How to Be a Supportive Partner

Опубликовал Admin
15-06-2022, 22:10
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If you're looking for ways to support your partner, you're probably wondering where to begin. Most people in relationships have similar needs. Your partner probably wants your attention, respect, and encouragement. So, what can you do to show your partner that you're always there for them? We've asked the experts and come up with helpful suggestions that you can immediately use in your relationship. This article is based on an interview with our relationship expert, Kelli Miller, licensed pyschotherapist and award-winning author. Check out the full interview here.

1 of 11:Make time for your partner.

  1. Giving them your time and attention lets them know they're important. People are busier than ever, so it really means something if you create time just for the two of you—not to do chores, run errands, or get something done. Set aside time for the two of you to enjoy each other's company. You'll both feel more emotionally connected as a couple.
    • Aim for a weekly date night. If nights aren't an option, have lunch or breakfast together at least once a week. The point is to find a time that works.
    • Do activities that you enjoy as a couple. You two might go for a jog, see a movie, do a wine tasting, or swim at the lake for instance.

2 of 11:Do thoughtful things for them.

  1. Help your partner without pointing it out to reduce their stress levels. When you do things that support your partner without being obvious, it's called invisible support. The great thing about invisible support is that your partner enjoys your efforts, but doesn't feel obligated to do something in return. Here are some nice things you could do for them:
    • Get an oil change on their car when you notice it's time.
    • Let your partner pick the restaurant the next time you go out.
    • Save them the last piece of dessert even though you'd like it.
    • Do a task that your partner usually does and complains about.
    • If you have kids together, ask them to make sweet cards for your partner.

3 of 11:Have regular check-ins.

  1. Frequent communication shows that you value your connection. It's really easy to get stuck in a routine where you don't have thoughtful or meaningful conversations with one another. Make a point of talking every week, so you're both on the same page. You might talk about how you're both feeling or how life, in general, is going.
    • For instance, you might say, "Hey, it's been a while since we met up for coffee and just talked," or, "Are you free to have a quick check-in today? I just want to chat about our relationship."

4 of 11:Ask what your partner needs.

  1. Learn their needs so you can understand or fulfill them. If you've been with your partner for a while, you might automatically assume that you know what they need or want. Instead of making these assumptions, ask your partner what they need. They'll feel respected and will really appreciate that you cared enough to find out.
    • For instance, your partner might say, "I just need to be able to vent about my day. I don't expect you to solve my problems—it just helps to have you listen," or, "I need more physical connection. It makes me feel really good when you come over and give me a hug or we hold hands."

5 of 11:Practice active listening with your partner.

  1. Put away distractions to let your partner see that you care. Whenever your partner talks to you, give them your full attention. Turn off your phone, face your partner, and make eye contact. Try not to interrupt until their done speaking. These sound simple, but active listening tells your partner that you value what they're telling you.
    • If you can, have your conversation somewhere quiet, so it's easier to hear what your partner is saying.
    • Refer back to what you talked about to show them that truly care. Wait a few days after your partner shared their needs and ask how things are going. This lets your partner see that you really paid attention and that their needs are important to you.

6 of 11:Respect your partner's point of view.

  1. Resist the urge to judge, so your partner knows that you accept them. It's hard to open up to another person! Avoiding criticisms and really trying to understand your S.O.'s point of view will make them feel validated and heard. As you listen, don't think about what you're going to say in response. Just listen and accept what they're telling you.
    • This is a skill that can take time to develop. If you find yourself interrupting your partner, stop yourself and say something like, "I'm sorry. Please continue."

7 of 11:Help each other through challenges.

  1. Remind your partner that you'll get through struggles together. Your partner may feel frustrated or lonely at times. It can help them to let them know that you're there for them no matter what. This is especially true if they're facing challenges—they'll feel supported knowing that they're not going through this alone.
    • You could say something supportive like, "I know it feels like you've got the weight of the world on your shoulders, but you've got me by your side."

8 of 11:Balance the workload at home.

  1. Divvy up the responsibilities so your partner doesn't feel overwhelmed. Partners often nag or become resentful when they feel like they're doing most of the work. If you think you could have a more balanced load, try to do more around the home. Ideally, you'll help out without being asked, but you two can sit down and have a conversation about tasks if you want to be on the same page.
    • You could pick up groceries and make dinner on nights when your partner wants to work out at the gym for instance.

9 of 11:Show physical affection.

  1. Strengthen your bond by hugging, kissing, or caressing your partner. Physical touch can go a long way in making someone feel less stressed. Give your partner a gentle back rub, hold their hands, or wrap them in a hug if they've had a tough day. A little affection makes them feel loved.
    • Try to incorporate physical affection throughout the day—you could touch your partner's shoulder or pat their leg as you talk about your day or sit and watch a movie.

10 of 11:Encourage their dreams or goals.

  1. Empower your partner to make them feel fulfilled with their choices. It's hard to be vulnerable or try new things, so if your partner shares their hopes with you, be positive! Point out their strengths and help them feel like their goals are possible.
    • Your partner will probably feel more confident and in control of their life if they know that you've got their back with anything they want to do.

11 of 11:Express gratitude.

  1. Tell your partner what you love and appreciate about them. Esteem support is similar to emotional support. It essentially means that you make your partner feel respected and admired. Give them praise and thank them for being part of your life.
    • Be clear with your praise. Say something like, "Thanks for doing more around the house so I could have more time for my project," or, "You really made my siblings feel looked after when they visited. Thanks for trying so hard with my family."
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