What to Do When Your Spouse Isn’t Supportive of Your Job Transition

John has been miserable in his job lately – he feels bored, dissatisfied and disengaged with the work he does and the people he works with. He has been feeling this way for some time and has expressed his feelings to his wife. John would like to leave this job and find another but his wife shuts him down, which leads to arguments. Lately, John has been having problems sleeping, his stomach has been upset and he find himself staring into space alot.

John is suffering from apathy and lethargy of not wanting to fight with his wife while feeling helpless to take any action. Not feeling supported by your spouse, or significant other, can be an awful feeling when you feel you need it most. While you can’t control or change your partner, you can influence them to see things your way or to get the support you need:

  • try to see where they may be coming from, which is called empathy; while you can’t know exactly what your partner is thinking or feeling, empathy allows you to try to see it from their perspective: do they worry you won’t make enough money, do they have a value that you stay with the same employer for life because that’s what their parent(s) did, do they not deal with change well and the like.
  • ask for their support – you will need to assess how you are asking for them to support you as that will look different for each of us. Not being clear puts you in your own perspective and ‘rightness’ and not allow you to see that they may be trying but not how you want it to be. Being clearer on the actions or words you would like them to use helps them to help you.
  • be clear on what direction you want to go so your spouse will understand your needs and desires more clearly and won’t outright reject them. Use “I” statements to express yourself (avoid using ‘you’ as it puts the other person in a defensive mode) and be assertive in your wants and needs. If John were to let his wife know that his he has no opportunities to move up or to make his work exciting, or that he has an unsupporting boss who makes derogatory comments which are the reasons he wants to leave, as well as the benefits they both would gain from making a job change, it will lead his wife the to a more positive direction.

Staying in a job that is making you miserable is ludicrous to me; hopefully that is the resort to take after all interventions on your part have not worked as you do have the choice to be happier in the work you do. Being more open and more motivated will help your partner to be as supporting as you need them to be. Help them to help you sou you both will be happier.

(As a followup, John did follow these steps and transitioned to a new role which led to a more improved outlook and renewed his relationship with his wife).

If you’re unsure how to proceed, contact us today for your Complementary Discovery Session and take control of your situation: http://www.cyscoaching.com

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