My husband got laid off - Now MY life is Hell!

Marriage

'It's interesting to see how all these bankers have been writing in detailing their experiences and woes after being laid off. How typical that they just think of themselves! How about the impact all this has on the lives of their wives ?

Most of us didn't sign up to share every waking minute with a down-on-his luck egotist who spends his days moping around with a pitiful hang-dog expression on his face, and who constantly relives past 'glories' in a feeble effort to retain what little self-respect he seems to have left.

I admit that I'm not perfect - I'm far from a 'trophy wife' (my hips were child-bearing even before I had three kids!), but at least I kept my part of the bargain. When I married that (even then) fat little fellow, there was an implied contract that he would keep out of the way, work hard and provide the financial security we needed to indulge our not uncomfortable lifestyle. In return, I implicitly agreed to socialize with all those boring clients, laugh at those stupid stories about their silly escapades, keep house and bring up the children to his exacting standards (even though he was never there to watch them grow and develop, of course).

As he feels it's important for me to look my best (it's apparently good for his 'image'), I exercise regularly and diet constantly. He, on the other hand, lost his hair soon after we married and his waistline exploded a few years later (and I'm not even going to mention his teeth). We don't talk any more (not that we ever did much of that), although I am often treated to his 'views' on a variety of subjects women seemingly know nothing about, like: how to run a successful household, how to better raise the children, and how his bank would be finished without him. Well, at least he won't bore me any more with the latter now - as he lost his well-paid position at his last firm 4 months ago, and can't seem to get another job - despite his oft-repeated claims of an 'unrivalled' knowledge of the financial markets and that 'extensive contact book'.

Don't get me wrong - I don't mind that he has lost his job and that financially things have been better. Firstly, we won't starve - the old bugger did make a lot over the years, and we are fairly secure. And secondly, being laid-off comes with the territory (although this is the first time he has experienced it). But, after four months of being joined at the hip with him, I am at my wits end! It starts from the moment he gets up and continues until he passes out late a night, usually after a few too many drinks. And strangely, his lack of work-status seems to have made him even more unbearable - arrogant, bombastic, intolerant - totally out of control. The kids now keep out of his way, our friends rarely visit and I'm thinking of getting a divorce (my pleas to go to marriage guidance have fallen on deaf ears).

Working in an investment bank is stressful at the best of times. The long hours often make it difficult for bankers to have meaningful relationships with their wives and connect with their children. The pressure that bankers are under to perform can result in tensions at home. But the life has its compensations - the pay is good, and there's the status and self-worth it brings to those who do a decent job.

As I have found (probably to my husband's cost - as I'll get most of the assets if we do break-up), however, not working in an investment bank is even worse. Overnight, a banker's life changes - and that affects everyone around him. Although I don't want to add to my husband's misery by kicking him out, I don't know how much longer I can hold on. He is out of condition, out of a job and, unless things quickly improve, he'll be out of my life too!'.

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