From Dual Income To No Income

couple worried about finances

How couples cope when no one is bringing home the bacon.

When couples get hitched they agree, often in front of large audiences, to support each other through the thick and thin. It's well understood that there will be times when one of the partners in the union will need a bit of propping up. But what happens when both partners need a boost? As the nation continues to wade through waves of unemployment, many households are going from two regular paychecks to no paychecks at all, reports Joann Lublin in The Wall Street Journal.

Talk about putting a strain on a marriage. In April, the national unemployment rate continued its climb to 8.9 percent as the number of jobless Americans went from 563,000 to 13.7 million according to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics. Recession Romance Ideas

How are couples to cope when there's nary a spouse to play a supportive and sympathetic role to an unemployed partner? Help each other out and join efforts. Lublin cites instances where unemployed partners are tag-teaming their job search. Here's how:

1) Divide and conquer. Some couples are splitting up to attend different job fairs, handing out not one but two business cards at each.

2) Swap contacts. Networking can go further when you share contacts. And two alumni associations are better than one.

3) Be constructively critical of strategies. A caring spouse may nix a partner's plan of e-mailing 30 resumes a day in favor of arranging three in-person networking meetings.

4) Practice mock interviews. Unemployed couples have the time to videotape each other answering interview questions and give tips to hone each other's skills.

5) Share the load. Unemployment can bring about feelings of exhaustion and frustration that are not fun to try and explain. If your partner is experiencing the same burden, he or she gets it: no explanation required.

Do you know of households where both husband and wife are unemployed? How are they coping?