Recession is not just a word. Every day, people are losing their jobs and it’s not a function of their performance. Many companies just can’t afford to keep people on.
Being there for a fired husband is not a walk in the park. Men are expected to and socialized to see themselves as providers, and when a man can’t provide, it affects him seriously. As a result, even if his severance package can tide you over until a new job comes so you don’t have to deal with the financial strain, being out of work is still extra hard for a man’s ego.
What can you do?
1. Be thankful for your job and hold on to it as much as possible. It will take you out of the house and keep you occupied so you don’t get sucked into his own moods. Also, make peace with the fact that your own income will go a long way at this time so that at least the family doesn’t starve or lack basic things. If you work for yourself or have a side gig, this might mean you taking on more clients/projects and working harder. It will soon pass; you have to believe that tough times don’t last.
2. Avoid reminders – subtle or overt – about what he can no longer afford. This usually comes in the form of complaining or making a big deal about what you’re paying for. In other words, be kind.
3. Trust the man you chose, and let him know it. As you build him up with your words, the boost to his confidence will show in how he handles this period and even his performance at interviews.
4. You can worry over him, but don’t worry with him. While your partner is ill, do you sit by his side agonizing? No, you stay cheerful, support him, and hold the family together until he recovers, just as he would do if you were ill. Treat this as an ailment that will soon go away.
5. Remind him that losing a job is not the end of the world, and it can lead to greater things, such as a better job or a new, successful business.
This phase may soon pass, but the way you handle it will continue to matter for a very long time. If neither you nor your spouse has lost a job, see 3 Things You Should Know About Retrenchment.
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