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New Job New Chance

Question:

Hi,

I just got a new job. A new chance at a career really. I have been laid off for two years. Not a good scenario for anyone and I had frankly started to give up. So, I’ve got the best job I have ever had and, my wife is miserable with me. I can’t count the mistakes I have made or will make for that matter, but here is my chance, our chance as a family, and my wife won’t see it.

I feel like if we just focus on the task at hand, grab this opportunity and run with it, a bunch of our problems will seem trivial. Evidently, my wife feels like now would be a good time to settle all our quarrels. I do mean all our quarrels. We are having fights about everything we have ever fought about. I want to fully invest in this job, a job she pretty much begged me to go after and then seemed non committal about when I got it.

We could blow this. I’ve told her that. I will have to focus on this thing to keep it and it is a damn good job for me and us. But, if my every waking moment is trying to figure out how to get out of the dog house at home, I won’t pull this off.

I can pretty much guarantee she’s suffering from depression, but who isn’t ? I guess I’m just venting, trying to calm down so I can get some sleep and go to work tomorrow. Wish me luck.

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Answer:

Long periods of unemployment put enormous stress on all couples. Logic suggests that, once the unemployment ends and money is once again flowing in, the stress would stop. However, it is easy to overlook the fact that problems preceding the unemployment may still be there. And, that is something you  need to think about.

For example, you mention the fact that you have made mistakes. I have no way of knowing what mistakes they were and when they happened but, most probably, your wife remembers them. If they included having an affair or extra marital sex, she will not easily forget or forgive. If you were angry and physically or verbally abusive, she will not easily forget. These are only two categories of mistakes. There are others but you understand what I mean.

In point of fact, you may not know what is bothering her except that something is. You are guessing that she is depressed. Maybe. But, why? Is she depressed about you or is it the aftermath of unemployment? Is she really depressed. Just because you think so, does not make it so. I get the sense that she is angry at you and you may mistake that for depression.

The bottom line is that the two of you need to sit down and calmly talk. In so doing, there must be no blaming, shouting, finger pointing abuse. It’s important that you try to understand and share with each other what is really wrong in your relationship. You may not like what she will say but, if you want a good marriage, you will have to listen to her point of view without getting defensive.

Also, right now you describe the situation as though it’s all her fault. My finding is that, when there are marital arguments, there is plenty of blame and fault to go around. You need to ask yourself and her what it is you are doing wrong. Hopefully, she can tell you what she is doing wrong.

If none of this works, marriage counseling is called for.

Either way, best of luck to both of you.

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