How to Help an Unemployed Spouse

Reviewed Jul 26, 2018

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Summary

Offer emotional support to your unemployed spouse by listening to your mate's concerns.

Has your companion lost her job? Has a gloomy feeling settled in—maybe causing both of you to feel very stressed, even hopeless?

You can play a major role in helping your mate to rebound. While finding a new job can be a long process, your attitude and clear-headed approach can help turn the crisis around. 

Offer emotional support

Act and speak in hopeful ways. This will help your spouse to assume the same attitude. A hopeful atmosphere at home should help your mate feel more confident during job interviews.

Listen to your mate’s real concerns. If you voice too much optimism, you will only cause your mate to feel cut off and totally alone with the problems.

Remind your spouse that temporary plans are powerful. For example, finding a temporary job, as quickly as possible, can be the bridge to get your family across troubled waters.

Encourage your mate to divide up time wisely. Looking for a new job will be stressful. Remind your mate that mixing too many tasks in a single day will cause confusion and more stress.

Point out that working in long stretches and focusing well works best. For example: Could your spouse research job opportunities Thursday through Saturday? Then, he could make calls, send emails, and submit applications Monday through Wednesday. 

Keeping your marriage intact

Since preserving your family is your foremost goal, don’t allow a job search to hurt your marriage. Do these things to take pressure off the relationship:

Spend time apart. Tension will escalate if you spend all of your free time with your mate while you’re under severe stress. Besides, spending time apart allows you both to see friends—who may offer job ideas, support, and tips for networking.

Do some nice things for yourself. Sure, you may be the spouse who’s still employed, but doesn’t that simply add to your own pressures? Recognize that you need attention and stress-relief, too.

Keep your “honey do” list reasonable. An unemployed person is probably struggling with ego problems, not to mention anxiety and outright fear. So avoid the temptation to use your mate for too many chores or errands—just because she’s not at work. 

Incorporate recreation religiously. All work and no play can drive couples apart—even if there aren’t any employment problems going on. Now isn’t the time to stay overly serious 24 hours a day.

Dealing with the job search

As you try to relieve stress, keep in mind that acquiring a job is still your mate’s main goal. Encourage him to create a plan of action as soon as possible.

Remind your spouse to:

Visit job counselors and consultants. Even if you must pay an expert to offer advice on job hunting and career transitions, this can be money well spent.

Track the action plan in writing. One lost email address could cost your partner an interview. One failure to follow up on a phone call could cost her a job.

Since writing is an active endeavor—requiring thought and planning—this exercise will help your mate to feel more in control of the job search process. By tracking people to contact about jobs, dates for letters to go out, and times for interviews, your spouse can “strategize” the job search and follow up promptly on every contact. 

Invent possible jobs from his host of skills. Help your spouse think up possible employment by listing his skills from baking to banking.

Put all odds in her favor. That is, submit plenty of resumes—at least 30 each week—and keep the phone lines humming. Nothing takes the place of dedicated calling, emailing, and following up. 

By Judi Light Hopson

Summary

Offer emotional support to your unemployed spouse by listening to your mate's concerns.

Has your companion lost her job? Has a gloomy feeling settled in—maybe causing both of you to feel very stressed, even hopeless?

You can play a major role in helping your mate to rebound. While finding a new job can be a long process, your attitude and clear-headed approach can help turn the crisis around. 

Offer emotional support

Act and speak in hopeful ways. This will help your spouse to assume the same attitude. A hopeful atmosphere at home should help your mate feel more confident during job interviews.

Listen to your mate’s real concerns. If you voice too much optimism, you will only cause your mate to feel cut off and totally alone with the problems.

Remind your spouse that temporary plans are powerful. For example, finding a temporary job, as quickly as possible, can be the bridge to get your family across troubled waters.

Encourage your mate to divide up time wisely. Looking for a new job will be stressful. Remind your mate that mixing too many tasks in a single day will cause confusion and more stress.

Point out that working in long stretches and focusing well works best. For example: Could your spouse research job opportunities Thursday through Saturday? Then, he could make calls, send emails, and submit applications Monday through Wednesday. 

Keeping your marriage intact

Since preserving your family is your foremost goal, don’t allow a job search to hurt your marriage. Do these things to take pressure off the relationship:

Spend time apart. Tension will escalate if you spend all of your free time with your mate while you’re under severe stress. Besides, spending time apart allows you both to see friends—who may offer job ideas, support, and tips for networking.

Do some nice things for yourself. Sure, you may be the spouse who’s still employed, but doesn’t that simply add to your own pressures? Recognize that you need attention and stress-relief, too.

Keep your “honey do” list reasonable. An unemployed person is probably struggling with ego problems, not to mention anxiety and outright fear. So avoid the temptation to use your mate for too many chores or errands—just because she’s not at work. 

Incorporate recreation religiously. All work and no play can drive couples apart—even if there aren’t any employment problems going on. Now isn’t the time to stay overly serious 24 hours a day.

Dealing with the job search

As you try to relieve stress, keep in mind that acquiring a job is still your mate’s main goal. Encourage him to create a plan of action as soon as possible.

Remind your spouse to:

Visit job counselors and consultants. Even if you must pay an expert to offer advice on job hunting and career transitions, this can be money well spent.

Track the action plan in writing. One lost email address could cost your partner an interview. One failure to follow up on a phone call could cost her a job.

Since writing is an active endeavor—requiring thought and planning—this exercise will help your mate to feel more in control of the job search process. By tracking people to contact about jobs, dates for letters to go out, and times for interviews, your spouse can “strategize” the job search and follow up promptly on every contact. 

Invent possible jobs from his host of skills. Help your spouse think up possible employment by listing his skills from baking to banking.

Put all odds in her favor. That is, submit plenty of resumes—at least 30 each week—and keep the phone lines humming. Nothing takes the place of dedicated calling, emailing, and following up. 

By Judi Light Hopson

Summary

Offer emotional support to your unemployed spouse by listening to your mate's concerns.

Has your companion lost her job? Has a gloomy feeling settled in—maybe causing both of you to feel very stressed, even hopeless?

You can play a major role in helping your mate to rebound. While finding a new job can be a long process, your attitude and clear-headed approach can help turn the crisis around. 

Offer emotional support

Act and speak in hopeful ways. This will help your spouse to assume the same attitude. A hopeful atmosphere at home should help your mate feel more confident during job interviews.

Listen to your mate’s real concerns. If you voice too much optimism, you will only cause your mate to feel cut off and totally alone with the problems.

Remind your spouse that temporary plans are powerful. For example, finding a temporary job, as quickly as possible, can be the bridge to get your family across troubled waters.

Encourage your mate to divide up time wisely. Looking for a new job will be stressful. Remind your mate that mixing too many tasks in a single day will cause confusion and more stress.

Point out that working in long stretches and focusing well works best. For example: Could your spouse research job opportunities Thursday through Saturday? Then, he could make calls, send emails, and submit applications Monday through Wednesday. 

Keeping your marriage intact

Since preserving your family is your foremost goal, don’t allow a job search to hurt your marriage. Do these things to take pressure off the relationship:

Spend time apart. Tension will escalate if you spend all of your free time with your mate while you’re under severe stress. Besides, spending time apart allows you both to see friends—who may offer job ideas, support, and tips for networking.

Do some nice things for yourself. Sure, you may be the spouse who’s still employed, but doesn’t that simply add to your own pressures? Recognize that you need attention and stress-relief, too.

Keep your “honey do” list reasonable. An unemployed person is probably struggling with ego problems, not to mention anxiety and outright fear. So avoid the temptation to use your mate for too many chores or errands—just because she’s not at work. 

Incorporate recreation religiously. All work and no play can drive couples apart—even if there aren’t any employment problems going on. Now isn’t the time to stay overly serious 24 hours a day.

Dealing with the job search

As you try to relieve stress, keep in mind that acquiring a job is still your mate’s main goal. Encourage him to create a plan of action as soon as possible.

Remind your spouse to:

Visit job counselors and consultants. Even if you must pay an expert to offer advice on job hunting and career transitions, this can be money well spent.

Track the action plan in writing. One lost email address could cost your partner an interview. One failure to follow up on a phone call could cost her a job.

Since writing is an active endeavor—requiring thought and planning—this exercise will help your mate to feel more in control of the job search process. By tracking people to contact about jobs, dates for letters to go out, and times for interviews, your spouse can “strategize” the job search and follow up promptly on every contact. 

Invent possible jobs from his host of skills. Help your spouse think up possible employment by listing his skills from baking to banking.

Put all odds in her favor. That is, submit plenty of resumes—at least 30 each week—and keep the phone lines humming. Nothing takes the place of dedicated calling, emailing, and following up. 

By Judi Light Hopson

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2018 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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