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When Your Partner Wants You to Quit Work

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 8 Mar 2010 | comments*Discuss
Partner Quit Work Job Working Women

For many mums, working is not just about making money. It’s about doing something fulfilling, something interesting that gives them a life outside home and children. For others, however, working is purely a means to an end, a way to earn money to pay the bills, and not much else.

So when your partner wants you to quit your job, that can either be a time for rejoicing, or a time of extreme frustration and disappointment. It all depends on why he wants you to leave your place of employment, and whether or not you agree with his thinking...

Why Does Your Husband Want You to Quit?

Here are some possible reasons why your partner wants you to give up your job:

  • REASON: Your partner has received a promotion or a pay rise. Often, men want their wives or partners to give up their jobs and stay at home when this happens. Their reasoning is that since she no longer “needs” to work, there is no reason why she should continue at her place of employment. Instead, she can spend her time taking care of home and the kids. While she will no longer have an income, childcare costs will be greatly – if not completely – reduced.

    REALITY: If you have a boring job and your only reason for working is because of the income it provides, this may be a way out. But if you love your work and get a lot of personal fulfillment from it, the fact that your partner got a pay rise won’t have that much of an impact on your decision.

  • REASON: Your partner doesn’t like the idea of women working. Some men want to be the sole breadwinner in the family, and don’t believe that women should spend their time earning an income unless they really have to. They feel emasculated if they cannot support their family single-handedly, and prefer their wives or partners to take over household duties, while they bring home the bacon.

    REALITY: Men who think this way are incredibly lucky if they are actually able to single-handedly support their families. If this is the case and you agree with his caveman thinking, why did you get a job in the first place? If you disagree with his rationale, however, maybe it’s time the two of you had a heart-to-heart... If he used to think differently and suddenly had a change of heart, it’s time you found out why.

  • REASON: You are incredibly stressed at work, and your partner thinks that quitting your job will have a positive impact on family life – and your own sanity. If you are miserable at work, your unhappiness may be taking a toll on everyone. Your partner might think that leaving your job will be better for everyone.

    REALITY: If you can swing it, maybe quitting your job is a good idea. After all, you only live once – why be miserable? If you need the income, maybe this is the nudge you need to start looking for a job where you’ll be happier.

What Do YOU Want?

Think about what you want, and also what will work best for the entire family. If your husband just started a new job with a great salary and you are desperate to leave your job, it might make sense to wait a while and see how it goes before you do. You don’t want both of you to be unemployed in two months’ time, do you?

Also, if you are contemplating quitting work, think long and hard about what it would actually be like to be stay-at-home mum. Some women thrive on having time to themselves, being active in their children’s school, and planning elaborate playdates. Other women think that spending several hours a day with children under age five – or seven, or ten – is pure hell – which is why childcare was invented! Look before you leap.

If your partner wants you to leave a job you love for reasons that concern him a lot more than you, perhaps it’s time the two of you discussed in more detail what you both want from life. Everyone has the right to get fulfillment from life, whether that comes from bringing up kids, doing something artistic, and/or having a meaningful job.

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