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Support Your Unemployed Husband or Wife
What happens if you get married and your spouse loses his or her job shortly afterward? Unemployment can happen to anyone at any time. If it happens to your spouse, especially early in the marriage, it can be devastating.
Getting laid off or fired, besides being a downer, can lower one’s self-esteem. The now unemployed person feels as though he let down is employer, family, and most of all him or herself. Often, he or she feels like a failure and worries about the future. But you can help your unemployed husband or wife. Here’s how to support your unemployed husband or wife:
Lift his or her spirits.
When your spouse first loses his or her job, do something special. Make his or her favorite meal, go to a ball game, or just spend extra time together. Besides providing a distraction, these kinds of gestures will show your spouse that he or she is more than a job and that you love him or her no matter what.
While it’s all right to send prospective jobs your spouse’s way after you’ve given him or her a few days to throw a pity party and get over the initial blow of losing the job, you should never put pressure on him or her to find a job. Even subtle pressure, such as often asking about what’s happening with the job search, is a no no, too. Your spouse is probably putting enough pressure on him or herself and will only resent you for making matters worse. The feeling that he or she is disappointing you will cut down on confidence and make getting a job that much harder.
Encourage your husband or wife.
There’s a fine line between encouraging your spouse and being annoying. Don’t cross it. Tell your spouse what he or she offers to an employer – good presentation skills, efficiency, a fantastic network, etc. Don’t dwell on his or her weaknesses. Let he or she discover those for him or herself. Consider yourself your spouse’s own personal cheerleader. But be careful not to overdo it or he or she won’t believe your compliments. If your praise is too saccharine, you risk seeming phony. Speak the truth instead. If your husband is good at helping his boss save money, then tell him so because that’s his true strength. It gives him a starting point for marketing himself to potential employers know if offering would be appropriate.
Don’t expect your spouse to become a domestic god or goddess
Some people think that the unemployed spouse should spend his or her day cleaning house and cooking elaborate meals. If it didn’t happen before, it probably won’t happen now. In addition, your spouse ideally should spend his or her day working on getting a job. Therefore, you’ll still have to share the household chores.
Be realistic about finances.
Throwing it in your spouse’s face that you can’t afford that vacation you were planning is a big mistake. Instead, try to cut back on spending, sock away some extra money in case your spouse stays unemployed for a while, and try to put off luxuries such as a vacation until you can truly afford it. Going into debt will only add to the pressure for your spouse to get a job quickly and put stress on your relationship. Remember that most marriages face lean times, and if you’re smart about saving some money for a rainy day, you will survive.
Give advice only when asked for it.
Do not offer constructive criticism to your husband or wife. It rarely goes over well when it’s unsolicited. Criticizing your spouse will only cause tension, which will cause a rift at a time your spouse needs you the most. Your best bet is to offer advice and tips in the most sensitive way possible only if your spouse asks for your help. If your husband says, “Honey, I could use some help writing my resume,” then you can jump in. You may be able to offer to help, depending on the type of relationship you and your spouse have and his or her personality. Only you can know if offering would be appropriate.
How to Deal With a Talkative Wife
Sometimes it's impossible to deal with a talkative Wife. The trick (like any relationship) is communication. But how do you communicate with a person who barely takes a breath between words?
Learn to notice your talkative Wife's mood through their inflection. For example, when you hear an excited emotion, mirror it with a similar tone. Likewise, with angry or disappointed inflections. Such tactics will allow you to fake interest without having to follow the conversation.
Go to places where your Wife's chattiness is incompatible with the surroundings. Concerts, loud parties, libraries, monasteries or any other place where talking is difficult, may save you the trouble of listening to your gabby Wife.
Excuse yourself tactfully from the conversation. Usually a conversation will cover more than one subject with each topic having a beginning and an end. Try waiting for the middle-to-end of your Wife's topic and excuse yourself graciously. If your patience is at an end, simply wait for a pause (they have to breathe sometime) then involve her in household chores.
Divert your Wife's attention. Simple ways include help from others (My freind is calling me), breaks (Hold that thought, I have to use the restroom) and/or excuses (I'm feeling a bit tired at the moment, can we continue this conversation later?).
Be honest with your talkative Wife. Sometimes the best way to deal with a talker is to confront her gently about the problem. Let her know that you value the relationship and would like them to listen to you more.
My Wife is Cold in Bed!
My father used to say something that was so profound and so true. "There is no such thing as a cold woman, only clumsy men." That, of course, was a man's way of saying it. Now I'll try to explain it.
On more than one occasion, I heard other men call my dad 'pussy whipped'. Want to know what his reaction was? "You betcha" with a huge grin and a twinkle in his eye. Boy could he make those eyes twinkle. He was one happy guy.
So where did this attitude come from that a man who appeared to be letting his wife have her way, with just about anything, was a bad thing? My dad, was one smart guy. He let his wife think she was the boss of the house and that was his ticket to have her, any time, any day and as often as he wanted and she loved it.
So which of you wins all the arguments? Poor guy. Which of you puts your wife down, in public as well as at home? You poor love starved soul. Which of you see yourself as 'the MAN'. How lonely is that?
Now I'll ask it from the other point of view. Which of you lets the whole world think your wife walks all over you? Not a bad ticket. Is it?
Who cares what the world thinks, if you're getting yours at home? Which makes you happy? The opinions of strangers or your wife's attitude toward you. Those strangers are never going to give you what you need, in life. Where will they be, when you're old and sick? Where were they, when you couldn't even get a peck on the cheek from your own wife?
OK, so here's the lowdown. What you said last month, dictates your wife's mood tonight. Apologies just remind her of what you said. It doesn't fix things. What's worse, you don't even remember!
So, isn't that a huge reason for being careful what you say to and about your wife? You're way ahead, if you learn early, that it doesn't take away from your esteem, to hold your wife up on a pedestal. That, of course, is regardless of what others may think about her.
Hold your wife in high esteem and you get several reactions. One is jealousy from other women, another is scoff from your male friends and the last is a wife who's always ready. Oh, and by the way, those male scoffing friends? They should wish they could have their wive's attention, the way you do. Let 'em scoff. No skin off your nose. What feeds your soul and sooths the day, happens at home in privacy. Not at the bar. Not with your buddies.
Sympathize when your wife has had her feelings hurt. Give an understanding ear to her problems, even if you don't agree. Always, act like you couldn't walk without her by your side. Hold her hand. Put an arm around her waist in public, so she knows you're proud of her. Never push yourself on her so that she feels like it's always her decision.
Being this way with your woman, keeps her in the 'mood' a whole lot more than if you make demands on her or worse, insult her. I can't talk for men, but I sure know what women are like and if a woman ever catches you in a lie, you've lost her. One lie, tells her you're capable of lying, and the trust and honor goes right out the window. If your wife can't trust you, she can't warm up for you. Don't ever lie to your wife.
How to Convince a Spouse to be More Frugal
If you have a spendthrift spouse, you can easily see why so many arguments between husband and wife are because of money. It's frustrating to see your partner throw that hard-earned cash down the drain. While you can't actually change someone else, you can make efforts, without it being a constant struggle and cause of tension, to convince your spouse to choose a more frugal lifestyle.
Discuss long-term financial goals. Buying a home, saving for college and retirement dreams should all be part of the discussion. Both you and your spouse should openly say what you expect from your money and where you want to be years down the road. Have this talk when you are both relaxed, not in the middle of an argument.
Compromise with your less-than-frugal spouse. Establish specific short-term goals you can both agree on, and put a time period on each goal. Put your goals in writing. But don't make unrealistic goals. You'll just be setting yourselves up for failure, and you'll never convince your spouse to make changes.
Stick to the facts. You won't convince your spouse to change if you accuse and blame him. Say "We are spending more than $100 a week eating fast food," rather than "You spend a ridiculous amount of money on fast food, and now we're going to lose the house."
Request small changes. No one can change overnight. Your spouse may have some deeply rooted spendthrift habits, and we do live in a consumer-oriented society. Suggest a less extravagant new dress for her rather than not buying one at all. Have patience with your spouse.
Make saving automatic, by setting up an automatic withdrawal from your pay check. Leftover cash is not extra money to be spent. Think of saving as a bill to pay each month. If your spouse never sees that money, he won't feel deprived.
Be a good example. By watching your frugal habits, your spouse will see the benefits of frugal living. Never preach; practice good spending habits instead.
Show appreciation of your spouse when she takes positive steps toward a more frugal lifestyle. And don't lose your cool when she backslides. Gentle encouragement usually works better than yelling.
How to Monitor Your Wife's Spending Habits
Different opinions on how money is spent and saved is a leading cause of divorce. But many men also want to keep tabs on their wives' spending habits to prevent financial disasters or accumulation of more debt. If your wife is prone to reckless spending and you want to monitor her expenses, here's how you can take control of the family finances.
If your wife doesn't work and she is a spendthrift, keep the bulk of your income and money in separate accounts that are in your name only. You can more easily monitor and cap your wife's spending if she only has access to a shared checking account that you deposit the money into. Don't link the checking account to the savings with overdraft protection.
Many women try to hide what they spend by opening secret credit card accounts. Obtain a credit report on your wife to see when she gets new credit cards. You should also get a credit report for yourself to make sure she doesn't open any cards in your name.
Talk to a divorce lawyer about how to protect and hide your assets. Even if you are not planning a divorce, your lawyer can give you valuable advice about protecting your self from creditors and debt collectors that may be after you wife.
In addition to monitoring your wife's spending habits, you can also limit her frivolous spending by letting her know the debt is solely her responsibility. Let her know that you have taken measures to protect your assets from her debts. If your money is no longer her safety net, she will spend more carefully.
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA