Advice for What to do When Your Partner Gets Fired From His or Her Job
Four Tips for Coping With A Spouse's Job Loss
Dear April Masini,
My husband just found out that he's getting laid off. I am unsure of how to act because I know how upset he is and I don't want to say the wrong thing. I know our family will be OK; but we're definitely going to have to go through some changes as far as spending money goes, until he finds a new job. I think he feels like less of a man because now I am the one bringing in all of the household's money. Do you have any tips or advice for how I can make things easier and make sure these rough times don't end up hurting our relationship?"
Sincerely, Wife of the Fired
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Wife of the Fired,
When a partner loses a job, the effects on both members of a couple can be challenging. But there are definitely some steps you can take to make it a bit easier on everyone.
Here are some tips to get through that time:
- Don't panic. You didn't lose the job. Your partner did. Stay steady. Keep doing what you were doing. Your panic will fuel derivative issues between you and your partner and within yourselves and will hurt your relationship.
- Accept that these lows happen in careers. Your partner isn't special for getting let go, or losing a job some other way. It happens to just about everyone. It's normal.
- Ask what you can do to help. Be supportive without blaming. If you do #2, you won't blame, because you'll understand it wasn't anyone's fault. These things happen. If, however, your partner was fired because of an issue like theft, addiction, or something else that was a clear problem (illegal, etc.), then you have to insist that he or she get help before re-entering the work force.
- Be prepared to make adjustments in your life and relationship as a result of the transition -- and this means accepting the transition. Funds have to be preserved, budgets adjusted, etc.