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Author Topic: Wife is the breadwinner  (Read 27207 times)

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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2013, 07:08:30 AM »
Whip out a barrel of bean dip whenever your mother starts talking about it. If that doesn't work, you can leave the room, the house, et cet.


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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2013, 07:13:17 AM »
Just keep repeating that you're not going to talk about it and follow through. If you keep saying it but never actually do it, it's not going to do any good. Also, you can remind them that your sister had a choice in everything - the furniture, etc. it sounds like she's not adverse to putting her foot down when it matters to her, so when something happens (a tour of India, getting married when he's jobless, buying more furniture than she wanted) it happened because she agreed to it. She's not a helpless victim here.

And do warn your sister about your parents' issues here. She should stop venting to them if it stresses them out so much.


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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2013, 07:16:39 AM »

I have tried telling my mum that they are adults, in an adult relationship and she should leave them to it, but it doesn't work. She is very overprotective of my sister as her youngest and she gets more cross if I say it's none of her business.

I posted everything here in the hope of getting an opinion from outside of my family. I guess that was clearly a bad move.

If nothing else, you've had some reinforcement that what you've been telling your mum is the way to go: your sister and brother-in-law are adults, and what they're doing is their own business.

I agree with previous posters - do what you need to to remove yourself from the topic. Change the subject, and if that doesn't work, walk away. It's not like discussing it helps the situation at all, and it sounds like you don't enjoy those conversations anyway.


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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2013, 07:18:46 AM »
I think you are getting people's opinions, it's just that in my opinion there is nothing to be gained by this level of involvement. There are things in your story that would bother me personally in the spouse of my sibling, but again nothing would be gained by saying what those things are. In my experience it is easy to judge the relationships of others but the thing is - people make their choices. This man, with all his flaws, is the man your sister chose to be with and to remain with.

It seems that your sister is involving your mother and your mother, in turn, is involving you. Your mother's outmoded views on gender roles are her own problem, but in general it is wrong for her to be passing on so much private information about your sister's life. I think if you want to support your sister you would be best to refuse to discuss this with your mother. Hang up if necessary. Your mother may complain but in the end your sister's needs should be coming first here and I'm sure she doesn't need a Greek Chorus commenting on every aspect of her life.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.


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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2013, 07:46:11 AM »
To me this whole situation resembles a traditional marriage where one partner is working and the other is a SAHM/student.    Whether she is the sole breadwinner or not, it doesn't matter.  Why should a person, male or female be stuck in one profession their entire life?  Personally I think it's admirable that he wants to go into medicine, and it's great that he sees the example your sister is setting and is inspired by her.


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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2013, 08:10:18 AM »
This isn't about "traditional" roles in marriage.  If their roles were reversed would you be ok with that?  The problem seems to be that they have different ideas of what it means to be married and your sister is too busy to address it, change it, or whatever it is that she wants to do.

You mother is likely seeing and hearing of problems and is pinning the cause of those problems on your sister being the breadwinner but that's not the problem.

It doesn't sound like your mother likes your sister's husband very much and that could cause her to see any problem that your sister talks to you about as being so much bigger than it really is.

Marriage is what you make it.  It's really up to the two individuals involved to determine the roles they are going to take.  That can be difficult for outsiders looking in because they are always going to try and pin perceived problems on roles not being fulfilled properly instead of what the actual problems may be.

Your sister is an adult and your mother needs to treat her as one, not indulging or encouraging her complaints but encouraging her, if there are problems, to seek solutions so that she can be happy.

That doesn't mean telling her what she thinks the solutions should be.  It means saying "you don't seem to be happy, I am concerned for you, how can I help."  You can do the same thing.

You can also help your mom by reminding her that she should be supportive in a way that respects your sister's decisions even if she does not agree with them.


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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2013, 08:13:21 AM »
It's never a good idea to talk about your sister behind her back.  You need to address it with her and tell your mom not to put you in the middle. Your sis just needs to know you are there for her, but this is her relationship and you get to give advice only if she asks. 


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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2013, 08:17:22 AM »
If your sister became a doctor it doesn't seem like she'd be a traditional SAHM no matyer who she married. Yes, she might have a kid a little sooner but would she really give up her pofession and have the "traditional" roles your mom imagines where the hubby goes to work and she staus home? That seems unlikely.


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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2013, 08:18:39 AM »
I agree with others.  I would tell your mom, "You are talking to the wrong daughter. I didn't marry him.  Please call her. then bean dip."


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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2013, 08:33:46 AM »
My opinion is that he is a gold-digger. I would have the same opinion if the roles were reversed, with the woman doing all the spending. But your sister married him knowing this about him. You can't do anything about it but bean dip when your Mom wants to talk about it, or simply tell your Mom it's none of anyone's business how they run their marriage. Sister needs to stop talking about it to Mom and talk about it to her husband.


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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2013, 08:43:40 AM »
How is he a gold digger if he's going back to school? He IS planning on working again, he's paying for his own school. It's an arrangement the sister agreed to.

Stay at home husbands aren't automatically gold diggers because they don't have income. That's an inconcievable assertion to me.


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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2013, 08:56:36 AM »
Just keep telling your mother you're not going to listen to this, because it's none of her or your business.  And if she keeps trying to talk about it, walk away or hang up the phone -- make it clear you're not listening.  You guys don't have to like your sister's husband, but she very clearly walked into this relationship with her eyes wide open.

As far as the "gold digger" thing... I got nothing. 

Queen of Clubs

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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2013, 09:05:40 AM »
OP, I think your etiquette issue is "how do I shut my mother down on this subject without making her angry or hurting her feelings?"

If you've been telling your mom that it's none of your business, you're right - and if she chooses to get upset or angry that you don't want to be involved, there's nothing you can do about that.  Your mom sounds very involved in your sister's marriage.  Is the marriage a huge mistake and a disaster in the making?  Possibly.  But it's your sister's choice and until she chooses to leave, there isn't much anyone can do but offer support if *she* complains or looks for advice.  Unfortunately, I don't think your mom wants to hear that and she's probably using you as an outlet about her frustrations about the marriage.

All I can suggest is that you keep on telling her it's none of your business.  Good luck with it.  It must be frustrating for you and for your parents.

A.P. Wulfric

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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2013, 09:11:31 AM »
They got married. From how it sounds, it is no longer HER money, but THEIR money. Would you and your mom be ramping on about this if your sister took a number of years off after having kids (just play along here...) and he was the breadwinner? Would that be okay?  She's working, he's in school. It happens.  It's not your business. It's not your mom's business. 


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Re: Wife is the breadwinner
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2013, 09:14:05 AM »
We have one of these in my family, and they've now been married for over 30 years.  He's worked less than half of that time.  His wife (my blood relative) has never said an ill word about him.

I find that most of the time, no comment is required when other people want to talk about someone.  I just listen and say "Hm", and "Oh" and "Mm hm" and eventually they finish and move onto something else.

Your sister is making her choices, and what everyone else thinks is immaterial.  Have you tried the bean dip?

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