CONSOLING A HURTING SPOUSE
Events have happened in the last twenty-four hours that have left many people feeling very distressed. When you are married, the situation becomes more complex. You are upset and your partner is upset. You need comfort, let’s say you need physical comfort. You need to be held. In your partner’s own pain, are they able to meet that need. They may need to talk. Are you able to listen? Can you handle their anger, their fear? Can they handle your sadness, your pain?
No one person’s need should be met at the expense of the other. Both of you should be able to feel that your partner is responding to you. Your ability to soothe one another will be another bit of glue holding the two of you together as a couple.
And express appreciation – tell your spouse the things you are grateful for. Their understanding, making coffee, a back rub – whatever they are able to give , let them know that you appreciate it. Sometimes we forget when we are hurting to express our gratefulness.
As time passes, it should become a little easier to express your needs and get the solace you want. And also easier to put your pain aside long enough to embrace the needs of your spouse. We survived 9/11, and we survived the Newtown school shootings, and we will be able to overcome this trauma. “stronger together” is a good slogan and is still true even if the candidate running under that banner didn’t win.