My wife refuses to work despite family money problems

By Quoc Vinh   March 31, 2023 | 03:00 pm PT
My wife and I have been married for four years. When we got married, I already had a house of my own.

My wife got pregnant a few months after moving in and stopped working after giving birth. My son is now 16 months old.

I run my own business from home. A few years ago, the business did well so I had a high monthly income, more than enough to take care of my wife and son.

My wife never had to worry about money, and I also helped with household chores after work and took care of my child. He was an easy baby to care for and so we didn’t have a hard time raising him.

However, beginning last year, my business went stagnant and so I only made just enough, around VND20 million ($843) a month, to pay for our living expenses.

Since Lunar New Year festival (Tet), which fell in January, I earned only VND10 million ($421) a month despite my best efforts. The financial pressure made me anxious and I cut down on my personal expenses. I have breakfast at home, make my own coffee and avoid attending social events such as weddings or parties.

When I told my wife about our financial problems, she was very indifferent and didn’t have much of a reaction. She didn’t have an ounce of worry and didn’t even bother to find a way to help. She just kept watching TV and surfing the Internet and sleeping.

I appreciate her taking care of our son, but at the same time, I can’t help but feel immense pressure as the sole breadwinner of the family. Seeing my wife’s attitude, I know I’m going to be miserable for a long time to come.

Recently, I brought up the idea of my wife going back to work as our son is now 16 months old. We could hire a babysitter and I would keep an eye on him or take him to school while working from home. My wife said: "If a man cannot take care of his family then he might as well wear a dress."

I got upset and felt saddened by her words, so I decided to split the living expenses so my wife could understand how difficult everything is and stop relying on me. She then changed her attitude completely and started being sweet to me.

I feel as if I’m just a cash cow to her, and I would have never known this side of her had we not encountered this problem. I guess this is how people show you their true colors.

I hope you can offer me advice in this situation.

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