How To Support Your Partner Through a Hard Time
It’s tough to see someone that you love struggling. All you want to do is help, but sometimes you can be left feeling helpless, especially if you’re unfamiliar with what’s giving your partner a hard time. Being a supportive partner is someone everyone looks for in a relationship, it probably (almost definitely) made it onto your own list, so it’s time to step up and prove you can be the partner they deserve. To know how to do exactly that, you’ll want to keep on reading.
Ask Them if There’s Anything Specific That You Can Do To Help
We all have different ways of dealing with tough times, which means we all have different needs that we want our partner to meet. A previous partner of yours may have just wanted you to listen to them while they expressed their feelings on the situation, while your current partner may want you to take it up a notch and give advice.
Asking your partner if there’s anything specific that you can do to support them will ensure you’re meeting their needs. It’s important that you touch base with them throughout as the situation may change and affect what kind of support they need from you.
Give Them Extra TLC
Let them know that they’re loved. Hard times can feel extremely lonely, especially if you aren’t able to relate to what’s happening to them. It’s also inevitable that you’ll see a different side to your partner during this time, but it’s important to remember that these qualities aren’t usually permanent.
Think back to when you’ve had a stressful week at work. You’re irritable and less patient but these traits tend to pass once the feelings of stress do. Make it clear that you’re still crazy in love with them despite all of this.
To do this you’ll need to know what their love language is so you can express it in a way that they’ll receive. Do they prefer touch, quality time, or even compliments? Turning up the love for your partner will give them more courage and motivation to keep fighting knowing that someone loves them.
Let Your Partner Know How Sexy and Attractive You Still Find Them
Typically, when we’re going through a rough patch it shows in our appearance as taking care of our looks takes a back seat. Looking good is a full-time job and regular maintenance like going to gym classes, monthly beauty treatments, and getting a good night’s sleep are often neglected. If your partner is going through a really hard time, the simple act of getting out of bed is challenging, so the chances of them making it to the gym for an intense workout is slim to none.
They’ll most likely be aware that they haven’t been looking after their appearance and their self-esteem will have massively dropped. You’re probably wondering how being called sexy, beautiful, or attractive will support them through a hard time? But being vocal about how you’re still sexually attracted to your partner will support them by giving them a boost of confidence and increase their self-worth, and as a result, will help them make better, more positive decisions for themselves.
Someone with high confidence and self-worth won’t give up when life knocks them down because they know they deserve better. They know that they’re worth fighting for.
Provide a Safe Space for Them To Talk About It With You
We don’t mean that you need to become their therapist or anything (dating your therapist is never a good idea), we just mean that you need to make your partner feel comfortable talking about their thoughts and feelings. Saying the things we think and feel can give us a new perspective and take a load off. If your partner doesn’t feel like they can talk to you about their problems, they’ll begin to feel overwhelmed and isolated.
Some people will just need to be asked, “do you want to talk about it?” before they spill everything on their mind that day, while others may need a little more encouragement. If your partner does need more convincing, try saying things like “please let me know how I can create a safe space for you to talk to me” or “we’re in this together and to support you as much as I possibly can, please talk to me about what’s on your mind.”
Now, there will be times where they don’t want to talk about it, or just aren’t ready to talk about it yet, so don’t be pushy. Some people just aren’t talkers (I wonder what this is like?). Create a non-judgemental environment and remind them every now and then that it’s there if they need it, but don’t force them into it. This will only backfire later on.
See more about - How To Accept Your Partner’s Flaws and Solidify Your Relationship
Take Their Mind Off It
While talking is helpful, it’s also a good thing not to talk about it and focus on distracting them sometimes. Even those who like to talk will get sick of sticking to one topic. Take the time to do something that brings them joy to bring their attention to the present moment, rather than on what caused the hard time or worrying about what happens next.
This could be anything from booking a romantic getaway or having their friends over for a dinner party. You’ll have to help us out a little here as only you know what would bring your partner enough joy to be able to take their mind off their problems. .
There’s no telling just how long a hard time will last because even when it’s technically over, it doesn’t mean your partner has finished emotionally processing what’s happened. One of the best things that you can do to support your partner through a hard time is to be patient with them. There will be good days and bad days, mostly bad (no surprises there), so you must understand that their progress may be a bit roller coaster-like and practice patience through the highs and the lows.
Or perhaps you’ve been through the same thing and the healing process only took you two weeks, whereas your partner is now at the three-week mark. Being impatient just because it’s taking them longer to heal could make them feel like their feelings are invalid past a certain date and cause them to struggle internally as they pretend that they’re fine on the outside. People have different timeframes because we don’t all feel things the same way, so it only makes sense that we all have different healing processes.
Give Them Regular Encouragement
Sometimes all we need is a little encouragement to carry on and not give up, so get ready to give some of the best pep talks of your entire life! Tell them how great they are and how much you admire their strength. Think about what you would want to hear from your partner if you were them, you don’t have to be a world-touring motivational speaker to know the right thing to say.
If they’re having a hard time achieving a dream, remind them why they started in the first place and how they have everything they need to make it a reality within themselves. If they’ve recently lost a loved one, remind them of the beauty in every day and encourage them to keep living their life to the fullest as it’s what their loved one would’ve wanted.
Don’t Play Down the Situation
Some people think to comfort those going through a hard time by telling them that the situation “isn’t as bad as it seems.” Now, the intention behind this is to try and release any heavy negative emotions that they may be feeling. Maybe your personal approach to a problem is to break it down to give it less power over you. However, saying this to your partner could make them feel like their feelings are invalid.
Even if the hard time that they’re going through isn’t that big of a deal in your eyes, it is to them, which is the most important thing. It’s impossible to know how you’d feel in a situation unless you were actually in that situation yourself, and even then, we all process emotions differently, so unless you’re actually them in the situation, you’ll never know.
Instead, try to understand how your partner is feeling. Ask the big questions, because the more you understand, the more you’ll be able to support them. Tell them that although you can’t relate to what’s happening to them, you’re going to be there to help them through it.
Try Not To Take Any Negative Projection Towards You Personally
Unfortunately, you might unintentionally receive some backlash from your partner when they’re going through a hard time. We often take things out on those closest to us. Finding yourself as a punching bag for your partner’s frustration can be hurtful, especially if it has absolutely nothing to do with you.
When this happens, it’s vital that you don’t completely lose it at your partner. You don’t want to fight fire with fire here, anger only breeds more anger, which I’m sure we don’t need to tell you is super unproductive.
Vocalize calmly how you feel that their emotions are unintentionally being misdirected and remind them that you’re on the same team. Encourage them to talk it out with you instead of taking it out on you. Make sure you let them know how you feel in the nicest way possible, so they don’t get defensive and put their guard up because they probably have no idea that they’re doing it in the first place.
See more about - Relationship Advice for Men: 25 Tips To Make You A Better Partner
See more about - Relationship Advice for Men: 25 Tips To Make You A Better Partner