Help me keep helping my wife deal with long-term unemployment.
March 14, 2012 12:05 PM Subscribe
The psychological fallout of my wife's 13-month unemployment is going to make me crack. Please help me deal.
posted by anonymous to human relations (31 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
My wife lost her job in early 2011, and has been searching unsuccessfully for a new one ever since. She gets, roughly, an interview every six weeks, but nothing's come through yet. Each time, she and I get our hopes up that the siege might be ending, but it doesn't, and then we both feel unbelievably shitty for days before returning to a baseline state of worried, depressed anxiety.
I'm doing everything I can to be supportive of her. I let her know that the long search isn't her fault, that there's nothing wrong with her, and that it will work out. But still (understandably!) about every three days she has a major freakout. I can always talk her down, but the effort of doing so, combined with my own baseline worry, then prompts me to go off and quietly freak out for a while.
Among the worst of her freakouts are when she'll tearfully tell me she feels like she's letting me down, ruining my life, etc. I tell her (truthfully!) that this emphatically isn't the case, that we'll get through this, and so on. And I'm not lying-- I truly believe this. But it makes me very hesitant to even talk to her about feeling depleted, because I don't want to make her feel worse.
The freakout cycles are getting shorter and shorter for both of us as this goes on, and I feel like my emotional reserves are pretty much shot. I want to continue to be there for her until this ends, but I often feel like I'm going to explode from the pressure. I'm looking for suggestions on ways to deal with this, reduce stress, and generally survive until this is over.
FWIW, I set up a throwaway email for side questions about this, at email@example.com