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To expect DH To consult me before giving up work?

(85 Posts)
CrushedWithEyeliner Thu 01-Sep-11 15:31:19

Background: I am SAHM, he works away during week. Has become stressed about work etc. recently. A couple of months ago his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, DH has (understandably) struggled with this also.

He has become withdrawn and argumentative with myself and the children to such a degree that I tentatively suggested he see his GP for counselling or a short course of ADs to help with initial shock he may be experiencing.

All to no avail, he is on verge of tears often, but will not talk about it.

Last week he spoke to me and then work about a possible transfer to be closer to work. They have already started to discuss a new role that would be within 50 miles of home.

This weekend he said to me that actually, he wanted to ask for 3 month hiatus to be home. Now this morning he has mentioned the possibility of manual labour jobs in the near vicinity and just called to tell me he has applied to reduce hours to a three day week.

I think he is depressed and is not thinking entirely rationally. If I were to work instead of him, my salary would be around 20% what he earns so not practical.

The job Market is not strong enough for him to guarantee another job in the new year and I'm panicking about how we can survive if he does this.

I'm pissed off that he is messing with my family's security and hasn't even consulted me about all these changes of heart, not to mention that (selfishly) I don't want him at home for 3 months if he is going to continue to be argumentative and unreasonable to me and children. I can't tell him this and add to his stress but feel powerless and a complete bitch

So AIBU to tell him to stay in work or should I deal with it?

CrushedWithEyeliner Thu 01-Sep-11 15:35:20

Can see why people post essays now! Thanks to anyone that manages to wade through my angst wink

belindarose Thu 01-Sep-11 15:36:13

How difficult for you. Are there any options around you doing some part time work maybe and him sharing the child care? I can imagine my DH doing this sort of thing without 'consulting' me as he often forgets to communicate, especially when emotions are involved. I sometimes think it must be a huge burden, being the sole wage earner.

RobinSure Thu 01-Sep-11 15:37:33

If he's suffering from depression, just telling him to stay in work won't help. You need to convince him that you'll go to the gp with him, and that there's nothing wrong with suffering from depression. He'll probably be just as worried about the family as you are, which won't be helping. You need to try and keep things normal for him, while encouraging him to get help.

Insomnia11 Thu 01-Sep-11 15:39:01

He does sound very depressed, stressed and burned out, with good reason what with his father being very ill too. Could the GP sign him off work for a while? Can he discuss it with anyone at work?

That may give you time to talk about it and have a look at what the options are. Perhaps you could both work part-time.

OTheHugeRaveningWolef Thu 01-Sep-11 15:40:20

God, that's hard. Your DH is the sole source of income for your family but is cracking up under various pressures.

You need to have a long chat with him and work out a solution. If he cracks up completely and can't work at all then you're not going to be in a better position, so you need to be realistic about the state he's in. If he's talking about jacking it all in and getting a job on a building site or whatever, then he's in a proper mess and you need to take it seriously. But equally you and he need to make a plan together for how you're going to get through this - if he starts taking decisions without involving you it won't be good for the long-term health of the relationship.

belindarose Thu 01-Sep-11 15:41:28

To be honest, the times I've been depressed it's only been the prospect of leaving a job I hated, or knowing I could if I wanted to, that helped me pull through. Having to stay in a job regardless would have made things much worse. But that was all back in days before I had family responsibilities. The pressure to provide for the family whe feeling like that must be very difficult.

mercibucket Thu 01-Sep-11 15:41:40

instead of just reducing his work hours or jacking in the job, is he able to take some sick leave? he sounds ill (ie depression) if you can afford it, I'd highly recommend cogntive behavioural therapy, which I think you can also get on nhs but might take longer. first stop GP and see what they say

theoldtrout01876 Thu 01-Sep-11 15:44:44

My exh did this to me twice.Took a job change within the same company that involved a pay cut and never mentioned it to me.I threw him out after he did it a 3rd time as this time it involved changing hours that severely impacted my job and our childcare costs.

Just realized how callous that sounds. There was way more to it than that but that was just the icing on the cake iykwim

Theala Thu 01-Sep-11 15:45:01

Could you work for the two days that he's not?

I would normally be pissed off if my DH took such a decision without my input, but if he's as depressed as you say, then maybe you should cut him some slack.

CrushedWithEyeliner Thu 01-Sep-11 15:46:46

No, the talk about GP brooked no room for discussion. If he is depressed, he will cope without ADs as that is somehow weak and he does not want to do that (I used to be on ADs myself but tried not to be offended)

I looked at part time but it really would be peanuts after this long out of workplace. I understand the pressure as sole income earner but think that he is reacting rather than thinking IYSWIM

He can't control his father's illness and the feelings related to that, so is projecting onto an area he can change. However, he's not thinking about how that change will affect his underlying feelings hence the jumping from idea to idea. Which is fine and I can support him and help him til the cows come home. But if he gives his job up in the meantime, we are all screwed.

Think it will all end in a massive argument if I try to explain that he isn't well and needs help rather than a career break

willugotobed Thu 01-Sep-11 15:47:59

Maybe you could take some of the pressure off him by having a look at finances and seeing how you can manage? Perhaps getting a weekend or part-time job yourself? He sounds very unhappy and stressed. If you could persuade him to see the GP some treatment might really help him.

LoveBeingIgnoredByMardyBra Thu 01-Sep-11 15:50:07

I took vr the morning after I found out my dads illness was terminal. I do understand where his head is. I didn't get another job for over a year and then just pt. My dad died in nov, 5 mtgs after I started my pt job.

I am so pleased I got to spend all that extra time with my dad.

belgo Thu 01-Sep-11 15:51:14

Difficult situation. It sounds like he is depressed, and that is an illness. You really have to give him all the support he needs. Forcing him to stay in a job that he hates will only make him a lot more ill. At least he is taking steps to find viable alternatives (eg. reducing hours/manual work); and he is talking to you about it, and believe me, those are good signs.

He really does need to see his GP, and maybe get sick leave.

However hard it is, YOU have to be strong for your dh and your family, and show him support for his decision.

CrushedWithEyeliner Thu 01-Sep-11 15:53:51

If we could discuss it and come up with plan together, look for work closer to home, whilst reducing hours of job that he's got. I'd feel so much better, it's like waiting for a car crash to happen and being helpless to stop it.

He only started job 6 months ago so is not in titled to sick leave (!)

old trout We have twice moved areas due to him being dissatisfied with his work. I had to turn down a job offer in my dream area and I am now in an area that I know no-one and am on my own all week. So I feel your pain!

Thank you all for the replies, I think I have to be a little more sympathetic towards him and grit my teeth ( am not great at that though)

OTheHugeRaveningWolef Thu 01-Sep-11 15:54:42

It does sound as though his machismo is getting in the way of thinking clearly about what's best in the long run.

After all, if he ends up jacking in the job with no prospect of finding another, then you all end up skint/having to move/whatever, it puts a strain on your relationship etc etc etc he's going to be even more up shit creek than he is right now.

Can you maybe get him to consider getting himself signed off for a few months with stress? It's actually pretty common during recessions - the rehab/burnout clinic industry has been enjoying a counter-cyclical boom since 2008 with all the miserable, anxious, stressed-out high flyers facing an ever-increasing workload for ever-decreasing returns.

He might feel a bit less unmanned if you point out to him that it's strong people who burn out, as others might give up or change direction earlier. Or not. I don't know. But at least if he's willing to consider taking a bit of breathing space while he takes stock and recovers a bit you might be in a stronger position to make a decision - together - about how to move forward.

belgo Thu 01-Sep-11 15:54:52

'But if he gives his job up in the meantime, we are all screwed. '

You will be far more screwed if his mental health cracks under the pressure of everything in his life.

CrushedWithEyeliner Thu 01-Sep-11 15:59:40

I'm not suggesting he should stay exactly as it is, just would like to be consulted beforehand as it affects me too.

Maybe he could hit the ideas off me rather than the different messages he is giving out at work.

I would be happy for him to reduce hours, just the passive waiting for a decision is getting to me,

belgo Thu 01-Sep-11 16:01:01

It's not just about being sympathetic towards him; you need to understand what he is going through and get him the help he needs. And do something to help your family to be financially secure - look at going back to work yourself.

Birdsgottafly Thu 01-Sep-11 16:01:43

OP do you yet have any support from the Macmillian Nurses, they provide support and counselling for family members?

I would recommend sick leave, also. He needs abit of space to think.

porcamiseria Thu 01-Sep-11 16:02:21

really hard for you, but he needs to SORT HIS SHIT OUT, I know that sounds harsh but he has a family to support, how the fuck does he think you will pay bills etc?

think you need to thunk about working on the 2 days he dopes not work, but thats not easy is it?

just cos he is stressed he cant jack everything in. sorry but he cant, he needs to man up

sorry OP

porcamiseria Thu 01-Sep-11 16:03:50

anyway, you nned calm and logic here

can you do a simple spreadsheet and show it to him, how can you survice if you need XX and he earns YY

I am sorry his dad is dying but you know what shit happens

scrambedeggs Thu 01-Sep-11 16:04:16

you sound like you are more worried about him packing in work than his actual wellbeing sad

Maybe, inadvertently, you are stressing him out more

Birdsgottafly Thu 01-Sep-11 16:05:03

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Thu 01-Sep-11 16:05:20

Was your dh struggling with work related issues before he received the news of his df's prognosis?

Given his mood changes/swings, before he makes any decision that he may regret he is best advised to visit his GP and discuss whether a course of ADs and/or counselling would be appropriate.

Reducing his working week to 3 days and working closer to home may alleviate some of his stress and may enable him to properly work through the feelings that have been triggered by his df's terminal condition.

You will need to be extremely patient and forebearing to see him through this period in his life, but he needs to understand that it is not acceptable for him to take his angst out on you and your dc and that, if he continues in this vein, he will be storing up more grief for himself as his behaviour may have a long-term adverse effect on those closest to him.

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