With high unemployment rates, the number of families dealing with job loss has also increased.   When your spouse has suddenly received his walking papers, he may go through a period of shock, followed by feelings of anger, frustration, hopelessness, and even depression. As you try to keep the family together and take a hold of the situation, the feeling of uncertainty will slowly set in, and it will painfully linger, banishing optimism and harming your partner’s sense of self in its wake.

Job loss is a major life crisis that has the potential to adversely affect every member of the family. As your partner copes with feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt, you get to deal with the pressures of being the sole bread winner along with the difficult task of keeping everyone’s spirits high. And depending on the information that you feed your kids, they can easily absorb the stress from the family’s current situation. If you are going through rough times due to a recent job loss in the family, here are some tips on how to cope:

1.    Discuss the family’s finances, and make concrete plans.
It’s crucial that you discuss the steps that need to be taken to keep the family afloat. Talk about the luxuries that you will have to give up, and discuss ways on how you can economize. Plan on remedial measures that will be taken, and try not to worry too much about what’s far ahead because fixing the family’s finances will definitely not happen overnight. Worrying too much will not take you anywhere, so just try to focus on the issues at hand. Recognize the need to find for a long-term plan, but just take it one day at a time.

2.    Support each other.
When your family’s savings and unemployment benefits dwindle, it can be difficult to be the rock that you once were during the initial phase of the moving on process. But no matter how difficult things are, you need to stick to your plans of keeping your family intact during the transition. Do not put each other down by blaming, and instead continue to encourage everyone to look forward with positivity.

3.    Stay in touch with family and friends.
It is common for individuals to shy away from the social scene after being unemployed. Your partner may be uncomfortable circulating with friends and family after being unemployed, but shutting himself even to the people, who can offer support, may only make moving on more difficult.

4.    Do not overburden your kids.
Set limits on what you want your kids to know. Be honest about your partner’s job loss, and discuss on the adjustments that need to be made. Assure them that even though you may have to make budget cuts, you will do your best to make the adjustment easy for everyone. It’s also crucial that you let your kids know that you will all work hard so that everything will be back to normal again.

5.     Start anew. Try to leave the pains of the past behind and look on to the future with hope. Explore potential income opportunities, and be open to change. Help your partner begin the process of rebuilding his career. If he didn’t get the job, remind him that being called for an interview was proof enough that there might be other opportunities that are open for him.

While job loss can indeed threaten the family’s stability, many families remain steadfast and resilient despite overwhelming odds. If you have been through a similar situation, how did your family get through those times? How did it affect your family as a whole?