A Survival Guide for the Unemployed Spouse

Whether you relocated for love, got laid off, or got a pink slip, this article is just for you. At one point in my life, I was one of 9.8 million people who were unemployed and married. I took the risk of giving up my career, comfortable living, and steady paycheck for love and marriage. In relationships, you take risk to be with the one you love and have faith that they have your best interest at heart. Relocating to the state of Rhode Island where the unemployment rate is at an all time high of 12% in the United States was a daunting experience but we made it through. 

Tips for the Unemployed Spouse

  1. Don’t beat yourself up about being unemployed. Forgive, love, and care about yourself. It is so easy to focus on the negatives because the negatives are constantly staring us in the face. 
  2. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Pray, eat healthy, give yourself positive self talk, get 8 hours of sleep, exercise, and take life one day at a time. Avoid consuming alcohol, substance abuse, and negativity.
  3. Indulge into your passion; whether it is reading, writing, dancing, or running. All these things are great outlets to deal with the hurt, shame, or guilt of being unemployed. You have the time so act on it now.
  4. If you are interested in entrepreneurship, being unemployed is the best time to start your business. Whether you have a passion for event planning, organizing, and other innovative ideas; indulge into your passion. What do you have to lose by starting a business?
  5. Volunteering is a great way to perform an act of kindness by freely giving your time, effort, and talents for fulfilling duties in the community. Volunteering should be selfless, help build contacts, and help you gain rewarding experiences and blessings.

Tips for the Employed Spouse 

  1. When your spouse loses their job, cheer them up by doing something special for him or her. Take them out for a night on the town and enjoy each other’s company. Distractions are key show your support and love for your spouse. Make sure that you both live, love, and laugh!
  2. Check your emotions and feelings. Do not chastise your spouse about their unemployment. Do not put extra pressure on your spouse to go back and search for employment immediately. Your spouse is putting tremendous pressure on him/her self to find employment.
  3. Encourage your spouse during this adjustment period. Bring out the positive and unspoken skills, talents, and qualities your spouse possesses. For example, if your spouse is phenomenal at organizing, encourage your spouse to seek employment or start a small professional organizing business. 
  4. Do not expect for your spouse to become a domesticated housewife/husband, especially if they are use to being in the workforce. If your unemployed spouse did not cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner prior to being unemployed, why would you expect those services now? Your spouse is busy spending their time seeking employment, revamping resumes and cover letters.
  5. If you are an entrepreneur, encourage your spouse to start a business based off their special talents, skills, or strengths. You know what it takes to start a business so assist and encourage your spouse to do the same.

Being unemployed can lower your self-esteem and confidence level due to society defining us by our jobs and ability to bring home a steady paycheck. Remember, being unemployed is temporary. 


Brown Girl From Boston


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