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How to Support Your Husband in a Job He Hates

by Candice Coleman

While a single bad day at work can prove a nuisance, a job that your husband hates can have serious consequences for his health, relationships, future career and marriage. Helping your husband through the stress and depression of such a situation can also leave you feeling emotionally and mentally fatigued. The way you approach your husband and his situation can have a positive influence and may also help him view his current job differently.

Give your husband plenty of opportunity to air his frustrations, without being told what to do or how to feel about the situation, advised associate editor of "Psych Central" Margarita Tartakovsky in the article "How Couples Can Help Each Other De-stress and Improve Their Relationship." Hugging him, asking him what you can do to be helpful and supportive, and listening to what he has to say can go a long way in relieving work-related stress.

Incorporate stress-relief and fun into his off-work hours. Picking up a new hobby together, like fishing, or exercising can provide a distraction from work-related stress, suggested Tartakovsky. If certain things help him relax, having them prepared for when he gets home can be helpful. A prepared bath, his favorite snack on the counter or reservations made at his favorite restaurant can all be beneficial and supportive.

Ask your husband why he hates his job. Some of his hatred may stem from factors that are unlikely to change, such as a dislike for the career itself, or may be related to changeable factors, such as interacting with a particular co-worker. These answers can help you figure out possible solutions, according to the Two of Us article "How Stress Affects a Relationship." In the case of a difficult co-worker, you may think of solutions such as notifying human resources about inappropriate behavior or asking a supervisor to be moved to a different department to change the situation.

Encourage your husband to take timeouts at work. If the stress is getting too much to handle, taking a bathroom break or closing the office door to be in silence for a few minutes can help, according to Margery D. Rosen in the "Ladies' Home Journal" article "He Hates His Job -- and It's Ruining Our Marriage." If a heated disagreement occurs between your husband and someone at work, helping him practice the phrase, "Can we discuss this later when we have calmed down?" can go a long way.

Think about future plans. No one says that your husband has to be stuck in this line of work or even in this particular place of employment, for the rest of his life. Help him look into training programs at technical schools or universities that could help him branch into a new line of work, according to the Help Guide article "Finding the Right Career." He may also find that his current skill set and experience transfers well to a different field. Help him write or update his resume, keep track of job fairs and talk to family and friends about any openings they might know about can help both of you feel more proactive about his situation, even if he does not find himself employed again immediately.

Tip

  • If your husband has difficulty talking about his job, think about the questions that you are asking, advises Rosen. A lack of awareness about his field or asking yes or no questions like, "Did you have a good day?" can encourage a lack of communication. Instead, you might ask, "What happened during the conversation with your boss today?" or "How did that discussion with your client go?"

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

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