I saw a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating there are still more than 19 million Americans either unemployed or underemployed. That's a whole lot of financial hardship happening out there.
From a family perspective, when hubby or dad is out of work it can cause him to struggle through so many feelings and negative self-thoughts. Sometimes the best way to be supportive is to first think about and try to understand his point of view.
Unemployment: His Point of View
- He feels like a he's let down his wife and kids.
- He feels like he somehow failed to remain valuable enough at work to prevent his job loss.
- He feels like he's not being a good provider.
- He feels like he's no longer deserving of respect, and when his wife confirms those feelings through her words and actions, he feels completely unloved.
- He feels the weight of the world on his shoulders.
- He feels helpless.
- He feels alone and desperate.
- He feels a cycle of anger and depression starting to consume him, especially when prospective employers are showing zero interest in even interviewing him.
- He feels like his family and friends are judging him, thinking he's lazy and not trying hard enough to find employment.
- He feels like the only way to cope with all of these overwhelming feelings is to find an escape and do something to take his mind off how he's feeling.
- He feels like crying.
- He feels like God has completely abandoned him.
- There is a big part of him that wants to just forget his life and run off with Asian floozies or latin mail order wives or whatever men fantasize about when they can't face reality.
- He feels like staying home instead of going to social gatherings where people who don't know him will ask "where are you working?"
- He feels like a loser for having to put his kids on free state health care and send his wife to the grocery store with an EBT card.
- He feels sick and tired of being out of work. Even if it's only the first week. Even if it's only been a month.
Men aren't wired to live in these circumstances. They're entire identity is wrapped up in how well they support their family, how much money they earn, and what they do for a living.
Before you attack him for reading a book, watching TV, or playing a video game, stop and think about how he's feeling right now, and offer some loving grace.
Instead of yelling at him or making him feel worse, give the words on your heart to God in prayer. After all, He's the One who can bring peace to your heart, change to your life, and joy in your trial.