Post # 1
So this might get a little long, so sorry!
Basically my husband is absolutely miserable at his job and he can’t leave because of me…
My husband works for his family’s very successful business that has been going strong for over 35 years. His parents worked very hard for many years to provide a life for my Dh and his siblings that most people would dream of. We are no doubt lucky that he is able to continue working at his parents place and make a very good income. He is also just very good at his job and really loves the fact that he can help his dad. I work as well but don’t make nearly as much as he does. Although I went to college, I was never able to find work other than the entry level job I have now that pays a little more than min. wage and offers very few benefits.
Every life decision we have made in the last 2 years has always revolved around my husbands income and we used my income more as just extra money since I just don’t bring in the much. we’ve gotten married, got a dog, bought a house, and are now expecting our first child. We made all these decisions knowing my husbands income can support our family and I would eventually be at home to take care of LO for at least a few years.
In the last few months my husband has become increasingly frustrated at his work situation because of one factor: his brother. He works at the business as well and is just an extremely difficult person to get along with both at work and home. He always thinks hes right and belittles everyone he disagrees with. My husband tends to be very sensitive so he gets really upset when his brother buts him down. My SIL has told me that my Brother-In-Law hates his job and that he is pretty miserable at work. He seems to take out his frustration with work on my husband and its really frustrating.
My husband keeps telling me how trapped he feels because he wants to quit but he knows he cant because a lot of the financial responsibility is on him. He keeps telling me how hopeless he feels and how much he dreads going into work everyday. It breaks my heart but I have no idea what to do. There is no way my income could support us. it would hardly cover the mortgage. And being 8 months pregnant I can’t really go and find another job. He has been looking for other work but no one will pay nearly as much as he is making now. with a significant pay cut we could get by but if any expense comes up we would be in BIG TROUBLE.
I really want to talk to his parents about this because I know DH is too stubborn to say anything but I don’t know if it is appropriate. Its really upsetting me on two fronts 1. I hate seeing him upset 2. I feel like its all my fault that he feels like this.
What can I do to help the situation? any suggestions?
Post # 2
Thanks in advance to anyone reading this! I know it is extremely long!
Post # 3
That is really tough. The most immediate thing I can think of to improve the situation is to get along better with his brother or learn to accept his personality and not take it personally.
Post # 4
I feel like it would be a stupid idea to leave a succesful family business. Especially if he likes what he is doing.
That being said, he does need to change his situation. Maybe him and his Brother-In-Law need to sit down and just talk about why they are both so unhappy. Maybe since Brother-In-Law hates his job ( and your DH seems to like it) he can be the one to leave. Do you think they would go for a third party mediator??
Post # 5
I’m really sorry that you’re currently going through this. I am sort of going through something similar – 8 months pregnant and my husband isn’t as happy at work currently. Not to the same extent your husband is unhappy but still fairly stressed out.
I know what you mean about feeling guilty – part of you is probably thinking, “if I wasn’t pregnant then he could quit his job” but you need to remember, this is NOT your fault. It is a shame that your husband is stressed at work but I’m guessing you’re not making his brother be unkind. Unless your husband has specifically said he is only still there because you are expecting a baby together then there is no guarantee that he would quit even if there wasn’t extra financial responsibility on him
What is their relationship like outside of work? Do they get on or is it the same?
Its difficult to know what to do in this situation apart from – support your husband in his decisions, listen to him when he rants and raves, and don’t stress yourself about it because it won’t do you or baby any good.
Post # 6
First, let’s be clear. YOU are not a burden. You and your husband jointly made the decisions that come with certain financial obligations. It sucks that he now feels trapped by them, but that is not your fault in any way, shape, or form.
I wouldn’t talk to his parents. That is for him to do, if he decides that it would help. No matter how well intentioned, or how right you are about the situation, you would come across as a busybody, or someone trying to fight her husband’s battles for him. He has to figure out how to handle this on his own. I get how hard it is to see him suffer, I truly do. I’ve been through that with my DH as well, and it took everything I had not to try to swoop in to the rescue. But he’s a grown man, and he has to advocate for himself. It won’t do him any favors in the long run if you preempt that possibility.
It doesn’t sound like he really wants a different job, since he likes his current work and the income that comes with it. It’s just his coworker, who is also his brother, that he dislikes. So he needs to figure out how to handle dealing with a toxic person in such a way that preserves his own sense of self and his ability to focus on his work. Maybe that means talking to his parents, maybe it means standing up for himself (calmly) when his brother is rude or belittling, maybe it means a few sessions with a counselor to better understand the family dynamics, maybe it means some other course of action. You can and should help him think through his options. But you can’t take the action for him.
Post # 7
Do not get involved. If this wasn’t a family business would you be calling his boss? He needs to handle this himself. He needs to talk to his parents and consider some kind of mediation or somehting with his brother…you know maybe family therapy would help?
Post # 8
Congratulations on your expanding family!
It sounds like it’s time for a family meeting. I’m sure your ILs would want to know that their sons are miserable and at least one of them is considering leaving the business–do you think there is a possibility things can change for the better? Perhaps if some of their responsibilities were modified?
Would your DH consider counseling? He can’t control his brother’s behavior but he can control his response to them. While I don’t agree that you are a burden it is true that it will be at least a few months before you can seek other employment. Is there any coursework or additional training you could pursue in that time to make yourself more marketable?
Post # 9
That is a great suggestion and never thought about it. I will bring it up to him tonight and see if he will go for it.
my Brother-In-Law can’t quit because his wife is a Stay-At-Home Mom so they couldn’t afford to quit, at least not for a few more years.
Post # 10
right now their relationship is pretty non existant outside of work. It makes me sad too because it really limits his interactions with his niece who adores my husband. I also had a very strained relationship with my sister (we are so much better now but still not super close) and I know how sad it is to not be close to a sibling.
Post # 11
Good god, do we have the same husband??
Ok, first of all, you have sympathy for your husband so right there he is getting the support from you that he needs. That’s the best thing you can do for him.
It sounds like he should just keep looking, quietly. With a new baby on the way – you are about to enter a world of stress and wonder like no other. It will naturally shift your focus. Your world is literally about to turn upside down. Once you settle into the ‘new normal’ or having a baby, then you can start to look at the big picture.
Meanwhile, my husband has the exact same issues with his brother. My husband is the sensitive one, and has come to the point of -unfortunately- stopping to try and spend energy on talking to his brother about how he makes him feel, because nothing was getting through. He now takes a very backseat approach. He was only draining himself of energy before and nothing ever changed. My husband is a lot less stressed and upset now that he has accepted his brother is who he is and my husband has adjusted his expectations. So maybe your husband could try to take a step back in his dealings with his brother and just do his day and get out of there, he will have a new baby to come home to and trust me that will make him forget about anything during the day…
PS – don’t be blaming yourself. It sounds like you are very caring and supportive and that’s all you can do. Try your best to maintain that once the sleep deprivation kicks in 😉
Post # 12
thank you! and I think a family meeting is a great idea! I know my Brother-In-Law and DH have sat down and tried to discuss their feeling many months ago but it got nowhere. I think at this point my IL’s should be involved. Its their buisness and I would imagine they would want to know if they had employees who weren’t happy.
it also would be a huge burden on them if my husband left because he does a lot of work and they would need to hire someone to do that job ASAP.