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I need advice on how to help my dh cope with his impending unemployment.


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My dh will loose his job (along with 535 other people in our small town) in February. The first couple weeks after the announcement he was handling it remarkably well but now I think the reality is sinking in and he's not coping so well. Not sleeping well, etc.

 

I want to be a support and encouragement to him but our personalities are completely opposite. I'm more of a pull yourself together and start moving towards the future (you know give yourself a kick a the butt). I think he needs a bit more empathy or tender loving care from me.

 

Any practical suggestions? Anyone btdt that can offer advice?

 

I think his biggest hang up is he's 47 and has worked at this place for 21 years. I can believe that looking for a new job is daunting but it's not impossible. I also am trying to look at this as an opportunity for a new start and maybe something better than what we've been living the last years. Unfortunately he's not at that point yet.

 

It is all very overwhelming.

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I've found that just listening is the biggest thing. Suggestions don't seem to go over well, at least with my dh. He'll get to the point of asking for advice, but suggesting he do/try x,y,z just doesn't go over well...he takes it as though I don't trust him to figure things out on his own.

 

Being laid off is a huge kick in the pants as far as ego and self confidence goes, especially for men. They self identify with their jobs. Its why so many men experience serious depression after retirement.

 

Give him affection, let him talk. That's the best advice I can give.

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It is overwhelming. My dh lost his job after 27 years with the same company. He knew it was coming, so he was somewhat prepared for it, but not entirely. I sensed he was becoming depressed which is unusual for him. I tried to keep on as normal, and that seemed to help the most. I would ask him to help the girls with their math or something or get his help around the house in general. I think it made him feel very needed. When he needed to talk about it, I listened - even though I had heard it all before. He really needed to talk about it, and he needed a sympathetic ear. On a practical side, I cut our already frugal spending even more.

 

Since he lost that job in 2005, he has been laid off twice (last time May of this year). There are few if any prospects in his field locally; businesses are still laying off. He's keeping himself very busy working around the house and helping me with school while looking for employment. I will say this time around he's handled it much better. I think he's developed a harder outer-shell. And I've approached it as we're in this together - which obviously we are - but so he doesn't feel the whole load on his shoulders.

 

It's not easy. Be there for him, listen to him, help him with ideas, be patient.

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We just went through that nightmare, also. :glare:

 

My husband lost his job and was unemployed for 7 months. It took him that long to find a new job. When he did find a job, it was 800 miles away. Broke and in the housing crash, me and the kids have stayed behind for 8 months. We are finally closing on a new house in 3 weeks and we all will finally be together again.

 

I don't have much advice, but I know that it is a horrible, horrible situation and is very, very scary. I never cried as much as I had during the last year and a half. Stupid that it all takes so long to work it's way out.

 

I hope you guys have "quicker" luck than we had. If it's any consolation, we are MUCH better off financially now than before - when he was working the previous job (how ironic to think that). His new job is a 30 year government contract job, pays more, is in a really nice city and our new house costs 1/3rd of what our old house did. We also still own our old house and are making $300 a month profit off of renting it out.

 

It's horrible, but you guys might be better off next year than you are now. You never know...he might find a job that's even better and pays more than the one he's losing.

 

Oh, yeah, and it took 2 hours to find a tenant for our house and it was for sale for MONTHS and nothing happened. May I suggest renting out your house if you have to move? A *&^ of a lot quicker than trying to sell it in this market.

 

GOOD LUCK!! I hope you guys are OK.

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We just went through that nightmare, also. :glare:

 

My husband lost his job and was unemployed for 7 months. It took him that long to find a new job. When he did find a job, it was 800 miles away. Broke and in the housing crash, me and the kids have stayed behind for 8 months. We are finally closing on a new house in 3 weeks and we all will finally be together again.

 

I don't have much advice, but I know that it is a horrible, horrible situation and is very, very scary. I never cried as much as I had during the last year and a half. Stupid that it all takes so long to work it's way out.

 

I hope you guys have "quicker" luck than we had. If it's any consolation, we are MUCH better off financially now than before - when he was working the previous job (how ironic to think that). His new job is a 30 year government contract job, pays more, is in a really nice city and our new house costs 1/3rd of what our old house did. We also still own our old house and are making $300 a month profit off of renting it out.

 

It's horrible, but you guys might be better off next year than you are now. You never know...he might find a job that's even better and pays more than the one he's losing.

 

Oh, yeah, and it took 2 hours to find a tenant for our house and it was for sale for MONTHS and nothing happened. May I suggest renting out your house if you have to move? A *&^ of a lot quicker than trying to sell it in this market.

 

GOOD LUCK!! I hope you guys are OK.

 

It sounds like you know how I feel . . .crying, etc. Thanks for the encouraging words. I, in my heart, know this will work out for the better for us even though in the moment it's hard to see. I just wished my dh would have the same optimism.

 

We would have to definitely rent out our home. The market here is flat . . . 535 layoffs at my dh's mill in a town of 8500 is devastating. And I'm sure there'll be spin off lay offs.

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It is overwhelming. My dh lost his job after 27 years with the same company. He knew it was coming, so he was somewhat prepared for it, but not entirely. I sensed he was becoming depressed which is unusual for him. I tried to keep on as normal, and that seemed to help the most. I would ask him to help the girls with their math or something or get his help around the house in general. I think it made him feel very needed. When he needed to talk about it, I listened - even though I had heard it all before. He really needed to talk about it, and he needed a sympathetic ear. On a practical side, I cut our already frugal spending even more.

 

Since he lost that job in 2005, he has been laid off twice (last time May of this year). There are few if any prospects in his field locally; businesses are still laying off. He's keeping himself very busy working around the house and helping me with school while looking for employment. I will say this time around he's handled it much better. I think he's developed a harder outer-shell. And I've approached it as we're in this together - which obviously we are - but so he doesn't feel the whole load on his shoulders.

 

It's not easy. Be there for him, listen to him, help him with ideas, be patient.

 

Wow 27 years. How are you making it financially with sporadic work (hope that isn't too personal a question)?

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I've found that just listening is the biggest thing. Suggestions don't seem to go over well, at least with my dh. He'll get to the point of asking for advice, but suggesting he do/try x,y,z just doesn't go over well...he takes it as though I don't trust him to figure things out on his own.

 

Being laid off is a huge kick in the pants as far as ego and self confidence goes, especially for men. They self identify with their jobs. Its why so many men experience serious depression after retirement.

 

Give him affection, let him talk. That's the best advice I can give.

 

I think you're absolutely right when you say don't offer advice. (I'm good at that :)). I will try and be more of a listener. Thanks for the advice.

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My husband just came home one day without his job. It was not anticipated at all. After the shock wore off, and we figured out we would have health care coverage for 6 months (important since I had breast cancer last year), we started the process of trusting God to provide. It took 5 mos, but he now has a good job (although a lesser position) with good benefits.

 

The best way to support him is to encourage him to keep his daily routine, spending time looking for work, but also using the extra time to pray. My husband said he felt God wasn't closing a door, but opening up a tunnel, which meant he was going to have to wait. He just needed to step in any open direction hoping God would stop him if it wasn't the right direction. He didn't get any interviews for months. But he posted his resume everywhere, networked, researched alternate careers (some of them were pretty far-fetched, but I tried to support).

 

I was pretty worried (although I hid it from my husband) about it all, but it took about 4 1/2 months for me to let go and trust that God would provide. Then my husband got 3 interviews in one week. Two doors closed, one door opened.

 

Try not to badger, "What jobs did you apply for today?" Just sit and listen, and tell him you are behind whatever he decides. Now is not the time to cry or worry in front of him. Use your other support group for that. I hope looking back you will see this time as a time when your faith grew and your relationship with your husband deepened, and you are better off, if not financially, then at least relationally.

Marie

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My husband just came home one day without his job. It was not anticipated at all. After the shock wore off, and we figured out we would have health care coverage for 6 months (important since I had breast cancer last year), we started the process of trusting God to provide. It took 5 mos, but he now has a good job (although a lesser position) with good benefits.

 

The best way to support him is to encourage him to keep his daily routine, spending time looking for work, but also using the extra time to pray. My husband said he felt God wasn't closing a door, but opening up a tunnel, which meant he was going to have to wait. He just needed to step in any open direction hoping God would stop him if it wasn't the right direction. He didn't get any interviews for months. But he posted his resume everywhere, networked, researched alternate careers (some of them were pretty far-fetched, but I tried to support).

 

I was pretty worried (although I hid it from my husband) about it all, but it took about 4 1/2 months for me to let go and trust that God would provide. Then my husband got 3 interviews in one week. Two doors closed, one door opened.

 

Try not to badger, "What jobs did you apply for today?" Just sit and listen, and tell him you are behind whatever he decides. Now is not the time to cry or worry in front of him. Use your other support group for that. I hope looking back you will see this time as a time when your faith grew and your relationship with your husband deepened, and you are better off, if not financially, then at least relationally.

Marie

 

Marie, thank you for these words. I do know God will provide. Honestly, financially, this is the first time we've been in this situation. We've trusted God in other areas of our lives (infertility) and have seen how wonderfully things have worked out in ways we couldn't imagine.

 

It's hard though. We are so used to relying on ourselves. I am trying to immerse myself in scripture because I want to practice what we preach. There are a lot of people in our tiny town that don't have the hope we have and have situations way worse than ours. (But it's easy to revert to all that's wrong in our own lives and have a pity party.)

 

Thanks for your story.

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Another thought...talk to a gf about your fears and worries. I know that sounds odd, not to talk to your dh about them, but I've found with my dh that its misinterpreted to mean that I don't have confidence in him, and is extra pressure. I remind my dh when he's down that he has a wife that loves him unconditionally, children that adore him. I didn't marry him because of his job, I married him for HIM. That seems to reassure my dh.

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We have not been through this but my dad did go through something similar. :grouphug: I think the main thing is, let your husband know that it will be ok, even if you go through some tough times. You're there for him.

 

Thanks. We're old enough to know this is true but you know how it is when you're going through it it's hard to see how the end is going to work out.

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Thanks. We're old enough to know this is true but you know how it is when you're going through it it's hard to see how the end is going to work out.

 

My parents had grown kids when my dad lost his job and I think he still needed that reassurance. I absolutely know how hard it can be to see the light at the end of a dark tunnel.

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Our house has also been on the market since early August. What I am doing is trying to encourage things to go right and see that dh is taken care of. I have been cooking his favorite meals, making sure there is dinner in the fridge to grab if something else comes up, encouraging him to work out, but being willing to workout with him if it will motivate him to work out, the boys ask him to play backyard sports with him, I suggest trails, I'll even ask him to walk the dog for me so I can clean the bathrooms, or something unattractive fresh air and exercise help clear the mind. I have stayed positive and found a few close friends to vent to instead of showing my emotional side to him right now. I've left books or articles laying on the end table he may find encouraging or helpful. I help him look for jobs daily, research thing, rewrite his resume, keep organized while job hunting, that type of stuff. I let him sleep in on the weekends and have been more aware of keeping the kids involved in "projects" so he has some time to recharge. The days he's off I'm trying to weave him into our day so he doesn't feel like he's intruding on our routine, yet giving him an area free of distractions where he can search for jobs. I've also kept up with the house and started preparing to move. Somedays I'm more motivated then him, but he's said to me he feels he should be doing something but isn't sure what he can do, so I try to help him brainstorm there. Joining Linked in, networking, that type of thing. I also sit with him when the kids go to bed, I let him talk and listen carefully, really trying to understand what he is feeling and how he sees this. I think it's important for him to still feel needed. His way of providing for us has been a pay check, now that he doesn't have that, he feels like he's failed. I'm trying to find other ways to show him, it's not about the check, we really care and need him and although this could be under better circumstances, we are enjoying the extra time he has to spend with us. Take care of yourself too!

 

Thank you. I know you're going through the same thing. I am really trying to emphasize to him that we love him, not because of his job, but because of him. But I know his identity is wrapped up in his work and providing for us. Allowing me to stay home with the kids has been a priority for us and up until now has been possible. I know he's worrying that this might change.

 

Thanks for your words and my thoughts are with you.

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Wow 27 years. How are you making it financially with sporadic work (hope that isn't too personal a question)?

 

We've always lived well within our means. My dh makes a budget and we stick to it. So going into unemployment we were completely debt free. My dh is still collecting unemployment benefits. It's health insurance that is killing us right now. I have no idea what we'll do in the future with that. If he doesn't find employment before his unemployment benefits run out, we'll have to start digging into our savings more than we want. Also, after the holidays I will start looking for part-time employment.

 

He just finished a two month contract, and we took that money to pay property taxes, insurance, and to pay ahead on gas, electric and phone so our utilities are covered for the near future. Everything he has applied for has been a temporary position - not one permanent position. It's beginning to look like that's the way it's going to be. If he can find another temp. position for a few months, we can probably make it through next summer okay.

 

Things are tight - no extra money, but we're not starving. We put in a huge garden, and I canned everything I could get my hands on. The future is very uncertain, and I think that's the worst part. Not knowing, nothing stable, the emotional side of it. That's hard on a man who has been the sole support of his family. But we're hanging in there.

 

You're in my prayers.

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We've been through it, too, and the advice to talk about your fears with a gf is good advice. I had bouts of insecurity and when I tried to talk to my husband about my fears, some real and some more anxiety than real, it just made him feel like he was letting us all down. My gf is going through it as of last Wednesday, and my family is back on our pins, so now I'm helping her. We can rely on each other, express our fears and frustration, and not overwhelm our husbands. It's not that we don't talk to our husbands about our feelings, of course, but we can talk A LOT, long after our husbands are completely overwhelmed. We cry and cry and then we can support our husbands better without getting in our own way.

 

Don't be surprised if you find yourself getting angry at your husband if it continues on for a while. My husband became immobilized about four months after he lost his job, and I was really upset that he didn't seem to be looking as hard. I thought at one point that he might be becoming depressed. But he pulled himself together and we made it through. But I ranted with my gf, scared to death that he'd flounder until we lost the house or something drastic. God pulled us through, and now I can be the shoulder to cry on for my gf. It's happening to so many people, in our neighborhood, on this list. :grouphug: to ALL of you.

 

Sandy

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We've been through it, too, and the advice to talk about your fears with a gf is good advice. I had bouts of insecurity and when I tried to talk to my husband about my fears, some real and some more anxiety than real, it just made him feel like he was letting us all down. My gf is going through it as of last Wednesday, and my family is back on our pins, so now I'm helping her. We can rely on each other, express our fears and frustration, and not overwhelm our husbands. It's not that we don't talk to our husbands about our feelings, of course, but we can talk A LOT, long after our husbands are completely overwhelmed. We cry and cry and then we can support our husbands better without getting in our own way.

 

Don't be surprised if you find yourself getting angry at your husband if it continues on for a while. My husband became immobilized about four months after he lost his job, and I was really upset that he didn't seem to be looking as hard. I thought at one point that he might be becoming depressed. But he pulled himself together and we made it through. But I ranted with my gf, scared to death that he'd flounder until we lost the house or something drastic. God pulled us through, and now I can be the shoulder to cry on for my gf. It's happening to so many people, in our neighborhood, on this list. :grouphug: to ALL of you.

 

Sandy

 

Oh my I needed to hear your experience. I know I will have a tendency to loose my patience (because that's what I am good at) and I so don't want to. My dh is the best husband I could ever have asked for. I wouldn't trade him for anything. I am going to have to make a concerted effort to keep my mouth shut and (poor girl) do all my ranting and raving to my gf.

 

Thanks for this advice.

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