Supporting my husband means I need some support too –long

posted 3 years ago in Career
  • poll: Would you encourage your husband to leave his job if he were miserable?
    Yes. His happiness is paramount : (11 votes)
    37 %
    No. He should find a new job first : (9 votes)
    30 %
    Other- depends on the other person's income : (10 votes)
    33 %
    Other- depends on the other person's income : (0 votes)
  • Post # 4
    Member
    9137 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

    It totally depends on your situation.  In our situation I make significantly more than my SO.  When he was miserable and depressed at his last job I encouraged him to quit and do what he really wanted to do which was write.  We had to cut back a little bit but we pretty much live the same lifestyle now that we did when he worked.  He is much happier and as a result our time together is much more fulfilling.  As far as parenting goes, he will likely be a SAHD when the time comes for us to have kids but that is 2-3 years away at minimum.

    If you can afford for him to quit (and he will still qualify for unemployment benefits, check that first!), then it sounds like it would be worth it.  BUT make some rules up.  When he’s not working on a contract job which he takes from time to time, my SO is responsible for keeping the house clean, laundry done, and having dinner prepared so that when I get home from work we can relax and enjoy our time together.  He also imposes a rule on himself to write a certain number of words per day since that is his main job.  It keeps him motivated and me happy because I would be pissed if I came home and had to cook and clean up after him when he’s been home all day.

    Post # 5
    Member
    5460 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Not the same situation at all, but here’s what we went through:

    DH & I were long distance when we first started dating.  He moved to my city to be in a relationship with me, and he did so without having found a job first.

    Luckily, I make enough to support us while he looked (and looked, and looked) and he ended up finding a part time job he enjoyed and took on a second part time job in a restaurant to fill the gap.

    It took him over 8 months to find a full time position.  

    For us, it was ok for him to wait until he found a job he LOVED versus sticking with something miserable.

    I think it depends on whether or not the other person’s income is sufficient enough to cover the gap if one income is missing.

     

    Post # 6
    Member
    7281 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

    I would start with this question- Does he like the field of/ work of green building in and of itself? Is it the work that is the problem, or is it the current work environment that is the problem?

    I feel for you. This was us just a year ago. Mr. Lk was physically sick from the stress of his job and depressed. Every day was a struggle just to get through. He liked a few colleagues, but upper management actively dismissed the entire body of work done by Mr. LK and his team. Certain managers went to great lengths to sabotage their work. Every day was a multi-hour rant about how much he hated his job, coupled with his physical illness and absolute exhaustion, foul moods, and general irratability. He had spent 18 years in his career field, and had totally lost his fire for it. We talked, and talked, and talked some more. Like you, we bought a house we could afford on one salary (and we already have a child). I gave him my unconditional blessing to give his management the finger and walk out the door. But Mr. Lk is not the type to just walk out no matter how bad a situation must be. We discussed making a job change within his career field, going back to school in his field to get more advance certifications, going back to school to change fields completely, and starting his own business so he answers only to himself. We made lists of the pros and cons of each option. We looked at phased-in plans where small changes were made over time. We looked at plans where we just jumped in all the way in one fell swoop. Seriously, we discussed things until we were blue in the face, and then did it again. It took 2 years of true misery at work for him to finally accept that he had to make a change (he isn’t one to give up easily, and he is very averse to change). But even then, he still wasn’t sure what kind of change he needed.

    The plan we decided on was to be done in phases. Phase 1 was to make a job change within his career field to see if he really had lost interest in the field itself. We came up with very specific parameters for this option. It had to be a new job with a commute of less than 1 hour each way (he was commuting 90 minutes-2 hours each way). It had to be a job where there was very little on-call required. It had to be a job with more fleible working hours. And it had to be a job that didn’t require high level clearances. We didn’t care about the pay or benefits. We could afford a pay cut and I carry our benefits. We were looking for quality of life more than money. Phase 2, if Phase 1 was not enough to make him happy again, would be to start evening/weekend school to explore new career fields and see if something else sparked his passion. And Phase 3 was to complete that schooling and make a total career change.

    He made the job switch in July of this year and he is happy. He likes the people, the much shorter commute, and, most importantly, he feels valued and appreciated again. This new job has re-ignited his spark. He wants to work hard and excel. He wants to be the absolute best. He comes home exhausted in a good way and happy. No more ranting every night. No more Sundays spent on the couch, absolutely dreading the week ahead. No more physical illness from stress. Turns out that it was the environment that was toxic to him, not the work itself. This isn’t to say that everything is perfect. We are struggling with the fact that Mr. LK enjoys his job so much that he is giving it a bit more of his time than I would like. But we are working together to help him find his balance. I would rather be waiting at home because he is happily giving 110% to work than be waiting at home while he is miserably stuck doing something that makes him feel defeated.

    Obviously everyone has a different situation. That said, I really do think that thoroughly discussing every option is a really good place to start. I’m a list maker, so making lists really helped me sort through everything in my mind. And Mr. LK is very visual, so actually seeing those lists really helped him as well. And what helped me help him the most was me asking questions. I found that Mr. LK did best when I asked open-ended questions, and then more follow-up questions, to get him to sort through his own thoughts and feelings. He needed very gentle “handling” bcause he was in a pretty fragile state. Some guys really define themselves by their career and their ability to provide for their families. When that is threatened, it can shake them to the core. I had to come at things softly and indirectly in order to support him, because if I came at it head on he would feel even more pressured and be more likely to shut down from the stress. You know your partner and his communication needs best. So when it comes time to talk, really try to match your communication strategy and style to his communication needs at that moment. Stay flexible, and follow his lead. You’ll make it through this together.

    EDIT: I really want to TTC and at almost 34 with known infertility problems, we’re not getting any younger. But Mr. LK is the kind of guy who does best dealing with one big change at a time, so I voluntarily put TTC discussions on hold until at least January. In the end, I made a decision that Mr. LK’s physical and mental/emotional health are a higher priority than us TTCing. He needs to focus on getting settled in his new job, so that is what we are focusing on as a couple. And knowing my husband, I wouldn’t be surprised is we need to hold off on TTC discussions until he is done his full probationary year at his new job. It does suck a lot to put TTC talks on hold, but I know it’s what he needs right now. Sometimes being a good partner means putting my own stuff on hold for a bit until he is ready to take on a new change.

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