How to Maintain a Good Relationship When Your Partner Is Unemployed

When one person is suddenly home all day, the rules and routines sometimes have to be renegotiated.

You will need

  • Understanding
  • A heart-to-heart
  • Respect
  • Optimism

Step 1 Cut them some slack If your spouse is trying to find another job, don’t expect them to start doing all the housework. Looking for a job, especially in a bad economy, can be a full-time job in itself.

Step 2 But don't be a sap, either But don’t cut them too much slack, either. If it becomes obvious your loved one is neither looking for a job nor pitching in with the kids or housework, it’s time for a serious discussion.

Step 3 Discuss expectations Discuss one another’s expectations, preferably before tempers flare. Come to a mutually acceptable agreement on what housework or child care, if any, the out-of-work partner will assume until they find another job.

Step 4 Treat your partner like an adult Don’t subject them to a daily grilling on what they’re doing to find work, or what they did all day while you were out. They are no doubt already feeling inadequate.

Step 5 Be on the lookout Be on the lookout for signs of depression, like sleeping too much or not being able to sleep, or over- or undereating. If your partner turns to alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling, or other destructive behaviors, insist they get counseling.

Step 6 Keep up their spirits Keep assuring them that you have complete faith in their ability to find another job. Most importantly, stay positive yourself.