"He Hates His Job -- and It's Ruining Our Marriage"
Her Turn, continued
"At first, this new job seemed perfect: a senior-level position with a prestigious firm, with real power and responsibility. Jon had heard that the CEO was difficult. What an understatement! The man is a tyrant -- and as his number two, Jon gets the brunt of that tyranny. Jon takes to heart everything this ogre says and does.
"Look, I expected Jon to have long hours, frequent travel, and a fair amount of stress. But I never expected to be cut out of his life. Weekends, especially Sundays, are horrendous. He's too worried about the coming week to enjoy himself. I try to give him space. I don't ask him to do chores or watch Toby. He's so wound-up that he can't even sit and snuggle on the couch. Our sex life has evaporated. The saddest part is that I have no idea how to crack through his shell.
"I get scared when Jon pulls away. My father suffered from depression. He would stay in his room for days on end, avoiding all of us. That was before doctors understood mental illness or how to treat it. He died in a car accident when I was 13, leaving my mother to raise me and my four younger siblings alone. Mom worked as a dental hygienist and managed to put all five of us through college. Her courage is an inspiration; it's why I'm such a resilient person today.
"Jon and I clicked from the moment we met. He is brilliant, funny, and motivated, but also sensitive and kind. What really cemented the relationship was a three-week trip to Australia that we took after Jon left his old job. He'd been given a six-month severance package and wanted to travel before plunging into a job hunt. We'd been dating for only a few weeks, so I was surprised by his invitation. But then I figured, why not? We'd either find out we couldn't stand each other or fall madly in love. Well, by trip's end we were engaged. Four months later, we were married; two months after that, I got pregnant.
"Jon wasn't working through most of our first year together, and we managed fine on my salary and his severance. Job hunting is stressful, but we got along great during that period, talking constantly and analyzing the pros and cons of every company he interviewed with. I know Jon could find another job, so why doesn't he just quit this one? Why is he killing himself over this dreadful man?"