5 Ways Couples Can Grow Closer Together and Not Apart During Unemployment

BY: - 2 Jan '17 | Marriage

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Today, I was informed that my long term substitute teacher contract was ending in a few days. I have been a sub for the past 4 years.  I worked in a new classroom or school every year for an entire school year. And, this will be the first time I will not be completing an entire year.

“When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” ~Alexander Graham Bell

I’m not saddened by this news though. For months, I felt like I was rushing through everything in the evenings and losing lots of sleep. I also had no time to work out, like I need to, in order to remain diabetes-free. I actually said a prayer this weekend and told God I needed a break so I could give my business the care and attention it needed.

Revelations 3:8 “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

Now that my prayers have been answered, I’ve got work to do. I’m going to be intentional and walk through this door that God has opened for me. I also want to make sure my husband and I remain close during my unemployment, because the stress that can arise during this time is enough to tear a couple apart.

If you  and your spouse are dealing with the same thing, here are a few things to focus on that will help you grow closer together as a couple during your time of unemployment.

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1 – Focus On Faith…Together

Get your daily devotion time back on track. If you are like me, having a relationship with God is paramount to your daily dealings. Check out First5, an app from Proverbs31 Ministries that provides daily devotions. It takes 5 minutes to get through the devotion. Pray for your husband and yourself to be on one accord in all aspects, especially financially.

2 – Focus On Intimacy…Together

Have sex and plenty of it! Honestly, this is truly the best stress reliever. Use it as a time to reconnect. Snuggle and talk afterwards. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Share your fears and concerns. Allow your spouse to do the same with no judgements.

3 – Focus On Health…Together

Hubby and I meet at the gym and flirt with each other. Get that exercise in, even in the cold months. Go for walks together.  Bundle up, put your gloves on and head outside. We have the best conversations when we go for a walk and we often put in 3 to 4 miles easily.

Read The Do’s and Don’ts When Dealing with Unemployment in a Relationship

4 – Focus On Goals…Together

Go over your money while listening to old school music. This keeps the mood light, while you are bopping your head and crunching numbers. This is the time to come clean about credit cards and mystery money that has been spent that they don’t know about. I had to do this and it made it easier to plan our next steps. We love Jodeci, so anytime we have a serious conversation, we queue up K-Ci and JoJo – oooh Yeah.

5 – Focus On Ways To Save…Together

Plan meals and grocery shop together. We decided we will prepare our lunches together, weekly. This is will help hubby save money instead of buying from the cafeteria during the work day. No longer will we run out during the week to pick up this or that for dinner. This adds up quickly.

My contract ending was the best thing that could have happened to me at this particular time in my life. I’m very excited about this lapse in employment because I know God can and will open doors for my business. 2017 is going to be a great year for my marriage.  

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ~1st Peter 5:7 

BMWK –  Unemployment can be very stressful on a marriage, how can couples support each during times of unemployment?

About the author

Tanya Barnett wrote 15 articles on this blog.

Tanya Barnett is a relationship strategist, speaker and the “Real” Wife Coach. She is the author of Being a Wife Just Got Real: Things I Wish I Knew, Before I Said, I Do”. She founded the Real Wife Movement™, where she equips single and married women with tools to create strong marriages and families. She is also the founder of Forever Free Books, a mobile literacy nonprofit, which delivers free books and story time to low income children in their neighborhoods and communities. She is a marathoner, triathlete and a serious book lover. She and her husband, Don, have 3 awesome kids.

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Step-Up Your Game: 7 Ways to be an Even Better Spouse in 2017

BY: - 2 Jan '17 | Marriage

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As we begin a new year, we are all, hopefully, looking for ways to improve our lives and ourselves in the coming year. For me, being a better spouse in the new year is a goal I would definitely like to achieve. By improving myself, I am able to improve my marriage and my overall quality of life. I am sure I am not the only one trying to be happier in the new year….right?

And listen, being a better spouse or striving for more happiness in your union does not mean your marriage is damaged. Even the best relationships could stand some improvement. None of us are perfect and we can all fall short.

If you are planning to be an even better spouse in 2017, check out these seven tips. Nothing complicated or unrealistic—just simple ways to step things up and give your spouse the best of what you can offer in the new year.

Focus on listening

One of the things most people struggle with when it comes to communication is listening. Most of us just don’t listen very well. But listening is a skill you can develop with some effort. You just have to care enough to try.

Even Better: Let your spouse finish a thought before you start thinking about what your response should be. Remove distractions that may prevent you from truly listening. And these are just two small tips to help you get started. I guarantee that the more you listen well, the more you will understand about your spouse and the better your marriage will get.

Ask for help

I often hear women complain because they don’t get enough help from their spouses. I know that complaint all too well because I have been that woman. But then, I realized I was expecting my husband to read my mind and respond to my needs. Sure, it would be nice if he could just look at how much I have going on and then offer to help, but that doesn’t always happen. In those instances, I have to just open my mouth and ask him for help. And when I ask, he typically comes through.

Even Better:  If we spend less time getting annoyed and more time just stating what we want and need, we would all be better spouses.

Don’t make assumptions

We all know that saying about assumptions, right? I.e – Making an a— out of you and me? Well that saying still holds true. Instead of making assumptions about what your spouse wants or needs or means, just ask. It’s really that simple. Your assumptions may be right sometimes, but problems often arise when your assumptions are way off.

Even Better: Why even go there? Just ask the source for the information you need to know and you well be better equipped to meet your spouse’s needs.

Make self-care a priority

You can’t neglect yourself and then get mad when your spouse doesn’t meet all of your needs. You have to make self-care a priority. From focusing on how you feel to focusing on how you look, be sure that you take care of yourself in the best possible way.

Even Better: When you feel good and look good, it changes how you interact with the people around you. If you make an effort to always be at your best, you become a better spouse in the process.

Do things you love

Your union is of the highest importance, but it should not be the only thing that matters in your life. Spend time with your friends. Try a new activity. Pursue things you are passionate about. Develop a new hobby. The point is that you need to do things that you love.

Even Better: Pursuing activities we love creates joy, and the more joyful you are as a person, the better you are as a spouse.

Focus on intimacy

If your sex life is suffering, don’t ignore it. Talk about what’s going on. Agree on things you can both do to improve the overall level of intimacy in your marriage (not just in the bedroom). And also consider if you need help from a counselor or therapist. Sometimes a decline in intimacy is rooted in deeper issues that haven’t been addressed.

Even Better: Take intentional steps to improve the intimacy in your marriage. Until you both address those issue, things will not get better.

Be more supportive

Having a supportive partner makes you feel like you can take on the world, so why not be that partner to your spouse. And supportive doesn’t mean that you agree with everything your spouse does or says. If means that you recognize they are in a place where they truly need your encouragement and support. If you can’t reply on a spouse for support, who can you really turn to?

Even Better:  Every day, look for ways to support and encourage your spouse.  It’s the little things that you do that will your marriage even better year after year.

BMWK family, what do you plan to do to be an even better spouse in 2017?

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 496 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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