Men often struggle to express their emotions because they think it makes them weak. So some turn to alcohol or illegal drug use to cope, while others lash out once they reach their breaking point. It’s a good thing you can prevent this by learning how to support your man emotionally.
Why Most Men Struggle With Emotional Support
One in ten men has no one to turn to for emotional support, which is lower than one in 20 women. Unfortunately, this puts them at risk of developing mental health issues.
On the upside, research suggests that men often rely on their partners for support. They trust their significant other to be there for them more than their family and friends. So you must know how to support your boyfriend or husband.
Dos and Don’ts of Supporting the Man You Love
There’s no one-size-fits-all way of supporting your partner. It’ll be a learning process for both of you. But don’t worry. With effective communication, you can reach a point where it’s natural to give and receive emotional support.
In the meantime, you can start by following these dos and don’ts on how to support your man emotionally:
DO: Listen to understand.
Whenever he shares his emotions or troubles with you, give him your full attention. Don’t plan your responses while he’s talking and focus on listening. Once he’s done, ask questions or clarify details to show him that you heard. Likewise, you can summarize what he said to let him know what you understood.
DO: Be attentive.
Your man won’t always start a serious conversation when he wants to talk about something that’s bothering him. He may open up to you out of nowhere, like while you’re doing everyday tasks. So be attentive. Otherwise, you may miss out on a meaningful discussion. Consequently, this can make your loved one feel unheard or unimportant.
DO: Disagree kindly.
You won’t always agree with your boyfriend or husband, and that’s fine. Just be kind when disagreeing with him to show him that you still love him. For instance, don’t use rude language and harsh tones when talking to him. If the discussion is close to turning into an argument, ask for time to cool off.
DON’T: Expect changes overnight.
Understanding how to help your husband with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues takes time. So don’t feel frustrated when either of you makes mistakes. Remember that it’s hard for him to unlearn things that he believed for a long time and be patient with your man.
DON’T: Offer unsolicited advice.
Seeking advice isn’t always your man’s goal for talking about his issues. He may only be looking for a safe, non-judgmental outlet to share his emotions or vent out his frustrations. So ask him first if he would like to hear your thoughts about the matter.
Give your man a safe space to talk about anything. If he feels that you’re judging his thoughts or actions, he may stop confiding in you. Worse, he may continue talking to you but start filtering what he shares. As a result, you won’t be able to give him the emotional support he needs.
Round-the-Clock Listening Support in the UK
Helping your man deal with emotional trauma or a mental health issue can be exhausting. This is normal, so don’t feel guilty. After all, supporting someone usually entails sharing their burdens.
Get non-judgmental listening support here at Talking for Therapy. Our advisors are trained in offering emotional support. This means they can help you support the man you love better. Moreover, they’re always ready to listen to anything you want to share. Schedule a call today, and let’s talk about YOU.