- With the pandemic putting everything on hold, many people are left unemployed and wondering where to turn for their next move.
- It is in such situations that relationships are tested.
- What happens when your significant other loses his job, becomes demotivated and depressed?
- An expert shares how to navigate this new normal.
A Quora user shared concerns about her boyfriend, who has been unemployed for months and the situation is taking a toll on their relationships.
“My boyfriend has been unemployed for months now. He tried doing a couple of jobs, but he quit after a few weeks, saying it just doesn't suit him and when I asked him to find another one, he said that he doesn't want to work and that he wants to start his own business," the user says.
"He is also quite depressed most of the time about his situation, but I feel like he's not doing anything to improve it either. Most of the time, I'm also stressed out and depressed because he vents it out on me.”
“He got together with his brother in law to sell gems (basically worked as a broker as he didn't have the capital to buy the gems) which also didn't go well. So I asked him to find a job again, but he says that he can't apply for jobs because his phone gets stuck so every morning I apply for jobs that I think are good for him and he doesn't even bother to check them out,” the frustrated user shares.
The unemployment rates are rising, and so are retrenchments; when it comes to finding employment again, it could take weeks, months even years. Being a school dropout without any academic qualifications makes the odds of finding a job twice as hard.
Registered Counsellor, Catherine Malahlela-Mathebula, comments on putting a time limit on your partner to find a new job. “Putting a time limit for a third-party dependent process is somewhat inconsiderate, especially looking at the state of the country," Catherine says.
"Yes, it can be tiring to have to cater to a person financially, however, leaving someone you love for his lack of a job can be judgemental, especially when you are well aware that they are constantly looking for a job."
A relationship has many dynamics that are necessary for consideration before dissolving the relationship. Such time limits that are due to circumstantial concerns need to be carefully examined with the three realities of breaking up:
• Is his unemployment weighing down on your emotional wellbeing and how?
• Is this job situation the only reason you are considering leaving him?
• What happens if he gets a job after you leave him – have you made peace with the hypothetical prospect of dealing with seeing him with someone else?
When in a relationship, it is easy for your partner’s emotions to rub off on you. To combat this, Catherine suggests being as encouraging as possible and reminding him of what is possible.
“Nothing gives us as human beings a spark of joy as being helpful to someone else. Try to get help if you are feeling down and dysfunctional for long periods as this may start to affect different parts of your life outside of the relationship. Get him help as well. You cannot fix half of a leaking roof and expect the whole house to be protected.”
Catherine suggests that you consider dealing with five key points to keep in mind when dealing with this situation with your partner:
• Authentic conversation regarding how both parties have been affected by this matter.
• Expectations for each other as role players in the relationship.
• Getting a stable job that will aid financially while he looks for a more interest-based career that is long-term. He does not have to be without a job while he looks for better opportunities.
• A timeline for reconvening with building one’s own money-making venture/ investments.
• Creating time intervals in which you focus on your romance and love.
Have you gone through a similar situation? Tell us about it here.
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