Is Bringing Home the Bacon Too Much in Your Relationship?

on the fence

How to make it in a single income family

You may know the feeling of hitting the snooze button just a few more times before you have to face your work day.  You look at your partner lying comfortably in the bed as you crawl out of bed.  The day races and you face the ups-and-downs of your job. At the end of the day, you arrive home to your partner who spent a few hours searching for a job and the rest enjoying the day, and you notice frustration increases inside. Your eyes scan the house and notice the household chores that haven’t been done. Does this sound familiar?

Due to the recession, many couples face the struggle to adjust to a single household income; one person working full-time and the other unemployed.  The challenges these couples face can be consuming and overwhelming.

The working partner can feel the pressure and obligations that come along with bringing home the bacon, fear the loss of their job, and can build resentment towards their partner.  Not only the emotional struggles of going to work daily a stress for the working partner, but also watching their partner go through the emotional rollercoaster of unemployment can be a strain.

Here are a few tips for the working partner to get through the tough times:

  • Express Yourself: Share with your partner your experience as the only one working.  Tell your partner of your stress, your fears, your resentments, and your desires.  Get your partner to understand and be conscious of the pressures you face.
  • bringing home the baconRelease Your Stress: Find ways to release your stress and dump it in a positive place.  Don’t bring it home and throw it on your partner.  Instead, put it onto paper and write about it, exercise, and talk about it with others.
  • Share Your Expectations: Talk with your partner about both of your expectations during this time of the unemployment.  Discuss the expectations as a team and create a game plan on how you two will be handling the issue.
  • Ask for Help: When you are feeling overwhelmed or upset, ask your partner for help.  You don’t have to carry your work responsibility AND household responsibilities on your own.  Take off some of the load.
  • Recognize Your Partner’s work: Simply because your unemployed partner isn’t working at a job, doesn’t mean that they aren’t working throughout the day.  Ask about and notice the time they spent researching for jobs, filling out applications, sending resumes, etc.  Notice the things that are done at the house, and try to avoid looking at what isn’t done.

© StickK.comReprinted by permission.

Photo by:http://www.flickr.com/photos/hillaryandanna/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

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About Jennine Estes, MFT

Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653

4 Responses to “Is Bringing Home the Bacon Too Much in Your Relationship?”

  1. Ray

    Hi Jennine,
    I can totally relate to this post. I am unemployed, and my wife goes out to work.
    I don’t think she resents me being out of work, it’s been almost a year now. I cook all the meals, weekend’s too. I also do other work around the house. Yes there is tension at times, all to do with the reduction in our living standards. but through it all, our relationship is still strong.

    Reply
  2. n/a

    Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post.

    Reply
  3. Robbie

    It’s been this way for 8 years. I’m burnt out always having to bring home “all the bacon” It’s mainly due to having kids every 3 or so years. There’s always been a need to fill and my wife’s not educated enough in the right fields to get a decent paying job. She basically has to start over at the bottom in whatever and whenever she decides to go to work. Granted I make a decent amount of income to not really give her motivation to look for work. I hate I feel this way with the thought of supporting 4 other mouths to feed to that don’t really help out but only destroy the things I work for. (drawing on the walls, painting in bed, steeling junk food when we’re asleep (yes we feed them normally)). I’m overwhelmed and tired. just plain tired. I don’t know a way out.

    Reply

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