March 05, 2008,
R.D. asks from Brevard, NC on February 20, 2008
Husband Job Issues
Maybe this is my husband's issue more than mine, but here goes.... My husband is a very honest, idealistic person. This is great when it comes to our family, but not so great when it comes to his job. He went into a field (education) where he felt he'd really be helping kids and making a difference in children's lives. Since he took a promotion of sorts within his field, he's had a job that makes him very unhappy. Not only is he upset by the unprofessionalism of some of his co-workers, but he's really upset because he feels that his job is useless and that he's not really helping kids in a meaningful way any more. He often complains that he feels he's wasting his time and that he's wasting all his years of college. I understand how he feels, but honestly, there are days that, as a stay-at-home mom, I feel the same way! But I know I'm doing what's best for my family, so I don't complain. I know he's under pressure because I'm at home, so he feels he has to keep this job, but I just get tired of the "poor me" attitude he seems to have. Last night, he was complaining again, and I mentioned that many, many people have jobs they hate, but they do them anyway, because they have to, and maybe he could look on the bright side-- that he has a good family, that he makes decent money, and that he has the education and opportunity to change jobs eventually-- a chance that many other people ever get. I thought this might make him rethink his attitude, but instead he just blew up-- told me that it just made him feel worse, that he'd rather I not say anything if I was going to belittle his feelings, etc. I was surprised, and I admit that I spoke next without thinking-- I told him that if he wanted to feel sorry for himself, maybe he'd better do it elsewhere instead of ruining my day (not very nice of me, I know). So he went off to bed and hasn't spoken to me since. This is unlike both of us-- we certainly argue from time to time, but we usually make up quickly. So, my question is--- what to do next? I know I need to be more understanding, but what can I say that will make him feel better, not worse? Incidentally, we live in a very small town, so finding a new job may not be feasible, at least for a few years. I definitely shouldn't have snapped at him like that, so any advice on what to do or say now would be great. Thanks!!
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So What Happened?™
Wow!! Ladies, you are amazing! I really, really appreciate all the helpful hints, the kicks in the rear that I needed, and the reassurance you all offered me. I apologized to my husband for snapping at him, he apologized for whining, and we both agreed that I need to listen without commenting at first, and offer to help later, if it's wanted. (I want to be a "fixer" sometimes he needs that, but sometimes he just needs a listener!) We're also working on being more positive with each other so that we each know we have love and support at home, first and foremost. Thank you all so much!!
C.D. answers from Myrtle Beach on February 20, 2008
Perhaps you could tell him exactly what you just told us. That you appreciate the fact that his current job is not very rewarding, and that you can sympathize because being a stay at home mom is not always very rewarding either. Acknowledge the fact that you are both a little stressed out because you are both making sacrifices. I've said this before on other posts, but it really is the best bit of marriage advice I have ever heard: If you're going to fight, fight FOR the relationship. Yes, you do need to apologize for invalidating his feelings. And he needs to quit coming home and unloading all of his workday misery on you. Talking to you about his day is one thing, using you as a sounding board is a whole other story. Instead of letting him go on and on about how much he hates his job, throw him a curveball: ask him what he's going to do about it. You were on the right track by telling him to focus on the positive, but your mistake was insisting that he should suck it up and get over it. No one is ever going to accept being unhappy, nor should they (and that includes you). Resigning yourselves to being unhappy is never in anyone's best interest, and the false sense of security it provides is only temporary. Repressed feelings ALWAYS find an outlet. A very positive thing to do would be to turn these problems into solutions. If he really hates that job, what are his other options? Is there something he can do in addition to his current job that would give him more satisfaction (like volunteering his time to the Boys and Girls Club)? Maybe the town you live in just doesn't have enough opportunities. Maybe if you had a job, he could accept something more satisfying even if it paid less. Sit down together and lay all your options out on the table, literally, write them down. Give equal and fair consideration to each other's ideas. Surely there is a fix that you can both agree on. The only problems are those without solutions. When he sees you putting real effort into trying to help him with this, what he hears is, "I love you and I'm on your side." Who doesn't want to hear that? And who has time to be miserable when you're busy making plans for a brighter future?
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M.F. answers from Atlanta on February 20, 2008
A job change is stressful in it's own right and many times we say things we don't really mean to say to our loved ones. I'd just tell him what you said to us. However my feelings are he can still make a difference it may not be the same like his last position but he can still make a difference. I did in my own little corner of my world at my job you just have to see that if you do something to help one person or 1000 a change is a change and you did it. About the children and you being home well it's a job to and it's better that you are able to sacrifice as you and your husband should for your children (and many others before you have) instead of having someone else be their influence like a sitter. Now don't get me wrong there's nothing wrong with sitters or daycares but what a great thing it is for you to be there for them some children never have that except at night when a parent picks them up and has a few hours with them before their bed time. I am what I call a mother of privledge in that manner I'm a 24/7 mom no holidays no weekends but I get to spend a few short years taking care of my family instead of trading my pay check to a sitter and seeing my kids a few hours. I have been there and done that so I can speak from my own experience.
About your husband one last thing my husband said to me once when I was short on temper and attitude with him as he was telling me something. He said " I tell you things I don't share with others you are my wife and I feel I can bend your ear without complaints or judgment". I asked myself would I've acted the same way with a girlfriend? my answer was no so then and there I thought I should treat him even better then a girlfriend he is for that matter my bestfriend I mean if he wasn't why would I of married him? After that I listen to my husband and I tell him your bad days are my bad days but it's my job to tell you what you told me when we were homeless 5 1/2 yrs ago "come on I have enough faith for the both of us I'll drag you up the hill of success or whatever I'm your bestfriend". Then I do just that I tell him things will get better, you can do this I'm standing right next to you. Then we go on to another day of life and try our best to enjoy it I mean why not? I have a home (rented but a home), I have food, heat, a vehicle that runs (a 1990van) and pretty much a healthy family. I don't know if this really helps you I hope it does in some manner I hope you both find peace with each other and just realize you may have just had a bad day like everyone else can. My thought are with you.
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A.C. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
My husband and I had the same thing, only reverse, I was working and he was a SAHD. Both of us needed a way in which we could put our passion for lifting others from bad to better situations and helping others in general. My job used to do it until I got a "promotion" then I was stuck behind a desk. We found volunteer service through our church saved our sanity and our marriage. He (your husband) has a strong passion for helping kids. You are home and working to make your home and family a productive and positive unit. Both of you may want to leave your jobs a couple times a week or a couple times a month and give your talents to those less fortunate. With a 30 month old, this is not so hard and you can bring him with you.
Now, as for going to bed without speaking and still mad...I know you have a hundred emails by now saying that has to be a stict no-no and you have to make it a rule. Even if it means you both stay up all night and fall asleep on the couch! If you can say to the world in your email that you were a little harsh and spoke without thinking the statement through, then you can say it to him. After my husband and I had our first argument like that, I noted it in my journal and every year I tell him happy anniversary on that date. It signals the first time I realized that we could work anything out if we both put our minds to it and led from our hearts. Hope this helps.
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Y.R. answers from Savannah on February 21, 2008
I think you need to just validate his feelings when he gets into the "poor me". Many people who may have thankless jobs may complain to others and feel that when someone tells them to stop complaining you are belittling their complaint. What they dont see is how often they complain and how it affects their surroundings.
Sit down with your spouse. You need your feelings validated too if your mom duties go unappreciated from time to time. I would recommend a little sit down to voice what it is that really bothers him at work, how to express those feelings to you without disrupting your evening, and accept what is a reasonable expectation of time to be upset. If you set those boundaries you will understand what is acceptable and what is out of the norm. We all have bad days at work, some can handle it better than others, but even in a loving and honest relationship we cant be mind readers.
I hope this helps. :)
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L.H. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
R., what a tender heart you have! NEVER turn from it. Forgiveness and love ARE what marriage is all about! You both are in tough spots... YOU want the best for your husband and your family.You've listened but don't know the next step. HE wants fulfillment (people so often find their identity in their profession VS. the entirety of their life.)
YOU BOTH NEED A REST... Consider a special time together, a weekend get away called, A WEEKEND TO REMEMBER... coming to Atlanta shortly. (I'm not affiliated with them but went to this life-changing event and found peace and strength and RESOURCES that helped BOTH of us). Their web address is: paste this next line into your web-search tool.
I KNOW THIS WILL HELP BOTH OF YOU! Give it a shot! L.
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D.T. answers from Atlanta on February 20, 2008
Husbands are under the assumption most of the time that they are supposed to be satisfied in their chosen positions in life - husband, father, breadwinner, etc.
Husbands become frustrated when they had high hopes of something only to have their hopes dashed because of policy, attitudes, lack of communication and unreasonable demands.
So they complain about it. And rightfully so.
What I see your husband doing is trying to figure out a way to do what he wants in his career that brings fullness and satisfaction to his life and that of his family. So, he complains, ponders, stomps his foot, worries and generally feels bad about feeling bad - especially in front of the one person that he wants to impress most - you.
My own husband does this everyday because he hates his job. So I let him rant and rave and get upset. Then I put my foot down and tell him to stop feeling sorry for himself and do something about it. Actions speak louder than words and thinking outside the box, I'll give him a few suggestions.
At first, he resents my intrusion on his pity party. Then he thinks about it for a few days and gets back with me on it. When he does, he's calm and reasonable about where his direction should be focused.
I don't personally advocate sitting by and letting someone garner a lot of pity from those around them about situations that they have the intelligence and health to do something about. I will help all I can to include putting in resumes online or wherever I see a job opening that he might be interested in (of course, I let him know so he can be prepared). I'm his partner in life through the good and the bad and a lot of the ugly as well and he knows it.
Just like your husband knows it about you. He also knows that whatever frustrations you feel in your OWN life, you can rant and rave, too, and he'll be there to help you understand it. Just like you did for him this time. Apologize for blowing up but you guys need to sit down calmly and discuss the frustrations. Your partnership is equal in all aspects - including all the emotions and responsibilities.
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M.G. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
Hi R.! Here's the bottom line. He feels stifled and unhappy in his job and the fact that he must stay there in order to support his family whom he loves, makes him feel worse and even trapped. Then he probably feels guilty for feeling that way in the first place. You also feel a little stifled at times, but you say you do what you have to do (something women are good at). I also get that you want to tell him (again, as a lot of women want to) to stand up, be a man and stop complaining. I understand your feelings. But he will think that you don't understand his feelings. This is classic. This is what I get from what you wrote. To me, this is just so simple. Everyone deserves to go through life happy and fulfilled creatively. He deserves it and so do you. So, you encourage each other to find that fulfillment. Sit him down and tell him you understand his need to be happy in his job. Tell him he's not stuck there. Tell him you'd encourage him while he still supports the family to find an alternative solution (an at home kids counseling or workshop business etc..anything that would fulfill him). Then tell him some ideas you have maybe for your fulfillment too. Happy people make happy couples and happy couples raise happy children. Don't let the old fashioned ideas that you must do what you have to do out of duty and be unhappy and unfulfilled all your life stay with you. Break out of that old way of thinking. You and your husband both were meant to be happy. I'm wishing you peace and love.
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D.F. answers from Atlanta on February 20, 2008
Hi R. -- I've had such a crappy week at work that all I ever want my husband to do is listen to me. It's hard not to try to make suggestions...I've had a hard time just listening to my husband, too. Hopefully your husband does the same for you when you are feeling stressed and under appreciated.
Good luck to you! It's hard when we have to destress around the ones we love. Nobody here at work wants to hear me complain. Thank goodness for the cats! :)
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T.B. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
I have dealt with this same situation with my husband. My husband is the love of my life and I could not imagine my life without him but there have been times where I got frustrated by his negative attitude.
I tried and tried to counsel him and help "solve" his problems but always hit a dead end and ended up feeling bad for trying to help. I will tell you what worked for us, I prayed and prayed and prayed for my husband. I prayed that God would calm his spirit, I prayed that God would give him other opporotunities. But the biggest thing I did was to become the most loving and supportive wife I could. It was tough to forget about my issues and my problems but for 2 weeks I focused completly on taking care of him. I woke up early to make him breakfast, I had the house clean and kids calm for him. If things got crazy and dinner I took control. I spend so much time lifting him up, commenting on how nice he looked and how much I loved him and how great a father he was. At first, it wore me out but now it is second nature. AND now he is much more positive. He did not immediatly go look for a new job and his situtation at work did not immediately change but his attitude towards me and the way he talked about his problems did change. He fed off my comments and we eventually ended up spending more time talking about the good and positive things that happened in during the day that the negative things rarely came up. And when the negative things do come up I can handle them better! Remember, PRAY, LOVE and LISTEN!
I hope this helps!
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S.J. answers from Augusta on February 21, 2008
First off I would like to say I'm so sorry you and your husband are having to go through this. It is a difficult place to be, if you let it be. One thing I had to learn the hard way, over and over again is we all have different ways of dealing with stresses in our lives and one way is not better than the other. I am 35, have been married for 13 years, have 6 children and have been a SAHM for at least 10 years. My husband is a teacher and had the idea that he would change the world. He had so much passion for what he was doing, unfortunately he began to see people's true colors and realized that the majority of the people he worked with were looking for a paycheck and that's it. That crushed a dream, a goal he set for himself. Men are like that, he looks at this one thing as a complete failure. He can't rationalize right now because he is too emotional about the situation. He can't see that he has a good family, decent money and such,(believe me, he knows these things) he has lost a level of control in his life and he is trying to figure out how to handle it all. When we add our inability to understand their dilemma, our own stresses, and just everyday life...feelings will get hurt.
I have learned over the years that it is not the man that keeps everything from falling apart. It is the woman! The reason why? Because she does it and everything else while the man believes he's the one in charge! Do you understand my meaning? We have to be overly patient, kind, loving, understanding,strong, humble...and still demand the respect given a Queen.
In your heart you know what is right and only you know how to deal with your husband. If you were in his shoes and you were acting the way he is, how would you expect him to deal with the situation?
If it is okay I will pray for you and your husband. I hope you are able to relate to something I said. Be blessed.
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C.C. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
My husband has a job he is really good at but is really bored and just hates it. He wants to work as an educator but knows that having two teachers can't support his lifestyle. He plans on retiring at 50 and becoming an educator. When he starts on these pitty parties. I remind him he can go and be an educator however we will have to move and slim down on luxuries. Most of the time he is just venting. I would suggest you just sit down and have a heart to heart. Just be open and maybe apologize for the outburst but stand your ground on your point. Let him know how crappy it makes you feel during his pitty party. Good luck men can be so sensitive.
J.D. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
I have been in this exact situation! The main thing to remember is that if your husband is happy, you will be happy too, and vice versa. In dealing with my husband's job woes we have both realized life is too short to be miserable and unfulfilled in any part of it. It's your job to be his biggest cheerleader - encourage him to start looking elsewhere. Realize that it will take time for this situation to resolve itself and that you both need to hang in there and love each other. Good luck!
A.M. answers from Augusta on February 21, 2008
I would apologize right away. Remember that as his wife, you have committed to be the person who cares about everything he feels. If he hates his job, he probably doesn't like to be there... the last thing I'm sure either of you want is to have home be somewhere he doesn't want to be, either. He needs to feel loved and know that you feel for him - and who knows? He might find another job sooner than either of you think!
L.G. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
Well we had many of the same issues. I was a SAHM and my husband came hope complaining all the time about his boss and how incompetent folks were that he worked with. Finally, he did leave and has started his own business - which is stressful financially - but it pointed out to him how hard it is to be the boss and lots of the things he was complaining about were things he was doing now that he was running the show. The point is I acted exactly like you in that I finally got to where I didn't want to hear him complain anymore. We did have fights about the "depressed attitude." I think that seeing things from another perspective is great and perhaps that is what you were trying to do when you pointed out how good you have it. Sometimes I've found that they just want to complain and you just have to listen and not try to "Fix" the problem. HOWEVER, after awhile it just gets to be too depressing to listen to. This might sound a little pollyanna but...is there any chance that you and your husband could find an opportunity to volunteer with a group that actually does help the kids he seeks to serve? Boys & Girls Club / scouting, etc. I know it sounds like - jeez aren't we busy enough but just maybe it would help. By not just telling him to go do something but that you would like to help him too, maybe it would help you work together to do the good he spent years studying to do. Best of luck.
A.H. answers from Columbia on February 21, 2008
I would advise that you arrange child care for the night and surprise him with a romantic meal and maybe even a vase of flowers with candles and everything. Eventhough he is a man he will appreciate your efforts for him.
Sounds like you both could use a quiet night for just the two of you.
I would also admit your wrong doings and ask for forgiveness and lack of sensitivity. I am a stay-at-home mom too and sometimes the stress can get to our husbands. It is a lot of responsiblity to be "sole" provider.
Good luck to you and your family.
S.H. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
CAn't he just look for another job in the education field?
D.P. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
I would try several things. 1. Suggest to him he discuss this with a good friend - get a 3rd party opinion. I know it's painful, but kids and spouses listen to others more than they listen to us. 2. See if he wants to change careers, it's not a big deal, people do it all the time. Maybe he wants to go back to school in the evenings for some further training. This puts more of a burden on you, but it's only for a while and it will make your life easier in the long run. 3. He could start a journal - write down all the negative things for the day on one side and write down positive things he can do to improve his life on the other. He needs to start doing something instead of just complaining. Suggest these things in a very positive way at a time when he appears to be receptive to ideas. The last part of the day, in bed is not the place to have serious discussions. Maybe a Sunday Morning over reading the paper, hand him the job section and start the conversation that way. Maybe there is something else behind it - I know it's a "guy" thing, but sometimes I notice my husband comploaining about his job/the kids etc and he really only wants my attention. Sometimes I'm so caught up in all the other things I have to do, I forget he's just a big kid. I wish you the best of luck - I know what you're going through.
A.A. answers from Atlanta on February 20, 2008
Good morning R.,
Let me first start off by saying that, no matter what your husband complain about, you as a wife should be there to listen. I know your a stay-at-mom and days can be rough but look on the bright side; you have a husband who goes to work to provide for his family and although he may not like his work atomoshere, he should be able to come home to his "wife" and talk to her, whether he is complaining, venting out to you or whatever the case may be. You should listen, and I agree with you, it wasn't nice what you said about him ruining your day by complaining. But now that it's all been said and done, what do you do?
I would say you should first start off by apologizing, tell him how sorry you were and for not being there, when he needed you. (I know you rather him complain about his workplace to you, rather than finding a comfort zone elsewhere)...sit down with him and discuss in depths the problems he's having, who knows you might be able to give him advice on how to better his days.
Good Luck and I hoped I help!
L.K. answers from Boston on February 21, 2008
I feel like I know exactly what you're talking about. My husband and I have the same issue every once in a while. I get overwhelmed and feel isolated at times being at home. I know I'm doing what is best for my family, but it's not easy. Taking good care of a child, educating them to meet milestones, cleaning, laundry, cooking, shopping, it can take it out of you. And then to have a husband complain about job disatisfaction can push you over the edge.
I suggest letting him vent. i've tried the "different perspective" approach, but he really just wants to vent, not be essentially told that it's his outlook that's the problem. I wait until he's cooled down and in a better mood, and in a sincere tone (not angry) say that these are my concerns. I feel stressed from some of my day to day with staying home with our child, but I know it's the best thing. Yet, I miss not having more interactions with adults, like when I worked. I miss not earning a pay check so I can help and go out more. But I think what I do matters even if it's not alway appreciated by others in society. I want you to know that when you come home and complain to me it sort of makes my day a little worse. YOu're the only adult I typically talk to, and when you come home in a bad mood, it makes my world less full filling and sad. I want to help you, but I can't. I'm not the one who's going to your work every day, so you need to be the judge of whether it's worth it or not. I just want what's best for our family. Maybe a job change/move is something we can consider when our youngest is X age.
Make sure he knows that you're on his side, but with having a family it's just not as easy to do what you want when you want. Planning might help you reach a comfort zone you both can compromise on.
And Make sure you hug and you're good. Being new to parenting and all the stresses that come with it can be overwhelming and you need a strong union to get through it. I know it's hard, but it's manageable.
Keep doing your best! What you do is so important and valuable, but do what works for you and your situation.
S.M. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
Maybe just do what feels right in your heart. One good resource may be "Non-violent Communication" by Marshal Rosenberg. I am working on my communication too! I wish you very well!
C.H. answers from Augusta on February 20, 2008
Sorry to be so forward but your husband is 100 percent right on his being mad at you and what he said to you, and your 100 percent wrong.You DID belittle his feelings and he was clearly seeking some kind of emotional support on it and you just thought about yourself.You would have reacted the same way to him if the tides were turned. First you need to go out of your way to let him know how stupid you acted and tell him you hope he doesn't hesitate to spill his feelings to you next time due to your terrible attitude this time.You should also speak with him about how he can change his job.It sounded like you just don't want him to change the job b/c his money will go down.If my husband made millions of dollars but was unhappy,I'd be perfectly supportive if he wanted to change jobs to something he loved but made less.I think your being flat out selfish.You need to help him find a way back into a job he loves, I promise he'll love you more for it.
S.W. answers from Spartanburg on February 21, 2008
My first thought is sometimes as wives even though we feel we are right, it is not always about being right or wrong. Sometimes we have to be the one to apologize first. My mother always use to tell me it is easier to catch flies with honey than vinagar.
You are right about everybody has to do something that they don't like doing. That is called life.
Take Care, and God Bless!
M.H. answers from Atlanta on February 20, 2008
I think we're married to the same man, lol! Men that are idealistic and have integrity are hard to satisfy...because the world doesn't work that way. AND doesn't even pretend to anymore. First of all, I would apologize to him. You hurt his feelings and that is something that you can't do. It's hard, but a man's work, in their minds, is their worth! (There's a reason that God calls pride a sin.) But there is NO WAY he will understand you because you are not in the same situation. I KNOW you probably DO understand because I am right there with you, but he will have to figure this out on his own.
If you are a praying woman, this is the time to get on your knees. I ask God all the time for my husband to make the right decisions because I certainly can't do anything but encourage him. He does ask my opinion and my advice but ultimately, it's his decision and you have to stand behind it and support him. We don't consider our marriage 50-50. We consider it 100-100 and then if someone has to pick up the slack, it's a lot easier!
Hope this helps. Life is too short not to seize each moment! Encourage him and let him encourage you!
S.K. answers from Columbus on February 21, 2008
I can totally relate. My husband is in the army. He decided to become a drill sgt after spending 15 months in Iraq (for the second time). He did this so he could be at home with his family for two years. He absolutely HATES his job and complains about it nearly everyday. Unfortunately he doesn't have the opportunity to change jobs. He HAS to stay in this job for two years. But, the thing that keeps him going is he gets to come home to his family nearly everyday and he's not in Iraq.
I think I would have said the exact same thing to your hubby that you did. I would not make apologies for it. Sometimes people get in jobs they hate and circumstances make it impossible for them to change. If he is able to, tell him to get a new job otherwise he's in the job now and he might as well make the best of it. I try to be understanding with my husband, but this was his choice and there's nothing I can do to change it. All the complaining in the world isn't going to change it.
P.D. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
Ouch! I am sorry for your spat. I think your husband just needed someone to vent to and really didn't want you to solve his problem. My husband used to do that and since I am a "fixer" I would offer my solution. It belittled him and he would sarcastically say, "Gee, I never thought of that." He finally told me that he really just wanted me to listen because he had nobody else to tell that he could trust. What your husband really needs is your respect and instead, he was scolded like a child. Next time, try to say something encouraging like, "Honey, I really appreciate you sticking with this job. I know it is discouraging for you. I have a few suggestions, but you may just be venting, so let me know if you want my opinion."
Hope this helps!
S.T. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
You weren't wrong in what you said and you have every right as a human being to react the way you did. It was justified.
Who says you have to constantly listen to whine and be beat up about it when you try to exert a little reason into the situation? Believe me, if I were whining about my situation in life, my husband would be the first one to snatch me up by my collar (not literally, folks) and gently shake some sense into me with his words.
I would have done the same thing that you did if it were my husband and, after he gets through pouting, put my arms around him and ask him what I can do to help him get another job. I'm learning not to be sorry for my true feelings these days especially if my husband has gotten EMO all of a sudden because of his station in life.
He's an adult. Don't coddle him like a child and don't ignore the fact that you have feelings, too. Just be nice, gentle and, most of all, FIRM in your commitment to yourself and your marriage. You are not a stepping stone. Don't act or speak as if you are. Just be the wonderful woman you are and think outside the box to help him get back on track.
Men want a certain strength in women - not hostility and certainly not a "yes, dear" type of woman. They want a partner. It sounds like this is what you are so carry on with your commitment to help him turn things around.
P.P. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
I do understand your frustration. The first 10 years of a marriage can be touch and go at times. I don't think it is a "problem" with you or with him. You are both just different. He is experiencing a desire to make a difference and that is a wonderful quiality in a husband. You may think him an idealistic person but those that he helps will see him differently. In my 20 years of marriage, if there is one piece of advice I wish I would have been told right off the bat, it would be to embrass the differences and encourage rather than discourage.
You sound like the sensiable one who realizes that dreams are nice but paying the bill is nicer! Believe me that is a very valuable quiality as well. I think finding that balance will help you ease into a fullfilling place for both of you. Since he does have to have a job and they are hard to come by, maybe you can encourage him to look around your neighborhood and find a place where he can make a difference. Often times we think if we are not getting paid for what we were taught we are wasting our education. I think as long as you use it in some way in your day to day life, nothing is a waste.
I try to remind myself this often.... my husband is working so I can do what I see as meaningful and fullfilling. Being at home with my children is a gift that my husband has giving me and my children. I am thankful for that everyday. Hug your husband today and say thanks... even if he isn't speaking to you... It melts them every time!
S.F. answers from Charleston on February 21, 2008
Hi R., I just sat down to my computer to begin working from home while my two kids are at school this morning but had to look at your request and reply. I can relate a bit differently as I work with my husband and a stay at home mom and hear a lot of his complaints with work and it gets frustrating and sometimes I just want to shut him out, however, my husband and I have had some training on communication which has been a blessing so we talk about it.
One thing that you should be aware of is empowering your husband or for that matter anyone in your life even your child/ren. This is a powerful tool and can actually work to your favor. Empowering others to be all that they can be and being true to themselves. We all possess the ability to be great but if there is someone there always putting them down and looking at the negative it makes it that much harder to be and do what they want. Empowering them actually says that I believe in you and love you to whatever degree the relationship is and they begin to see the light and in many ways can create fun and happiness in our lives out of what you are giving them just by empowering them.
First thing that I would do is apologize showing that I/you admit that I/you was wrong and take responsibility for my/your actions, then I/you would ask my husband what he needs from me/you and then listen without interruption. Often times people just want to be heard, not fixed. When people feel like they have been heard there is a clearing for conversation and communication. When my husband is through sharing then I would let him know my concerns and worries about our family needs and that his decisions affect all of us and sometimes when my/your husband speaks about his anguish with his job that it actually scares me/you a little for his happiness and my/your family. Then let him respond if he wants. For example say 'when you say... it makes me feel ...' It's all about listening and at times when you have children at whatever age, listening seems challenging without time. If you need that time, schedule it after your child/ren go to bed or at a nap time or go out one evening if you can or even better a lunch or brunch on some weekend if you have someone that can watch your little one(s).
It's so important to support your spouse and without that your spouse who married you, the one that is his best friend, confidant and lover may feel like if he can't share with you then he may have no one. But he does have you and you want to make changes to better your lives together which is what you are doing right now.
I want to empower you to be strong for your husband and I think that it took a lot of courage for you to write what happened on this very open space and to listen to strangers replies. It takes a lot of will to want to change your current situation and make it better and always remember to have break throughs you first go through breakdowns. So when you are in a major breakdown and have the will to take action like you are now then your reward will be a big breakthrough.
My best to you and your family!
B. answers from Augusta on February 20, 2008
we went through something simular. My husband is in the Army and he's had stations where he felt he wasnt doing anything to help the US, felt all his training wasnt being used and that he was at a stand still. I would just remind him that he wouldn't be in this position forever. And this job is just a stepping stone for one that could help more. and remind him that he can come home and tart about his coworkers but that need to vent about the kids and the house too so have a venting time say 20 mins after the baby goes to bed.
If that isnt enough if you attend a church maybe he could work with the childrens minstries at church. Churches are always in need of people to help out at vacation bible school etc.
S.B. answers from Atlanta on February 22, 2008
I am a stay at home now and will be until our girls are in school for a few years, but I taught for 5 years before having children and staying at home. I can understand your predicament and your husband's. Soon after beginning teaching my prinicpal wanted me to change gradelevels. I really didn't want to but I did it because my boss asked me to do something, so I did it. I HATED it. There was extra stress at the new grade level because of testing, and I didn't want that. Near the end of the school year I told the principal that I wanted to change back to the previous grade-level. I was honest and told him that "I put more pressure on myself with the testing and that one day, when I've taught longer, I may not do that, but right now it isn't the place for me." I moved back, and I was so much happier. Your husband has to vent...just like we all do...and men tend to NOT be verbal as much. So it is good that he does talk to you about his problems; it's better you than someone else. Why not ask if he can "go bacK" and ask to noot have the "promotion of sorts". Could he talk to the principal too? IF he tells the principal his plight, the principal may have some good advice for him...that he go back or that something be done to change the current situation. (The principal I had was a former high school teacher of mine and I played softball with his daughter, so I new him pretty well, or at least I felt comfortable with him.) I think the big thing here is ....to do something about it...as much as you can. I know I teach my kids...don't whine, hit or scream because someone or soemthing has upset you. Tell me, them, etc. what is wrong. ...We adults need to remember that, too. I would also pray before I did anything, so that God would guide me to make the right decision. God has a lot of wisdom in the Bible to help with difficult situations such as this, and from what I've read, they suggest "going to the person" whether it be those who aren't doing their job or going to the principal and telling him/her the dilemma without telling the names of his coworkers. by "going to the coworkers" he could send a memo stating, "... the info I send out and the info that you return will be documented..." so that he doesn't receive flack for possibly not doing his job; he needs to document his work so that he doesn't bear the brunt - as most managers, promoted people do - of the coworkers refusal to comply to regulations and rules. I hope this helps you.
B.E. answers from Atlanta on February 22, 2008
Maybe your husband could find more fulfilling interaction through community involvement. Hang in there. I hear my husband talking at times to his best friend about the pressures of leading a family (yes I guess some men do talk to each other) and yet he never voices his concerns about pressure of five kids to me (three ours, two his from first marr) He just works more and more. Have you thought of ways to earn income from home or considered some part time work?
S.G. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
Hi R.,I found myself completely relating to your situation. I too am a 34-year-old SAHM who has been married for 7 years. My son just turned 16 months. In response to your question I think that you should do less talking and more listening. Your husband may have very well heard and received all that you had to say.In fact, he probably agrees with you that he is blessed and fortunate to have a decent job, etc. He probably blew up at you because he just wanted you to listen and empathize with his situation, not try to fix the problem. Allowing him to vent his frustrations without fear of a lecture is probably the best way to go. And if you are a person of faith I would say pray for your husband consistently, for his strength and joy in the midst of trials and for favor to find a new job. Also encourage your husband to make the best of a bad situation by finding ways to learn from this experience. Experience brings about maturity of character. Well, I hope this has been somewhat helpful to you. God bless you and your husband. S.
P.R. answers from Atlanta on March 05, 2008
Cure your husband's job woes by showing him this wonderful opportunity.
I will not attempt to sell you on this one. Just visit my website for answers. You may or may not be interested.
C.D. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
Hi R., I could say a lot on this subject but a few things you want to think about are:
1. Always build your husband up – even when he messes up - he needs YOU to be his biggest supporter. I would pray that he realizes you made some good points but maybe when he was too vulnerable to handle it.
2. Men identify with their work - women can have several roles and be comfortable in all of them whenever they’re doing them – wife, mother, secretary, cook, janitor, nurse, etc. But he sees himself as an EDUCATOR who has a family. Men feel a huge responsibility and want to do the right thing. They believe that they are doing that when they are being praised (a raise or promotion), commended by a peer or boss or adored by their wife even if things could be better in the husband role.
3. Teaching is SO hard now - believe me, I have a Masters in Education and I tried teaching even in a private school a few years back and they did not want me to teach - paperwork and busywork was most important, not concepts and thinking skills - and it shows with the poor quality of our high school graduates in the workplace. Your husband might feel like a failure in his chosen profession and stuck and you confirmed it. Apologize and tell him you will support whatever decision he makes when he thinks it through. Hopefully he’ll do the same when you break the ice.
4. Has he ever thought about a part time home business? He could put in a few hours after work with your support. It gives men (and women) a real sense of fulfillment. He could choose his working environment and the people to work with. You can assist him right from home and work as a team to improve your financial future. I do job placement and this is one of the best solutions for someone feeling like there’s no way out. I’d be glad to tell you more about what I’ve found. Let me know what happens.
J.L. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
Hi R., I can understand both sides. I know there are many things going through your mind., first and foremost the financial stability of your home life. However, my brother was in a situation just like this. He hated his job, he felt unproductive, bored, and unappreciated by his boss. He is the sole provider since his wife is also a stay at home mom. He came home unhappy and would vent to his wife who at first was supportive but felt the same way you did. Ultimately, he stayed in that job and was miserable because he thought that was the only way he could continue to provide for his family. He couldn't talk to his wife about it because he felt enormous pressure to provide for her and three kids. He stayed in a job he hated too long and their marriage eroded. Not to say that was the entire reason (obviously many more issues) but the lines of communication were broken and it seems cannot be fixed. They are in the process of breaking up the marriage. He did find a new and better job eventually, but it was too late.
His job was how he defined himself, just like we define ourselves as moms, wives, and employees or whatever we do. Men need support and understanding just like we do. Imagine if you went to him after a long day with the baby, who cried all day and you couldn't console, you had a miserable day and needed to vent. If he reacted the same way you did, your feelings would be hurt. Well, I'm sure his feelings were hurt. You don't have to tell him what he already knows. He knows he can't just quit, he knows he has to support his family, and he knows he has to find a way out that would be beneficial to your family. He needs some understanding just like you would need and a shoulder to cry on. At that point he just needed support. There is nothing worse than feeling all alone with a problem he knows he can't solve immediately. That is probably the loneliest feeling in the world; when things are going wrong at something you are suppose to love and can’t talk to anyone about it or have no support at home. So go to him, apologize and tell him you'll be there for him when he needs you. You would expect nothing less from him.
Good luck and I hope you are truly blessed with a very happy and understanding marriage.
T.P. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
Are you and your husband people of faith? If so, I recommend reading "The Purpose Driven Life". Your feelings are right on yet he will not be able to see things from this perspective because there is likely more to it than a job siutation. It sounds as if he could be a little depressed and feels as though life in general does have the peace and contentment he had hoped it would. It likely has nothing to do with his family life and probably not even his job. It is true that some jobs are more rewarding than others but happiness and contentment do not come from a job or from another person. Even a secular counselor will attest to that. Some situations in life can heighten one's sense of frustration and failure and/or inability to feel productive and valued but they do not create these feelings. As a person of faith, I feel there is no real peace until we are surrendered to God's plan for our life. I believe he has a purpose for each and every one of us that is born out of amazing love and grace. If you are not people of faith, the only thing you can do is continue to try and find meaning in things that appear to be indicators of success. This will not work, but for a while it might at least make you think it does. If you are people of faith, keep in mind it is God's desire that we should know joy and peace. This book is great! My husband and I did it together. Even if your husband isn't interested, you could still read it. Buy the way, I don't like being a preachy person and I am far from being "religous" so I hope nothing is offensive in this--it is just something I learned myself after pursuing the things I thought would bring happiness.
G.R. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
Your husband probably wants to vent about the situation and not your opinion. After he has vented ask him his likes and dislikes of the job. For all of the dislikes ask him what changes he would make if given the opportunity. This will allow him to vent in a positive way. I suggest talking after he has vented by letting him know that you understand his frustrations. Additionally, never go to bed without speaking to each other no matter how bad the situation may seem. Tomorrow is not a promise and you don’t want your last memory to be an argument.
B.C. answers from Atlanta on February 21, 2008
Get into family counseling, and do so real fast. Maybe an independent professional opinion will help him sort things out. As for yourself, please try to either start a home-based business or take some classes at your local college leading to a career where you can contribute financially to the marriage at some point. Do it now. There is more going on with your husband than he cares to admit.
Take this advice from someone who has had the same experience and is now divorced.
Best of luck.