Safe to say that everyone’s lives have obviously been impacted by COVID. My fiancé works in a service role in an industry that he’s so passionate about, and ended up being out of work from mid-March until early July. During that time, he was also studying more to get special certifications in his industry which really motivated him during that time.
He was able to go back into work throughout the rest of the summer and he felt so great being back in the swing of things. However, we live in the Midwest and the recent spike in cases + the cold weather have forced his place of work to minimize service again, so he’s not able to work in the capacity he was in the summer (although he does get to go in and do some hourly work that’s not as service-heavy, hopefully my vagueness makes sense). He’s been feeling pretty down about this as he was feeling SO passionate about this job pre-pandemic. We know that this industry will be around and thriving again post-pandemic, but it’s been really at different points.
Meanwhile, I have worked fully remote at a job that has not terribly affected by COVID – at times we were even busier because of it. I had actually tried to find a new job in February in an industry that’s also service-related, but the final interview was going to be in March and, well…COVID happened and the job went away.
From March-August I was feeling not super excited about my role but thankful to have a steady job. In September, a new role opened up that I felt qualified for, working on a team with people I knew I’d connect more with, working on subjects I cared more about, and a significant pay bump (+30% raise, and more in commission). I worked really hard on my interview and presentations, and got the role! I felt so proud, and fiancé was proud of me, but once I mentioned the awesome pay raise, his mood seemed off. A few days went by and things were fine – I asked him if he was upset I brought that up or what was happening, and he had said how the uncertainty of work was stressful for him but he was proud of me (although I still felt like I couldnt act too giddy about my excitement in the role, or it would bum him out).
Flash forward to this week – I won an end of year award at my company that only a few people out of hundreds win each year. The award comes with extra PTO, a couple thousand $$, and some other small gifts. I was so proud! I told fiancé and he was also proud but his excitement seemed to dwindle when I mentioned what comes with the award (the $ and time off).
I know that he is so happy for me with these accomplishments and that he’s proud of me, but I can’t help but feel this guilt when I want to express my excitement about these accomplishments, given that his role has been so up in the air throughout the pandemic. I’m also so proud of him for remaining positive through most of this, and I can really see that he’s so passionate about this career long-term, which is amazing.
My question is: is there a better way I can approach this conversation so we can both be excited about things, without making fiancé feel stressed about his current circumstances? I know I probably place too much importance on the $ aspect of things, probably from working another job where I was overworked and underpaid, so maybe we just don’t talk $? But with a wedding coming up in the next two years, I know we need to talk about it. I also want to point out that I’m not at all concerned about his financial situation at the moment – he’s responsible with his money, I know he’ll be in a good place with income when vaccines are widespread, and I also am happy to cover extra living costs during this time if I need to.
Anyone else in the same position as my fiancé who may be able to advise on how you’d want your SO to share this info?
TL; DR – I recently got promoted and got a big end of year award at work while my fiancé’s industry is suffering bc of COVID. Trying to figure out how i can share my excitement about work without making him feel less than with everything going on.