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When one of you is unemployed...

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Don't know if anyone has watched today's episode of the Oprah show, but the topic has been "How to Recession Proof your Marriage"


Since losing my job to a layoff 6 months ago, I have experienced a LOT of different emotions. However the most difficult to understand has been the occasional digs and jabs made at me from my boyfriend.


Has anyone else here gone through relationship difficulties related to one of you losing your job for economic reasons?

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I havent gone thru this but I can imagine how it would put stress on even the strongest relationship. I guess partners need to step back and look at the other persons situation. Sometimes, not communicating builds up resentment.


"Digs and jabs" tend to hurt, and maybe you should sit down and have a talk with him. Once whatever he is feeling is out there and you can voice your opinions you both will understand each other better.

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If he is shouldering a lot of financial burden due to your job loss, I can see why he would be upset about it and take it out on you. But if your job loss has not affected him much financially & you pretty much still pay your share for things, then his words are inappropriate. Either way he shouldn't be saying things that hurt you when you are already struggling with this. I'm sure it's not like you did anything wrong; you're one of the millions in the same boat.


Have you talked to him & explained how his words make you feel?

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Sometimes, it feels like both of us are unemployed. We're both in the first year of running our own businesses and when things are good they are great, when not - it honestly feels like there's nothing to do. This week is one of those weeks for both me and him.


All I can say is it can be so depressing not to be gainfully employed with your time and if we were anything but extremely loving, understanding and supportive to each other i don't know how we'd make it. I think making fun of you at a time like this is a terrible mistake on his part and it's a shame if he doesnt understand that.


Perhaps you can ask him to put himself in your shoes and try to imagine what it feels like not to have a job - and then ask him how he'd feel if you made the same comments?

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This is something I've experienced more than anyone should, but from your boyfriend's perspective.


I've been with my boyfriend for three and a half years now. For almost three of those years that we've been together and lived together, my bf was unemployed. He moved in with me in March of 2006 and didn't work until December 2008.


He moved accross the country to be with me and said he'd be unemployed only a few weeks, which is totally understandable. He worked retail, so finding work in the Bay Area, bursting with money, should be no sweat.


Now, up to this point, I made enough money to live a totally comfortable life, going out to dinner almost every night, shopping when I wanted to shop, etc. I loved my life.


So my boyfriend moved in, and at first, things seemed okay. He was applying for jobs and I was working so my money was holding. But as days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months, my life began to change. My roommate, with whom I had shared my apartment before and then during my relationship decided to move out, so I had to suddenly pay ALL the rent. The things I enjoyed about my life, my financial freedoms began to wither and die right in front of my face. I lost my job not long after this, and was in a position of not being able to rely on my bf, because he basically looked to me to take care of us. So I kicked myself in the rear and found a job in a related, more challenging and more stressful field, making more money but at first making me totally miserable in less than a month. It wasn't the job I disliked, but the specific workplace/boss. All the while, my bf's jobhunting got less and less and just started to play World of Warcraft all day and then cook dinner and sometimes clean. I asked for an equal, a partner, and I ended up with a houseboy. After this point, for nearly two years, the only interviews my bf got were the ones I arranged for him.


Now, as the months dragged into years, as more of my freedoms died off, I was nothing more than a glorified pack mule working my fingers to the bone day in and out in order to barely keep a nostril above water.


So I got angry. I was angry all the time. I was so stressed out that my hair started to turn grey and fall out. I would vomit randomly almost three times a week. I was only 27 years old at this point. By this point, I was so angry, bitter, stressed, resentful and put out, on top of the fact I felt I was being totally taken advantage of, my bf medicated himself with food and booz, gaining about 80 lbs.


If the stress and anger at him wasn't enough to kill any desire to sleep with him, that put it right over the top. We still to this day haven't had sex in almost two years.


Toward the end of 2008, I was 110% ready, willing and able to take my life back and let him know in no uncertain terms if he didn't have a job by the end of the year, he would leave and we would be no more. I arranged another interview for him, and he did just about everything he could to not get the job (as he later told me he had been less-than-a-man for so long, he was scared about having to re-enter the world), but he got it. On top of this, I got a 60~% raise at my job, so between us, we're 10000% financially comfortable. He's losing the weight, I'm getting back to the life I have always wanted and had, and we're slowly repairing our relationship day by day.


But yeah, in the moment, I honestly grew to hate him. He became the living, breathing, consuming, leeching manifestation of why I lost everything in my life that make me happy.


So, that's probably why your bf is sniping at you.

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It's times like this when you often discover whether the two of you are a team, or each just putting in their 50%. You also find out your and your partners tolerance to carry the load...


It's difficult & frustrating, partly because it's easy to sit back & THINK you know what your partner should be doing, could be doing etc...And even harder, when you are actually right....


But getting through times like this also builds character in your relationship (if you make it).


There will be times in any relationship where one partner carries more (sometimes most) of the load- financially, emotionally, physically, domestically etc. As long as both are doing the best they are able to and appreciate that their partner is doing the same, you can get through and grow as a couple..


But it is also a test many relationships fail....

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