"He Hates His Job -- and It's Ruining Our Marriage"

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His Turn, continued

"I feel terrible about pushing Lara away, but it seems like the only recourse when I'm feeling so out of control. This experience has really shaken my confidence. I had a happy, conventional childhood in Indiana. My family -- my stay-at-home mom, my accountant dad, my two sisters and I -- were about as close to the Waltons as a family can be. In high school I was all-state in football and track and president of the honor society. My parents didn't push me. I pushed myself, both academically and athletically. In fact, they used to tell me to take it easier!

"I recall two occasions when I felt an overpowering anxiety similar to what I feel now. One was in sixth grade when, of all things, I was eliminated from a spelling bee because I misspelled banjo. The other was when I had a verbally abusive high school football coach. The other guys on the team just let the insults and name-calling roll off their backs, but not me. I dropped off the squad for two years, rejoining only after that coach was fired.

"I feel stuck. Lara doesn't understand why I don't quit, and I'm not sure myself. Maybe it's the thought of another long job hunt. Maybe it's because my dad stayed in his job for 30 years, even though he hated it, because he was a devoted family man. And actually, if this one guy were just removed from the picture, I'd love my job. Barring that possibility, how do I keep every working day from sending me into a tailspin?"

Continued on page 5:  The Counselor's Turn


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