My Husband Lost His Job: How to Survive a Job Loss

It is stressful when your husband loses his job. No, not my husband. Not since last October, anyway. Unfortunately “my husband lost his job” is one of the frequent search terms people use to find BeingFrugal.net. And it seems to be increasing in frequency. Other search terms I’ve seen recently are “god’s provision during unemployment,” “support husband lost job,” and “financial what to do when might lose job.” It breaks my heart that so many people are experiencing the same struggles that my husband and I experienced last year.

But there is hope. And I’d like to address the steps you can take to make this tough time a little bit easier.

When You Feel a Job Loss is Coming

A lot of times you can see a job loss coming. Your boss seems distant. There’s a hostile atmosphere at work. Perhaps there are rumors that your company will be bought out. The financial statements look bad. The list goes on.

Though it does happen from time to time, people are rarely blind-sided when they lose their jobs. I know that both times my husband lost his job last year (yes, it happened twice in one year), he knew for a while that things didn’t look good.

If you see the proverbial writing on the wall, start saving all the extra money you can save. You’re going to need it to live on. If you’ve been snowballing money toward your debt repayment plans, stop. Go back to paying the minimum amount and put any extra money in your emergency fund. Start living as frugally as you can. And keep your eyes open for other job opportunities. Hopefully you can find a better job before you get fired or laid off.

As Soon as You Lose Your Job

File for Unemployment

Don’t wait. I’m not sure how much things vary from state to state, but in Oregon, there is a one week waiting period before you can collect benefits. There also needs to be an investigation into the unemployment claim, and often that holds up your benefits for a couple of weeks. So you want to file as soon as you can.

Tell Everyone You Know that You Lost Your Job

I know this is a tough one, but it’s important. As a Christian, I appreciated the prayers of friends and family. Beyond that, you never know who might know of an employment opportunity. Connections are everything, and the more people who know you’re job hunting, the more chances someone will know of a job opportunity for you.

Make a List of Resources You Can Tap Into

It’s important to do this early on. You may never need to use these resources, but you will feel better knowing that they are there. Some ideas to consider:

  • Your church
  • Local Food Pantry
  • Energy assistance programs
  • Salvation Army
  • Sliding Scale Medical Clinics
  • WIC
  • Your state’s Medicaid Program (OHP in Oregon)

There will be others, depending on where you live.

Cut Back Your Budget as Far as it Will Go

Cancel the cable, cell phones….anything you don’t really need. You want to make your savings stretch as far as it will go, because you don’t know how long you will be unemployed.

Put as Much Effort as You Possibly Can into Finding a New Job

How picky you can be about your new job depends on whether you have any savings to fall back on. If you have a significant savings account, you can afford to wait for a great job. If you don’t have a lot of savings, you may have to string together some part time jobs to make a full time income for a while. My husband, who was an advertising sales manager by profession, took on part-time janitorial work to pay the bills.

Wives…What You Can Do For Your Husbands

Since I get a lot of search hits for “my husband lost his job,” I want to make sure to touch on this. Job loss is stressful, and it’s sometimes easy to turn on the one you love in the midst of the stress.

Keep in mind that men take providing for their families seriously, and a job loss can make a man feel like a failure. Wives, this is the time when you need to be strong. You can reassure your husband that he is not a failure…that this is just a temporary setback in life. Assure him that you are on his team. Remind him that you still respect him as a man. Tell him frequently that you have confidence in his abilities.

I’m not talking about false flattery, but focusing on the positive. Your husband already knows the negative. He heard it from his boss, and chances are he’s hearing it from himself. Being the encourager in your marriage is very important in a crisis.

My Experience as a Christian

God does provide. It’s not always how you expect, and many times working through a job loss is more difficult than you anticipate. There are times you may even question if God is there. He is there, and he cares about your situation.

Philippians 4:19 says,

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

God will meet your needs. Not necessarily your wants, but He will take care of your needs. You just need to recognize and accept the opportunities he sends your way, whether it be a check from your church or a part-time janitorial job.

I can testify to the many times God has provided for my family in difficult financial times. For those who have landed on this site looking for hope, I hope you have found it. Take heart. The storm of unemployment will eventually pass. You will get through it, and someday you may be able to encourage others with the same struggle.

Other useful blog posts:

Did I miss anything? Do you have additional tips for surviving job loss? Please share!



Author

By , on Mar 27, 2008
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.

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{36 Comments}

  1. Jeff:

    Thank you for this post. I lost my job last april after injuries sustained from an auto accident. It is very hard not knowing what the future holds and wether your going to loose your home. I would appriate any prayers. The hardest thing to deal with I think is he emotional trama from all this. Bigger yet is how people view you thinking that your a wimp becuase you can’t handle the emotional scares. Unfortuately my wife is diabled and not able to work and no she does’nt get disability. She was told that she does’nt qualify.

  2. realistic:

    Unadulterated crap. “God will provide”? The words of someone who has clearly never actually struggled for anything in their lives. God will not provide: you have to provide for yourself. Prayers don’t pay bills, and neither do fairy tales.

  3. Ann:

    The loss of my profession, confidence and optimism has thrown me in to a tailspin. We didn’t see the “reduction in force” coming and when it did, those of us who were laid off were devestated. As the sole support to our house (my husband is disabled and relies on SSD), job loss is seen as failure. Yes, there’s unemployment and severance, but the thought of trying to sell yourself at the same time as you’ve suffered this loss is overwhelming. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve had a number of interviews but have yet to “seal the deal”. Networking is exhausting and I try to put a positive spin on the process, that when one door closes another opens but my spirit and faith are decessimated. When my neighbors offer their best wishes, it’s with bowed faces, unable to look me in the eye. Maybe it’s my age, mid 50s, that they know I am not going to find a job anytime soon. Fortunately, we have no debt, just rent, small car payment and telephone.

    I am weary, grieved and am in intensive counseling. I am fearful of spending any money, even for food. Hope is not a word in my vocabulary. Friends have not contacted me. I feel so alone.

  4. Liz:

    I know this article was posted 3 years ago, but it just touched my life just now. Reading this tears where running down my face and I cant seem to stop crying now after reading this. My husband and I just had our first year of anniversary in the beginning of January and the week before Christmas he lost his job. This whole month has been the worst. The only one working right now is me and thats not even enough. We barely or I should say we dont have no food. I am so stressed because I’m doing overtime and when that weekly paycheck comes it upsets me because it doesnt take us anywhere. My husband and I argue constantly and the list goes on. It’s not easy when I am trying to stay positive for him and he’s not. But we are and we will over come this. I went to my car an hour ago to head to church for Sunday service and I could not even drive away. I turned the car off and went inside, turned my laptop on went to google to see if anybody out there has gone through what I’m going through right now, to read some advice how to cope with this situation. This article was the first one that popped and I dont think its a coincidence because it just ministered my life. Thank you and God Bless.

  5. Alexis:

    My husband was told the day before yesterday by his boss that HR is “reviewing his file” and it “doesn’t look good” – 4 years with this company as one of the top salesmen, earned every award they have multiple times, and that’s it!? There’s downsizing and then there’s flushing the system! So yes, we were totally blindsided and even though we’re not Christian (Pagan actually) we had a similar long talk about how this is all part of a bigger plan and that if he loses his job (in 2 hours) it’s probably because it’s the only way he would have left his cushy, well-paying job to move onto what he’s supposed to be doing to better serve Spirit with his unique talents.
    We’re definitely seeing it as an opportunity for emotional and spiritual growth. We’ve never had any real savings in our lives but it just so happens that between some unexpected circumstances we suddenly find ourselves with enough money to ride out the job hunt for quite a few months.
    Does God(and the goddess ;) provide? Absolutely. Have faith everyone. I also take solace in knowing that this is happening to so many people, and some day when our grandkids asked what happened to us during our mini-depression we can say “oh yes, we struggled for a while too!” It’s kind of interesting to be part of something that so many people are experiencing that will be a defining chapter in our generation of working adults. But yeah…on the other hand it still totally blows!

  6. Sherry:

    Helpful. My husband will find out definitely this evening if he will keep his job after Jan 1. We have no savings, had to buy a used car and did not want the debt of incurring another note so we used savings. Little to nothing left over after paying monthly bills. I am terrified right now, it’s our son’s senior year and I hate for this to end up being the worst year of his life. My husband’s job is 2/3 of our income. PRAY for us that a door will soon open up for us. We can live without electricity if we have to–an ice storm proved that! And I have already put in a fall garden. My biggest concern is losing the house which is our largest bill, or worse yet being turned in to child protective services for not being able to provide adequately for our 2 children.

  7. Gemma:

    That is all well and good but the lenders/creditors etc. I have dealt with do not care! No support here? Especially the student loan people! What creeps..after me calling them, telling them my husband is not getting his unemploymnet (due to a technical error from last year, when they fired him 2x!) No mercy from no one! Zilch! By the way, it is losing your job..not loosing!

  8. Holly:

    Thank you so much for sharing my husband recently lost his job . His boss decided to replace him with two guys that had 10 years experience instead of him who had 4 yrs. and just out of college . He is pretty angry and I have tried to be there for him . He has taken out a lot on me and it hurts and I am scared of the unknown . Thanks for reminding me of how GOD does supply all of our needs .
    He has a BACHELOR in COMPUTER INFORMATION SYSTEMS from LETU .

    • Holly I feel i can give you some advice coming from a wife who has been through this twice in the last two years. When my husband lost his Job the fist time it was really bad most time we would fight about everything at the end of the night i would always ask myself what am I doing wrong?, I would talk about God and he would completely shut me out as if he dint even want to hear the name God. I hold on holly i prayed and i prayed i keep sharing the word of God with him and i just keep my faith. God was the one that got us through this holly i can say to you be strong in God. His word says seek him and you will find him. I can tell you that the Lord again provided he got job offers from left to right but really none came through until 1 came through the funny thing about this was he had so much doubts about this one and so sure about the others just goes to show you Gods plan arent ours. Be supportive in prayer God will provide. We must be woman of faith holly, we must be a vesel of love in Gods hand. May the Lord bless you and unite you more and more eachday with your husband, may he bless your husband with a promotion rather than have lost one. Proverbs 31:25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.

  9. Bessy:

    My husband recently is about to lose his job because the comapany is no longer having the south side of cali open, We wen’t through this just last year and i am a stayed at home wife who has been putting my time into prayer and my relationship with the Lord just when thing’s seem bad the Lord provide and my husband got a job now my husband has seek the Lord more than the last 3 years and just recently we where on the verge of a divorce but the Lord united us when we prayed about our marriage now it’s about having faith that the Lord once again will provide and will restore. I have faith, it’s something you must learn to keep i feel in order to see miracles of Christ having Faith that he has turn water into wine, has walked on water, has calm the storm, and so on he has RESURRECTED and did give his life for us, in a second the world can change in a second the value of money can go to waste but God will not change, God will stay the same with Love to give to those who seek and in his mercy those who hope. Stay strong in the Lord.

  10. Thanks for the post! My husband just lost his job a week ago. I am a stay-at-home mom… so it’s gonna be tough! He is blessed to have a part time job, but it doesn’t even bring in enough to pay our $700 mortgage. I know the Lord has something in store for us, something for our good. I am excited to see where He is leading us. I just wanted to add one thing to your post, though it isn’t practical for everybody. What we are doing is preparing ourselves for the possibility of living without electricity. We’ve been collecting oil lanterns and candles, and are now trying to figure out how to heat the home and get water from the well if we had to turn the power off. Hopefully it won’t get that bad for us, but it very well might. Anyways, I know a lot of people are going through this right now. The Lord is good, and worrying won’t help you at all, so try to give it to Him, and do the best you can with what He gives you!

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