Confessions: I lost my job, now my wife treats me like a worthless creature - Evewoman

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Confessions: I lost my job, now my wife treats me like a worthless creature

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The topic:

I had been happily married for about 12 years and everything was OK until the beginning of last year when I lost my job. Since then, I have moved from the adored man of the house to an unwanted creature. Sex has become like gold for me and my wife is now even inciting children against me.

I have always provided well for them but now that it is her turn to support me, she is treating me like a worthless creature and does not even talk to me. Needless to say, I supported her for many years while she just stayed at home but now she is acting as if it is my fault that I am jobless. I am doing everything I can to get a job but this torture I am going through is just too much. What do I do? I am just stressed.


What the readers say:

Roy, women by default expect men to provide for them to feel secure. As much as they strive for equality, whenever they find themselves at the giving end, more than 90 per cent of them will make it no secret that it is not their responsibility. Lie as low as possible, though it may be too much, as you do all within your means to get something to do. Thank God that He has given you a feel of both sides when there is still time. Ignore her for now and forget that you were ever nice to her as you repackage yourself.

{Tasma Saka}

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I feel like you're not being honest with us. Are you doing everything to ensure that you find a means to support your family? Have you tried business? Have you tried to look for jobs outside a specific field? Perhaps your wife feels that you are not doing enough. Or she feels that you are not supporting her hustle now that she is the sole breadwinner. It's the little things that count. You may not be a financial burden but are you an emotional burden? You need to stop wallowing in your misery and start supporting her emotionally.

{Tina Sigira}

She cannot love you for the money and support, and not love you when circumstances change. What makes her think she will keep her job forever? Take time and count the blessings you have received, including your life and your children. What spouses should do when such happens is to make any necessary budget adjustments, support and love your spouse as they transition and view it as a new, exciting season for your family. You’ll get through it.

{Fred Jausenge}

Just be yourself during this time and remain focused in your search for another job. Try and create a vacuum and let her realise your value. If she doesn’t look for you then just know you are worthless and if she sees you important then, kudos, you still matter. Women can really frustrate men when they are the breadwinners. Stick to yourself but don’t be clingy and don’t appear desperate. Be yourself.

{Ouma Ragumo – Sifuyo}

I encourage you to look for something to keep yourself busy as you look for a new job. Try and start an income-generating activity with support from your wife, parents or friends. Do not be ashamed to try out new things – you may even find them more profitable than employment. Women are very frustrating especially when a man is not earning or employed. Try and get something to keep you occupied as you search for another job.

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{Onyango Outha}

Simon says:

In present day, this is becoming an increasingly common problem in families where when the household head, usually man of the house, is not able to support his family then hell breaks loose. This is needless to say that he may have provided for the family for many years but when things go south, he loses the respect and his position of authority and leadership in the home.

It is difficult for a man to be without some form of income as society has shaped our minds to believe the man is a provider. My starting point towards addressing this issue would be for you to have a talk with her. This talk should, however, not be only between the two of you but there should be a person who is trusted and respected by both of you. This is because she needs to understand how her aggression and indifference towards you is actually making things worse and is not helping anyone.

In her thinking, she may be thinking that the undue pressure, withdrawal of conjugal rights e.t.c will get you to act fast and get yourself a job which is really far from the truth. As a matter of fact, the pressure and psychological torture she is putting you through is actually preventing you from performing optimally even in terms of searching for a job. She needs to know that looking for a job is a job in itself and it can be both financially and psychologically draining.

Once she gets to understand this, then she should start thinking towards supporting you through this tough period psychologically as well as financially. You will need to be in the right frame of mind as you continue searching for a job and even more important you will need financial support. Attending interviews, sending your detailed curriculum vitae and networking can be a costly affair so utmost and unwavering support is required during this time. This support should not be time bound since sometimes job hunting can take rather long to yield fruit. Lastly, she needs to get things right even with the children to ensure that you maintain your position and authority in the house.

{Simon is a relationships counsellor}


Boke says:

Dear Roy,

They say pressure and tough situations reveal our true nature. The hot water and tea bag analogy is by and large true. I really want to encourage you to hang in there as you wait for your expected change but I am not sure that this experience will leave you altered. How will you perceive her when you finally get a job and she reverts to her former sweet self?

Well, there are two sides to this. One could be that your wife may just be incapable of handling the various changing seasons in life and this could be because she has never gone through one. We must agree that some people have gone through life in a very sheltered way and courtesy of good parents, they have not experienced the rough side of life as far as their livelihood is concerned. For that reason, they sincerely do not know how to handle moments of uncertainty. So this experience will be a real lesson and an eye opener for her. If this turns out to be a learning moment for her, then it will have been a worthy experience.

The other side of it could be that your wife is not ready to stand with you in your low moment. It is a painful reality, but yes, there are people who are not patient enough to wait for the other person to rise again. I pray that this is not your case because, when your story changes, it will be hard for things to go back to normal.

An honest conversation on your true value to each other would help her to see that you are way above your monetary contribution.


Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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