Counselling your man through redundancy

Counselling advice for redundancy

It’s a brutal fact in the UK, the economic downturn has created an upturn in unemployment. Predictions for the number of people out of work by 2010 are close to three million.

The recession is hitting all industries from traditional “blue-collar” work in construction and manufacturing to “white-collar” jobs in IT, banking and property. Many jobs are going in roles that are seen as male-dominated and as such, relationships and families are feeling the pinch – financially and emotionally.

While redundancy is by no means exclusive to men, the husband or male partner in a relationship can struggle to cope with the feelings of emasculation that redundancy causes. Meanwhile, women are left to cope with their partner’s emotional turmoil, the shift in the relationship dynamic and also the pressure of possibly being the only bread-winner in the family.

Counsellors are seeing the emotional effects of the credit crunch

Counsellors and psychotherapists are seeing the effect male redundancy is having on today’s modern woman. Despite living in a world where women have equal status to men, female partners are finding it difficult to know how to deal with an out-of-work male partner. Evolution has dictated the different roles each gender has and in difficult times such as this, humans tend to revert to type.

Many women who see themselves as strong, independent and beyond outdated gender constraints but are alarmed by their reactions to their partner being made redundant. This is particularly prevalent in women who have careers and then fall pregnant as they naturally begin to see their partner as the provider.

Because men generally bottle up emotions and refuse to talk through their worries, they have more difficulty dealing with redundancy than women. Men can quickly lose their drive and confidence and it’s not just because of the financial problems. The feeling of a loss of status, particularly if they are the main income earner, can be devastating to their mental well being.

Standing by your man

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  • Dealing with unemployment has always been difficult, but there has been a recent increase in the numbers of couples seeking legal advice as their relationship begins to break down. Men are struggling to deal with loss of their role within the relationship and family while women become frustrated and angry if they become the only income earner as well as having to cope with their partner’s emotional turmoil.

    Communicating your feelings with your husband or partner can prevent a breakdown in the relationship. If redundancy happens, choose a moment when you can sit down quietly and talk through it. Avoid moments when he’s tired, hungry or had too much alcohol. Make the problem one that you both have to work through and express your concerns. Staying united through this difficult period, appreciating each other and avoiding petty arguments will keep the relationship strong.

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