A Layoff Is A Lot Like A Breakup

Love, Self

Healing after being laid off can involve the same steps as getting over an ex.

It's been a month since my husband Marco's ex-firm broke up with him. And, like a romantic breakup, it takes time to heal—for us both.

I was on the road to such healing, eating ice cream in the middle of the day, when the doorbell rang. I finished a work call and opened the door. It was Marco's ex-coworker, dropping off seven cardboard boxes filled with the remnants of Marco's life with Ex-Firm. I felt a rush of betrayal. The ex-coworker is chipper and sweet, a decade or two my husband's junior. The break-up is not his fault, but still, like a mama bear, I felt the intense desire to snarl.

Marco and his team had been pals. We'd invited the partners to our wedding.  I enjoyed his co-workers' company.  Watch: Office Dating Rules You May Not Know

They were a crew of creatives who understood that "freelance writer" was actually a job.  I really hoped we'd stay friends.

When a romantic relationship ends, if you're like me you gather your girlfriends, eat chocolate, and kick into self-nurture mode. I find myself doing that now. Part of being in a relationship is that what happens to your partner happens to you. In these times of layoff, it's not just the laid off but their spouses and partners who feel emotionally bruised. Read: Breakups To Make You Laugh and... Cringe

Marco is further along in dealing with the pain of the breakup than I am at this point. The man's had closure. On his last day of work, his colleagues took him for drinks. They toasted him. He's since had cocktails with his ex-boss. In short, he said goodbyes.

But for me, the wound remains open. There's so rarely an appropriate vehicle through which partners and spouses can give those who axed our beloveds a piece of our mind.

Written by Deborah Siegel for Recessionwire.com.

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