There’s nothing like knowing that, in times of stress, your partner is the one person who knows exactly how to soothe you, as you know for them.
In order to be a soothing partner for each other, you first need to uncover what soothes your partner best.
Soothe your spouse in the way they need
- Ask your partner: Would you be open to a conversation about how we can best soothe another?
- Choose a calm time, when you won’t be interrupted.
- Make sure both of you are in a listening mode.
- Then ask:
- When you’re distressed, what do I do that helps calm you?
- What do I do that actually makes it worse?
Take in what your partner says without judgement. Listen deeply. Draw them out with open ended questions (using starter words such as How? What? When?) that gives them the opportunity to elaborate and explain.
Based on their answers, do what you can to soothe your partner when they feel stressed, and be mindful of what you tend to do that makes them feel worse — while also remembering that, ultimately, we’re each responsible for our own happiness and balance. It’s not your job to keep your partner balanced, and it’s not your partner’s job to keep you balanced. It is, however, nice to have a partner who can make that job a little easier.
By being curious and proactive about the best ways to soothe your partner, you help them feel loved, cared for, and supported.
Not only will they feel valued, but there’s a good chance you’ll notice them stepping up in the ways they can soothe you as well.