How can you keep your relationship strong during unemployment and survive the difficult times ahead?
Unemployment is a scary, uncertain time in someone’s life, and when your husband comes home and announces that he’s lost his job, it’s difficult for both of you.
When your husband is unemployed, there’s a lot that’s going to rush through your head, and worries about starting a job search and contributing to the unemployment rate can wear your relationship down rather quickly. But there are some ways you can learn how to be a better wife to your husband during this difficult time.
So how can you keep your relationship strong during unemployment and survive the difficult times ahead?
The most important step is to not panic.
There are a lot of things going through a man’s mind when he loses his job, but many women may not realise this. Men are frequently workaholics, and they feel that it’s their responsibility to be a good provider for their family.
A lot of these men also think that their jobs are part of their identity, too, and they carry it with pride. When they lose their job, it can be like losing their sense of purpose in the family and in society.
It’s hard for a man to stay calm and positive in this situation – especially if they think they’re accountable for everything that goes on in the family, at least financially.
That is why your husband’s unemployment can actually be a frightening situation, and it might need to be handled delicately.
With that in mind, here are six ways in which you can help your husband when he’s lost his job and become unemployed:
1. Don’t be critical when he breaks the news to you
When your husband revealed he’d lost his job, you probably felt shocked as well as anxious about what will happen next.
You might even blurt out hurtful words because you weren’t prepared to hear that kind of news.
When it comes to finding out that your husband is unemployed, consider his feelings before yours. You need to be supportive and understanding of what he’s going through and how terrifying it is for him to suddenly feel lost without a purpose.
2. Remain supportive of him
People who are unemployed often have to fight being stereotyped as just being lazy or “not good enough”.
Studies show that unemployment has a huge negative impact on self-esteem, self-worth, and feelings of adequacy; in fact, it can severely damage your emotional health.
Assuming that this isn’t a chronic unemployment issue, your husband’s work ethics most likely aren’t the problem.
Because of this negative stereotyping, your partner may often feel depressed and miserable about being jobless. Finding a replacement job can be hard.
What you need to do as his partner is to sympathise with his situation, support, and believe in him. When he sees your confidence in him, he will feel more uplifted, motivated, and optimistic in finding a new job, even if one doesn’t happen right away.
It can be really hard to see your husband struggling with unemployment and finding a job, but with your assistance and understanding, you can get through these challenges together
3. Offer to help him instead of demanding that he finds a job
If your husband has been unemployed for quite some time now, you might think demanding that he find a new job right away or make a career change would motivate or help him.
However, adding pressure to your husband does not help, and depending on how much pressure you’re applying, might make him feel hopeless about ever actually finding another job.
Men struggle with the loss of their identity when they lose their jobs, and this can lead to high levels of stress, depression, and even physical ailments, so be helpful, not another pressure in his life.
If you’re concerned about the situation, offer him some help in finding a job, or perhaps spend some time on your own putting out resumés for him or talking to people who may have an opening in their work. You could also ask him if he needs any help with updating his resumé or creating a cover letter.
Finding a new job can be hard, and making your husband feel that you’re there to help him could mean a lot.
The key here is to ask him first if he needs your help. He might have his own strategy and prefer to do things by himself and in his own way. If you feel that the situation needs intervention, talk with him and determine a plan together.
4. Re-assess your budget during his unemployment
One way of showing your husband that you support him is by managing your household finances well while he is unemployed.
It shows that you’re willing to make sacrifices during “rainy” days of job searching.
Examine your household budget and see where you can cut back on the expenses. This will take the pressure off both of you while he’s looking for more work.
5. Enable him to do more at home
When your husband loses his job – whether you’re a stay at home mom or work out of the house yourself – there was a certain pattern that you were both used to.
Unemployment can disrupt the natural flow of your home, whether it’s your schedule for afte-rschool activities, chores, or even your “me” time. In order to get a sense of control back for both of you, help your husband re-establish a pattern at home with new duties that he can cover until he finds a new job.
Being unemployed might make your husband feel that he has lost his worth, so let him know that he’s still needed. He can help with the household chores more frequently, make dinner, or perhaps spend more time together with the kids and you, too.
Don’t forget to thank him for his contribution. Not only will this make him feel that he still has worth, but it would also make him be responsible, which will help keep him motivated.
6. Stay focused on being positive, no matter what
You and your husband should try to practise thinking that being unemployed is just temporary and is a manageable situation.
Just about everyone has experienced the situation where they have no job and get rejected by companies.
Let him understand that it is all part of the process and he just needs to submit more job applications and that more job opportunities are out there. Help him to keep a healthy mental perspective.
It can be really hard to see your husband struggling with unemployment and finding a job, but with your assistance and understanding, you can get through these challenges together and come out stronger than ever on the other side.
Esther Bilbao is a mentor to women so they can have better relationships, health, and personal development. Skill Success offers over 1 000+ on-demand online video courses on subjects for professional and personal development. Learn New Skills From Expert Instructors with 30 Days Free of All Access Pass.
This article was first published on YourTango.