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Couples Therapy: How to Help Your Spouse When You Are Both Struggling
Couples Therapy: How Can I Support My Spouse Emotionally When I Need Support, Too?
Couples therapy can be a great resource for you and your spouse during hard times. Many couples seek therapy during the biggest challenges of their lives. And that’s where it gets complicated. Problems don’t happen in a vacuum. Your marriage is a unit and what happens to one of you often happens to both of you.
What do you do if your partner is going through a major crisis? How can you find balance and make sure to take care of yourself, too? Today, you will learn some ways that you can offer your partner support and also find ways to care for yourself during hard times. You will also learn how couples therapy can help.
Make Special Time For Each Other
One of the best ways to offer mutual support during a crisis is to set aside specific time for your partner. This is especially effective if you schedule out a specific time each day when your partner can freely express their feelings about their struggle. (Related Article: How to Support Your Spouse When You Are Hurting, Too).
Use this set aside time to listen and validate. (Related Article: Marriage Counseling- Validation). Do not brainstorm solutions, don’t strategize yet. Just listen and show that you care and see their struggle. This is also a great time for you to do the same. Give each other a set amount of time where you can freely talk about how you are handling this stressful situation.
Having an uninterrupted period to talk freely about your experiences can be a great way to set the stage for good collaboration and communication with your partner later down the line. (Related Article: Couples Therapy- Resilience). And giving each of you a turn to talk openly can give you the opportunity to receive validation and support from your spouse.
Take a Pause
You will never be able to take your partner’s stress away all on your own. And listening and supporting your spouse can be taxing, especially if you are struggling, too. While it is important to take time to listen and validate your partner, it is also okay to take a pause from the role of the “listener”. (Related Article: Communication Skills- Boundaries).
Don’t be afraid to tell your spouse, “I want to make sure I am fully present for you and can help. Can we pause this conversation and resume later today?” (Related Article: Marriage Counseling- Taking a Break). Taking a pause can prevent burnout and can keep you from getting overwhelmed. Taking a pause can also give you time to recharge your own batteries and practice self-care. And if you feel rested and ready to listen, your partner will feel your support more effectively.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
When you are in the midst of a crisis and trying to help your partner, it can be easy to forget that you can (and should) make time to have fun together! Plan a fun date night, go on a drive, or watch a movie at home.
What you do doesn’t matter as much as how you do it. Taking time to enjoy things together and give yourself a break from the stress of your circumstances. And spending quality time with your spouse can improve your bond and your trust in each other. (Related Article: Couples Therapy- How to Build Trust).
Couples Therapy Can Help You Cope with Hard Times
No couple is immune to struggles and challenges. Part of your marriage and shared story will be the difficulties you overcome together. But you and your spouse do not have to go through it alone! Couples therapy is a valuable resource that can help you and your partner understand how to support each other during difficult times. You don’t just need to survive in a crisis, you can also thrive. Ready to get started? Schedule couples therapy today in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork.
Written by Lauren Adkins