When should you cut your partner some slack? One of the hardest times to do this is when your husband is out of work and depressed but that is when he needs it the most. And it may not be why you think! Keep reading about the Fear/Shame Dynamic.

More inspiration about when your husband is out of work:

If your husband is out of work, it can bring up a lot of fear for you. Even if he is looking for a new job, if the process doesn’t go fast enough for you, you might feel like you need to “pressure” him about going on interviews, submitting resumes, and answering classified ads.

Here’s why that will work to your detriment.

He will likely feel shame, feeling worse about his unemployment, and be less likely to be motivated to find a job.

You may then feel more scared about being unprotected and not provided for. While it makes sense you would be scared, this would be a time to cut your partner some slack.

This fear/ Shame dynamic, written about by Dr. Pat Love and Dr. Steven Stosny, occurs when a husband is out of work.

It is then that he feels an incredible amount of shame for not being able to provide for his family. The wife feels fear since she is not being protected.

If G-d forbid you became homeless, what would scare you the most? A woman’s greatest fear is about being attacked. But a man’s greatest fear in being homeless is not being attacked, it’s the complete shame of feeling like a failure. When a husband is out of work, he feels shame. The wife feels an incredible amount of fear about where the next meal will be coming from. It’s a downward spiral.

If you as a couple are conscious about the fear/shame dynamic, you can succeed. Some women think it will help to nag the husbands to go out on job interviews, send out resumes, etc, and unfortunately, doing so just serves to further the same that the husband is feeling to begin with.

You can do this. It will come.

If you’d like your husband to become more become naturally motivated to find work, you need to learn how to create safety in your marriage so that he feels he can come to you and share and naturally want to support you rather than feeling threatened by you. Talk with us about our 2 Day Marriage Restoration Retreat so that you can learn just how to do that. It will be a welcome respite for your relationship and when your marriage works, your job search and finances will work because you have each other and are on the same page! Talk with us today about our 2 Day Marriage Restoration Retreat. 

Shlomo & Rivka Slatkin

Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin is an Imago relationship therapist and certified (master level) Imago workshop presenter with over 20 years of experience hosting couples therapy retreats in-person and online. Contact info@themarriagerestorationproject.com or