If you are in a relationship, whether it’s with your long-term partner or someone you’ve just started dating, there may come a time when one of you goes through something difficult. Maybe they lose their job and need help to get back on their feet. Maybe they have been diagnosed with cancer and need emotional support from those around them.
Help your Partner Through Tough Times
No matter what tough situation your partner go through, these five steps will help them through it:
Make the Decision to Be There For Them No Matter What
It’s important to make sure they know you will be there for them, regardless of what happens. If your partner decides that they want nothing to do with this situation and doesn’t let you in at all, it can be confusing and hurtful; but if the decision is made early on by both parties that no matter what, you are going to stick together through these tough times, then everything becomes a little easier – for everyone involved. Even if their trust is shaken when they find out about an affair or some other betrayal in the relationship during these difficult times (which it probably will be), you can get past it and rebuild that trust together.
Try Your Best to Understand Where They’re Coming From
Even if you feel like your partner is being irrational in their actions or in what they’re saying, try to understand where they are coming from so that it’s easier for both of you to move forward instead of constantly feeling frustrated with each other. It may take a lot more mental energy than usual to think about things from his/her perspective but the outcome will be well worth it because when he/she feels heard and validated by you, there can be real progress made during this tough time.
The goal here isn’t necessarily to agree with everything your partner says – far from it! Sometimes people just need someone who will listen without judgment so that they have an outlet instead of bottling up these emotions inside themselves which could lead to a lot of future problems.
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Offer Practical Solutions That Will Make Things Easier For Both of You
During times when your partner feels like everything is falling apart and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, it can help to offer some practical solutions that could potentially make things easier for him/her. For example, if he/she has been living off unemployment checks while trying to find a new job or taking care of their sick relative so they don’t have to go into an expensive nursing home yet (if possible), you may be able to pick up some extra hours at work or even get another part-time job which will bring in more money than before.
If you are not working because you’ve decided to stay home with kids while they’re young and try and save as much money as possible but your partner lost his/her job, then you could offer to take up a second job which will bring in some extra money and help things out for both of you.
These kinds of practical solutions can make the difficult situation easier for everyone involved because it takes away that sense of helplessness when someone else is there with ideas (and maybe even actual steps) towards something positive.
Listen Without Judgment or Giving Advice Unless Asked For It
This can be really tough because you may feel like your advice or insight could help the situation but it’s important to remember that this is their journey, not yours. If they want your opinion on something, they’ll ask for it – otherwise just listen without judgment and hope that if anything needs to come out of your mouth, he/she will let you know when they’re ready.
Give Encouragement to Your Partner and Show Empathy without Pitying Them
When you’ve been with someone for a long time, it’s easy to take things like empathy or encouragement for granted – but during times of uncertainty and doubt, these are the two most important qualities to have. It can be really difficult sometimes when your partner is wallowing in self-pity but if there’s no light at the end of the tunnel (which there probably isn’t), then he/she needs an outlet like this more than ever. If everything else fails, just do what you did when you were dating; remind him/her why they’re special and bring up all those wonderful memories that still exist between both of you even though life got in the way. At least that will make them feel better about themselves while they’re going through a difficult time.
Yes, all of these things can be hard because it’s difficult not to feel like you’re walking on eggshells when your partner is going through tough times and the last thing they probably want is someone hovering around them all day asking about what happened or how they are feeling every few minutes. So try to be supportive and listen to them without judgment but don’t forget about your health as well.
Josh is the owner and lead writer at Daily Wisely. His career has taken him from finance to blogging, and now shares his insights with readers of Daily Wisely.
Josh's work and authoritative advice have appeared in major publications like Nasdaq, Forbes, The Sun, Yahoo! Finance, CBS News, Fortune, The Street, MSN Money, and Go Banking Rates. Josh has over 15 years of experience on Wall Street, and currently shares his financial expertise in investing, wealth management, markets, taxes, real estate, and personal finance on his other website, Top Dollar Investor.
Josh graduated from Cornell University with a degree from the Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management at the SC Johnson College of Business.