In relationships, human beings long for emotional support from their partner. Unfortunately, emotional support rarely is offered correctly, or at all. Of course we all understand that we must support each other in a partnership, but we often become tongue-tied or stiff when it comes to creating the words or actions necessary to express that.
Understanding our own emotions is hard enough at times; as a consequence, emotional support for a partner does not always come easy. Often, our partner’s emotions are hard to decipher; this produces anxiety in us when we cannot help the one we love.
The basic rules to a strong, long-lasting relationship have always been: support, respect, honesty, loyalty, compassion. Application of said rules is a completely different story. Dr. Barton Goldsmith is a multi-award winning psychotherapist, radio host, columnist, keynote speaker and the author of Emotional Fitness for Couples. He describes ten ways you can continuously show your partner support in a loving, respectful and caring way:
- Touch each other often. Now more than ever before, in our new world of technology, it feels like everything has become virtual, leaving us all starved of real human connection and physical touch.
- Be respectful of your partner’s feelings. Try as best as you can to put yourself in the shoes of your partner, especially if they are going through a particularly rough time like a loss of a loved one, pet, job, etc.
- Give small, random gifts. Little gifts are not supposed to be expensive, but are merely a representation of the fact that something reminded you of them so you wanted to do something special even if it may be simple or small. It’s the thought that counts; don’t forget that.
- Compliment your partner in front of other people. Everyone wants to know and feel like you are proud to be with them. If their self-confidence goes up, they will be happier and in turn make you feel better about you.
- Disagree with your partner in a kind and loving way. Remember your partner counts on you to accept them for who they are. Do not judge them for having an opinion that you may not agree with, because what they think matters. So be respectful. Stay respectful to one another, since there no reason to make your partner feel stupid just because you disagree with them.
- Say “I love you”. It doesn’t take much to say three little words to remind one another that you continue to care about each other. It doesn’t matter how long you have been together; hearing the words cannot be replaced by anything else.
- Never ignore your loved one’s presence. Of course there will be times that you may be angry at each other but that is no excuse to ignore your partner. Not only is it rude, but it creates unnecessary resentment. As Dr. Barton explained, “Stop and think what life would be like if your sweetheart wasn’t with you.”
- Listen deeply and take in what your partner is saying. Your partner needs to know they can count on you to listen to them – not just pretend. Your input is important and your partner relies on your opinion. Other times it’s just important to be a caring ear to truly listen.
- Speak in a loving tone and remember to smile. “Almost half of communication is tonal and a little more than half is visual.” Your partner is one of the most important people in your life; do not forget to treat them as such.
- 10. If your partner is having a rough time, pull out all the stops. This is when your partner needs you most. You’re together not just for the fun times, but the tough ones too.
There is nothing more fulling then having a strong secure relationship with your partner. This world can be a tough place by yourself and nothing beats having a supportive partner to take on it on with. Every good relationship takes hard work and patience; however, if you believe in each other’s ability to change, nothing will be able to stop you.
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