A good relationship is when someone accepts your past, supports your present and encourages your future – Unknown
Do we need support?
Support is something that you should always be able to rely on from your partner. They too should be able to know without a doubt that they have your support too. I have seen a lot of couples who undermine each other rather than offer support and that is so sad. Your partner should be your biggest supporter in life.
This very much links back to knowing each other’s personal goals and having shared goals too. When you know what your partner is working towards you can make sure that you are there, by their side, offering encouragement and emotional support. You can make changes to lessen their load if they are struggling and you are ready to celebrate their success with them when they accomplish their goal.
A relationship without support going both ways is not a healthy and happy relationship. It may work for a while, but there will be a breaking point in the relationship as most people need both physical and emotional support to function.
How Supportive are you?
If you are not sure how supportive your relationship is, take a look at this checklist and see how many yes answers you get. It is just a simple list of questions which I have put together to help you gauge where you are in terms of how supportive you are to your partner and vice versa. You can do it in regards to how your partner supports you and then again to see how you support your partner or if you are feeling brave, you could get your partner to answer which statements they think are true to you. As with all of these types of tests, you do need to answer honestly!
- When you see your partner is stressed you offer a hug and a friendly ear to talk things through
- You know your partners’ goals and tasks
- If you know your partner is working late you take on some of their chores to lighten their load
- Your partner accomplishes a goal (for example, promotion, new job, passes driving test or uni course) so you get them a card and take them out to celebrate or get them a small gift.
- You know your partner has not been sleeping well so you get up with the kids and let them lie in even if it is not your turn.
- You tell your partner how proud of them you are for trying their goal or task no matter what the outcome is.
- If something goes wrong which your partner is struggling with you give them some time to feel down and work through their emotions, making allowances for their low mood.
- They have events that they need to attend, you go with them for moral support and to show them that you care (even if it is the last place that you really want to be!)
- If your partner has been struggling with something and they ask for alone time, you give them that time without getting upset or offended and making them feel bad.
- If you know that your partner wants to make friends or has been feeling alone, you encourage them to go out and socialise with no judgement or conditions placed on them through paranoia or jealousy.
Add up how many of the statements apply to you.
0-3 = If you or your partner have scored 3 or less then there would appear to be very little support in the relationship. I would advise addressing this by talking to each other. See if you can pinpoint why this is. Are there steps that you can put in place to address this? If you find it difficult to do this together by yourselves, then I would advise seeking some relationship counselling. This could help you both express your feelings and find ways to make positive changes to help the relationship.
4-7 = If you scored 4-7 then there is some support in the relationship which is great. You could use the list of statements to open a discussion with your partner and look to see if there need to be any changes to increase the support felt between the two of you, but you are off to a good start.
7-10 = If you scored 7 or more then you would appear to be in a very supportive relationship which is fantastic!
True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen – Francois de La Rochefoucauld
This post is part of my relationship blog series – The A-Z of a Healthy and Happy Relationship