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Should I stay or should I go?

1384 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  DTO
Hello everyone, So let me start off with some background info.

My common-law husband and I have been together for 14 years. I am 36 years old. I have one girl who is 18 from previous relationship, we have a 13 year old girl, 11 year old girl and a soon to be 5 year old boy together. Over the years, our financial strain has really taken a toll on us, and finally, I am at the end of my rope!

For 14 years we have struggled financially. My hubby had worked at the same factory for 9 years and just after we had my son they fired him. So we ended up going on assistance only to have them tell us by law he had to apply for E.I. (unemployment) because if there are any other means of income that is available you must pursue this.

So he did and was granted E.I. Unfortunately, the company that had fired him appealed the decision and won, and we had to repay 5000$, only to turn around and go on assistance again, with a 5000$ debt! We lost everything but a locker full of our belongings and our children, and stayed with his mother (who absolutely despises me to the point I am not allowed in her house!)for a month until we could rent a place which was no easy feat! Believe me when I say that my hubby had to literally beg and cry for her to let us in! We stayed at a shelter with the kids for 2 days before going there. Trying to find a place to rent with four children is unbelievably difficult, but we did manage to find a 4 bedroom townhouse with really cheap rent. But here lies the problem......

We live in a small town that does not have very much for work unless you know someone to get you in, or temping, of which I have been doing for 2 years in hopes of landing a secure job, but to no avail. The hubby just got hired a few months ago at a place the next town over which he carpools with someone to get to, however it is seasonal and now he is laid off for winter. Probably won't get called back until April.

Even though hubby has enough hours to claim unemployment he refuses to apply because we still owe $5000. So frustrating! I say we should because anything is better than nothing. My hubby is not the most motivated person and tends to dream a lot and I'll have to admit that I have followed suit although with some reservation.

So that being said I am done dreaming and I am seeing a very dismal future for my children and myself if something drastic isn't done soon. I wouldn't say our bills are sky high but we just don't make enough to live on. Right now as it stands, we can't buy even the basic necessities that we need such as milk, toilet paper, heat (oil furnace), heck we don't even have two pennies to rub together! On top of that, the hubby has a bad knee which is requiring surgery and even though I have been pounding the pavement myself, there just is nothing here work wise. I am registered with 3 temp agencies here in town and going nowhere fast. The stress of it all is quickly taking me down when all I want is to get out of this mess.

Ever since he got fired from that 9 yr job things have never been the same with him as far as employment goes. He has become lazy and when the going gets tough, he goes into this denial thing. Won't talk about it and when I bring it up he gets agitated, and angry. I am tired of being broke ALL of the time. I feel like I am trapped. I hurt for my children and just can't do this anymore. So I came up with an idea.

My brother lives in Toronto and has always bugged me for years to come live out there kids and all, because there is work.
Hubby and I have fought so many times over the years about it. I want to go, he doesn't...ever! When I mention it he gets his hair all up in a knot and refuses to compromise about it. The argument is that I think that there is more opportunity for us to get financially stable out there, his is he doesn't want to raise the children in the city. I sort of agree to that, but I think that children are also very resilient and can adapt. He doesn't think it's right even if there is a chance to make better money!

So as the years go by here and nothing changes, this is where I have hit the end of my rope. I am prepared to leave the children with hubby and stay with my brother, (he can't take us all lives in an apartment with wife and 2 children)(he can connect me with work) so that I can send money home plus save, eventually having us move out there, or close to. I am just really nervous about the outcome. This is not a soul searching quest or anything like that, but hubby is not willing to sacrifice anything whereas I am, and only with the pretensions of saving my family and financial stability! I just need a solid plan to make it work. I know I would like to come back on the weekends but that probably won't happen for about a month or so until I can get our car on the road (someone gave us a vehicle but it's been sitting in the driveway for 2 months), And I know I will dearly miss all of my children :( , but I just don't see any alternative anymore. Please let me know what you think and if you have any questions.
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Sorry to hear the rough situation you're in and I know it's hard to find hope with all the worry.Your H sounds a little irresponsible and in this situation and especially considering the economy his choices should be about doing what he has to do to look after his family.At least your children have one parent who gets that.Some things that I know that may help:-

-I'm from the Maritimes but have lived in Toronto for many years and for a city of this size it is safe,clean and lots of open spaces and great schools and family friendly neighborhoods.

-There is work here so maybe if you go on the servicecanada job site you can get an idea of the types available.Just remember that these only represent a small percentage of the actual total of jobs available.There are many job sites for Toronto and Job Fairs here are a constant.

-My experience with EI is that if you owe them money that they will work out a payment plan and not take your whole entitlement.To tell you the truth it's kind of funny they haven't approach you after filing income tax.

Just familiarize yourself with the areas you need to online including housing,schools,jobs etc so you don't feel completely in the dark.I'm assuming you'll have access to a computer,but if not make sure your resume is up to date and have some hard copies available.I just want to also add its good to see you haven't given up.Just keep that attitude and I'm sure you can turn things around.It's just a pity your H is part of the problem when he could have stepped up and been part of the solution.Your children are lucky to have you and though I know its hard,try to keep a positive attitude going forward.Best wishes and take care.
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You might be judging your husband too harshly on this issue:

1) If he was fired shortly after your soon-to-be five year-old was born, that was during the recession. In the U.S. the Great Recession (as it's called) was from Dec. 2007 to June 2009. But, the economic issues started before then and persist today (does anybody think we are recovering well 3.5 years out?).

2) An inability to find a job does not mean he is not trying. The Great Recession - the worst in our lifetime - is notable for the loss of jobs and productive capacity. Banks got burned by failing loans and stopped making more, causing all kinds of companies to start hoarding capital, triggering a big pullback.

Even today, companies are slow to hire. They work their current staff to be increasingly productive. They hire temps and invest in automation to reduce future labor costs. All this happened before, but it is worse now; you have more companies looking to solidify current positions and fewer planning for growth.

And, companies can demand more qualifications for less pay than before. I had a business degree from a good school and 11 years working my way up at a top employer. Until I got my MBA, I had two interviews in three years - one place said I was overqualified and the other had a temp role that went unfilled.

After I got my MBA, I had substantial interest. But, I was lucky in that I had the resources to pursue my degree. If I did not, I would be in your boat - unemployed or working for a small fraction of my old earnings and living with relatives because I would have lost my home by now.

3. Your husband is injured, which is a huge red flag for any potential employer. Who wants to hire someone who is going to get on the insurance, run up large medical bills, and then be off work for several weeks while he recovers from surgery?

Worse yet, if your husband does manual labor or a trade, there is a legitimate fear that he may not be able to do his job even after surgery. As an example, I know someone who hurt himself at home after being laid off. Even after surgery and a lengthy healing period he is not 100%. He has been told directly by prospective employers that he has all the requisite skills and experience but lingering effects of the injury are a deal-breaker.

This is important to me as my ex was kind of like you - angry over the loss of an affluent lifestyle, skeptical that I could not find a job right away, and considering leaving for perceived greener pastures. A key difference is she started planning her exit soon after I lost my job.

My take is that your husband managed to be at one place for 9 years before getting fired - this is not possible if you are lazy and not adding value. Not getting E.I. does not necessarily mean he was fired for good cause - companies may fight the awards because they make their E.I. insurance premia higher.

I do feel you are judging your husband too harshly. Yes, he should consider moving. But failing to do so does not make him lazy or a deadbeat. If you do accept your brother's offer (or take other measures), you should do so with the understanding that your husband is a generally diligent employee who has fallen on some hard times (as so many of us have). Consider also the impact to your children of anything you do.

Another thing to consider is that your husband might not see the same money as before for a long time, if ever. That is a hard reality. I got my MBA simply to be able to support myself and my daughter. Even with it, I am making 1/3 less than before. The likelihood of getting back to my old earnings level any time soon, even with my MBA, are slim. When you look at the lost earnings from being off work, the cost of my degree, and the lower present earnings, this recession reprsented a permanent setback for me. That is just reality.
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