Spouses Beware, Unemployment Affects Marriages

Married couples share a lot of things, stress being one of them. Intentionally or not, a married couple may pass stress back and forth between one another.

A recent study done at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the National University of Singapore shows that the distress levels of a married couple increases significantly while one person is employed and the other is not (for the purpose of this case, the male is employed and the female is not).

This is not good on all fronts; your home is supposed to be where you can escape the stresses of work and vice versa.  One way to help alleviate the unemployed spouses’ stress levels is to have the former place of employment provide support groups and/or classes for this spouse, the study pointed out.  However this isn’t always financially feasible, especially in times of economic crisis.  It should also be noted that just ignoring the stresses of the unemployed spouse is quite unhealthy and potentially detrimental to both parties.  If the company cannot provide support know that you can figure this out on your own.

If you are in either of these positions, rest assured you are not alone (13.7 million Americans are unemployed). While it is clear that men and women handle stress differently it doesn’t mean that they cannot come together and get through these rough times.  A New York Times article about a study on divorce and the recession pointed out that while some divorces are put on hold due to the financial burden, there is sometimes a new-found commitment to the marriage.  While it is difficult to say if this is going to be the case when the economy recovers, it’s nice to know that sometimes people can come together despite hardships.

The old adage goes, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” Maybe this is something we can take solace in.  If we help mitigate our partner’s stresses due to unemployment, we may come out stronger on the other side. Remember also that it’s better to have no job, than a job you’re unhappy with. And this too shall pass. In the meantime, get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet and exercise. Taking care of yourself and sticking to a routine will go far in helping you feel positive and tackle a job search head-on.

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