Break the Routine
Repetition is one of the most annoying things about a difficult job. Who likes doing the exact same thing every day? In particular, 9-to-5 jobs require a rigid routine. To help your partner cope with the monotony, consider breaking the routine. Even the smallest mid-week surprises can encourage him to stick out the work week.
- Go to a place you haven't been before
- Make a surprise special dinner
- Serve breakfast in bed
- Pack a special dessert in his lunch
Respect His Need for Alone Time
When my husband comes home from work, he's usually stressed out. He needs about an hour to unwind - sometimes he'll play a video game, watch TV or take a shower. After that, he's ready to converse about the day, walk the dogs or share a meal.
If you're like me, you want to catch up on your day the moment your partner walks in the door. As a writer, my job is pretty solitary, so I'm eager to socialize when I get the chance. My husband's job is the opposite - he deals with cranky customers during the day, so sometimes he needs a bit of time to himself at the end of his work day.
Be a Good Listener
Having support at home is crucial for anyone who hates his job, especially since it may not be appropriate for your partner to share his gripes about bosses, coworkers or customers at work. Sometimes, it will help your partner just to air his grievances without someone judging him or without the fear of getting in trouble.
Listen for a few minutes without talking. Since I've become a better listener, I have noticed that my husband responds by doing the same. Two-way communication is always a benefit to your marriage.
It's one thing to listen, but it's another thing to communicate your understanding of your partner's topic. If I don't understand my husband's concerns about work (or the processes and procedures at his job), I ask him. When I understand why he's upset, I let him know. This goes a long way in letting him know his concerns have been heard, which is especially important when he needs to think about something before articulating it to his boss.
Think of a Way to Make Things Easier
Suggestions for improvement or positive change can help your partner feel less stuck - whether he feels stuck in his job or in a routine. With a removed perspective, you can gently suggest areas of improvement that will make the job more bearable.
Ultimately, if your partner is continually unhappy in his job, it may be time to suggest he find alternate employment. If he decides to do this, the job application task will require a great deal of emotional support as well.
Through all of this, don't neglect yourself or forget to take care of your own needs, either. Each of you must remain forward-thinking if the relationship is to work along with your careers.