Emotional support is critical for the wellbeing of relationships, as with all things, relationships need nurturing if they are to remain strong and healthy. Emotional support though is difficult to define since there is no recipe, as it were, for what is required.
There are always plenty of reasons why marriages or relationships fail, usually reasons that most people can understand or get a handle on.
Emotional support may sound at best vague or very touchy feely so people, especially men tend to shy away from it. If it isn’t up for discussion, it gets dismissed as new age mumbo jumbo.
As today’s society becomes more and more “Me” orientated, we move further away from empathy and the ability to understand pain or suffering of others. Being in a relationship means sharing all the bad times as well as the good and in the down times emotional support is important if not imperative.
Over a period of time most couples get to know pretty much everything about each other but it is still possible to miss warning signs that all is not well.
In “Communication in relationships” I talk about the importance of talking things over and nipping problems in the bud. It is just as important to ask your partner how they are feeling, not with throwaway lines but with genuine care so that they know it is important to you.
Some people need more support than others and knowing your partner’s strengths and weaknesses makes you the ideal person to offer care and empathy. If your partner is out of sorts do your best to find out what is wrong without resorting to nagging or pressure.
Some issues or problems are easily recognizable and are simple to relate or empathise with. These types of situations are.
- Loss of job or income.
- Serious illness or health problems.
Things not so easy to spot are.
- Loss of self esteem
- Fear of failure
- Fear of aging or loss of youth
Fear of aging may sound frivolous but in actual fact it is more prevalent than you think. Not only is it difficult to empathise with but it is all too easy to brush it off as vanity. In a case such as this, not only would your partner need reassuring about the age factor, they would also want to know that you still love them, warts and all.
Here are a few tips on how you can provide emotional support.
- Make sure you spend quality time together on a regular basis.
- When you ask them how they are feeling, focus on them so that they know you care.
- Ask if there is anything practical that you can do to help.
- Make sure your partner is eating well and getting enough rest.
- Show them you care in lots of little ways, often the small things make the biggest impact.
For most people life is busy and often hectic, in the mad scramble of day to day living, personal problems get pushed aside. Don’t let this happen to you, if you value your relationship and want it to last nurture and care for it.
My husband Chris and I have been together over fifty years, events have come and gone. Problems that seemed insurmountable at the time have sunk without trace but we are still going strong. However after all this time when you would think we’ve got it sorted, there are still times when we need emotional support.
Emotional support for your partner is critical for any relationship if it is to thrive; the love and support you offer now will pay dividends in years to come.