We all have ups and downs in life, and being a supportive partner requires a delicate balance. It can be particularly difficult to watch the person you love most go experience hardship. Being a supportive partner through this rough-patch is important to you, but you’re not quite sure how to approach it…
You love your partner to the moon and back, and would literally do anything to end their suffering. Some of us are fixers, while others may choose to sulk in their sorrow prior to engaging in damage control. Regardless of how you handle hardship, you should approach the topic in the same way that your partner chooses to move forward.
Every single person copes differently, and depending on the situation, as well as your partner, you may need to maneuver with caution. Model after your partner. If they’re gung-ho about getting out there and fighting the battle, join them in that confrontation. If they need to take time to think and feel their emotions, feel with them.
Again, there is no right or wrong way to cope or be a supportive partner. What’s most important is remembering that this isn’t about you, it’s about your partner.
Check out these tips on how to support your partner during a difficult time…
Sometimes people aren’t openly willing to share what’s happening. Be sure to pay attention to any changes in behavior. Is she not as talkative? Is he not his cheerful self? Does she look like she’s been crying? Does he seem angry and irritable? These may be signs that something’s up…
If you notice a difference in your partner, ask what’s going on. This will show your partner that you care, and will also provide them the opportunity to talk about it. Be sure not to probe too much, however. Do not push your partner to share if they are not yet comfortable doing so.
If your partner is ready to share their experience, listen. Don’t judge, and don’t interrupt. Just listen. Verbally talking about thoughts and feelings is a way to process what’s happening—this can be very helpful, especially if your partner is taking time to let things sink in.
When we love and care for someone, it’s likely that our first instincts are to help and protect. This may not always be what your partner needs, so be sure to ask how you can be supportive. It’s possible that listening is all the help your partner needs, and that’s okay. If more help is asked for, be sure that it falls within your boundaries too.
Remind your partner of how intelligent, kind, and strong he is. Remind her that she is talented and capable of achieving anything. Provide him that delicate push and support he needs, and remind him he has the skills to overcome this, as well as any, roadblock.
Help your partner see that you will be there through thick and thin, and that you’ll stay by her side no matter what happens. Let him know how much he means to you.
Hug it out
Physical touch can be very helpful, especially during times of hardship. Research has shown that something as simple as a hug can release happy chemicals in our brain, such as Oxytocin. Not only that, but it will continually strengthen the bond you share. If you feel uncomfortable doing any of the things listed above and only want to give hugs, it’s just as helpful…
Being there for your partner, no matter in what sense, is incredible. Remember to breathe, and everything will work itself out. Stay hopeful, and remember to search for the silver lining…
Still not sure how to convey wanting to be a supportive partner? Check out these tips on how to best communicate with your partner…