7 Tips For Living With The Unemployed

Couple on computer
Love, Self

How to live with the recently laid-off without going crazy.

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  

"Eight months, 24 hours a day, we'll be hanging out together—we won't have a single bit of free time to be alone," Mr. Hutchins says. "It should be interesting."

For those who are less adventurous, sign up for a class together instead, anything where you get to spend some time together not cooped up at home. Read: 5 Simple Hobbies That Can Help Couples Reconnect

5. Give each other a little space before and after "couple time."

You may be happy to spend time with your significant other, but need a little alone time after working all day. To the recently laid off: let your partner settle down, drink a beer and watch a little television before you bombard them with your idea to go skydiving or white water rafting. You may have an endless amount of pent up energy, but they probably want to take a nap.

6. Don't nitpick.

As couples tend to spend more time together if one or both has lost a job, they are more apt to notice each other's little quirks. Though sometimes endearing, the extended time together might make them seem more annoying than anything. Fight less by resisting the urge to continually whine about their habits (that is, unless their habit is leaving you to do all the chores every night or replacing sex with porn).

7. Trust each other.

When everything is going great, it's easy to be happy and to trust your partner is doing everything they should. It's not nearly as simple when half of your income is gone. Stand by each other as a couple and trust that each of you is doing everything they need to be doing to get another job.

Readers, how are you dealing with unemployment? What other recommendations do you have?