Marriage, Love and Care
When you were getting married, you and your spouse took vows to care for each other. This perhaps happens in all systems, religions and societies. The main underlying idea must be that if you take care of each other and make each other happy then both of you are highly motivated in life. This worked fine till you were newlyweds. But did you notice that besides physical love and care, your spouse also needs emotional support! So let us discuss in detail the need for emotional support to your spouse and how to support your spouse emotionally.
Love and Emotional Need
It is quite possible that over a period of time, because of various reasons and circumstance it might not have been possible to give same care and attention to your spouse – as it was being done when you marriage was brand new. Maybe it never occurred to you.
But with the passage of time, if you didn’t care for each other enough, you might dilute your love for your spouse. The thinning of your mutual love means less care for each other. In some cases, it can be one way also.
You might say “So what? This is natural.”
Why your spouse needs your emotional support?
Let me answer this question indirectly. Why do you need to take bath every day? Bathing is a natural and a simple cleansing process. It opens up pores, removes dust, toxins and it leaves your skin fresh and clean. No matter how much deodorant or perfumes you spray on yourself, if you don’t take a bath you will start stinking soon.
Similarly, love is an emotional need of every normal human being. It is a human nature to be happy, contended and cheerful when the emotional need is fulfilled and being cared and loved by someone is great feeling. To add further to this, one longs for care, love and affection from people close to one. This helps maintain self esteem as well.
When does your spouse need your emotional support more?
The journey of life is not an easy one. There are ups and downs. Even an emotionally strong person would like to share his or her happiness as it increases the pleasure manifolds. Likewise, sharing the sorrows and grief with the near and dear ones is very comforting. The person feels less of the load on himself.
The spouse (or the partner) is the best person to be with his or her counterpart during such moments. While it is easy to share happiness and achievements with friends and relatives it is not easily possible to even hint about the problems one is facing, leave alone sharing them. It is during such moments of challenges and tough situations, the support of spouse becomes invaluable and indispensable. There could be sensitive, delicate and disturbing situations to which only the spouse can be the privy to.
Situations such as following should immediately alert you that it is the time to be with your life partner – not only physically but also emotionally:
- Loss of a parent
- Some family issues
- Health of self or a close family problem
- On going work related problem
- Career predicament
- Financial Crisis
- Loss caused by some natural disaster – flood, epidemic, droughts, tornado, fire etc.
Signs that your spouse needs your emotional support
Even if your spouse or partner has not been sharing his problems with you, but if you notice his / her shift to the one or the following type of tendencies then it is time to sit up and give your best emotional support. Do it before it is too late, otherwise the damage can be irreversible and much more if it is allowed to continue
- Pessimistic approach
- Irritable nature
- Negative thoughts and anticipating failures tendencies
- Complete distrust on others
- Lack of trust or suspicious nature
- Lack of self-confidence
- Doubting own capabilities
- Mental or physical exhaustion
- Impatient nature
How To Support Your Spouse Emotionally
There can be many ways, depending on the nature of the problem and type of personality your partner is. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Right Attitude
Begin with right Attitude. Attitude is very important. If you genuinely and sincerely try to support your partner you have made the right beginning.
2. Give Affection
Affection: According to Dr. Harley, affection is the expression of care and symbolizes security, protection, comfort and approval. When one spouse is affectionate toward the other, the messages sent consist of: “You are important to me,” “I do care for you”. Therefore, give your affection with an open heart and generously in a heartfelt way.
3. Be Understanding
Be an understanding person who is supportive of his partner’s feelings. If your partner is dealing with a loss or a disappointment let him or her know that you are always around and are available to talk.
Sometimes the partner may not like to speak and go deep within. Let your partner have the space he or she needs to process feelings. Don’t talk much to your partner at this time. Give him time, space and let him know that you care. This would comfort and reassure your partner.
4. Be a good listener
In case your spouse feels lighter after talking about it then encourage him or her to speak. Listen deeply to what your partner is saying and also not saying but means it. Empathize with her or him. Knowing that you are being heard is very comforting and reassuring that you care. Paraphrasing what your partner has said is a great way to let him or her know you are on the same page. Tell your partner that together you will sail through these times and soon everything will be alright.
During the moment of extreme grief or low feeling hold your partner’s hands or put your reassuring arm around. A gentle but slightly longer hug can work wonders. Some people are best assured through touch but this may not work for everyone.
6. Shift your priorities
If your partner is having a rough time, pull out all the stops. Shift down your priorities to a lower level. Having the person you love by your side when things are disturbing or challenging is a true gift.
Understanding your Partner’s Emotional Needs
One of the keys to being successful in a long-term, committed relationship is the capability of properly understanding the emotional needs of your partner. Almost all humans have similar emotional needs, yet each person also unique. Learning what your partner values most—what makes your spouse feel loved and secure—is essential to making the relationship and the marriage work.
These are the most practical marriage counseling tips which the counselors would give to married couples in a couples therapy.
Emotional support is about helping to lift someone to a higher ground so that he or she can come out of the difficult phase. Helping and emotionally supporting your spouse when the chips are down is one of the best parts of a marriage relationship.
Just keep in mind these practical marriage counseling tips and most probably you would be able to save visits to counselors for couples therapy / marriage counseling.
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