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How to Encourage a Discouraged Husband

Group Therapy: How Can I Encourage Him?

This question comes from Group Therapy in our TrèsSugar Community. Feel free to add your advice in the comments!

Ok, I could use some advice. I've been married for almost 4 years to my husband, and we have just had the biggest disappointment in our relationship so far: he applied to grad school, and had to audition (it's music) and we found out earlier this week he didn't get accepted. We were both thinking he would definitely get in (probably me more than him even) and were excited about the big change (we would have had to move far away, explore a new city, etc.) but I guess that's just not how things are going to work out.

I want to know how I can best encourage him and let him know that I'm still proud of him and everything's going to be okay.

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Being a good provider is important to him, and his plan was to get his masters and then get on track toward a good career, as a teacher or professor. Now he's not quite sure what he's gonna do, but we've been talking about it, and he doesn't seem extremely devastated or anything, but I know he's disappointed in himself. In his personality he tends to be on the melancholic side of things typically, and I'm usually the upbeat, happy-go-lucky one.

We've rarely had major problems in the relationship, but I feel like my major weakness is communication, especially communicating encouragement towards him. I mean, I really suck at it, he just thinks I'm being sarcastic when I try to tell him how proud of him I am or how much I respect him. Because this grad school thing was so important to him, and to us as a couple, now our future is, y'know, uncertain for the time being. I know I will have to keep working full time and we have to put off having kids until he has a stable working situation... and on and on.

I'd appreciate any help in regards to how I can encourage him, especially verbally. We need to move on from this and I want to go forward as a team and be a positive influence on him, not a negative one.

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