1. People & Relationships

How to Soothe Your Spouse

By

Even unique wedding vows usually include something about standing by your spouse in good times and in bad. There's no doubt that both of you will have to confront sadness or difficulty during your married life. Jobs are lost. Loved ones get sick and pass away. The two of you might experience a miscarriage together. Or your husband might just feel blue because things are not going his way at work. Or your wife might be troubled because she argued with her sister. There are a million things that can make life just a little bit harder. When this happens, as a spouse, you have to be there to comfort, console, and cheer up your better half. Here are ways to soothe your spouse:

Allow your spouse to vent.

Anyone can tell you that bottling up your feelings can have grave consequences. Besides being bad for your health, it's bad for your spirit. You should sing loudly when you're happy and cry when you're sad and yell when you're angry. It shows you are human. As a husband or wife, you have an obligation to allow your spouse to vent, to let out these feelings. Don't judge him or her. Don't offer advice unless your spouse asks for it. Simply, listen to what is happening in your spouse's life and acknowledge his or her reaction. It is your job to let your spouse cry on your shoulder. Then, comfort him or her. You have to let your spouse know that you support him or her during this difficult time and that you feel sympathy.

Serve a warm beverage.

Nothing comforts people like a warm beverage, such as tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. It doesn't usually take much to make one of these drinks at home. And they are available at coffee shops everywhere. There's something about the taste of warmth on your lips and the heat it pours into your belly that can truly soothe you when you're down. If this is about a particularly difficult obstacle, you might consider serving a couple of cookies with the beverage. Sweets are a comfort food, after all. None of this will solve people's problems, but it will help them feel appreciated and as though someone wants to tend to their needs. Everyone needs that now and then.

Help your spouse laugh.

Of course, don't start a stand-up routine while your wife is crying about her father's illness. Instead seek out an appropriate moment, when she isn't too emotional. While embracing, give her a little tickle or smile at her to let her know you are in her corner. Then, if the mood is right, you can throw in a joke or tell a funny story to lift her spirits. The point is to help your spouse let off some steam and feel joy in spite of whatever is happening around her or him.

Give a kiss and a cuddle.

Touching - kisses, hugs, a squeeze of the hand - can go a long way to comfort someone who is in emotional turmoil. Of course, this can not be sexual at all. Your spouse is focused on whatever it is that is troubling him or her; therefore, sex is not top of mind. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes, making love can be healing or a great stress reliever, but let your spouse, who is suffering, determine if that's what he or she wants to do. Instead, you should just offer a sweet kiss (even on the forehead) or a warm embrace to help your husband or wife feel loved. Again, this won't solve anything, but it does help people feel like someone is on their side.

Get out of dodge.

Someone who is facing some sort of hardship or is feeling down might just need to be distracted. Plan a date night. Go out to dinner. Walk the mall. Go hiking. Plan a picnic. Do something outside the house, so that your spouse can put these issues on the back burner for a bit and live. Don't allow conversation to drift to whatever it is that your spouse is facing. And be frivolous and fun and enjoy each other's company. Of course, the problem will still be there when you return home, but you will have at least gotten your spouse to have taken a break from it. We can all use a break sometimes.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.