Continuing with our '10 STEPS TO SUPPORTING YOUR PARTNER' series, here is Step 9
Taking secondary part to anyone isn’t a particularly popular suggestion in this era of 'it's all about me'; all the same it is a very important one. Whilst I would not for one moment advocate that any one partner always take a secondary part, good relationships are built on a 'give and take' foundation. Sometimes you will be the giver, sometimes you’ll be the taker!
Times that necessitate taking a secondary part to your partner’s needs are:
* When they are overwhelmed or they feel exhausted (perhaps because of everything that's going on in their lives as a result of the step journey) and/or when they are in need of a good rest. At that time it would be an excellent idea to encourage them to:
- take an afternoon nap
- have a bubble bath
- spend time with a friend
- play a game of tennis
- or do whatever helps them relax and tune out for a while It's really important that at such a time you let them know that you understand.
Be sure to give them your 'okay' so they can chill without feeling guilty.
* When they need to escape the step-situation for a while.
If that happens, don’t be offended. Their need to escape is about them, not about you! Whether they get the chance to fulfill this need (or not) could well be the making or breaking of your relationship. At such a juncture it would be a great idea for your partner to take a weekend away with a friend, to spend some nurturing time at their parents' house or perhaps to enjoy some time-out at a health farm whilst you stay behind and 'hold the fort'.
I know that this is not a popular suggestion as its execution rarely is easy and probably won’t feel fair to you. All the same I'd like to encourage you to help your partner take all the timeout they so desperately need. Even if this presents a variety of difficulties in the short term, it may be what keeps you together for the long term.
Be sure to return for our last step - Step 10, which will be posted in a couple of days!