Supporting your partner.

Movies and pop culture have made us believe that we and our partner are “meant to be” everything in our lives will be easy and if it is not we simply are with the wrong person. Truth is there will be good and bad moments, easy and hard times. In good times we should not take our partner for granted and in hard times we shouldn’t simply give up. When things are tough it is only but an opportunity to grow together and not to just call it a day and part ways.

But we shouldn’t show our support only when hard times hit us. We should appreciate our partner all the time and show it to them. Support and appreciation comes in all shapes and sizes. So don’t wait until bad things happen to your significant other to show them how much they mean to you.

1. Show how proud you are of your partner.

Make sure you show how proud you are of your partner. Whenever they do something they put a lot of effort in, and they are really excited about it, don’t be indifferent towards them or brush it aside with criticism. Words of affirmation will lift their spirits and make them feel like the king or queen of the world. 

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A tiny surprising gift, a family of little ducklings for my little duckling!

2. Don’t just give advices, but also encourage them.

When your partner is facing hard times, don’t just give them advice on how to do [x], while it is helpful, a nice meal, movie or some warm moments might be better. Show them your support and let them rely on you too. This will lift their spirit and give them energy that they will need to tackle the problems ahead of them.

3. Be understanding.

Sometimes we will project our own ways of being to our partners. Which may cause us to misjudge their actions. Instead of supporting them we may get too critical with them and actually just make them feel worse than they were. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt and try to see their motives for what they are doing.

4. Don’t give up on them.

There will be struggles, it is simply inevitable. Don’t let those hard moments break you apart. Sometimes it will be our fault and sometimes it will be their fault. “Calm sea does not make a skilled sailor”. It is important however to try and work things out. This is not only beneficial to you as individuals but also you as a couple making you grow stronger together.

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Bought an IKEA shelf and put it together when I first came to Holland to see her.

5. Be affectionate and show appreciation.

Give your partner special attention, give them kisses, hugs, massages, small random gifts, food. Spoil them from time to time a bit more. It does not have to always be something big, but you should show that you care not only on rainy days but always, it will make them feel appreciated and loved.

6. Support their ways of doing things.

Don’t insist on them doing things your way. Let them go after their goal and problems in their own way. By forcing or annoying them to follow your way will only make things worse and frustrate them beyond belief. Instead try to see it their way and try and help them.

7. Never ignore your loved ones.

Nothing hurts like being treated like you don’t exist. Even if you are angry at the situation or your partner, it is no excuse to ignore them. Think how are you are going to feel if they did this to you. Take a step back from your problems or let them help you, just don’t push them away or ignore them.

8. Face the challenges together.

In a healthy relationship there is no thing as “mine” or “their” problem. All challenges and problems are affecting you as well. Face them as team! There will be moments where one will be facing things that the other can’t really do anything about, but that is no excuse to let them deal with everything on their own. Instead one can help with something else. For example let’s say that one has a big project for work/school that the other can’t help with, instead they can do something else, like cooking, cleaning or taking on other tasks that your partner would usually do but doesn’t have time to do at the moment.

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The first “Omuraisu” that Adina made for me.

9. Ask about their desires and needs.

Make sure to ask them from time to time if they have anything they need or want at the moment. Ask them if they need something more or less. Things such as space, personal time, affection, help with certain tasks or anything they are holding back.

Supporting one’s partner is important. You are a team. It feels good to know there is someone who has your back. Someone you can rely on in hard situations and with whom you spend happy moments together.

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