Husband is depressed and I have no idea how to help him…suggestions?

posted 3 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
8388 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@IngridS:  Get him into trade school?  There are a lot of places that have really good computer training courses, which are more hands on.  Plus, he won’t have to take other classes that he’s probably not interested in (i.e. humanities, political science, etc).

Post # 4
234 posts
Helper bee

@IngridS:  College really isn’t for everyone. I’m in a computer degree too, and it is so hard. Honestly, there are a TON of people smarter than me, because I just don’t consider programming fun enough to be a hobby, but I get better grades at them because thats exactly what I’m good at: school.

Try to have a rational conversation with him. Mostly, tell him about other options. Getting a job in the computer field is less about your schooling and more about your skills. Maybe find an online college like phoenix that he can attend. The pre-req weed out classes he clearly has no interest in. Tell him to keep working on his portfolio, make some android apps for fun in his spare time, he will be set.

Honestly the only thing universitys do for you is get you talking directly to a recruiter. As long as he has the skills, he will get hired somewhere because there is a HUGE demand. Don’t let the pre-reqs get him down because it is THE best major for job outlooks 🙂


Post # 5
42117 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Not everyone is suitable for college. Look into trade or vocational schools in your area.

Post # 6
5222 posts
Bee Keeper

@IngridS:  if having a college degree is that important to him, then what I would suggest is both of you going to his advisor on campus and asking to be linked up with a tutor. My school had tutoring program in place for people who maintained a certain GPA, and it sounds like he would be a good candidate ( and it is also free of charge most of the time).

Another thing would be to really examine his study habits– which a tutor can help with, but studying efficiently and properly ( not cramming the night before) is the only way a lot of people are able to make it through intensive cirriculums.

I would make an appt ASAP with a counselor at the university he attends and to arrange for both of you to be there. It may be difficult now with the semester ending, but hopefully you can snag some office hours of a professor and come up with a gameplan that gives your SO some confidence. Use the school as a resource, you’re paying them a lot of money!

Post # 7
1599 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@IngridS:  Let me preface by saying that I have worked in tech for 7+ years in both large corporate environments when I was an ERP consultant and in startups (on my second now.)  I am not in dev, but I have always worked closely with dev. Here’s my advice:

Gtfo of a regular college.  It’s driving you guys into debt and he may never be successful

Enroll in a technical school. You can likely get financial aid and its WAY cheaper

Start studying for certification classes.  Having certs is as important as the degree, if not more.

Start working at a tech company NOW.  Start in a customer-facing role. Many of the folks in our tech team started in a customer-facing position, and are now learning to code so they can move out of tech and into dev.

Hardware jobs are becoming WAY less easy to come by and don’t pay that well- sys admins are a dime a dozen.  DBAs are in crazy demand. We are trolling for 20-30 dev applicants constantly and cannot find people with the skills

Start coding. Spend the time he’s currently spending failing classes really building something.

If he is actually talented, he WILL get a job without the degree.  Most of our applicants have degrees, but many of them are from 2-year or tech certification schools. Many of them also have degrees in unrelated fields (myself included.)

Consider applying for a low-level position in a different dept in a name-worthy company (Microsoft, adobe, for example.) MS is HUGE and has a TON of openings all the time. You gotta start somewhere.  In contrast, startups usually pay way less but the bar of entry is low because they wont pay- we frequently have to pass up qualified people because they’re not in our budget…so we hire less qualified (but smart) people. He might fit the bill for that as well.


Good luck. Tech is a great field if you find the right niche!

Post # 8
3249 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I agree that, perhaps, he is not suited to university; not everyone is.  That said, it is also possible that he has an undiagnosed learning disability, or similar difficulty.  I would look into learning needs assessments; it has different names different places, so it might not be called that.  The university likely has an office that deals with these things.  It is sometmes called Access Services, Disablity Services, or something more touchy feely like “Ability Centre.”

Post # 9
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

Can he take a smaller course load?

My grades suffered when I was at college FT. Now I do online college and it’s a breeze since I only have to focus on one class at a time!

I would also like to reccomend a technology-focused school!

I don’t know where you live, but I’m from Vermont, where there’s SEVERAL schools that only offer IT/computer-based degrees! So there’s no screwing around with trigonometry when you really only need the tech classes.

Post # 11
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@IngridS:  I have to agree with PPs, some people just aren’t cut out for college coursework.  I also recommend he attend a trade school for technology.  Graduates from certain tech programs make more money than college graduates.  I would highly recommend researching the tech schools in your area to see what programs are offered and which school has the best repuation before he enrolls.

I also recommend that he get a job, even if it’s only a few hours per week.  It would probably make him feel better if he was working part time and attending trade school part time.  That way he can feel like he’s contributing to the household but also going for the education he needs to get a better job and make more money.

Post # 12
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Duncan:  +1 

As a teacher, this was my absolute first thought. Unless he has really terrible habits (not going to classes, not attempting to do the work or studying) I would almost 100% guarantee he has a learning disability.  He needs to be tested.  

I agree that college isn’t for everyone, but if he is really applying himself and still failing I really think that there is something else going on more out of his control.  I would say he should take a semester off to figure out what is going on and consider other options (and stop accruing debt for a degree he might not finish). 

Post # 13
7281 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

PPs have made some great points. He could have some sort of learning disability, undiagnosed ADD, just not be “into” the college thing, etc. I agree with bkrocks that switching to a tech school and getting into the field ASAP is a really good strategy. Mr. LK and most of his friends are tech guys. Not one of them has a 4 year degree. Tech is a field where experience and certifications (and putting in extra hours) matter more than a degree.

Post # 14
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Add my voice to the “get him tested” crowd, whether he decides to stay in uni or not. Even if he makes the switch to a tech school (which would probably be a good move) he could end up facing the same learning problems, which would be so hard on his self-esteem.

Post # 16
845 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

My dad is an electrician and does some work on computers. Maybe that’s a trade school option to consider. Also, if he decides to go back to uni, he should definitely follow through on that counselling appointment and find tutoring on campus. My uni offered free tutoring for particularly hard classes, and you can always make appointments with the TA or professor to get extra help.

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