Many of us believe that marriage/long-term love is this linear progression into bliss. We believe that we will get married, grow in our careers, travel, have children, buy or upgrade our home, build our 401k, children will leave, retire, etc. We only see that upward progression not the potential for bumps along the way. We do not foresee the potential for illness, job loss, grief, etc. Therefore, I have found that unconditional love is the only way to see your partner through those hard times. I know that this may sound kind of fluffy. However, unconditional love does not impose judgment, opinion, minimize your partner’s thoughts and feelings. People feel loved when they receive gifts, hear affectionate words, feel their partners touch, spend real intimate personal time together, or when one partner does good deeds or acts of service for the other. Here are 6 tips to loving your partner through those hard times…
1.) Buy your partner a gift. Make a list of everything you have heard your spouse mention that he/she wants. (Remember it is the thought that counts). Pay attention and add to it whenever you hear your spouse mention something new. Keep this list for reference.
2.) Spend some quality time together. Plan a date, play some board games, take a ride together, or even watch your favorite movie together. Whatever you both like as a couple do it together.
3.) Share an intimate moment. This intimate time could include kissing, sex, hand holding, etc.
4.) Do something nice for them. This could include doing one of their chores, like washing the dishes, rubbing their feet, making dinner, or even putting gas in the car.
5.) Say something nice to your partner. Tell your partner that they are attractive, fun, that you trust them, that you need them, or about their strengths as a person. Build your partner up verbally, do not tear them down.
6.) Lastly. SAY I LOVE YOU!
Keeping all of this in mind you will have to feed the relationship during those hard times. I like to compare hardships to catching a cold. Your immune system is down and you do not feel like yourself. When we are sick, we do little extra things, such as take vitamins, eat chicken noodle soup or take that extra nap. When your spouse is going through a life change, you both are going through that life change. This means that you have to feed some extra love into their relationship, to support your partner. These tips will help you along the way.