Coping When Your Spouse is Unemployed

How do you cope when your spouse is unemployed? How does your marriage survive the strain this situation puts upon it? As one author said:

Photo credit: inoneear / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: inoneear / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

“The loss of a job can put the vow ‘for better or for worse’ to the test. Unemployment rates high on the list, along with death and divorce, as one of life’s top stress-inducing events. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources and guidance for those coping with their own unemployment. But what about the rest of the family? Unemployment impacts spouses and children, too.” (Roberta Rand)

Another author said this about being unemployed:

“Nobody likes to think about being unemployed. But it’s a state that’s more and more common. Whether due to corporate ‘right-sizing,’ termination, or career change, it’s always an uneasy time. What causes the stress? First, the spouse who’s lost his or her job may have suffered a serious blow to the identity. This is especially true for husbands, since most men largely define themselves by their work [although we acknowledge that it’s not true for all]. They also tend to believe that the husband’s earnings are the family’s primary income, whether that belief is stated or not.

“Second, many couples haven’t saved enough money to get them through a prolonged period of unemployment. Running out of money is a real possibility, depending on how long joblessness lasts. So is going into debt with credit cards or losing a house if you default on a mortgage. All this weighs heavily on both partners, especially the one who feels most responsible to ‘win the bread.” (Sandra Lundberg, from the book, The First Five Years of Marriage)

Coping when your spouse is unemployed can be difficult for any married partners, but it’s especially difficult when the challenges are overwhelming and are coming at you from all sides. This type of situation works over-time on your mind and how you interact as husband and wife.

Christina Woodside, knows what it’s like to be a wife whose husband loses a job. She writes,

“I heard the garage door opening. It was only 5 o’clock. Don certainly was home early. Lately he had been working long days, much too long. ‘I sure hope they appreciate his hard work,’ I often thought. ‘He deserves to come home early one day. I’m so glad he’s finally doing it.’

“But as I glanced up from the sink full of dishes, one look at his face told me something was wrong. My smile faded and before I could say anything, he painfully murmured, ‘I got a pink slip today, along with 150 other people.’ The company had been hiding its financial problems until now. We were stunned. For a man, especially one in his early fifties with two kids in college, news like this can be devastating.”

She then goes on to write some tips for “Supporting Your Spouse Emotionally and Spiritually.” To learn more, click onto the Crosswalk.com web site link to read:

WHEN YOUR HUSBAND LOSES HIS JOB

Laurie Jackson voiced her journey with her husband’s unemployment this way:

“When my husband, Dennis, first began job hunting, I’d hold my breath as I waited for him to appear at the door, eager for a glimpse of his face to tell me if his day had been a success. But now, 15 months after he became a statistic —one of 300 laid off by his employer of six years —I can tell how his day’s gone simply by the way his feet hit the steps leading from the garage into the house. Today his footsteps are heavy, as though he’s carrying the weight of the world.

“All these months I’ve watched Dennis stuff hundreds of resumés into the mailbox and pound away at the computer keyboard, courageously sending hundreds more electronically. I’ve waved good-bye to him as he drives off early in the morning to face another day of approaching unapproachable receptionists at companies that ‘are not hiring.’ And I’ve greeted his slumped shoulders and downcast eyes upon his return after another unproductive afternoon.

“I’ve seen Dennis lower his expectations, then lower them further. An electronics technician with a sterling work record and more than 20 years’ experience in his field, he first sought a comparable job. After a few months, Dennis expanded his search to include entry-level positions in his field, expecting that would do the trick. His wink and nod assured me we’d find a way to get by for a while on the lower salary. But after several weeks went by with no interviews, much less job offers, he began to respond to every job posting for which he was qualified —and, more often than not, overqualified.

“He then began to be turned away for jobs on a whole different level: gas station attendant, custodian, grocery clerk, and school crossing guard, to name a few. And while I was proud of his willingness to do whatever job it took to put food on the table, it was at that point I became afraid.

“My fear stemmed from all the unknowns: What if Dennis doesn’t find work soon? How long can we go without his income? What will happen to us when the unemployment insurance expires, or our savings runs dry? In the beginning, I was Dennis’ biggest cheerleader. But the more time goes by, the more discouraged, despondent, and bewildered Dennis becomes. And the more tired I get.”

To learn more from Laurie Jackson’s journey concerning this issue (plus an additional article titled, “A Woman’s Work” written by Holly Vicente Robaina), and then afterward to read of another couple who survives job loss (in an article written by Sherri Langton) please read:

LAID OFF

IN THE LAND OF LAYOFF

— ALSO —

Maybe you’ve even gotten to the place, as Laurie Jackson did, where you’re so very tired and each day drags onto the next, with no end in sight, so that fear, anger, and a whole range of emotions have overtaken any optimism you could ever have.

Sarah Canney found herself in that place and writes the following:

“When my husband lost his job and his self-esteem, I had to learn a lesson in grace and patience.”

You can read about it in this linked article below:

• UNEMPLOYED AND UNNERVED

Lori Fletcher, in the Powertochange.com article linked to below, discusses “Seven ways a wife can show her support.” As you, or your wife may know, this isn’t easy, and yet you want to do all you can NOT to cause more problems. She writes:

“As the wife of a man who no longer has somewhere to go everyday, where do you start in showing your support?

To learn more, read:

COPING WITH YOUR HUSBAND’S JOB LOSS

Roberta Rand Caponey, gives her advice when:

“The loss of a job can put the vow ‘for better or for worse” to the test.”

You can learn from her experience in the Focus on the Family article linked below:

• COPING WHEN YOUR SPOUSE IS UNEMPLOYED

Also, the following is an insightful article, written by Sheila Wray Gregoire, in a Question/Answer format, posted on the web site Tolovehonorandvacuum.com web site, which gives insight into a very real problem some women (and men) face when their spouse is unemployed. Please read through the article and the comments below it to gain insight into the very difficult issue:

QUESTION: My Spouse Is Lazy and Won’t Get a Job

As you have read, in the articles posted above, the testimonies and the advice given, come from the standpoint of the husband losing the job and the wife being the spouse who is trying to cope. It’s not that I started to write this article this way, but in doing my research on the Internet, these are the articles I was able to find, so I’ve given the information I can, accordingly.

I hope if you are the husband reading this article, who is the one trying to cope with your wife losing her job, you have been able to flip around the pronouns, glean through and gain at least some insights. Sometimes, when we’re searching for information, and what we find isn’t as custom-fit as we want, it’s a good time to ask the Holy Spirit to personalize and show us HIS insights, as we glean through what we are able to find.

If you feel a tug to re-read that which is written above from that perspective, allowing the Holy Spirit to be your interpreter and your “Wonderful Counselor,” please do so.

Whatever you do, please be intentional in working on your marriage relationship, at least on your part. You may not be able to control what your spouse does or does not do, but do what you know the Lord would have you do. Love, as Christ loves you.

“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.” –Barbara Johnson

Some things that Paul Tripp wrote in his book, What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage, may give you different insights than you had thought of previously. He wrote:

“God is in control not only of the locations in which you live, but also of the influences that have shaped you as a person. He has not only written the story of you and your spouse and determined that your stories would intersect, but he has controlled all the things that have made you different from one another.

“As you struggle, you must not view your marriage as bad luck, or poor planning, or as a mess that you made for yourself [although any or all of this could contribute to what is happening to you that is causing you to question God]. God is right smack-dab in the middle of your struggle. He is not surprised by what you are facing today. He is up to something. [The question is, will you participate with Him in this, or fight against Him?]

“…God is working to rescue you from you, to deliver you from sin, and to form the character of Jesus in you. Marriage, the world’s most long-term and comprehensive relationship, is taking place in the middle of sanctification, the world’s most important unfinished process. Why would God do this? Hasn’t he gotten the proverbial cart before the proverbial horse? Well, the reason this doesn’t seem to make sense to us is that our purpose for marriage tends to be different from the Lord’s. We’re just not on God’s agenda page.

“Our desire is that our marriages would be the location of our comfort, ease, and enjoyment; we often have desires no bigger than this. But God’s purpose is that each of our marriages would be a tool for something that is way more miraculous and glorious than our tiny, little, self-focused definition of happiness. He has designed marriage to be one of his most effective and efficient tools of personal holiness. He has designed your marriage to change you.”

He also wrote:

“There are moments in our marriages when we’re crying out for grace, not recognizing that we’re getting it. We’re not getting the grace of relief or release, because that isn’t the grace we really need. No, what we’re getting is something we desperately need, the uncomfortable grace of personal growth and change. With the love of a Father, your Lord is prying open your hands so you’ll let go of that which rules your heart but will never satisfy you. With the insight of a seasoned teacher, He is driving you to question your own wisdom so that you will let go of your understanding and rest in His. With the skill of the world’s best counselor, God is showing you the delusions of your control so that you will take comfort in His rule. With the gentleness of a faithful friend He is facing you toward the inadequacies of your own righteousness so that you find hope in Him.

“When you are tired and uncomfortable because you have been called to live with someone who is not like you, what you tell yourself about what you are going through is very important. It is in this moment that you must preach to yourself the theology of uncomfortable grace (See Romans 5; James 1; and 1 Peter 1), because when you do, you begin to be less resistant and more appreciative, and you are on your way to forging a marriage of unity, understanding, and love.”

Susan, from the U.S., gave the following advice on the Marriage Missions web site on this subject a while back, that I’d like to close this article with because I believe it’s helpful for us all to keep in mind no matter what the trial has assaulted our marriage. She shared:

“My husband has been unemployed for almost two years, and I confess that I have been more like a shrewish hag than a shrine of encouragement. In seeing this ugliness in me I’ve been able to go to the Lord and become transformed by the renewing of my mind which is really what walking with Christ is all about.

“What it is doing for my husband is between Him and the Lord and I’m learning to keep taking it to Him over and over and over again until I am transformed into His image. I sure make a lot of trips to Him through all this and through it all He provides all we need.

“So, my female friends —lose the mommy act with your man —take your woes to Christ —He has what you need. And don’t feel bad about bugging the Lord —He doesn’t mind a bit and you can’t hurt His feelings. You’ll walk away a new creature. Kumbaya, friends, Kumbaya.”

This article was written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.

If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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Comments

169 responses to “Coping When Your Spouse is Unemployed

  1. I am engaged and my fiancé did not do any job. When I ask him to do further studies he stops talking to me. I am very worried about my future.

    1. @Nori, Is he still not speaking to you? If so, or making it difficult for you to feel comfortable. You are already getting your signals. If not married yet, and already concerned for your future, maybe the skies above are trying to tell you something. Listen to gut (stomach region) it never steers you wrong. Many blessings to you!

  2. I hope I can get some advice/help here. I recently lost my job as an electrician. Over 3 years ago my wife quit her job making over $50,000 to go to beauty school. Since then her mom bought a hair salon for her. Been over a year and the salon isn’t making money so I’ve been paying all bills for 2 years. She started paying the health insurance 10 months ago. She hasn’t paid a house bill in 2 years. I love her and know the salon will eventually take off. How do I cope with unemployment and trying to pay everything myself? I feel like this is going to break up our marriage.

    1. Chris, if you believe and think it will break up your marriage, it will. But this is where your wedding vow to love “for better or worse” takes effect. They weren’t supposed to be just romantic words; this is part of the “worse” that you vowed to go through together. What do you do? You grit through it, pray through it, and determine that this will NOT take you down. You talk together as marriage partners, and try to get on the same page as best as you can. When life throws another wrench in the works, you figure it out together again.

      Life is not an ideal ride, as we often forget when we make those wonderful vows. There are ups and downs, mountains and valley’s, droughts and monsoons, difficult and gentle rains. But there are also times of sunshine and moonlight walks to enjoy when we look for it and work for it –sometimes more, sometimes less. I pray for you both that you figure this out, asking God for wisdom and strength, and then joining together to make your marriage work and to love each other through the good and tough times for the rest of your lives.

  3. My husband was fired this week. We cannot survive on my income alone. He signed up to be an uber driver, plans to start that on Monday, and just wants the weekend off and to not think about his job search. But I can’t get it off my mind.

    I mentioned a job opening I saw in his field this morning and he glared at me like I just killed our son. I silenced myself so as not to start a fight but I’m sitting here reeling inside. I’m only trying to help, and he just wants to play video games. If he doesn’t get full time work we’re going to lose everything fast because I have no extra money left. I can’t cash out stock until May, and am not fully vested in my 401k.

    I thought he’d jump right on and apply for this job, but he’s just sitting here next to me playing on his phone. My first thought was how dare he even give me shade when it’s his fault he lost his job? He has an explosive temper. How can I be more supportive without coming off to him like I’m being pushy and setting him off?

  4. I’ve been married 4 years, and together 2 years prior. We got married in our mid 30s which I always thought would be great because you got to develop and became well rounded on your own; set in your career and life, and this would just become doubled. I was very wrong. I relocated for a 6 figure job I loved, as a single woman. I bought my first home, travelled the world, made new friends, and grew my financial nest. The only thing missing and I craved was a family of my own. I met my husband online, and he checked most of my requirements, except 1 or 2. One being he made more than I did and would feel secure if something happened or I wanted to stay home to raise a family- which I did. He made 1/3 of what I made, due to lull in economy. I gave in realizing I made enough.

    He was laid off 4 months prior to engagement, and was unemployed, cashing in his 401K to pay for my ring. I prolonged our wedding planning until he got his next job, 9 months later. A month before wedding, he was laid off again. Meanwhile, I received a very rare opportunity at an executive at a small company. My salary went up a bit and was lured to this job. I accepted the day before my wedding. He found another job- but mine was a different story. I was under a good amount of stress and felt it was not going to work. 1.5 yrs in, I was fired. The horrific part here is that I would not be able to find another job in my field where we lived.

    I then had an opportunity with a former colleague to try something on my own – however, I would be making an entry level salary until we got off ground – needing husband to cover. One year in, he lost job again….and has been unemployed 14 months now. There seems to be no end in site. Nothing panning out. And the hardest part , is we are now 42/41, all of this unemployment turmoil has prevented us from having a family. our parents are financially helping us, I know I am lucky in thid regard. But my husband is not flexible, will not relocate, and I get lucrative opportunities that I can’t take bc he won’t move. I’m happy working on my own gig, but no benefits, and I need his to be main breadwinner for now. How long do I go before I have to throw in towel??

  5. My husband of fifteen years quit his job 3 1/2 yrs. ago. I knew he hated it, but they fired his son that day and he walked out as well. I have heart problems and no longer able to work. I’ve applied for SSI and medicaid, but have been denied repeatedly. So not only am I sick without money or insurance to seek medical care and prescriptions, but we don’t have money to live on. The stress is literally killing me, and our marriage has fallen apart.

    I have no respect for him anymore and feel as though my love for him has died. I have no family or friends that can help and the situation gets worse every day. I have prayed and prayed, but nothing ever changes. I want out of this relationship. I know I need to leave this toxic and stressful environment before it kills me. The really bad thing is… I know how smart and talented he is, and when we married he had a great job with benefits and a future. Now, we’ve lost nearly everything and he doesn’t seem to want any better for us. I honestly don’t know what more to do.

  6. I was really encouraged reading the stories here. I have been married to my husband for almost 5 years, and he has never worked a day in his life. He has a law degree and went on to do a masters degree. He is not flexible to work anywhere other than a law firm or law related. I am a nurse and make decent pay; I work long hours everyday to keep the home floating. I think he has gotten so comfortable in me bringing in the income that he has forgotten what his role as a provider is. I stopped getting angry and began to live more and pray a lot. I feel like God has kept silent on me. My Parents are pushing me to divorce him and don’t talk to him anymore. My Husband loves the Lord. He is constantly praying and fasting, but I don’t think he cares to work. I honestly have stopped praying, because I have not gotten any answers.

    1. That sentence you wrote, about your husband “loving the Lord” hit me like a slap in the face. How can that be true when you are working to the point where you are losing your own faith sister?? The Lord requires certain things from husbands as men and leaders of the household. If he does NOT provide for his family, he has DENIED the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. I used to say the same things you are about my husband before I woke up to the truth crying and praying and I was scrolling through this thread in total desperation. It was like a light came on.

      Prayers go unanswered NOT because God is uncaring of your plight or that He doesn’t love you or your husband but that He doesn’t cater to disobedience. Your husband, my husband, and every other woman’s husband here who WILL NOT (I don’t say CANNOT, I say WILL NOT because for most of these men they are making a very conscious and unbiblical decision to live off of their wives) work is being willfully disobedient to the Lord.

      Seek counsel and a separation. I didn’t say a DIVORCE, I said a separation. Until your husband stops defying the One he claims to “love” so much, you, him and any children you have or may have will be denied your full blessings. Only YOU can decide what you are willing to tolerate from a disobedient husband. I am praying for you and for all my other sisters on this thread to be uplifted and strengthened and for our husbands to either WAKE UP to TRUTH, or live in disobedience alone until they do.

      1. Hi Nicole, What you say here is very true. I recall a situation very similar to that of Yvonne, in which the husband was not working, (but was well able to work) and the wife felt compelled to work for the same reason as described by Yvonne. Finally the wife could not keep up with her job and the housework… she went to (Christian) counselling, and was advised to to tell her husband, “I’ve been wrong here. You, my husband are the provider. I cannot keep going like this. I have to cut down my hours. I’m overtired… etc.” She cut her hours way back. They lived on bread and water for some time until the husband was forced to take on his role in the family… he did find work, and things improved significantly. The wife’s comment afterward, “I was keeping the financial machine afloat, but sinking my marriage in the process.”

        Actually God IS answering all the prayers here. He is doing it though, for the long term benefit of not just the immediate situation in this household, but also for the example this household sets for extended family, friends, aquaintances… even for people who observe them and are seeking for God in their own way.

        For your information, I am an American, married to my Dutch wife for 36 years, now living in the Netherlands. We have 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren. I liked what you said. Blessings to you and yours, WP (Work in Progress)

        1. Thank you very much. I should have said God does not answer prayers the way we’d like. It just really hurts my heart to see so many women suffering so needlessly. This is a huge crisis for many married women around me as well and honestly it makes me so angry. My husband is able bodied, intelligent, AND skilled yet REFUSES to work. When questioned about his job he’d lie and pretend he had one. This has gone on for over two years.

          My husband even quit one job out of spite after we had an argument over a failed pregnancy. I have 2 titanium rods the full length of my spine as well as 8 screws from a car accident he caused irresponsibly falling asleep at the wheel. I was told all the usual platitudes… As a Christian wife you should A B and C. Husbands, please consider things from your wife’s point of view. Would you feel loved if your wife never cooked for you, let your children raise themselves, and allowed everyone to live in filth because they refused to clean up?? Looking after the wellbeing of the home and her children is not an option for Christian women, just as providing is not an OPTION for Christian husbands!

          1. Hi Nicole, I can completely appreciate your frustration and anger here…In such situations, the wife is really “between a rock and a hard place.” I guess it all comes down to your own text: “Only YOU can decide what you are willing to tolerate from a disobedient husband.”

            I am very sorry to hear of your bad car crash…and I find it hard to understand why your husband would quit his job! This sounds WAY wrong to me..!! I grew up in the US where the basic message we knew as children was, “If you don’t get educated and WORK, you can expect to live under a bridge!”

            I can only imagine how frustrated I would feel if my wife would, in your words, “never cook for (me), let (our) children raise themselves, and allowed everyone to live in filth…”

            This reminds me of a situation in which the husband expected the house to be spotless, the 3 toddler-age children to be clean and in a good mood, and the dinner on the table when he got home, and would chastise his wife when things were a little less than perfect when he opened the front door. She finally tried a different approach. Instead of arguing and fighting, she simply stopped doing the housework. (Yes she cared for the children of course) but the rest of the chores she left undone.

            Husband arrived home to complete chaos :) “WHAT happened HERE?” he cried in shock. Her reply, “Well… I’m just doing what you keep saying I’m doing, I’ve been drinking coffee and chatting with my friends all day! The children are fine, no worries!” Things changed pretty fast.

            I hope this helps…. and I hope your accident has not limited your ability to do the things you want to do…Wow…Take care… WP (Work in Progress)

      2. Thanks Nicole for what you said. I’ve been beating myself over the head because I felt I was wrong to give my husband, who claims that ministry is his first wife, an ultimatum: take up your responsibility or no relationship. In response he has relocated to (do ministry) so we are separated for now. I truly am not happy about this because I do love my husband. I have even asked for us to talk and see how we can work things out. No response yet but I do trust that the Lord will help me do what is right. I had enabled him for virtually all the years of our marriage and I reached breaking point. I am still praying for him.

        I noticed that things were actually getting better when he left. I pray that God will help him to see where he’s missed it.

        1. Hi Elizabeth. Maybe an ultimatum was still the best option? Ministry should not be his “first wife,” but rather Christ Himself should be his first love… then you… and only then his work.

          I know we men can be difficult to live with… I admit it! We don’t perceive things very well… it’s not for nothing that God said, “It is NOT good for the man to be alone.” Very difficult… I can imagine. You’re doing the best you can do right now. You continue to pray for him and you are allowing God to work. Your husband is a fortunate man with you. He will see that soon enough I trust. WP (Work in Progress)

  7. My husband has not had steady work in 8 years. During this time, I’ve seen him struggle with his identity, faith, low self esteem, depression, hopelessness, helplessness and anger. I’ve tried so hard not to nag. The first few years I admit that I was awful and not helpful to him. It was around year 3 or 4 when I realized that I simply had to encourage him in any and every way that I could. I’ve swallowed so many comments and held back on voicing my true feelings for fear that what I say will not help him. In the end, all I want to do is be whatever he needs so that he can become what he is called to become. In the midst of this, I feel like I’ve lost myself.

    The financial burden has been solely on me this entire time. My family resents him for “putting me through this” so they’re no help to me or him. We have a son that needs surgery that we can’t afford and my family’s idea of help is “this is all his fault because he isn’t working” and “we can’t loan you the money because your husband doesn’t work and times are tough for you so we know you wouldn’t be able to pay us back.” I feel like I have nobody to talk to because all I am met with is “this is all his fault” and “you know you can get divorced, right.” The emotional and mental roller coaster of unemployment (he’s had temporary jobs, but nothing long term) has changed me although I tried so hard not to let it. The stress of having a car reposessed, lights shut off, cable shut off, hunger and not qualifying to get food from a food bank because I “make too much”, getting evicted because we can’t afford the rent, losing all of our belongings in a flood and no insurance money to replace it, our pastor telling him to lower his standards and apply to work at McDonalds (little did he know that he applied, interviewed and was told he was “overqualified” to work there)…all of this changed him and it changed me.

    I know this is a Christ-centered website so I hope that what I say next doesn’t offend anyone, but we are married so I think it’s ok…it has basically ruined our sex lives. I hate to admit this, but I don’t see him the same anymore. I don’t view him as my provider and my rock. There are many days when he’s viewed as simply another source of stress. I hate that I feel like this. I hate that when my husband wants to be intimate, I can’t bring myself to not think about bills and the financial burdens that are shoved in my face daily. I hate that I’ve let myself go because I can’t afford new clothes for myself. I can’t get a manicure. I can’t do anything for myself because the money goes to bills and our children. I don’t feel attractive in any way. I don’t feel appreciated in any way. I work full time, then come home to have to cook and clean and tend to the children. I’m tired. I have no energy. He gets mad sometimes when I’m tired. I’m physically, mentally and emotionally tired. I’m writing this during a break at work and I’m crying. I’m breaking and I don’t know what to do. Please HELP!!!

    1. Hi K, Yes this is a Christ centered site, and no, I for one am not offended at all. This is a very honest and heartfelt please for help! It’s not hard at all to appreciate that these circumstances have ruined your sex life… very understandable.. but also rather dangerous and certainly not OK for you both.

      I am a husband married 36 years with 2 adult children. We were in financial straits a number of years ago when we first married; we really struggled. During that time my wife was making the money… I found a job with McDonalds, so your description brings up old memories. Hot, sweaty work, but it helped pay the bills. Later I lost my job just after crashing our car… we had no $ for anything really, so we pulled together as a team and did come out of that stressful time. I grew up in the US but now live in the Netherlands. (My wife is Dutch.)

      For a man, being unable to provide for the family is a humiliating and crushing load to bear, believe me. Your husband needs you now more than he ever has before. This is a time which you can use to make your marriage impervious to virtually anything. Yes you are carrying the financial load, and no, this is certainly not easy. Your husband WANTS to be your provider and he WANTS to be your rock. He needs to feel that you are on his team no matter what your family or your friends say. At this point, any people who are not supportive and affirming for your husband are better off being avoided. You cannot and should not have to deal with this added unecessary stress.

      Your first paragraph describes exactly what you as a wife can do to help your husband. But you have lost yourself. This sounds like my experience when we moved to Europe to live… I lost sight of “who I am” for about 10 years. Not nice… I get that.

      I would also add that of course your husband needs to be carrying his end of the load, in the sense of helping you with the household chores and the children. His unemployment does not give him license to be lazy at home. Your love and encouragement are essential at this time… not easy… I know… but very necessary.

      When your husband wants to be intimate, please… please… give yourself to him at this critical juncture. As a man, I know that this would do wonders for his self esteem. A man needs sex to “connect with” and “be one with” his wife. Of course, the emotional side is there too, very definitely. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my impression is that a woman needs conversation and communication more than sex itself to “connect with” and “be one with” her husband. So, for the man, sex with the wife gives him peace, security, release… and opens his heart to talk and communicate, because he feels safe and wanted. I believe that for the woman, it’s the other way around, she needs the emotional and cuddly non-sexual touching and “sweet nothings,” to help her feel safe and wanted, and therefore open her heart to sex. It’s a circle really; One of you needs to set the thing in motion. Once that motion is started and maintained, then you feed each other, and build each other’s self esteem, team spirit, sense of wellbeing, in spite of very difficult circumstances.

      In the first chapter of the first book of the Bible, there is a description of the creation. After each step, we read, “and God saw that it was good.” The first time we read that something was NOT good us in Genesis 2:18. It was NOT good that the man was alone… You probably know the rest of the story. A woman can make or break a man. When your man feels wanted, desired and loved by you he can conquor the world. :) Behind every great man is a great woman.

      Your text really struck a chord with me. I guess you can perceive that.. :) I hope to hear from you… and I have great respect for you. WP (Work in Progress)

  8. My husband was laid off eight years ago from the financial services industry. We were a blended family with seven children, two in college and had just purchased a new large home to house us all. My husband walked through the back door with his suit and overcoat after leaving for work only an hour before. I will never forget that moment. Our lives changed forever. Our relationship suffered, our children were stressed.

    I had my own business and we drew funds from our retirement accounts and my work to support us. I hoped that he would find another job. He didn’t even want to face going to the unemployment office to help support us. He was humiliated and ran from the problem facing us. I went out on our front porch every day and poured my heart out to God, read, prayed. We were not in a good place. He couldn’t even see his way to apply for other jobs and distracted himself with working around the house and his boat.

    Four years later we completely ran out of money and sold the house two months before we would have lost it. A prayer answered. Four a year and a half we lived in a very small seasonal part of a building I owned with minimal heat and no kitchen. Finally applying to a few places Mmy husband had taken a job with a bank that was commissioned based. We broke even at best. He took another job opening his own branch office. Another failure and just broke even. He did this for three years. The stress on me grew and our relationship was strained. We argued about the present job was not working and a new plan was in order. Finally that terminated.

    Since then he has only sent out two resumes and has inserted himself into my two businesses. I appreciate the help, but now it has become a way of life. I’ve approached the financial subject every way I can think of and asking God’s guidance. It never ends well and the pink elephant remains in the room. He responds by telling me what I think, that he is not doing anything and I just want him to get a job and send money home.

    I’m at my wits end, tired of fighting. I shut down and say nothing, walking on eggshells. I’m crumbling from the weight of finances on my shoulders. We need a new car & our last is off to college in four years. We need a plan. If you don’t have a plan you are planning to fail. I continue to pray for guidance. It would be most helpful to connect with women who have gone through this or are going through this and are believers. Keeping the faith.

  9. My husband quit his job 3 and half years ago and hasn’t worked since. The sad part is he’s enjoying it. I’ve tried everything under the sun and I’m now at my wits end. I cant afford to buy myself anything but try to see to it that our two small kids get their school and creche fees paid and that they look decent and eat healhy meals.

    The sad part is the only thank you I ever got was a series of affairs and would be affairs. I guess its true what they say about idle minds.

    My husband had the guts to court a housemate who told it all to anyone who had ears on Christmas day. I was embarrassed and heartbroken not to mention disgusted. The other woman had refused to have the affair so I decided to forgive and move on.

    The sad part is living with a man who is ungrateful and hurtful.

    Sometimes I feel like walking away but I’m not sure what to tell the kids if they asked where their dad is.

    1. You tell them, that dad made choices that can’t be taken by you. If they are old enough to understand then you tell them the truth. Sometimes we assume that children don’t know or can’t understand, and they hear from school friends, or neighbors or comments, even at home. Sometimes they know more than you know yourself.

  10. I was laid off in 2014. I collected my unemployment, which was nothing and cashed out my 401 K to live on until I found work. But that still has not happened and my unemployment benefits are long exhausted. I did get one job but unfortunately it did not work out so I’m back to square one.

    My husband makes ok money but we live in a two income society. I will say my husband has been way more supportive than I would have been and I love him for it… I am just at a crossroads and have put it in the Lord’s hands from this point on.

    1. Hi Lynn, I am a husband married 36 years with 2 adult children. Yes the difference between now and 25 years ago is that yes, we do live in a “two-income society.” We ran into a similar situation when my wife lost her job a few years ago. The only thing we could do was readjust our situation to live within our means. Giving up the “non-essentials” (have to define what that means) and really working together as a team has been a big help.

      I will be on full retirement at the end of 2018. This means my income will drop about 40%. We have already anticipated this- we will need to sell our house, find other creative non-expensive ways to “have a little fun” – perhaps give up our 1 car and do everything on a bicycle… (the Netherlands is the “land of bicycles”) and so on. We just have to do whatever it takes. I lost my job and I am looking actively for work.

      You know what? As long as we have the Lord Jesus Christ in the center of our lives, and we look after each other… the rest we leave up to Him. He has always provided for us- now after about 40 years of being Christian believers. I lived in fear of financial failure for so long… and I had to realize that He has always taken care of us- even through earlier job losses where I saw no way out. He provides a way where we see no way.

      As much as I sometimes do not like it, God has so arranged things so that we cannot skate around the verse, “We live by faith and not by sight.” We humans do not like being dependent on God, even though He has shown us His Love in every way possible way, the most obvious and dramatic being the Gift of His Son Jesus Christ. Yes we have our part to play. It sounds like you and your husband are doing your parts. You will get there… May God look after you and surround you with His angels and His care… WP (Work in Progress)

  11. Father in your holy and majestic name I pray for your total protection over this marriage. In the time of need help me to be able to be positive, and to stay stable minded so profanity or name calling would not be. GOD you are in control. Open doors that my husband can find a JOB. Search his heart and cover him in the name of JESUS. Direct his speech so that he can first serve you and family next. THANK YOU LORD FOR SPEEDY DELIVERY.

  12. My Husband and I have been married for 28 years. He worked for a large company for 30 years and got hurt. He turned in workers comp and was out on workers comp for 2 years. Went back to work for 2 months and was let go for not following protocol on his new supervisors way of asking off. I turned into the Bread winner over night. We have gone through our savings. Not only has his self-esteem taken a hit. But he hasn’t even tried to get a new job. This has been really hard for me and I know it has been for him. I don’t say anything to him because I am afraid I will hurt him. I could really use some advice.

  13. My wife cannot find work no matter what she does. She left a steady job for a contract job she knew was a risk as the company gets rid of people every seven weeks; and sure enough she was told she was not the right fit. I used to be able to support the family with just my income, however I got laid off and had to take a 25% pay cut. I am looking for part time work and I told my wife she needs to just take home 1200 per month but she will not go to the local supermarket where she can get a job and earn at least that every month. She is too good for that.

    I will have to work Saturday and Sunday 12n-midnight to keep us solvent. My wife is notorious for this after 32 years of marriage. I have had it. I have gotten to the point when I am near retirement and I do not want to support her anymore. She has been out of work for 8 weeks and savings are going fast and tonight a car repair for 700 dollars is on the horizon What should I do? We are arguing on and off and her arguing skills are like stabbing someone with a knife. Unless this woman is handed a job she won’t work. Does any one have the same issue, Do not get me wrong – men and woman are on equal footing when it comes to this issue any advice would be appreciated.

  14. My husband was fired from his job in October; he worked sales and wasn’t making the quota to stay on the team. I supported him after his job loss and got a job myself, as I had just finished school and had my degree in teaching. I got work at a preschool in November of 2015, and our savings luckily supported us during my job search. We live with our in-laws, so our bills weren’t too excessive. It’s been almost a year now and my husband is still unemployed. At first, it wasn’t a big deal because I supposed he deserved a small break after such a high-pressure job, which he only took in order to support me through school.

    But it’s now August of 2016 and all he has done is sit at home playing video games. There is no evidence of him looking for work, or so much as updating his resume. I tried talking to him, but I kept getting snapped at that he felt like he deserved a break. I mean, yeah he did deserve a break, but I think 10 months is a little excessive. No one takes a 10 month vacation. I finally put my foot down today and told him that I was tired of living with the in-laws. A married couple should have their own space, and we can’t afford one on my income alone.

    He told me he was suffering from depression and just didn’t think he could handle a job. He has shown no evidence of depression the entire time off work and hasn’t spoken a word to me about it until today. I just feel like he’s using it as an excuse to continue to sit at home and play games. He isn’t even doing dishes, and he barely does laundry. I’ve had a small list of things for him to do sitting on his desk for at least 2 months and he’s only completed one task. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to say. Every time I try to talk to him, I get yelled at for being “selfish”.