Opinion: How To Be A More Supportive Spouse

Libby Shively McAvoy
Photo byEnvato Elements Purchased Image License LSA42Y5DJT

Being a Supportive Spouse Fosters A Healthy Relationship

Many people get married, and unfortunately, many marriages fail. For a marriage to survive life’s perils, we must support one another through thick and thin. We must remember that our spouse is our teammate and life partner, which means listening to and validating them, accepting their flaws, forgiving them, appreciating them, and working together to resolve conflict.

Five Ways To Be A Supportive Spouse

  1. Practice active listening. Ditch the eye-rolling, arguing, the need to be correct, interrupting each other, and talking over your partner. Validate their feelings and needs, so they feel heard and understood. Determine if they are asking for your help or advice or want you to listen and let them vent.
  2. Fully accept and appreciate your spouse. We all have flaws, but we tend to overlook those in the initial stages of a relationship. If you want your partner to improve on a habit, approach them lovingly. Ask for what you need with respect. It is okay to work on improving behavior, but never expect your partner to change who they are. Avoid putting them down or parenting them. Remind them occasionally of their best qualities. Put effort into making them feel appreciated.
  3. Practice continual self-work. We can and should all continue to grow, learn, and improve. Take care of both your body and mind. We can only support someone else if our cup is full. Keep your confidence high and yet remain humble. Confidence is sexy, begging and being needy is not.
  4. Remember, you are a team. When there is conflict, you are not fighting against each other but instead working together to resolve the issue. Speak kindly to your partner and speak highly of them to others.
  5. Be intimate emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually. If you lack in any of these four areas, the other areas of intimacy will suffer. It is critical to find the balance. Touch is healing, words are powerful, and actions must always align with words.

Check in with your spouse. Ask them how they are feeling. Ask if there is anything you can do to be more supportive. Do not get insulted if they do, in fact, request something from you. You should also be able to have open conversations where you share your needs, concerns, and frustrations with your spouse. Compliment and remind your spouse of their best qualities. 

Make all major decisions together as a team, including large financial purchases.

What to Avoid

  • stonewalling
  • passive aggressiveness
  • nagging
  • nitpicking
  • blaming/shaming
  • criticizing
  • speaking poorly of your spouse

Final Thoughts

Avoid comparing your relationship to anyone else’s. It may appear Sue and Tom have the perfect relationship you aspire to duplicate, but you don’t know what happens behind closed doors. There is no perfect relationship. Yes, some are healthier and happier than others. When you are a supportive spouse, and that is reciprocated, you too, foster a healthy environment.

Enjoy each other. Celebrate each other’s victories and your victories as a couple. Life is hard, and having someone on your team cheering you on is a special gift. Treasure your spouse, and they most likely will reciprocate. After all, we all want to be loved, accepted, and appreciated.

Comments / 0

Published by

Libby is a Personal Development and Relationship coach specializing in emotional intelligence. By blending motivational speaking, leading yoga and wellness retreats, and writing, she has mastered the art of living her best life while helping others.

Cincinnati, OH

More from Libby Shively McAvoy

Comments / 0