How Do I Tell My Spouse That I Lost My Job?

Losing your job, whether you got fired or laid off, is already a traumatizing experience. But having to relive the experience and tell your spouse that it happened can be just as bad, especially if you're the main breadwinner of the home. It's not an easy thing to go through, but hopefully your spouse can be there to support you during this time as you hunt for a new position. 

Still, having to go home and deliver the news to your partner is a daunting task, and let's be real — there's no how-to guide for something like this. So, we've assembled some tips to help prepare you to tell your spouse that you lost your job.

Take a minute to compose yourself

This conversation with your partner is likely going to be filled with a lot of emotions, and your partner might not be ready to process everything if you're yelling and screaming right off the bat (although yelling and crying are completely valid reactions to losing your job). Taking a minute before you call your spouse or while you're in the car to compose yourself for long enough to relay what happened can do wonders for the next steps in the conversation. 

Now, if you're the partner who's being told your spouse lost their job, then you need to make sure you also take a second to compose yourself so you can really listen to what they have to say. "Take a deep breath and say, 'I'm really sorry that this has gone down, you must be very upset about this,'" New York City therapist and relationship expert Rachel Sussman told Redbook. "The most important thing you can do in the first moments is be supportive. Validate their experience."

Be honest and open about what happened

Being honest with your partner in any situation is super important, but in a moment like this, it's even more so. It's okay to let your partner know what happened, whether you being let go was your fault or not. This is a difficult time for you, and if your partner truly cares about you, they'll be there for you. 

Heidi McBain, a marriage and family therapist, told Bustle that a partner who listens to you is one of the most crucial things you can have at this time. Having someone who doesn't try to offer solutions or fix the problem immediately can actually be incredibly comforting. She notes that it's important for you to not shy away from what you're feeling. "All of those emotions are [yours] to feel," she said.

Know this isn't the end of line for you

Like any kind of grief, the healing process from losing your job will take time. You might need space from your spouse or everyday life for a little while — and you're entitled to that. Now might be the perfect time for you to explore a new career option, go back to school, or temp at an agency for a little while. Whatever you feel is right is what you should do, even if that means having to work a side hustle for a while, like driving Lyft or delivering for Postmates

Remember that you are still a valuable person. "Getting fired is painful, and it's easy to become depressed," wrote entrepreneur John White, who's been fired from jobs twice, for Inc. "However, the pain and depression you feel after getting fired are only temporary. They only become permanent if you accept failure as your fate."