Thursday, June 9, 2011

When it is hard to be supportive

About a month and a half ago, G-man decided what he wanted to be when he grows up.  Never mind that he is almost 40.  Never mind that he has worked for the Federal Government for 18 years, in the same agency.  He decided....great.  At that time, he had very little knowledge of the prerequisites for the job.  I should also add....there isn't an opening for this job at this time.

I hadn't heard much about the job again until last week.  He spoke to the HR person and found out he needs to take a specific certificate course.  Oooookkkkkkk.......

She sent him a link to the course.  They are offering a Summer course on Mon & Wed evenings.  The Fall and Winter course are on Saturday and Sundays.  The course is $1,125, plus books.  Plus the gas to drive there.

Well, G-man works during all the times that the course runs (due to his odd schedule).  So I asked him how that would work....he needs to find out, but most likely he needs to use vacation time. would be 208 hrs of vacation!!!!!!

I asked if work covers the cost of the class....he "thinks" they will.  I asked if he has to earn a certain grade in the class to get it covered....he doesn't know.

To recap....he wants to take a course to further his career.  However:

  1. There isn't a job....there may never be a job.  Yes, the job exists on paper, but there isn't a physical job.
  2. If we have to pay for the class, that would have to go on a credit card.
  3. Assuming he needs to score at a certain level to have the class covered....I am concerned he won't do the work and actually make it....he has a habit of not putting effort in when it gets tough
  4. 208 hours of vacation!!!!  For a job that doesn't exist.
  5. I would have to pick up his duties around the house so he could study.
I really want to be supportive.  I want him to advance.  I want him to succeed.  But this one is really draining my reserves of support.


  1. I am with you. It's hard for me to be supportive when it isn't practical.

    I really hope this isn't offensive, but this sounds a bit mid-life crisis-y to me. My Brother-in-law, wanted to do the same thing, right before he turned 40. He wanted to go back to school, which I think is a great thing, but at what cost at this point in his life. He has a pretty good and secure job. The burden falls on the rest of the family, not to mention racking up more financial problems in the process. He ended up not going back to school (100% his choice) and getting a new sports car instead.

    I really do think going back to school is a great idea, don't get me wrong. If I were in your situation I would be apprehensive too though. If it can further his career at some point it would be a good investment in himself. I wish you guys luck in whatever you decide.

  2. Maybe the therapist you guys are seeing could discuss this with him/you? Because I am with Niki on this is all mid-life crisis-y. It all sounds related to escapism. Anyway, you are in a hard place, Mysti. I feel for you.

  3. @Niki - I thought midlife crisis when I found out about This is sort of a confirmation of it. But HELL NO if buys a sports car!!

    @Kerry - Funny you bring up the therapist....that is where G-man announced to me that he figured out what he wanted to be.

    @HS - due to the nature of his job, I can't say exactly what it is.

  4. um wow...that is asking A LOT.

    I'm already telling Eric he has until I'm 30 to land this firefighter job otherwise he needs to go out and get a different job that will pay the bills. You can only be supportive for so long.
    He shouldn't forget that he needs to be a husband and a father first.

  5. I don't know how to respond to this. But I think that G-Man is not being realistic.

  6. I hope this is not viewed as a disrespectful comment, but I get a strong sense from your post that you have lost respect for G-man. You do not think he will follow through and you doubt his judgment. I also doubt his motivations. In my family, when people have lost all respect for a spouse, divorce has always followed soon after. Couples that respect each other seem to be able to deal with anything; when a wife does not respect her husband he always senses it and this often leads to increasingly bad behavior on his part. I agree with you that it seems unrealistic for him to pursue a certificate course given your circumstances right now--lots of debt to pay off, two children who need a lot of attention etc. His plan means hours away from you and the kids, more credit card debt and no guarantee of a job. So, why is he proposing this now? I suspect you know the answer....This is not going to work and you need to start planning for a future without him.

  7. @Erica - if there was an actual job to land, maybe I would feel differently.

    @Rhitter - who needs realistic when we can all live in La-La land?

    @Anon - To clarify, he wouldn't be spending any more time away from us than he usually does (due to his odd schedule). He has a good, solid job...this would just put him on a different career path. But I don't have the confidence that he will follow through. His actions in the past indicate that he won't. I think he is proposing all of this now because he is feeling a little desperate to show me he can "change."

  8. I too have a husband that lacks motivation. He is a great person, but he just does not want to go any where in life. He has never wanted a promotion at work, he won't apply for any higher up jobs. He would live in a tent if he had to. It has been a difficult 33 years with such different values. I wanted a nice home. But I had to do it myself. He came along but not as the leader. I drag him around a lot. He is always grateful, but it does get old. Don't you wish sometimes that they would just grow up! I call him Nero, he would rather play the violin while Rome burns than to get up and throw water on the fire. Funny when my daughters talk of marriage, I have threatened them. If they bring home a young man with a Forestry or wildlife degree without a trust fund I will kill them. Good luck, but I am afraid I have to agree with the comment above. I am worried for you.

  9. This decision does not seem to well thought out. Is that why you are not supportive? Does he want to leave the government job? Is there a need in the private sector for this job or another government agency. I would ask him a lot of questions to make him realize this is not a good choice.

  10. @Out - we have had the "you need to grow up" talk many many MANY times. *sigh*

    @Krants - he has no plans to leve the government. What he is "hoping" is that the position will magically appear. If you research gov't jobs...there are tons of them on paper, but not every office has all the jobs. In the private sector, he wouldn't have a chance. He doesn't have a college degree (at all). Maybe if there was a more solid foundation I would be more there was a REAL JOB!!

  11. But don't you know that La-La Land is far more exciting than Reality! (Please pass the sugar!)

  12. It sounds like a great daydream. I think it is perfectly fair for you to insist that if he wants to do more than daydream, he needs to make a solid plan. There are too many "he doesn't knows" in your tale. If he wants to do this, surely he must be willing to get some concrete information so that the two of you can make an informed decision.

  13. Well, if he really wants the certificate, maybe you can find a way to save for it in the budget. Then once you have the money or almost all of it, he can revisit the opportunity. If there is still no sign of a job, or it really won't make him look more attractive for other positions, you'll have the money for something else. It's not a good sign that he's not doing the research beforehand. What Petunia 100 said.

  14. @Petunia - he is working on the concrete info...we will see...

    @Gigiofca - his office will ultimately pay for the course (or at least we are pretty sure on that). It would just be do we have to front the money, or will they pay it directly.

  15. Stinkleberry, I would be frustrated, too. In fact, if I were you, and he had told me at the therapist's, it would be a good thing, because I would have needed to be stopped from strangling him.



    Gee whiz. Stay strong, sister, you'll figure out what the right thing to do is.

  16. I had to mull this one over before I commented. My first husband did this also he has a great job with a large retail company, took leave to join the military(reserve), then decided he wanted to go in full time, then decided he didnt, then went back to his original job while complaining about the 4 years he still had left in the reserves. Add to the fact we had three little children and everything fell on me. It was hard really reallly really hard and I resented him allot. Later he was diagnosed schizophrenic but I dont think this played into his earlier decisions.

    I am just going to say that eventually I had to put my foot down, and put it down hard. He stayed at his job and finished his military but I was so tired all the time. I worked, went to school and raised three kids while he did whatever. Just remember to factor in how you are going to feel.


  17. I'm in my late 30s and I am working towards a new career. I don't know if I will be succesful or if it will have cost me more for the study then I will earn. I need to do this for me. There is something I have found that I have a passion for. I think of my mothers generation, many of whom died on the inside because they were forced to not pursue their life goals. That is why I know it is important for me to do this. Plus we will all be working till we are at least 70.

    It is insulting to him (and myself) to dismiss his plans & Dreams & goals as something he wants to do 'when he grows up' He has been grown up for a long time. He along with you has been working to put food on the table. It is fairly clear that you both have a different set of values and that seems to cause a fair amount of frustration for you. This doesn't mean his values are wrong.

    I agree with the prev Anon poster, I think that he has sensed you have lost respect for him. When you expect someone to fail & disappoint, they inevitably will.

    Good luck to you both.

  18. @Judy - yes, I don't want to breed any more resentment.

    @Anon - I am sorry you feel insulted. But remember, in a blog, you only get a condensed version of a story, and you don't have the history. This isn't his goal and dream. This isn't his passion. This is a job that he thinks is more interesting than what he is doing now. If this was a life goal, or something he really WANTED, then I wouldn't be like this. His habit is to find something he is interested in, and then drop it when the going gets tough.

    Wanna know how this actually came about? Someone at his office was behind, and they asked him to do a small piece of a project. He spent about 4 hrs on it. And all of a sudden...this is what he wants to do. In 4 hrs he decided that he wanted to do this....without knowing anything else about the job. Just the one small piece he did.

    And you know what is expected that people will bounce from job to job. So he wants to do all of this for a job he will eventually leave to do something else.

    Has he put food on the table....yes. And not much else. Have I lost some respect for him...yeah....when he chose to to put his energy into another, I wasn't too happy, to say the least. In the almost 9 years since we have had our kids...he has worked...but has done very little to be active in our lives. The opportunity to gain education and further his career presented itself over and over...and he chose not to do it.

    All of a sudden....he choses this. This isn't a passion...this is a phase.

    Good luck on your passion. I hope all your dreams come true.

  19. Give the guy a break. Get divorced.