A time of unemployment doesn’t have to take a toll on your marriage and family life—in fact, it can make you stronger. You’ll have to make some changes, but you’ll also get really good at paying attention to each other’s needs and to what’s really important in your life together.
Your support for your spouse as you hold a unified front against the troubles you face during unemployment is a perfect way to show real, sacrificial love.
The last thing your spouse wants to hear after getting laid off is what he did wrong to cause the layoff. Rather than focusing on the negatives or what could have been done, focus on what you can both do to move forward.
Your spouse needs to feel emotionally supported during the time, which you can do by praising him for what he’s doing around the house, with the kids or with the job search.
You may be able to help your spouse search job listings, update his resume, practice interviews and generally put his best foot forward in job applications. Encouraging him to keep a regular schedule, including workouts and social time, also keeps his emotional state as good as possible.
Most people who get laid off qualify for unemployment compensation, so file the paperwork right away. In the meantime, cut your household budget down to the bare bones.
Although you may have enough in savings to maintain your usual budget for a few months, the time of unemployment could last longer than that. Some of the best places to save money are by eating out less frequently and by not buying superfluous clothing or household items.
Although you should cut corners where you can, make sure your family is still protected financially. If possible, don’t dip into the retirement savings you’ve worked so hard to build.
In addition, maintain health insurance to guard against a huge hospital bill. Although you may qualify for COBRA benefits, temporary health insurance is often less expensive and provides help if you’re faced with large medical bills.
Keeping Your Kids in the Loop
A time of unemployment can be confusing for kids, especially young ones. Let them ask questions, and provide them with honest answers while trying to be positive.
They may want to help out, so you can tell them what they can do, like letting daddy have uninterrupted time to apply for jobs. Whatever you do, don’t badmouth your spouse to your child. You want to stay positive and show them a strong united front in your marriage as you tackle the tough time together.
Loving Your Marriage
Your spouse’s unemployment will be difficult for you, but it’s important to remember that it’s just as hard for him. Your sacrificial love and support during this time will help him maintain self-worth and feel like an important part of the family, even when he’s not working.
And of course, take at least a few hours each week to relax, just the two of you, to remember why you love each other.