How to Become a More Supportive Partner

We are emotional beings who crave love, respect, and support, and we shouldn’t settle for less, especially when we talk about relationships. Even though family and friends are very important, the truth is we need more. We need a partner who’ll be there with us for better and for worse, someone who can love us unconditionally.

Of course, everyone is different, so it’s natural that we have different expectations from a partner, but most people will agree with me when I say that you can’t build a future with someone that doesn’t support your dreams or someone who doesn’t believe in you. As relationship counselor Crystal Bradshaw has explained, in order to become a better partner you should focus on supporting their dreams. Because no matter how things go, you need someone special that will be there with you.

A supportive partner can do wonders when you’re going through a hard time because someone you need someone to believe in you, when you’re not believing in yourself, someone to remind you how great you are and how blessed they are to have you.

This type of person can boost your confidence to another level, and this is exactly what you need. You need someone that’s going to tell you that everything is going to be alright. But at the same time, support should be mutual in a relationship, so you should do the same for your partner. Support is key to having a happy and healthy relationship, so read on to discover how to be a more supportive partner!

But what does it mean to be a supportive partner?

As previously mentioned, everyone is different, so there’s no clear example of how to be a more supportive partner because your idea of support might not coincide with someone else’s.

However, showing your support in a relationship means considering both your and your partner’s needs, whatever they might be. Sometimes showing your support means knowing what your partner needs, even when they didn’t tell you.

Additionally, a supportive partner will allow their life partner to make their own choices. Sometimes support means freedom, even when you’re in a relationship. Therefore, if you want to be more supportive, you should try letting your partner make choices about the important aspects of their life, whether it’s about a career change, or going back to school.

At the same time, showing your support sometimes means encouraging your partner. While it’s easy to doubt their skills, it’s essential that you learn how to encourage them, even when it’s not easy for you. So if your partner wants to go back to school, even though they’re not in their 20s anymore, try to respect their choice and encourage them to do it. Even more, you need to make sure your partner feels loved, respected, and important. In order to achieve that, you need to be a good listener and make your significant other a top priority in your life.

It’s important that you understand that support is not just about going along with everything your partner does. Additionally, support doesn’t mean you should spend 24/7 together. Support is about trusting and respecting their choices, encouraging them when they need it but also challenging them when they’re not making the best decisions.

You should give them space to learn and explore new interests, but you should also tell them when they’re wrong. Being supportive is key in a healthy relationship. After all, who wouldn’t want someone that supports their dreams while also allowing you to thrive and become the best version of yourself?

A supportive partner will also make even the hardest moments in your life seem a little bit easier. Two people who can rely on each other and trust that the other person has their best interest at heart will be able to achieve everything they want together. Life’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and there are going to be a lot of ups and downs, so being in a supportive relationship will definitely make your journey more enjoyable.

1. It’s important to understand your partner’s needs.

According to a clinical hypnotherapist, author, and educator Rachel Astarte, who offers transformational coaching for individuals and couples at Healing Arts New York, “The one conversation a couple can have in order to build intimacy is to ask: How can I help you when you’re suffering?”

Knowing how to react when your significant other is in pain is essential for the well-being of your relationship. Some people need space, while others might not like to be alone when they’re going through something in their personal life. In order to understand your partner’s needs, you need to have a simple conversation with them. This information will prevent a lot of unnecessary fights from happening.

2. You need to respect their point of view.

Even though you might not be on the same page all the time, it’s important that you respect your significant other’s point of view, instead of judging all their moves and decisions. So if they tell you that they feel like they need a career change, try not to judge their decision and understand their desire, even when you don’t agree with it.

3. But also be empathetic.

Sometimes you have to put yourself in your significant other’s shoes. Even though it might be annoying to hear them complain about something that happened at work, try to consider how you might feel if you had problems at work or didn’t get along with a co-worker. Putting yourself in their shoes will help you understand them better and be a more supportive partner.

4. Sometimes you just have to be quiet and a good listener.

As Rachel Astarte, transformational coaching for individuals and couples at Healing Arts New York has explained, as humans, we want to be heard. Therefore, you need to make sure you’re letting your partner vent for as long as they need to. By being a good listener you’re showing your significant other that you’re there for them, fully present in the relationship.

5. Check-in with your partner on a frequent basis.

If you allow problems to build up in your relationship it will be very hard to solve them later on. According to psychologist Nikki Martinez, each couple should have regular talks, in order to avoid problems from building up and becoming even worse. Communication is key, so checking in with your partner regularly will keep things going smoothly.

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6. Make sure your partner knows how much you love them.

Another way in which you can show your support is by reminding your partner how much you love them because sometimes people tend to forget that. According to Cindi Sansone-Braff, relationship coach, psychic medium, and author of Why Good People Can’t Leave Bad Relationships, “My husband has a wonderful way of comforting me when I start losing it.”

“He looks at me, smiles, and says, ‘I love you,’ and then asks, ‘What can I do to help you?'” Even though it might sound very simple, this is exactly what some people need when they’re going through something.

7. Offer your help.

Some people might find it difficult or embarrassing to ask for help when they’re going through something, but you can support your partner by simply offering your help, even when they didn’t ask for it. If you see that they might be going through a challenging situation, you can anticipate what they need from you and offer to help them.

8. Don’t forget that you’re a team.

Even when you might not be on the same page all the time, it’s important that you don’t forget that you’re a team. Of course, things will become difficult from time to time because that’s life, but you and your partner need to remember that you’re a united front. In this situation, communication is key. Let your partner know that you support them in their decisions, after all, it’s you two against the world, not you against your partner.

9. You need to create a stress-free environment for your partner.

If your partner is going through a hard time, make sure not to bring more stress into the relationship. You don’t need grand gestures in order to show them your support, sometimes small gestures mean the most.

According to Daniel Amis, relationship trainer and author of Unbreakable Love: Proven Methods For Developing a Stronger, More Satisfying Relationship In Just 30 Days, “A foot rub, alone time in front of the TV, a relaxing bubble bath, intimacy, or perhaps something else can do wonders.”

But no matter what you choose to do, it’s important to create an environment in which they can feel less stressed. After all, a relationship should be a safe haven.

10. Be your significant other’s biggest supporter.

Let your partner know that you are rooting for them every time they achieve something or when they’re facing a challenge. Additionally, do not forget to tell them how proud you are of them, or when you feel like they need a little extra support, a little ‘you can handle this’ will make them even more confident.

11. Ask your partner how their day went.

I can’t state this enough, but communication is the secret to any successful relationship. Even though it might seem unimportant for some people, you need to make a habit out of asking your partner how their day went. Make sure to really listen to what they have to say, even if it means hearing them vent for an hour about a colleague at work, and remember all the details. If you’re not listening actively when they’re talking, they will feel a lack of support, and I guess you wouldn’t want that.

12. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

When you see that something is bothering your significant other even though they didn’t say anything about it, open the conversation to find out what’s wrong. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions, in fact, this will show how much you care.

As counselor Laurel Clark has explained, “People need space, so it may be that you need to give your partner space, but it may also be that there’s something wrong and he or she doesn’t know how to talk about it.” Let your partner know they can talk to you and show them that you’re there for them if they feel like opening up about something.

13. Do not deny the existing problems.

A relationship is not all sunshine and rainbows, so there will also be challenging times you have to handle together as a couple. Neglecting those problems won’t miraculously solve them. Sometimes it’s important that you acknowledge the tough stuff as well.

If they appear more stressed than usual it might be because you’re not communicating as well as you should, and it’s important to talk to them about it. Be honest and acknowledge that you became a little more distant, and ask them if they felt it too.

According to Joy Harden Bradford, psychologist and breakup coach, don’t be afraid to ask your partner if there’s something that needs to be discussed. Bradford believes that having the courage to open up difficult discussions is the best way in which you can move further.

Photo by gbbot From Shutterstock

14. Apologize when you are wrong.

Even though it’s definitely not very easy, apologizing when you are wrong is very important for the well-being of the relationship. And it’s not even about the big things. Sometimes you have to apologize because you forgot to do something you said you’ll do, even though it’s something as simple as washing the dishes.

Apologizing is the healthiest method in which you can avoid an unnecessary argument, and way better than falsely accusing your partner of something they did not do.

15. Try not to make unreasonable assumptions.

Always questioning your significant other’s decisions or doubting them is definitely not healthy for your relationship. Instead, try to be more understanding and support them in everything they do. It’s natural to not agree with them every single time, but making assumptions is not the right choice here. Many relationship experts believe that giving your partner the benefit of the doubt is the most efficient way in maintaining your relationship healthy, instead of just jumping to conclusions.

16. Conclusion

You can include these steps into your day-to-day life, in order to build trust and create a solid foundation for your relationship. It’s very important that you show your partner, wife, and even family and friends that they can count on you, and you are there for them no matter the circumstances.

Showing support will make the people close to you feel safe, respected, and appreciated. But do not forget that anything you do should be reciprocated, so when you show support, you should expect support in return.

You can’t build a stable relationship without supporting your partner, so you should focus on that. A supportive partner should be:

  • Your Biggest supporter
  • A good listener
  • Someone who prioritizes their partner
  • Helpful
  • Your teammate
  • Someone you can laugh with
  • But also someone you can have real conversations with
  • Honest
  • Someone who’s not afraid to admit when they were wrong

Check out: Attachment Styles and Their Powerful Role in Adult Relationships.




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