28 Mar 10 Ways FOR Husbands TO be more emotionally supportive
Posted at 03:03h in Counseling, Mental Health
A frequent complaint that I hear from the wives and girlfriends in my Marriage and Family Therapy practice, is that their husbands are not emotionally supportive. Here are ten suggestions that might help. Probably you have heard these or similar things before. Maybe it’s time to try one or two of these suggestions yourself?
- Acknowledge your wife’s feelings. Listen to her and make an effort to understand where she is coming from. Avoid dismissing her feelings, even if you don’t agree with them. How? Ask clarification questions; nod or indicate you are listening and want to understand.
- Show empathy. Be sympathetic to her struggles and make it clear that you are there to help her through them. How? Use your words and/or physical contact like a hug or just a gentle touch.
- Validate her feelings. Let her know that her feelings are valid and that you want to understand them. How? Confirm something she has said. For example, “You have a right to feel that way.”
- Encourage her. How? Offer words of encouragement and let her know you believe in her.
- Show affection. How? Give her physical affection like hugs, kisses, and cuddles.
- Show appreciation. Let her know that you appreciate her and all the things she does for you. How? Think outside the box and compliment her on some attribute that you have never complimented her on before; or, give her a gift that lets her know you were thinking about her.
- Spend quality time together. How? Make time for each other and do something fun or relaxing (together!).
- Communicate openly. How? Make sure that you are communicating openly and honestly about your feelings and expectations. As scary as it may be, let her know how you feel…your struggles, pain, etc.
- Problem solve together. Work together to find solutions to any issues that may arise. How? Seek for each other’s advice and give each other time to think and consider if the advice is appropriate for your or her situation.
- Be patient. Emotions can be complex and take time to process, so try to be patient with your wife. How? Admit if you do not understand her big emotions and acknowledge you might need some time to consider. Understand that emotions change, so work on being patient.