We all get it. For anyone with a beating heart and working lungs, bad news is bound to find us sometime or another. You may have lost a job, had a death in the family, or any number of debilitating events. Such things are merely a part of life, and so we should consider before they happen how we will react and how we will support those we love when they happen. Chances are, your spouse will need this kind of support many times during the course of your marriage. It is better to have a plan before disaster strikes than to try to come up with something in the heat of the crisis.
Here are some things you can do to be a supportive spouse in times of trial.
1. Don’t say the usual things. There are those stereotypical things that many people say during times loss.
Among them: “At least he’s in a better place”, “When one door shuts another window opens”, or other such things. While these things may be true, the person who is grieving may not want to hear them right away. Instead, offer heartfelt expressions of love and support.
2. Allow time to grieve. It is a normal and even healthy thing to work through your emotions over time. Be careful about encouraging your spouse to try to put things behind her too quickly. It might require a great deal of patience, but over time, wounds will heal to some degree.
3. Find ways to be supportive after your spouse has received bad news. Step up and take over some of her responsibilities to lighten their load a little bit. Let them spend some time alone if they like or some time doing a favorite activity that will help them cope with the bad news. These expressions of service are often much more poignant than any actual words you could say.
Above all, it is good to remember to give all of your effort to helping your spouse in times like this. Chances are, someday she will eventually need to return the favor.