Hi and welcome back to Coffee with Clare everything Thursday! I am delighted that you are here!
My husband, Jim, lost his job over three years ago. He had a very good, middle management job with the company he gave 14 years of his life. They downsized, and he lost his job. We are middle aged – in our early 50’s – and it took my husband over 13 months to find another job, but a much lower salaried position. Jim did receive some severance pay, but we quickly went through that. We dealt with the stress of losing his job and juggling all the bills. We got behind with our mortgage and eventually lost our home due to foreclosure.
My dilemma – I can’t seem to adjust to our life now. We have worked hard for years while raising two kids, now 21 and 18. We are renting a modest, three bedroom apartment in a decent neighborhood, but of course I miss our middle-income lifestyle, the joys of home ownership, and living in a great neighborhood. I am bitter and discouraged over this situation. I am trying hard not to “blame” my husband for this as it is not his fault; however, this transition has created lots of stress in our marriage too.
Please help! How can I feel better about our “future” and adjust to our new lifestyle?
Signed Discouraged in Des Moines.
I am sorry that you and your family have had to walk through the uprooting of your house and the loss of your husband’s job – that certainly is a “double blow”. Goodness, my husband and I both have gotten downsized more than once, and it is so, so difficult. We did not lose our home, but we went through the stress of trying to hold on, having less money and major adjustments. I am sure you have suffered “financial grief” – anger, sadness, embarrassment, discouragement, and a fear of the future.
I would suggest gathering up a strong support group– close family and friends – a trusted group – maybe others who have gone through a similar experience.
Realize you have made it through and have overcome a very difficult situation, and you can do this! I would suggest you enjoy many of the outings and hobbies you have in the past; decorate this new “home” (apartment) as if it was yours. It’s also important for you and your husband to have alone time and spend time together. Keep the communication open with your husband. If you can’t work through your feelings as a couple, you may want to seek out professional counseling.
Your house does not define you. Consider the upside of apartment life. Right now, you don’t have the burden of worrying about money for fixing the roof if it leaks or purchasing a new air conditioning unit because the old one just breathed its last breath. You don’t have the burden of fixing the leaky bathroom sink; no lawn mowing and no maintenance right now. You may not be a “homeowner” right now, but you can learn to survive and thrive. You just have to find the things in your life that make you happy and do them. Concentrating on what you can control This will make you feel like you want to live more and can live more in the moment!
You have lost your home, but you still have the most precious things in life – your husband, your kids, and probably many more blessings in your life.
Readers – any suggestions for “Discouraged in Des Moines”?
Thank you for stopping in today! I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear from you!
Until next time~