ERP 023: What To Do When Your Significant Other Is Struggling

By Posted in - Podcast July 9th, 2015 2 Comments

Show Notes: Be sure to listen to the episode to hear stories, examples, and more tips.

If you have ever experienced a time when your significant other is experiencing pain or difficulty for any length of time, then you know – it is extremely challenging to stay balanced, positive, and constructive.

As much as you would like to take their pain or difficulty away, you cannot make it better for them or do their work for them. All you can do is take care of your side of things and show-up in the best way possible.

Here are some tips to help you be more effective:

1. Hold Space For Strength & Growth:

  • norway-772991_1280 copyBe compassionate and empathize.
  • Offer support in ways that might be helpful. If you would like more resources on how to be supportive, then check out this podcast.
  • If your partner is having a negative outlook, don’t buy into the victim story.
  • Hold a mindset that your partner is growing, learning, and is in process.
  • Believe in your partner. Believe in your partner’s strength and capabilities.
  • Don’t participate with the bad behavior. Set limits. See #3

“The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.”– Ulysses S. Grant

2. Be A Safe Person.

  • In relationship, partners are often very sensitive to each other’s criticism, judgment, and disappointment.
  • Even if you want to see “better behavior” from your partner, judging and criticizing will not help. (If you have issues, try address them constructively.)
  • Try and think positive thoughts about your partner. Catch overly critical thoughts and judgments. Remember your partner is trying.
  • Communicate with tact and kindness.
  • Offer genuine care, regard, and consideration, when possible.

3. Take A Stand For Health:

  • Set standards for yourself. What you are willing to participate in and what you are not willing to participate in?
  • Set limits based on things you can control. You cannot control your partner’s thoughts and behaviors. You can control what interactions and dynamics you invest your time, attention, and resources into.
  • Listener’s example: Not wanting to open up a join checking account because of partner’s overspending. “I would love to open up a joint checking account, AND I want to feel solid in our ability to work together financially. I want to feel trusting of our ability to be on the same page.”
  • “Would you be willing to talk about steps we can take together to get on the same page, work together, build solid foundation and trust together financially?
  • For more on Making And Keeping Agreements To Strengthen Your Relationship, check out this podcast.
  • My example: “I am not okay, with how things are going. Would you be willing to look for other strategies to deal with this difficultly? Get support?”

balance-405513_1280 copy4. Strive For Individual Balance & Wellness:

  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable in a healthy way.
  • Honor your needs. Example: Need to feel nurtured – take a hot bath. Need for support. – spend time with a good friend.
  • Be clear about your intentions and efforts with your partner.
  • Invite your partner into something that would feel good to you. Be Specific.

5. Be Available For True Communication

  • Ask your partner for time to talk more openly. Decide when and where would be a good time. Have a heart-to-heart conversation.
  • Take the role of the listener and really seek to understand. Take time. Be patient. Be present. Follow your partner’s pace of sharing.
  • Use empathy – understanding your partner’s perspective.
  • Understand your partner’s needs.

romantic-563036_1280 copy6. Be Available For True Communication Again

  • Share your experience.
  • Stay “on your side of the fence.”
  • Know your needs.
  • What are you willing to do to contribute to your needs being met?
  • Invite your partner into a creative discussion about how to deal with this difficult time together as a couple.

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.”– Nelson Mandela

Mentioned: Be sure and check out The Art Of Mindful Wealth Summit. Listen and learn from over 24 world-class inspiring wealth and abundance experts sharing how you can hit the reset button and live with greater meaning, purpose and fulfillment!

I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you have points to add to the conversation? Please leave me a comment below.

If you have a topic that you would like me to discuss or a situation that you would like me to speak to, please contact me by clicking on the “Ask Dr. Jessica Higgins” button here. Thank you so much for being interested in improving the quality of your relationship.

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(2) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • WSOEmelia396635 - Reply

    October 30, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    I do agree with all of the ideas you’ve introduced in your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for starters. Could you please prolong them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

    • Dr. Jessica Higgins - Reply

      November 1, 2015 at 7:23 am

      Hi, Thank you for commenting. Curious, did you listen to the podcast? These notes are intended to supplement the podcast episode, where I give more explanation and examples to illustrate the points.

Please leave a Comment

Shifting Criticism For Connected Communication

Shifting Criticism For Connected Communication.

Stop the criticism loop, learn new ways to communicate
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Dr. Jessica Higgins ~ Relationship and Transformational Coaching