Is there a concrete thing I can do to help my husband?

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Is there a concrete thing I can do to help my husband?

Post by kath on Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:29 am

I am getting pretty worried about my husband.

His industry has been in a downturn for the past couple of years, and his work has gotten totally unreasonable. His boss is a pushover, and his boss's boss is just unreasonable. Earlier this year, they nominated him for - and he won - an award for the best in his field by the provincial association he's a member of - and then in the fall, they were making veiled threats of firing him for not successfully pulling projects onto the rails that other people (often the boss's boss) torched and caused to fall off the rails.

Understandably, this is not a healthy work culture for him to be in. He's been struggling with depression, and has / is seeking treatment for it (he is on anti depressants). Unfortunately they disturb his already not great sleep and give him brain zaps and disturbing dreams (he told me about a particularly disturbing one today), so he's not super happy on them, but is very depressed and finds it difficult to deal with work off them. Recently, he's started drinking a fair amount to take the edge off and get to sleep. Thankfully he did tell his doctor, who told him he had to stop and that that was not a good coping mechanism (and changed his meds) but I'm not sure that will change the behavior.

I ask him to quit his job all the time. I tell him that even though the economy here is bad right now, we will be able to pull through it. He is really scared of not making "enough" money because his dad refused to get another job after being laid off during my husband's childhood and that put his family through a lot of turmoil.

I have a job - I don't make as good money as he does, but I make a reasonable salary. I am also sure that my husband wouldn't refuse to take any job he could get. We both have all of our immediate family in town and a more than adequate safety net as educated, middle-class white DINKs. We aren't even living paycheck to paycheck. I am confident that we would actually be fine if he just quit and walked out of his job. I have told him that I think we will be fine and am not worried about how much money he makes, that it would be worth it for him to quit and be out of work for a while.

He wants to find something else and then quit, but I think with the relative scarcity of jobs in his industry (all technical jobs are tied to the industry that's struggling right now) and difficulty with executing a job search while in a soul-crushing job, and the fact that I suspect he won't want to take anything with a lower salary, I'm not sure that's the most practical way forward.

At this point, I just hope they lay him off (which I don't think they'll do till the company goes under for all the threaten it - he seems to be the only competent employee there).

Is there anything anyone can think of that I can do to help my husband out?

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Re: Is there a concrete thing I can do to help my husband?

Post by Enail on Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:42 am

Oof, that's rough. Other than being generally supportive, helping make a sleep-friendly routine and environment, and encouraging him to keep up with his heath team, I'm not sure there's too much you can do, unfortunately.

It's not super-concrete, so maybe that's not the kind of thing you're looking for, but have you talked to him about how his work and the effects it has on you are affecting you at all?  There's an obvious negative to that in that it risks putting more stress on him about your troubles with his troubles, which is obviously not something you want to do But it sounds like the importance he places on sticking it out in this job is something that's linked to his desire to support and help his family, so it might help him to see that the choice to stay with this job is also something that has a cost to his family - to you - and one that might be higher than him not being able to contribute financially the way he'd like to.

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