The Deadbeat Spouse – Is It Always the Man?

During my mediation career, I have seen many men who were supposed to be deadbeats. Some had pretty much given up looking for jobs or working in their businesses. Sometimes they truly were the drunks or loafers. Some engaged in their various hobbies, such as riding their bikes all day, hiking, or watching TV. Deadbeats? Maybe. But isn’t this a bit sexist? What about the wife who plays cards, shops, watches TV, goes to her Yoga Class, has lunch with friends, and, yes, could even be a bit of a lush? The children may be out of the house or in school, and perhaps the wife is taking care of household tasks. But perhaps not. I have seen all kinds of situations, and it is now my opinion that yes, both sexes can be deadbeats and non-contributors, not just financially but otherwise. Not a good situation to engender respect and a loving relationship. The downturn in the economy no doubt contributed to the non-employment situation. However, it seems to me that an honest discussion about options and expectations might help, especially prior to the situation becoming a crisis. If that ship has sailed, then the not-deadbeat may wish to consider their options, from doing nothing, to a frank discussion, to therapy, or even terminating the marriage. Remember – all options have their pros and cons!

About wendy

Wendy W. Spencer, CFP, CDFA is a Certified Financial Planner, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and a family law mediator who helps divorcing individuals, couples, and families to review and obtain more sensible settlement options. Ms. Spencer also helps these families to resolve their differences through mediation and/or participation in the collaborative divorce process. For the convenience of clients throughout the Denver metro area, Ms. Spencer has two offices – one in Arvada and one in Southeast Denver.

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