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
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
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
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
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.