C.B. asks from New Milford, CT on December 30, 2008
How to Handle Husband's Wish to Change Career
Hello moms. I am hoping someone out there has had the experience of a husband making a drastic career change or going back to school, etc. My hubby just dropped the bomb on me that he wants to go to school and change careers. I hate the idea but know he really needs my support right now, his job is really getting him down. We have had a strained marriage as it is, I just can't imagine him having to work and study, then having to work crazy hours to move up the ranks. How have you made it through and been supportive. Thanks for your time.
So What Happened?™
Everyone has had something wonderful to share on this subject and I thank you so much. It has really helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even more, I am excited about the new time in our lives. Thanks again, but feel free to add any encouragement you have. I am sure I'll need it as time goes by.
A.C. answers from New York on December 31, 2008
My husband changed jobs, moved us 2000 miles (though it was back to where I grew up), and went back to law school 2.5 years ago. And, he just changed jobs again from his old career (engineering)to a law job. His hours are crazy, but he went from a job he did not love to one he cannot say enough good things about. He is much happier, which makes me happier. I have two kids, 4 and 7, who are very involved and I have to pick up the brunt of the carpooling, sitting around while they do their activities and entertaining one, usually the little one. I also have a full-time job. I am, however, excited for him because he really wanted it and is happier. I just keep remembering that it is a short term thing, though it will take a total of 4 years. It is not easy, but I want him to be happy and I have leaned on family/friends for help when I need it. The more you talk to him about it the better, but I can tell you a happier husband made me happier.
1 mom found this helpful
L.S. answers from Buffalo on January 06, 2009
Have you considered working from home so that you can be with your daughter as well as make some money? Alternatively, volunteering some where that you feel passionate about what you are doing is another idea. Both these ideas will get you out meeting people so that you are not so dependent upon your husband. My significant other and I are like ships passing in the night but when we do have time together we have a lot to talk about and that time is really treasured.
If you decide you want to work from home, let me know and I can help with that. I wish you the best whatever you decide.
K.L. answers from New York on December 31, 2008
My husband decided last year to go back to school to get his executive MBA. at first I was very reluctant and was worried on how it would affect our "time" together and our marriage. But then I realized how much it meant to him and that he wasn't just doing it for himself but also for our family. If your husband is miserable at his job then he will just bring that home with him (I am sure unintentionally). How would you feel if you were working in a career that you were miserable? I realized that my husband just needed my love and support. In the beginning it wasn't easy but I also had to adjust as well as he did. We also had to make at least one night a "date" night and made sure to make time for each other. Luckily the program he is in only lasts 2 years and he will be graduating this coming June. But it was definitley a transition and will take some getting use to. But in the end was definitley worth it!
I am also due to give birth to our first baby this coming May so him going back to school couldn't have been that bad...hehe.
Good Luck and just give him your love and support. Which i am sure is exactly what you would want if the situation was reversed.
D.S. answers from New York on December 31, 2008
You guys are both young and if you can swing it financially I think you should let him do it. When my husband was in his mid 40's he wanted to do the same thing, problem was we had two kids ready to go to college a huge mortgage, car payments, etc so we couldn't take the pay cut or come up with the money for school. Fortunately a job change came for him a year later and they provided him with the schooling he needed and paid for it which was great. I think if you can swing it when you are young enough do it, education will only help him to help his family down the line. It may just be a small sacrifice your family will have to make for a huge pay off in the end. A better job and a happier husband. There is nothing worse then having to get up everyday and go to a job you hate. Good luck and happy holidays!!
L.D. answers from Albany on December 31, 2008
Unless your husband is doing something that could hurt your family, you should be supportive.
When my husband and I got married, I was 23 and he was 28. Upon getting home from our honeymoon, he decided he wanted a new career and began a trade school. For 16 months we saw each other at 11:30 at night for an hour or so until we went to bed and then Friday nights he'd get home at around 8:30. Then on weekends he was home but still had studying to do. We had been married a week and a half when that started.
It was hard. I will not lie but you tell yourself that it is only for X amount of time. You be thankful for the time you have together. Keep in mind, once my husband graduated with honors, he had to start out with a brand new company and it meant he got the late late shift...11 to 7. You know what that means. We now saw each other in passing as I was coming home from work and he was getting ready for work. That lasted for quite a while in itself because even when his shift changed, it was still a nighttime shift for quite a while still...just with an earlier start time.
If it helps at all though, we have been married for 12 years this coming February. We have three children and whenever things get tough, we laugh and say if we could make it through those first years of marriage, we can make it through anything. :) You have to be strong if what he is doing is the right thing for your family. Yeah, it might suck now, but what about the long run?
Take care and be strong. You guys can do it. :)
M.W. answers from New York on December 31, 2008
Change is hard - always! I just noticed your age - and you are so young. I am assuming your husband is close to your age as well. Now is the time to make those changes and find the path that is better suited. He definitely needs your support in this right now, but that doesn't mean you don't get to air your concerns - just do it in a positive way. If you are concerned about him helping with the baby - create a schedule (that has flexibility since you have no idea what studying/work schedule will bring!). Even scheduling in time alone together is a good idea.
It can be a meeting to set up structure, goals, and "rules" to live by. Then, meet again in 4-6 weeks to see if it's working and if any part of it needs to change. Take it from someone who has been in the rockiest of marriages and come through it into a fantastic marriage - keep talking and communicating with each other. Stay supportive with each other - even when it seems the other is being unreasonable and KEEP TALKING!
Marriage is hard, babies make it harder, and when you hate what you do each day - the layers on top of it never stop! Good luck, but I think your husband probably should make that change at this age, especially if it is working toward something that will be a positive change in the end (he doesn't want to go study music and plans on joining a garage band as the lead drummer at the end - right??? LOL)
H.G. answers from New York on December 31, 2008
I think the key here is to get your marriage in a little better shape, in order to be able to handle this difficult time ahead! Of course you are going to support your husband, because you know he needs to do this. But that doesn't mean it will be easy for you (or him), and that doesn't mean it won't add even more strain to your marriage! Resentment is probably already building in you, over other things that are happening. And now add in even more work for you, since he'll be so busy with school. And there also may be some resentment about the fact that he gets to try something very exciting and new, while you aren't able to do so.
That's a lot of potential negativity weighing you down, and it can really hurt you and your relationship. And if you're like me, it can lead to passive aggressive behavior. Which never goes over well, or gets us what we want or need!
So I would seriously recommend finding time for a once weekly counseling session for the two of you. I think it's as important as date night! When something is hard in a marriage, and then you want to add in a major challenge like a career change- it can only help to have the lines of communication open! It will be much easier to appreciate what your husband is doing, if you are feeling heard and understood.
Good luck. You're an awesome wife, supporting this choice. I doubt he realizes the sacrifices you are making! :)
A.P. answers from New York on December 31, 2008
I'm not in your same situation, but a similar one. I met my husband when he was in grad school, during the first year of a PhD program. I stuck with him and supported him through the program, which took 5 long, hard years, plus we were in a long distance relationship. And he didn't want to get married until he was finished. I told him he was NEVER allowed to get another degree. I was half joking, but half serious. Anyway, fast forward to now. He's in a good job, but all jobs are shaky today. He is one of the few in his line of work to NOT have an MBA and, with the cuts companies are making, he thinks he should have one to stay competitive, and in case he loses his job. Meanwhile, I am a SAHM of one, our next is due in April, and he wants to start this part-time program in May--I should mention it's in Philly, and we live in Northern NJ. He's already gone from the house everyday from 6:30 am until 8 pm. Sorry if this seems like a vent, just trying to "set the scene." Anyway, I'm not thrilled, but I feel that I need to support him if this is what he really wants to do, and if he thinks it will help his prospects. And here's how I'm planning on coping--I asked him if we could maybe work out a deal where I could have a mother's helper a few afternoons a week, just to give me a hand, both mentally and physically (we have no family nearby). All that to say this--maybe you can find a way to make it work for you (similar to my idea of having a mother's helper, you could find some sort of compromise), to keep it sane. After all, it won't last forever, and it sounds like it will be well worth it in the end. Good luck to you. I think young families have it tough these days, but I also think your support to him will be important, and will make your marriage stronger.