How to broach certain subjects with my husband?


**Back in October the company i worked for put me on temp. leave and told me i’d be back by Dec.So filed unemployment and now its Jan and my unemployment will run out in the beginning of March.

So my husband really is wanting me to find a new job which i’ve got no problem with. The problem that I do have is that my husband is the one who has a degree in Molecular Biology. (He also has a Masters in Theology but that doesn’t really help at this point) and he is a carpenter.

He refuses to look at any Science jobs saying that they won’t hire him because his degree is from 1997 and he never used it. My response was well take some refresher courses, but your degree has the potential to earn more money.

I don’t necessarily want to be a full time SAHM but these last few months i have enjoyed being able to stay at home at least a couple of days a week. SO perhaps i’d like to only work parttime.

ANyways how do i broach the subject of getting him interested in using his gifts in Science that God gave him. He’s so smart, he can look a something and automatically understand it. He never really had to study hard in college it all just came naturally to him. Any advice would be helpful:D **


first suggestion is not to assume he is wrong…a degree and work experience are two different things and having a degree might not be enough in his field, especially if its an undergrad degree…having said that, he obviously had some interest in it at one time and may really enjoy it, or maybe not…only he knows why he didn’t pursue that line of work? (remember his masters was in something very different) so what you might do is this…

talk about the fact you have to get back to work yourself and have a friendly discussion about finances with him…sit down after dinner and go over things on paper and see where you want to be in 10 years and at retirement…brainstorm on ways to bring in more money if that is your goal…it might dawn on him that the science route might be beneficial to the both of you. however being a carpenter might have some other opportunities too, particularly if he is a good one! you might also want to consider getting an appt with a financial planner…since your concern about maybe staying at home is a matter of money, this kind of approach might get him thinking. if it doesn’t however, and he is HAPPY being a carpenter then you should respect that…just decide your future together or risk growing apart!


**I should have clarified that I do not have any problem with my husband doing what he is doing now but that he needs to make more money. So if he wants to stay a carpenter he needs to look in to whatever will help him get ahead.

His science degree was undergrad, and he had at one time too thought about going into bioethics but again he lost interest. Personally i think that because he is good at too many things he just lacks the ambition to try.

The idea you gave is a sound one and i have tried a version of it but perhaps the financial advisor would help put things in perspective!**


sounds like you are on the right track, but be careful…you stated that he needs to make more money but you didn’t acknowledge the reason: which is that you are no longer working…there was no mutual decision for you to stop working (if you were laid off) and he may be expecting you to go back to work when your checks run out. if you sit down and talk it over, let him know that you’d rather stay home with the kids…he’ll then understand that you two need to decide if that’s possible and if so, what BOTH of you need to do to accomplish that…if you don’t work together he might come to resent you over time for changing the rules on him. it should work out fine, but if you don’t talk about it you are headed for trouble…the financial planner might help motivate him and you!


What are your plans for the future? Any children?

Sit down and take a pencil to your plans while he is sitting there reading the paper or something. THen say, hey, you know how we want (to have kids) (take that cruise) (retire at 45) (whatever)…? Well, I don’t think we can do that. Gee, how are we going to make more money so we can achieve our goal…I can’t make enough… Could you make more somehow…

initiate the topic and bring it up from time to time, thinking out loud about it, asking his thoughts.

He might start to try to make more money if there is a goal, a reason.

OR he might not…he might just be one of those unambitious guys who doesn’t want to be bothered. Fear of success. Depression. (shrug) …?


Just something to think about as you hash through this issue. I am a scientist, but, due to various situations that have arisen, it looks like right now, my best bet for earning for my family is through labor.

I’ve been asking myself…am I "wasting’ my talents by accepting a job that is labor rather than “intellectual”, etc. But then it hit me, yes, teaching is one of my talents, but so is the discipline and fortitude and attention to detail that the available labor jobs entail.

A different set of God given talents. Any honest work that I take and do my best in, is honoring my talents.

Your husband may or may not be able to make more with his science degree. I don’t know. Mine has a PhD and I have friends who’s husbands have only a High School diploma who make way more than my husband working as managers in factories. So…no matter what the ads on TV say, education does not automatically translate into $.

Investigate the possibilities, but also keep in mind that enjoying one’s job and getting satisfaction is also important. The stress of hating one’s job takes a huge toll of family life and health.


I hate to tell you this, but as a scientist (immunology grad student, former research assistant) who is married to another scientist (industry lab tech)…unless you’re a PhD who manages to get high up in industry or a good tenured position, or you get into sales, you’re not going to make lots of money. You have multiple kids, right? The reason DH and I are able to remain scientists and do what we love without worrying about financing a family is that we are infertile. His salary is slowly going up, and mine will go back up once I’m done with my PhD, so maybe then we can think about adopting. In the meantime, we have enough money to live comfortably, but if either of us stopped working, we’d need to scramble to cover our bases.

I always tell people not to plan on a career in science unless you love it, as that’s the trade-off for never being wealthy. Maybe your husband didn’t love it enough to make a career out of it, nothing wrong with that. And without any post-bachelor’s work experience…the field has changed so immensely since 1997 that he would pretty much have to redo several of his classes- genetics, cell bio, molecular bio, physiology, microbio, biochem, plus all the labs that go along with those lecture classes, and independent research under a prof… Unless he wants to put in that kind of time and effort, carpentry may very well be his best bet.


The only way to “broach” any subject with your husband is to come right out and say what you are feeling without assuming he knows what you are talking about.

I know, I’m a guy. Just say it. Nothing more frustrating than to find out that your wife is unhappy because she thought you knew what she felt or thought you knew what she was talking about when she dropped hints. Just come out and say it, please.

Furthermore, being a former tradesman, I have way more respect for carpenters than I do scientists! :smiley:


Open and honest communication is always best, but give it some thought first. If your family finances depend on your income, figure out how you can make up for the loss. How much did your job pay? How much did it cost you to go to work, as in gas, meals, work clothes, work related expenses and child care expenses? What is the difference?

What are you willing to do to make up that difference? Cancel premium channels on TV? Ditch the cell phone? Stop eating out? Buy generic groceries? Cook from scratch instead of relying on easier, but more expensive, prepared meals and meal helpers? Can you pay off multiple loans with a single, lower interest, lower payment loan? Can you get better deals on insurance? What can you sacrifice?

Once you have that figured out, make a plan and THEN approach your hubby. If you simply tell him that you don’t want to work and HE has to make more money, he will probably not be enthusiastic about your choice. I wouldn’t be either. That just isn’t fair.


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