Healthy Relationship 101: Creating a Support System

The Common Relationship Mistake

One of the biggest and most common relationship mistakes is one of control. Although there is often a power struggle in relationships, a serious problem can be created when one partner attempts to use their power to change the other.

Being a controlling figure in your partner’s life is never the recipe for a healthy relationship, and yet many of us continue to make this same mistake. The issue often begins when we start a relationship with someone who we aren’t compatible with; we then make ourselves believe we can change them; we then work on controlling their lives and reshaping the things about them that we dislike; then, in response to our controlling measures, they resist against it, resent us for it, and reap revenge by not moving an inch.

Becoming a Supportive Figure

In order to become a supportive figure in our partner’s lives, we must first respect them. Respect is the key. If we respect who they are and what they do, becoming supportive of the ventures in their lives then comes naturally.

If you find yourself resenting your partner, and being unsupportive to the ventures in their lives, it may just be that you don’t respect what they are doing. Perhaps you disagree with it on some level. If you disagree with who they are and what they do, you may never find yourself in a healthy relationship with them. Always remember: you cannot change someone, and the harder you try to, the more they will resist against change.

Sometimes people do change for their partner, but this must be their choice, and this must happen naturally on their terms.

How to Be More Supportive

If, however, you do support them and agree with their choices, being supportive will be easy for you. You can be more supportive by putting into practice the following:

  • Ask them about their day. Sometimes a simple “How was your day?” has the power to make your partner open up to you about what is happening in their life.
  • Provide them with feedback. Once they answer the question above – be it with positive or negative recaps of their day – provide them with a helpful and encouraging response. Give them answers to questions they can’t answer themselves.
  • Make helpful suggestions. If you see that your partner is struggling on some level, and not really wanting to open up to you about it, give them suggestions. Do not be overcritical, and always provide a safe environment for sharing.
  • Dream with them. Sometimes we see the world in our partners and their potential, and we become frustrated when they don’t see the same. It can be helpful to lead them down the path of future orientated conversation by just dreaming a little. Ask them questions like “Where do you see yourself in ten years, what would you like to accomplish, what would you do with a million dollars?”

Creating a Symbiotic Support System

Once you’ve established yourself as a supportive figure in your partner’s life, you will undoubtedly receive the same support from them in return. And with life being what it is, having to make frightening and overwhelming decisions and changes on a consistent basis, we need the support of our other half. Create a symbiotic support system along with a healthy relationship, and when the support of your friends and family falls short, you know your partner will always have your back!