Unemployment can be a big stressor for anyone. The stress can create marital problems if it is not handled appropropriately. If you become unemployed, it’s essential that you learn how to manage yourself and your stress so that you don’t create more stress for your partner.
When people lose their job, they often become disoriented. When someone is used to having the structure of a job, the freedom of not having anything to do can actually be stressful. Lack of a routine can be problematic and boredom can be stressful.
Establish a schedule for yourself. People do better when they have some structure in their day. Set your alarm and get up at the same time each morning. Set aside a specific amount of time to work on searching for employment, updating your resume, and following up on potential job leads. Schedule time for errands, household responsibilities and other tasks. Build in some time for stress relieving activities as well.
If your partner is employed, the extra stress of being the only working partner may become difficult. Try not to add extra stress on your partner. Although it is important to discuss your budget together, constantly talking about your financial worries is not likely to be helpful. Agree to set aside time each week to review the budget and discuss any financial decisions that need to be made and try not to talk about it outside of the designated times.
Determine steps you can take to support your partner’s employment. Pack your spouse’s lunch, cook breakfast, do the laundry or whatever else would help relieve some of your spouse’s stress.
Find meaning and purpose in what you are doing. Sometimes people become depressed and anxious when they are unemployed and this leads to a sort of identity crisis as their social role becomes confused. Recognize that although you are not working, your job can be to help your spouse, to do more household tasks, and to look for new work. Treat these things seriously and avoid the temptation to sit on the couch day watching television.
Use your unemployment as an opportunity. Use the time to your advantage to complete that project that you’ve been wanting to finish. Or find some ways to help save money. Look into less expensive phone plans, satellite or cable options, or internet options. You may be able to use your time to your advantage and help save some money.
Try not to panic when you are unemployed. Instead, try to work on a solution and take responsibility for problem solving your options. Invite your partner to have discussions with you, but avoid complaining, whining, and ruminating about the situation. Be prepared to make difficult decisions that may require you to sell things or create some lifestyle changes.