Helping your partner deal with retrenchment

Helping your partner deal with retrenchment

Has your partner recently lost his or her job? Marriage counsellor Gerrie Pretorius shares advice on how to get through this difficult period.

Worried couple reading a letter
Worried couple reading a letter/ iStock

The latest statistics show that unemployment during the second quarter of the year stood at 29% - the highest in eleven years.

Experts have also warned that more retrenchments are on the table. In July, President Cyril Ramaphosa warned that there will be more job losses.

Without a doubt, having a partner who is unemployed can put a strain on a marriage, especially if this is a result of retrenchment and the two of you were used to sharing financial responsibilities. 

We spoke to the founder of Lifecounsel, Gerrie Pretorius on how couples can best deal with retrenchment. 

Give your partner time

“Give your spouse time and space to grieve for the loss of their job,” says Gerrie. 

Dealing with retrenchment is never easy. It will have an effect on a person’s emotional well-being. Therefore, it’s crucial to allow your partner time to deal with the pain. Your partner might feel shocked, disappointed, angry, frustrated, anxious etc. This is normal. Allow them to go through the emotions.

Be available

Your partner needs to know that you have their back. They must know that they can talk to you about their feelings and frustrations.

“Communication is essential in a marriage, especially during challenging times,” says Gerrie. 

So, encourage your partner to be open about their feelings and fears. 

“Make sure that they know that you are available for them to talk to,” he adds. 

Encourage them and assure them of your love and support. 

Plan fun activities

Do activities that will help your partner de-stress. These activities don’t even have to cost money. You can give your partner a massage, take him or her to the park, take a walk and explore a neighbourhood in your city, take nice long baths together etc.

“Plan a fun activity once a week so that you can spend quality time together,” says Gerrie.

Nurture your relationship

“While you’re both likely to be focused on resolving your financial problems, it’s important to take time out to nurture your relationship,” says Gerrie. 

There are many ways to nurture your relationship. When your communication is good, you are available for each other and have fun together, and your relationship strengthens. 

Remember love, intimacy, romance, and sex are important in marriage. Don’t neglect them.

Also, encourage your partner and help them apply for other jobs, or encourage them to start a new business. 

READ: Dealing with finances in marriage

Image courtesy of iStock/AntonioGuillem

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