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Re: ER Conundrum
Old 11-23-2004, 07:16 AM   #21
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Re: ER Conundrum


Winded Hare -- great addition to the thread and I think you raise the kinds of points that are at the heart of making the ER lifestyle work for a couple.

I think a lot of it has to do with guilt -- you (or the first to ER) feels guilt about not working while the other spouse still does.

As long as you both have a choice, it should be ok, though. *Do you think your husband really wants you to keep working to pay for more goodies or have more financial security/savings?

If so, I think you'd need to help him understand your feelings about work vs consumption, and see the benefit for him -- (if only the joy every husband knows of having a wife that is happy and well-adjusted vs fragged out). *Guilt is a useless emotion that needs to be rooted out with education and perseverance-- don't let him ;make' you feel guilty, but don't you go feeling guilt all by yourself, either. *

If he likes work for its own sake, then he shouldn't change anything and you shouldn't try to change him -- I think you;ll just need to accept a partial ER lifestyle tied to your home turf with vacations as/when you can swing it. *Patience -- at some point burnout will happen and then he'll be a lot more receptive to the ER option.

If he likes work for the sake of the additional consumer goodies he can buy, then you might have a problem. *As long as there are sufficient savings, sensibly invested, to support the basic ER lifestyle for you both, then you can probably rest easily and enjoy the extra goodies he wants to buy. *

(Notice I am never suggesting that you can change his mind about anything -- the best you can hope for is that he will accept and understand your decisions to work less, but he might come around to the ER thinking after a prolonged career slump/burnout/layoff kind of situation) *Also health problems, stress, poor lifestyle stuff could get him to open to the ER lifestyle. *You might try 'subversively' introducing healthful, exercise-filled fun lifestsyle options that could make him feel, 'this is a lot more fun and feels better than commuting and office life' and get the wedge stuck in that way.

Still, he'll need to come to his own conclusions in his own time, imho. *Work has a deep resonance for people in terms of how they see life, the value of their life, their reason for living etc, and I would say you mess with that at your peril.

Lots of people are ERd with a working spouse, and aside from long vacations/travel, it seems to have all the benefits for the individual involved.

Good Luck!

ERSBob, Thanks for your sharing comments. Your words speak loudly. These are definitley value based decisions and values reside in the individual. In the end we want each other to be happy-- if I am not happy working he'll probably be much happier if I'm not . Ifs hes happier working, I'm probably happier if he is too. .

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Re: ER Conundrum
Old 11-23-2004, 08:36 AM   #22
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Re: ER Conundrum

WindedHare -
Also, I saw from another post that you are thinking about having a family -- that would seem reason enough for any sensible couple not beset with financial need to contemplate a lifestyle change. (After all, we can't expect babies to miraculously happen in the swirl of a normal full-time professional life, can we?)

Then after you've been ERd for a number of years (he'll think of it as being a conscientous 'stay-at-home-mom'-- no need to ever use the term ER around him!) then you can be in a much better position to decide if/when you want to do any more part-time work.

The desire to 'provide for his family' may also be guiding your husband's need to keep working. It is every bit as strong as the 'nesting instinct', and is probably a good thing for society overall!

best luck with all this... an exciting transition and adventure...


ER for 10 years; living off 4.3% of savings (and a few book royalties ;-)
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