Househusband backlash as high-flying wives ditch men they wanted to stay at home
It's the bitterest of ironies: thousands of men who've given up work to care for their children are being ditched by their high-flying wives - who wanted them to stay at home in the first place
At the time it seemed like a good idea. After all, Richard Dean told himself, he was earning less than his wife Louise, a high-flying marketing executive. And did it really matter who was at home to look after their children?
With that in mind, it was not such a difficult decision for him to give up his career as a manager in the manufacturing industry to look after their ten-month-old son, Jack.
He hoped it would bring them closer together as a family. In reality, it sounded the death knell for their marriage.
For five years Richard, from Watford, Herts, had worked hard to become a perfect "mother" to their sons, Jack, who is now nine, and Edward, seven. But from the moment he gave up his job, Richard says Louise, 47, failed to see him as a "man".Well of course she didn't. She had an expectation that a family - a man - is there to provide for her. In her messed up little entitlement fantasy she expected to have a career and be provided for by an even richer man. That's why feminists omit the fact that the reason men can have it all is because the men that do are providing for their wives, because anything a man does, in this case being a provider, could only ever be a negative thing or they can't take it for granted or use it as justification for special privileges. If he's a provider, it's oppression. If he's a househusband, he's a wimp and not a real man.
In other words, this whole househusband thing is one of the biggest shit tests known to man. In a familiar story the woman demands her immediate emotional needs of power over her husband and being able to brag to her friends about what an empowered woman she is be met, only to turn this around on the man who met her needs because he's made himself into a loser for her benefit.
Divorce lawyer Vanessa Lloyd-Platt says that in her experience, the decision to allow the wife to be the main wage earner will have a detrimental effect on as many as half of these relationships, and that divorce statistics in these cases have risen by at least five per cent in the past two years.
"My warning would be to think long and hard about letting the man stay at home,' she says. 'I know it is very trendy for the wife to be the breadwinner, but in my professional experience this decision will strain the marriage. It may be fun at first to say 'I have a househusband', but the wife will quickly begin to resent the fact the man is not pulling his weight financially.
So, despite the common feminist argument that maternal custody is more common because women are the principal childcarers, in the case where the man is the principal childcarer - the kids are taken away from him. And he is getting a fat alimony and child support cheque the way a woman would if she were in this position? Looks like despite the enormous gap in his resume resulting from the time taken to be a househusband (if this was a woman we could say support her partner's career, but as mere males we are expected to ignore this sort of hypocrisy) he has to get off his lazy arse and get a job to support his kids through child support.
David is still very bitter about the outcome of their divorce.
"Even though I had been looking after my daughter for two years, when it came to our divorce the judge assumed my wife should be the one to have custody of our child - just because she's a mother," he says.
"This was despite the fact she was working full-time, and I had been the primary carer. Now that she has full custody of Alexandra, she works part-time from home. It is a situation that makes me weep - I miss my daughter so much."
He now lives alone, in the little cottage he owned before he married, and sees Alexandra only every other week.
"She lives 110 miles away from me, away from the friends she made when she lived in our village, and my family, in the area that was her home. I'm allowed to see her for two weekends a month. That means a round trip for me of more than 200 miles. It is annihilating me, both emotionally and physically."
Househusbandry. Increase your risk of divorce and paying child support while decreasing your ability to pay it. An excellent deal.