In 2008, my husband experienced a job loss.
While this season of our lives was scary and challenging, it also positively shaped our new marriage. Instead of driving us apart, my husband’s job loss brought us closer together. It taught us to be gentle with each other during hard times.
If your husband recently lost his job, I know you’re feeling scared. You might even be angry! But take heart, friend, there is hope. This season will eventually pass and you will come through stronger on the other side.
In the meantime, here are 5 ways to love your husband through the loss of his job, and one thing to absolutely never do.
Allow him time to grieve.
Like losing anything else in life, the loss of a job requires a period of grieving to heal and move forward. Give your husband some time to process his loss and feel the different emotions surrounding it as they arise. Let him be sad, upset, angry, and hurt.
During his period of grieving, my husband found a love for watching reality TV in his pajamas on the couch all day. Thankfully this only lasted a couple of weeks, but I let him have that time because I could see it was what he needed. When he was done grieving, he was right back to being the go-getter that I married and quickly found a few side-jobs to keep some money flowing in.
Trust that, in time, your husband will do the same.
Listen when he needs to talk
With the loss of a job comes a flood of emotions. Most people find it helpful to talk through their emotions as they arise so they can acknowledge them and then let them go. Be willing to listen to your husband when he needs to talk. Yes, you’re hurting and scared right now, but he is, too!
When my husband lost his job, he went through periods of wanting to discuss future plans. His uncertainty honestly stressed me out, but by listening and offering encouragement, I was letting him know that I believed in him. As women, we are often eager to share our thoughts and dominate a conversation. Right now, though, just listen.
…and be patient when he doesn’t want to.
Losing a job can be painful and emasculating. If your husband doesn’t want to talk about it, be patient with him. Obviously you will eventually have to discuss finances and future plans, but don’t rush it. Trust that these conversations will happen, but give him grace and patience in waiting until he’s ready.
Try to find supplemental income.
If a financial opportunity arises for you, be willing to consider taking it. This may or may not be applicable to your situation, but when my husband lost his job, I became more open to finding supplemental income. I took a three-week interim assistant teacher position at our local elementary school, which I wouldn’t have done if he was working. During this season of unemployment, he was free and able to stay home with our daughter, so I took the opportunity that was available to me. It turned out to be a great few weeks for both of us and it showed him that we were on this journey together.
Encourage him on his search for a new job.
When your husband begins looking for a new job, you’re bound to feel excited and relieved! Share your enthusiasm with him and reassure him in his abilities. This can be a scary time for him – rejection is hard and many resumes get shoved aside. Pray for and with him through his job search and wait expectantly for the day he is hired!
Friend, this journey is hard, but no matter what, there is one thing you should never do!
Don’t belittle him.
This season is hard for both of you, but it’s especially tough for him. Even if you feel tempted, try not to say anything that will belittle or demean him. Instead, be intentional about using your words and actions to encourage and support him. Eventually, this season will end. Make it your goal to get through it together on the same team. Your support will be life-giving for him.
Share your tips for getting through a job loss in the comments below!