Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Dh unhappy about things he cannot change, what can I do?(34 Posts)
So my husband has lost a job because of health reasons (years ago). It was the same kind of job his Dad held and his grandfather had before him.
Meanwhile hubby found a new job...and by the way one which is better payed and has higher prestige, climbed the career ladder, should be very happy but still so sad because he believes that the only people worth while work in this occupation which he has been told from his fathers knee.
Now he is unhappy about this and often goes on about how the people on his new job really, really suck, because working with them is like trying to herd cats.
He is their superior at work, he tells them something and they all have their own agendas and basically do not function as a team and he sort of blames himself for this but also blames them and grows really resentful. He used to work for another company same kind of job before and it basically was the same.
Then is really unhappy with his job, his life, the fact he cannot work in his old job.
Truth to be told I am not sure if the people in his new job really are that bad or if he only has a negative attitude.
I have spend a whole lot of time listening to his complaints about them (and actually it is a bit offensive because I also never worked in the job he did at first) and gently try to make him change the topic but often that does not work.
What can I do? Getting really fed up with the topic.
Try the broken record technique. Every time he moans about it reply with the same 'What are you going to do about it?' every single time.
It will make him think, reflect and hopefully realise that when people live lives of quiet, or in your case, very vocal desperation they have two choices: do something or do nothing.
Oh, I did this before and he said that there is nothing he can do about it. Those people just ARE like this. According to him.
Well, I have met them a few times and actually liked them.
Have to say that there are a few others things he despairs about but does nothing (his weight for example, but I decided to take matters in my own hands).
When it comes to other things he is hardworking and driven... but some things... just likes to sit there wringing his hands over it.
I think he maybe stuck in grief circle for his old job . Have though about suggesting counciling for him to get him moving on with life .
He is seeing a therapist because he has PTSD (and that is the reason why he cannot work in his old job + the fact he is short of hearing). So it is basically two things he cannot change no matter how much he wishes too, but he is seeing a therapist and I am sure he did discuss that.
Get him to look into management courses. They will give him ideas and strategies to dealing with different personalities. That may help with that part.
Thanks! He already has been to management courses.
BTW I think it is also a bit of an attitude because he also wrings his hands over other things like being short of hearing, his weight and then I decided to change my cooking... in process if doing that and he thinks it is very nice but pointless.
So he does not seem to see that there is the possibility to change things + possibility to accept things.
My problem is: this is dragging me down too. Whenever we have friends over for a few days and they are gone again it is like falling into a hole because the house becomes such a depressive place again.
I wonder if this is bad for our kids.
He is a good man and a worthy man and always treats me right, hardworking and honest + has ever been there for him when I needed him.
But he has a talent for being unhappy and wearing sullen looks.
It is, actually, ok to tell him that you are seriously thinking about leaving because you are so sick of his persistent whining.
It is incredibly draining to live with a whiner. And yes, your H is a whiner. He doesn't have everything he wants. Boo fucking hoo. He will not do anything to help himself, and just carries on whining.
You could try saying 'Bored now' and leaving the room every time he starts, as well, but only if you think it's possible he will get a grip.
I don't want ti hurt his feelings but, yes, I guess I will have to do this.
Posted to fast. Was your dh like this? Has he changed now?
Guessing, Is he ex military? There's specific issues/support services available if so?
Yes, he is. How did you know that? He is seeing a therapist who specialized on people like him.
But I don't think that this is a military issue, but it is more because his father and grandfather before him held the same job and if they had been bakers he would think that bakers were the only people worth while and everybody else sucks, because he is pretty proud of his family tradition.
So basically I told him how unhappy I was and had a real long conversation with him... with this which left him astonished because he did not know it... I told him before but somehow he did not realize how important the topic was for me... and said he would stop talking about what's on his mind... made me unhappy. I did not want him too.
Now he is making an extra effort to be cheerful, but somehow it feels "fake".
Wonder how I can help him cheer up.
Has he actually been assessed for depression by a doctor? Being depressed vs being a moaner or a pessimist are very different. If he's clinically depressed he should be treated and might be a little more receptive to change.
If he's been indoctrinated from birth that being a Military Man is the only worthwhile role on the planet I can see it's hard to change that but he does need to try. Nobody has the right to make others miserable.
Sounds like two issues. The first, is being forced out of a career that he has been brought up to highly value. The second, is adjusting to the completely different culture that most modern organisations have that is completely different to what he was used to in the military. I've had numerous ex-mil people working with or for me over the years and a lot of them struggle with this. In the military, they are used to a very strict hierarchical structure where it's the norm that orders are given and followed without question. That's not how it works on civvie street and he needs to adapt to that, whether he likes it or not.
Has he had help from someone who spefically understands the military? It sounds like he could do with that. Some military people who work with guys back from war etc do private work too. Would that help?
He needs help to let the disappointment go. Is his df alive? Could he talk to him and sort of realise him from that expectation that maybe was put on him.
Does he know you are not disappointed in him?
It made me smile when you asked a PP how the knew it was military. That was my guess from your OP even before you mentioned the PTSD and hearing impact.
I don't think it would be the same if his family were bakers actually - military is not a job, it's a life. So he isn't just coping with a job change. I definitely agree that specialist experienced counselling is the way to go. It sounds very tough for him - and you.
I guessed military, because of his problem with "herding cats". I dated an Army Major, and he told me of a couple of friends who had come out (voluntarily I think). He said they struggled in management positions because they were literally used to "pulling rank" and didn't get obeyed and respected just because of their position. I'm not saying for a moment that the best in the military lead by fear. I am sure that the best leaders in the military make the best leaders outside of it too. But my Army Major told me it really frustrated his two friends that it was simply never an option to just bellow at the team to make them do something!! He said they did adjust though - hope your husband can too.
Thanks for your answers. To answer your questions:
I think he was depressive years ago. He was feeling suicidal back then but did not tell me until much later. He has promised me to tell me if he ever feels like this again. I do not think he is feeling depressive right now.
Yes, his df is alive and well. I think his df does not like me very much. He is a bit of a complicated personality. It is always his way or the highway. Dh loves his father, so I act meek around him but I never had a personal conversation with him. Talking with him would be very difficult. Pretty sure he is not going to take advice from me. Having said that he is not treating hubby mean. He is actually nice with him, but he is not "cuddly" with him. That is not the way he is. They have a stiff upper lip in that family.
Dh is seeing a therapist who specialized in people like him.
Does he know I am not disappointed in him. Well, I tell him I am very proud of him. So take his weight for example. He is not fat, just a bit pudgy but very unhappy with this. So I Tell him that he looks great and is very fit and that I am sure other women envy me. Well, I don't lie. I think he is goodlooking.
Well, now that you mentioned his father, he is a bit overly critical of small things and he never does this. When dh for example said he was fat his dad told him "Yep, that's true. You could loose some weight. Don't let yourself ago", but he does not mean any harm because that is how he is.
I also tell him how proud I am of his job.
Dh and me have a datenight when the nanny is with the children sigh, but actually we do not do many things together because he just wants to stay at home watch TV and be unhappy and I do not enjoy it.
Often I end up going to the movies or the bowling alley with my friends but he does not join in. As I mentioned he has PTSD so he does not enjoy those things... but he never comes up with any ideas what we could do instead. So he just sits at home and watches TV and has a beer. When I come home he looks really unhappy. So I ask him if he is unhappy and he says he does not mind and I ask him what we should have done instead and he has no idea. That is especially bad in autumn and winter, because he is an outdoors guy. So in the summer month we find something to do but I dread winter.
Do you think he really does not mind?
I started changing our diet. We eat a lot healthier now.
Well... I discovered that I am not really happy with our lives right now and I think I am going to change some things. I am going to find out what activities are fine for people with PTSD and drag him along.
I have dragged him along before. For example we now have a game park day when we go to the game park with the children. I have forced it on him but now he enjoys it.
Sorry for the long rant. I process things by talking about them.
@Ellisandra:How did they start adjusting to their new jobs. Do you know.
I really think you need couples therapy, as soon as possible. It's not fair that he is using you as his emotional punching bag. There's only so much bitching and moaning any one person can take.
I suggested couples counseling... years ago and he did not want to go... he was like "I don't want a stranger judging us/I don't want a stranger in our marriage", I mean he is seeing a therapist but that is hard for him because he does not like talking about stuff with strangers.
He whines to me because I am his confidant.
...and then I dropped the topic, because I did not want to be the woman who complains about her husband to a consultant if he does not want me to. I did not want to make him feel bad... so I dropped the topic.... the situation continued. Well...
Sorry to be harsh, but you need to forget about what HE wants and what he is willing to share with a therapist. You are allowing yourself to be the one who is being beaten down with all of his moaning. This is totally unfair to you and VERY damaging to your health, both physical and mental. He doesn't want to go to couples counseling? TOO FUCKING BAD. He isn't the only one in this marriage. No wonder he's still such a moaning baby - he refuses to help himself. It's time to make your own demands and stand up for yourself. You deserve peace and happiness, too.
A good counsellor is not there to judge you or tell you what you should or shouldn't do. Their job is to facilitate you communicating with each other.
@Aquamarine: but he is a good husband and a lovely person apart from that.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.