Unemployment isn't easy for anyone. If your husband lost his job, he's likely to feel guilty that he isn't contributing, frustrated as he looks for something new, as well as upset and stressed about your financial situation. It's also natural for you to feel worried and upset, too. This can put a strain on your marriage. In fact, unemployment is a risk factor for divorce, particularly if the husband is without a job, according to a May 2011 research article in the "American Journal of Sociology." Working to strengthen your marriage during this difficult time can help preserve your relationship until your husband finds a new job.
Communicate regularly about your husband's unemployment. He may not want to talk about it all the time, but making a point to discuss the situation once or twice a week, and coming up with solutions keeps you working as a team, which can help preserve your marriage bond. Admit to each other that you're stressed and fearful, suggests financial planner, Judy Haselton in a March 2012 article in "The New York Times."
Make a budget together. Set a specific time to sit down and go over your financial numbers, suggests Scott Haltzman, M.D., author of "The Secrets of Happily Married Women" in a March 13, 2013 CBS MoneyWatch article. This gives you a chance to go over the budget and decide together where you'll make cuts, which can help keep your husband from feeling like he's an outsider while he's unemployed.
Show your support for your husband, advises the Focus on the Family website. For example, help him refine his resume, troll the Internet for job openings and choose clothes for an interview. Lend a sympathetic ear when he gets frustrated and reassure him that you're both going to be OK. This lets him know that you want him to succeed and support his efforts. It can also help prevent you from feeling resentful.
Continue doing special things together. You might have to get creative with a tighter budget, but taking time to enjoy each other's company keeps your marriage strong and preserves your bond, notes Damien Birkel, author of "Bounce Back! The Professionals in Transition Guide to Recovery and Reemployment" in the March 13, 2013 CBS MoneyWatch article. Rent a movie instead of going to the theater or take a bike ride with a picnic instead of going out to dinner.
Take a break. You don't have to spend all your time and energy trying to help your husband find a job and neither does he. Taking a break and talking about and doing other things can help keep your husband's unemployment from taking over every aspect of your lives. Make the weekends a time free from discussion about your husband's job situation, suggests Birkel.
Seek support. If you find yourself feeling resentful or angry toward your husband, the help of a neutral third party can help. Look for a therapist that can help you work through your emotions, so your marriage doesn't suffer from your feelings. It's also OK to seek support from friends or family as long as you and your husband agree on what's appropriate to share about the situation, notes the Focus on the Family website.
- Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images