Are things going to improve? Or am I really stuck? I feel like crap

I am a mid-40’s guy married with two beautiful children. I had a terrific job that I really loved and was good at and was recruited out of to go to another company. They threw money and more opportunity my way, or so I thought. I lasted 3 months and then finally resigned because I was so unhappy and unsuccessful there.

My old job is no longer available as they backfilled it. I’m now unemployed, again. I’ve been laid off several times in my career and actually made a transition out of being a recruiter to moving more into the field of Customer Success. I have my MBA and on paper my credentials look good. But I’m looking for a job and feel completely worthless.

I’ve been laid off several times in my career, hence my transition over to Customer Success. My wife has never had much confidence in my career choices because she’s had to work outside the home quite a bit to support our family. This makes me feel like complete garbage because I haven’t been able to take care of us myself. She also has made me feel like crap because she doesn’t feel like she can be a good Mom when she’s gone so much.

Now she’s supporting us alone. I’m looking for work and have some prospects/interviews that I’m working on. But she’s so frustrated she’s ready to divorce me. There’s nothing she can say to me to make me feel horrible that I don’t already feel about myself. I’ve always been my own worst critic and, once again being out of work, I feel like a piece of garbage.

I’m so frustrated with this that I’ve contemplated suicide. I have two beautiful boys that are the joy of my life. But if my wife divorces me, I’m ready to end it all. I figure she’s threatened to leave me enough before and has always been so independent that she’ll just find someone else anyway. Twenty years of marriage that this is where I’m at.

I feel awful. I don’t want to live, but I know suicide is bad and that it could really negatively impact my children. But the pain is getting to be too much. I’m angry at myself. I’m angry at God. This life just has not turned out how I thought it would.


Man, this is so brutal. To feel like you’re in the thick of it, like there’s so much life that you’ve lived and regret. To feel like the fruit of all the effort you’ve poured into your life is disappointment and pain…to feel alone, like you’re on a knife’s edge of your life being thrown into a pit, completely unsalvageable, unrepairable…man, this is so brutal.

It feels like a hot iron being pressed on your chest when your wife criticizes the same things you already hate about yourself. It feels like a constant reminder of your worthlessness when she goes to work and you’re still at home…when you pay for something and it’s not money you’ve earned…when she comes home from work and feels stressed from a long day at work…everything in your life is a reminder, a SCREAMING, white hot reminder of how big of a failure you feel you are. It’s too much. It feels like the thoughts are drowning you and now it’s all you can think, all you can feel…

And now, it’s like, fuck, man, I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to live like this…I don’t want my life to leave me, I don’t want her to feel the way she feels about me, I don’t want my kids to lose me, I don’t want to be without a job, I don’t want for any of these things to happen, and yet here I am, in the midst of everything I feared, feeling like my life and everything I’ve been working to build is caving in, and I can’t hold it together.

I feel like God’s abandoned me, like I’ve disappointed myself and my family, and like I’m left in the rubble of my dreams with no hope of ever rebuilding it…with barely any desire to either…

Man, again, this is so brutal.

The difficult truth is that there’s no easy fix, ya know? It’s, as you are feeling the weight of it, years of decisions stacked on top of each other, and one decision isn’t going to fix all of that… – no, not even suicide…actually, that will make it much much much worse for everyone you love. Fantasizing about an easy way out is a waste of time, because the truth is, there isn’t one. But the hope is that you have what it takes. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but it’s the truth. God’s made you as a capable man, as a man who has what it takes for the task at hand, who CAN handle his marriage and his family and his work…you have what it takes, Mike…it’s going to take everything you’ve got to fight back, to dig in, to turn this ship around, but you have it in you, and you can do it, and it will be worth it.

I think the epicenter of your strength and your strategy and your hope is going to be found in God. I know you’re pissed at him, and that’s a great place to start your conversation with him. But you can’t ignore him. This is a God-sized problem you’re looking to solve, and how silly it would be to try to go at it yourself when you don’t have to. Lean in. Yell at him. Say what you need to say. He’ll respond, he’ll come through, he’s not afraid of you or your feelings. But you’ve gotta get out of denial, you’ve gotta get out of isolation, you’ve gotta get out of this place of faking like everything’s okay when underneath you’re crumbling under the weight of it. God wants to lift that from you and walk under that weight with you. He wants to enter into your pain, into your story, into your family, into your work, into your heart, into your life. He thrives here, loves it here, he loves coming through for you. He loves writing good stories, and your life has just the right amount of chaos as a precondition for his beautiful rewriting.

So start there, Mike, start with God. He’s a better strategist than you and me. He’s got better plans, better agenda, better ideas, and he’s got a roadmap to restoration laid out for you. Lean into him. Let him hear you. Let him love you. Then let him lead you. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

You can do this, Mike. You were made for this.

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Your words are inspired. I really appreciate it. I’ve been trying to lean on God quite a bit through this. But you’re right. I’ve felt abandoned and alone, but when I’ve leaned on him before, He has always come through. The pain of the moment just sucks.

Thank you so much.

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Thank you so much for sharing your heart and what you are going through in being transparent!

I believe the pressure of being able to have a successful job, provide for your family, and do it consistently is a huge pressure that a lot of people face, myself included. It is challenging feeling as if that is not the case our identity can fall short if this is not the case. I want to echo what Nate is speaking about. The moments in which I haven’t been able to provide for my family and my job situation can fuel my discontent with myself in my ability and identity. There is always going to be one solid truth that never wavers and that is how God values who you are in His eyes and the unwavering presence of comfort only He can provide. Continually strive daily to speak this truth into your own life and God move in His timing. Now matter how life can be unpredictable, unfair, or inconsistent, I can always be confident that God knows beyond the details that I can and God will make a way to provide. You are doing the right thing right now pursuing other ventures.

Stay strong and continually keep fighting for joy and perseverance through this time. We are rotting for you!


Thank you @NateTriesAgain and @lawrenced for your inspired words. It’s nice to know that others have faced similar problems and understand the challenges I’m facing. It is a process and there’s something that I’m supposed to learn from this. I’m not sure what as I’ve been here several times before, but I guess there’s something more to be learned.


There’s always more to be learned – which I think is a beautiful part about life and about how God designed it. We can never get bored :slight_smile: