This writing is based on the premise that the partners involved in the relationship in question want to continue to be in that relationship, that they want to work through whatever rough spot they are going through and come out stronger on the other side, that they both want to stay together. And, that the relationship is healthy and makes them happy (knowing the difference between an unhappy moment and an unhealthy relationship is important here).
When something goes sideways and south and in other ways bad in one of your relationships, it is so incredibly important for the relationship that is struggling to have the support of the other relationships involved.
When my partners go through something with their other partners, when they have a fight, a break up, a bad night, a hard time of growth… I hope that I am (and I am striving to be) the kind of partner who supports that relationship as it goes through it’s rough spot.
I work hard to offer support, to help my partners talk through it, to help them think through what happened and I try to be a sounding board as they work through their emotions and what they are learning, what they are feeling… I try to help them get back to a good place. If they need alone time to work it out, I make sure that they know that they can have it, even if it is extended alone time. If they need a mediator, I will try to help them with that. If they need a date night to re-kindle, I’ll help them plan it.
Anything I can do to be supportive of that relationship, that is what I am going to try to do. I am going to try to help them remember the good things. I’m going to try to help my partner remember why they are with their other partner. I am going to ask questions to try to get them to think through the situation before they act or before they speak.
I want to find the good in the relationship. I want to help find solutions and new perspectives. I want to offer an objective look in from the outside.
What I am not going to do (or what I am going to try ridiculously hard not to do)…
I am not going to bash their other partner or listen to them bash them.
I am not going to say or do things that make my partner doubt their other partner’s words or actions.
I’m not going to look for malice their partner’s words and actions.
I’m not going to look for deceit or trouble.
I’m not going to suggest that they end things, that leave that person and move on.
I am not going to help them see all the places their other partner is failing or falling short. I’m not going to point out all of their other partner’s deficiencies.
I am not going to encourage the ending of that relationship.
I’m not going to veto their other partner or severely limit their interactions.
I want to be the kind of partner who encourages them to find some good, to hang on and work through it. I want to be the kind of partner who gives them the room to navigate the waters of their relationship the way that they feel like they need to be navigated. I want to be the kind of partner who supports the relationships of the people I love. I hope that I am and if I fall short, I hope that I can see that shortcoming and work to correct it.
I want to do these things because this is the kind of partner that I want to be but I am also a firm believer in doing unto others as you would have them do unto you and this supportive relationshipping is something I need in my life from my partners.
Support. It’s so important.