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DH's Boss Called Me...

(207 Posts)
supermanslefttesticle Wed 06-Dec-17 15:56:16

DH and I got married 6 weeks ago, we've been together 12 years, no kids, both in our late 20's.

FiL died 4 weeks ago and the funeral was last week. DH is an only child and extremely close to his parents, so it's understandably been a really hard time. He's been spending all day every day with MiL and only came home to sleep for the first time since FiL died 2 nights ago.

Anyway, his work have been super understanding and really good about the whole thing, but today his boss called me and asked what i thought would be best for him regarding his return to work hmm

Obviously, this is completely inappropriate to address me rather than DH and I told him that, but I genuinely believe he wants to help DH and it comes from a place of concern rather than wanting him back to work ASAP or anything.

It's coming up to a busy period for them and they dont want DH to return in the middle of it, so would like DH to phase return for a few hours a day until he gets back into it. DH's boss asked me not to tell DH we'd spoken, but this felt dishonest to DH so I called him after and said his boss had called and explained the phased back to work thing, asking if it's something he'd want to do etc.

DH got angry with me and said he felt like I was pressuring him to go back to work.

For clarity, I think he should go back to work and this phased plan looks like a great strategy to manage that, but I've been very clear with DH that i don't want to share my opinion on the situation with him because I dont want to influence his decision, so he's unaware of how i feel.

Ultimately, MiL needs to start being alone during the day as the current arrangement is unsustainable and DH really does need to start getting himself back on track, but how do I say this without hurting him and making him feel like I'm working against him?

I felt it was important to be honest about his boss calling me but he's now really angry with me, I still feel it was the right option though so I don't regret that, I'm just not sure what to do now? Do I tell him how I feel about him going back to work or trust he'll get his head back in the right place soon? Help sad

TheSpottedZebra Wed 06-Dec-17 16:01:01

4 weeks is quite a long time off work. Has he been signed off sick?

molifly Wed 06-Dec-17 16:03:15

You did exactly the right thing by telling him about the phone call, as hard as it probably was.

I don't think you're been unreasonable at all. 4 weeks off is a long time, i only get 5 days paid compassionate leave. His work aren't going to be so forgiving for long.

poorbuthappy Wed 06-Dec-17 16:06:36

I would see this as a way for the company to put the pressure on getting your DH back to work indirectly.
I think their patience is running out and the boss was trying to warn you.

Cambionome Wed 06-Dec-17 16:06:39

Four weeks off, and only came home to be with you two days ago??

Is his mother ill, very elderly, frail... ?

This seems excessive and very unfair on you.

CloseToTheEdge17 Wed 06-Dec-17 16:08:12

The longer he leaves it, the harder it will be. He needs to do the phased return to ease himself back in otherwise his job may not be kept for him as he can't be off indefinitely sad

Has he considered counselling? Losing a parent is hard (I lost my dad when I was young) but life has to go on and you can't grieve forever.

I would just be honest with him and tell him you are concerned about his wellbeing. You've been together 12 years, he must know that you only have his best interests at heart

supermanslefttesticle Wed 06-Dec-17 16:08:52

He had a sick note for the first week (you self cert for 7 days so the first 2 weeks of 4 are covered iyswim) and the dr said he could go back and get signed off in retrospect when he goes back to work, but if that was going to exceed 4 weeks total off work she wanted to see him to get him some counselling.

I just feel really helpless and guilty for upsetting him even more sad

Thing is, there's absolutely nothing he can do to help his mum now and the longer he's off the harder it will be to get back into work, so imo he should be looking to return to work slowly.

His work really have been fantastic so far and very understanding, but out of concern for him I think they also feel he needs to be getting back into things now.

I just feel if I say this to him I'm being really brutal sad

Babyblues052 Wed 06-Dec-17 16:09:16

For what it's worth I doubt he's really angry at you. It's difficult when someone dies. He will be angry about that and taking it out on you. You done the right thing telling him. It would be worse if he found out about the call and you didn't tell him.

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 06-Dec-17 16:09:25

Very odd his boss called you and of course you had to tell him! Even odder his boss asked you not to, it's very underhand. They're both adults and unless DH has been signed off sick, in which case the boss shouldn't be contacting him at all, his workplace has been incredibly understanding so this needs to be dealt with in calm professional totally official way.

DH must be very sad about the loss of his father, and worried about his mum, but he will have to go back to work eventually, and he needs to be a grown up about dealing with it. Lashing out at you really isn't helpful. Don't speak to his boss about it again, and tbh I'd leave DH to it as well as you've tried to help and he's thrown it back in your face. How would he have felt if when things have settled down a bit he found out his boss had been checking up on him with you and you'd kept it from him?

I'm sorry for the hard time you're going through, not the start of your marriage either of you would have hoped for flowers

supermanslefttesticle Wed 06-Dec-17 16:11:09

I agree I think his work are starting to need him back.

His mum is incredibly capable, she's 62 and retired last year, she's fully able to support herself and has no need for an extra person with her other than it being hard to be alone.

Thissameearth Wed 06-Dec-17 16:14:26

You sound really at pains not to express your opinion etc etc why is that? You've been together a long time and you're married - I generally want my husband's opinion and perspective. Why are you and him so cagey about you having a view?

4 weeks is a very long time to be off for adult loss of a parent. It sounds like his work are being excellent. Most people I work with take a couple of days off and then the day of funeral obviously. I'm not saying that's right but that's the norm here.

supermanslefttesticle Wed 06-Dec-17 16:15:45

Should also mention, he's paid hourly rates (40 hour contract) and they didn't pay him for last week so I'm not sure what's going on there, we're fine financially because I'm the breadwinner (hate that term) but we won't be able to sustain the loss of his wage for too long.

supermanslefttesticle Wed 06-Dec-17 16:18:26

I don't want to express my opinion on this subject to him because he'll feel pressured to do what I think is the right thing, and I don't want to pressure him indirectly because i can't possibly know exactly how he's feeling and I could very well be wrong, it might do more damage than good to go back at this point and that would be my fault if he went back due to my opinion. So I want him to go back under his own steam and make his own decision on this.

Bluntness100 Wed 06-Dec-17 16:23:11

Has your husband not being speaking to his work? It sounds like the boss is taking drastic measures by having to speak to you. A sort of last resort thing.

I’m afraid four weeks off from a work perspective isn’t ok and he may be now facing dismissal if they cannot get him to commit to a return and he’s not officially signed off by a doctor past the first two weeks. He’s moving into self dismissal by failing to turn up for duty. They seem to be very understanding but I would suspect that will shortly run out. Are they still paying him?

He is however a grown man. He won’t be angry with you, simoly angry he knows he should be working and not at his mums. She may also be getting sick of it to be honest.

I would leave it now. It’s his decision if he wishes to return to work or not. Yes there will possibly be consequences, but he knows that.

Lweji Wed 06-Dec-17 16:24:26

Tbh, as wife and work I'd insist he returns to work asap and full time. If his mother can't be alone, then they should find an appropriate solution.

And I'm speaking as someone whose dad died only over a year ago.
He's not the only adult to lost a parent and 4 weeks off is quite indulgent.
And it shouldn't require a phased return. It's equivalent to a long holiday.

FenellaMaxwellsPony Wed 06-Dec-17 16:25:18

4 weeks?? I say this as someone who was incredibly close to my dad and really heartbroken when he died, but 4 weeks is mad! The world can’t stop entirely and it’s gone on so long I think your husband has lost touch with reality.

Chowmum Wed 06-Dec-17 16:26:15

Can I be Mrs Unreasonable and suggest that the man-boy get a grip?
Four fecking weeks?

supermanslefttesticle Wed 06-Dec-17 16:30:27

Blunt I agree, I think work will be out of patience.

He has been talking to them, his boss's call to me was after DH's line manager spoke to him and DH said he thought he'd be returning in another weeks time. Then the line manager spoke to the boss, who then called me to float the phased return idea and ask how I thought DH would feel about it. The undertone of the conversation was very much "we need to start getting him back to work" though, so I think he's getting pressure to move things forward too one way or another.

I actually think his mum needs to be on her own, brutal as that sounds.

DH said during our conversation that "everyone says it's fine for me not to be at work but clearly it's not fine is it?" as if he's accusing me and his bosses of lying about it. I want to say "it was fine, but it's getting to the point now where it's no longer fine" but I didnt say it on the phone and now I@m not sure how to phrase it.

I think by talking to him about his boss calling me, I've made him feel attacked sad

Cambionome Wed 06-Dec-17 16:30:41

This is quite worrying, op.

Why are you so hesitant to express your opinion? You're married to this man, his behaviour affects you as well as him (especially if he basically decides to just stop working).

I think that you and his work are being incredibly reasonable, to be honest. He evidently doesn't need to be with his very capable mother every day, so he is doing this more for himself than her. Why doesn't he want to be with you, his new wife, and take comfort in spending time with you?

I appreciate that it's very difficult to deal with the death of a parent - my father died very suddenly and it was awful. But this situation needs to be sorted - don't be afraid to talk to him about it. You are not being unreasonable to be worried about the situation as it stands.


spreadinggirth Wed 06-Dec-17 16:30:56

You're right in the thick of it Op but from an outsider's point of view 4 weeks is a very long time.

TroelsLovesSquinkies Wed 06-Dec-17 16:31:30

Wow 4 weeks is a long time off.
He needs to be the one who gets on the phone and talks to his boss and get himself back to work. They are being very generous letting do a phased return.

WTBE Wed 06-Dec-17 16:32:01

Regarding him being angry at you I agree with another poster that it isn't actually towards you.

When my mum passed away my OH was incredibly patient however I still found fault in some things he said.
I snapped when he suggested its been x amount of time.. No time limit on grief.
I snapped when he rightfully said only I could pull myself out of the state I was in. I slowly did but I will admit I felt "pressure" to be fine by everyone even though that wasn't the case.
He will hopefully get back on track and will return to work and daily life.
However I would of been horrified if my boss had rung my partner and would of took it as edging me back to work! You are in a lose lose I'm afraid

Dailystuck71 Wed 06-Dec-17 16:32:59

Four weeks isn’t a huge long time when you tell us the funeral was only last week but that said, I think he needs to go back and probably should have done on Monday.

supermanslefttesticle Wed 06-Dec-17 16:33:18

CHowmum not unreasonable at all, althoughyou phrased it very unkindly, we're all aware he needs to get back to work, there was no need to clarify so roughly.

Eryri1981 Wed 06-Dec-17 16:33:34

Does DH mum have any extended family (siblings/ siblings in law) or friends who could visit or who she could stay with, so that your DH doesn't feel responsible/guilty for her being alone, and also to stop his mum becoming too dependent on him.

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