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Married to a Real Estate Agent...need advice

DH has had his heart set on being a real estate agent. Our local economy wasn't too affected by the real estate crash so he got licensed and set up with a large brokerage. He has had a lot of contacts but hasn't made a single blessed dollar since he started in March and it was a lot of money to get him going -- licensing, joining the National Association of Realtors, etc etc.  I did some seasonal commission/contract work over the summer which got us by. Now that the summer is ending I am actively looking for work since we are financially tapped out. At this point I don't care if I am a Starbucks barista so long as we get some money coming in.

DH keeps saying "I should probably go get a new job" which is a good thing since his income was necessary before the real estate thing and we have barely been able to squeak by without it. However he hasn't. He isn't spending any time doing real estate work anymore either and instead logs lots of hours on World of Warcraft and argues religion on message boards all day. I know that he is not taking this failure well and I have been trying to keep my mouth shut. After all, who wants some horrible harpy nagging you about getting a job?

The only problem is we really really need the money and I would prefer not to borrow money from his parents to pay the bills. (We're not there yet, but it's dangerously close) Any suggestions? Advice from people whose spouses have been un/underemployed welcome!

Re: Married to a Real Estate Agent...need advice

  • Your H is a grown man and knows that bills have to be paid. Tell him to stop acting like a jacka$$ and start looking. He CAN do real estate part time if he cares to do so, but tell him you arent going to put up being married to a 5 year old. No need to coddle a grown a$$ man.


  • Being a real estate agent is tough in many areas.  Ones who are successful usually have a wide circle of friends and are very familiar with the area and are great at networking.  I gave up my license after two years.  Huge expense and was cheated out of a commission and tired of the BS!!  Your husband might want to look at appraising if he is interested in real estate.  I would suggest he either looks into changing agencies and taking a p/t job or moving on to a f/t job.  Real estate is cut throat in many areas even in the best of economic times.  It is not the fast money so many think they will make and a lot of hard work!! 
  • I don't think being a b!tch to him is the way to deal with this. Any other suggestions?
  • I suggested appraising since it's in the field but he isn't interested. He does want to do PT after he gets a different job with another agency.
  • image jennsylvania:
    I don't think being a b!tch to him is the way to deal with this. Any other suggestions?

     I think there's a difference between "being a b!tch" and standing up for yourself.  Your husband is not working and demanding you get another job?  He's essentially telling you that his time is more valuable than your time.  If you want things to change, it's perfectly reasonable to insist that you work as equals to bring income into the home.  Grown ups work to provide a roof over their heads, and if he hasn't grasped your financial reality (does he know just how tight things are?), then he's got a long way to go maturity-wise.

  • He's not demanding I get a second job. My contract work is over for the summer. He does know how tight things are and has been very good about sticking to the budget, I think he has a hard time getting up the courage to do anything.
  • image jennsylvania:
    I don't think being a b!tch to him is the way to deal with this. Any other suggestions?

    Really demanding he acts like a man instead of a 5 year old is being a bitcoh?

    Obviously coddling and making suggestions hasnt work has it?

     He does know how tight things are

    Umm ok...does he think money grows on trees? I guess I was right about the 5 year old part.



  • I think your only other option is to have him evaluated for depression if you think he's that demotivated by everything.  Even then, I still think his not working and pushing for you to look for additional employment is damaging to your marriage.  What about PP's suggestion of having him do real estate part time and finding a full time job to bring in money?
  • If he is bringing in zero dollars, he cannot afford to be paying a monthly subscription for World of Warcraft. I would cut that from the budget immediately.

    H and I both play WoW, we both have jobs and are contributing members of society. We consider getting to play in our free time a privilege and if we were in a financial bind that would have to go.

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  • image Maryboo247:

    If he is bringing in zero dollars, he cannot afford to be paying a monthly subscription for World of Warcraft. I would cut that from the budget immediately.

    This.  And if he's not happy with that, tell him that if he gets a job and there's more money coming in, then he can afford his precious WoW again.

    It's either that or tell him to get his lazy a$$ up out the house and get a jobby-job.

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  • As others have pointed out, you don't have to be a biitch to be firm. Those two things don't necessarily equate to each other all the time.

    Starting your own business of any type is hard. Do you think people that sell Tupperware or Mary Kay just sit around all day baking, or Nesting, or knitting and hoping that somebody calls to schedule a party? No. They make fliers and hang them up in the libraries, bakeries and coffee shops in the area. They call their friends and ask them to host something. They go to networking events to meet people. These are all things that your H needs to be doing now. 

    When you're looking for work, the LOOKING is your full time job. If he's not willing to make trying his full time job, then the two of you have thrown away a lot of money in upfront costs. 

    Sit down with him, go over your finances. Show him your income vs what you put out. And tell him that it is stressful and overwhelming for you to carry this burden alone. He needs to find a part time job while he starts his business. Ask him to do these things, and set a deadline. "In the next four weeks I would like you to either close three deals OR find a part time work to get us through until business picks up." If you can't have this conversation with him, or he's not willing to do one of these things, you have bigger problems than money.

  • image jennsylvania:

    DH keeps saying "I should probably go get a new job" which is a good thing since his income was necessary before the real estate thing and we have barely been able to squeak by without it. However he hasn't. He isn't spending any time doing real estate work anymore either and instead logs lots of hours on World of Warcraft and argues religion on message boards all day. I know that he is not taking this failure well and I have been trying to keep my mouth shut. After all, who wants some horrible harpy nagging you about getting a job?

    This would push me over the edge.

    When DH and I first moved in together, we had just graduated college and he had a very difficult time finding a job. He became very depressed, felt like a failure, etc. He acted pretty pathetic for a while and I let him have his time, but I had a come-to-Jesus talk with him and told him he could either go out and get any job he could find or he should move out. Maybe your DH needs a little bit of tought love.

    I would sit down with a written budget of all of your expenses and show him how the money YOU are bringing in is just not cutting it. Maybe if you show him on paper that he is contributing absolutely nothing to your family's financial security then that will realize he needs to cut out his habits. There comes a point where you can't make excuses for him anymore with the whole depression/failure thing. He needs to move on.

    In the meantime, if his computer games are costing you money then I would nip that right away... you are trying to pay the bills and put food on the table. If he wants extras then he can get a job and pay for it himself.

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  • I'm kind of baffled by this and by your attitude.  Getting into real estate is hard, making an income is hard at first.  he's only been at it 7 months and even that isn't accurate because he isn't doing any real estate work anymore.

    He's not ever going to do well if he doesn't get off his butt and work for it.

    And the fact that you feel that being firm about him needing to get a job, just something to bring some money in, is being a "biitch"... well, good luck to you then.  Just keep sitting there and enabling him.

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  • It's not being a *** to share with him the financial strains and stresses you are feeling, and to make decisions together about what needs to be done. Are you really that scared to voice your concerns that you would rather end up bankrupt and begging money off family than communicating with your husband that if he does not get a job, you are in trouble?

    I would expect that in a marriage you have a healthy partnership....which means making decisions for you as a team to get through financial strains and otherwise. Saying that he needs to be bringing in an income should not be the death knell to your marriage...if it is, you have major problems beyond just the financial issues.

    He is not even, at this point, giving his "career" much of a go. I do know several real estate agents. It is a difficult career to get off the ground, requires long and irregular hours, perseverance and some luck as well.  Many fail out in the first couple years. He is not giving it the effort it needs if he is sitting at home on his butt all hours of the day. If he is going to sit at home anyway, why not go out and earn SOMETHING for a few hours and work the real estate thing part time if he still wants to go that route?

    For the record, my husband took an early retirement from the military about 1.5 years ago. For a few months, he was unemployed (a choice of both of ours at the time so he could take some time to "de-stress", basically, from issues that arose from his military career) and then he was in school for a semester. Following that, recognizing that things were getting "tight" he took a full time job. I did not have to "nag" him or be a "***". We just talked about ways we could ease the financial strain as it was getting difficult with just my income, especially with my student loans coming due for repayment, and while him being at home was great in many ways (he loves to clean the house for example!), we decided him getting back to work was the best thing for us both - and really the only option at the time...and he very much wanted to ease the strain too. He did not think I was a "***" for sharing my concerns - just the opposite in fact!

    He is underemployed for his skill set and education, but really enjoys it for the most part, and we are also making enough extra income that we are quite alright. He is likely returning to school again next year, full time, but will continue to work part time (and I should have a raise to make up the loss too).

  • image Shadow42:
    image Maryboo247:

    If he is bringing in zero dollars, he cannot afford to be paying a monthly subscription for World of Warcraft. I would cut that from the budget immediately.

    This.  And if he's not happy with that, tell him that if he gets a job and there's more money coming in, then he can afford his precious WoW again.

    It's either that or tell him to get his lazy a$$ up out the house and get a jobby-job.

    Ditto both of these!

    In fact, MH just cut his WOW subscription because he wasn't so thrilled with the way his group was doing and so decided to cancel it to save some $$$.

    I don't thinki that being a b!tch is the way to go either but he's gotta wake up and get in tune with the reality of your potentially dangerous situation. Money, bills, etc is no laughing matter.

    I would sit him down and present him with the budget and ask if he could get a part time job to help pay the bills while he is still trying to get his real estate business going.

    If you think that major depression is a factor here then you absolutely need to get him to a psychologist/psychiatrist ASAP in order to get your 'real' husband back in time to pay your bills.

    GL, I know this can't be easy! :-(

  • image MKESweetie:

    As others have pointed out, you don't have to be a biitch to be firm. Those two things don't necessarily equate to each other all the time.

    Sit down with him, go over your finances. Show him your income vs what you put out. And tell him that it is stressful and overwhelming for you to carry this burden alone. He needs to find a part time job while he starts his business. Ask him to do these things, and set a deadline. "In the next four weeks I would like you to either close three deals OR find a part time work to get us through until business picks up." If you can't have this conversation with him, or he's not willing to do one of these things, you have bigger problems than money.

    This exactly.  Clearly the situation is serious and you two need to communicate. 

    ETA:  If he does not want to do real estate anymore then he needs to be actively looking for a full-time job in another field instead of tooling around on the computer all day.

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  • You're not married to a real estate agent; you're married to a wannabe real estate agent, who spends way too much time playing and not nearly enough time working. This is not about the poor market; because you say it's fine in your area; it's about his lack of work ethic and his ability to avoid responsibility.

    There would be a couple of serious talks, and then I'd be out the door. You don't have kids, right? How long are you planning on carrying this albatross around your neck?

     

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  • Is it at all possible that he just doesn't want to get a job and is using the Real Estate situation as an excuse, ("honey, I'm tryyyying!")? I can't imagine a man, a grown adult, spending their whole day tooling around online.

    My H works full time and I've been working PT since I got my MA. But even with that, and since I don't have much to do with myself the rest of the week, I went and found another job (not in my field) so that I could 1) earn more money and 2) get that feeling of self-respect that playing around online all day can never provide.

    He might be underemployed, technically, but if he's not bringing in the cash, he's more like unemployed. Show him the bank balances, the credit card statements, etc, and tell him that you need action, not words. 

    BTW, some of the larger department stores in my area, at least, are now hiring part time workers for the holiday season. That might be worth looking into... (for you or him!)

  • I can't believe that you're struggling to the point where you're concerned you'll need to have your parents front you money... and then you say that he's play WoW (a pay game) on a regular basis!  I'm disgusted by any adult (man or woman) who has no interest in providing for their family.  ESPECIALLY when you see that your spouse is stressed out by the extra burden she has to constantly shoulder while you sit on your fat azz and play video games all day.

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  • I'd just talk to him. I don't know why you'd assume it would be b!tchy to just have a conversation and ask questions.

    I'd make sure that conversation, and/or follow-up conversations included how he can find a bit of structure in his day and with his search. With care and genuine support.  Real structure like a place or person for employment help.  He can't do it on his own, he has to connect to resources. That should be his focus.

    Then I'd get a second job and shift the ENTIRE household responsibility to him. And make that a point of conversation.  Then I'd hold him to his responsibilities in the house.  ALL of them. Again, it's a conversation, several really. And none of them have to be nagging *** sessions.  They have to be based on reality and what really happening in the house. 

  • You need to grow a set and tell him to grow one too. He is not 17, and although he may be depressed, he needs a kick in the ass. It's not unrealistic to have this discussion about your finances.

    I am so glad DH is not into WoW. 

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  • The only problem is not you really really need the money it is you are married to a slacker. Since when it is harping to tell a grown man who knows it takes money to pay bills to get a job? The next time he says "I should probably get a new job" you tell him he probably should have yesterday, but today will have to do.
  • From what you've written about him, it's clear he is not cut out to be a successful real estate agent.  He doesn't sound like he has any ambition or drive.  Success is defined by getting up one more time than you fall.  He fell and hasn't gotten up.

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