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How to Console Husband?

My DH has been trying to get a specific job for 5 years; he's done supplementary training, certification, etc. but the boss he worked for liked having someone with a ton of tech background for half the cost of a regular tech guy. DH stayed at this job b/c I work there, and it saved on gas/car/etc. Now, aforementioned boss was fired by the higher-ups, and the new boss has let my husband slowly climb the ladder.

This week, Hubby was given an offer of the job he wanted, spoke with several people, was congratulated by the lead boss at the new location, toured through the building, etc. However, today things look like they might glitch due to some paperwork. We don't know yet, but he spent all day trying to get in touch with the HR woman who is to make the formal-sign-here offer, to no avail. He's freaking out about it. I'm trying to be strong, but I worry he's going to be let down (again) and it will--- no exaggeration-- crush him.

 I know the basics of consolation-- I hug and hold and reassure, but I feel like whenever anyone is upset I do a subpar job of making them feel better. I don't want to be superficial "it's their loss" "you'll get it next time" etc. because after 5 years he is tired of hearing that, and I know he wants this more than anything so I feel like telling him, "well, time to move on" isn't supportive. *IF* this falls through, I'd love some suggestions how to make him feel better, not just distract him from his disappointment or leave him to work through it emotionally on his own.

Re: How to Console Husband?

  • I don't understand. What happened with the paperwork to make him think he is not actually getting the job? Is he freaking out only because he can't get in touch with HR? If there is nothing else to make you think that something has gone wrong, I would just assume that she got busy today and will be in touch later in the week.

    If it really does fall through, I would encourage him to look for jobs outside the company to apply for. If your husband has moved up the ladder and developed the skills needed for the position he wanted, then he should be marketable to other companies too.

  • You'd be surprised how slow the wheels can turn -- I was pretty much offered a job on the spot; I heard nothing after that. No start date, no nothing.

    I waited a couple of days and then I called the hiring manager;s office, asking what was happening with the job.  When the weekend was over, I heard from the main branch --- HR told me that the person in HR at the main branch who was supposed to call and formally offer me the job got fired; that was the afternoon I was there for the interview.

    The HR person at the main branch sent the offer letter; I got it in a couple of days.

  • I agree w/ PPs, but wanted to add that you do not have the power to "make him feel better" so focus on being there to support him through his disappointment if he doesn't get the job. Disappointment is a perfectly normal and healthy reaction to have in this situation.
  • Just tell him to stop panicking.  Tell him that this will all work itself out.  Tell him that tomorrow he will try to calmly and firmly get to the bottom of the issue, but that given all of the positive indicators, he is worrying without cause.


  • Why does he have to feel better? He's had a bitter disappointment and is allowed to feel a bit crushed for a while. Try not to wish away the feelings he's earned.

    This may last a few days and that's okay. Picking yourself up and tyring again isn't trite or quaint, it is necessary. Necessary to get to your goal - even after multiply disappointments.

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • i think you're confusing 'console' with 'problem solving'. sure you can console but you can't solve his problems.

    i find that when I'm upset about something like that-that just seems to loom like a dark cloud-that something to get my mind off of it is the best. i find that someone continually talking about the issue only makes it worse. focus on getting him distracted with other things-a movie, a vacation, playing board games-whatever. just move the focus from the issue to something pleasant.

    Friday, December 28 2012. The day I had emergency appendix surgery in Mexico and quit smoking. Proof that everything has a good side!! DH and I are happily child-free!! No due date or toddler tickers here!! my read shelf:
    Alison's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) 
  • DH prefers I let him have his time. If he wants to talk, I'm there to listen but don't comment too much or try to make him feel better. When in doubt, ask him if there is anything you can do or anything he wants you to do.

     Good luck but I bet this will get worked out for the positive for your DH. HR staffs can be short handed so might take longer than anticipated but give them time and try to be patient.

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