The capacity to consistently provide empathy, affection, and understanding in a relationship is known as emotional support.

How To Be a Supportive Partner: Experts & Couples Speak

supportive partner, relationship advice, relationship tips

The capacity to consistently provide empathy, affection, and understanding in a relationship is known as emotional support. It entails embracing your partner as they are, confirming their emotions which means that they express what they feel, and supporting their aspirations. Every partnership will have a distinct idea of what this means in practice.

How can this happen? Let's hear it from some real-life couples and experts

1. Shifting Perspective Helps

It may lead to tension and a sense of alienation when we let stress take control of and dominate the status of our relationship with our partners. And if that goes on, it could result in a distant relationship that is devoid of the once-shared love, passion, and delight. 

Chennai based psychiatrist Dr. Udgam Roy states, "Stress can bring us closer and make us feel like more of a team when we use it as a chance to improve our relationship and develop as people. Try to solve a matter as a team, rather than fighting alone. Communicate, seek help and resolve it." 

2. Understand When It’s Time To Step In

Here 29-year old IT professional Aditi Sinha from Bengaluru asserts, "Knowing when to intervene or when to stay off, to let your partner have his/ her space to resolve is basically being a helpful partner.  Suppose your loved one is in the middle of a hectic event or is hurrying around getting things done, you can always lend a helping hand as a spouse simply by engaging the guests in a way that she has enough time to manage the chores or if she handling them totally alone, simply help her in the chores. By doing this, you may offer him/her the extra time and space they need to accomplish a task or give them a break they really need." 

3. Mutually Correct Communication

Through your words, your spouse will have a strong sense of security and consolation. Learning to say the correct encouraging words at the right moment is frequently the key to understanding how to be a helpful spouse. Unsure of what to say? So read the experts' advice!

Psychiatrist Dr. Udgam Roy teaches, "Write down the pointers to talk as and when they come to your mind.  When you support your spouse, he/she must be reminded of her strengths and your love towards them. Some people support but fail to express, both are equally important."

"An introvertedintrovert lady might take time to speak out. As her spouse, you can leave notes for her when you find her in a chaotic mood. Some love notes that make her feel lighter, some notes that might seek her opinion like what would be her advice on this matter or that; the whole idea is to engage her in a conversation….to start with it can be writing. When she finds that comfort zone she may either start speaking her mind directly to you or simply start penning notes initially and open up later. Each one has their own ways of expressing themself. Let the other open up," adds Dr. Roy.

4. Believe in Your Partner

"Telling your spouse that you believe in them is frequently all it takes to be a supportive companion. When spoken in a calm and caring manner, the words of a loving spouse may provide a great lot of comfort and confidence," asserts Ranjeet Singh a shopkeeper from Ludhiana. Ranjeet's wife, Radhika Singh had to take a break from work post their first child's delivery, and already under post-partum stress, she required the much needed support from Ranjeet. She recalls how he would just sit and hold her hands and listen to her, or at times would just remind her of their travels together. She informs, "You don't have to feel as though you must express anything intricate. In fact, if your spouse is going through a difficult moment, sometimes the smallest words may mean the world to them. And they did to me."

5. Be Specific

In a partnership, emotional support extends beyond verbal praise. Be more precise. Your spouse may easily lose sight of the greater picture while under stress. Psychologist John Meyer writes from the UK, "Many people experience increased tension as they develop tunnel vision over a certain work or endeavor. So do not be beating about the bush. Be direct in an emotional approach, it is helpful. For instance, if you wish to express that your spouse's job loss is a part and parcel of life…simply tell him, then and there, when he shares the news with you. Don't think that you will speak on the matter later or when he feels better in a day or two. Remind him of his strengths and his ability to restart life, his ability to always find solutions and his resolve. Be supportive verbally right there, don't wait for any sort of later time assuming that you will speak when he is better. He will be actually better when you speak and make him feel better. That's it!"

6. Active Listening Is a Must

Shaina Suleiman from the Middle East writes, "We fail to listen intently to our spouses much too frequently. When we should be making time to listen, we are staring at our phones, thinking about work, or spending time on social media. Making eye contact, providing nonverbal cues like a smile or nod, exhibiting open and assured body language, and being totally present are all part of practising deep listening. When I was going through that critical emotional phase after my dad's demise, my husband would just hold my hands and listen to my childhood memories with my father. It was so deeply healing, a nice feeling that helped me more than anything else. His patience helped me live with my dad's memories in a stronger way; to return back to work and to carry forward his art legacy. He was an eminent interior designer. Now I hire interior designers whom he taught and we run our own design studio." 

7. Show Physical Affection

We feel like we are being tugged in a hundred different directions when we are under stress. 

Dipankar Chatterjee from Malaysia gets a little filmy yet realistic here," Heard of the JADOO KI JHAPPI or magical hug from the film Munna Bhai MBBS? It works! When I was going through a job loss phase parallel with my wife's first pregnancy, all she would do is hug me and sit silent for a while. It worked." 

How? Dr Asima Sen from Kolkata, India explains, "Physical touch is one of the most vital ways to be helpful, no matter what else is going on in your life, even when we don't feel like giving it. This is similar to deep listening. Even if you aren't feeling cheerful, holding your partner's hand or snuggling on the sofa may reestablish closeness and make you both feel more supported, similar to how smiling can alter your thinking."


The opinions expressed within this interview are the personal opinions of the protagonist/protagonists. The facts & statistics, the work profile details of the protagonist/ protagonists do not reflect the views of Baely or the Journalist. Neither Baely nor the Journalist hold any responsibility or liability for the same.

About the Interviewer
About the Author
Mahima Sharma
Mahima Sharma is a Senior Journalist based in Delhi NCR. She has been in the field of TV, Print & Online Journalism since 2005 and previously an additional three years in allied media.
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