Posted: Saturday 24th May 2014 at 8:01 am

Tips To Cope with an Unemployed Spouse

Today’s job market has many couples well aware of the strain unemployment can put on a relationship. Constant stress can cause fights, break up an otherwise healthy relationship, and really put “for better or worse” to the test.

Often, coping with this anxiety and pressure can be just as taxing for the employed spouse as it is for the one who is out of work.

But this doesn’t have to be the case. Instead of letting unemployment destroy your relationship, allow it to strengthen your bond as a couple. We show you how to cope:

Dealing with Emotions

It’s not unusual for your unemployed spouse to feel a range of emotions from lack of confidence to identity loss to of financial worry. As the employed half of the relationship, you must remain understanding and compassionate. Joblessness can create a sense of hopelessness, feelings of displacement, and depression due to days and months of continued rejection.

On the other hand, it’s also important that the unemployed member of the relationship be aware that the strain of unemployment doesn’t just affect them, but you as well. You may feel a combination of sympathy and anger towards your jobless partner. But as these emotions might seem overwhelming and at times confusing, you owe it to your spouse to be both a motivational cheerleader and a listening ear when needed.

Treating Unemployment as Temporary

Both you and your spouse must exercise an attitude that treats unemployment as temporary. Rejection, while difficult, is inevitable during this time. It’s important to keep in mind that the more jobs applied to, the more employment opportunities are created. Most times, just being an active job hunter (or support to a job hunter) can help combat feeling of dejection and unhappiness.

Feeling Thoughts of Guilt

At this time, it can be easy to slip into feelings of guilt over being employed; you have what your significant other desperately wants. But don’t let this be a cause for self-sabotage. You should feel lucky that you can provide for your significant other monetarily and emotionally during this time.

Managing Feelings of Jealously

The most contaminating emotion for a couple coping with unemployment is resentment. At times the jobless spouse may feel jealous because they live so close to someone who has what they want. Your workday could become a daily reminder of what they don’t have. If this is the case in your relationship, you must make communication your main priority. It might be painful to be told that your employment elicits bitterness from your spouse, but talking through these thoughts can help both sides better understand each other’s emotions.

Promoting Reminders of Importance

An unemployed person often feels embarrassed about being out of work, even though their joblessness is in no way connected to their personal failure. Remind your significant other that they are a vital part of your life and that you fell in love with a person — not a career.

Oftentimes, it might also help to do this in a less obvious fashion. For example, in addition to telling your spouse they’re great, ask them to do you a favor and make them feel valuable. Need an errand run? Something fixed around the house? Just ask! Confidence and self-respect are a vital part of life and, unfortunately, times of continued joblessness can damage these character traits. Preserving your significant other’s sense of worth is a fundamental piece of the job procurement puzzle.

Offering Help

This can come in the form of searching for a job, proofreading a resume, brainstorming good characteristics for a cover letter, or even just keeping the lines of communication open by listening to feelings, concerns and general discontent. Work as a couple to search job listings, network, and build a group of contacts.
Promoting Reminders of Importance

An unemployed person often feels embarrassed about being out of work, even though their joblessness is in no way connected to their personal failure. Remind your significant other that they are a vital part of your life and that you fell in love with a person — not a career.

Oftentimes, it might also help to do this in a less obvious fashion. For example, in addition to telling your spouse they’re great, ask them to do you a favor and make them feel valuable. Need an errand run? Something fixed around the house? Just ask! Confidence and self-respect are a vital part of life and, unfortunately, times of continued joblessness can damage these character traits. Preserving your significant other’s sense of worth is a fundamental piece of the job procurement puzzle.

Offering Help

This can come in the form of searching for a job, proofreading a resume, brainstorming good characteristics for a cover letter, or even just keeping the lines of communication open by listening to feelings, concerns and general discontent. Work as a couple to search job listings, network, and build a group of contacts.

Source: excelle.monster.com

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