3 Ways to Support Your Spouse When They Need You the Most

BY: - 23 Jan '17 | Marriage

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Boy oh boy can life have its way with us. As long as we live, we will continue to experience the ups and downs that are thrown our way. Some of it can really knock the wind out of us if we don’t have a strong enough support system.  And your marriage should actually be that system.

When life hits your spouse hard, it’s not your job to hit them even harder.

Couples should know how to support one another through the trials. And because every person is different, it’s important to be in tune with what’s needed within your relationships and for your spouse. When life hits your spouse hard, it’s not your job to hit them even harder.  Here 3 ways to really be there for your spouse when they need you the most.

Don’t Blame Them… Be Encouraging

I remember when I was laid off from my job and how devastated I was. It took me a while (a year to be exact) to find another job.  I started to feel like a failure, wondering why companies weren’t calling me back. The silver lining in that struggle was my husband.  He took care of everything and made it so that I really didn’t have to worry.

The key to being supportive during a job loss is not blame but encouragement. Use words that remind your spouse of how awesome they are and that something will happen for them soon. Remember, prayer changes things. Pray with your spouse as well as for your spouse. Be careful not to embarrass or belittle them for the time it might take to find a job. If you see effort, applaud the effort. Also consider creating fun and cheap ways to have date nights. Constantly doing things that remind the other person that money is tight could be hurtful.

Give them space

Losing a loved one is always difficult. People in general have a hard time knowing the right things to say to a person grieving. Again, prayer is also needed during this time more than ever. We must also remember everyone’s needs are different when it comes to dealing with death.

Knowing your spouse and being aware of their needs will help. Give them space and allow them to tell you what they need most and be willing to give them that. If it’s silence give them that. Time alone, give them that. Be understanding when they make their request on how they’d like to be supported.

When I lost my grandmother and then a few years later my step father, my husband seemed to know what I needed. He didn’t use a whole lot of words, but his physical presence, how he looked at me and how he held me in his arms were really all I needed.

Forgive Them

In life, we sometimes make mistakes. Some are costly and hit our marriage pretty hard. Poor financial decisions, car accidents, or even just making the wrong choice in a situation are a few examples. The one thing most people find frustrating is when they are reminded of the mistake over and over again. As long as responsibility is taken and a solution has been created, couples should be able to move on. There is no need to harp on a mistake when it was a mistake. Forgive, learn and move forward together.

Again, life can be hard on an individual and a marriage. Couples must find ways to love and support one another even more during trials. Paying attention and remaining connected to your spouse will always help in knowing how to support them when they need you most.

BMWK, how have you supported your spouse during trials?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 635 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.


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Should I Get Involved In My Friend’s Messy Marriage?

BY: - 24 Jan '17 | Marriage

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Hello Dr. Buckingham,

I’m writing on behalf of my friend. She has been married for 8 years and her husband impregnated another woman 2 years ago. She decided to accept the situation and forgave her husband. She recently left to go on vacation only to return to find her husband and the mother of his child in their home. He claimed that they only talk because of this child. However, she saw text messages on his phone saying “I love u & I miss you”. She told me that she loves her husband, but is tired of him lying to her. She asked me to talk with her husband. He does not know I know about his recent infidelity and we do not talk often at all. I want to help her, but I am not sure if it is my role to talk to her husband. Should I Get Involved In My Friend’s Messy Marriage?

Help, Concerned Friend


Dear Concerned Friend,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me on behalf of your friend. Everybody needs a support system, especially during turbulent times in their marriage. However, your friend’s marital problems require more than a friendly ear. I can only image the emotional abuse and mental distress that she has and continues to experience. I caution you to move carefully in this situation. If her husband finds out that she is telling you about his personal business, he could potentially escalate his emotional abuse toward her.

Placing yourself in the center of their marital discord is not healthy. Your intentions might be good, but the outcome could be bad. If he does not respect his wife, he probably will not respect you. The best thing that you can do for your friend is to encourage her to get professional help. She needs to speak with someone who can help her move on. Your ability to have an objective conversation with your friend’s husband will be negatively impacted by your connection with her. As her primary support system, you can go with her to therapy.  But, I do not recommend that you play the therapist role.

I know that it is difficult to see your friend suffer, but respecting marital boundaries is important and safe for all involved.  For any actions you take to help your friend, make sure that they are helpful and encouraging instead of hurtful and damaging.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 211 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.


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