Make us your home page
Instagram
Jobs

Layoffs put relationships to the test

Ben Tischler did not see it coming. He was shocked to learn he was being laid off from a Miami advertising agency. As he cleared out his desk, he worried about how his girlfriend would react.

One of the biggest challenges a relationship can face is one of the pair losing his or her job. The situation can bring intense emotions such as humiliation, despair, fear and frustration.

Across industries, downsizing has become the de facto quick fix to address business woes. As of November, more than a million people nationwide had lost their jobs this year due to layoffs. To make matters worse, employers don't seem to be hiring, making it difficult to predict how long a job search will last and how well a relationship can weather the storm.

Tischler found a new job after three months and said his girlfriend was very supportive. "It was a huge boost for me."

Support struggles

Keeping upbeat can be tough when your loved one is sinking deep into despair.

For Jamie Rodriguez, her husband's layoff from his job as operations manager at a Florida financial company put her marriage under tremendous strain. A former workaholic, she said her spouse's immediate response when his position was eliminated was anger. The months following brought even more tension as job leads turned into dead ends. Money concerns began to dominate all household conversations as her husband insisted he was letting the family down.

"I tried to be open-minded but it became all he could talk about," she said.

While a partner's support is helpful, talking to an outsider can provide levity.

Susan Leventhal, a career counselor with WorkForce One, encourages laid-off workers to get together to exchange job leads or find a support system outside of their marriage or relationship, like the groups at her center. "When a spouse is impatient, it can be very painful," she says.

Marriage counselors recommend ratcheting up communication during the job search. Miami psychologist Wendy Joffe suggests couples discuss how much and what type of participation is helpful in a job search to avoid a suggestion coming across as a demand.

Joffe says the conversation also should include finances and lifestyle changes, two other heated sources of tension.

Layoffs put relationships to the test 12/26/08 [Last modified: Sunday, December 28, 2008 8:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. With successful jewelry line, Durant High alum Carley Ochs enjoys 'incredible ride'

    Business

    BRANDON

    As a child Carley Ochs played dress up, draped in her grandmother's furs.

    Founder Carley Ochs poses for a portrait in her Ford Bronco at the Bourbon & Boweties warehouse in Brandon, Fla. on September 19, 2017. Ochs is a Durant High and Florida State University graduate.
  2. At Menorah Manor, planning paid off during Irma

    Nursing Homes

    ST. PETERSBURG — Doris Rosenblatt and her husband, Frank, have lived in Florida all of their lives, so they know about hurricanes.

    Raisa Collins, 9, far left, works on a craft project as Certified Nursing Assistant Shuntal Anthony holds Cassidy Merrill, 1, while pouring glue for Quanniyah Brownlee, 9, right, at Menorah Manor in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15. To help keep its patients safe during Hurricane Irma, Menorah Manor allowed employees to shelter their families and pets at the nursing home and also offered daycare through the week. The facility was able to accommodate and feed everyone who weathered the storm there. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. After Irma, nursing homes scramble to meet a hard deadline

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's nursing homes and assisted-living facilities find themselves in an unfamiliar place this week — pushing back against Gov. Rick Scott's administration over new rules that require them to purchase generator capacity by Nov. 15 to keep their residents safe and comfortable in a power …

    In this Sept. 13 photo, a woman is transported from The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as patients are evacuated after a loss of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma in Hollywood. Nine have died and patients had to be moved out of the facility, many of them on stretchers or in wheelchairs. Authorities have launched a criminal investigation to figure out what went wrong and who, if anyone, was to blame. [Amy Beth Bennett | South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP]
  4. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst

    Business

    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  5. Three-hour police standoff ends, thanks to a cigarette

    News

    TAMPA — A man threatening to harm himself was arrested by Tampa police on Tuesday after a three-hour standoff.