My husband (late 30's) repeatedly misses work, lies to his boss until he’s finally laid off, then acts ripped off.
He justifies lying by saying his superiors are jerks who treat him like a child (I’ve sympathized with this).
He’s mulled over job alternatives but never takes action. After eight years, my sympathy’s dwindling.
When he’s staying home or laid off, he helps sporadically, but also sleeps a lot, drinks beer, eats junk food, and stares at the TV. The household tension’s getting unbearable.
We have two children; one’s an infant. I’ve seen his love for them, but he's so tuned into his sour feelings that he shuts us out a lot.
He sleeps on the couch. He’s completely lost interest in sex, which we've had five times in two years. Rejected, I shut my feelings off.
I talk to him periodically, in a non-confrontational way, but he makes me back off. And I'll then be punished – he'll unwind at a bar, do no household work, and give me the silent treatment.
I'm on maternity leave, so I can’t take over financially as I’ve done previously.
I feel horrible that he hates his job and I have tried to help, listen, show support, offer suggestions, etc. He dismisses all.
I don't want to go on living this way, torn between being supportive to a partner who might be depressed, or saying it's time for him to grow up or get out.
I'm miserable; he’s uncommunicative. How can I get him to see what he's going to lose?
Reaching the End
Your marriage is stagnant and depressing for both of you, and meanwhile substantial issues aren’t being addressed.
He does need a medical check for depression, possibly with treatment strategies. Helping him to accept that he do this for his own benefit (not just because you want to “change” him) can move some of your mutual conflict toward compassion.
He also needs professional career counselling. Encouraging this would show your positive interest in his well being.
You both need marriage counselling to face your problems as a team rather than adversaries.
Your young children make all this worth the effort.
IF he still refuses any positive efforts, then get informed about family law and report what you both stand to lose.
Who’s most at fault here?
I was visiting at an out-of-town friend’s house, (“A”), awaiting another friend, (“B”). I noticed lice treatment products and asked if someone there had lice.
From A: “My son, but we just shampooed him and washed his sheets.” I said it’d freak out B as she owns a high-end hair salon and if she gets lice it’d destroy her business.
“A” decided to hide the products (we were all staying there overnight. I thought it was dishonest. I privately told “B”, asking if she could somehow "learn about the lice” and ask “A” without revealing I'd told her.
Instead, “B” confronted “A”, and said I’d told her.
“A” apologized and assured her all was okay, but was angry with me.
I believe “A” was wrong initially for hiding something that could harm “B” financially, and “B” should’ve appreciated my situation, but she betrayed me. She thinks I OWED her the information and she owed me nothing.
I still think I was in the right.
You stuck with your own principles. Your self-serving friends, however, also followed theirs. What’s wrong is a friendship in which everyone’s still determined to be “right” after a sensitive situation’s passed.
I’ve had "counselling" but it didn't do the job for me. I felt I was just having my feelings and troubles heard without any feedback.
I’m still haunted by memories and thoughts about my separation, divorce, and the way it happened.
I wanted more help. Is seeing a psychologist a better experience than counselling?
The counselling/therapy experience depends on the practitioner’s style, the client’s openness to self-reflection, and whether there’s a “fit” between them.
For some people, just voicing aloud their feelings and perceptions in a safe, neutral setting, brings insight. That’s when they start asking questions and wanting debate.
If you need feedback and discussion, say so. If after two sessions you feel the person isn’t the right “fit,” feel free to look for another.
See Find a Therapist on my website home page: www.ellieadvice.com. You’ll learn the different approaches of counselors, therapists, psychologists, etc.
Tip of the day:
Working as a team instead of as adversaries, to resolve major problems, changes a couple’s dynamic.