The Absolute Best Thing You Can Do When The Person You Love Is Hurting

It seems simple, but too few people stop to do this.

woman comforting partner fizkes / Shutterstock

Most of us have been put in uncomfortable situations where our partner is hurting. And whether it was something you did or said the reality is, it's hard either way.

Being there for your partner during those tough times isn't easy, and let's face it, what you say can either help or make things worse.

So then, what should we say? How do we properly comfort our partners without setting them off?

Relationship podcast creator Jimmy Knowles sits down to discuss the one thing couples need to start doing when their partner is in pain.


The One Thing You Need To Start Doing When Your Partner Is Hurting

"Dr. John Gottman has this wonderful saying about his wife Julie that I love hearing. He says, 'When you're in pain the world stops and I listen," says Knowles.

@jimmyonrelationships When your partner is hurting, how do we respond? @TheGottmanInstitute #relationship #datingadvice #marriagegoals #validation ♬ original sound - Jimmy Knowles

Too many relationships end quicker than they began, Knowles says, because one person's world never stopped when their partner was in pain. And in reality, they never wanted to listen to their partner's pain to begin with.


Knowles continues, "It ended because you felt alone for a very long time."

You went the whole mile and tried your hardest to make it work. But the effort wasn't reciprocated.

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"And after having the same fights over and over and over again one day you just stopped fighting," says Knowles.

Deep down inside you knew that no amount of effort on your part was going to change anything.


"And if I could give both of you just one piece of advice to two people who actually wanted to a safe relationship together it would be don't let that be you," says Knowles.

You see, avoiding relationship annihilation is easy if you know what to do.

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To avoid relationship turmoil you need to humble yourself and remind your partner that you care about their pain. That you want to hear their struggles and that you want to work through these issues together.

Knowles suggests, "Ask them, 'Is there anything that you've been scared to bring up from the past? Are there any hurts or needs that you thought it was safer to bury because you are afraid of how I would respond?'"

@juliethe_therapist Emotional safety is an essential element of any healthy relationship. Emotional safety refers to feeling secure, accepted, and valued in a relationship. It involves the sense of being understood, respected, and supported by your partner without fear of judgment or rejection. Emotional safety is necessary for a relationship to thrive, as it creates an environment in which both partners can express themselves freely and be vulnerable with one another. When partners feel emotionally safe, they can trust each other, communicate openly, and work together to overcome challenges. To cultivate emotional safety in a relationship, it is essential to establish trust and mutual respect. This involves being open and honest with each other, actively listening and validating each other's feelings, and showing empathy and compassion. It also involves being aware of your own emotions and needs and communicating them effectively to your partner. Creating a safe space in which both partners can share their vulnerabilities without fear of judgment or criticism is key to building emotional safety. Emotional safety is an integral component of a healthy relationship. It requires trust, mutual respect, open communication, and vulnerability. When partners feel emotionally safe, they can build a strong foundation for their relationship and navigate challenges together. Creating a safe space where both partners can express themselves without fear of rejection or judgment is essential for a healthy and fulfilling relationship. #therapytiktok #therapistsontiktok #couplestherapy #relationshiptherapist ♬ original sound - Julie The Therapist

Learn to become a safe space for your partner and address the pain and hurt that you've pushed away for far too long.

Learn to sit down with your partner when your relationship gets tough. Open up the conversation and figure out the past pain that hasn't been dealt with.

Knowles says, "Validate it and remind them when your in pain the world stops and I listen."


And at first, this might not feel easy. You both have probably spent a lot of time avoiding your problems.

However, it only takes one step in the right direction to get your relationship back on track.

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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.