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Help-husband can't cope with work stress

(15 Posts)
Teaface1981 Wed 05-Oct-16 07:59:05

My husband used to work the same job as me, it's inherently stressful and his performance began to suffer. Feeling he was going to have to walk or be pushed, he secured another job and resigned. I was so relieved that the stress was over but three weeks in and husband was crying this morning because he was so worked up about going in.
He says it's very busy and very stressful. It sounds to me like he hasn't had much positive feedback and is made to feel that any mistake he makes will be the end of the world and result in him being told he isn't passing his probation.
His upbringing makes him quite needy for positive feedback-his father continually told him he'd never amount to anything and would be lucky to be a binman. Neither parent showed much affection and as a result he has a strong need to be liked by everyone. I'm trying to be supportive but this kind of stressing bring about the following in me:
Huge anxiety about what people will think of he loses his job, worrying that he won't be able to cope with any job, annoyance that he can't cope and a feeling he should just just bloody well get on with it, anxiety that he might need treatment for anxiety! I feel like having to say to people that he couldn't last a month in a bloody office job is the equivalent to saying "my husband is a total loser!". I'm worried that he's looking for an elusive job that requires no hard work or stress!!

I realise I don't come out of the above too well lol! I just wondered how you would feel in my situation?

Felascloak Wed 05-Oct-16 08:06:21

Aaaw. Your poor DH. In your situation I would worry he was actually ill with anxiety or depression caused by his previous job, making it hard for him in his new job. I'd be encouraging him to see the doctor and maybe take some holiday or a week sick leave to try to get his head together.
Does his work have an employee assistance programme he could access? Some counselling might help too.

If none of that works maybe you need to have a conversation about if there's anything you can do as a couple to help. Perhaps he could go part time? Or become a SAHD?

TheNaze73 Wed 05-Oct-16 08:08:30

Sounds like he needs to see a professional about anxiety. Sounds like an awful position to be in

Teaface1981 Wed 05-Oct-16 08:11:21

I think perhaps a trip to the doctor is in order. Part time unfortunately isn't an option with the employer and I'm not sure he'd cope with all day at home with our children either! I'll try and talk to him about treatment xx

User14625592 Wed 05-Oct-16 08:18:21

These are textbook stress/anxiety symptoms.

He is worrying about things that may never happen.

He is taking everything to the next level. I am busy, it's too much for me, no one is praising me so I must be doing a bad job, if I'm doing a bad job I will get fired, to save myself getting fired I will resign, I will never get another job, how will I support my family, I am a failure.....

Of that sequence only one of the things is actually a here and now problem and that is he is in a new job and he is not yet at full throttle as no one would be in this situation.

He can receive medication for anxiety but CBT therapy is most useful and you can self refer through your doctors.

I would strongly recommend this. It's the best thing I ever did.

Madinche1sea Wed 05-Oct-16 08:20:58

Hi OP - yes he definitely sounds like he needs to see the GP. He could well be having a breakdown tbh. The good news is that he's letting you in and not bottling it up and/ or resorting to alcohol or some other coping mechanism. Don't worry about what anyone thinks. He sounds ill.

Teaface1981 Wed 05-Oct-16 08:21:04

Thank you, I do feel he's catastrophising-it's been hard for me to get perspective as I'm so close but yes, I think you're right.

User14625592 Wed 05-Oct-16 08:39:28

Have a look on the net at CBT for anxiety and it should give you some tips.

Here are things that can help.

1. Exercise - even if just walking
2. Cutting out Alcohol
3. Eating well

These three all help with mental health.

In terms of addressing the problem some of these are therapies used by CBT professionals.

Breathing exercises
Taking a step back - before jumping in and staying something or picking an argument just take a moment to think about what you are going to do/say.
Put yourself in the position of an invisible person in the room. How would they advise you when you are having negative thoughts
Write an action plan to deal with the here and now, write down all of the potential solutions and find the one that suits you best and do it.
Learn to identify what is a here and now problem and what is only a perceived problem that may never happen. Learn to park the perceived problems and just deal with the here and now.

Obviously going for therapy himself will help better but this gives you some idea of what they focus on.

Madinche1sea Wed 05-Oct-16 08:40:38

Yes it can be overwhelming and frustrating when you're the only outlet for him. Is he the type that will actually be willing to go to the GP for help? Even if he's resistant I think you will have to force him. Does he have any hobbies or do anything for himself?

sentia Wed 05-Oct-16 08:42:47

He does sounds depressed. I find this very helpful when I'm going through periods of not coping.

SandyY2K Wed 05-Oct-16 09:40:47

Does he have occupational health at work or any EAP (employee assistance programme) that he can get support from.

Teaface1981 Wed 05-Oct-16 15:35:51

Thanks for all your replies, you really helped sort my head out. He's had a really good chat with his new manager today who was really supportive-that in itself has calmed him down significantly. However he's still going to see his GP. Thanks again xxx

WittyCakeMeister Wed 05-Oct-16 16:20:36

Just read, after writing this, that things seem to be getting better. That's great. This was what I'd written:

Loads of jobs are really stressful. It's likely that this is really another stressful job, and that he's not over-reacting. Unfortunately many companies are going that way - cutting costs and piling the pressure on their existing workforce.

First of all, try to be calm and don't panic as it may add to your husband's stress. He can still keep looking for jobs, to keep his options open. It is quite normal these days to change workplaces frequently, and it may not be viewed negatively if he changes jobs again. He could give a good, bland reason, like 'involved too much travelling/nights away/job didn't stretch me enough/job was not as advertised', etc. He could even miss this current job off his CV and pretend to his next employer that he just had a career break or a long holiday, living off savings for a while, if he doesn't want to include it (done that loads of times).

New jobs are ALWAYS stressful. He's probably been thrown into the deep end and it can take a year to get your head around a new job and feel comfortable with it. Reassure him that it was always going to be a difficult time.

He should speak to his manager (just read that he's done that!) to see if he can gain a clearer understanding of expectations. Also, he needs to set his manager's expectations - 'what are the priorities?' 'If I focus on X today, then Y won't get done until Friday'. Start sentences with "I need your help with...."; it makes it difficult for them to say no, and inflates their ego.

He should see a doctor and talk about how he feels. He needs to be really honest with the doctor. He may consider going on anti-depressants - they don't have to be a long-term solution (I've used them twice before for two particularly stressful periods of my life, for short periods), but they really do make you feel as if things 'don't matter'. It will have a calming affect on him to help him through this period (does not mean you have issues). They can have other side effects (for me though, the only negative affect they had was that it can numb you in physical ways - sex drive can be affected), so just bear that in mind.

If things don't get better, think about how you can relieve the financial pressure by returning to work / upping your hours / changing jobs. If you know you have options if the worst happens, it will help you feel more 'in control' and less stressed about the situation.

Hope that helps x

Teaface1981 Thu 13-Oct-16 22:11:58

Hi all just wanted to pop back and say thank you again for your advice. After broken promises of things changing, husband has decided the job is definitely not for him. After much discussion and weighing of our options we've decided he will take some time out, get a bit more healthy and work towards a job that he really wants. I really appreciated all of your replies, thank you for your non-judgemental, empathetic advice xx

HelloSunshine11 Thu 13-Oct-16 22:29:22

That sounds really positive OP, I'm glad he's recognised there's an issue as that's half the battle. My H had a similar issue with really not dealing well with the stress of his job at all. He ended up finding a counsellor privately after we reached breaking point and it made a huge difference to him, basically I got my husband back but it took a while. He also started exercising and sorted his diet out and things have been so much better. I hope he can get some help and things improve for both of you.

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