“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Ever heard that quote about finding the perfect career? I’m pretty sure it’s made more people feel crummy than inspired. Reality is, a lot of people—men especially—dread going to work every day, even though they know they are blessed to have a steady paycheck.
Have you found yourself thinking “my husband hates his job” and you’re unsure what to do? In the new film Selfie Dad, the main character finds himself miserable and unfulfilled in his career. His wife bears the brunt of this crisis, maintaining the needs of the kids and house, and trying to keep up with his aspirations for change. If this sounds familiar, there is good news: YOU can have a profound effect on your husband’s attitude. Here are 5 ways to support your husband when he’s going through a work crisis.
Make it clear you’re on his side.
Even if you’re not a problem solver by nature, if your husband comes home day after day complaining about the same boss or coworker, it’s tempting to play devil’s advocate or to accuse him of being part of the problem. Your husband needs to know he has you as an ally. That will help him make better decisions and find comfort and peace at home.
Don’t take it personally.
Men are good at compartmentalizing, but when a man hates his job or is in a career crisis, it’s nearly impossible to keep that misery from following him home. Here is where good communication comes in. Remember he’s unhappy with work, not with you. During a quiet moment, tell him what you’re experiencing. He might not realize the impact it’s having.
Ask him questions.
The right questions, asked lovingly, can help get to the root of the problem. Do you think it’s just this one person or is there a bigger issue? What would need to change to make this job more bearable? Asking questions will not only help him process but also can open a door for him to share without feeling like he’s whining. If you ignore the issue, he might feel like he’s wrong to be bothered by it. By taking the time to ask him questions, you’re validating his feelings.
Affirm his value and talent.
If your husband hates his job, chances are it has zapped his self-confidence. Sure, he might make every sale or complete every task with a gold star, but when you spend eight hours a day miserable, it doesn’t leave you feeling like a winner. Remind him you see his talent, promise, and abilities. Most men, whether they show it or not, are desperate for a word of encouragement from their wives.
Most men, whether they show it or not, are desperate for a word of encouragement from their wives.
Let him know you’re willing to cut back.
Marriage requires sacrifice. This unhappy work situation was real life for me several years ago. I had to ask: If my husband hates his job, and I really want things to change, what am I willing to do? Are you willing to forgo your monthly mani/pedi or eat out less? Maybe the change will have a greater impact. Imagine the feeling of relief your husband will feel if you tell him you’re willing to buy a cheaper car, downsize to a smaller home, or even move in with the in-laws. His happiness, in the long run, will be worth most any sacrifice you could make.
Have you had to support your husband through a work crisis? What did you do?