Having your husband be the breadwinner and provider in the home is key to his mental well-being and success. Today we’re going to talk about how you can support your husband when he loses his job without jeopardizing your marriage.
My husband’s told me on many occasions that he feels his self-worth is based on his ability to provide for his family.
So when he left a great job working for the State to come to law school, we didn’t plan on him leaving school due to unforeseen circumstances. In his mind, even attending school, he was providing for his family by investing in a future career.
And yet, here we were in a situation neither of us wanted to be in and the quality of our marriage was suffering because of this trial. We were thousands of miles away from home in an unknown area.
This situation stunk.
I wish I could tell you that by me telling my husband, “It’s all going to work out. Start applying for jobs and you’ll get something soon and be providing again in no time” made everything magically better.
But in truth, it didn’t. Honestly, from his perspective, I think my cheerful optimism made things a little worse for him. Especially when he struggled with finding work for weeks at a time.
How To Support Your Husband When He Loses His Job (Without Jeopardizing Your Marriage)
There have been several lessons I’ve learned that has helped him and our marriage through this difficult situation. I want to share with you what’s worked best for our marriage, and from a man’s perspective, what helped him the most when he lost his job.
Don’t Emasculate Him By Taking Control In The Home
Couples who share household chores have a stronger relationship and better sex.
The worst thing you can do to your husband when he loses his job is to take over all of the household chores. I remember doing this thinking I was trying to be helpful.
Instead, not giving him something to do with the home left him depressed and feeling like he didn’t belong.
Now, this doesn’t mean everything has to be 50-50 around the home.
You can easily invite him to help in the home with certain chores where he feels like he’s a contributing member of the house.
In our home, my husband takes out the trash, helps me with the children, does quite a bit of dinner cooking (which gives me a needed break), and if there’s anything specific I need, he’s always willing to help.
I just have to ask.
(He’s also the big-spider-cockroach-slayer because I can’t handle creepy small crawly things).
Invite Your Husband To Help You
Your husband wants to work, and him not be employed due to unforeseen circumstances has left him feeling very insignificant and worthless.
Although he might seem like he wants to be alone, or show other signs of depression and hopelessness, one of the best things you can do is invite your husband to help you.
For example, while my husband was applying for jobs the constant waiting for his phone to ring drove him nuts. So I asked him if he wanted to help with the blog and do some design work.
He was a little skeptical at first (and I paid him in energy drinks and other treats that he loves since he didn’t feel comfortable accepting money), he felt like he was contributing and providing in our home. And his “Wild & Free” design is still a huge hit for those who come into our home.
Is there a project you’re working on that you can invite your husband to help? Do you have the money and resources to encourage him to learn something new that he’s always wanted to do?
Be Patient With Your Husband In This Trial
When my husband and I found ourselves without a steady income and unsure about where our family’s future was leading, we were both terrified.
As a wife, I was terrified because I always think my husband has the answers and he’s supposed to be providing for our family. And for him, he wants to provide but struggles with understanding why work isn’t coming as quickly as he hoped, or if there is something he’s doing wrong in his job search.
I want you to know, and remind your husband, as long as he’s trying, his unemployment is not his fault.
Continue to encourage him to attend job fairs, apply to open positions, or continue with his education if he’s wanting to make a career change. In all things, simply be patient with your husband in this trial.
Your patience with him and your kind words of encouragement and support will strengthen your marriage in ways you never thought possible.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t have worries and fears. One of the worst things my husband and I did is not open up to each other about our most intimate feelings regarding the situation we found ourselves in.
When we did, although this didn’t provide a solution to our problem, our communication became a catalyst for both of us in knowing how to move forward and stay together.
As you continue to cultivate and create a loving home where your husband feels safe, allow him to contribute to the household and help him feel like he belongs, and be patient in his job search, you’ll be able to support your husband when he loses his job without jeopardizing your marriage in the process.
Micah Klug is a wife, homeschooling mother to five children, and author. She teaches time-tested solutions to help parents remember what matters most in life, including strengthening their home, faith, and family relationships. To learn how a child who grew up in an authoritarian home is now creating an environment of peace and joy in her own home visit this page. If you want to contact Micah, send her an email here or email [email protected]