We have been married over 10 years, but my partner is now looking for his 6th job. The last one lasted a few years, but before that we made 4 long distance moves in 4 years. Some of these job changes have had nothing to do with him. ie a company going out of business, acquisition etc. Only 1 job change was by his initiative, all the others have been out of necessity. Needless to say it is taking a massive toll on our relationship, my physical and emotional health, not to mention the kids.
We figure he needs to work for another 20 years, but my guess is it will be very tough to continue finding jobs after 55 or 60. I have tried to be patient over the years, offer to work full time so he can go back to school, start a business, get some skill training (even if it is people) I have offered to pay for job coaching. I love him but don't want to be his nagging mother and don't think I have any emotional or physical stamina to continue going through this traumatic cycle of continual job loss. He is an introvert and job searching seems to be more for extroverts. It is painful to watch someone spend many, many hours planning, searching but only apply for a few jobs in a month.
I'm not sure if I'm bringing out the worst in him, bringing him down or just the wrong personality to deal with an unstable career. I'm working on building up my own business and going to wait for him to get a job, but having been to counsellors several times proved very fruitless.
The current economy brings about many stories like yours, unfortunately. Do you feel like you will be happier without him in your life? Would being separated from him be a financial improvement from what you are dealing with now, or be more of a hardship?
I think the healthiest relationships share the burden. When I was married, I did the kids and the home and expected dh to support me. I did bring in about 25% of the income, never more. After he died, it was totally on me to support the family and get three kids through college. Know what? I found out that I enjoyed it all--working, money management, etc.
I am now in a relationship that is totally equal. I own what I own and pay for all my own expenses. He owns what he owns and he pays for all his own expenses. It feels so good!
I wish I could go back and change the way I handled my marriage. I put too much financial burden on my husband.
No advice--except that shared family financial burdens are so much lighter. If you are better at working, getting jobs, and earning money than he is, maybe it's time to switch the primary burden for a while. You each might blossom in unexpected ways.
I was married for 9 yrs. For non-military jobs, he averaged 3 months per job from age 22-42.
I figured "for better or worse". He is a good guy at heart. But living in constant crisis was exhausting. I finally did some reading about being the spouse of someone with adult ADHD and it was like someone had looked in our windows to write the book. (It's a lot like living with an alcoholic and I also found that Codependent No More had a ton of valuable and healing information for me afterwards.)
Doesn't sound like your H is initiating the job changes. But they're frequent enough that they're causing stress.
I'm not a big believer in ultimatums "no more job changes or else!". But I did eventually reach a point where staying was doing more harm than good. I couldn't parent properly any more. I was wasting my son's toddler years wishing time would fast forward. My two year old was starting to mimic unhealthy behaviors. My ultimate sign that it was over: when I was visiting his grandmother and she was talking about taking care of his grandfather. And the picture of continuing this pattern into our 80s was like a huge crushing weight on my body. I almost started crying in the middle of their living room. That was my sign that I wasn't in need of an attitude adjustment. I needed to face the fact that the divorce was inevitable.
One thing that helped me get clarity was making an appointment with a counselor. My insurance covered it because it was for depression. I only went a couple of times but it was such a relief to have someone to talk to who couldn't get their feelings hurt by what I had to say.
The funniest part...in the three years since The Big Talk...he's had only two jobs. I'm glad! One of the reasons I stalled on divorce for so long was that I thought he'd crash and burn and end up living in my garage!!
I can relate to the lousy effects of living in constant crisis. My physical and emotional health have taken a terrible toll in the last decade. I'm willing to try to give some time to see if we can come out of this with a better forward path. Not easy and I don't want to eat through all our savings trying to do it. It's very hard healing from all this trauma when it is ongoing. I'm trying to find some ways to make more money myself that have flexibility. If nothing else, we are both coming to the conclusion that we live in a city with very expensive housing so moving elsewhere could make a massive difference.