How to be supportive when your partner quits his or her job

January 08 2014

Julia Richardson By Julia Richardson –

So, you’ve had the talk. Your spouse or partner quit his or her job. It may have been a long time coming and something that the two of you have discussed before, or it may come as a complete shock. Either way, what your partner needs most is support. So how exactly do you offer support?

Empathize
The decision to quit your job is not an easy one to make. Unless you have another job lined up, there are financial and emotional implications to consider.  Your partner didn’t make the decision to quit his job lightly. Let your partner know that you respect and support his decision. Validation and empathy will foster trust and strengthen your relationship. It’s a win-win.

Communicate
If you’re panicked or scared, don’t keep it to yourself. Instead, keep the lines of communication open. Failure to do so may lead to resentment or result in a fight, neither of which is healthy. Psychology Today published an article dedicated to the supportive spouse- how to give and receive. The take-away is this: tell your partner how you feel and encourage your partner to tell you what he or she needs. Communication is key to support.

Address Concerns
Once you communicate your concerns, address them. Create a plan. If you’re concerned about finances, for example, talk about it and develop a budget. CNN Money offers a useful budget guide. Work together as a team to find solutions. Having a plan in place can help calm anxiety.

Keep your Focus
Resist the urge to overdo it. Too much encouragement may be seen as nagging and could ultimately be counterproductive. If you’re constantly asking about the prospect of work, your partner may feel more pressured or stressed than he or she was already, which could lead to depression. Instead of asking about the job search, ask about your partner’s day. Keep your focus on your partner, not the job.

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