When you chose to marry each other, you would have made a conscious decision to be there for each other in good times and in bad. Hopefully, your marriage will have many more good moments than bad ones, but life has a way of taking a wrong turn sometimes and it’s how you handle these events which can determine how fulfilling your marriage will be.
Types of Support
Supporting your spouse can mean many things. In fact, supporting your spouse is never really comprised of only one type of support. Often, we provide layers and webs of support which relate to and strengthen each other.
The first and most important form of support is emotional. It’s important because this is the foundation upon which all your other interactions are built upon.
Emotional support is needed for problems both big and small. It could be as simple as cheering your husband up after he’s had a hard time at work, or giving your wife a backrub when you know she is exhausted from caring for a colicky baby through the night. It could also mean being there for each other through conditions such as financial insolvency, illness and family issues. Through all these situations, emotional support is the one thing which will help you the most because it gives you and your spouse the strength and determination to address your challenges and resolve them.
Skills and Resources
Another form of support lies in being there and being a partner who can work actively to solve a problem. This type of support is often seen when you have issues such as financial problems. In a situation like that, if your wife decides to go back to work to help to support the family, or if your husband decides to pitch in and help you manage a small business which is growing, then you are each contributing skills and resources to each other in an effort to provide as much support as possible.
This might happen if one of you becomes physically incapacitated. If your spouse has an accident and is unable to move independently and you become a primary caregiver then the support you give is physical in nature. Even something as simple as reaching up to get a jar on the top shelf of the kitchen for your wife or helping your husband to tidy up his study area are different forms of physical support which you may unconsciously be giving to each other on a daily basis.
Ways in Which You Can Be Supportive
So how do you put all these different types of support into action? Each couple will have special ways in which they show each other support and love when things go wrong, but in general, they usually demonstrate the following common behaviours.
Reach out and give your spouse a loving hug, give a tired spouse a shoulder massage or even just sit close to them when they tell you they are having a hard time. We communicate a million things through touch, and support and love are just some of the emotions which are best conveyed this way.
Respect Each Other
Be kind to your spouse. If they break down, don’t berate them or make fun of them. Listen to them, respect their feelings and handle their confidences gently. One of the key things to suffer during times of uncertainty is self-esteem. Providing respect helps tremendously with building that up.
Compliment and Support Your Spouse
When you are in front of friends, relatives and acquaintances compliment and support your spouse. This will give them the courage and confidence to face any difficult social situations which you may need to encounter as a result of an unfortunate event.
Disagree in a Kind and Loving Way
Remember that being supportive should not mean that you have to do anything which you feel violates your values or makes you uncomfortable. Even when you don’t agree with each other, it is still possible to be supportive in the way that to approach each other in order to resolve your differences.
Pay Attention to Your Spouse
When your spouse wants to open up, vent or just cry about their difficulties, be there and pay complete attention. Sometimes, just having a loving and positive partner to share all those difficult emotions with can give your spouse the release that’s needed in order to move on.
Offer to Help
Be unstinting and generous in your offers to help. Whether it’s helping out around the house or offering to take on more work or helping your partner work through any confrontational relationships which may be causing a problem, your efforts will be appreciated.