Coping with Your Husband’s Job Loss

Written by Lori Fletcher

husbandjoblossMy cell phone rang on Monday morning while I was working at a client’s office. “Lori, can you meet me at home? I’ve just been let go from my job.” I packed up and got in the car and started to drive, my heart pounding, my mind racing…then the tears started, and I began to pray.

Just the previous Sunday afternoon, Del and I had been talking about his job. Over a period of time there had been significant leadership changes in his company, resulting in increased stresses and frustrations that hindered him from being able to do his job well. Many times Del would come home with a bad tension headache after a long day at work, not to mention the extreme fatigue he was feeling. He told me he wasn’t sure if God was trying to tell him it was time to find another job, or whether He wanted him to persevere in this job. We decided he should update his resume and start sending it out to some recruiters, and we would see if God would open any doors. Then the decision was taken out of our hands.

When I arrived home, Del was sitting in a chair in our living room just staring into space. I have never felt so inadequate in all my life! I sat down in his lap and we both started to cry. After we shed our tears (at least for that time) we prayed together. We acknowledged God’s sovereignty and plan for our lives, and we asked for His peace in the midst of all the uncertainty.

[Related Reading: Claire’s Story of Facing Job Loss]

Thus began our journey – one that would change us both individually and also our marriage forever.

So as the wife of a man who no longer has somewhere to go everyday, where do you start in showing your support?

1. Teach him how to do the laundry!

We both recognized that, for the foreseeable future, Del would be available to help out more at home. He was always very willing to help me in whatever way I needed him – he just wasn’t always available. So, he asked me to show him how to do the laundry since he now had the time. I’ll always remember, during his first week at home, him leaving the dinner table upon hearing the dryer buzzer and announcing that he needed to go and “fold his towels!” Del was also able to help with the groceries, the morning school drop-offs, and with dentist and orthodontist appointments. I was so grateful for his willingness to help with my load. One caution in this area, though – do not give him so many things to do that he doesn’t have time to look for a job!

On a more serious note…

2. Encourage him!

There were many days when Del needed me to be his greatest encourager, while he struggled with thinking that he was not good enough to get a job to take care of his family. I needed to remind him how important he was to our family, how proud we were of him, and how much we loved him. He needed to be reminded that, just as we had prayed and acknowledged God’s sovereignty in those first few hours, it was God who was in control and He was worthy of our trust. God would open that door of employment for him when He knew best – which is also why it was so important to….

3. Pray for him!

What greater gift can I give to my husband than to pray for him; to commit him to the protection and care of the One who knows him more intimately than me, and who loves him even more than I ever could? Many times I would not know what to say to Del when he was feeling down or frustrated. I knew that his feelings were real, but I also knew that Satan wanted nothing more than to keep him feeling that way. Psalm 145:14 says “The Lord helps the fallen and lifts up those bent beneath their loads.” I often had to ask God to meet Del’s needs, because I knew I couldn’t!

4. Communicate with the kids!

Del losing his job affected the whole family, not just him. When Del lost his job, our children were 11 and 15 years of age. Any time that Del or I wanted to spend money, our 15-year-old son Ryan would tell us not to. He would say “I know it – we’re going to be living in a cardboard box!” Recognize the need to let the kids know how you are doing, as it is appropriate to their age. Tell them when Dad has a job interview, or even when he gets a call for a potential opportunity. And most of all, pray with your children. There were many nights we gathered as a family in our daughter Lauren’s room as she climbed into bed and prayed together. We would thank God once again for His provision and care for us, and ask again that He provide a job for Dad. On more than one occasion I heard Del thank God in prayer for doors that the Lord had closed when he was not chosen for a job, even after several interviews that looked very promising. Del was able to model to our kids the Scriptural principle that “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!”

5. Be willing to adjust!

As much as I needed to support my husband, his job loss did have its affect on me as well. Having had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom while the children were younger, and running my own accounting business as they got older, I am used to having time at home – by myself! All of the sudden I had my husband around constantly. Yes, it had its advantages with regards to his help, but it was just not normal.

I was used to my routines: getting lunches made, children to school, household chores done, getting out the door to see clients – all the things I had been doing for the past 17 years. But now Del was home in the mornings, and it always seemed we’d get into conversations about things right when I should have been heading out the door. And then I’d come home later in the day prepared to go about my usual routine (reading the mail/e-mails, making some phone calls, or exercising on the treadmill), only to find Del in our home office, working away on the computer. So I would spend some time with him and then start dinner early, as we no longer had to wait for him to get home.

I found myself longing for time on my own. It’s not that I didn’t love him and enjoy being with him, but I needed some time to myself once in a while. I found I was beginning to resent the fact that he was there all the time. But I also had to recognize and be sensitive to the fact that he did not want to be at home either. We both had to be willing to consider each other’s feelings in this matter.

6. Communicate with each other!

As a wife, a lot of my security and stability came from the fact that I had lived in the same place for the 20 years we had been married, my husband went to work everyday and earned an income to pay the mortgage and the bills, my children were happy in their schools, and I had family and friends all around me. Now it became apparent to me that all of that might change! Not only that, but I found myself wondering what Del was doing with his time – how hard was he looking for that job? Was he allowing other things (church involvement, household tasks, etc.) to interfere with his job searching? It was critical that we communicate with each other, so he knew how I was feeling and I wasn’t creating expectations for him that he did not know about.

7. Seek God together!

More than anything, though, this was the most important change that came for the both of us. Praying together as a couple was always a sporadic thing for us over the years. But when God brought this change and uncertainty to our lives, there was no question that we needed to draw together and especially pray together if we were going to make it through this. Now we pray about everything, whether it’s a decision to be made, or just about whatever we are feeling; we bring it before God together. We also pray together for one another. It’s a tremendous way to demonstrate our love for each other, and to feel like we are tackling the challenges of life as a team.

A few months after Del lost his job, God gave me a verse from the Bible that became my promise for this period of time we were going through. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.”

I can’t say there weren’t tough days. It wasn’t always easy to keep trusting and believing that God had a plan for us. But in the end I knew God could be trusted and that He was faithful; that His plans were for our good and not to harm us. One of the greatest blessings that we have found in our journey of the last three years is that God has taken what we both knew to be true in our heads and has now imbedded it in our hearts. Sometimes the most important lessons in life are learned through our hardest trials.

Have you or someone you love lost their job? Talk to a mentor who can pray and support you through this time.


178 Responses to “Coping with Your Husband’s Job Loss”

  • Elkay says:

    Sam, everyone who read your story is sorry to know of his job loss and very many can closely sympathize with you as I do. The lead article has a lot more practical advice to follow so please re-read it and may I add that ALL husbands need to know they are respected by their wives, especially at times like this.

    I have found in life that when something “inordinate” happens (like a sudden, unexpected job loss), God is up to something and we don’t normally have a clue as to what it is. When my sister’s husband lost his job (right after they moved from NJ to WA just for that job!), our prayers were like yours – that God would arrange for the RIGHT job rather than a quick job. Those prayers were beautifully answered and so I encourage you to continue praying as you are.

    Through prayer, the Lord will give us a solution to the problem. His answer could be just what we asked or something entirely unexpected; He might tell us to wait in our current situation instead of taking action, or He could direct us to become involved in something new. In any case, God’s direction will be according to His perfect will. What’s more, He may ask us to take a step of faith. The Lord uses every opportunity to strengthen our trust and grow us in righteousness.

  • Sam says:

    A month ago, my husband called me when I was on my way home from a trip and told me that he had just lost his job. 26 years at the same location with good reports and reviews the latest being only a couple of months a go. It was like being slapped in the face. So now he’s been a month going a month with no job. I’ve been working hard on my prayer life to deal with this. It is really stressful and hard to manage mentally. I get depressed as well so I can only imagine how upset he is. I struggle with my focus on my job and often find myself sad and wandering. And the not knowing and the waiting is hard. I am praying of the right job to come that will finish out his career and make him happy and to make it the change that God wants in our lives. My church just gave out Jesus I trust in you magnets. I try to say that as often as I can but it’s been a tough year prior to this and when I thought I could take no more, this card was dealt. I also spent time wondering why I was privileged over other people in my life when I saw others that were suffering or struggling prior to this happening. I am going to keep praying that this will all work out.

  • Elkay says:

    Eneida, we will certainly join you in prayer for a job for your husband. But not just for “a job” but for the “right job” within God’s providence. That’s how we prayed for my sister’s husband and he is now in a great situation. As we read the above article, another thing jumps out . . . how important it is in marriage that “two become one” . . . in this case, his wife clearly chose to unselfishly commit herself to her husband’s overall well-being “no matter what” and in the long run, this will be a blessing to both of them.

    “Heavenly Father, nothing is impossible for You and You have invited us to come to Your throne of grace to find help in our times of trouble. Eneida’s faith in You has not been shaken and so we ask that You begin to move in her life so as to bring the right job, a job in the right environment with the right future, into her husband’s life. And until that time, may the time they have together strengthen their marriage and bind them even more closely together. This is our prayer, in You Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus’ name. Amen.”

  • Eneida says:

    I have read these testimonies and some sound like I’ve written them myself, my husband too has been without a job for 2 years now, it’s been a struggle, but our faith will not be is not easy…and the enemy reminds me of that evvverrryy single day….but GOD! Please keep us in your prayers and I will soon respond with our testimony as to my husand getting a new job! Amen…

  • Chris says:

    sue…sorry to hear you are struggling….while its true that people can be of little use in our lives, actually that is gods plan for us, so that we can learn to trust only in him. we need to have that personal and intimate relationship with christ in order to have his healing touch in our lives and finances. if you dont know jesus as your lord and savior, log onto or click talk to a mentor above. that way by having jesus as your lord and focusing on his promises in the bible, living them out in your life and applying them to every situation, you will be able to learn what the bible means when it says…the righteous live by their faith. romans 1.17. blessings to you always!!

  • Chris says:

    brenda….praying now that revelation 3.7 to 8 would be fulfilled in your husbands life so that all of you can rejoice in the door of opportunity that jesus opens for you as a family! blessings!

  • Brenda says:

    Hi jack London iam under a lot of stress my husband lost he’s Job is being a year a two months now we both christian we have loose our house,our car staying with my father in my home is very stress full we have two children boy a girl plz assist us with prayer iam filling like God has forgotten us the way things are my husband hes filling de press he’s a playing everyday they call him for interview after that they don’t respond iam powerless I need God favour in my home. I do love my husband a my kids it heart me when I see my kids suffer.

  • Sue says:

    I’ve been in this situation numerous times in 2 different states. Unfortunately, church people have been the least helpful. I find more support from atheist friends. Sad but true. I’m yet again in the unemployed state.

  • Chris says:

    Sabina…sorry to hear you and your husband are struggling…job loss and seeking for another one can be possibly quite stressful not only for the husband but for the family having to cope with him having to cope as well. Patience and understanding are so important during these times so that through faith and prayer, a new job can be achieved. as a loving wife, stand with him as he allows you to. give him the space he needs and know that this too will pass! standing with you for jesus best job-wise and every-wise, blessings!

  • sabina says:

    Hi girls, my hubby was made redundant only a month ago & it has been a very hard time between us. We are often in arguments & I feel terrible for the kids! I know we have to give all our troubles to God and stay faithful but I am struggling. It doesn’t help that my husband has now lost all hope. He is feeling depressed anxious & angry. I have been praying with the kids for our home, for peace and understanding between us all but everyday is a hard. I know God has plans for us & will provide. I just need help relating to an upset husband. I just can’t find it in me to build him up & encourage him when he makes me feel so angry. I just pray that he gets closer to God instead of angry with him. He did go to a promising interested 2 weeks ago & we are still waiting for a response. I am still hopeful & keep imagining how we would all hug and jump for joy if he gets that position. But he thinks he has no chance! Any advise?

  • Chris says:

    liz…sorry to hear you are struggling…romans 8.28 assures us that God will work all things out for our good. he is never taken by surprise by what happens down here on earth. he still reigns always. revelation 19. i encourage you to pray with your husband and in your Christian church, seeking God early and often for his proimses will be the assurance you need to live each day based on his faithfulness found in lamentations 3.22 to 23. yesterday is gone. whatever happened is over. jesus is ready to move in your lives afresh today! phillipians 4.19

  • Liz says:

    My husband just got fired. He was injured on the job and failed the mandatory drug test. He had accidentally taken one of my son’s ADHD pills instead of one of his meds. Because he had no prescription for the med, he was fired. I’m praying but still worrying. He has to have surgery due to the injury. I’m concerned he won’t get unemployment. I’m concerned about him getting another job. I need prayer and advice.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Thanks for letting us know Karen. God does answer prayers and pours blessings into our lives. Let’s keep praying for each other and seeing how God will answer.

  • Karen says:

    In the Fall, I posted about my husband’s job loss. After 7 months of unemployment, he had an interview the next day and started his new job on April 27. God turned everything around in our lives, and we are so thankful. The 7 months were very difficult. I had a very hard surgery and my dad passed away. I never could have gotten through it without God. I prayed constantly and read the bible at night. I have control to God and go came through all the way, better than we could imagine.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    That is great news Candyce! What a wonderful answer to prayer.

  • Candyce says:

    My husband old job called him back!!!!

  • Elkay says:

    jackinlondon, you are truly in a difficult situation and it sounds like you are indeed responding not only with sacrificial love but also appreciation for the good things God has brought into your life. True love means letting God’s love for you flow from you to your wife, irregardless of whether she acts appreciative or not or whether she returns your love or not. That’s why Eph 5:25 says that husband’s are to love their wife just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. This is a high calling but one day we do have to give God an accounting for our life and to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” is a rich reward. I pray that thought will strengthen and encourage you through this hard time.

  • I says:

    Hi jacklondon,

    My husband and I are in your situation, and I hearing your point of view helps me understand why I need to be more supportive of him. We only have one child, but five children to provide for can be quite scary. Here’s my prayer for you and your family, “Father God, in the name of Jesus, thank you for jacklondon and his family. I ask that you bless jacklondon with the an opportunity that will provide for his family. You said that you’d never leave us nor forsake us, and I thank you for that. I pray that jacklondon and his wife grow closer, and begin to study your Word together. Thank you for their wonderful children, and I ask for your blessings on his family in Jesus’s Mighty Name. Amen.” Blessings to you and your’s jacklondon. :-)

  • Chris says:

    jackinlondon…sorry to hear about your situation. at times like Jobs wife, our wives may not want to stand in there with us as we go through different trials in life. james 1. job 1 to 2. this is part of our cross as christians that like jesus we will not only suffer but be maligned as we do. these suffering produce a more christ-like character inside of us and are working for our good. romans 8.28. continue to love your wife unconditionally. you dont have to treat her like a baby although she may be acting like one. paul exhorted us as men to act like men in 1 corinthians 16.13. there are times in life when all we can do is pray for our wives and let the holy spirit do his work in them. that is my prayer for you, more of his grace, love and mercy over your life so that you can be encouraged that this too will pass in jesus name amen!

  • jackinlondon says:

    I lost my job back in December, and while I found a replacement recently it’s for a lot lower money than we need to survive. Since I have worked my entire life on a commission basis, or a profit sharing, we are used to income at very high and very low levels and everything in between. My wife and I have 5 kids, and are used to living at what I would consider a very high level. We are committed Christians. My wife recently has been absolutely intolerable since the job loss in December, which really arose from events that I didn’t bring about and therefore cannot be blamed. We had to borrow money to pay our bills and overall it’s been very tight, and this has created a lot of resentment on her part. I have tried to pitch in a lot more around the house, but all she does is complain that I do nothing, that the children do nothing, that she is bored and feels like a slave, that all she does is work while I seem like I’m doing nothing. Despite the fact that I am working on launching FOUR different things at the moment (all of which will give us income) she berates me and insults me and tells me I’m doing nothing. THIS IS NOT THE GIRL I MARRIED. She was always somewhat negative, she always has complained a lot (even when we owned two homes and had a giant income – hundreds of thousands a month, at times) she complained that her life was not what she wanted. I know that I’m far from the perfect person or perfect husband but I do try to treat her with love, respect and comfort. However, anytime I say “don’t worry, it will get better, we will find a way” she basically either laughs at me and says something like “how’s that working out for ya?” or “will we, now” or something sarcastic, or she gives me the ice-queen treatment. I adore her with all my heart and soul, but I feel as if we are losing each other, and if this keeps up I will start hating her and I know that there is sometimes such a thing as “the point of no return”. I felt that last night when we started arguing for the 1000000 time about our finances, I wanted to just tell her off (but didn’t). We have SO MANY blessings that she refuses to see. 5 healthy children, the basis for a great relationship, we live in a beautiful home, we have a daughter who is on track to be a professional tennis player, and quite honestly I have multiple situations which are poised to give us a very nice income shortly and help us recover. But all of that said, I feel nothing but hatred and anger coming from her, and a WHOLE lot of negativity. She has started her bible reading daily again, and it’s a TEENY bit improved, but mostly not. We have no intimate life anymore (she refuses me) and it’s just…pretty bad. Please, anyone who has been through something similar or can help in any way would be a huge blessing to me. Thanks!

  • Chris says:

    father i pray for anne and her husband and child so that their needs may be met in you. provide blessed work for them according to deuteronomy 8.18, psalm 1, and psalm 112. thanks for showering them with your many blessings in many ways and forms in jesus name amen….ezequkel 34.26

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