When it comes to stressful life experiences, losing your job easily trumps challenges like flooding basements or visiting in-laws. Not only is it financially trying, but a job loss can deliver a huge blow to your marriage as prevailing relationship tensions are aggravated and financial worries spur new hurdles.

When a partner loses his or her job, it can be hard on both parties involved in the relationship. Your partner may feel insecure and self-doubting, while you might feel powerless and unable to help.

Here are some tips on how to cope during this difficult time while helping to keep your relationship strong.

Be supportive and encouraging.

Your spouse may be experiencing low self-esteem and feelings of shame, but you can help them by reminding them of all their strengths and past successes. With you as a friend, ally, and supporter, your spouse can find the confidence and motivation he or she needs to find another job and work towards successes in the future.

Focus on the good.

Join heads to draw up a list of at least 10 things you are grateful for each day. By focusing on what you have, you are better able to see the positive aspects of your relationship and recognize the potential for good things to happen.


Listen to and acknowledge each other’s worries, sorrows, and other feelings. Whenever you discover yourself in the middle of an argument, pause for a moment to try and pinpoint what’s really upsetting you. By recognizing negative feelings, you can better empathize with one another and construct a sturdier relationship foundation.

Establish a timeline.

Work together to map out the next steps to take and agree upon a timeline within which to accomplish these goals. Consider consulting financial advisors to help you determine your options and design the best fiscal plan for your family.

Talk to your kids.

If you have kids, make an effort to spend time together as a family. Be honest— explain to your children that the family simply isn’t going to be spending as much money for a bit.

Losing a job is hard on multiple levels—financially, emotionally, and mentally. If you or your spouse has recently lost a job, don’t attempt to navigate this difficult ordeal on your own. A Portland relationship therapist can provide you with tools, tactics, and effective strategies for keeping your marriage strong and healthy during this often tough and tricky time.