How to Help an Unemployed Spouse or Partner

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When a spouse or partner is out of work, both your finances and the relationship can suffer. It's bad enough being short of money, but the unemployed person may become moody or depressed, increasing friction in the household. Getting dragged down into depression yourself will only make it worse. Be supportive and understanding to help an unemployed spouse or partner.


  1. Understand your partner's feelings. An unemployed person often feels embarrassed about being out of work, even when personal failure did not cause the unemployment. By keeping in mind how your spouse is feeling, you can better deal with occasional negativity.

  2. Remind your spouse how important he is to you and your family. You fell in love with a person, not a career. Focus on the benefits of him being at home during this time. Plan some special, inexpensive family events. A family picnic, bike ride, trip to the park or snowball fight can be a happy memory to last a lifetime.

  3. Ask if you can help. Offer assistance to scour ads or polish a resume, but don't force the issue. If your spouse isn't receptive, let it go for the time. She may prefer to do it herself, or may simply need a little time to regroup before going back on the job hunt. Give it a few days.

  4. Refrain from making unnecessary purchases, and save money where you can. Not only will it help your budget, it will also make your spouse less apprehensive of the financial situation while unemployed.

  5. Be supportive, not pushy. Your spouse is in a more fragile state of mind than usual. Refrain from comments that can come across as condescending, such as "When are you going to go out job hunting?" Remember, this is not just your spouse's problem. This issue involves the whole family. Stay positive, and you will get through unemployment together.

  6. Find ways to relax together on difficult days. When tight money causes stress, forget the job hunt for a while. Enjoy a day of togetherness -- play a game or take a walk in the park. You can resume the job search the next day.



  • Photo Credit kieferpix/iStock/Getty Images

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