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Is work that important to a man?

I am no longer working, I am now a part-time student and a SAHM. When I did work though, it was just that: work. My husband used to love his job, but he's been complaining more and more that he is unhappy. Obviously, this is not the right time for him to change jobs since they are not easy to come by and he knows that, so he's been putting up with it. It is seriously affecting our home life though. I notice he has much less patience than usual, he's aloof and "tired" all the time, and he is always negative about everything. I never liked working and being away from my kids when I was and I did hate going every day. I never let it affect me at home though. I know it's a stereotype that careers kind of "define" a man though, so do you think it could be making him that unhappy that he's in some kind of depression or something?


Asked by Anonymous at 3:15 PM on Oct. 27, 2009 in Relationships

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • For men they have something inside of them where they are meant to be the they work...even when they are unhappy. My DH got the news of a company buy out and knew he was going to lose his job and it was the most stressful time for us...he NEEDED to work, but knew they were going to get rid of him. Thankfully he was able to find another job. If he is that unhappy then you guys should try looking for a new job. I know things are slim these days, but the effort may make him feel better. Try being more patient and understanding during this crazy time for him. Just make sure he knows how much you appreciate him , and his willingness to stick with it even though it is tough for him! Good Luck and I hope something else opens up for you guys!

    Answer by Rebecca727 at 3:30 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • I think if you are unhappy at your job, where you spend the majority of your time, of course you will be unhappy at home some too. Jobs are hard to come by, but is he looking for another job right now? I know it's hard these days, but if you are miserable in your job you really should try to find something else. I commend him for sticking it out and keeping this job though! Good luck with everything.

    Answer by jillisue808 at 3:20 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • I know for my husband it is.

    Answer by gulfcoastmom4 at 3:22 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • Every man like every woman is different. Why not talk to him about it. He can tell you exactly what is wrong. It could be many things until you have a converstation with him you won' t know what is important to him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:26 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • Why can't he look for another job? It is never a bad time to see what else is out there. There are great tips in the CafeMom Job Hunting Moms group:


    Answer by rkoloms at 3:38 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • OP - My husband is in a union, so I guess that is part of the reason he doesn't want to find another job, even though he's unhappy. He would love to work for another company within the union, but there is a list a mile long of others who would like to too and many of them are not working at all right now making them higher on the list than he would be since he is still employed. He does not want to leave the union; he worked his butt off to get in, so he doesn't want to leave that behind. I have tried talking to him about it, but my husband has always been very introverted and does not like to share his feelings. Since I've met him he's been like this. Trying to get him to talk about anything personal is like pulling teeth!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:45 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • Work is a man's life, in many cases. It's not really a stereotype. It is true. What you describe of him sounds like he is depressed. A man feels the weight of the world on his shoulders when he is the sole breadwinner and as a result, is tired and edgy. The negativity may be the most significan sign of a depression. Ask him what it's all about. You may not want to hear that not having you working is creating stress (I've heard it and i hated hearing it). Men of this generation don't just suck it up like those like previous generations. They expect more or their wives and cave more quickly to the pressure of their role. I just went through this with my husband. After a year or two, I had to give some ultimatums. He got a physical and the doctor helped him with the depression. He also followed up with counseling but it was a very difficult time.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:22 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • Wow, my response may be "outdated" I read the previous anonymous posted about "men of this generation" not sucking it up like those of previous generations..I'm guessing I'm the previous generation, we've been married 21 years. My husband has worked & I've been home most of that time. I do think that a job defines most men, they're the providers, especially if the wife stays home. If he's upset because you "get to stay home" & he's working, then you may have a problem. If however, there's something going on at his job causing stress, then all you can do is encourage him to look for another job, preferably in his union, & support him.

    My husband has always wanted me to stay home, he likes a traditional role. There've been a couple of jobs that made his life hell. It wasn't that he didn't want to work, it was that he knew he had a family to support & had to "suck it up" 'til he found a better option. It can be hard on all.

    Answer by ohwrite at 7:38 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • OP - No, he knows that I love staying home with the kids and he supports that. He agrees he'd rather have me raise them than someone else. His job has just been really crazy lately. Work is up and down, of course, with most everyone. Right now it's been a little steadier and he is not doing bad at all when it comes to hours, but his old boss just retired from his position over the company and a new guy took over. My husband thinks he has it out for him. Not sure if he does or not, but from what my husband says the guy is pretty deceitful and rude either way, whether it's just his natural way about him or whether it's intentional. I know it stinks for him, but I also know he is very close to being promoted too. I am trying to be patient and sympathetic, but also trying to push him to try to brush his shoulders off and just deal with it since he's not going to have to for much longer. It's a tough position to be in.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:19 PM on Oct. 27, 2009