Marital Anger over Job Loss

Updated on June 09, 2010
A.S. asks from Spokane, WA
12 answers

My husband has been jobless now for 2 months. He was nondisciplinary terminated, and on top of that, his employer didn't train him for the job like he was supposed to and was pretty much a non-existent boss, so they let him go after being there for 7 months.

I have been extremely supportive, and am just heartbroken that we are now moving into his parents house with our two children this weekend, because we no longer can afford our rent that skyrocketed when we lost the employee discount. We lived with his parents before we had kids when I was pregnant, and it was a nightmare, we almost divorced. We have grown since then and have a better relationship with his parents and have learned a lot since then, so I think it will be better, and I have overcome a lot of anger towards them through counseling, but it is still difficult.

So, here is the issue: while packing the other day, I found my husband's performance reviews from his former employer. They were mostly negative and reflected on a lot of the issues I know he has from experiencing those issues first hand, and how he conducts himself in other social activities and his college work. Now that I think about, I saw the warning signs while he was employed there and I would encourage him to work on those things, and he just didn't.

This just makes me furious at him, for not taking his job seriously, for not finding another job before he got fired when he had plenty of warning signs, and I am less supportive of the reasons he was fired. He is usually a very hard worker, but maybe b/c issues with his boss and training got him down, he lost his steam. I feel like his firing was justified to a degree and I have lost a lot of faith in his competence. I think, it would be better for us if he stayed at home with the kids and I went to work, since I am more driven than he is, though I would have to finish my degree which would take 2 more years. I know I'm overreacting by this, but I feel so angry and hurt.

My feelings about thinking his firing was fair are creating a rift in our marriage and I don't want to tell him I feel this way, because it will just make him more depressed over his job loss and faith in himself that he will find employment soon. Yes, he is going to career counseling and getting lots of help on his resume/interviewing, and applying for lots of jobs and such, but he still lacks initiative and isn't doing all that the career counselors have suggested.

I feel like taking our kids and moving in with my mom while he stays with his parents, because frankly, I just don't want to deal with them, and send him a message that it's not okay to fall back on them again. He will see this as an act of divorce, but for me, I think he needs that time to get more serious. (We can't all live with my mom b/c she is in a tiny apartment, while his parents live in a large house).

Sorry to vent here, but I have no one to talk to and his parents think he is a perfect, hardworking angel and refuses to see any faults he has. Words of advice or comfort greatly needed!

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answers from Chicago on

Hey Ashley,

I am sorry that I can not provide you with words of wisdom. I can say that I too suffered similar problems with my ex. It is part of why we are divorced (among other things)
If you ever want to talk send me a friend request. I know this can be hard and now you have children.
Living with his parents is not easy and I feel for you.

Good luck and really, send a request we can chat about it.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Toledo on

He's already learned a very hard lesson here by losing his job. Marriage is supposed to be for better or worse, and threatening divorce every time it gets tough isn't the answer. How can he feel unconditional love from you if that's hanging over his head? Yeah, he's immature. Yeah, he's got problems, but you picked him, you married him, and you had children with him. That is a lifetime commitment. Sounds like you both need to work on things, together and separately. If his parents are difficult and you want to live with your parents, why aren't you all doing that? You can make this work, but you have to look at what YOU can change, because you can't change him-- you can only change you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

It seems to me, you have the adequate answer of your family problems. You, apparently know how to handle the issues with your husband and "his behavior" at work. That is, moving with your mother, while he settles down on his issues. Certainly, It is your husband who has to do a retrospective evaluation of his trajectory at his job (s) and find the reasons to change for better. It is a hard task and takes a lot of motivation, and self evaluation, firstly, from your husband and then, from those who think he is just fine. What I briefly see on your comments is that it's being a recurrent attitude on his part and his parents are reasserting that nothing wrong is happening. On the meantime, try to keep the children out of all these issues and work on counseling these problems to find the best solution.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hickory on

The one thing that comes to mind is some times in life we have to do things we just do not like for the good of our families. I for one have lived on both sides of this. We lived with my husbands dad and then we had to live with my parents for a few months. For my husband it was harder living with my parents. I do not think that this is something worth pulling the family apart over. You are to be partners and need to find a way to move on. You have no idea how long the move will be for. And as others have said your husband has went through and is dealing with a lot now. This is just a test and how you deal with it will decided what blessings lay ahead.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Wow, this is a very very stressful situation for everyone. I feel for you.

I, too, went through a time of stress and frustration with my husband looking for a new job. Different circumstances (we moved cross-country to be closer to family), but it took almost a year for him to find a job. I was working, we had no kids, so those factors didn't play in.

Even so, it was hard for me to feel he was doing everything he could to find a job.

It sounds to me that while your husband may not be the most assertive employee on the market, he was in a bad situation and was not able to/was not given the opportunity to correct it. Yes, he could have seen the end coming. But, in this economy, how likely is it to find a new job? And would looking for a new job compromise his current job? I can imagine all kinds of good reasons he would not have tried to move on before being let go.

I guess my only advice would be to hang out, try to ride it out. And, if you need a break, taking the kids to your mom's house for the summer is not a bad option, especially considering the friction you had the last time you lived there.

Best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

No one can tell you how to feel or how to react to finding this information out about your husband, but as someone who was laid off last year, I'd recommend not confronting him about it at this time.

In my case, my company had expanded the sales force a year earlier, hit some issues with the FDA, and experienced a massive devaluation in stock price. They thought the best way to improve it (and save some executive's read ends) was to eliminate 25% of corporate jobs and 40% of the sales force. I was affected because my rankings were low in 2008 despite being on maternity leave, getting a new territory, a cancer diagnosis and 5 months of chemo. It didn't matter.

I can justify my performance, but the scarlet letter of having been laid off remains. I have been back to work 10 months, and I still have issues with my self-esteem, my abilities as a competent employee, etc.

Some of the 200 colleagues I was laid off with have either not yet returned to work or have just received offers almost a year later despite good performances and appraisals. The economy just stinks, and each person processes the emotions differently. Some friends went into a state of denial and couldn't look for a job immediately - I was frantic to get back to work and wish I'd done better dealing with the emotions of being laid off less than a year after having a baby, getting cancer and finishing treatment.

There may be validity in the performance appraisals you saw, but there may also have been friction between his supervisor and him that you don't know about leading to less-than-stellar appraisals despite being a good worker.

For now, try to channel your frustrations elsewhere. Try to use that energy into making the most out of the situation, finishing your degree (if possible) and helping him feel supported so he puts forth the initiative required to get back to work as quickly as possible. Be supportive, though, if it's a tough road. My industry is laying off another 5000 people this week from 2 companies alone. That makes almost 30K since last January (2009).

Good luck - I hope this is only a temporary setback.



answers from Albany on

I've said this before to many people...people make the time to do what is important to them. Have you told him his lack of initiative makes you feel like your family isn't a priority? Have you told him, if you try the things the councelors are telling you, I have no doubt you'll find a job quickly? If you have tried everything else, you need to decide what you want out of your life. If you need the space but know he will see that as guaranteed divorce, are you okay with that?

I don't blame you for being resentful. It sounds like he has a long track record of this type of behavior. Is this the first job he got fired from? It just hit me he sounds like my dad when I was growing up. My dad went from job to job for the same reasons while my mom worked the same one or two jobs. They eventually divorced because of course there were other my dad's case he was cheating and was verbally and physically abusive to all of us.

You just have to weigh out everything. How long does he expect you guys to have to stay with his parents? Sadly I know people who did this and they are STILL living with the parents 7 YEARS later. :-|

I wish you luck and strength...



answers from Dallas on

I actually think it's a better idea for you and your children to stay with your mom, I coud never ever live with my MIL/FIL and your mom knows you better than anyone else in the world. I feel like I can be myself with my mom and not be "on my best behavior" all the time like when my MIL visits. I fear I might slip and she will be at my throat yet again for another issue.
If you already had trouble with them in the past I wouldn't go there again.
and this is not a divorce , marriages just go through phases, this does not mean you guys will divorce. It's actually healthy to spend some time apart and of course you will be seeing each other a lot during this time just while he gets a job (hopefully no more than two more months)
This is just my opinion and you really have to go with your heart, if it was me I would go with my mom but that's just me.



answers from Austin on

Well, it might be a good idea to live apart for a while just so you can get a good perspective on this.
Have you thought about taking a few courses at a time to get/finish your degree? That is what I'm doing and it is very empowering.
You didn't say what his job was, so it's hard for me to give advice about that. I will say that sometimes people get into a career that just isn't the right fit for them. They go into bookkeeping and get fidgety sitting at a desk all day. They go into retail/csr and don't have the patience to deal with customers. They become teachers and aren't able to deal with the parents and administration. Have you thought about sending him out to someone who can look at careers that he can SUCCEED at? Something he will want to do everyday? Or at least not hate?
I don't think you are overreacting. I would be very hurt and frustrated. It's just made worse by having to parent 2 kids and an adult.



answers from Dallas on

You have every right to be upset. No one likes to have a spin put on the truth in a marriage - well not about something as important as family security - "does this dress make my butt look big?" - spin away.
Anyways - While a very, very difficult decision I would encourage you to take some time alone and be explicit with your husband that 1. you do not want a divorce 2. you need more than a few days to cool off 3. exactly what this discover meant to you 4. that you want to see/talk to him weekly? daily? some kind of good faith that this is not the begining of the end, but a new begining for the family.

I also think you should go after that degree and be the bread winner. It is not the 1950's there are plenty of families who do this and what a great way for him to be an involved dad.



answers from Washington DC on

I don't really have advice for you. I just wanted to tell you that I had this problem with my ex-husband too. He lost 7 jobs in one year because of his poor attitude. Meanwhile I was supporting our family of four (us, his daughter and our son) on a Navy E-4 income. Very difficult to do.

We've been divorced now for 6 years. It became necessary because his constant job losses were a symptom of a larger problem. He just didn't care enough about me and the family to suck it up and do what needed doing. He no longer fit my definition of a "man". He only fit the definition of a spoiled, bratty teenager.

I just wanted to share with you because I want you to know that your concerns are real and valid. I think you guys need some marriage counseling. I wouldn't recommend divorce just yet. He doesn't sound as bad as my ex at this point, but certainly bring up your concerns and ask him to go to counseling with you.



answers from Dallas on

Hi, it does sound like you may want to start working on your career as you are more motivated and it sounds like his work ethic may be in question. I would also let him know that you feel betrayed in his misrepresentation of the reasons for his dismissal. I would also talk it over with him first about moving in with your mother...if possible, make it a joint decision.

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