My Husband Is Giving up on His Job...

Updated on February 22, 2010
J.B. asks from Lafayette, LA
16 answers

He works for a great / well known company. He's been there almost six years and worked his way up to where he is...but has been stuck at this position almost 3 years. One manager told him he was going to move my husband onto the next level and blah...blah...blah and then he quit the next day. He went through another set of managers the following year and although they wanted him to move with them - it was going to be a 30 mile commute one way...for $500 / year raise. So - he passed. Now he's been with two other managers (lots of management turnover - but it's common in this field) for the past year and half. They give him rave reviews, they moved him to the highest position possible for his area and have maxed out his pay. That has been the deal for the past year. He took some time off for medical reasons and returned recently. The guy who worked in his place while he was gone (mind you - is in a lower position, been with the company three times as long and has no forseeable goals) requested the two managers "move" my husband somewhere else b/c it was "easier" while he was gone. This came from the mouth of the two managers. Asst. Manager came to my husband a few days later and told him he needed to "watch his back" b/c the two managers are "looking for a reason" to get him to leave. Rather than confront EVERYONE on this issue and call in HR (one of the managers told my husband if he didn't take care of something within a certain time frame - it was going to cost him his job...) - my husband has decided he will look elsewhere for a job. I can't imagine WHY he won't handle this and even if nothing is done about the back stabbing and adolescent teenage BS gosspping, at least they would know he's serious. He has NO write ups in his file, he has copies of all his reviews and AUDITS (all nearly perfect - or with marginal error...less than 2%). He's never been late, doesn't call in sick and has been commended for various things. He's been given the responsibility as a trainer FOR THIS REGION and is called upon when back up is needed elsewhere.
I also know my husband is batting depression at the moment. He has an appointment with his counselor on Friday. Should I tell her what's going on? Should I help my husband look for another job? Should I go to the HR Dept myself anonymously and tell them they need to check out the issues at his location? I know I should really just shut up and support his decision. But I don't want him to throw SIX YEARS down the drain b/c he's too depressed (?) to fight. I know when you're depressed, things are about 100 times harder to deal with.
I am so sick of his location and suggested he just move out of that one office. But again - it makes me mad that HE has to move!!! He's not threatening anyone's job!!!
I did suggest he call in all four guys and confront every one of them that said something to him or to someone else. I said when they start denying and pointing fingers, calmly ask who is the liar? Because at that point, someone will be lying about something.
Help Mamas! I want to be supportive!!! I really do - but I also know that my husband is worth so much more than they're treating him...and we have documentation to PROVE it!!!

What can I do next?

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answers from Corpus Christi on

It sounds like the depression is catching up with him. he needs to talk with his bosses and find out the scoop on the job issue from them and find out what he needs to do to make it better. Jobs are not easy to find right now and he also needs to be aware of this. This may also be something that the younger people are counting on for him to leave, they move up.....

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answers from Charlotte on


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

The main thing, is to also make sure his employment file, is all positive.
If he makes a stink about this, it will be put in his file that he is either a bad employee or a troublemaker or disgruntled or not a team player etc.
It will tarnish his current record as a "good" employee. Even though he has "rave" reviews now. And it will tarnish his ability to find another job.

He should, get letter of recommendations, from anyone that he can... just in case. While he is still viewed in a positive way. AND... have his HR department, write him a letter too.

Sad, but it will or can happen.
Also, the company could just let him go... and they can put anything in it as a reason... be it that he quit or that he was fired... or laid-off and it will affect whether he can apply for un-employment or not.

There is only so much an employee can do... legally. If there is "discrimination" that CAN be proven, then an attorney can help. BUT... most states are an "at-will" employer. Meaning they can hire/fire for any reason besides discrimination. Other than that, it can be REAL hard to "prove" that something wrongful is happening. Because, yes, people can lie, and its all about office politics too and personalities.

Unless he had it in writing, that his job position i guaranteed... then I don''t know what he can do. And the Managers and that guy who "took" his position, will angle against him. Legally, there is nothing "wrong" with that... unless there is discrimination cause.

Whenever something is told to him, he should request that it be put in writing. He should be documenting everything.

As his wife, you should not "interfere." Having a spouse call an employer, will not be viewed favorably. It will not help, but probably make things worse.

Yes, it is terrible what is happening.

My Husband, went through something similar. A bad Manager really stirred up things at his employer and was a liar. What eventually happened, is several people were "laid-off." And even though the others knew it was not their fault... the other employees that were not laid-off kept their mouths shut, for fear of losing their jobs, too. So, no one went to bat, for the laid-off employees. It was sad. BUT... it was not 'illegal' and per at-will employment, well, they had grounds for the lay-off. Albeit not fair, nor true. And the Manager, although he is a big jerk and just mean and a monster... could do so. It was essentially a "personality" problem. Not a "legal" problem or infraction. And, HR, had their hands tied. No one, would openly, go against the Manager or the Higher Ups. The manager was very manipulative and covered his butt too. The Higher-ups had no idea... what a jerk he was. To them, he was a "good" Manager.

Also keep in mind, that big Corporations, has their own staff of Corporate Attorneys, at hand. And anytime they feel something may happen... they are already, "ready" and have all the proper legal answers at hand.

All the best,

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answers from Norfolk on

Office politics are tough. No matter how well prepared or how right you are, sometime the dragon wins. Looking elsewhere is a good thing. He should check out where some of his prior managers have gone and see if they have any openings. I feel for him. I've seen good people railroaded out before and it's unfortunate, but it happens.

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answers from Austin on

My husband has had to work with jerks for years now ... it's very wearing on him and he also suffers from depression. He was actually faced with being laid off about a year ago, and knew it was only because the guy in charge of the layoffs had a major personality clash with him and wanted him gone. Instead of meekly accepting the layoff and moving on, my husband fought it. He walked into the VP's office and asked him if they seriously thought they could replace him. (He's the executive product manager for this small company and is the ONLY one who knows EVERYTHING about the project.) He didn't whine, he didn't grovel, he just stated facts. Blessedly, he kept his job, and after a few months the OTHER guy was let go! Of course, we credit God with giving my husband the chutzpah to stand up for himself. But he still has to put up with kindergarten behavior every day. Office politics is everywhere, and sometimes you have to put up with the evil you know to avoid the evil you don't know. Your husband can't guarantee that the next job he gets won't have the same juvenile behaviors going around that this one has. It might even be worse. It's so hard to know!

I think it's super important for your husband to tell his therapist all that's going down at work. I also think it would be good if he could stand up for himself at work -- not in a belligerent way, but just calm and cool and stating facts. I also know that's very difficult for anyone who has depression to deal with (I suffer from clinical depression, so I know!). Hopefully the therapist will have some great advice for him on this.

But you CANNOT get involved in this other than being there for him and being supportive. You simply cannot go to his employer, the HR department, anyone. This will make your husband look like a total wimp in everyone's eyes (they'll figure out who it is sooner or later). I've wanted to do that in situations with my dad and my husband, but this is the fastest way to emasculate your husband in everyone else's eyes, as well as put a very huge strain on your marriage.

I wish you the very best with this ... hang in there!

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answers from Bangor on

Unfortunately, if his employers and bosses want him gone, they will make it happen. It's probably just easier for your husband, and his reputation, to walk away. Try really hard to be supportive of his decision. He definitely needs you right now.

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answers from Victoria on

i feel so badly for your husband. imagine how hard he works and only to be treated like that in return. its awful. leave it up to him to handle his job..finding a new one, resolving any issues with this one, and i would let him talk to his councler dont go above him and try to fix it. men work differently than women and most men like to be the providers. it would undermind him for you to try to solve all these problems. good luck. i hope he gets a better position/job one he deserves and is appericiated for.

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answers from College Station on

Stay out of it and support his decision. I would rather he lose 6 years at a job that he has clearly become unhappy with than 20 years of being miserable. He will find his way. Just ask him to have a job secured before he moves on. He will have the opportunity to speak his mind if he chooses when he has secured another job. It will be hard to sit back and watch but you really have no choice. Let us know what happens.


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answers from San Antonio on

Your his #1 cheerleader! Make sure to tell him how wonderful he is. How you admire his intergrity, his hard work, etc! Boost him up to the best you can. While he's in this funk try not to critize anything he does. example-(Why didn't you take out the trash now it stinks in here!) Your praise could be the very thing he needs to here to pull him out the the depression he's in. Encourage him to fight this in prayer and not with the people. (this is where you can get involved- pray!) God is your defender. If he leaves this job though who's to say the same thing won't happen on the next job. Talk to him about sticking it out thru this problem and after it is resolved if he wants something new than go for it! But don't be moved by this situation. Please do not go and fight this battle, it would only make him feel worse than he already feels that his wife had to take care of his issues.

Matthew 5:44 says love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Allow God to do the rest!

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answers from Indianapolis on

Natalie is 100% correct. You may want to look into the laws in your state, but ours is a Right to Work state meaning an employer can decide to fire everyone who's left handed, and it's completely within their rights.

I've been in situations where managers made my life miserable. I had to suck it up and deal with it until something better came along.

What I would NOT recommend is going to his employer (it could make things MUCH worse), talking to his counselor unless you are invited to attend a session or looking for a job for him unless he asks. There may be a lot more going on than he's telling you.

With medical leave, the company is legally required to keep a job for you, not your particular job in most cases. It's very common that people come back from medical leaves to different positions.

As someone who was affected by a big corporate lay off recently, I'd recommend he do everything he needs to keep his job while privately looking for another one. I have friends who were laid off in May with me who are still looking - professionals with great careers who can't get jobs as Asst. retail managers because they are over-qualified.

Today, employers have the upperhand, and most know it. He may just have to deal with a hostile work environment long enough to buy enough time to find something better. But, in my experience, the grass isn't always greener for long.

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answers from San Antonio on

I had kinda the same situation with my husband without all the backstabbing. He just refused to ask for more money and was certainly underpaid and overworked. I wanted him to say something, but never did. Eventually things worked out and he got a raise, but I can feel your pain in wanting your husband to say something but won't.

The best thing to do is just let him handle things the way he wants to. No matter what his decision is, you have to be supportive in that. As angry as it makes you feel, going against him will only push him away from you. Especially if he's depressed, he really just needs you to support him right now.

If you really feel like you need to do something, then calling HR anonymously is an option, but make it seem like you are an employee. I don't necessarily support this idea though.

Good Luck to you and remember that your husband's happiness is first and foremost.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Depression is obviously making this situation at work more difficult. I've had depression and for me it was related to my physical health. I could get up and go all day but my body was giving me the "I don't feel like it" attitude and I was feeling tired and that made me feel depressed over a long period of time.

So my suggestion is that your husband needs someone to diagnose his "illness" without symptoms. I've been to a naturopath in San Antonio who can do that and give suggestions on natural remedies that will actually work to solve the problem. His depression might be gone in less than a month without antidepressants if you go this route.

Once his health improves he will be able to cope with the situations at work. You can encourage him to not do anything drastic (like resign or find another job) until his health has been addressed.

Contact info:
Jeannie's Herbs
11107 Wurzbach

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answers from San Angelo on

I can tell you think highly of your husband. You are fighting mad when someone abuses his talents!! It sounds like your husband has a great work ethic with lots of experience and would have an outstanding resume. Office politics are never fun, but they are miserable whenever they become juvenile. Fighting that losing battle won't help his depression. And his fighting won't change the other people and the odds he gets rid of the other four is slim. He prob won't have to work his way up again at another company because he's got the experience, right? As a wife with a husband providing for the family, I know it's scary! I think you'll be glad you supported your husband in his decision. I would not suggest going to the HR but I think it would be a great idea to support him in his job search and his counseling. Hope the appt went well Friday and good luck with everything!!


answers from Austin on

Be his biggest Cheerleader. It is hard.. Try not to nag and show disappointment in his choices at work.. Remember there are ALWAYS 2 sides to the story.

He works there, you are hearing his filtered version. Not that these things do not go on, but just let him deal with it.. My husband worked for a company for 19 years, just before he would have hit a certain level of seniority with benefits, he started feeling like they were turning against him.. We also noticed it seemed everybody that had been there 18 to 19 years for some reason were put in positions to leave or not made to like their jobs any longer..

Did I want to go to court or find and attorney, yes, but my husband said, "I do not want to be in a place where they do not want me.. I cannot work like that".... I was so scared, but it all worked out fine in the end.. Do not get me wrong, it was not easy, no insurance, loss of income, stress... but we made it through and he found an entirely new career..

Let you and your home be his safe place, not just another place to feel stress..

I am sending you both strength and good thoughts.



answers from Minneapolis on

Has your husband ever considering working for himself? My husband and I are both self-employed, and love it. We don't have to deal with the HR Politics and BS. We are stay at home parents, and it is the best thing we ever did. If you would like to ask any questions on our jobs, I wouldn't mind.
H. you can email me at



answers from Houston on

It sounds to me like this current situation is the last straw. If he thought the position was worth fighting for then he probably would, but with everything that he has been through it sounds like it's time to look elsewhere. I would suggest to help him look for another job, don't push the confrontation issue, it sounds like he may feel like he is above all that BS (which he is) and shouldn't validate it by acknowledging it exists. (I'm with him on that!)

Just make sure he is documenting everything. Keep copies of all emails, just to cover himself. If he does get fired he will be able to contest any cause they say they have and at least he will be able to collect unemployment while looking for something else.

Just my 2 cents from someone who has been in similar situations.

On a side note, let me know if he needs any assistance with his resume. I do professional resumes on the side. I've done everything from executives to PHD's.

Good luck with the job hunt!

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