In it together: How to support your partner through layoffs
Searching for a new job can often feel like running a marathon without a finish line in sight—exhausting and seemingly endless. As a caring partner, you might wonder how best to support your loved one through this challenging process. Should you cheer them on from the sidelines, act as their coach, or perhaps carry them on your back? While carrying them may sound heroic, in any relationship, it's important to empower others to be the driver of their own life.
That said, sometimes the best way to help is to remain close by with a cold towel and a large jug of water. So, let's explore some ways you can aid your partner in their race for a new job!
1. Ask Rather Than Assume:
Similar to love languages, people have different preferences when it comes to receiving support. It’s essential to understand which method aligns most with your partner’s needs at that moment. Are they seeking advice on how to solve their problem, or are they looking for a safe space to vent? Asking your partner upfront about their needs is a great way to show that you care and are here to support them in any way you can.
2. Check In Regularly:
Renowned researcher Brené Brown recommends regularly checking in with your partner to compare your energy levels. On certain days, one partner may have less emotional and physical energy left in their tank. Maybe they've just received five rejection emails and are feeling particularly drained. They can only commit to giving you 10% that day. Ask yourself if you have enough energy to cover the additional 90%. If you do, reassure your partner that you are happy and willing to carry the load.
3. Be Honest:
In an effort to be more supportive, you may feel inclined to overextend yourself until your partner is back on their feet. However, you are not immune to the effects of stress. When assessing your own energy levels, be honest with your partner and yourself. If you're only at 20% that day, your partner may be able to take on more responsibility. If you're both feeling drained, sit down and discuss how you can show each other kindness and work together to navigate burnout. Regardless of circumstances, support can continue to flow both ways by maintaining open and honest communication.
Losing a job often brings financial limitations, which may impact your partner's ability to partake in the same extracurricular activities as before. Even if you share joint bank accounts, they may experience guilt knowing they're not able to contribute financially at the moment. In these cases, you can find unique ways to have fun while being frugal. Here are a few ideas to spark your creativity.
Likewise, remember to give your boundaries the same courtesy. Your work schedule may not allow you to join your partner for mid-day activities and impromptu chats. However you can prevent conflict by communicating your availability clearly and planning alternative ways to connect during mutually convenient times.
5. Lead with Empathy:
During this time, your partner may experience a rollercoaster of emotions, ranging from gratitude and optimism to frustration and defeat. This is normal! The most valuable thing you can do is reassure them that their feelings are valid and that they will get through this difficult time.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only. Please do not use the information provided here as a replacement for therapy or professional advice. For the full disclaimer policy, please refer to www.flamme.app/disclaimer.