Being in a romantic relationship means that you’re in it for good times and bad ones. But with love, kindness, and support, the good almost always outnumber the bad!

One so-called “bad time” might arise if your partner has to deal with a difficult situation or a personal issue. Regardless of the reason, if your partner is going through a difficult time, it’s your job to be there and provide support. But what’s the right way to show your love and support?

It can be challenging to figure out exactly what to say or do in these situations, so I’ve put together a few ways to help your partner during this trying time.

  1. Give your partner space. Don’t crowd your partner. Let them know that you are there for them if they need anything, and then let them come to you when they’re ready. Even though you want to help, you don’t want your efforts to be seen as suffocating. By giving your partner space, you’re letting them choose when they’re ready to talk.
  2. Be a good listener. If your partner is struggling, you might want to try to fix the situation and offer your advice. This isn’t always the right move – unless your partner specifically asks for your opinion. Simply listening to your partner and letting them vent and talk about their feelings, however, can help them come to terms with whatever they’re struggling with on their own.
  3. Be there. When stressors are pulling your partner in different directions, it’s comforting for them just to know that you’re there. Show your partner that you love them during this difficult time. Be affectionate. Pick up any slack if this stressful situation is taking up a majority of your partner’s attention. Think about what would be helpful for you if you were having a problem, and then do those things.
  4. Get help. Dealing with a problem can take some time, but it can’t take forever. You and your partner might not be able to easily fix a particular problem. But that’s okay. If your partner’s situation isn’t getting better, it might be time to seek professional help. Especially if they’re dealing with a mental health issue. So don’t be afraid to suggest seeing someone if things don’t get better.

If your partner is going through something difficult, it can be a difficult and frustrating time for you as well. That’s why following these steps can ease your own stress and hopefully – eventually – ease your partner’s stress, too. If you and your partner are having relationship issues or can’t seem to get past a problem, reach out today to get the help you need.