How do other poly families deal with one of the members is not working? Especially when they are capable. This has become a big issue in our family. Both financially and emotionally.:(
The economy has taken its toll on many "capable" people, like myself, who simply cannot find work. The last steady, decent-paying job I had ended in 2008, and I have been freelancing part-time since then. Whether living in a poly or mono household, the unemployed person has to deal with blows to their self-esteem as well as frustration and being broke. After being unemployed for a while and getting nowhere, it is quite common to lose focus and energy, and stop looking. It is easy to give into depression and lethargy when no one wants to hire you.
You can offer compassion -- important! -- and renegotiate boundaries around their participation in the house, such as that person handling more of the housework if they cannot share in expenses. Also they can apply for whatever public assistance is available where you live and enroll in some sort of program aimed at helping people make a re-entry into the workforce, improve their resume, etc. Help them find resources like that. It is important that you and the others who still work let go of resentment and anger, so that you can directly and honestly express any frustration but without the force of emotion behind it. Don't punish them, but don't tolerate laxity, if they are not doing their share.
It is rough everywhere. People are losing their homes and savings, and are being forced to sleep on friends' couches in order to keep from being on the street. A friend of mine feels she is lucky to have a well-paying job in this economy and that she has to do all she can to help people in her life who are struggling, and she has been a godsend to me. I fight depression every day, and my goal is just to do one thing each day that will help me move forward financially - and sometimes I don't have the energy for that. But being surrounded by good, caring people helps me enormously.
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