My husband’s family has a business, which was run by his mom, dad, and brother. My husband couldn't get along with his dad so he worked elsewhere.
When his dad died, my husband took a big pay cut and joined. I wasn’t initially happy that he was making so little, but he was happy with the work.
Five years later, with the business still not making any money, his mom mortgaged her house to save it so her boys could have work. My husband has never received a raise.
I know he wants to help out but we have a house and two kids. I’m the breadwinner and we just get by.
I wish I could’ve stopped his mom from mortgaging her house so she could retire.
I’ve tried to help them by building a website, business cards, and social media page.
But there comes a time when I think enough is enough. I asked if it could be possible that his mom hires someone else hourly, and my husband can find another job.
It’d save the business money and my husband could earn elsewhere.
But my husband reported that his mom said no.
I understand loving your job, but it's frustrating when the pay is low. How can anyone tell his or her spouse what to do or even his or her mother in-law?
It’s a complicated emotional situation due to conflicting loyalties. Your immediate family’s financial health is crucial, but your husband’s naturally torn. His brother’s and mother’s financial well being also depend on the business.
Moreover, with you working and “getting by,” he’s left with fears that if he quits, they might go under.
Take any further decisions out of the emotional realm by going beyond family discussion to a third party… perhaps your bank’s business consultant, or an accountant.
These questions should be looked at neutrally: Can they operate just as well with a hired person as with your husband? Is there any viability in this business? Might a larger company be interested in buying it due to some particular service or expertise they have?
Dear Readers: Many times, questions sent to me about someone’s behaviour in a relationship, prompt feedbacks suggesting a medical cause. Often based on personal experiences with similar behaviours, they’re worth publishing.
I also frequently stress that any unusual changes in behaviour, do warrant a health check.
FEEDBACK A different possibility regarding the man’s date who kept falling asleep (June 26):
Reader – “I wanted to add (beyond narcolepsy and sleep apnea, mentioned in other feedbacks) that falling asleep frequently, and in settings when you wouldn’t expect someone bored enough to doze off, could signal several different illnesses.
“In my youth, I suffered a major hormonal illness which went unnoticed and became severe.
“I fell asleep in inappropriate places, including while driving, which was scary. This went on for months, and I developed strategies to keep myself awake in the car.
“I was eventually diagnosed and treated. Someone regularly falling asleep during dates might want to see a doctor to check.
“Decades later, the same thing started with my father-in-law. He'd barely be sitting down before he was snoring. We all thought he was just getting older - he was in his late-80s then. Lo and behold, he had a hormonal imbalance, and a simple medication woke him up.
“Suddenly he was his old self - life of the party, and a joy to be around. He had several more great years before his death.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the wife who’s upset that her husband regularly gets passive aggressive when he’s stressed after work, and usually at dinnertime (June 30):
Reader #1 – “The wife should encourage her husband to have his blood sugar tested. A past girlfriend noted that at certain times of the day, I would "zone out, be indecisive, or impatient."
“She suggested that there was a reason, and she was right, there was - I learned that I’m hypoglycemic (low blood sugar). This information is important. It allows me to recognize the signs a lot earlier, and tailor a snack to best suit me.”
Reader #2 – “If he’s suffering from hypoglycemia, it can drastically change your mood. This man needs to see a doctor. He needs to carry snacks with him so that he can eat several times a day.”
Ellie – Symptoms of hypoglycemia include sudden mood changes, sudden nervousness, unexplained fatigue, rapid heartbeat, blurry vision, headache, and hunger.
Tip of the day:
Family businesses may need a neutral professional to help make tough decisions.