This month, we’ve been faced with something we’re never been through. A layoff from work. If you’re a seasoned human being, I’m sure you’ve been through it. It happens to many of us. But this is our first time. And it’s rough.
If you’re going through a job loss with your spouse, we’re here to encourage you. We want to lift you up in this time of trial because trust us, it can be trying on a marriage. So as we’re going through this as a family, I thought why not share some valuable lessons we’ve learned on this journey.
1. Have a “it’s not the end of the world” mindset
Really, it’s not. It’s a job. It’s not who you or your spouse are as individuals. It’s actually temporary if you look at the entire span of your life. Okay, I might be getting a little too deep a little too quick, but a job really is a season, not a lifetime.
2. Be constructive, not destructive
This is not the time to grill your spouse on their failures. If they did mess up, trust me, they know it. If it was out of their circumstance, definitely do not beat them down. They are already feeling the lows in life. Don’t drag them down any lower. The first thing I did when my husband told me he lost his job was shower him with affirmation. I immediately told him how proud I was to be his wife.
3. Tighten up the finances
All of my logical readers just took a deep breath. My husband is with you. And this is obviously a no brainer. It’s time to get smart with your cuts in income. Sit down with your partner, break out the spreadsheet, and track all incoming and outgoing finances. Agree what you can cut out of your household and what you can’t live without.
We canceled our gym membership and downloaded a $4.99 app that rotates workouts instead. We even sold excess furniture and electronics we really didn’t need. We make coffee at home instead of paying someone to make our lattes (Well, iced coffee. We do live in New England after all!).
4. But have a little fun
This is a tough time after all, so you both need to live a little. And by live a little, I don’t mean take a last hurrah vacation. You can still have a lot of fun on a budget, you’ll just need to get a little creative. Try some fun DIY projects. Forgo the movies, pitch a tent in the backyard and watch a Redbox under the stars with your laptop. Take more walks in the park together (that’s my favorite). There’s so many ways to have a whole heck of a lot of fun without breaking the bank.
5. Schedules, schedules, schedules
Having your partner create a weekly schedule will help them stay motivated and help them feel accomplished at the end of each day. Work together to keep the Monday to Friday schedule around the house consistent. Take weekends off together. Eric actually created a google calendar where he as has day by day schedules.
This is an example of his Monday’s: from 9-11am, he works out. 11am he works on our blog. He breaks one hour from lunch and then from 1-5pm, he does job hunting and skill building. He gets alerts when it’s time to move on to the next task. There are some days that he has scheduled in an hour of video games. But that’s okay because he’s balanced it with hard work.
Remember that google calendar above? Eric shared it with me to keep himself accountable. Everyday, we do a check-in to talk about what he accomplished for the day, how many jobs he applied to, and what he learned. If he played video games, then he shares that too. We keep everything on the table to be open and honest.
7. Daily Affirmations
Daily affirm your partner. Take time out in the morning to get in front of the mirror together and build each other up. Start proclaiming success and happiness over your household. We personally feel a little hokey getting in front of the mirror to do that but there might be some of you out there that need that kick in the pants!
For us personally, we start and end the day with optimistic declarations. Before I leave for work in the morning, I affirm him (tell him he’s going to conquer the day, he can do it, I’m proud of him, he’s a hard worker, he’s going to learn a lot, he’s going to get a lot done, he’s going to apply to some amazing jobs, he’s going to get call backs, things like that). And I do the same thing right before we go to bed.
8. Take note of the lessons you learn
This can not only help put a positive spin on a very negative time, but taking note of what you learned during this time can better your marriage and better you individually. It can be something small like learning how to be more frugal, or something big like how to be patient and accepting of one another. Taking note of lessons you learn together along the way not only humbles you but will build an appreciation of each other.
I don’t know about you but I learn when life gets painful. For us, the biggest lesson we learned was to not align our individual identity with our jobs.
You and your spouse got this!
If you and your spouse are still feeling a little down, we’re here to cheer you on! We’re right there with you and we know exactly how you feel. Yes, the situation sucks. But it’s just a situation, a season that will pass.