Entertainment Love and Romance Be a Supportive Spouse Ways to Support One Another Share PINTEREST Email Print Blend Images - Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images Love and Romance Relationships Sexuality Divorce Teens LGBTQ Friendship By Sheri Stritof University of Nevada, Las Vegas Sheri Stritof has written about marriage and relationships for 20+ years. She's the co-author of The Everything Great Marriage Book. our editorial process Sheri Stritof Updated May 23, 2019 Being a supportive spouse can be both a rewarding and a difficult role. Although the dictionary definition is quite clear, living out being supportive in your marriage isn't always so well defined. For most couples, the most important aspect of being supportive is being a loving presence in your spouse's life. Definition If you look for a dictionary definition of being supportive, you will find phrases like "being an advocate", "providing for", "strengthening", "to keep from weakening or failing", "bearing the weight", and "keeping from falling, sinking, slipping." That's quite a responsibility for anyone to take on. The sense of responsibility grows even greater when a spouse is weighed down by problems with a job, family, kids, health, or social obligations or is coping with feelings of loss, disappointment, and fear. Ways to be Supportive Respect your spouse's personal decisions. Show that you have faith in your mate. Be the shoulder to lean on when your spouse has a sinking feeling. Work together with your spouse to maintain balance in your life together. Don't be threatened by your spouse's accomplishments. Tell people, especially your partner, how proud you are of his/her talents and skills. In wanting to help your spouse to rebound from a difficult situation, don't try to solve your partner's problem. Listen well so that your spouse knows you are wanting to understand the issue or situation troubling your mate. Be realistic as you encourage your spouse. Don't exaggerate.