Post # 1
So, this might not be the best place to be asking advice but I figure Moms know best and I’m sure many of you are marriage experts at this point.
My husband recently took a new job last fall or so. Since the beginning of 2011 he has routinely had at least one bad night a week from work where he’s freaking out and absolutely livid. He says he’s overwhelmed, overworked, everything is bullshit and then sort of takes all of his frustrations out on me. When I snap back, he flips and says I never let him express himself and that I have no sympathy for him.
I will say that I struggle with giving sympathy due to events that happened throughout my childhood, however, I can’t handle this every week meltdown about being “busy” at work. I’ve tried talking to him and if I offer suggestions he says I’m not listening and just trying to tell him what to do.
This morning he woke up in a bad mood just because he had to go in today and proceeded to begin his venting. To me, it isn’t venting because of how ANGRY he is.
Anyone have advice on how to handle something like this? Any sage words on how to be more patient? I tend to handle stress in a MUCH different way and this is beginning to wear on my absolute last nerve.
Post # 3
You really need to find a balance where he can vent and xpress himself to you without it being an attack on you. You need to talk to him about this when he is in a good mood and explain to him how it makes you feel when he gets into a bad mood, especially considering the frequency of it. Also he needs to send out tons of applications to other jobs because the longer he stays at that job the more stressed out he will be.
Post # 4
My husband went through a period of being really awful one summer when he was trying to finish his dissertation, and his mom was dying. He seemed pissed off and snappy/angry (though not in a scary way) all the time, which is not normal for him- normally he’s very even-tempered. He started seeing a therapist and went on Prozac and that made a WORLD of difference. It was really amazing, seeing the positive change in him that came with meds- totally worth it. Both he and I were a lot happier throughout that period.
I have no idea what field he is in and how hard or easy it is to switch jobs within it, but it sounds like this particular job is not a good fit for him- is there any chance he could look for something less stressful? I also know that when you’re depressed and frustrated with the world, it’s hard to find the motivation and energy to look into changing positions, so if there’s any way to get him to see a therapist to try to get him a little more calmed down, I’d really really recommend it.
Post # 5
I agree with bells – try to talk to him about it when he’s not livid.
Tell him you’re on his side and you want him to be able to vent out his frustrations but it’s hard when his venting sounds more like a personal attack. Think of how he phrases things that make you feel like snapping and how he could have said them differently to make it more like a good vent session. He needs to hear examples from you to understand how to change.
My husband and I were raised quite differently in regards to household volume and what would be taken offensively so we had to have quite a few talks about this kind of stuff early on in our relationship. I was probably more like your husband though and just had word vomit when I was upset about work than actually verbalizing why exactly I was angry.
Post # 6
Your Darling Husband sounds a lot like my Darling Husband while he was at his previous job that he hated. His boss abused him emotionally on a daily basis and the people there in general were not fun to be around. He had to get in everyday no later than 8:00am sharp and had to stay until 6 or 7, which doesn’t sound so bad but when you hate every minute of your job that is torture. So you can imagine how fun our household was when he would get home. It was really hard on me.
I listened to him and let him vent, but there was actually a breaking point when I told him flat out he couldn’t complain to me anymore unless he actively tried to get a new job. I got mad back at him for putting so much stress on me and our relationship for so long and told him I refused to put up with it anymore. I even sent him a listing that was perfect for him (where he is now, I know, wife always knows best). Once he realized how badly it was affecting me, he was actually embarassed and apologized over and over and he had a renewed motivation to seek other opportunities.
But there was definitely a breaking point, which it sounds like you are now reaching. We endured I think almost 1.5 years of this before I reached mine, it did take a while.
Post # 7
Take a time when he is calm and let him know that you want to calmly discuss the stress of his job and how he’s handling it. Don’t force it in that moment, but let him know you want to talk about when he feels able and ready to talk about it. If he pushes it off, I’d write down your feelings and thoughts about it in a letter to give to him when he’s calm. Make sire if you end up writing things down that you are very calm and re-read it a few times.
I work in a field that has extremely high burnout rates. It’s so easy to take in the stress from work. He might need to have something that he can do between work and coming home on nights when he is really stressed to release some of that energy, like going to the gym, running, stopping for a drink with the guys, etc… Something to just relax him and that lets him let go of some of the anger, so when he is home he’s talking to you and not taking out his anger on you.
Post # 8
Ladies, thanks for listening.
My struggle is that this has happened to my husband in the past 3 jobs he’s had. This job seems to be MUCH worse by comparison but I guess its hard for me because we work for the same company and he is allotted A LOT more “special” treatment which is regularly also complains about.
He got a 12,000 pay raise with this new job and now is angry it requires a lot more work and I mean A LOT more work. We’re both in the Insurance Industry but he gets perks like the ability to work from home and other things where I don’t. I guess its harder for me when I hear him complain about some of these amazing opportunities I literally don’t get.
I guess I’m at my breaking point because I feel like EVERY single job results in him saying “I can’t do this anymore” or “I just don’t have this in me” I guess I always feel like the strong one and in some ways have often though of taking on a more “professional” career and having him be a stay at home Mom when we do decide to have children. I just recently have had a lot of fear about this situation. I’d hope his priorities would change when we have children but it worries me that he won’t be able to handle the stress of raising a young family and working.
Depression might be just the thing going on but I can’t tell. He has great days and then really horrible ones. He also dislikes a lot of the people he works with and his boss and direct co-worked work remotely in cities thousands of miles away from us.
I’m trying my best but it absolutely pisses me off that my day gets started off with my husband acting like a child about going into work. You know? The rest of the day gets spent with me apologizing for his bad mood and situation and then I have to walk on eggshells.
I just don’t know what to do 🙁
Post # 9
I don’t have any advice, but just wanted to say I am going through a bit of this at the moment with my husband as well. I know that it specifically has to do with his job, which makes it easier for me to ignore his bad attitude, although it does hurt my feelings from time to time. I also know that as soon as the economy starts to recover and business picks up, he should be a little less angry at life; I cannot wait.
Honestly, though, my husband has always enjoyed his job, it’s just so stressful right now with the economy. Once things pick up, I know he’ll love it again. It sounds like perhaps your husband is in the completely wrong field and that he needs to figure out what it is that he really wants to do. Obviously not insurance.
Hope things turn around!
Post # 10
Bree, thanks so much! You may be true!!
I think today I’m at my breaking point, and I’m probably painting him in a pretty horrible light. This always happens, I vent and then feel guilty cause I don’t want anyone to think I’m disparaging him.
He’s FABULOUS at his job but frequently uses the “I never finished my college degree so I’m stuck” argument when it comes to posting for new jobs. Also, you’re right about the economy. Big business has us little guys over a barrell right now. They’re not hiring and expect work to just magically get done. Its definitely a tough time and his team is short staffed. He said to me just a moment ago when they hire someone new he knows it will get better (which his boss has already published a posting for)
I guess I’m just trying to figure out my own coping skills. What do I say to be more sympathetic? How do I not internalize his own bad feelings and make it abouty myself and my difficulty dealing with his stress?
I guess this is all a work in progress and why they say Marriage is work. It sure is!! While a lot of it is a breeze other portions of it really can rock your world view and thoughts on certain things.
Anyone have any great sympathy exersizes? as I eluded before I grew up with a hypocondriac mother and sister and as a result have a very hard time feeling “sorry” for people because I was always guilted/forced into it so much as a child because someone was always “sick” when really they were only looking for attention. I think this is why I struggle so much and am so quick to get aggrivated with him maybe?
Ugh, maybe I’m he one who needs the shrink LOL!
Post # 11
@nskillet: DH and I both work in the insurance industry too, but for separate companies. Do you mind if I ask what city you live in? There are a lot of opportunities at my company right now, although obviously I don’t know what specialty your Darling Husband is interested in..
Post # 12
We currently live in CT about 30 minutes or so north of Hartford. Where are you located? I’m shocked your company has so many opportunities right now! I’m on the Retirement Plans side of Insurance and my husband is actually in Property Casualty. Particularly LTD & STD. How about you?
Post # 13
I think it’s really easy to get stuck in ‘life sucks’ mode–and often times it does. But that doesn’t mean that good things aren’t also going on in our lives. Maybe you guys can start a ritual at bed or dinner time, where you say 3 things you are grateful for. It helps when you have to pay attention to the good in your life.
For me 1) Yesterday I saw a cardinal- yea warm weather! 2) the ants around the cat food dish mysteriously disappeared and 3) when I woke up from falling asleep on the couch, and went to bed, I was able to fall asleep immediately instead of tossing and turning.
It’s the small things that make me happy!
Post # 14
@mmsva that is an excellent idea and I really appreciate the idea! I’m with you about being happy about small things. Hopefully Darling Husband is the same way. However, I have a feeling I’m in store for another long venting session.
*sigh* Oh being a wife!
Post # 15
I’m not sure I have any great advice but I’ll come at from the other side. I’ve been in a job that puts a Charlie Brown cloud on the rest of my life. The longer I am in the role the worse it gets. My Fiance was trying to be supportive by being a great cheerleader with comments like “what if you tried this to make it better” and even though he was right I wanted to rip his head off. Other than him just listening there was nothing that made me feel or act differently.
The worst part was I was very aware of how grouchy and angry I was at anyone that came within 10 feet of me and unforunately Fiance was around a lot so he got the pleasure of being around me.
I just quit last week and I honestly can’t tell you how much of a difference is. I’m not hating our wedding anymore, i’m actually excited. I laugh more, see friends more, sleep less. I’m on cloud 9 right now. Not that this is helpful but other than quiting my job nothing was going to make it better.
Maybe trying organizing some fun things for you and your husband because I was up for nothing and seeing no one before I quit but it did help if someone else made the effort.
Post # 16
Like the PP, I’m the “grouchy one” in the relationship when it comes to my job. I have the more demanding job of the two of us and found myself having an increasingly negative attitude about it over the past 2-3 months. Once a week I would send him the angry “WTF” texts while I’m working or drag him into a long vent of mine and a sulky mood.
He’s been a saint and dealt with it, but there came a breaking point where I was like “wow, I only get to spend 2 hours a day with SO, and I’ve spent too much time lately being bitchy about work.” I also noticed that on occassion, my mood would drag him down into a bad mood and that killed me to see. I LOVE SO when he’s in a great mood when I come home.
If your Darling Husband is at the point where it’s so bad, that he can’t “leave work at work” or keep a work related bitch-session to 15 minutes a day, he needs to be made aware of a) the effects his job is having on your relationship and b)The physical effects that his work-related stress may be having on him. I love my job. I run a very large grocery store. It’s very stressful with the economy and the fact that we are very short staffed right now. I needed to re-vamp my coping mechanisms and support systems to control my stress, because I’ve worked too hard for my family and they are too important for them to have to deal with me coming home with me bitchy every day. It’s just not worth it.