Mark has been dealing with back pain for the past few months. It’s getting better, but there are still days he doesn’t feel 100 percent. For someone as on-the-go as Mark, this experience has, at times, caused him to get discouraged.
I’ve tried to be there for Mark, to encourage him and let him know I understand what he’s dealing with. It’s not always easy, but it’s part of being a supportive spouse. Mark has been there for me when I’ve gone through down times; now it’s my turn to be there for him.
In this podcast, Mark and I share 4 Things to Do When Your Spouse is Feeling Down.
When someone shows you empathy you immediately feel that you’re not alone. It’s more powerful than offering a solution because it shows you understand. Do your best to show empathy every day for as long as your husband needs your support. If you don’t, he’ll feel like you’re getting frustrated with him.
Thank him for being transparent.
When your husband reaches out to you or shares what’s bringing him down, say something like this: “I’m so glad you told me. I could tell you were down.” Encourage him to continue to be transparent so that you can offer support. Try not to see his sharing as complaining. If you allow him to talk about his troubles he’ll be better equipped to handle them.
Show unconditional love.
Mark and I have a friend whose wife had a stroke shortly after she gave birth to their child. He has shown her unconditional love over the years, taking on extra things to lighten her burden. He doesn’t grumble about it, he just does it. You don’t want to heap more guilt on your spouse and make them feel bad about their condition.
Be on their team.
A husband and wife make up one whole, one team. Sometimes, the teamwork is split pretty evenly, 50-50, but when one of you is feeling down the other has to do more for the team. The one who isn’t suffering might have to give 80 percent and not get bitter about it.
Listen to the full podcast here for more on how to help your spouse when they’re feeling down.