Each of us has developed our own individual coping mechanisms for dealing with painful or traumatic events. We know how we get through trauma, but it can be difficult to be present for someone else’s pain — especially when that person is our partner. But being present for your partner when they are in pain is a powerful way to demonstrate your commitment to them.
Emotions are messy and they can be uncomfortable to be around. Our instinct may be to make the crying stop or walk away from screaming. But when we stay present for our partners when they are outwardly expressing complex feelings, we acknowledge the validity of their emotions and show our willingness to be supportive.
Create a Space for Honest Communication
When we are in pain — whether physical or emotional — it can be very difficult to find adequate words to express the hurt. By opening the door for your partner to express themselves, in whatever language that takes, we tell them that we are willing to hear them.
Hear Your Partner, Don’t Just Listen
In general, we often listen to respond or react. While this may be a useful tool in, say, a business environment, it’s not particularly helpful when our partners need to feel heard. Sometimes our being there for our partner’s pain does not require us to find a solution, but to merely be the place where they feel they are being heard. When we take the time to truly hear our partners, it gives them room to begin healing.
Choose a Compassionate Language
When our loved one is in pain, we may feel the need to respond in some way. However, our partners may have a difficult time interpreting our intent from our words. What we say when we mean to be compassionate can take on a judgmental or insensitive undertone when our partners are hearing it through a filter of painful emotions. Compassionate language and empathy will help you convey to your partner that you genuinely care.
Here are some examples that you can try:
Being present for your partner as a daily practice not only better serves you to be supportive in times of crisis, but continually reaffirms your commitment to your relationship. Small acts of daily compassion act as a sort of kindling for your relationship. Much like using small sticks as kindling to build a fire, small daily acts of kindness have a cumulative effect in your relationship.
No one of us will go through life without experiencing pain. Fortunately Bayridge Counselling Centres is here to help and provides support for both you and your partner. Please feel free to contact us at 905-319-1488 today!