Most of us know how we want to be treated when we are feeling down and out of sorts. But many are at a loss when our partners need our love and support.
Instead of abandoning them when they need you, try this instead:
“I’m so sorry that you are sad. I want to be here for you. Let me hug you.”
People get hurt, including your partner. Let them know you understand, you get it, they are normal, and they are loved.
“I can sense your anxiety. I wish I could take it away. Share everything with me.”
Talking about our problems helps us process our feelings and release them. Be a sounding board for your partner without advice or judgment.
“I feel that something is wrong. I love you deeply, and if you need anything from me right now, please let me know. I’m here.”
Your very presence is often enough. Let them know you care and are available.
“I understand that when you are stressed, you don’t want to discuss it. I respect that, but I want to support you. Can I give you a backrub or make you something to eat?”
Not everyone wants to talk. Do an act of kindness instead.
“There is nothing you are feeling that can push me away. I love you and will be here when you need me.”
Even when they need space, you are always — always — around the corner for them.
“I can tell you are upset. If it’s something I did — I’m sorry for hurting you. I never want to hurt you. When you are ready, let me know what it is, and if I can, I’m happy to change for ‘us.’”
We will do everything possible for each other. Let them know.
Exasperation, frustration, and defensiveness are common emotions when our partner hurts. 10x more when we believe it is because of us, and 100x more true when we find out it is.
But it is specifically at those moments we need each other most.
Don’t abandon. Come close instead.