The Effects of Redundancy on Your Marriage
If you’re about to be made redundant, your finances are probably your chief concern. But redundancy can bring other problems in its wake, too. Both anecdotal evidence and serious statistical studies show that redundancy can put your marriage under great strain. It may be that the marriage has been fraying for some time, and all redundancy does is speed up the unravelling. But redundancy can even create problems in marriages which seemed happy and stable before.
How Redundancy Threatens Your MarriageFinancial problems are one of the key drivers of marriage breakdown after a redundancy. Loss of income may put the family home in jeopardy if you can’t keep up with the mortgage payments. To many couples, the home they purchased together can seem like a tangible embodiment of the marriage. If it goes, and they are forced to make new living arrangements, the marriage itself often disintegrates, too.
If one partner is made redundant while the other is still employed, it creates an unhealthy financial dependency, an imbalance of power in the relationship which can soon make itself felt in other ways as one partner tries to impose his or her will on the other with the feeling of entitlement that comes from being the household’s sole breadwinner.
Paradoxically, although excessive hours worked by one partner are one of the principal causes of divorce in Britain today, the opposite, the enforced idleness that might follow redundancy, can also be extremely destructive to a marriage. The sheer physical factor of being in the home more often, and spending more time together, means that there are more opportunities for you both to get in one another’s hair. Tensions develop. One or more of you can become irritable, and the relationship can begin to break down.
How to Cope With The Challenge Redundancy Poses to Your MarriageApart from finding a new job, and thus solving the problem, the best way to cope with the pressure that redundancy exerts on your relationship with your partner is simply to be aware of it. If you are conscious of the scenarios outlined above, and feel yourself slipping in to one of them, you can restrain yourself and refrain from doing or saying something insensitive which you might later regret. You can also talk about the problem openly with your partner and acknowledge that redundancy presents a challenge to your marriage.
Just remember that a marriage is “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer.” Ultimately, if you surmount this difficult period, your marriage may emerge strengthened for having been tested in adversity.