Reading The Writing On The Wall vs Ignoring It

I’m going to try to convey a situation that is playing on the periphery of my life because it poses a meaty question. If I try to outline the whole thing this will be a really long post so I’ll have to ask that assumptions my husband and I have made be taken as facts.

There is a man who getting pushed out of his job. He does not deserve this. Matter of fact, he really does not deserve this but that’s irrelevant because it’s happening. His job is a pretty good one in comparison to the one he is likely to get when/if he loses his current position. He’s one of those people who worked themselves into a nice spot some years ago. He’s performed consistently so the job has been secure but it no longer is because there is a new boss and he wants this guy out.

The man said he would not take a cut in pay but of course but when he was pressed, he did. I guess it would be one thing if this secured his job but that was not the result. The new boss wants the guy out and this non-negotiable.

At this point, the boss is humiliating the man in various ways but the man has not quit because his wife doesn’t want him to…and he loves her. He loves her and he also wants to stay married.

My husband thinks this man is making a big mistake. The man can see the writing on the wall, we call can, and he thinks the man should stand up to his wife and tell her that she is not in charge of this. He does not think he should allow either the boss or the wife to push him around. My husband feels he will wind up losing his wife’s respect where as if he handled this like a man (which is what he wanted to do), his wife would have gotten used to the new situation quickly and he would have retained her respect for his ability to lead and bring home the money that supports their family.

I admit it is not the easiest thing to swallow but I can tell you that this guy is going to lose his job. If he is looking for a job while he has one, it will be easier to find one and transition to it without their finances sagging much, if at all. As it is…well it just seems that as long as this guy lets his wife call the shots, he is going to drift downward because the boss is pushing him downward and is simply not going to be satisfied until this man is gone.

I see the wife’s position here.  She does not want her husband to take the job he is going to have to take if he wants to keep working because he will be an OTR truck driver which will leave her home alone.

It remains to be seen, how far this will go and how long the man will allow his wife to control his movements. For example, will she insist he take unemployment rather than go OTR? I don’t know but I think it is worthwhile to look at this scenario as you may find yourself in a similar circumstance as things continue to unfold and more people in somewhat “plum positions” are forced out of them.

As for the astrology… there is a stellium in Libra and specifically, Venus is conjunct Saturn in the sign so let’s define this (Saturn) or debate it (Libra).

What is proper here? What do you think this man should do…and also if we don’t know you around here, are you a man or a woman casting the vote?

43 thoughts on “Reading The Writing On The Wall vs Ignoring It”

  1. i’m a woman and i think this guy’s gotta be a man and face this problem head-on, so yeah stand up to the boss AND the wife. he knows he’s in a precarious situation and is just wasting time and energy holding on to it. if i was his wife i’d swallow my pride and other resistance because if my husband is working his butt off for my sake, i’d do the same. that defines a marriage to me.

  2. Look for a new job while retaining the old one. Employed people have a better chance of finding a job than unemployed people and many employers actively discriminate against the unemployed. I swear some of these employers can smell desperation and look for it. If he’s lucky he’ll get an offer (that’s not OTR) before his boss fires him and he shouldn’t quit until every single contingency (background check, drug test, whatever) has been passed and he’s gotten the offer in writing.

    If he quits, then he’s not eligible for whatever unemployment benefits his state offers if he would otherwise be eligible.

    On the road is murder on your body from what I understand — if he can use the fact he’s employed to get a better job than OTR then I would do that.

  3. Hearing about these situations happening to people …. I experienced a very very similar situation. It was extraordinarily stressful. I held my head up, did my job (but only my job – no more extra), and held my ground on my professional and personal standards. I ended up having to leave due to health reasons but they pretended they wanted me to stay. They never did. They just wanted me to stay until THEY could find a replacement I think. But I pre-empted their move and they were not happy about it. Things quickly went downhill after that.

    I’ve worked with men who called their wives before major decisions at work…anything affecting their jobs. It always made me feel – as a manager at the top in the company – they were weak. Any wife should realize that by marrying, you are putting your life in hand with your husband. If you don’t have faith in his decisions, why did you marry him? A wife has no place in a husband’s work and vice versa.

    This man needs to do what is right for HIM and his wife needs to be an adult, accept her role in the marriage and partnership – which is to take the hits and hard times with him but stand strong by him and be supportive. She will survive. He will survive as long as she can pull her head out of her selfish ass and be an adult.

    Sorry if that sounds harsh but these couples who have one caving to the weaknesses or fears of the other at expense of serious life situations like this….that is a couple that should never have been a couple in the first place.

    The husband is right. The wife is being a controlling, weak person and she’s hurting her husband exactly when he needs her encouragement, strength, reinforcement and support the most. If she stands with him on his decisions about this, they will sail through any hard times, even this one. The only one making this difficult is her, and his boss.

    Sorry if this sounds extreme. It’s just a big trigger for me. And I’ve been where this man is…it’s incredibly upsetting and stressful. The wife is angering me on his behalf.

  4. Woman weighing in here. He should be looking. He should tell his wife honey I love you and understand your concerns BUT this is something I have to do. What is happening is wrong I am better than this. I am strong. I will not be pushed around or controlled. I will provide and will be faithful. I will support abd have and expect the same from you.

    Really if he doesn’t I see erosion if respect. And nothing kills a marriage faster …. In my opinion anyway.

  5. He’s gotta jump and jump now. If he choses to be proactive he will have that strong energy whilst he looks for his new position and the people with whom he is interviewing will feel it. I do really believe that.

    I can totally see this turning to disaster if he sticks around for his wife and then is fired, as you say is inevitable. He will then be searching for a job without the incredible advantage of already having one, which certainly makes you look strong to employers. Worst of all, he will have someone to blame and his love for his wife will surely be tested if he starts to feel weak and bad about himself. This is not a good place for men to let themselves get to! He will be at fault, too, of course.

    Sounds like his wife needs a lesson in being supportive of someone’s decision even when it’s hard or you don’t agree with it.

    Ok, so I feel strongly about this. LOL. This Mars/Jupiter in Aries says go go go.

  6. Almost three years ago the same thing happened to my husband. It tore me up to see how his employer (company) who he had been soooo loyal to treated him. I think it was the opposite for us, I kept on encouraging him to look for something else while he wanted to ride it out. I think he really believed that since he had been there for so long and been so loyal, they would take care of him. He ended up being pushed out. We struggle in this economy with the business we opened up as a result of that situation.

    I hope your friend finds something that works for him and his family. I guess I can see both sides, I’m a Libra.

  7. Oh, and I’d be looking for a job like gangbusters because it sounds like the boss might be rearranging the requirements for his job to be higher/impossible to make it look like he’s declined as a performer. One of the other fun things people do in negotiations is to get the applicant to volunteer information about their salary history first. The salary cut looks bad. Does he have any coworkers or outside parties that work with his business that he can trust and maybe use as a reference, since this new boss seems to have it in for him?

    I guess my responses are Libra then.

  8. I’m a woman.
    And, I think if option A) keeping his current job is not a possibility and option b) taking the OTR job is not a possibility and the relationship is important to BOTH of them then they need to sit down and come to a meeting of the minds and find an option C.

    Given, I realize that option A is not only in his mind but also evident to others

  9. while I understand the mans needs I also understand the women’s- its not about him losing his ego- she is concerned about losing income!! Trust me I know that was me over a yr ago- my husband lost his job and didn’t tell me- I kept pushing him to find another immediately and he decided he was going to be “the Man” and do his own thing and start his own biz-
    well guess where that got us- almost a yr of unemployment and severe loss of income that we are now hanging on by a thread-

    If he got a job right away the royalty money I made would have put us in a better spot than now- it took him 8 months to realize I was right- get off your high horse and buck it up for the family!! Ego is out of the question when you have priorities period sorry but true! This job market is sooo hard and it takes almost a yr now to find a job when you loose one.

    Finally my husband listened to my advice about getting back into the wine biz and well the rest is history- he is happy and working!! so sometimes ego has to go!

  10. LOL Jilly, I so agree. Jobs are hard to find right now, but self-respect once lost is impossible to retrieve

    My husband quit two jobs, one in London and one in France, while we were together, in similar circumstances. I supported his decisions totally, even though I thought in both cases he was being a little histrionic, and neither was longterm anyway. It was his day he felt he was wasting, and his decision.

  11. I voted to find a new job. He has to take control of his life. His wife needs to trust that he will do this, and that he will take care of her. Her confidence in him will only help.

  12. I don’t think anyone at home should be telling someone what decisions they make at work. This doesn’t register as love to me in my mind.

    My more abstract opinion is that humiliation on a job is worse than having no job. To be in an environment that tears you down psychologically every single day is so bad for you — and for men, whose psyches are so tied up with work, I think it can cause permanent damage.

    We all make our negotiations with the world of work, but there is something in a man that gets hurt very deeply when something like this happens. You can rationalize your way through it but somewhere deep inside is the clear judgment that you are behaving like a coward.

    No wife should insist her husband humiliate himself to pay the bills, this is like a man forcing his wife to turn tricks. I would rather be with a guy who respects himself, no matter what the price.

  13. Find a new job and quit. I understand her fear, but his happiness matters too.

    In my opinion if he has to take a lower paying job, she needs to step up and help by bringing in more money herself.

  14. Heh – my husband was laid off or got a new job SIX times in 15 years. As soon as you get a whiff that it’s coming, contact the headhunter and start sending out resumes! I’ve gone through this more than anyone I know.

    I was always calm when he came home and said, “I got laid off today.” I have faith that things work out better when you deal with them calmly and let the Universe work.

    Maria Shaw wrote about this in her latest newsletter. He’s being forced to change to start something new that will carry him the next 30 years. Even if he doesn’t know what to do, he has to go forward and sever this old work relationship. She says it’s especially potent for people with planets 17 – 23 degs. (My Saturn Venus in 12th – still pondering that one.)

    The wife is being a PITA. How nice for her that she’s never had to deal with this before. She needs to reassure her husband that she loves him and they will get through this TOGETHER. Otherwise, someone needs to give her pampered tush a swift kick.

  15. It’s his life and if wants respect from anyone (including his wife and a new boss) he should stand up for himself and claim what he deserves.

    I’ve been the wife in this situation and he didn’t stand up for himself and we’ve suffered because of it. Not only that, but I didn’t want to be ‘home alone’ either and guess what, I am. Always have been, even though he changed jobs, that part has not changed (his 10th house sun/mars).

  16. At least he’s got the balls to tell his wife the truth about his job situation. Cuz when it happened to my dad last summer he told no one.

    But he is able to collect unemployment. I know maybe it’s not the “responsible, man-up” thing to do, but there’s worse things than going on unemployment for awhile. And if his wife has a problem with it, maybe she should get a job!

  17. Ok I’m going to be the contrarian here but only because I lived it as the “wife role” and the consequences reverbated in ways that I never imagined, particularly to the detriment of my children. When my husband (now ex) was in a similar situation, I voiced all the same points that everyone made above. There was no question in my mind that as his wife, I needed to trust his decisions and support him in his quest to do what was right for him. $40,000 in debt later (liquidated part of the kids college fund) and me working longer hours to compensate as well as assuming all the domestic stuff to free him up for work, I learned that a man should never sacrifice the wellbeing of his family for his dignity. Even after downsizing the budget, there will still be bills that have tobe paid, kids that have to be raised, a home to be maintained – all take money but also time.

  18. Quick follow on – this doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be looking for another job while he is working in this crappy position. If he doesn’t find something, and loses his job, he will at least get severance and unemployment.

  19. Jeannie- right there with ya did you see my earlier comment??? i

    while its nice to keep your ego intact- with the current market- you are LUCKY to have a job!! be smart!! not foolish !! Just because you want to be a man doesn’t mean sacrificing your family – a “real’ man would suck it up- look for another job but not take chances on his family’s life!

    It happened to me and Jeannie- it can destroy a marriage- I was close- so watch what you do!! and leave EGO at the door!

  20. I agree with the majority. Also, Jilly I agree with you.


    “I kept pushing him to find another immediately and he decided he was going to be “the Man” and do his own thing and start his own biz-
    well guess where that got us- almost a yr of unemployment and severe loss of income that we are now hanging on by a thread-”

    Bige my sister and her husband are in the Except he had been self-employed, sold his businesses to pursue his dreams. It has been a financial disaster. He was an independent business owner from 18-35 but got sick of the grind and used everything he built for the family and then some. It is such a nightmare. Very stressful. They are digging their way back out and I hope you can too! ((bige))

  21. In this situation, I definitely think he should “man up,” tell his wife he’s looking for a new job while he still has one, then bounce when he can. *nodnodnod*

    Side question: does the wife work as well? Because if she’s worried about the bottom line, even a part-time gig now, while hubby is still at home, will help with saving if their finances do take a hit.

  22. I’m sorry, I just don’t agree with the overall response. I don’t think it’s ok for her to be controlling. But, two wrongs don’t make a right. Just as much as it is not ok for her to say “it’s going to be this way” it isn’t ok for him to say “oh yeah, well watch it be this way”
    We have several givens. 1) his job is it or not 2) he is married 3) there is a disagreement over how to handle it.
    Now, when this guy takes this advice and goes home and tells what he does and then is left with no job AND no wife that doesn’t leave him much does it? Obviously the marriage is important to him so otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a struggle. Send him home saying, “ job is ending. Period. What are WE going to do about it?” Otherwise he is going to go home and say, “I quit my job without regard to what you think” and if is she is a controlling woman she is going to say, “See ya”
    Just my opinion, but all this “do it and sort the fall out later” wouldn’t be my advice to this guy. They are both going to have to give if the marriage is going to survive it.

  23. I haven’t read everyone’s comments yet, because I didn’t want to be influenced by them…

    I don’t think this guy is some kind of pussy because he’s considering his wife’s desires/fears. The fact that he’s looking while suffering this ‘new boss’ is smart, especially if he’s looking for alternatives that wouldn’t leave his wife home alone.

    You didn’t mention if this couple has children at home, which I think would add complications to whatever solution he/she seeks.

    My husband often travels for weeks at a time with his job and luckily I’m free to go with him, so it’s not a big deal. BUT, if I had children still at home, that wouldn’t be the case at all.

    I wish these people luck, I think they represent many people these days forced to make really tough choices.

  24. It’s interesting to see this as a power struggle at home, but I guess there is that element. I (woman) voted he find a new job and quit, but that’s provided he can actually find a new job (which if he’s looking perhaps a better opportunity will arise). I’ve actually been in this position myself, keeping a job I hated to maintain the family income. I saw being responsible to the home as the “manning-up” as keeping the job was the more trying position. Eventually I did find a better job* and quit. Admittedly I did have some resentment over making those sacrifices, but I eventually ended up in a better place and our bills got paid.

    *Better job ended up similar to this guy as well, with the mercurial boss. I knew it was coming but I hung on to that, too, until I got laid off.

  25. I’ve been in this guy’s shoes… I am a woman. I’ve been in this guy’s shoes so many times, that I had to look at the bigger picture. This was an opportunity for me to stand up for myself, in the face of a bully. It was also a wake up call for me to start calling the shots in my own life, and become my own boss. Hopefully, he can embrace whatever lessons this situation has for him… I know it is easy to become a victim in this situation.

  26. I’m another woman who was in the reverse role…’luckily’ I was able to shift (a couple times) into different areas of the same company where I was out of the ‘line of fire’…but I put luckily in quotes because, by caving over the years to pressure/emotional blackmail about “you just can’t quit right now…we [aka *I*] can’t do without xyz. It’s not the right time”…I’m now 12 years deeper into an unhappy job (doing work I am very good at, but don’t consider even close to my highest expression). Oh, and he left anyway-“just not happy”.
    I try not to ask myself “what if” because so often it’s just too painful. I look to what I can do with where I am/what I have instead…

    Yeesh–getting long-winded again…I agree with the posters who’ve noted that this is not a sustainable situation. It would be better for all concerned to get a good, tactical dialog going about Options B, C, D for the “when, not if” shift in job circumstances. Get all the bogey men out on the table and jointly decide on some contingency and risk strategies…They won’t be peaches and lollipops, but there’s a reason those vows included “for better or worse”…

  27. The OTR job will still be there right? And who knows maybe on the road to getting fired (must keep his temper and nose clean if choosing this course), he’ll come up with something better.

    But my vote depends on his misery meter. It isn’t worth an accident or bad health or something like that.

    I love that the boss tried to get the guy to quit by cutting his wages, but did not succeed. The boss is not talking straight because he can’t. He’s discriminating against this guy from what you say.

    I was in this position once and I saw the writing on the wall and I knew I would eventually be set up so I would be fired. I let it run its course. She was a peach. When I applied for unemployment, a state UE supervisor called me, not happy my case got thrown on her desk. She , a state employee actually said “what the hell is going on at that company. Your boss sent me 150 pages of documentation on you. None of it proves that you did not perform your job duties as required.” [Uhhh, you tell me, I replied.] “Your request is granted.”

    And I could have documented the boss and made a big stinko, but I realized the job was just a dot on the map of life. It was her sport. She did it before and she’ll do it again until it all blows up on her.

    And I don’t really understand how it all works, but power struggles have multiplied until they overtook every part of my life in the past.

  28. I have been in both positions. When I was married with a child and was laid off, there was an opportunity for me to try the freelance bit and my husband had to pull in the regular income. It was a shift, I worked for a dozen years at a job with benefits when ‘benefits’ still meant something of value. My ex-husband quickly found the shifted role uncomfortable. We were still living an inflated reality life this was late 1980’s and mortgage as ‘death promise’ was the foundational piece to our economical life. Within 5 yrs we were divorced, the shift in bread-winning roles was part of the reason but mostly, on my part, I would need to learn how to be supported without giving so much of myself.

    Fast forward to 2011 and a social security income lifestyle, no mortgage, a cash-and-carry life, and a husband who works to supplement his social security check. We are a couple living with chronic illness and no medical ‘benefits’ to supplement our costs. The work my husband does is often froth with manipulation on the part of his clients. We deal with the issue of ‘being a man’ and make the money versus stay home with me and care for my chronic illness needs. Both are ‘real needs’ and neither he nor I can get all our needs met every time. It is an episode by episode “Honey, we gotta talk” thing.

    That’s the strong ending, and my opinion on this blog. The man you wrote about and the woman who voices her concerns have to talk about what to do. There aren’t any one answer fits all. For every family (couple) who faces these difficult times and can comes through with creative and cooperative solutions, I believe, the collective consciousness evolves. Reading the writing = both reads need to be equal.

  29. It has been my experience that if the boss wants you gone – you are going to be gone. I don’t know why the evil people seem to be the best at manipulating circumstances to screw others.

    My ex did the “wait-and-see” thing – he got laid off and couldn’t find a job for three months (four years ago). We lived on unemployment.

    This is very simple. This guy needs to work with a headhunter while he bides his time. I am wondering how long the OTR job is available to him – he can stay at his present job until he has to make a definite decision on that one. If he has to choose the OTR now, that makes it harder, but it seems to me he does not have a choice – his present job WILL be gone.

    This is one of those take-it-day-by-day situations where you have to see what happens in what order. In the meantime, it would obviously benefit him to look.

    My ex is a jerk and he actually found a job last year in this market through a headhunter.

    The wife is going to have to be ready to deal with however this ends up working out. Hoping that he’ll be able to keep this job is probably not an option from what it sounds like, so pull up your big girl panties and deal with whatever happens. I did it six times with three kids – life goes on and you cope. It’s called being an adult.

  30. There are no guarantees anywhere. The boss wants him out so he’ll be out eventually. UI isn’t a stable system. If he has a chance to get another job now, get it. Kudos to him for caring how the wife feels, but she’s gotta give a little, too. His current work situation is what she should be concerned with – his happiness is what matters. I’m a female, by the way. Stand by your man!

  31. heads in the sand tends to leave people blasted without preparation.

    imo he needs to have a serious conversation with his wife. but, all in all, she is not working his job. he is.

  32. This is like what satori was talking about for me. It’s one of them there corpses from the past resurrecting. I’ve been looking back. Aargh! The similar situation(s) I experienced did not come without pain and damage because I wasn’t getting it. I did not want to admit that this behavior existed. I needed to accept that it does. Reminds of something Elsa wrote a while ago. Something to the effect that “these people exist.” Aaargh again.

    My final vote is get the hell out of there. No one should submit themselves to abuse. Ahhh, bye bye corpse.

    It’s really hard for mars in pisces seeing the injustice done unto the underdog.

  33. If I were the husband, I’d be looking for work. If I were his wife, I’d tell him how I felt but leave the decision to him because it’s his life and his career.

    I understand what most people are saying about him being weak and needing to “man up,” but I think the wife in this situation may be setting herself up for a fall in the sense that her husband may end up resenting her for making the decision for him, especially if her way doesn’t turn out well. That’s always the risk you take when you tell someone else what to do.

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