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How To Cope with an Unemployed Spouse

How To Cope with an Unemployed Spouse

Christina Macres | Excelle

August 13, 2010

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.


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