Unemployment, retirement or even a slightly slowing economy can cause partners to rethink how they live their lives. One person might have been the main breadwinner for years, but they are now unemployed due to their company closing. It might be all well and good if they can pick up the same position at another company, but it often turns out their prospects are poor. Their partner might have gotten a new job, or their job might just be stable enough to keep the family moving. If this is the case, the two of them will find they are switching roles and trading interests as their life is turned upside down.
Shopping for the Family
For those who have been busy working, there is little time for them to do the shopping for the family. They have left it up to their partner for years, but being downsized might have given them an unexpected opportunity. Taking on the burden of making the decisions of food, clothing and other perishable items could be a new interest instead of a chore if they look at it as a way to provide for their loved ones. It might not be quite what they were expecting, but it is a good way to share the load with their partner.
Carpooling the Children
Few are the parents who really enjoy carpooling to get their children to school and their various activities, but it has become an integral part of modern life. A parent who has never had the opportunity will often find it is more difficult than it seemed, and they will finally have a chance to understand what their partner has been going through for years. While it might never be an interest they can share, it will be an experience that teaches them empathy for what their partner goes through on a weekly basis. It can be a thread that draws them ever closer as their situation continues.
Coming Home from Work
For the partner who is suddenly thrust into the working world after years of caring for children, their situation can be difficult to process. They suddenly understand how their partner could have been so disconnected from them when coming home from work, and they suddenly appreciate how the daily grind could have worn them down over the years. Their interests after work often falls into the category of how to make work easier to deal with, and they can appreciate their spouse taking the time to jar them out of their other life. It can be an interesting situation if they look at it as a way of trading interests and lives.
When a severe situation hits home, it takes a strong bond for partners to overcome complete life changes. Those who trade places and interests might feel at first as if they are unsuccessful, but they will learn how to lean on their partner for the information they need. For those who stay at home, it can be a frustrating and chaotic mix of chores and duties. Those who have returned to the work force will suddenly understand the daily grind, and they will have to learn how to relax once they arrive home.