What if your partner lost his job and you work from home? How does a man handle the home? How can you help support? How can you dictate finances?
With unemployment rates in the United States rising every week that the country is devastated by the COVID-19 crisis, there’s a big shift happening in family dynamics at home. Specifically, many men find themselves unemployed, stuck at home and needing a purpose.
For women who work at home, while their previously employed partner worked out of the home, it can be an especially challenging time to navigate changing roles and dynamics.
Here are tips for women who work from home to support their men partners who recently lost their job due to the COVID-19 crisis:
• Give him purpose. One of the biggest emotional pain points for men who lose their jobs is a feeling that they’ve lost their purpose and therefore their value. Many men are hardwired to go out and provide and not being able to bring in income can be a major hit to the ego. They may suffer from feelings of being useless because they are unable to financially provide.
So, give that man jobs to do. Sit him down and say, “I know you can be so helpful to me in XYZ ways and I trust you to do these tasks.” Make sure to let him know the specific purpose behind each task and how it’s going to help. Don’t just tell him to do the dishes. Say, “this task of doing the dishes is going to help me feel calm and peaceful when I walk into the kitchen, and it’s really going to keep my stress levels down, so you doing the dishes is really going to serve me and help me out.”
That way, he sees clearly that his actions around the home are going to produce tangible and specific results and improvements in the home.
Most men like to win. They like to know that their efforts are not in vain. So, give him tasks, explain the reason behind the task and give him a chance to win.
• Ask for specific emotional support. Don’t just rely on your partner magically knowing what to do around the home and don’t expect him to be a mind reader. While your partner might not be able to provide financial support at the moment, he can provide emotional support.
Think about what you need to feel safe, secure or supported and then think about ways your partner can do that. Even simple things like asking for a hug or for your partner to say, “everything’s going to be OK,” are welcome.
And, give your partner emotional support, too. Many men might be ashamed or reticent to share their true feelings around being unemployed so provide a safe space. Let your partner know that you’re willing to hear any and all emotions from them. Give them a timeframe window to do this, so they don’t dump all day long on you, and reassure him that his emotions are valid.
• Create visions together. One of the biggest balms we have to soothe the intense emotions during this crisis is hope. Hope, you may remember, is so strong that it was even a pivotal part of a former president’s campaign slogan, so don’t discount it.
Nicole Moore is a celebrity love and relationship coach based in Los Angeles.