Coping with the Tough Times

4 years ago

Over the past few months I have struggled with the decision to talk about my personal life (in detail) on this, and other, blogs. My FAVORITE thing about most of the blogs that I read is the raw honesty the bloggers give to their readers, and their openness to divulge their very soul.

This has been a tough choice for me, because as a newlywed much of my personal life is directly linked to that of my husband. We lead fairly private lives, and always have. How do you cross that line?

After a LOT of debate on the subject, I have decided to bare my soul to the blogosphere, and share a bit more of myself with all of you. The bit that does involve my husband, and has shaped my life greatly in the past months.

Last October, after less than two months of marriage, my husband lost his job. The loss hit him very hard. He loved the company he worked for with all of his soul, and aside from that, he has not had a substantial period of time in his adult life where he lacked regular employment. He joined the military straight out of high school, so when he left the Air Force and moved to Los Angeles, that was the ONLY time that he did not work for more than a few days.

Three months later, he still has not found a job. I understand this to be a direct result of living in a city, and state for that matter, that has been hit incredibly hard by the recent recession. Los Angeles unemployment rates are still much higher than the national average, and when you factor in some of the over population problems in the area, it only makes the job hunt that much harder.

Unfortunately, because so many people are looking for work, I think this has also resulted in companies who care less about their (current and potential)  employees. The mind set seems to be, “if you are not 100% amazing, and perfect, and never make a mistake, there are a zillion other people just lining up to do your job for less money.” It’s a sad reality, but that doesn’t diminish the truth of it.

After three months of getting little more than a nibble, my husband finally landed an interview for his dream company. The interview was amazing, and he was praised for his answers, fun personality, and enthusiasm for the work. He was promised a second interview before their conversation had ended, and assured that he would fly through the coming steps with ease.

And then time went on.

The promised second interview was never set up, and after a week he called to inquire about the next phase. He was assured that he would be contacted soon, and thanked for following up. The company explained that many in the office had been away on vacation.

Another week went by…

He called again today, only to discover that the company that, “loved him so” had chosen to go in another direction without even giving him the courtesy of a phone call. I returned home tonight to find him defeated. I walked into the kitchen, where he was munching on a large plastic container of nuts.

I asked, “Do you want me to make you something for dinner?”

“No,” he replied…crunch, crunch, crunch. “I’m having pistachios.” Crunch, crunch…

I’m not sure why, but that short exchange told me much to his current feelings. He wouldn’t even be bothered to eat more than a snack…and that really upset me (despite how adorable he looked walking around with giant bucket of pistachios…)!

I’m not really sure why I felt the need to share this story with you today.

I guess to open up about something that must be difficult for ANY couple, especially newlyweds to face.

I know we are not alone. I know that this is the sad truth of the world in which we now find ourselves. A world where six years of military, followed by six years of perfect work at the same company means little. When people with Master’s Degrees and even PHD’s are out of work, what hope is there for the rest of us?

I truly believe that this has been a blessing in disguise. This was a job that he had climbed up the ranks, from a seasonal position all the way up to the title of Assistant Store Manager. I don’t believe he could have gotten anything more from the company, and think his talents could be better used elsewhere…but all he can see is unemployment.

I know that once he can get past the disappointment, a new and wonderful opportunity will be waiting for him…but in the meantime, how do I make him see that?

Everyone keeps telling me that the best way to help him is to give him time. But how to you stand by and watch the person you love suffer?

Have you been through a similar situation?

How did you get through it?

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