Ideas to overcome an unemployment situation

Families are dynamic systems. Its operation does not always stay the same. So a healthy family is one that has enough flexibility and adaptability to adapt to the new situations that life brings, even if they are hard and difficult overcome an unemployment situation.

How does the loss of employment of one of the spouses affect?

Is unemployment or unemployment situation it can be experienced as a real crisis, but as Alejandro Navas, professor of sociology at the University of Navarra, says, "every crisis is an opportunity for change that forces us to rebuild lives, to recompose scenarios, to rectify".


1. A first and immediate effect is the income reduction with the consequent economic difficulty after losing the job. This fact has a direct impact on the family lifestyle. From now on, it will be necessary to renounce a series of expenses that they could previously afford and this includes their leisure time, how day-to-day activities are posed, the things they can and can not do will vary ... Here A first problem may appear and it is if both members of the couple agree on what expenses are superfluous and on what other things can be cut. It will be necessary to sit down to dialogue and agree on where to reduce expenses.

2. A second point to agree is how are we going to get the necessary income to face the necessary and fixed expenses (mortgage, food, children ...). It is necessary that the couple talk about topics such as finding and accepting jobs that require less training than they have or continue betting on their profession; if they are going to find employment for both members of the couple or prefer one of them to take care of the children; If you ask for a loan from the bank or from relatives or friends ...


The impact on the person who has lost the job

In addition to the economic level, the fact that a member does not have to go to work disrupts family life in terms of schedules and lifestyle of its members. This affects the family organization. It is necessary for the mental health of the unemployed person to establish a structured schedule with obligations that make him feel useful and that see his time as something productive and enriching. Further, This greater availability of time can be an advantage for the family, for example it can be an opportunity to spend more time with the children or the spouse.

The first impact on the person who has lost the job can be quite painful and generate quite uncertainty. It takes time to vent unpleasant feelings and then resume the flight, trying to build a positive and reconciling thought with what has happened.


The impotence, frustration, insecurity and tension of the situation can generate in the spouses behaviors that deteriorate their relationship. The member of the couple who has been unemployed may see their worth and self-esteem resented. To understand why this happens, we need to know that employment brings an identity to the person, allows it to develop a useful role within society, involves contact with people outside the family nucleus, links the individual with goals and purposes and provides personal development.

And all that he loses at first when he loses his job. In addition, they may arise feelings of shame, failure, guilt ... All these feelings, if not handled properly, can lead the person to apathy, depression and even express all this discomfort with aggressiveness in their relationships, as an expression of suffering and internal frustration. These attitudes have consequences in the family environment, affect the communication with the couple and with the children and can lead to an emotional distancing. Therefore, it is important to express the feelings, but not to bury yourself in them. You have to be realistic and see things as they are, but do not exaggerate or dramatize.

The attitude of the member of the couple who has work is also important on how this crisis is resolved. Some attitudes that do not help would be, for example, reproaches and blame for dismissal or for not finding a job; or look for economic resources on their own, for example asking for money from their family of origin without consulting the other member of the couple, because they may feel hurt if we act behind their backs.

Child poverty data

A recent study by Unicef ​​breaks down the data on child poverty in Spain:

- 13.7% of those under 18 live in Spain at a high poverty level.
- Spanish families reduced energy consumption at home by 70% and changed their eating habits by 40%.
- 37% of families with minors do not have the capacity to face unforeseen expenses.
- 41.2% of families with children can not afford a week's holiday a year outside of their usual home.
- 22.6% of Spanish children live in homes with leaks, damp walls or rot on floors, window frames or doors.

Esther Arnáiz Beltrán. Psychologist
Advice:Alejandro Navas, professor of sociology at the University of Navarra

Video: Unemployment, a stage in life that I recommend: Juan Jiménez Rocabert at TEDxCibeles


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