What to Do When Your Husband Gets Fired
What Should You Do if Your Husband Gets Fired?
- Don't blame him. Give him time to process and tell you what happened.
- Show your husband love and support, even if you're feeling anxious.
- Spend money only on things you have to spend money on and put off large purchases/expenses if you can.
- Find out if you temporarily qualify for health care and food and utility assistance.
- Find your own support. Reach out to close family and friends who can help you stay positive.
- Stick to a routine. Make sure you and your husband get up each morning and begin your day productively. It'll help you both from falling into a slump.
- Help him find a new job, look out for good leads and interesting job postings.
- Be open to a life change. Maybe it's time to pursue that tiny house lifestyle you both daydreamed about.
Last fall, my husband was “let go” (read: fired with a capital F) from the company he’d been working at for over four years. In the time he’d been there he’d had consistently stellar annual reviews and seemed to be in good standing. That was, until there was a huge change in management. It didn’t take long to see that the new management wasn’t as easy to please as old management had been and, without getting into the finer details of what went wrong, my husband was terminated for “personality differences.”
The timing wasn’t fantastic. I’d recently gone down to part-time work, we’d bought our first home a year earlier and were in the middle of exploring fertility options with our doctor which was being covered by my husband’s health insurance.
It felt like the world was falling apart from the inside out.
My husband getting fired wasn’t fun, we didn’t always handle it well and it took some time to bounce back. But, half a year later, I can say that it almost feels like it never happened.
Here’s how we recovered and the lessons I learned (sometimes the hard way).
Don't Blame Him
The first thing you need to do when your husband lets you know he’s been fired is to bite your tongue and make sure that every word that comes out is reasonable and fair.
Remember, he’s vulnerable right now, and so are you, which makes you both prone to saying things you don’t mean or letting resentments make their way to the surface at the wrong time.
No matter what the story is behind his firing, give him a chance to tell his side of the story while you nod and listen. This isn’t the time to remind him that he needs to have a better attitude at work or that he should have gone to HR to report his personal-politics-spewing supervisor earlier. This is the time to show him in no uncertain terms that he may feel like the world just turned against him but you’re still by his side.
Show Love and Support
On that note, you may be feeling lost and scared yourself but for the sake of the unit, you’ll need to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and show your husband love and support while he processes what just happened. The night my husband got fired I didn’t sleep a wink. I laid in bed with a pounding heart and racing thoughts as I traced through each dollar we wouldn’t have in the coming weeks and each bill that was waiting on our kitchen counter. Like most Americans, we have very little in the way of savings.
When I asked my husband what I could do for him while he grieved his job loss, his list surprised me:
Have coffee with him in the morning before I left for work so he wouldn’t be up with his own thoughts
Let him tell his friends and family about being fired himself
Help him shop for a new outfit to wear on interviews
When I wasn’t at my own job we spent more time cooking together, taking walks and talking about the future than we had since we’d first started dating almost ten years ago.
It was scary and I had a lot of catastrophic thoughts, but we got through it.
Spend Less Money
In the interim, while you figure out what's next, cease all unnecessary spending.
This was tricky for me. My husband’s period of unemployment lasted longer than I’d expected. It ended up being over eight before he even had a job offer. In that time we had to prioritize our spending and cut back expenses that weren’t necessary like:
- Remodeling our bathroom. We halted the project until we knew what would fit into our new budget when he landed a new job.
- Eating out, which we did often. Instead, we cooked at home so we could make what little savings we had stretch.
- Letting our utilities crank without a second thought. We turned down our water heater, turned the A/C up to 75 and utilized a fan at night instead of pumping up the cold air.
- Getting my hair done. I bought box color twice in that time to save on paying for and tipping a stylist.
- Paying for entertainment. While we loved to visit the zoo or the theater on weekends we utilized our $8 Netflix subscription and walked the beach at sunset - for free.
Find Out What Resources You’re Eligible For
If your husband has been fired he's probably eligible for unemployment. He may also qualify for:
- Food assistance
- Health insurance
- Utility assistance (specifically heating)
To find out what benefits he's eligible to receive and where to find them just Google the state you live in followed by the resource you're interested in. For instance to find unemployment we searched "Unemployment in Florida."
Find Support For Yourself
After my husband broke the news to his own family, I reached out to my mom and sister and let them know about him being fired. While I’d tried to be strong for him, it was comforting to have someone else to cry to.
When your husband has been fired, you need a neutral party in your court to listen to your fears, offer advice and to just say, “It’s going to get better, keep going.”
When your husband has been fired, you need a neutral party in your court to listen to your fears...
Stick to a Routine
Stay busy! Make a plan to maintain a sense of normalcy so that the time he's out of work doesn't become a free-for-all. Here's some stuff that helped us stick to a routine:
- Getting up at the same time every morning
- Having coffee together before I headed to work to plot out what he was going to do that day
- Checking job postings every other morning - and not more. Checking too much became anxiety-inducing.
- Visiting with family and friends once a week so we didn't feel isolated or alone in our problems.
- Making dinner at the same time every evening. This helped us wind-down and refocus on what's really important to us.
Help Him With His Job Hunt
I’m not super experienced with job hunting but it turns out that job hunting sites are a mess.
When you’re already depressed from being fired, it can be overwhelming to navigate all of the filters. When I could see that he was losing steam I’d hop on my laptop and shoot off an email with four or five interesting leads.
Here's some places to help you start your search:
- FlexJobs.com (I really liked this one, it does carry a monthly cost but they curate work-from-home and telecommute jobs here)
- Facebook (More and more job recruiters are turning to social media to reach candidates)
Be Open to Alternatives and New Adventures
The job my husband ended up taking wasn’t at all related to his career field. Not only that but it’s one we’d laughed about at the beginning of his new job search, chuckling how funny it’d be if he went into such an opposite career from the stuffy office setting he’d worked so hard to settle into.
Now, he gets to spend more time travelling and networking outside of the office, something he always secretly wanted to do but not at the risk of throwing away a solid job.
It turns out that sometimes, it takes a bad situation like getting fired to force you to open up to new adventures.
If Your Husband Just Got Fired...
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© 2019 Holly Howard