My husband has a very stressful job and he complains about it every day. There’s a lot of conflict between him and one of his colleagues and he’s not good at managing it. When he comes home, he’s in a bad mood, sometimes he barely speak to me and the kids. It’s been going on for an age and it’s really awful. I try to speak to him about it but he just barks at me, saying I don’t understand. I see the children watching the clock, waiting for Dad to come home and they scarper before he does. It’s all becoming unbearable, please help.
Dear Stressed Wife
What a difficult situation. It sounds as if the pressure on your husband is cascading down to you and your children. It can be really hard to suggest things to someone who is struggling, and he might not be grateful for your ideas. It’s always better to pick a stress free time to discuss any problems and it sounds as if you really need to let him know how you, and importantly, how the children feel. Unless you find a way to let him know how the people who love him the most are affected by this conflict at work, he may not find a way to deal with it.
Many employers offer an ‘Employee Assisted Programme’ where workplace mediation or counselling is available. The first step for your husband, is to recognise he has a responsibility to address this situation and consider speaking with his line manager in the first instance. Alternatively, why not consider finding a mediator or a counsellor who could help you and your husband talk together. It would help him a lot, if he knows you are on his side, and want to know how hard it is for him.