The following 10 tips for helping navigate your relationship if one or both partners has lost a job:
1. Focus on priorities, budgeting and resolving financial issues. “If there’s something deeper to begin with, then couples can get back to that. But if the marriage was too based on social status and money, then once it’s pulled out, there’s nothing there.”
2. Get outside supports. “Get as many people on your team looking for a job as possible.”
3. Try to find agreement about what should be done and establish a timeline.
4. Consult experts and find out the best ways to manage your existing resources. “Don’t be proud. Get advice. This is a time to consult people who you trust and who can guide you through this.”
5. Strengthen the family by spending time together at home and include friends. “It’s fine for kids to know that for a while, the family isn’t going to be spending as much money. Kids should really understand what their parents’ resources are.”
6. Keep up communication with your spouse. “Really listen to the other person before you fire back, then respond in a way that’s loving and respectful. You can have a loving, healthy debate with your partner as long as things are said with respect and love.” Career transitions coach Stein agrees: “Keep talking to each other. It’s not wrong to feel things, but it’s essential to really listen to one another.”
7. Reassess your wealth. “People have lots of things they don’t need. Sell the things that are valuable. Get rid of everything in your life that doesn’t have a strong value for the family and you as a couple. Only hold on to what’s sentimentally important.”
8. Understand the impact of stress on your body. “Maybe you can’t keep your gym membership but you can take a walk. Express physical affection as a source of comfort. Deep breathing is one of the most powerful ways to restore your health.”
9. Adopt an “attitude of gratitude” and live in the present moment. “Gratitude is one of the most powerful forces in people’s lives and allows you to see everything that’s good and possible. Give thanks for 10 things each day.”
10. Focus on what you have, rather than what you don’t have.