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DH constantly talks about work and nothing else

(8 Posts)
elbowskneestoes Sat 04-Nov-17 06:33:26

I'm currently going through a stressful time for reasons I don't want to give for fear of outing myself.
DH has an extremely demanding job that he can't seem to switch off from. I used to work alongside him at the same place, however I left a couple of years ago as the employers were not particularly nice people, particularly with women. I felt quite traumatised for a while following leaving. I now have a job I love and a great employer, but I don't really like to think about the place DH still works as it holds so many negative memories for me.
DH however, talks about work constantly and it's really getting me down. He can't seem to even focus on tasks at home as it's all work, work, work occupying his mind. I also feel my stress levels rising each time he talks about the place. I have no desire to even think about it and yet I feel obliged as DH'S wife to sit and listen and advise often but I really hate it. He is happy at work overall, he says, but finds it all consuming. I am just about able to cope and listen to him when all is well at home, but with how things are at the moment, I don't even want to think about that place as it just adds to my stress levels enormously.
I can't get him to focus on anything else and I really need him to switch off when he's at home so he can actually help me. I do wonder if he's cut out for the job he's doing as he just has no off switch at all, which I had to learn to have when I worked with him as we had young DCs at the time. I've tried to be a supportive, listening wife, but I can't keep doing it when I need his head in the mode of home and family.

AIBU to want him to shut up and switch off?

scurryfunge Sat 04-Nov-17 06:37:47

Can you suggest any work talk is limited at home, say when he comes in for a short time only and then strictly no talking shop for the rest of the evening/weekend?
Be honest with him and talk to him about how much this is getting you down.

43percentburnt Sat 04-Nov-17 06:48:31

It does sound like the role may be too demanding for him. Does he ask you to help solve problems or discuss incidents that have happened? I’m guessing it’s not him discussing his colleagues and what they have been doing generally in a light hearted conversation.

I would suggest he cuts it down to 30 minutes after work. Does he have any other interests to discuss?

elbowskneestoes Sat 04-Nov-17 06:58:05

I would day it's a mixture of light hearted discussion and "this happened today, that happened today" type of thing.
We have tried limiting it before but he forgets himself and will talk at us at the dinner table when DCs want attention or even when he's just walked through the door.
I guess I wouldn't mind so much if he cared to listen about my day, but he is so consumed in his, that he often doesn't seem interested.
trying to get him to discuss finances/bills etc at home is another battle as his head is completely entrenched in work.
I remember his employer saying to me when I worked there "this isn't a job, it's a lifestyle choice." And it really is. I try to be thankful that his job largely pays for our nice home, but it's just not everything is it.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Sat 04-Nov-17 07:00:18

He sounds stressed out of his mind poor man. Best thing you can do is help him find ways to manage it. Exercise helps; learning some techniques to switch off eg mindfulness would too

elbowskneestoes Sat 04-Nov-17 07:05:32

I think you're right Karlos. Some techniques would be extremely helpful, but I'm just not sure that he would comply with me helping him in that way.
we even tried to have a romantic bath together this week and he was talking about work then too. I do feel so sorry for him and how difficult he's obviously finding the physical and emotional workload, but I'm really in need of his support myself and getting very little.

TheAtlanticWatch Sat 04-Nov-17 07:14:51

OP, I can completely relate to your situation as my DH is very similar.

We had a frank chat about the importance of him being able to switch off and relax at home for his own health and also for the family’s sake. Also discussing boundaries with work as he is permanently on call.

What seems to have helped massively is him having an evening off a week to do some sport/catch up with friends. This forces him to have a break and as I have the following evening off for a hobby, he also has an evening to focus exclusively on DC.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Sat 04-Nov-17 19:25:13

I think exercise can often be a way into getting someone into taking some time for themselves without guilt or feeling “ I should be working”. Gym at lunchtime?
I think a warning about dangers of burnout might be timely. No one has infinite gas in their tank. We all need to conserve what we have for the long haul.
Good luck and I hope things improve for you both. Can empathise with work stress. Taken me til age 42 to learn how to manage and I still have the odd wobble.

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