Emotional support is not one-size-fits-all, but is expressed in many different ways, notes psychotherapist Barton Goldsmith, contributing to Psychology Today. You can emotionally support your man through effective communication, touch and going the extra mile. Finding various ways to be emotionally supportive to the man you love helps deepen the trust, love and intimacy within your relationship.
Communication is the cornerstone of any relationship. An essential part of communication--listening effectively--is critical to use when providing emotional support to your man. Listening effectively means taking the time to hear what he is trying to communicate to you, instead of planning your responses while he’s sharing, notes the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center website, TwoOfUs.org in "Listening is Not a Spectator Sport - Rules for Active Listening." For good measure, repeat what your man said, showing him that you really are listening. Your man may not be seeking advice, but simply seeking a safe outlet where he can vent his frustrations or share his emotions. When he comes to talk to you about something that is bothering him, be sure to hear him out entirely, and if you feel the urge to offer advice, ask first if he would like to hear it.
You are not always going to agree with your man and that’s OK, but it's all in how you disagree with him. Showing kindness when expressing a divergent point of view shows him that you still love him, even though you may not agree with him. Using harsh tones, disrespectful language and other inconsiderate gestures can create turmoil in your relationship, making your man question whether or not you can be supportive toward him in turbulent times. Remember to keep your tone respectful and your words kind when you find yourself in the middle of a disagreement with him. Ask for time to cool off before expressing difficult feelings if that is what you need to do to remain levelheaded.
Support Him Through Touch
You can communicate emotional support very effectively through touch. Touch is neurologically linked to feelings of compassion and reward, notes executive director of Berkeley University’s scientific website, “Greater Good,” Dacher Keltner. Cuddling, holding hands or giving each other lots of hugs and kisses creates a climate that promotes love, warmth and affection. When your man is expressing his frustrations, small strokes across his back or massaging his scalp can also be soothing.
Go The Extra Mile
Going above and beyond – especially during difficult times – is a strong way to show emotional support. Being there to help your man take care of life’s every day tasks shows him that you care to make his life a little easier while things are rough. Offer to take his clothes to the cleaners or wash the car, if he’s the one who normally does these things. Treat him to a nice dinner and give him a massage to help him relax. If you have kids together, take the kids out for the day and encourage him to spend some quiet time at home. Consider doing things for him that will encourage him to relax and unwind as a way to show him that you care about his well-being.