I’m going into debt supporting my husband and his startup, what should I do?

I’m married to a serial entrepreneur. His current startup isn’t gaining any traction and I don’t see it being successful anytime soon.

For the past 3 years, I’ve supported him, his son, and now we have a baby on the way.

He said he’s going to start looking for a job but he hasn’t done so, he just thinks something will fall into his lap. He usually just works for an hour or two and lets the rest of the day pass him by.

I’m extremely stressed out, worried, and frustrated. The baby is due in January and I barely have enough money to support myself as I continue to drift off into debt. What do I do? What do I tell him to motivate him to help us?

  • Yikes… Good luck, sounds like a not-so-easy heart to heart is in order. Give him a light at the end of the tunnel, where he can work on his passions again. Something like, after you get a job, get past the first few years of raising baby Johnny, and we build up our nest egg… past X, then it’s reasonable to try again.

    On the other hand…. you are talking about you drifting off into debt? Where is the “we”, seems like the two of you are just two singles together, rather than a married couple working together. This may be common, just seems weird to me.

    Whatever the case, if you’re controlling the money, don’t put any more toward the startup without a serious family plan. Good luck.

  • “Serial entrepreneur” may be too generous a term if none of his previous ventures worked out. He isn’t really looking for a job because doing so means admitting defeat. Your husband isn’t ready to let go of his dream, but with a kid on the way he has to come back to earth.

    It’s going to take a couple of very unpleasant conversations. He may end up blaming you and resenting you for giving up on his dreams, if he’s immature. I don’t envy your position. Good luck.

  • Ok. It’s hard being an entrepreneur and it’s hard supporting one. The sad news is 3 years isn’t shit. Yes, the baby is on the way. So this is what you do. First, no more money you make goes to his business. Cut him off. He wants something outside the roof over his head and food in his belly, he has to earn it. Sit down with him and ask him if he’s ever considered starting a franchise. If he has a small business that is profitable, it will help him experiment as he branches out. What you don’t see or understand (especially if he’s down to 2 hours per day)!is that he’s stressed the F out, scared, doesn’t know what to do next, and/or doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s not fair to say he hasn’t tried looking for work because you don’t know if he’s been emailing for jobs during those 2 hours.

    Nonetheless, you have baby brain and you don’t have runway and neither does his business. Stop bleeding extra money, get out of debt! Sit down with him and Examine your finances. Patch all the leaks. No cable (just the slowest internet), rent out the sofa, drop to min 401k contributions showing how much of a difference it will make in your retirement money, no new baby stuff (just yard sales), have a yard sale and ask what he doesn’t want… as you are going over this strip down plan to be in it with him, guarantee he will sober to the idea of getting a job, pushing his business to win, or how much this is impacting you and his baby. Because you’re doing it in a non confrontational way, he’ll actually hear it. It’s when you go in guns blazing that it doesn’t help him internally click…. this is all assuming he’s not a selfish jerk.

    The truth is, it’s really hard for good entrepreneurs & business owners to get jobs. It’s nothing they do wrong, it’s intimidating for HR managers and they assume you’ll quit so they bypass resumes. He may have to Uber, temp/freelance, or sell stuff on the street until he can get his next idea. 2 hours per day means he’s walking away soon anyway.

    If you want to make it through, let him walk away on his own terms, but yes, hit him with the financial realities and he’ll start to realize that if he’s not bringing in at least $2k/mo (cost of child) your family is not winning.

  • I really am sorry, but my advice is : Don’t marry him. You already have enough responsibility. He isn’t a man, but a child in a man’s body.

    Again, I’m sorry.

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