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'I gave my husband an ultimatum, quit his job or I'm leaving the marriage.' UPDATED 3X

'I gave my husband an ultimatum, quit his job or I'm leaving the marriage.' UPDATED 3X


Desperate times call for desperate measures.

"I gave my husband an ultimatum, quit his job or I'm leaving."

Let's preface by saying that I love him, I don't want to leave him but I can't keep seeing the man I love k*lling himself for a company that doesn't value him. My husband got promoted to Sales Director last year, and we were very happy about it at first. But then his life (and my own) became h*ll. The company is struggling and is dealing with numerous lawsuit from clients.

My husband knew nothing of this when he was brought on as Director. He works every single f#$king day from 8AM and comes home late, even past midnight. Often he works full Saturdays as well. He has lost weight and his hair is already graying. One night he didn't come back home and I panicked. I called his company and they wouldn't tell me where he was.

He reached out to me around midday and I learned he had been hospitalized for heart palpitations. Doctors advise him to take more exams because he risks an heart attack. He is just 36 but looks ten years older. His company uses and ab#ses him (I heard him talking to his bosses on phone calls, the way those people talk to him...) and he is too beaten down to leave.

I'm friend with his deputy director (funny thing, I suspected they were having an affair at first, but she became a great friend for me) and she's actively looking to leave. We tried to drill this into my husband, to no avail. I have been polite, I have been rude, now I'm just done. I don't want to watch him die. I gave him the ultimatum: quit this f#$king job or I am gone.

He is worried about the money, but I work and I can be the breadwinner while he recuperates and looks for a new job. He seemingly took me seriously but for now has not quit, he has taken sick days. And he has really fallen sick now. I can't take this anymore. I love this man, and I am watching him kill himself for people that wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire.

The internet did not hold back in the comment section.

Embarrassed_Sky3188 wrote:

You are right, but he can't hear you right now. Keep pushing. Would it help to have the deputy come over, and they both agree to leave? It's possible they are (appropriately) close (possibly trauma bonded) and he doesn't want to leave her behind.

OP responded:

We already had this talk with him. She says that if he walks, she's walking with him. He won't budge and says he doesn't want her to lose her job for him.

Unfair_Finger5531 wrote:

I don’t blame you. I don’t like ultimatums, but sometimes they are needed. You can’t just stand by and watch him work himself to d*ath. I hope he’s at least getting some rest on his sick days.

OP responded:

I had to take away the phone because they kept pestering him for every little thing. I am angry and I am scared, I can't live like this but I know that if I leave those people might end up k**ling him.

littlescreechyowl wrote:

As someone whose husband is literally driving 9 hours today to come home and go on a mental health leave, please make him step away. Money is great, but losing your life to a career is tragic. I was certain his was either going to have a heart attack or something.

My husband has spent the last 2 1/2 years working 18 hours a day, getting no support from his boss or his boss’s boss. He spent 6 months thinking he was getting fired and has been absolutely wrecked mentally. You’re in a good financial position, so you’re very fortunate to have (god I hate saying it) the luxury (for lack of a better word) to have him step away.

OP responded:

Damn. I hope things are at least a bit better now for your husband. I get what you are saying, and you are right that we have the luxury of keeping him home and live on my job for a while. But he won't step away. So either I leave (and I have this horrible feeling that if I do, next time I see him will be in a hospital bed or worse) or quit his job for him.

lilblu99 wrote:

I know this is going to come off cold but make sure his life insurance and any disability insurance is up to date. It sounds like he could either get put on medical disability or drop dead soon. So be prepared for either or maybe even both.

OP responded:

I know, and yes all his stuff is up to date. He will die if he keeps going like this. He is dying already.

OP gave an update in the comments:

Here's the plan. Tonight his deputy will come over and we will draft their resignations. I decided to take this off my husband's hands, I am quitting his job for him. We won't forward the resignations right away because first I want to collect proof of the mistreatment and psych*logical ab#se. If my husband gets better I will be all too happy to forget about those people.

But if he has a heart attack or dies, I am suing the crap out of them. I am sitting beside him, he's been sleeping nonstop and I check he's breathing because I am so f#$king scared he might die in his sleep. Doctor said it's just a fever but if he's not getting better by tomorrow I am taking him to the hospital. Those people are k**ling him.

Two days later, OP shared another update.

I thought on it and I am convinced that if I leave, he might literally d*e, so I decided to take the situation in my hands. Tonight his deputy director came over and we drafted my husband's and her resignations. We decided to not submit them right away, but to use their emails and accounts to find proof of the company's mistreatments and ab#ses.

They had him work 16 hours a day and pressured him to the point of giving him heart problems. Now he has taken sick leave and barely get out of bed, he just sleeps and I have to check he's breathing because at this point I am scared he might d*e in his sleep. The doctor said it's just a fever but there's also physical and mental exhaustion, and he needs to rest.

I wake him up to get him to drink some water and eat something. I have to help him get up and walk to the bathroom. Tonight I made it clear he is not going back to the job, and he agreed. His deputy director spoke with him too and told him hearsay is that the company is going to collapse and close down by next fall, so they need to get out now.

There's not much to add. I spent the evening with her and we wrote the resignations and went through his emails, but we didn't find much. I broke down a bit and cried on her shoulder, I am so bottled up I needed to let some out. That's all for now. I wish to thank everyone whom gave me advice and compassion for our situation.

I will be taking care of my husband but I am so angry and sad. Those people destroyed the man of my life, I want to be hopeful but I'm not sure he will go back to how he was before. Wish us luck.

The internet had OP's back.

hey_nonny_mooses wrote:

Best wishes that you can both recover from this. He will need to recover his health and figure out why he was complacent in their ab#se. You will have to figure out how to trust your husband not to martyr himself again. I hope you can both heal and perhaps get some counseling.

OP responded:

Thank you. I don't know when or if I'll trust him to have a healthy work life balance. I made it clear to him he's staying home at least for a month now.

Awaythrowthis80 wrote:

Good luck. I worked for a place like what you’re describing it just sucks the soul out of you. That e-mail is going to go out and his phone, computer, everything will ether ring every 5min or will be deadly silent. His stress is going to drop 10% a day after the resignation, the rest is going to convert to taking care of the family even with the Safety net of your income. It will get better just maybe not right away.

When I left my t*xic employment my wife made me go camping and fishing and I left my phone and computer at home and it helped a ton although I wasn’t hospitalized. Just getting out and sitting by a camp fire sipping a root beer and bourbon was just the ticket but that was what helped me.

Embarrassed_Sky3188 wrote:

I’m glad you are taking this route. You are doing the right thing. Good luck and best wishes.

And he’s lucky to have you.

ScratchFrequent3836 wrote:

Good to hear. Praying for your husband fast recovery. Always stay positive no matter what situation is. He will get heal and hoping he can get back his health well.

thenotoriousaep wrote:

So I had a similar experience in Sweden where burnout/exhaustion syndrome is a well-recognized diagnosis. If you start googling burnout, exhaustion syndrome, or utmattningssyndrom you'll find this condition described and other resources. There's a good YouTube video by one of the first researchers on this, Dr Christine Maslach.

Canada and the US tend to just diagnose this as stress or depression but as I'm sure you've seen, it's very different. Chronic stress causes atrophy of the prefrontal cortex, causing memory issues, anger issues...etc. The part where he is sleeping all day is very common.

They also call it "hitting the wall" here. The problems with memory, concentration etc mean that at some point people often begin a downwards spiral in the final stages of burnout where you're working longer and harder to try to compensate for the lost efficiency. Add in being under constant terror and threat from shit management and there you go.

About ten days later, OP shared another update.

Hi, I'm back with what I think will be my last update. It's over. We didn't find anything against his bosses or the company, so he forwarded his resignation. I wrote it for him, he just changed a couple of things and then sent it.

He also requested for his deputy director to collect his things, but he got no answer yet. The only reply he from all the people he CC'd was from one Dyana, who expressed regret at seeing him go, wished him the best and asked if they could set up an exit interview.

I asked his deputy who this Dyana is, and she told me it's the only one of their corporate overlords who treats her employees like actual people, and she thinks it would do no harm to have an exit interview if my husband feels like it. As for my husband, he's doing better, not much but he has slightly improved. He still sleeps a lot, but I manage to get him out in the garden for some fresh air.

I have also booked blood tests and full check-ups for him, just to be sure. I made it clear to him, I'm keeping him home this summer. We have enough saved up for the rainy days to live confortably, and I will keep working. Then we'll see. He's a smart man and a very hard worker, I don't doubt he will find a good opportunity in no time.

He's worried and uncertain but I do my best to reassure him and make him feel better. He used to be the rock in our relationship, but now it's my time to step up. I would like to thank you all for your comments and kindness, on my and my husband's behalf. I know it won't be easy and it will take time, patience and love, but we'll be alright.

And the comments of support kept coming.

Dramatic-Carry3034 wrote:

You very likely saved his life. He is a hard worker, who seems to feel responsible for everyone. You making him stop and let you care for him has to be hard but necessary. Good for you, you are doing the right thing in this situation and he will come through this with your care.

OP responded:

Thank you. Hopefully he will recover, I will do my best.

Unfair_Finger5531 wrote:

Wonderful news. I remember chatting on the original thread. If I may: please get him to therapy now. Jobs can cause PTSD. He needs to talk to someone about this.

You did the right thing and sound like a wonderful partner and friend.

OP responded:

He had a therapist he used to have sessions with. I suggested we get back in contact with her and see if she can take him back as a patient. She does at home sessions too, would be ideal for us.

Outrageous-Garden333 wrote:

You are a kind woman.

OP responded:

Thank you. I like to think I am, but touch my family or my friends and I become the most vindictive b#$ch you ever met.

ladyapplejack123 wrote:

OP, no words can describe how proud I am of you right now, you just did the right thing. I understand how much you love your husband and by letting him leave his job (which is ultimately k**ling him slowly) it just proves how much you care for that man. You are kind and you guys deserve to be happy and live in peace. You’re right, everything will come back to its own path soon.

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