Relationships add so much texture to our lives. When our partner is happy, it’s infectious. When they achieve something great, we’re proud to be cheering them on from the stands. Caring about another person means that every time they shine, we glow a little bit ourselves.

But the opposite can be just as true. When someone we love is going through hard times—whether it’s friction with a colleague at work, a loved one who’s fallen ill or a chronic health issue—we also share in their struggle. Whenever there’s a rain cloud over their head, we can count on getting hit with a few raindrops too. And when that cloud turns dark and stormy? We’re out there in the downpour right beside them, exposed to all the elements.


The good thing about storms? They pass. And when you and your loved one are there to support each other through all the thunder and lightning, a storm can end with no trace that it was ever there at all. Here are some tips and techniques for weathering those storms with your life partner.


Offer Words of Support, Not Suggestions

Many people are natural problem solvers, their minds hungry to chew up obstacles and spit out solutions. Oftentimes, however, potential solutions are not what your partner wants to hear in times of crisis. When someone is stressed, the ultimate relief comes from knowing they’ll still be loved and respected regardless of how the situation resolves. Make sure your life partner understands this is the case. If it’s difficult for you to express such feelings verbally, consider writing your partner a nice letter with a message of support.


Give Comfort Through Touch

A warm hug, a relaxing massage or even a simple pat on the shoulder can do wonders for improving someone’s mental state. Human beings are social creatures, and the human brain releases stress-relieving hormones from all kinds of consensual touch. When your partner needs someone to lean on, being that person in the literal sense is one of the most potent ways to help.

older couple laughing

Help Your Partner Find More Help

No one person can be their partner’s sole source of support, because support takes many forms, from clinical expertise to spiritual guidance. Chances are, you aren’t a licensed therapist, ordained priest and unwavering soulmate all in one. Recognize this fact, and reach out for help in the areas where your partner needs it most. If your partner needs outside guidance from a medical practitioner, for example, Franciscan Health is here to lend a hand.

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