‘I am fed up with my hubby taking out his job loss stress on me’

Dear Coleen

Unfortunately, my husband was made redundant recently, as a result of Covid. At first he was OK about it and maybe even a bit relieved as he didn’t love his job and had been with the firm for a long time.

However, it’s been a few weeks now, and his initial positive attitude has been replaced by anger.

He’s always snapping about how he’s been treated unfairly and that he feels under-appreciated and thrown on the scrapheap while other less able people kept their jobs.

As a result, the atmosphere at home is not good – I’m just grateful the schools are open so our kids are affected by his bad mood less than I am. He’s like a bear with a sore head sometimes.

I do have empathy, but the way I look at it is that we’re actually pretty lucky. I’m working, so we’re not on the ­breadline, we’re all healthy and this could also be a chance for him to start again and do something he ­actually likes. Should I be more tolerant? I’m not very patient with him and I think he’s reacting to it in the wrong way.

Dear Coleen

Coleen says

Yes, you could be right, this might be an opportunity for him to find something he’s passionate about, but I’m not sure he’s at that point yet.

I think you have to give him time to process what’s happened because losing his job is going to make him reflect on how he was valued and it’s bound to knock his self-esteem and confidence. Plus, the job market isn’t exactly buzzing at the moment and perhaps he’s worried he won’t find something else or is concerned about your finances going forward.

Of course it’s good to remind him of the positives – gratitude is a very powerful tool for boosting mental ­wellbeing. You can feel thankful you’re all healthy and still have a roof over your head and for many other things, but it’s also OK for him to feel what he’s feeling.

Why not ask him how you can support him and encourage him to talk to you rather than switching off or shouting back. If he’s snappy, it’ll be because he’s feeling resentful, ­frustrated, low, angry or even worthless.

It sounds like he needs somewhere to vent these feelings and, if he won’t open up to you or one of his mates, then some online counselling could help.

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