Q: My husband recently lost his job. I’m still working and we aren’t destitute, but it’s obviously tough on the whole family. Is there anything I should prioritise while he looks for a new position?
A: You have an important role in helping your spouse deal with the uncertainty ahead. So, to the best of your ability, you have to stay calm and focused. Admittedly, it’s a bit of a tightrope walk.
If your husband is unemployed for weeks and months, it can feel like the search for a new job will never end. But it’s important not to let discouragement set in. Keep a healthy perspective and try to remember that, as difficult as this challenge is, it’s only temporary.
One of the best things you can do as a couple is to keep life as normal as possible. Maintain a routine. Take life one day at a time and understand that there will be good days and bad. Also, don’t overlook the value of staying engaged with the people closest to you. When life gets tough, it’s easy to hunker down and isolate. But those are the times we need the love and support of a community of friends and family.
Meanwhile, don’t let your daily life become consumed by this situation. It’s healthy to plan (inexpensive) activities that have no other purpose except to have fun. Go for a walk or a hike, or have a picnic. It’s a good opportunity to set aside your worries, even if just for a short time, and refresh yourself and your marriage.
And that’s key. Somehow, in the midst of uncertainty, both of you have to stay focused on the most important goal of all: keeping your relationship intact – even making it stronger – until you get to the other side of this challenge. So whatever you do, in the midst of your spouse’s unemployment, make your marriage your top priority.
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