Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Reliance: Being There For Your Significant Other When They Need You Most

When the people we love seem the least loveable, that’s usually when they need us the most.
It’s easy to love when it’s convenient. That’s why new romances burn so brightly. But then they can sometimes fade when things get real.
But anyone with a successful long-term relationship will tell you that it takes work. You’ll ride together on life’s rollercoaster of ups and downs, even if it seems like more downs than ups. None of us can predict what our future will hold. We can only brace ourselves and try to enjoy the ride.
Some moments are harder than others. Loving someone with a terminal illness is an unspeakable pain that no one will know until they experience it. Loving someone with an addiction is a complicated journey that many spouses are too afraid to take. But it’s exactly at these moments when your significant other needs you most.
Every moment matters but these are defining moments in a relationship. It’s not always easy to be supportive, so here’s how to be there for your significant other when they need you most.

Build your partner up

Whatever he’s going through, he should know that the home you share together is a safe space. You have his back and you’re going to support him through everything.
It may not always be easy to see your partner down. This is part of the struggle.
When things get tough for you, take some time for yourself. Do something relaxing or exciting that’s just for you. You’ll recharge enough to help your partner again.
It’s tempting to throw everything we have at a problem in hopes it will go away, but we must remember that we need something left to rebuild. When you have nothing more to give, things are likely to go south fast.

Remember you’re part of a team

In these moments, your partner may not be pulling his weight as the other member of a duo. That’s ok. Say it aloud to remind yourself when things get hard. As part of a team, you both have a responsibility to pick up the slack when the other is lacking. It may seem unfair at times, but this is why you’re in this together. This is why you’re a team. Everything cannot stop when one of you is struggling, especially if you have kids together.
And more than just picking up the slack, you may have to remind yourself that you both are in this together. For whatever that means at the moment. Even if you’re working harder, you’re still on the same team. When you start feeling like it’s you against him, you’re losing the battle.

Practice more listening and less fixing

When someone we love is down in the dumps for whatever reason, we want nothing more than to fix the problem. We’ll do anything in our power to make things right and whole again. But the problem in many of these situations is that it’s not really your problem to fix.
This can be a confusing concept with all the talk about being a team player. To get through this time, understand that you won’t always be the one doing the heavy lifting. And that’s okay.
Always provide a listening ear and shoulder for support. When your partner comes to you with a problem, know that you aren’t always supposed to have a solution. Sometimes, he just wants you to listen and empathize. Trying to fix something that’s not yours to fix can frustrate you and send the message that you think your partner is inadequate.

Find a healthy outlet for stress

This is one of those times when you’ll be tasked to be the bigger person. If your partner is struggling with something, he may take his frustrations out on you. You may even have your own frustrations about the situation. This is all normal, but it can take a huge toll on a person’s patience.
Instead of getting frazzled or acting in anger, find a healthy outlet for your stress. If you aren’t exercising already, start. Try to eat healthy so your body will be running on a steady supply of the right nutrients. Consider meditating or practicing breathing exercises to keep your mind strong. This isn’t going to be easy but it will be worthwhile if you can see your partner through to the other side.
When you’re the main support for someone who truly needs you, it can take a toll you as well. Do what you can to be there for your significant other and don’t forget to take care of yourself.

We get into relationships for a reason, and this is one of them. When all else fails, think about how you would want your partner to support you if you were in his shoes.


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