When Your Partner Needs Cheering Up
Every individual has their way of getting over a stressful event: doing yoga, sleeping through the night, binge eating, or maybe watching dozens of romantic movies and crying along the main characters when they’re upset. It’s easy if you’re trying to make yourself feel better because you’ve already mastered cheering yourself up. However, when you’re committed to someone, it feels like their problems become your problems and you find yourself trying to help them get over the situation.
When two people are still in their first few weeks or months of marriage, they try to always be on their best foot forward: nothing seems to be a problem, and everything’s okay. However, when the honeymoon phase is over, and you get to be with your partner more and more, you realize that their lives are not always rainbows and butterflies, dark clouds creep up from time to time, similar to yours.
The first few times are a trial and error phase. You’re never really sure how to cheer your partner up until you’ve tried different things and something works. Stress eating, going out for walks when frustrated, or maybe dancing around the home cheers them up but it is also important to know that making someone feel better requires continuous effort in focusing your attention on him or her.
Here are a few tips on what you can do when your partner needs cheering up:
Know their love language.
This is a very important tip because knowing your partner’s love language gives you an idea of how he or she wants to be helped when feeling down. It’s easier if you both have the same love language, but it’s not exactly a requirement for this occasion. For example, my husband’s love language is ‘physical touch’ while I’m more of a ‘words of affirmation’ girl. Whenever he gets stressed, one of the sure ways to help him feel better is to pull him onto the couch, floor, or bed and just to give him a tight hug or cuddle him until he says he’s not as upset anymore. On the other hand, when I’m upset, it feels comforting for me whenever my husband keeps reassuring me of my worth and how he still loves me even in my dreaded state.
Keep them “hydrated.”
This is useful especially when your partner has been crying. Give them a glass of water. Offer them a drink or two. Most of the time people tend to neglect their health when they’re preoccupied with stressful situations. In doing so, they open themselves to feeling even more unhappy and tired which is something we are also trying to avoid. Putting the effort in keeping them hydrated would surely make them feel grateful once it’s over.
Another thing you can do is to run a hot bubble bath for them and put calming oils and scents. Your partner deserves some relaxing, alone time too. You can use this time to let them breathe and figure things out for themselves first especially if that’s what they prefer or if they were always the quiet type. Don’t force them to open up to you and don’t take it personally if they don’t immediately share the details of what happened. Let them have their space and enjoy it. In the meantime, why don’t you add some soothing music in the bathroom, too?
Share their hobbies.
You may not be a fan of video games but your partner is. He or she may not like Indian food but you enjoy it. Couples should learn how to compromise especially when upset in order to create balance. Relationships are filled with give-and-take situations. There are times when one needs more attention from the other and it is during these times that people should understand that their partners are also humans who enjoy different things. If taking them ice skating would put a smile back on their face, do it even if you know you can’t skate. If watching a chick flick, they’ve seen a hundred times would make them feel better, get the popcorn and drinks ready because you know what you’ll be watching tonight.
In my case, one offer I would always give to my husband whenever he’s sad is going to the arcade and just enjoying our time there collecting tickets from every game we can play. Yes, we’re already over 25 but going to the arcade works like a charm every time!
Inviting your S.O. to do their preferred hobbies will make him or her feel appreciative and less alone. It shows that you pay attention to what they like and that you’re willing to sacrifice your headaches for the sake of cheering them up.
Offer to spend time with their family.
There will be times when you feel like your cheering up powers wouldn’t be enough for the situation, and there’s nothing wrong with that. So what do you do? You call for backup, of course! And not just any backup, call their family! (Under the right circumstances.)
When it seems like they haven’t spent time with their family recently, you can offer to meet them maybe at a favorite restaurant or just in your own home. Provided, of course, that this is within reason. If you’re on a different continent or time zone with your in-laws, maybe you can reschedule that reunion some other time. In this case, you can also get your phone or computer and have video calls with them as an alternative. That way, you’re helping strengthen the bond not only between them but also between you and your in-laws. Trust me, calling your in-laws and reconnecting them can really add some bonus points.
Determine how you should react to the situation.
Does your partner want you to listen or does he or she wants you to offer advice too?
There are times when people want to rant just for the sake of it. They want to let their feelings out without fear of being judged. If that’s the case and such was made clear by your partner, offer your listening ear and just be attentive. Give him or her your undivided attention and don’t let yourself get distracted by other things that can wait.
If the scenario is that your partner is seeking your advice or opinion, don’t ask someone else for answers unless you have your partner’s approval. He or she came to you because he or she trusts you. True, there are times when a second opinion is necessary. However, this team involves you and your significant other only, and not the whole neighborhood.
An additional tip would be to learn how to empathize with your partner. This is something that I actually learned from in my own relationship. My husband pointed out that it’s not really a big help if he’s feeling upset and I’m still all smiles. I didn’t understand what he meant until it happened to me. I realized that our reactions and facial expressions to the situation also play a big role to our partner’s feelings. Even if we meant well and we were trying to channel good vibes. Still, empathy goes a long way and listening to your partner also means responding in controlled tones.
Being in a relationship entails being with your partner not only on their good days, but also on their bad days. In the same way, your partner deals with both your happy and gloomy days, too. If you’re still having a hard time figuring out how to help your partner, it’s okay. As mentioned, it involves trial and error–a learning process.
What do you usually do to cheer your partner up?