As she finished preparing her lunch, Maya heard the kitchen door open. That has to be Nate. What’s he doing home? She turned slowly.
His face was an unreadable mix of emotions. “Well, it finally happened. I was laid off.”
Of all the challenging situations a couple faces together, one of the most difficult is the loss of a job. As many people are learning today, a job loss presents a major shock, an uncertain future, and a range of emotional responses. That’s the case no matter who is being laid off, and for what reasons. And most people want to support and help their partner through it.
But based on our years of research for For Women Only and For Men Only, we’ve seen one hidden factor that often arises when it is the husband who is laid off—and which can either deeply help or hurt the relationship. It is whether or not a woman fully understands how a sudden job loss affects a man, and how to support, encourage and partner with her husband so they come through the time stronger—both personally and professionally.
There are so many powerful insights and practical answers that arose from the research, that we’re going to turn this into a short series and share the top 10 tips for any wife whose husband has gotten the bad news—or is worried that he might.
In Part 1, we’ll start with the most foundational first tip.