I’ve been unhappy in my job for the past few years and I dream of leaving and starting my own business. The problem is, my husband doesn’t support me, telling me I’m ‘foolish’ to leave a good, well-paid job to work so hard for nothing. (I work in HR and would like to start a local deli). We don’t have children (a joint decision), and my husband earns a lot. I’ve saved conscientiously for years so I don’t think money will be a problem, but I’m not sure I have the confidence to resign without his support. Is he right? Or should I try to convince him?
Lucy Beresford replies: I’m sorry you feel unsupported, although I’m heartened to hear
that you and your husband have already in the past come to a joint decision about an important issue (not having children). This suggests that you’re both good at talking matters through.
The two of you have different views on your future, and what might make you fulfilled. This appears to be less about money, and more about emotional fulfilment. So try talking to him again, but focus less on the financial practicalities and more on his and your feelings.
Is he envious? Is he afraid of your independence? How does he view taking risks? How does he feel about your current unhappiness? He may be belittling your plans because he doesn’t know how to express his complicated emotional response to future unknowns. You’d like his emotional support, but ironically he might also be wanting something similar from you.
You might also want to consider going for some professional therapy. Psychotherapy isn’t just about processing trauma or emotional conflict, but it can often provide the space to explore more existential concerns such as, ‘where am I going with my life?’ The one-to-one nature of the work will strengthen your ego, which will help you make decisions with confidence.
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