How Best to Help?

So. My spouse got fired.

He hasn’t done anything particularly wrong. After a long time his contract was up for renewal and…it isn’t going to be. Fresh blood and all that.

It is particularly shocking for him as he is ‘Mr X’ who invented ‘X’ and to a large extent, what he does has become his identity.

It took a few days for it to sink in but now it has he’s, in turn, angry, humiliated, sad, lost, puzzled, vengeful…you can imagine.

He’s gone off for a few days break with family but I’m wondering how best to support him. Don’t get me wrong, he’s very employable, he’ll get another gig. But at the moment I don’t know whether to encourage him to talk, keep quiet, give him space, give him more hugs etc, or what. Or just stay flexible and go with whatever comes along.

If any of you guys have been through this, I’d appreciate any insights into how you’d have liked your nearest to help you. Or what NOT to do’s as well.

If nothing else I suspect this process will show him who his friends are.

Thanks. Rapunzel

Give him room. He needs to grieve over this. My hubby lost his job in the first year of our marriage (he was drummed out of the Military). He not only lost his job, he lost his identity. He had always defined himself by his job classification. It was very hard for a while.

We had some savings, thank God, so I did not nag or pester. He started looking for a new job gradually, finding small jobs here and there as he figured out what he needed to do. He now works for a bank, makes MUCH less money, but he’s happy. But it took a long time for it to happen.

He’ll talk when he’s ready. And your job will be to listen. Taking a break is probably the best thing he can do right now. Give him time, but if it seems he’s going into a depression, do not be afraid to suggest counseling.

Good Luck!

Maybe reassure him that you are there for him no matter what he decides to do, let him know he is important to you and that his job was not. He’s lucky to have someone so considerate.

Since you’re looking for advice, I’ll move this thread to IMHO.

moderator GQ

There’s no “one size fits all” advice in this situation. You know him and his usual reactions to stress better than anyone and have some idea of how he’ll react to this. One of the worst changes can be the loss of daily structure. Another, as you’ve identified, is the loss of identity.

But I really want to urge you to take care of yourself. Make sure your support systems are there for you. This is a terribly stressful time for him and but also for you.

OK - one piece of “one size fits all” advice. If he is someone who regularly exercises, he should continue; if he hasn’t been, he should start. Even if all he can manage is down the block and back, exercise can help relieve stress and reduce depression. (You’ll probably need him out from underfoot, too.)

This is very true. I am used to working alone at home all day and it’s going to take some adjusting to.

Many thanks to all of you for your insights. You’ve been a great help :slight_smile: