Can you think of a time in your relationship when you needed your partner to be there for you and they weren’t? Maybe you were having a medical test and you were scared about what it might show. Maybe you were ill and you still felt you had to do the childcare even though you could barely drag yourself out of bed. Maybe you were grieving the loss of a dear friend and needed a shoulder to cry on. Whatever the situation, you felt you had to do it alone.
And at the same time you wondered where was your other half? After all you both promised to be a team and support each other. You didn’t know at the time that you each had a different definition of ‘support’.
What I find often with couples is that one partner is more open hearted and the other partner is more in their head. One partner values feelings and the other partner is a problem solver. One partner experiences life and the other partner talks around life. One partner takes into consideration how their behavior may affect their partner and the other partner doesn’t think it’s necessary to involve their partner in every decision they make. Do any of these differences sound familiar? If they do I imagine when they remain unresolved they prevent both partners from feeling emotionally supported, cared for and valued. The good news is there is a way through this.
Both partners need to be open to learning. Both partners have to decide that it’s more important to be loving than it is to be right. Both partners have to see each other as an opportunity to learn and grow. Both partners have to be willing to give their partner what their partner is asking for even if it feels uncomfortable.
If you’re the one who is always in your head trying to problem solve, you need to be willing to start empathizing more with your partner so that you sense the depth of his/her feelings. The more you’re moved by your partner’s emotional experience, the more likely you are to be there for him/her when your partner needs you. And instead of trying to figure out what to do about your partner’s difficult situation, you’ll intuitively know how to be there energetically for him/her.
Being emotionally present and supportive for each other is our natural state of being. And when we let all our fears get in the way we forget that comforting is healing.
And sometimes there’s nothing we need to do and there’s everything we need to be. Such as allowing our loving core self, our essence, our inner child, to lay next to our partner.
And then you’ll find that sometimes just being there is enough.