My Partner Can’t Comfort Me (3 key Tips)
This brief article will take a look at why it is that your partner can’t comfort you.
Why can’t your partner comfort you?
It can be frustrating when you feel that your partner doesn’t seem to understand your emotional needs. Let’s take a look at what makes this difficult and why your partner can’t comfort you.
- The were not raised to model comforting behaviours
- Emotional intelligence is not one of their strengths
- They don’t know how to comfort you
- They are unaware that you need comforting
- They are giving you space to deal with it
- You have not let them in on how you feel
- They are confused whether you want comfort or solutions
- They think you can handle it
- They don’t want to make it worse for you
- They find it frustrating that they can’t make things better
How do I ask my partner for emotional support?
It is important to ask your partner for emotional support when you feel like you’re not getting it. Here are some ways you can do so without overtly criticising them.
- Figure out what you need and ask for it
- Focus on what they can do to make you feel better
- Sit them down and talk about without being confrontational
- Pay attention to your own non-verbal cues
- Recognise and acknowledge what they do for you
- Be clear with your expectations and non-negotiables
How to be comforting when your partner is upset?
There are many ways for a partner to be comforting when their significant other is upset. Here are a few.
- Listening without offering unsolicited advice
- Not being judgemental about the situation or the partner
- A comforting and lingering hug goes a long way
- Respecting the partner’s boundaries
- Being mentally and emotionally present
- Cheering them up with some of their favourite things
Comfort is different for everyone. What may comfort you may not ideally comfort your partner and vice versa. The primary goal of comforting someone, however, stays the same.
When you comfort someone, you do it to ease their burden or suffering, and sometimes, you even help them make sense of the situation. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that the person you’re with knows that they have in you someone they can fall back on.
It is unlikely that your partner can’t comfort you; they may be struggling with how they can help. A healthy relationship is one where there is communication and comprehension. Here is where you need to step in and meet them halfway.
Why can’t your partner comfort you?
The were not raised to model comforting behaviours
We are all a product of how we were brought up and evolve over time through collective and individual experiences. Your partner may not be able to comfort you, if they were not raised to model comforting behaviours.
It’s not surprising to learn that many are raised to believe that you should dust off and get on it with it. It could be what they practice themselves, so it may be hard for them to grasp how truly upset you are.
This does not mean you have to accept this and deal with everything on your own. It will require you to guide them a little on how you would like to be comforted or what being comforted means to you in the first place.
Emotional intelligence is not one of their strengths
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use and manage emotions in a positive way that can help relieve the intensity of a stressful situation. This requires the person to empathise with another and diffuse emotional conflict if one arises.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to do this. Some might not even be able to perceive emotions even if it were staring them right in the face. If emotional intelligence is not one of their strengths, it may be why your partner can’t comfort you.
This is not to say that they can’t develop it over time, but there is a reason why you rely on some people more than others to be there for you at your lowest. As your partner, they will have to step into that role for you. Have a heart to heart conversation about what they can do to be your go-to person.
They don’t know how to comfort you
Have you ever spoken to your significant other about what gets you through when you are upset? Your partner can’t comfort you the way you want them to, if they don’t know you like to be comforted.
You may want to be hugged and cuddled, but they may need to be left alone to collect their thoughts and process emotions. If they left you alone because that is how they get through being upset, it defeats the whole purpose. In their mind, they are doing the right thing by letting you be.
A simple conversation about what you want can make things so much easier for the both of you when another need for comforting arises.
They are unaware that you need comforting
Do you find it difficult to share what you are going through or that you need comforting at all? No one is a mind reader and while there could be physical cues, you should tell your partner how you are feeling.
Explicitly making your feelings known and what exactly has gone wrong ensures that they are better equipped to handle the situation. Your partner can’t comfort you if they are unaware of how upset you actually are.
Find it in you to reach out to them, so that they can do the same for you.
They are giving you space to deal with it
Not everyone is comfortable speaking about their feelings. Some people need the space to process what has upset them and maybe your partner is one of them.
If they are judging your needs based on what they do when upset, your partner can’t comfort you. You need to be clear about what helps you, whether that is to be left alone or to be comforted in that very moment.
Remember to go easy on them because they may be judging the situation by their standards.
You have not let them in on how you feel
This is the root of the problem. Your partner can’t comfort you if you don’t tell how you feel. You need to be clear about them because you can’t expect them to just know everything going on with you.
Spell out the comfort resolution you want as well. They should know what you need from them in order for them to give it to you.
They are confused whether you want comfort or solutions
When you go to your partner with problems or something that has upset you, you need to make it clear whether you want comfort or solutions.
If it is comfort that you want, ask for it directly, in a way that will make you feel better. Sometimes you may need them to just listen to what you have to say and that’s fine. They do, however, need to know that.
If there are solutions you are looking for, hear them out without being on the defensive. Your partner can’t comfort you without knowing what it is you actually need from them.
They think you can handle it.
If you are someone people come to for comfort and solutions, it may be hard for people to understand that you too may need help sometimes.
The strength you show as you navigate difficult times may be why your partner can’t comfort you. They probably think you can handle it on your own.
Even the strongest of us need someone to turn to and you should be able to lean on them every now and then. Express your feelings about this to your significant other and hopefully, they will do better the next time around.
They don’t want to make it worse for you
If they think they are going to make things worse, it could be difficult for your partner to comfort you. They do not want to upset you any further than you are and to avoid that they may step back.
Such a tactic could have risen because of past experiences with you or their own. Either way, you should assure them that trying to comfort you will not blow up in their face by letting them know what to do.
They find it frustrating that they can’t make things better
Your partner loves you and doesn’t want to see you upset. When they can’t do anything to change the situation, they may not be able to comfort you either.
The desire to fix things overrides everything else. This frustrates them and they retreat or do a bad job at helping. Let them know that they need not look for solutions every time you are upset. Instead they can do whatever it is you need them to at that moment.
For many people, it is hard to be upfront about their need for comfort. However, being honest about it will help your significant other know what they can do to care for you when you are upset.
Not telling them how you would like to be comforted, will only make your partner feel helpless, as if they were to blame. This breeds frustration that could then turn into a fight!
To prevent the conflict from escalating, learn to ask for the comfort you want from your partner.
FAQs: My partner can’t comfort me
What to do if your partner can’t comfort you?
When you are upset and need your partner to respond to us in a certain way and they don’t, it may make you angry and frustrated. These could be brought on by the fact that you are distressed, but also because you expect them to know better.
Resist the urge to give in to your exasperation. Here’s what you can do if your partner can’t comfort you instead; talk it out and give them notes on how they could respond so that you feel more supported. It is that simple.
How do I get my partner to comfort me?
The easiest way to get your partner to comfort you is to just ask them. More than when, they need to hear how you want to be comforted. Criticising them won’t help, so approach this in a non-confrontational way. Talk about your feelings and what they could do to make things better.