“Hiding the shame of husband being out of work”

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I read an article in Daily Fail this week that made me want to scream.

My Shame at husband being out of work

Jane* tells the story of how “her gilded life is falling apart” and how upsetting it was that her daughter was suggesting that daddy work as a bus driver.   “He’s got a History degree from Cambridge, a Masters degree in business and spent years of senior experience in strategic management”.


Four years he has been out of work.  FOUR YEARS.   And yet he shuns the Job Centre as “it is unlikely he will find any jobs for his level of seniority advertised”.

You utter snob, Jane.

After four years out of work and already fast approaching 50 why are you being so choosy about it?  Thundering towards retirement and what are employers going to think when they see his CV?  Out of work for four years / compared to 20 something straight out of university.  We might not agree with but we all know who the employer is going to prefer.

“Friends are terrified of traumatising their children if they admit that daddy didn’t have a job anymore”.

I don’t think I have heard such a ridiculous statement in years. Why?  Why are children going to be traumatised by that?  What sort of household are they brought up in that they get traumatised by that?  I bet you let them watch Eastenders though.

The reason I am getting so damned angry is because we, too, have been in this position.  We told the children as soon as it happened and they were sympathetic but I don’t think they lost any sleep over it.  Not because they didn’t care but because they trusted that we would look after them and make sure that everything would be fine.  Maybe a bit different, but fine.

In the last few years Mr B has, unfortunately, been made redundant / worked as a contractor for a company that then went bust (owing us thousands) / left a job he hated / taken a commission only sales job rather than a salaried position in an industry he had not worked in before.  Mr B now has a contract position again but it means a fourteen hour day and getting up at 6am.  Something he does because he wants a job.

The first thing we did last time was lose our cleaner.  Unlike Jane who is clinging on to hers as some kind of middle class trophy.  And I say this as a woman who has four loos.   Believe me, I would love to have our cleaner back.

We made cut backs, we had to watch what we spent and on what.  It would seem that Jane and her husband are still going to the cinema once a week.   I couldn’t tell you the last time we did that.

Jane had to apply for a bursary so her son could go on the cricket club tour  “I knew it was the only way we could afford it.  I knew he would be upset if he couldn’t go.  But the thought of people in the cricket club – our peers, our equals – judging our need, made me feel physically sick”.

I am sorry but if you cannot afford something you don’t do it.  The three small Bs know that if we can’t afford it then they don’t have it.   They also appreciate that when they do go on something it has cost real money and are grateful.

Then why doesn’t your husband get a job? What is wrong with sweepting roads / stacking shelves / delivering telephone directories if it puts money on the table?

Why take the moral high ground and look down your nose at jobs in the Job Centre?

What are you teaching your children, Jane?   That pony lessons and cricket tours are more important than doing an honest day’s work just because you have a degree in History from Cambridge?

Wake up and smell the latte, love.  This is the real world.   You are living a fantasy and it is going to come crashing down around your ears any day soon.




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  • hear bloody hear! this is why I give the Fail a miss. It’s just utter tripe!

  • Mummy B has hit the nail on the head again. I was fit to be tied when I read said article yesterday, some people need to get a grip…….badly………!

    Now must stop being so easily distracted and get on with the day job.


    P.S. hope you’re managing to keep your eyes open after your sleepless night. Puppy looks adorable asleep but I sympathise with your sleep deprivation. The long-legged one decided to launch herself onto our bed last night and then looked aghast when she was unceremoniously thrown out.

  • I’ll swap out her ‘poor hard done by’ life for mine anyday. I’ll sack the cleaner stop going to the cinema and then have some money to spare to do the things that I cant afford to do now.

    An Employer is going to look at his CV and decide that 4 years out of work is far too long for someone of his ‘calibier’ and not employ him. Go out get a job do anything, you never know it may make you look differently at life and see just how lucky you are to have a house let alone a house that someone else cleans.