Stress on a significant other

I’m fairly unhappy with my job. I know the first thing people do is say “at least you have a job”.

Don’t do that, it’s dismissive.

Anyway, in my position I really don’t have equal level colleagues to vent to, just subordinates. So I’ll share the stress that this is causing me with my wife, needing to talk to somebody.

I’m now sure that I’m causing her a great deal of stress with all of this. I want to talk about it and get it out, but I don’t want to bring her down with me.

What experiences have you had with this sort of thing?

8 thoughts on “Stress on a significant other

  1. Solstice says:

    [I’m fairly unhappy with my job as well, so I understand how you’re feeling. Vent to friends you trust, just not too often or else they’ll get tired of hearing it. Writing in a journal is a good idea too as AKchic said, or even just writing your thoughts on a piece of paper, then ripping them up. If you have any online forums you can vent on, that can help too! I think your wife would understand if you talk to her about things once in awhile, just try not to unload your work complaints on her constantly.

  2. AKchic says:

    [I can understand what you’re going through.

    I am in a unique position in my company as well, and even though they have hired more people with the same job title, I am still the only person doing my jobs (yes, plural). One was supposed to be temporary (2.5 years ago) and now they’ve made it permanent even though I have routinely made it known that I hate that aspect of my duties. And that I’m overworked. I’m not management, but that part of my job means that managers jump at my beck and call. The other part of my job means that OTHER managers answer to me as well around the state. I answer to 4 direct supervisors, the executive director, 2 indirect supervisors and the board of directors. Don’t ask what I have to do to get a day off.

    My SO was working part time in an almost minimum wage job (that conveniently forgot to give him the promised 90 day raise). When he brought it up at his 1 year review, all of the sudden, he “forgot” to do something that everyone else routinely forgets and they fired him with no warning. He fought it and they revised it to suspended pending an investigation. Then they called him on what should have been his next working day to say he missed his shift (note that they fired him, then suspended him so he couldn’t come in) and he was definitely fired. Then that supervisor didn’t tell anyone else so he kept getting called in for other shifts and they didn’t get his last check to him as he was supposed to.

    When dealing with complaints to a spouse, it’s hard. Sometimes, they want to hear, but other times, they just feel like a failure. You have to time your bitching. Is it a bad time for them? Right now, I can’t because he’s looking for a job and is feeling bad because he has an IT degree (from a terrible school and nobody in this state will hire anyone with an IT degree from that school thanks to it’s poor reputation) and can’t get much more than minimum wage. He doesn’t want to go back to retail, and he can’t do fulltime work unless he wants to spend his entire paycheck and then some on daycare (we have four kids).

    I do recommend journaling. Livejournal works great for this. Put everything on “Private” and go to town. Once you’re done venting, you can prioritize what your wife needs to know and you will be much calmer and more factual about the issues rather than bitchy and hostile. Plus, it’s a great way to document work-related matters in case you ever need it.

  3. AboDabo says:

    [I agree with AKchic, Solstice, Happy Pants, and lilredbmw, Journaling is a great way to both process and vent. I recently started using a private Livejournal account for myself as a way to document my new eating and exercise habits, and am liking the website so far.

    Also, it can be really nice to discuss an issue with someone who’s having a similar one. Maybe there’s someone else at your workplace that you can connect with and vent to a little bit? Just make sure you aren’t doing any shit-talking, and whatever you do say is coming from a place of owning your own role in whatever the situation is, if there even is a ‘situation.’

  4. Happy Pants says:

    [This is going to sound crazy, but in addition to the journaling, have conversations with yourself in your car. On your way home, just get it all out, as if you were talking to your wife. You can still talk to her about things later, but you’ll at least have blown off a lot of the initial stress and frustration before you do. I can tell you that since I moved to NYC and don’t have my personal space during my commute to help me vent, my stress level has gone way up. You have to get it out, even if no one’s listening.

  5. Matt Sanchelli says:

    [I can completely relate to you on this one.

    I’ve dealt with job dissatisfaction before (read – currently) so it usually comes difficult to speak about my work day without making it sound…well…boring.

    Personally, I’ve tried to avoid complaining/venting to my girlfriend about this because I don’t want to become “that guy” and agree with you on not wanting to bring her down with me. Sure, some days are more difficult than others to fake, but as a whole I try to keep career dissatisfaction separate from my personal relationship.

    She is incredibly supportive of my situation, and sympathizes; more so by going out of her way at times to help me network and find things she knows would make me happy.

    At the end of every day though I firmly understand that I am personally responsible for my “destiny” and it is largely (if not completely) up to me to take initiative and make things better for myself.

    Are you needing to vent just due to stress at a job, that you otherwise love/enjoy doing? Or are you not completely satisfied with the work situation entirely?

    When I find I can’t vent (or don’t want to burden others) I find something to immerse myself into. Something that brings me great satisfaction.

    To be honest, since becoming part of LemonVibe, when I’m feeling down about my job I come here so I can actually feel some personal accomplishments and that I’m doing something that actually means something. To someone…I’m making a difference.

    Otherwise, I think of ‘Office Space’ and imagine I’m Ron Livingston. 😉

  6. lilredbmw says:

    [I think this one resonates with many of us. We all have stress and it will affect our relationships at some point. My husband has hated his job for a while. Years. Over the years he became more and more bitter. He would share and I would try and be supportive until it just ended up being a strain on our relationship. The reason it became such a strain is because it was just the same bitterness and frustration day after day, with no resolution. It was like the movie “Groundhog Day.” Same song, different day. Until we made an effort to figure it all out.
    Yes, it is wonderful you are employed. But it sounds like that is about it. I don’t see you adding any fulfillment by being employed where you are. But I get it. You need a job. But you don’t need to STAY forever. I realized that my husband felt stuck and that’s why he got so bitter. He felt he had to stay there in order to pay the bills, etc. He also felt like he couldn’t go anywhere else. But after a lot of soul-searching and planning, he decided to go back to school. And he excelled! Now, he is not bitter because he sees a little bit of hope at the end of the day.
    So, journal about it, talk to yourself about it, vent to whomever. But make an effort to change your circumstances. Right now you are revving your engine, but not going anywhere. For a while, this will work but soon you will run out of fuel and what is left is strained relationships with your SO, your family and most of all, yourself.

  7. AKchic says:

    [Also – where I’m at, I can go shooting whenever I want (within reason, of course). If I need to blow off steam, I can go target shooting, or, if I’m feeling particularly antsy, I can blow shit up. I make my own ammunition, so I can get a bit “creative”. Especially when going out to lone stretches of wilderness in the middle of nowhere. Or when visiting my grandpa’s ashes (an old hunting spot). Light fireworks, shoot empty beer/liquor bottles, blow up a few things (there’s still some old 50s-80s rusted hulks out there. Great stress relief and it keeps the wild life from getting too, well, curious. Except mosquitos. They’ll still sneak a bite or 20 on your ass while you’re drawers are dropped.

  8. EricaSwagger says:

    [I’m in a similar situation. The owner and CEO of my company are generally just horrible to work with. It’s a small company. I have employees to manage, who don’t really understand the grief I’m given a lot of the time. And my 3 “equals” are nice, but I’m never sure if I can trust them if I were to vent my frustrations.

    So the stress-rants fall on my boyfriend’s ears. At this point, any time I even bring up work, all he says is “I fucking hate that place.” And if I mention my boss, it’s “I fucking hate him.” Great input. Doesn’t help my stress at all.

    What I need, (and what YOU need) is support. Someone to say “I know it doesn’t make a difference, but how about we talk about what you wish you could change?” Turn the conversation positive. You’ll still be talking about the crappy job you have and how much you dislike aspects of it; but the tone of the conversation is more positive when you’re discussing plans to better the place, or making fake plans to quit.

    No, you probably won’t be able to fix any of the bad things about where you work. But talking about them in a different way will seriously help the mood and the stress levels.

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