Common?

One constant source of stress for me, that I am at a loss as to how to resolve is my husband's constant complaints about his job. I'm torn between feeling like he's surely to quit any given day and just thinking he's just 'venting' and it's not as big of a deal to him as he makes it seem to me. He constantly says things like "I am at my wits end" "I hate this place!" "I can't do this anymore" "I am about to lose my mind" and has even asked me "If I find another job, do you care if I quit this one?"

His work history has been stable but he has honestly been VERY lucky when it comes to finding jobs. He's extremely intelligent and very good in his field (I.T.). He worked from home for 9 years (3 different jobs) and then when the market crashed in 2008-2009 he ended up losing the last ditch effort job (to maintain his 6 figure income) and had to take a job locally making 50% less. I honestly thought it was a God send, since he NEEDED the stability and structure of a 9-5 job. I know he wasn't giving even 50% of what he should have been giving to his 'work at home' jobs and worried constantly that it would cost him dearly. I believe it played a role...because if he utilized his abilities to their fullest, he'd be too big of an asset for anyone to ever let him go. I feel he is more productive now, but his job is go, go, go! and that holds his 'attention'...but the 'politics' of working for local government (he is over the I.T. department for our city) isn't something he handles well. I think the majority of his "I can't take this anymore!" days are due to conflicts with other department heads or city employees...not so much the job duties themselves. He takes everything personally. If someone disagrees with a decision he makes, he has a meltdown. He won't admit it, but I know it's true. Our counselor blows it off as something he just needs to learn to 'deal with on his own' and insists I not try and help NOR should I feel bad for him..but truth of the matter is, it causes me a LOT of stress because of the constant 'threats' (to me only) to quit his job. His boss, the city manager, is amazingly patient with him...otherwise, I fear he might not still have a job.

Anyone else deal with this? Any advice?

Also

When it gets to the point that he pushes me so far that I'm just worried sick that he'll do something stupid he'll say "I'm just venting..I'm fine...it's no big deal..don't worry about it"...until the next day...

Same experience

I can relate to that in a sense that my husband also makes these "treats" the only difference is that "HE ACTUALLY QUITS". So I worry and worry just like you, deep inside I want to believe he won't do it, but every time he actually does it! He continues to amaze me even after 13 years of doing the same thing. I think that what could be help full is if you feel confident you can handle the household if he actually does quit. I know it's a long shot and I am not sure if you work or not, or what your situation is, but I have found that if I can control the expenses enough to be able to survive on one income only (mine) I can breath better and feel less stressed about his threats. I know it's easier said than done and depending on your situation it may not be possible, but my situation since I have been the sole bread winner for a while, it has worked. I know when it's coming, I can hear it, taste it, smell it, I can see it in his eyes..... but for years and years I struggled with it because I always put myself in situations where we absolutely needed his income. I have been slowly changing that and I can say now it doesn't matter to me if he has an income or not (not that I like it, believe me I don't). The only thing I would lose if he or I were to leave now would be a babysitter (not kidding). I would have to figure out how to pay for after school child care.

Another thing that I do is try to keep myself calm inside (even though is very hard) and listen, then ignore. I often tell myself in my head: "this is a set up, he is messing with me, I will not fall for this." and I can actually calm myself down a bit.

Is he the type that would jeopardize having no income at all? Has he ever done that before? Just quit a job, just like that? If not, then I would say he is bluffing, if yes, then is another story.

You seem like a very strong person, and I know it's hard and sometimes seem impossible, but remember it is possible.

No, he has never quit a job

No, he has never quit a job and left us without an income...no matter how much he complained. That's a really good point. I never thought of it that way. He feels VERY responsible for his family. He has lost jobs, but he worked for 3 start-ups in a row and none of them ever 'made it'...well, one did..they spent 3 years working on some kind of project, patented it, and then laid him off. (still hoping the day comes they need to sell it and make us a sweet offer for my husband to agree..since his name is on the patent too).

I do not work. I have an 18 y/o son who is autistic. I quit working a year after we were married (3 months before our daughter was due) so I could be a SAHM. I went back to school this past January and am working on a double major..Medical Lab and Business Mgmt. It would be a miracle for me to obtain employment in our area that would make our bills..if he lost his job. I went back to work in Dec of 08 (as a cashier at Wal-mart..NO responsibility..NO stress) purely out of spite because he kept throwing money up in my face. It almost destroyed our marriage. He is so insecure and jealous that it literally drove him insane. He hates for anyone to feel/think/assume that he cannot take care of his family...but he also went nuts because of the male friendships I made. He has told me that if I went back to work again, we wouldn't make it...saying it would ruin our marriage. As you can imagine, since I'm in school to finish my education I started 20+ years ago, this really upsets me. I'm not going for my health, ya know? Thus the reason I'm insisting our counselor get on the frickin ball with this whole insecurity thing. I've learned to ignore a lot of his irrational worries and go on about my life and just leave him to 'deal'...but I do feel he would completely shut down (again) if I did go back to work at this point. I have never cheated on him..as a matter of fact..when I did work and had one very young, handsome co-worker flirting with me I avoided him like the plague. It made me feel like I was doing something wrong.

He doesn't want you to work?!?

Holy crap, what is he- 130 years old? That is a lot of pressure to put on a spouse.  Like you said, your counselor is gonna have to get on the frickin ball with that insecurity issue...nobody should be punished for just making a living.

Yeah

My guy regularly gets into a funk about his job.  It's a government job (and in my country it's hard to get fired from those) and he's had it for 9 or 10 years. Before that he had several jobs in a 2-3 year period and periods of unemployment.  So my feeling is that he's hung in there this long, lets not quit now (the job market sucks these days).  He wants to stay in the computer field but apply for programming jobs.  But he hasn't really been doing any programming for 10 years and the jobs he lost or quit were programming jobs that he found too difficult (or got fired from because he wasn't handling the job).

We can absolutely not afford for him to be unemployed so I don't want him quitting and I don't want him getting a job that he might lose a few months later. I want the security of him having a steady job that he almost cannot get fired from.  Did I mention that I don't really like change...?

Meanwhile, I don't want to stand in the way of his dreams.  He wants to be successful (whatever that means), wants to program something important and also thinks he'd me more invested in his job if he were more interested in what he was doing.  Now he often feels bad about slacking off on the job and he thinks that if he were programming he'd be more engaged and not slacking off.

Thing is, we've been having this conversation 2-3 times a year for 3 years and he still stays at his job.  So I don't know if it's just something that comes up when he's feeling frustrated temporarily or if he's honestly miserable at his job but only talks about it once in a while.  Basically, is it an ADD-instability thing (in which case I want him to just stay at his job) or is he really unhappy with the job, regardless of ADD, and should seriously consider a change?