How to Support Your Partner Through a Difficult Time

Trending 5 months ago

⌄ Scroll down to proceed ⌄

It tin often beryllium harder seeing our partner spell done difficult times than experiencing it ourselves. With difficult times travel beardown emotions. We tin consciousness helpless successful nan look of these emotions and not cognize what to opportunity aliases do that would help.

There is simply a “magic sentence” you tin usage that will lovingly deepen your relationship arsenic you support your partner.

But nan reality is, instead, some you and your partner tin beryllium triggered into variations of nan fight, flight, freeze, aliases fawn responses. You whitethorn edifice to superhero aliases deflector roles that were developed successful puerility arsenic coping mechanisms for difficult times.

You whitethorn person already discovered that these strategies whitethorn beryllium little than adjuvant now if you’ve tried to use them to your partner. You tin study to pause, announcement and fto spell of aged unconscious patterning and study really to support your partner done a difficult clip done nan usage of a “magic sentence”.

How to Support Your Partner Through a Difficult Time

Are you willing successful letting spell of aged roles and learning a caller paradigm for support? A support that listens intently, is nurturing, compassionate, and empowering tin bring you some person done it all.

Difficult times tin beryllium accepted arsenic portion of life, and everyone experiences them. It tin go immoderate of our top opportunities for maturation and description successful nan relationship.

1. Difficult Times successful a Relationship

For your partner aliases moreover yourself, difficult times whitethorn beryllium occasional aliases regular occurrences. They tin scope from a one-off tiff pinch nan checkout personification astatine nan supermarket to an ongoing toxic situation astatine work to nan all-consuming condolences aft nan decease of a loved one.

It whitethorn beryllium an ongoing struggle pinch beingness aliases intelligence wellness aliases an existential situation wherever you mobility nan meaning of life.

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

Whatever nan scope aliases size of nan difficulty, retrieve it is still wholly valid to your partner.

2. A Perfect World

Imagine your partner sitting down pinch you aft meal and saying thing like,

“Honey, you will person noticed that I’ve been having a difficult clip pinch my parents. I’ve been triggered successful various ways and it’s go truthful terrible that I’ve arranged to spot a therapist astir nan underlying issues. I whitethorn request to return immoderate clip retired to process this and I whitethorn request to talk it done pinch you. Are you willing successful proceeding really I would emotion to beryllium supported by you arsenic I activity done this?”

Easy. But it doesn’t often travel retired for illustration that.

3. A Real World

Your partner whitethorn unconsciously spell to fight, flight, freeze, aliases fawn responses. These responses are automatic reactions that comprehend events aliases actions arsenic stressful aliases frightening.

Our physiological and psychological reactions are triggered by immoderate benignant of accent stimuli that makes america take betwixt fighting aliases fleeing. We move into endurance mode arsenic this has worked for america arsenic early humans.

When your partner is going done a difficult time, it mightiness look for illustration this:

  • You whitethorn announcement your partner is irritable, disconnected, aliases moreover lashing retired for nary evident reason.
  • She whitethorn person hinted astatine problems but unopen you down erstwhile you ask.
  • He whitethorn person go irrational and overly fearful.
  • They whitethorn look flat, despondent, dull, aliases withdrawn from everyone.

These were nan only options disposable to a personification who was not taught nan skills to accept, grip and modulate difficult emotions that travel stressful aliases frightening times.

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

Simply having compassion and consciousness for this is your first step. However, it doesn’t mean you person to tolerate projected anger aliases return connected their fearfulness aliases despondency.

Reconnecting Through Difficult Times

All relationships spell done difficult times. Let’s opportunity your partner has been capable to support you updated connected immoderate escalating problems astatine work. Your partner comes location 1 night, falls successful nan door, and says they can’t spell connected different infinitesimal for illustration this.

They are evidently distressed, struggling to cope, and virtually astatine nan extremity of their tether.

1. Pause and Assess Yourself

Your first guidance mightiness beryllium to inquire what’s happening. You mightiness inquire nan incorrect thing, truthful it’s champion to return a while and process things.

Take your partner and lead him aliases her to nan couch. Instead of instantly jumping into action, return a infinitesimal to slow things down without immoderate judgment, First, announcement what is happening to yourself.

It’s your partner’s travel and your partner’s instruction but inquire yourself first, “are you triggered?”

The intent is to not unconsciously spell into a fight aliases formation response. This way, you tin springiness nan champion comfortableness and what your partner needs astatine that moment. Ask yourself these questions.

  • Did you get angry astatine your partner aliases situation?
  • Is location a twinge of helplessness successful you?
  • Do you abruptly person an impulse to vanish into that different point you person to do?
  • Do you unopen down and spell blank?
  • Is location a emotion of overwhelm successful you arsenic well?
  • Are you recoiling successful immoderate way, particularly if they’re crying?

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

2. Notice Your Automatic Coping Mechanisms

Your habitual guidance to their difficult clip is simply a reflection of really you support yourself.

As a child, you whitethorn person been swamped by overwhelming emotions that were excessively large to consciousness and pinch nary 1 to thief you process them. These feelings whitethorn beryllium successful consequence to awesome aliases insignificant traumas from a toxic situation successful nan household. But not to worry, you will person ingeniously created awesome protective behaviors that let you to support avoiding these overwhelming emotions and springiness you a consciousness of power complete nan situation.

They whitethorn beryllium coping mechanisms that person been taught by nan family aliases clever ones you’ve travel up pinch yourself. The database goes on, but immoderate of these coping mechanisms tin be:

  • Anger
  • Blanking out
  • Blaming
  • Humor
  • Pretending thing happened
  • Overly progressive reasoning mind
  • Becoming invisible
  • Overpleasing

It’s arsenic if you, arsenic a small kid, unconsciously created a suit of armor arsenic your very champion effort astatine protecting and supporting yourself. You became your ain superhero that moreover blanking retired and disappearing are superpowers to nan small kid that is you.

You will support resorting to these clever strategies for yourself and others arsenic agelong arsenic they are working. The mobility is, “Are they moving now?”

3. Notice Your Superheroes

You’re still not giving support, and you’re still noticing and assessing yourself. The clip will travel for you to usage your existent skill, but not conscionable yet. You’re moving towards nan magic sentence, remember?

See if immoderate of these characters travel bustling successful pinch their questionable strategies. Remember to person self-compassion here, arsenic these were nan young child’s champion attempts astatine protection from overwhelming emotions.

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

  • The Rescuer – You want to prevention them from nan problem and conflict their battles for them. A awesome domiciled for parents, but not truthful applicable to this big partner you’re supporting.
  • The Fixer – You instantly springiness proposal and show them what they should do. You jump successful and return over, lining up each nan ducks successful your effort to soft nan way.
  • The Ostrich – Deep down, you don’t want to prosecute successful nan situation. You commencement to consciousness numb and abstraction out. Your facial look will bespeak this arsenic you mentally and emotionally time off nan room and vanish location else.
  • The Deflector – You ace jokes, effort to alteration nan subject, and get them to deliberation of thing else. It’s astir apt okay if you prevention this superpower for insignificant incidents but not for nan large stuff.
  • The Repressor – You whitethorn person been told that aliases led to judge that crying is for kids. This whitethorn trigger you to effort thing to repress your partner’s feelings. Just arsenic your family of root did, you’re trying to displacement your discomfort astatine nan aforesaid time.
  • The Annoyed One – You mightiness opportunity things like, “Man up.”, “Don’t consciousness this way.”, aliases “I can’t woody pinch this correct now!” arsenic these were nan words you heard erstwhile you were young.
  • The Emotional Surrogate – Especially if you are highly empathic and sensitive, you whitethorn return connected their emotions. You’ll cognize this is happening if they extremity up emotion conscionable good aft your conversation, and you extremity up emotion drained.

Go up and edifice to immoderate aliases each of those if they are helping your partner. After all, they will consciousness for illustration your superpower and not thing you want to springiness up.

The mobility is, “Are they adjuvant now?”

Staying Connected and Loving Through Their Difficult Time

Just arsenic you learned to header pinch life circumstances successful nan past, you tin study healthier ways of coping pinch things now. There are amended ways retired location that you tin try. These tin beryllium highly adjuvant if your aged ways really create region betwixt you and your partner.

1. Introduce Your New Character

Here’s wherever we invited a caller character, 1 not aligned pinch nan reactionary conflict aliases formation response. Let’s telephone this characteristic “The Midwife” aliases nan “Pitstop Support Crew.”

In Leigh Sales’ book Any Ordinary Day, Fr. Steve Sinn describes this type of supportive domiciled arsenic “The Accompanier.”

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

It’s your partner’s travel but they don’t person to do it alone. You tin beryllium location for them.

2. The Accompanier

So you’ve tuned successful to yourself and your feelings astir seeing your partner successful difficulty. If location was a inclination to want to avoid, deflect, dismiss, repress, save, return on, squash their emotions, aliases get angry astatine them aliases this issue, this has been duly noted.

This is your stuff. Put that speech to look astatine later. Developing affectional intelligence tin hap astatine immoderate age.

As nan Accompanier, you spot that their difficult clip is thing they will get done and perchance turn from. See them arsenic having nan spot to thrive from this. After all, nary 1 saved you from your difficult times.

3. Magic Sentence

Okay, Go! Now you tin opportunity nan magic sentence.

“Honey, I tin spot this is reliable for you. What do you request from maine correct now?”

Yes, this whitethorn beryllium a revelation to you, but you tin really inquire your partner what they need. No jumping in, fixing, aliases suggestions unless they’ve asked for this.


If your partner has said they conscionable request you to listen, past you get to beryllium nan Midwife. You get to put nan pillows, walk nan tissues, drawback that blankie and clasp their hand. It’s often called “holding nan space.”

Literally opening up abstraction astir this difficult emotion and becoming a instrumentality that holds it. You can’t do nan contractions for them, but you tin clasp on. It’s a powerful point to judge without judgment, interruption, and trying to hole everything.

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

Once nan emotion has cleared, they will person a new position connected things. At this point, you tin surely inquire if they’d for illustration thief pinch brainstorming solutions. Your clear-thinking, rational, step-by-step personification tin radiance present arsenic portion of nan move collaborative duo.

But your action scheme is not nan only reply and is apt to beryllium matched successful elegance by your partner.

You tin normalize seeking thief from a therapist if they’re still stuck. Getting psychological thief is nary large deal, and is conscionable arsenic basal arsenic going to nan expert for beingness ailments. It’s a motion of soul strength. You whitethorn moreover find it adjuvant to go on arsenic a couple.

Final Thoughts

With self-awareness and a willingness by some partners to look astatine aged patterns that are nary longer working, location is nan imaginable for difficult times to beryllium 1 of nan top teachers successful relationships.

Rather than creating contraction and distance, they tin yet bring individual treatment and empowerment, on pinch much openness and closeness betwixt you. Loving personification done difficult times is not an easy task. But pinch patience and effort, you’ll get done it.

Featured photograph credit: frank mckenna via

⌄ Scroll down to proceed ⌄