.

Sad to say hope is not a plan. Did you talk to him about your plans for retirement?
Is he aware of your expectations?

Hithere Mon 28-Mar-22 22:57:03

You can always delegate or stop doing things if it's too much for you- do not pick up what he doesnt do.

Galaxy Mon 28-Mar-22 23:01:52

Surely living alone would be no different. It just doesnt sound much fun.

Dickens Tue 29-Mar-22 00:26:04

Hithere

Yes, I think you are YABU

"I naively had hoped that in our retirement we would at last be able to things together, walks, days out, looking after grandchildren etc."

Workaholics just don't give up being like they are just because.

Sad to say hope is not a plan. Did you talk to him about your plans for retirement?
Is he aware of your expectations?

Sad to say hope is not a plan. Did you talk to him about your plans for retirement?

It's not unreasonable for a retired couple to do some things together. 'Retirement' is... well, retirement from work - that's the whole point of it.

I don't think she's asking him to give up work either - just to spend some time with her when he's not preoccupied with it. Give or take - marriage is a partnership... what she's got is not. Washing and ironing his clothes, cooking his meals, keeping his house (and garden) clean and tidy, with no reward is demeaning at age 74. If my partner expected the same from me - and to pay for help out of my pension - I'd be handing in my notice.

Redhead56 Tue 29-Mar-22 00:55:47

I only just read this as I can’t sleep so sorry for the late post. Your husband is not a workaholic he is taking the piss. I worked for a charity in management very briefly they never pay so well my sisters ran charity shops. Your husband is doing his own thing and it does not include you his acquired finances are being enjoyed by him only.
Just do necessary work in your home for your needs your washing ironing cooking and leave the rest for him to sort. If the garden or house need attention he can spend his money on it.
You are not a work horse and deserve better you have one life. Do things for yourself socialise with family and friends volunteer to meet other people it’s what you deserve.

Esspee Tue 29-Mar-22 09:19:01

You mentioned his private funds, does that mean he keeps his salary to himself?
You are certainly not unreasonable to want to enjoy life. What does he bring to your marriage? Could you be happier on your own?
I am close to you in age and from what you have told us I would be looking for a small flat and preparing to move out.
Half of everything, including his pension and private funds would be split on divorce.
Spend a couple of weeks finding out everything you can about your joint finances then consult a solicitor. After that tell him you are leaving.

M0nica Tue 29-Mar-22 09:50:16

The problem here is not your husband's working, but his shear selfishness in running his life in a way that satisfies him withour any regard to you. You as a person, your needs, your life are entirely subservient to his. If he stopped work today, he would have signed himself up to something else by Monday. The only thing he is interested in is himself. Other people do not count.

The problem isn't the work. It is him. The fact that he keeps all his extra money for himself (but doesn't seem to spend it) and sees no reason to share it, for me would be the last nail that shows he is irrevocably self cented and interested in no one but himself.

Rows never help. If you want to save your relationship I suggest a course of counselling with Relate, if he will agree.

If not, I am sure you will be much happier apart. Every penny he has earned, especially since retirement has been because you have run every other aspect of his life. You have earned the extra money, just as much as he has and are entitled to your share.

Baggs Tue 29-Mar-22 09:54:01

The suggestions that you stop doing "all the donkey work" are sensible. It'd be great if you came back at some time in the future and told us this had, as it were, bumped you H out of his self-centredness.

He's doing what he wants to do. You need to do what you want to do and not what you find is unappreciated by His Nibs.

Dylant1234 Tue 29-Mar-22 12:10:51

I’d seriously wonder whether there’s ‘someone’ at the charity he prefers the company of ……..
Can you offer to help, pop in unexpectedly to see the lie of the land?

Leapingminnow Tue 29-Mar-22 12:13:03

Sadly I’m in the same situation. I sum it up as ‘other people get the cream, and I get the crap’ as he works so hard, despite being ‘retired’ that most people think he’s a saint! I put it down to a mixture of egotism and a sort of low self esteem. The latter I find hard to understand as our family have always supported his work.