Post # 17
You’ve gotten a lot of good advice, and I think it’s an alright idea to set a time limit on how much he talks about work (at least to make him aware of the issue). I do, however, think that is only a temporary fix on a deeper problem. Aside from the most lasting fix, which would be for him to find a new job (if he is so inclined), it might be a good idea to develop a few new hobbies together. They should be as far away from work for him as possible. Something physical may help take his mind off of work–like dancing, or cooking, or playing a sport. All the better if you two do the hobbie(s) together. Most likely he talks about work a lot becuase that is the focus of his day, understandably. By expanding his range of activities, it would help you two bond over something different while giving him something else to wake up in the morning for. Even if you just do something like this once a week, or twice a month or something, it would be beneficial to your relationship. Another thing that I keep noticing is that you’ve acknowledged repeatedly that you are the only outlet for your husband to vent at. While this may be true, it is not healthy and is absolutely not something that you should feel obligated to just accept begrudgingly. Does he have a circle of friends? Fellow police officers that he can meet with to bitch about work? If so, you may want to encourage him to spend one or two nights a week with other guy friends in the hopes that they will be able to bond over work frustrations. If that’s too overwhelming for him or if he doesn’t have many guy friends (since he’s so stressed with work right now), maybe he should see a counselor once a week, so you are not the only person who he can talk through his stress with. The situation as it is is not fair or ideal to either of you right now, and just putting a time limit on how much he unloads his stress on you is not addressing the fact that he is unhappy and dealing with immense pressure from work, or that you are feeling unfulfilled and un-nourished by the time you’re spending together. Good luck! It sounds like you have a wonderful connection, but this is just a rough patch.
Post # 18
This may be oversimplifying the situation, but can’t you just change the topic of conversation? After he has gone on a while can’t you just bring up something else? Or, when he gets home, can you be at the ready with things you want to talk about and kind of beat him to the punch? You don’t want to stifle him in any way, IMO. He doesn’t have to know that you are intentionally changing the subject because he spends too much time on work talk. You could limit him without him ever knowing it.
Post # 19
As someone that works 50+ hours a week at a stressful job I can feel his pain. I feel bad unloading on my SO, but it’s like for 10 or 12 hours a day you grit your teeth and keep it in..and then get home and have to let off that pent up WTF or you’ll explode.
I don’t have much in the way of answers. I do know, if my SO told me to shut up my whining though, I’d probably be resentful. I took the job because I make a lot more money now and that puts a lot of our dreams within reach. My previous job was cushy and with people I loved, and I made good money but not crazy money. So I suck up the misery for ‘us’ and the pay out, even though my quality of life has nose dived. I won’t be able to deal with it long term, but short term it’s a smart move.
Fortunately my SO is pretty understanding and if he hates my grumbling, he just learned to tune me out maybe lol
Post # 20
Does he have anyone else he can talk to, a friend or family member? Maybe if the load isn’t constantly on you (which it shouldn’t be) then it wouldn’t be as bad. I know when I was in college, my husband honestly didn’t care and couldn’t relate to school stress, so I would call my sister or bff to bitch. It worked well for us.
my hubs and I also have a time limit when he gets home. 15 minutes tops, then we need to start talking about something else
Post # 21
I just wanted to say that this is a really, really helpful thread — my Fiance and I have been going through a similar thing where we have tough days at work, then come home and vent to each other and it takes the whole atmosphere of the house and turns it into a negativity dump.
We’ve sort of made boundaries, not a specific time limit but an idea that at a certain point we just stop talking about it and enjoy our evenings together.