How to be Supportive in a Relationship

How to be Supportive in a Relationship

After the heavenly honeymoon phase fades away slowly but surely, couples are often left with a distinctively sinking feeling. It’s no longer constant rainbows, flowers, and sunshine. It’s real life. And, as most of us know only too well, real life is not always a walk in the park. Without the honeymoon phase there to soften the blow, it’s extremely likely that real-life problems will kick in and interfere with the seamless flow of your relationship

Stress. Bills. Work. Family struggles. Mental health. The lot. These many factors can slowly carve a gap between you and your partner. But how can you stay a “team” and be supportive in your relationship?

Don’t let life get in the way

If your relationship makes you happy, and you feel genuine love and commitment from your partner, it’s exceptionally important not to let life get in the way of your feelings for one another. This might sound like a cheesy line from a rom-com, but it’s the truth. Life is too short and too darn difficult, and sometimes all we need is to know that we’re supported by the ones who matter most.

Is your partner clearly struggling? Have you noticed a change in the dynamic of your relationship?

Sometimes it’s difficult to know exactly the best way how to support your partner during such difficult times. Here are 10 ways that you can do just that:

Start by addressing the distance between you and your partner. Things aren’t feeling like they did before for you. Ask your partner what it is that is making them feel unhappy. Getting your partner to open up about the issue is the first step to showing your support. 

1. Start by acknowledging problems

Start by addressing the distance between you and your partner. Things aren’t feeling like they did before for you. Ask your partner what it is that is making them feel unhappy. Getting your partner to open up about the issue is the first step to showing your support.

2. Listen

Listen. We mean – really listen. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in trying to act supportive, without actually being supportive. Listen intently to what your partner has to say, and don’t push for information. Listen beyond the words. Your partner might not directly vocalise what is wrong, but you might be able to tell based on their body language and behaviour.

3. Support the way your partner handles the issue

Try not to turn the situation into something else that will further dampen the spirit of your relationship. Show full support for how your partner reacts to the situations that distress them. If you do have an issue with the way that they handle certain life-problem – be constructive, and not confrontational. Everybody handles issues in life differently. 

4. Show affection

When things get tough, affection often flies out the window in relationships. Remember to show your partner affection when they’re going through a difficult time. It’s often far more valuable than people think. Of course, replacing communication with affection is not recommended. It’s important to show affection in a way that is meaningful and thoughtful. 

5. Detach yourself from your own issues

This one is tough. Often, issues within a relationship can become interconnected. When supporting your partner, try to detach yourself from your own situation. By putting your own needs aside, you will be able to focus more intently on your partners. Try not to suggest what you would do in your partner’s situation. Instead, put yourself in their shoes and try to offer advice based on their mentality. 

6. Tell them you love them

Of course, if you haven’t dropped the L bomb yet – this might not be the suggestion for you. But, if you have, remember to say it to your partner enough to know how loved they really are. Again – don’t overuse the word it loses meaning. Make sure that the time is right to tell your partner you love them, but do so with great feeling. 

7. Be enthusiastic about your partner’s ambitions

In a fast-paced world where ambition often feels essential, it’s important to support one another’s dreams. Be enthusiastic about your partner’s ambitions by telling them how proud of them you are, and how confident you are in their abilities. 

8. Do not criticise your partner

Sometimes, you can become your partner’s biggest critic. You know them more than anybody else, and you want them to achieve incredible things because you love them. But this doesn’t mean you get to criticise their every decision. Avoid criticism at all costs and praise your partner for their positive attributes instead. 

9. Keep them laughing

Sometimes all you can do in the face of life’s hardships is have a good laugh. Try and maintain a level of humour and lightheartedness in your relationship. Don’t let everything become serious or difficult. Keep your partner laughing and in positive spirits.

10. Offer help

It seems like an obvious one, but it’s golden. Offer your partner help frequently. Tell them that you are there for them and that you are happy to support them in any way you can. Even just hearing these words can make people feel heard and supported. 

There you have it. 10 ways to be supportive in a relationship. 

It’s time to bring light and laughter into your relationship again.