HOUSTON - Studies have revealed time and time again that one of the primary benefits of being married is having a partner you can rely on for support and care when you’re going through a tough time. Mental health experts have started including their clients’ spouses when they are going through an emotional crisis or a stressful time in their life to help restore balance and wellbeing more readily.
Whether you’ve been married for a short time or several years, you must realize you play an integral part in helping your partner remain stable and calm during times of turmoil. Life is difficult and each of us faces challenging times but turning to your partner to offer extra tender loving care will be meaningful to your partner and increase emotional intimacy in your relationship. Here are seven times it’s especially important:
- Your partner loses someone they love. When your partner loses someone, your support means more than anyone else’s. Talking to them and being there to comfort them and remind them that you care helps them work through their grief and let go of their loved one.
- Your partner is dealing with family drama. Your partner cannot choose their family. When you marry, you accept their family as they are. As the spouse, your partner needs you to listen to their thoughts, accept their feelings, and help them feel supported and protected by your love.
- Your partner is getting an award or has an overwhelming work project. If your partner is getting a reward, it’s important you celebrate their achievement with them. Couples who celebrate their success together feel more connected and loved. In the same way, if your partner is working on a big project, they need your support. Reminding them that you know they can do it and you are proud of them encourages them to meet the challenge and complete the project. When a spouse knows their partner is supportive, they feel less guilty about the time commitment and focus better on the task at hand.
- Your partner is ill or faces a worrisome diagnosis. Patients who have a partner who is supportive and engaged in their wellness plan recover much quicker and go through intense treatments better. When you know your partner is there for you and wants to do everything to help you get well quicker, you are more confident and motivated to recover. Love really is the best medicine when you face a health scare.
- Your partner has a really bad day. No one can lift the spirits of a bad day like your spouse. Since couples intimately know each other best, they are especially helpful with knowing how to build each other up when a day’s events have gone awry. Being there to listen and encourage your spouse helps remind them that one day’s events do not determine who they are or how effective they are. A bad day is just a reminder that we are human, and it’s nothing a big hug or massage can’t fix.
- Your partner is upset with you. Many couples shy away from being there with extra love during arguments or conflict, but marriage experts say this is one of the most important times to be there with love and understanding. Most relationship conflicts are misunderstandings. If you can turn off your defensiveness and seek to understand rather than win the argument, you will deepen your feelings of commitment to your partner. Remember that arguments are a way to get closer to each other and are much healthier than sweeping issues under the rug.
- Your partner is facing a personal emotional issue. People grow and change in different areas at different stages in their life. If your partner is going through empty nest syndrome, body image issues, losing a job, or entering retirement, it’s important you don’t emotionally abandon them or leave them feeling like they are alone with their struggle. When people feel most vulnerable, their spouse can be the most influential in helping them accept where they are and move through the transition with less anxiety.
When you marry someone, you share their lives and that includes the tough times. Being there for your partner and sharing the good and bad times is what gives marriage it’s incredible depth and meaning. Knowing you have someone on your side when the going gets rough makes it easier to face challenges and grow through them together.