Job loss could crumble our dollyhouse

All Woman

Dear Counsellor,

I really need some assistance with my relationship. My partner and I have been living together for 12 months, with one child each from previous relationships. For the most part we are quite happy, comfortable, and on our way to living the dream life of the ideal family. However, I am about to lose my job and it scares me. We have had discussions relating to same and he is quite comfortable with the idea of me being home more and engaging in more homely duties. Whilst there are some positives to this, I do not foresee this being a permanent choice of mine. I am also scared that in the absence of security, both financial and otherwise, I would have failed in my contribution to our family. I am very scared; I am not married and though he has expressed his support verbally, I am afraid it just isn't enough. I love him, I love our family, but I do not want my failure to burden him and eventually lead to the demise of our relationship.

Anticipating job separation brings an anxious feeling that some people don't handle very well. The thought that you will not be able to make a financial contribution to the household expenses and must be dependent on someone else is also very worrying.

You are obviously uncomfortable with the proposal of being a homemaker while your partner would be the sole provider. He has, however, assured you that he will take care of the financial needs of the family and for some families that model works well. For others, though, income from both partners would not put the financial burden on one partner and there would be a cushion if the sole breadwinner lost his/her job.

Your feelings of anxiety are not farfetched especially for someone who is accustomed to holding down a job. No doubt you will be a little apprehensive about the idea of staying home and will take a while to adjust to this lifestyle. Chances are you may even feel the urge to go back to work as it gives you a sense of accomplishment and independence.

To avoid any resentment on your part that could develop if you become overwhelmed with the housekeeping activities, it would make sense that you have a talk with your partner about you seeking a part-time job so you fulfil that yearning you may have to be gainfully employed and make a small contribution to the income stream of the family. It could be that your income could replace the allowance he would give you to take care of personal expenses like your visits to the beauty salon.

The relationship is relatively young with two children and so if both partners can combine their financial resources that would be most ideal in the event of a calamity.

What you shouldn't do is get overly anxious about the job loss to the extent that you become unnecessarily miserable while you are at home. Enjoy the moment and if you find yourself getting uncomfortable being a stay-at-home mom, then have a conversation with your partner and begin the job search. You may even want to use the opportunity to further your studies if the finances allow.

Whatever the decision is, use the time productively and try your best to fulfill your desire of living the dream life of the ideal family as you stated.

All the best.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail.com. Check his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/.

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