Is my depressed partner about to get fired? Can I help him improve work habits or fix the depression so as not be fired? And how can I cope with my worries about this (and consequently, our financial future) -and in particular, bring them up to him- without blaming him for his job uncertainty, implying that he's bad at his job, or increasing his depression?
Last year, my partner was fired from his job. I'm not exactly sure why, though I'm pretty sure it was performance-based. He'd been having to play catchup on a lot of projects, working overtime in order to get them done, and was choosing not to stay as late as he ordinarily would have. He was also often late or sleep-deprived when he got into work, for a variety of factors.
Fortunately, he was able to get a job again fairly shortly (he works in a very intellectually-demanding and much-in-demand field.) Things seemed to be going well for a few months, and he was very happy - but then the projects started piling up again, and work stress started to build. Multiple times, he's been unable to complete his work by his deadlines or has messed up on the work (usually probably from sleep deprivation.) He's also started to be less fussy about his professional appearance, and is more frequently late to work because of oversleeping, or not wanting to get up when the buzzer goes off. When he's made mistakes on the work, they've been pretty big careless ones, and the client has been unhappy, and the firm has looked bad. He also spends a lot of time on the internet, screwing around, or texting me, even when he's got major work he should be working on.
This is reminding me of what happened last time, and making me fairly worried. (Slightly similar to this AskMe
, except that I'm not the person with the job, and things are actually going badly at work.)
He's not the sole source of income for our household - I make fairly good money - but we are not particularly frugal, and don't have a lot of savings to cushion the blow if he did in fact get fired. In addition, I've been spending a lot of money (both personal and household money) on ways for him not to be depressed - experiences, trips, etc. We've also been planning for some larger things - such as a bigger house - based on the expectation of our continued shared combined income.
(I know the MeFi answer is going to be: find him a therapist! But sadly, he is reluctant to get counseling, because he says it would take away from during-the-week work time and only compound the problem.)
1. I am afraid that he's going to get fired for a second time, and then I will be the only one supporting our family. I could do it for a while, but I guess what I'm /really/ afraid of is that this is a pattern, and it will keep continuing, and I'll never be able to feel secure in family life decisions based on a budget where his income is counted.
2. I'm afraid that he has an exaggerated belief in his own work competence, that he may actually not really be very good at his job, or maybe doesn't have very good work habits, or maybe simply isn't able to cope with depression and employment. From my managerial experience, combined with what he's told me about his behavior at work, I feel like he is probably a less-than ideal employee. So it's hard for me when he tells me that if he gets fired, he'll just snap up another job again and we'll be fine. Also, when we last discussed my fears, he got very insulted at the idea that he might not be very good at his job.
3. I also worry that he won't be able to ever hold a decent job, and I have some (partially gender-based) concerns around that, and how it will impact our relationship, and my ability to respect him as a co-provider.
1) How do I know how likely it is that he will be fired? I've never been fired from a job, so I don't know what the bluster-and-yelling-to-actual-termination scale is.
2) How do I talk to him about this? When we talk about it, everything I say seems to come out wrong. We are usually very, very good communicators around emotional stuff, but somehow when it comes to finances and jobs and money, it all tanks.
3) What can I actually do? I tried suggesting a time we'd both go to sleep so he wouldn't be so tired at work, but he doesn't really hold to it. I'm already the one who keeps track of the alarm going off. I don't know what I can do, or even if it's my responsibility to do it.