Dear Blake,

My husband’s job brings him a great deal of unhappiness, but he doesn’t want to quit. He has been a high school teacher for 13 years. It’s the only career he’s ever known. There have always been ups and downs, but the problems over the past few years seem to be that the majority of kids at his school, and the school environment in general, has become increasingly apathetic, dysfunctional and lacking in civility.

He hesitates because he knows that if he left, he would lose interaction with the few kids who make his workdays worthwhile, plus he’d be giving up his pension. He is afraid that another job, if there is even one that he’s qualified for, would only make him unhappy in a different way. He comes home seriously downtrodden more days than he comes home feeling OK, let alone happy, and I feel so helpless. What should I do?

Signed Sabrina,
From Chicago, Illinois

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Dear Sabrina,

Teaching is such a noble profession. But teaching in Chicago is only for military veterans that have had extensive training in extremely hostile war zones. You said there were “ups and downs”. Really? What were the ups, fewer carjackings in the faculty parking lot? Your husband feels that in the school, the environment has become increasingly apathetic. I don’t agree with that, because the school system out there didn’t care long before he was hired, and he should be embarrassed that it took him 13 years to realize that. He said he doesn’t want to leave because “he would lose interaction with the few kids who make his workdays worthwhile”. I’m assuming he’s referring to the 1% that can read. Anyway, I can understand his concerns for losing his pension, but considering the city where he’s employed, you should also have some financial concerns and immediately double, if not triple, his life insurance policy. I hope this helps.