When two people are in love they share intense empathy for the other. So it’s only natural that when your spouse is going through times of trouble and distress, you feel their pain. It is hard to watch your mate going through trials. It can make you feel helpless and sad, but there are plenty of things you can do to be a loving, supportive spouse through this time.
Supporting your spouse during trials and tribulations is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding things you will ever do as a married couple. From knowing when to give them space and when to show unconditional love, we’re looking at 10 different ways to support a spouse during a tension-filled crisis.
- Face Challenges Together
Love creates an emotional need in people. When you are married or are in a long-term relationship your partner becomes everything to you. They are your best friend, your playmate, and most importantly your emotional rock. When your partner is in crisis they need you to be there for them as a shoulder to cry on, an advice giver, and as a source of encouragement whether it is spoken aloud or shown through silent actions.
You won’t know how your partner is feeling or what they are going through if you don’t ask. This may not always be easy, depending on what situation your mate is going through, but striving to understand your spouse will help you better decide how to help comfort them.
- Show Affection
Physical affection is much appreciated during times of emotional exhaustion and trials. Many people respond well to affection during times of distress. A loving hug or squeeze of the hand can be incredibly comforting to your partner.
Furthermore, couples who are in love show a positive response to physical touch. Kissing, holding hands, hugging, and being physically intimate can send a surge of oxytocin through the body. This hormone is responsible for sending feel-good emotions through the body and is actually known to deepen the emotional connection between partners.
- Provide Meals
Often when someone loses a loved one, one of the first things supporters do is cook a meal for them. When you are stressed out, mourning, or depressed, the last thing you feel like doing is cooking for yourself. One of the different ways to support a spouse during a crisis is to make sure they are eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day.
- Know When to Give Space
Opening up about feelings and emotions does not come naturally to everyone. Some people grieve or work through their anxiety by spending time alone. They may need time to analyze their current situation or just need time alone to process before getting into the issue on a deeper level with you. If your spouse does not want to talk yet, don’t push them. Just be supportive and patient, trusting that the time will come for them to lean on you. Until then, the best thing you can do is let them know you’ll be waiting for them when they need you.
- Have a Positive Attitude
If your spouse is going through a difficult time one of the best things you can do for them is to display a happy, positive attitude. Likely they will need your smiling face to get through this trial, and your unending support will be a guiding light.
Looking for ways to support a spouse during a difficult or depressing time is a worthy goal that will strengthen your marriage in the long-run. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t take a toll on you. It can be difficult to feel like you are the only one trying in a relationship or that your partner is always miserable. Rest assured, they don’t want to feel down and out and they appreciate your positive attitude more than you will ever know.
- Don’t Be Overbearing
Giving your partner your unending emotional support is a selfless act. No doubt, your partner appreciates you being there for them during their trying time. While studies show that about 2/3 of men and 80% of women would like more support from their spouses, the truth is there is no such thing as being too supportive.
Your partner needs you to be there for them, but they don’t need you to smother them. If they aren’t ready to talk about what they’re going through then don’t force the matter. One of the biggest ways to make your partner withdraw from you during a tension-filled crisis is to dish out unsolicited advice.
The best way to know what your spouse needs from you is to read their body language. You know them better than anyone.
- Plan a Getaway
One of the best ways to support a spouse during a tension-filled crisis is to whisk them away. Sometimes letting them have a break for a weekend or even a day from the troubles they’ve been going through is enough to rejuvenate them and strengthen their resolve to get through whatever trial they are in the middle of.
Note that it is not going to be appropriate to take them on a romantic trip or adventure at the beginning of their crisis. However, in order to relieve tension and stress when the current situation has died down, it would be beneficial to take them away from their problems and remind them what it means to have fun.
- Take Care of Yourself
Your partner needs you and as a loving spouse, you are happy to oblige. But, don’t forget to take care of your own physical and emotional needs during this time. As the supportive spouse, it’s important that you also find an outlet for the emotional stress you are feeling. Since you don’t want to burden your partner with even more anxiety over your feelings, seek out a close friend or family member to talk to when you feel overwhelmed.
- Don’t Give Up
Depression and hard times may seem unending in the moment, but don’t give up. This is only temporary. Creating a solid foundation for support during this time of need will help you and your spouse grow closer and strengthen your relationship.