I don't know which way to go. Any advice?

Who Does Depression Hurt?

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This is a doozy of a post. Sorry.

941302_61845976Both Mike and I have been out of work for months. Though I can’t say it’s been easy for me, it’s been much easier for me, than him. As it turns out, an unexpected bump in your plans really does give you a different perspective on the fragility of life—if you’re open to see it! And I have been; in fact, the past few months have really given me an opportunity to decide how I want to define myself.

But for Mike, things have been much harder. His entire self-worth has been called into question. Since its not really mine to tell, I won’t go into details, but suffice it say, ’09 has been challenging for both of us as individuals, and in turn, as a couple.

Having to deal with someone else’s pain and frustration is really difficult. On the one hand, you want to fix it for them; you’d do anything to make them feel better. On the other, it’s exhausting and it feels like they’re just being selfish and you want to yell at them. Or at least, this is how I’ve felt. This constant tug.

I’ve done my best. I offer lots of encouragement, but I also get angry when I feel as if our life together is being defined by his frustrations. We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to figure it out as we go, which is no easy feat in a life that promises only to be unpredictable.

But anyways, this is all to lead to this: Recession Tip for Wives: Lay off Your Laid-off Husband. I came across this article by way of Jezebel, whose editors rightly ripped it a new one. Click if you’d like, but Jezebel summed it up nicely:

  • Be his cheerleader, because men need to be rooted for.
  • Don’t push him to do anything, like talk about the feelings fueling his bad behavior (or how he needs to get off his ass and send out a resume or two.)
  • Sit quietly, in case he decides to say something important to you.
  • Make sure you don’t stop sleeping with him. Men need sex.
  • Don’t place any blame on him for the state of your relationship.

To which I say: Oh, hells no. I’m all about supporting, listening, caring, and helping. But I’m not going to sit back and allow my boyfriend to put our relationship in danger because he’s having a bad bout of self-pity. And I’d hope for the same in return.

Articles like this really churn my butter. It takes a legitimate relationship problem and places the burden entirely on one person. I may not know much about relationships, but I know this: any problem a healthy relationship encounters cannot be solved by one half, alone. It’s called a partnership for a reason; it should be treated like one.

As someone in this position, I’d love some real advice. But this isn’t it.


Written by ditheringmiss

July 23, 2009 at 4:09 pm

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