When your partner loses their job it is undoubtedly a tough time and can put a strain on your relationship. Many of the emotions that they’ll be going through are common to most people; Lovementor Elizabeth Sullivan tells all:
- They feel like a failure - Many people get their sense of identity from their job. Remind your partner that their job does not define them and they have many great qualities to be admired i.e. they are a great partner, a wonderful parent, loving child etc. Reassure them that failure is not a certainty but is a moment in time. Emphasise that this is a temporary situation which will pass if they have the right attitude and outlook.
- Your finances will be put under stress – Both you and your partner will soon feel the financial strain of losing a job. Think about your options; can you cut back on expenses? Is there a way you can help to bring in more income? Can you take a part time job or increase your hours in the interim if you already work full-time? If you don’t already record your spending you should start immediately. Most arguments about money between couples are because people prioritise expenditure differently. It’s therefore worth agreeing the priorities in advance so neither of you can accuse the other of wasting money.
- They will be depressed - If someone is attached to their job, losing it can be like a bereavement. Nurture your partner, be as kind and compassionate as possible. If you’re at home most of the day, your partner being around more may disrupt your routine. If you’re at work you may get resentful of your partner not having to get up early and having the free time you crave. This can become stressful; try to be sensitive as this is not a situation that either you or your partner is happy with.
However, there are things you can do to keep your relationship strong during this time:
- Practical steps - Encourage your partner to be proactive and stay positive. Encourage them to get up early, get their CV up to date, contact agencies, and reach out to their network. LinkedIn is a key network for recruitment, look at the companies you both know and reach out to explain the situation. Ask people to keep their eye out for opportunities and make introductions if you can. These positive steps will help your partner to stay determined and proactive.
- Be kind to yourself - Don‘t worry if you don’t have all the answers, support your partner as best as you can. Don’t be afraid to go to family or friends to ask for advice. You may be surprised at how keen people are to support you when you tell them the situation.
- Provide security, love and reassurance – After losing their job, your partner might fear that they could lose you as well. Give them that security, remind them you love them for who they are, not their job. Go out of your way to pamper them, rebuild their confidence and make them feel as though home is a sanctuary.
Some people are attached to lifestyle – and when the lifestyle is gone it can cause you to question things - what’s left behind? It can test your relationship, and when you come through it, you can be so much stronger as a couple. You know that if you have survived this, you can survive everything together.