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'I gave my husband an ultimatum, quit his job or I'm leaving.' Updated 2X

'I gave my husband an ultimatum, quit his job or I'm leaving.' Updated 2X


"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 killing 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 hell. 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 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 abuses 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 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 put him out if he was on fire.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's original post:


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.

The OP responded here:


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.


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 death. I hope he’s at least getting some rest on his sick days.

Two days later, the OP returned with an update.

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


I thought on it and I am convinced that if I leave, he might literally die, 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 mistreatment and abuse.

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 die 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.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's update:


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 abuse. 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.

The OP responded here:


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.


He will be very grateful that you saved his life.


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 Safty net of your income. It will get better just maybe not right away.

When I left my toxic 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.


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.

Roughly two weeks later, the OP returned with a final update.

"(2nd Update) I gave my husband an ultimatum, quit his job or I'm leaving. It's over."


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 comfortably, 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.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


OP sounds very awesome because she, literally, saved her husband's life. Husband will be forever grateful for her.


So true. When my fiance was working two jobs after the birth of our daughter for about a year, I saw the exhaustion and depression all over him. He was not himself and I couldn't find any jobs working from home to even cover childcare, or at a daycare where I could bring in some money so he could quit the second job.

So we had a heart to heart together, along with our parents and he agreed to quit the night job and find a better day job. Granted, he's an electrician so he works long days and out in the weather but that's what he loves.

If he gets hurt at work, I take care of him. If he's worked a 60+ hour week, I tell him not to take a Saturday emergency call every time because he needs to rest. Like today- he was so exhausted when his boss called about a job to go to he said no on his own and said he's so tired from this week he can't even drive.

He slept all day and he's sleeping now. I can't wait for our kids to get a little bigger and be in school so I can at least work while they're at school so he doesn't wear himself out. It's not fun seeing your partner become a shell of themselves, even if they're working towards ownership of the company and their own branch to run in a few years.

So they feel they cannot say no when any chance arises for them to work. OP did a great job, and I'm proud of the husband for letting his wife take the reins and be his rock. Relationships aren't 50/50, sometimes you need to do 90/10 and it shows the commitment and love in that relationship.


I know it's a massive cliche but I hope that OP can get him into therapy to get to the bottom of why it took so long him for him to quit.


Because I think this knowledge is worth spreading, and I've seen it first hand with a loved one who went through it, just remember. If you have a family member or friend who's gone through this type of stress (high stress, ongoing for an extended period, major focal point of their life) it can literally change brain chemistry and it can, and likely will, take a very long time to fully recover.

Like potentially years. Common side effects are depressive episodes, memory issues, anxiety, hyper vigilance, all the usual suspects. They will also be prone to falling back into destructive habits because they lived them for so long.Try to be patient. Good on anyone working through this be it directly or secondarily effected. It's a rough situation all around.


Taking the decision out of his hands was the best way. Guy’s lucky to still draw breath.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit,Reddit
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