How to Emotionally Support the Man You Love

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

If you have been in a long term relationship, you understand that every moment is not sunshine and roses, but instead, there are some serious ups and downs to almost everyone's relationship. They don't have to be big and dramatic, though sometimes they are, instead, they can be quiet, sad, boring, or frustrating. No matter the exact nature of your relationship, one of the biggest ways to get through the down times between you and your man is to emotionally support him. Here are some ways to make him feel special in terms that he understands:

Respect What's Important to Him
Whether your man is a Dr Who and Battlestar Galactica fan, an avid sports watcher with several fantasy teams, an outdoorsy guy with tons of gear, a literary man who has read every award-winning novel in existence, some combination of the above, or something else completely, it's very important to respect the things that he loves. You don't have to love them too, but it is very disrespectful to belittle his love for video games or birdwatching. Instead, turn toward him and appreciate his passion for life. If you haven't given it a try (or one where you were a good sport about it), then do so, and let him teach you all about it. Even if you don't love it, he will truly appreciate your effort, and the fact that you love him for his zest for life.

Choose Kindness
Whether you fight out loud or behind one another's backs, choose your words about one another with kindness. Don't make your only stories to your friends about him complaints, and don't talk to him only about what he does wrong. Instead, find reasons for gratitude, and be certain he hears all about the many reasons why you love him. If you are better at writing, consider post-it notes in secret places, or random texts of appreciation.

Give What He Appreciates
Take some time and understand what kinds of things mean the most to him, and try to give to your man on that level. This may be by doing chores that he appreciates, making or buying gifts, spending quality, undistracted time together, by adding to physical touch, or by giving kind words. Understand that the kind of things that you appreciate the most may not be the things that you would appreciate the most. This is a chance to really pay attention to what would matter most to him, and to give to him on that level. This, especially, will show him a level of thoughtfulness and insight into his character that will open a lot of emotional doors for him. At this point, you will be able to love him well, listen, and have a good chance that he will open up to you.

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