The economy is supposedly in recovery, but layoffs are still prominent in virtually every industry. Many more people than usual can relate to a phenomenon usually restricted to the over-60 set: living with an unemployed spouse.
While being laid off and entering into retirement are far from the same, they both often leave one half of a couple with extra time on their hands, and plenty of pent up energy that their significant other, coming home after a long day at work, can't handle.Read: 4 Reasons To Date The Unemployed
WSJ.com recently wrote an article that shared a few words of wisdom on how to deal with this situation. Here are a few of their tips, plus some of our own:
1. Be nice to each other and have a positive attitude.
As hard as it may be, try to not be discouraged during the job search, and make sure to support your spouse. If one of you says something negative, the other should try to come back with a positive. And don't forget, compliments can go a long way. Read: 4 Ways To Avoid Fighting About Money
2. Encourage your partner to take up a hobby, get a side job or join a club (as well as continue to look for jobs).
Typically, people work an average of 40 hours a week, eight to nine hours a day. So is it any wonder that someone suddenly unemployed might go crazy with all that free time?
In order to squash the boredom before it begins, encourage your partner to stay as busy as possible. Stay healthy and join a sports team, or learn how to cook (this benefits your spouse as well). Read: Get Your Guy Off the Sofa And Into the Kitchen
Another option is taking up a side job waitressing or working as a sales associate. This will allow your sweetie to interact with other people as well as earn some money. But, of course, new hobbies shouldn't take up the time needed to continue the job hunt.
3. Encourage them to continue their existing friendships and to foster new ones.
As WSJ.com points out, those who recently lost their jobs are sometimes embarrassed and therefore shut out family and friends. They might cling to their partners for support. Tell your wife or husband to talk to their families and friends. They know and love them, and can be a good support system (rather than a support group of one: you).
4. Take up an activity together or plan a couple's trip.
Though it might seem impossible, with money tight already, one couple solved their problem by deciding to travel the world together. Chris Hutchins and Amy Fox calculated that traveling to developing countries was just as cheap as living in San Francisco.Read: The Travel Test: Planning Your First Vacation