Jack's a dull boy
April 21, 2010 5:32 PM Subscribe
How can I help my husband more easily transition from work-time to after-work time?
posted by Brittanie to Human Relations (24 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I'm asking in part for the huzz and in part for myself.
He's got a fulfilling but high-stress and very engaging job he's been at for 10 years. He's an engineer and his work is very analytical, but he also has an extremely artistic, goofy and very laid-back side.
Lately, as he gets more responsibility at work and his projects continue to ramp up, he's having a lot harder time switching from "work mode" to "play mode." He has a lot of projects around the house that give him joy and that he'd like to work on but usually he's either so involved with work he can't make the transition, or so mentally exhausted he just wants to veg out.
This is stressful to me. When he's in analytical mode he's very hard to have a conversation with. Many of the house projects he used to enjoy are being neglected due to his exhaustion and frustration. Tinkering *was* his relief but now he comes home and works some more because he can't stop thinking about everything that needs to be done the next day. The only time he ever really relaxes is on weekends when he has more than a few hours to decompress.
As a side note, a few years back we moved overseas for his work, and he was never like this until we moved back. His work has increased somewhat since then, but not by much. I think, in some ways, his commute is part of the problem. Whereas he used to ride the bus or drive the car 2-3 miles to work, now he rides his motorcycle 22 miles each way on a tollway with only his thoughts to occupy himself. I almost think if he could listen to music or something it could signal to his brain that "work time is over and now it's time to play."
I didn't work when we live overseas, and so I'd be home all day thinking of a million things to talk to him about when he got home. I learned quickly to give him his hour to decompress before I unloaded. Now we both work, and that isn't a problem, but I want to know if I can do anything else, other than greeting him at the door with a martini each night, to help facility this transition. He wants to know what tricks the rest of you use to turn off the work brain.
Note: he does not want to scale back at work and I do not want him to. His job is fulfilling and has been very good to us.