Since his dismissal, my husband is isolating himself .

Since his dismissal, my husband is isolating himself ...

My husband was fired and had to accept a job unrelated to his qualification. Since then, his family has despised him and he does not want to see anyone anymore. What can I do? Muriel, Strasbourg

Claude Halmos

Psychoanalyst

responds

A dismissal strikes one who suffers it on two levels: at the level of reality and at the level of his imagination, by making him relive unconsciously suffering of which he had often lost conscious memory.

It may, because it is arbitrary and unfair, send someone back to the sadistic and frustrating adults he had as a child to suffer violence. It can be felt as a rejection and remind him of the abandonment he has experienced.

He can also give him the feeling that he has no value and echo all that he already felt was devalued at home, and so on. When a dismissal completely kills someone, it is because he comes to redouble his pre-existing fragility.

I do not know your husband's story, but what you say about her family suggests that social respectability (or what she believes is) plays an important role for her. But it can, as we know, serve as a screen for many turpitudes (real or imaginary). What use, in this case, of wealth and glory? To buy back what? To hide what?

Your husband's difficulties may (imaginarily) put family members at risk, and this is probably not unrelated to the nightmare in which he himself seems to have plunged (or plunged).

We should be able to talk to him and help him to differentiate the present from the past. Unemployment is not a shameful disease. When one is ashamed of it, it is because one has, without knowing it, "badly with his past".

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