Have you heard of the famous list of 43 most stressful situations in your life? The list was compiled by two psychiatrists (Holmes and Rahe) studying the phenomenon of stress. Each event received a number of stress units.
Dismissal/unemployment ranks 8th. The loss of a job by a spouse ranks 26th.
In my practice, I have worked with 1,000 people who have lost their jobs and their partners. Work made my clients feel needed and important. Losing her made them feel a series of negative emotions.
These experiences made me realize that it is extremely important how the partner of the unemployed man deals with the new situation. This article is for you.
Here are 5 ways to better deal with losing your partner’s job.
1. Give it time and space.
Losing your job involves going through similar phases to losing a loved one. From bliss to loss, to denial, anger, to calmness to action. Knowing what the stages are like can help you cope better with the situation.
2. Be empathetic.
Most people who have lost their jobs are ashamed of their situation. It can be helpful to show support by saying a simple sentence: “I know this is a difficult time, but I am here for you if you would like to talk.”
3. Don’t hide your emotions.
Let’s be honest, losing your partner’s job is a difficult experience. You may experience emotions such as anxiety, fear, sadness and even anger. If you feel these emotions are building up, tell someone you trust. It’s important that you don’t suppress these feelings, as the chances are you’ll burst out at the worst time.
4. Observe your partner’s emotions and behavior.
People deal with losing a job differently. Many studies show a link between losing a job and the onset of anxiety and mood disorders (such as depression). Even if you think your partner is in no danger, watch him. If you notice disturbing signals, it is worth suggesting that you see a therapist.
5. Make a job finding plan.
A break from work is a good time to look at your values (personal and professional) and prioritize them. Ask your partner to rank the values.
Personal values : family, friends, good health, stable employment, high salary, education, free time, high material position, success and fame, travel, religion, participation in political life.
Professional values : great responsibility, good atmosphere at work, work that gives a lot of joy, seeing the meaning of work, the possibility of being creative, separating working time from free time, flexible working time, great independence at work, shorter working hours.
Find interesting job offers and compare them with the values and competences of your partner. Then develop the tools. Think about your job search strategy and act.
You can also make an appointment with a career consultant. The specialist will help the partner to realistically define where and how to look for a job.
Remember that losing your job is a situation that can happen to anyone. Statistics show that over 30% of people currently employed have been unemployed in the last three years. It is important that you form a harmonious duo, also in the most stressful situations.