This week, we had an anonymous member of the Mamamia community pose a question to the hosts of the Mamamia Out Loud podcast.
The question read as follows:
“I’ve been married for six years, and throughout that time my husband and I have always worked. But eight months ago, he was made redundant and hasn’t found a new job since. Nor has he been actively looking. I want to be supportive, but I can’t help feeling like I’m being ripped off. I support us, but it’s wearing very thin right now. What should I do?”
Anonymous is stuck between a rock and a hard place. And she’s not alone.
“My husband was the first guy I dated who had a job,” Mia Freedman said in response to Anonymous.
“The ones before him just had bongs… I know a lot of women whose husbands, in their 40s, have been made redundant.”
While holding a partner’s hand through later-in-life unemployment can help them emotionally, Freedman believes it would be hard not to lose a little bit of respect if it goes on too long.
“You want to be supportive of a partner, I think, but you can also start to lose some respect for someone who’s just at home all day. Even if you don’t want to lose respect.”
Jessie Stephens, Mamamia content producer and millennial, has a lot of sympathy for Anonymous, and the awkward position she finds herself in: "So much of your self-esteem is indexed on feeling like you're contributing to the world in a meaningful way... but I think the fact that he's not trying would be really hard."