Unemployment and the Basic Needs of a Marriage

S4 Ep3 of The #staymarried Podcast with Tony and Michelle Peterson

It’s tough to work on your relationship when your basic needs are threatened. It’s tough to be kind, respectful, and gracious toward those around you when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from or if you might not have a place to live. Losing your job, your home, or your business unexpectedly can be one of the greatest strains a relationship can endure.

In this episode I share, that ever since we both lost our jobs, I’ve been thinking about what that strain is doing to our marriage. Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a lense, we explore together what this season of unemployment has taught us about the true value of investing in our own relationship. We also share the practical tools we’re using to make sure we’re still on the same team.


“It is quite true that man lives by bread alone — when there is no bread. But what happens to man’s desires when there is plenty of bread and when his belly is chronically filled?

At once other (and “higher”) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still “higher”) needs emerge and so on. This is what we mean by saying that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency” (Maslow, 1943, p. 375).

It’s important to know that Maslow’s theory evolved over time, the needs expanded and descriptions became more detailed and granular. But, for the purposes of our conversation together, Tony and I only focused on the original five stages.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs of The #staymarried Podcast with Tony and Michelle Peterson

I also mentioned the following book by Eli J. Finkel. In The All-or-Nothing Marriage, this author also explores how Maslow’s concept of the hierarchy of needs relates to marriage. Worth a look if you’re on the hunt for your next marriage resource.

The All-or-Nothing Marriage by Eli J. Finkel #staymarried Podcast with Tony and Michelle Peterson

#staymarried is now on Patreon

We have BIG DREAMS to see #staymarried become self-supporting so we can expand and develop new resources to help couples with their own goals to #staymarried. One of the resources I’d love to offer is transcripts of past episodes. We know our blog posts are translated into many languages because of the magic of the internet, and we’d love to make our show more accessible, too.

Patreon has been a fun way for us to interact with listeners that want to see these big dreams become a reality. We’ve got a secret/unlisted podcast called #staymarried After Hours where we continue the conversation from our regular show and share even a few more behind the scenes insights. You can learn more about how to support #staymarried through Patreon for as little as $1 per month here.


We want to hear from you! Tony opened the show by asking me a critical question: What is my zombie apocalypse weapon of choice? Did you and your partner answer the question? Would we all be zombie warriors together, or did you choose a weapon that’s definitely going to get us all killed? Share in the comments.

We would also like to know what would you like us to cover this season. Leave a comment or question below for us or you can submit a question privately here: Ask #staymarried. We may even answer your question in an upcoming episode. Oh! Don’t forget we have a new phone number, too 262.622.6638

And, of course, keep in touch with us on the socials: TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. I’d love to connect on any of your favorite platforms. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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#staymarried was created to offer hope, stories, and resources for couples who want to stay married.

If you’re NEW HERE, check out our About Page and read a little more about my own background on our first post.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and being a part of this #staymarried community!

~ Michelle



S4 Ep3 of The #staymarried Podcast with Tony and Michelle Peterson