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However, you can offer care in the form of support: Being empathic, sympathetic, compassionate, and accepting are all ways to be supportive of your partner without trying to change how they feel.

One relational need is to care for our partners and to feel good about that care.

It may be as simple as giving them a hug or holding them. When we offer this kind of care, we join our partner in their suffering.

To do this, you will have to learn to be OK with the discomfort that comes with seeing a problem and not trying to fix it. It isn’t their fault that they can’t just shake it off.

When the care you offer your partner is rarely helpful or well received, you eventually feel drained and shut down.

You may need to redefine what being helpful to your partner means, and change the way you offer care.

Their false but strong belief that they have accomplished nothing or that they have little to live for can leave you feeling helpless, and confused as to how to respond.

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