A hard truth about being in a relationship is that you’re going to get to deal with your partner’s good times and bad times.
And while it’s easy to be upbeat when your partner is in their usual charming mood, it can be a whole other ball game when they’re being dragged down by the challenges of life.
And that’s where the strength of the relationship gets tested.
However, without the spells of bad fortune a relationship might go through, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the good moments as much, and luckily, there are a number of things you can do to help your partner through their tough time.
Take care of your partner’s everyday tasks
When you’re going through a rough spot, your otherwise basic day-to-day responsibilities can suddenly seem a lot more of a grind to get through. Simple things somehow become darker and heavier and can get in the way of the time and space you need to sort through what’s bothering you and mentally bounce back.
By taking care of these little jobs (vacuuming, grocery shopping, doing the laundry) for your partner, you can help smooth out the healing process and make a significant difference in the time it takes for them to shake off what’s bothering her.
One thing to remember, it’s possible that your partner actually enjoys these more mundane tasks as a way to keep his mind off of what’s bothering her, so you should find out first if taking over these small jobs is something they would actually want you to do.
Pushing your partner to talk about what’s bothering them can cause them to feel pressured or even intruded upon. We all need our space, and if your partner wants to open up about what’s bothering them, they will.
If you do really feel like getting your partner to talk is critical to feeling better, then by first opening up yourself about something difficult that you went through in your life, they might appreciate your honesty and willingness to share your more private experiences and feel better about revealing what’s going on in their head.
Don’t keep poking at the wound
If your partner is already feeling down about something bad that happened, repeatedly bringing it up with them could only get in the way of them getting over the lousy experience. Sometimes things just happen that emotionally knock you out of your loop and it simply takes the time to get yourself back on track.
Excessive talking and questions about issues might only lead to your partner’s frustration and then they’ll not only be dealing with what the original problem, they’ll be having to deal with you too.
Respect your partner’s mood
If your partner’s feeling down, constantly pushing them to snap out it or telling them that whatever they’re upset about isn’t so bad, might only make them irritated with you. We all have things that bother us, and by trying to minimize the problem – or even worse – being perceived by your partner that you don’t take their issue seriously, it’s possible you’ll only make it more difficult for them to get past their tough time.
Don’t take it personally
Even though it can be easy to think you’ve done something wrong, most of the time your partner’s bad mood has nothing to do with you. To even be in a healthy relationship you need to be secure in yourself, and there are many variables (other people they deal with, their job, things that happen in the past, something that they heard or fear) that go into a person’s life that can affect how they feel, and you have to remember that as much as you might now about your partner, you probably don’t know nearly as much as you think you do.
Be honest about your partner’s state of mind
While it might seem easier to simply tell people that your partner is doing fine, doing so could very well give the wrong impression to other people and if they’re around your partner, they could act in a way that’s not beneficial. By offering a realistic assessment about where your partner’s emotionally at, it will give people a chance to adjust their behaviour accordingly so they can take the appropriate demeanor and show support.
Going through a tough time is unpleasant enough, but if you’re isolated with no real support, things can get pretty unbearable. However, by staying close to and communicating with your partner, your support will go long ways to getting them on their feet again.
Keep your partner at the front of the line
Even though real-life can make this tricky, prioritizing your partner over your other commitments will really benefit them. Simply showing how much you care will do a lot to lift your partner’s self-esteem, and that in turn should speed up the recovery process.
Know how to deal with your own frustrations
If you’re not careful, the feeling of helplessness that sinks in when you have to watch your partner suffer can drag you into a funk as well and then things will only get that much tougher. Just remember that feelings come and go, and even if it seems like you’re watching your partner go down on a sinking ship, you can’t let yourself fall apart because who then is going to swim out to save her?
Remember, relationships aren’t necessarily easy, if they were, people wouldn’t always be saying you have to work at them. And the reality of life is that the next tough time for you or your partner can always be just around the corner. However, it’s how we navigate the bumps in the road that ultimately determines our happiness, and if you follow the tips in this article, you’ll definitely have a better chance of helping your partner’s rough time go by smoother – and from that point on, your bond should only be that much stronger.
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This piece originally appeared on Get-a-Wingman.