Addressing the Moods by Taking a Look at the Work Schedule
There was a time when my husband being in a good mood would thrill me. That was back when I thought there was still a chance that he would wake up suddenly cured of his cyclic bad moods. I now know that’s not the case.
I try to enjoy the good moods when they come. He doesn’t often have prolonged periods of bad mood, but prolonged periods of unstable mood where he’s happy one day and depressed/angry the next, followed by a few weeks’, maybe a month or two’s, worth of stable mood. So, he’s coasting along in a stable mood for, say, three weeks when something happens and his mood starts bouncing in and out of stability for the next, say, three weeks. It’s really quite annoying.
I can see he’s just as frustrated as I am at times. I can see that he’s truly trying to get to the root of the problem and trying to find stability. Hopefully he sees that I’m truly trying to support him without losing my own mind.
Lately, we’ve been looking at his work schedule. For the last couple of years, he’s been working two jobs. The reason is because the job that’s supposed to be full-time is a seasonal job; while it thankfully provides benefits year-round, the winter months are usually down on actual work hours. The second job, which is worked in the evenings and on Sundays, is meant to supplement the main job during these lean months, but in order to keep the job, he has to work these part-time hours year-round, even when he’s working overtime at the main job in the summer.
I have a job, but since I’m self-employed, the money is variable. We originally didn’t want to get in position where we were relying on what income I bring in, because some months pay a lot better than other months. But it doesn’t seem worth it for my husband to continue with these odd hours, some days working in the mornings and afternoons and other days working at night.
He’s reluctant to use my money. He feels it’s his job to provide for his family. I think that’s primal for men, much like raising children is for women. He applied at a couple of other jobs, but so far, none of them have as good of benefits as my husband’s current job. And, truth be told, his current job – I’m referring to the main job, not the part-time one – treats him very well. He’s moved up the ladder and his boss shows his appreciation with regular pay raises.
Part of his reluctance is because in years past, I got kind of upset when his hours dropped off in the winter. It was because of the economy – his job is building houses – and I didn’t quite realize that this rather seasonal pattern to his job is just the way it is. Now, though, I’m used to it. It’s just the way it is.
For the time being, I’ve convinced my husband to reduce his hours at his part-time job to just days when he’s not already working the other job and to make sure that he has at least one weekend completely off a month. He seems satisfied with this arrangement – both of us sharing the responsibility to make the final ends of our monthly finances meet.
More than that, I hope that the more regular schedule will even out his moods a little bit. It’s more complicated than this, I know: Spring is here and the winter depression is lifting, but we have to be watchful for a summer mania. Regardless, I’m hoping the change will do him some good.
Brhel, R. (2012). Addressing the Moods by Taking a Look at the Work Schedule. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/moody-marriage/2012/03/addressing-the-moods-by-taking-a-look-at-the-work-schedule/