When your significant other is suffering, what can you do? It can be difficult to witness your loved one suffering and it can bring to the surface many feelings for you as the significant other attempting to support. There can be hurt, rejection, loneliness, sadness, helplessness, confusion, embarrassment, and anger. How can I help him or her? What can I do? Honor and acknowledge your feelings, ALL of your feelings. It is okay to feel all that you feel. Your partner may not be in a place to receive and accept help; his or her suffering may be impacting you. Use your coping strategies and possibly develop new ones. Reach out to your support network. It may be difficult to reach out to your support network as you honor your own feelings of shame and embarrassment. Remember, IT IS okay to not be okay. We all need support, we all need help. We are not islands, living and surviving on our own. Recognize your needs and work to meet your needs until your significant other is able to meet your needs. When you have had enough, you have had enough. Listen to your inner voice and honor that message. You know what you need, it may be buried underneath a lot of other stuff—but it’s there. You have strength, you have resiliency, you have bravery, sometimes developing a self mantra to repeat to yourself brings our inner voice to the surface. Insert your name and say, you can do hard things. The power of our own voice and our own words is our strength through difficult times. Peace and love always to you and your loved ones.
Lori Harkin Huse, LCSW, provides couple, family, and individual therapy in our Sterling office and virtually to those located in the state of Virginia. Call or email today to set up your first appointment or a complimentary consultation with Lori!