What to do when…

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - Relationships -

WHEN A PART­NER IS MADE RE­DUN­DANT LIFE CAN GET TRICKY. PSY­CHOTHER­A­PIST SUSANNAH PATER­SON RE­VEALS HOW TO TACKLE SEV­ERAL COM­MON SCE­NAR­IOS.

1YOUR NEWLY RE­DUN­DANT PART­NER IS DE­PRESSED. “It’s nor­mal to be thrown when we lose our job. We might know that it’s not per­sonal, but it’s still a re­jec­tion of sorts. Peo­ple who have a his­tory of re­jec­tion in other ways are more vul­ner­a­ble to be­ing de­pressed. If the re­dun­dancy has been a shock, al­low some time for ad­just­ment. Then, try not to panic. It won’t help.” YOU’RE STRUG­GLING TO RE­MAIN POS­I­TIVE ABOUT YOUR PART­NER’S JOB LOSS AND BEGINNING TO FEEL OVER­WHELMED. “If the re­dun­dancy was some time back and your part­ner is com­ing up against some brick walls, be­ing op­ti­mistic can be­come a strug­gle, par­tic­u­larly if you’re car­ry­ing much of the fi­nan­cial bur­den. It’s now that you might need to con­sider some out­side help such as pro­fes­sional coun­selling of some kind.” YOU’RE WOR­RIED ABOUT COP­ING FI­NAN­CIALLY. “Of course you’re con­cerned, but the more wor­ried and stressed you are the worse it will be. It’s easy to say, but it’s vi­tal that you look af­ter your­self. Ex­er­cise, eat well and don’t over-in­dulge in al­co­hol, cigarettes or any other ad­dic­tive sub­stance. Learn to med­i­tate. Spend time with sup­port­ive fam­ily and friends. You’ll most likely still be scared – every­one is – but tak­ing action will help.” YOU’RE BEGINNING TO FEEL RE­SENT­FUL TO­WARDS YOUR PART­NER, WHO DOESN’T SEEM TO BE MOV­ING ON. “It’s im­por­tant that you don’t bot­tle th­ese feel­ings up. If you don’t think your part­ner is do­ing ev­ery­thing he or she can do in or­der to find an­other job, ask them whether they need help, don’t tell them they do. Say, ‘What can I do to help? What can we do to­gether that might help get us through this? What do you need?’ Their an­swer should pro­vide you with some di­rec­tion.” YOU’RE NOT SURE WHAT TO TELL YOUR CHIL­DREN. “I’m an ad­vo­cate for hon­esty, but when it comes to kids you need to en­sure that the in­for­ma­tion is age ap­pro­pri­ate. Tell them some­thing that will help them put the re­dun­dancy into con­text. If they’re old enough to un­der­stand, per­haps ex­plain that some­times peo­ple lose their jobs. Let them know that the fam­ily will get through it. Be re­as­sur­ing and don’t take your stress out on them.”

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