Your Partner is Unemployed… Now What?

Your partner is unemployed… Now what?

What to do when your partner is unemployed

Being unemployed is one of those situations that’s as time consuming as it is frustrating. It’s also an emotional time, and it’s a big deal. Searching for a job can even feel like a job in and of itself. But what about being on the opposite side of that? What do you do when your partner finds him or herself unemployed?

If you and your partner are in this circumstance, you’re going to come across some hard truths. It won’t be an easy time for you and your partner. But there are actions you can take to better communicate and not only work through the stresses of being unemployed, but also be a rockstar to your significant other while helping them get back on their feet.

Here are some ways to get through this time and help your partner while he or she is out of work.

1. Understand the disadvantages of being unemployed.

Pretend one day you have all your income, benefits and resources. All is fine, you don’t have to count every penny, and you know when your next paycheck is coming. Then all of a sudden, none of that is there the next day. This is the major stress of being unemployed, especially if it is unforeseen. And the main thing that becomes a major problem are finances. You, being the employed one in the relationship, means you may be in an awkward position to maintain some bills and purchases, especially if you both live together and especially if your partner doesn’t have a lot in savings. Even worse, your partner could lose health benefits if he or she doesn’t have an option to maintain benefits lost employment. So what do you do?

2. Communicate with your partner how you can help.

Plan out your immediate needs with your partner. If that means canceling Netflix for the time being, do it. You’ll need to understand how far your dollars are going to go during this time, meaning budgeting and cutting back is key. The main thing is to help your partner understand exactly how you can help and what you can do to make things better for the time being. Make suggestions to eat in, share some expenses and understand that this is temporary. And just keep in mind how much you would appreciate any help if the tables were turned.

3. Be a source of emotional support.

Being unemployed may make your partner feel inferior. No one likes feeling like a failure, right? Let your significant other know that you don’t look down on them in any way. After all, unemployment can happen to anyone. Tell your partner that you’re there for them, and try to understand their point of view as much as possible. Your words may not seem like much, but any word of kindness will be especially encouraging during this time for your partner. This can be a time to be a shining light, during the good days and bad.

4. Motivate your partner by looking out for leads.

It’s one thing to tell your partner they can do it. It’s another thing to tell your partner about a job opportunity that could be great for them. After all, doubling your search efforts can only increase the possibilities. Definitely be sure to reach out to your friends, family and even your own coworkers to get the word out that your partner is looking for work. Keep an eye out for any jobs you see. Let your partner know about any of these leads, and offer to review their résumé. Ask how you can be helpful, but don’t nag. And don’t forget to congratulate your partner through any progress, call backs, or interviews.

Remember, what you do during your partner’s time of unemployment can actually make your relationship stronger. Whether it’s just making a big breakfast before a full day of job hunting or being their source of encouragement, remember that all the little things matter during this time. Just remind your partner that they will find work soon, and soon you two will remember how you made it through the times together.

Sarah Arrazola

Sarah Arrazola is a communications professional in Miami, Fla. Her passions focus on Latin American issues, fine art and the digital age. In her spare time she enjoys aerial silks and traveling. As a young professional with experience in the PR industry, she's excited to share her thoughts with you on Your Coffee Break. Follow her on Twitter @sarah_arrazola