When two people exchange their wedding vows, they promise to love, honor, and cherish, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, for as long as they both shall live. The vow is stating that you pledge unconditional love to each other no matter what the circumstances are.
You pledged your love and support forever to your spouse. However, when life takes a sideways turn, one spouse can fear that the other spouse may not be there for them. All human beings need the reassurance that their spouse will love, care for, respect, and support them even in their lowest moments.
What is a supportive spouse?
Being a supportive spouse does not mean that you will wait on them hand and foot or do whatever they tell you. A supportive spouse is not someone who gives into your every demand. A supportive spouse is a true partner. It means that you support your spouse by:
- Giving them space to make their own Choices. No one likes to be told what to do or to have all their decisions made for them. Whether they are trying to make a major life decision such as whether to change jobs or start a business or smaller decisions such as whether to attend their high school reunion, be supportive by listening to them, discussing the matter with them, and allowing them to make the choice.
- Encourage your spouse to tackle something new to them or important to them. Support your spouse by becoming their biggest cheerleader in whatever they undertake to do. Pump up their self-esteem and let you know you believe in their abilities.
- Respect your partner and let them know they are important to you. Listen to what your spouse has to say and make them feel like you are truly interested by participating in the conversation. Ask for your partner’s opinion before making decisions about things you both will use, share, do.
- Give of your time to be with them and attend functions important to them. People’s lives are busy, and in many families, both spouse’s work. Make sure that you make your spouse a priority in your life. Schedule date nights, keep a calendar of events or functions that you both want to attend together. If you say you will be there, be there.
How to become a supportive spouse?
You support your spouse by how you communicate and show your support.
- Listening to your partner without judgement
- Participating in the conversation
- Trying to Understand your spouse’s opinion
- Respecting their Point of view
- Being honest
- Expressing gratitude to your spouse
- Being a Cheerleader
- Making time to sit and talk
- Apologizing when you are wrong
- Praise your spouse often
Showing your spouse support means:
- Paying attention to your spouse
- Being considerate to your spouse
- Helping your spouse
- Viewing your spouse as a partner
- Taking time to be with, play, laugh with your spouse
- Respecting your spouse’s time and individual plans
- Viewing your spouse’s needs as equal to yours
- Give your spouse their space
- Be thoughtful and empathetic
- Let your spouse do things their way
- Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt
Even if you have not been supportive in the past, you can start being a more supportive spouse today by doing better at communicating and showing your spouse that you love, care about, respect, and want to support them.
When you feel safe enough with your spouse to be yourself, you know you are in a supportive relationship. When you trust your spouse and believe that you can count on them in any situation, you have built a solid, supportive marriage.