With U.S. unemployment at above 10% many couples have the additional burden that job loss puts on the marriage. Often times in marriages that had seemed OK on the surface, this new found financial hardship can bring many other things to the surface that the couple may not have been facing. Here are some tips to help keep your marriage afloat during this very difficult time:
1. You and your spouse need to be on the same page with a sound financial strategy. This will require you to meet with a financial advisor, who can help you assess your overall financial situation, establish a budget and develop a game plan to meet your objectives. You will be amazed at how much your confidence and self-esteem will increase when you have a plan. If you and your spouse have developed this plan together, you are both on the same page and this will reduce tension in the relationship. Plan your work and work your plan!
2. Make finding a full time job your full time job. Get up every morning at the same time you did when you were working. Shower and dress in business casual attire even if you will not be leaving the house. There have been studies done which indicated that people who are working from home are more productive and sound more professional on the phone if they are dressed in business attire. This also demonstrates to your spouse that you are serious about your job search and determined to make the most of it.
3. Networking is critical to finding employment. Studies have shown that as many as 60% of new jobs are not posted. They are either filled from within the company or in many cases through networking. Facebook and Linkedin are great social networking tools to let people know you are seeking a job. The wider net you cast, the better your prospects are for finding a job.
4. Although a strong focus on finances and job search are critical, do not forget the importance of family time, both with your spouse as well as the children if you have any. Be sure you place a high priority on communication. You need to be confident and strong.
5. Take care of yourself. If you are not physically fit, now is a great time to start. A daily work out and a nutritious diet will make you feel better and you’ll have great energy and confidence to meet the challenges ahead of you. Also, do not underestimate the value of spiritual fitness. Whether you derive your spirituality from prayer, church, meditation or all the above, a strong spirituality can literally transform your life in ways you never thought possible. And above all, be grateful for what you have. Millions of people would stand in line to trade places with you, so keep things in perspective.