How to support your partner when they have a bad day (It's not what you think!)

Lauren Gray

Dear Lauren,

When something upsets my boyfriend or when anything upsets me, we feel responsible for each other. For example, if he gets upset about some incident, I feel guilty like it is somehow my fault when in fact I had nothing to do with it! It’s the same with him, if he sees me upset, he feels down. What do we do in this case? Is this normal? 


Dear Carrie,

I think it is totally normal! It’s natural for human beings, no matter what their gender, to suffer in the face of suffering. It’s hard to watch someone you love in pain and feel powerless to do something about it.

The Dark Intimacy Addiction and How to Break It

Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s good for you, your partner or your relationship. In fact, if you feel bad because he feels bad and he feels bad because you feel bad then, well, where does it stop?!

Your experience and definition of love is now all tied up into feeling BAD. For many couples, this becomes a bit of an intimacy addiction. They create drama in their lives in order to feel intimate with their partner.

You don’t want to perpetuate that dysfunctional dynamic. You want to release yourself of the cycle and the pain. Which is exactly what you’re asking about.

In order to release the pain, we have to let go of the feeling of being powerless. Once you get clear on what you realistically can and cannot do, you don’t have to suffer along with your partner because suddenly you aren’t so powerless.

The truth is: no person can make another person happy. What we are capable of is helping our partners find happiness.

And I’ll show you how to do that in this blog. Keep reading!

3 Reasons Why Your Loving Instincts are Screwing You Out of a Happy Relationship

When you're unhappy, you find solace and comfort in talking about your feelings. After a good long kvetch a woman almost always feels better! 

So you naturally encourage him to do the same. Because if he talks about it, he’ll feel better, right?


When a man is forced to talked about his upset feelings and complain, it actually has the opposite effect. It makes him wallow in his issues and preserve the bad feelings.  (Click here to learn what you can ask a man about in order to get him talking and sharing.)

When YOU are unhappy you want to surround yourself with people who will listen sympathetically. After all, that is the proper way to show someone love and support…on Venus.

To a man, however, your concern translates to your distrust in him to take care of himself. Your lack of faith can lead to one of three things:

One: He will feel even more defeated.

Two: He will become defensive and possibly say something mean.

Three: He will lean into your nurturing concern and start behaving like a child rather than your partner. This will lead to a complete change in the dynamics of your relationship and your sex life will suffer. (Click here to learn more.) 

These are three reasons why you might want to try a new strategy…

1 Shocking Strategy a Woman Can Engage to Help Her Man Find Happiness

Rather than make a man talk about his feelings or look at him with sympathetic doe eyes, have a neutral attitude in the face of his suffering. On Venus this is called “being an asshole.” Go right ahead. ;-)

In fact, take it a step further and be even MORE of an asshole.

When a man is unhappy the BEST thing you can do is do something to make yourself happy and then tell him about it.

I know it goes against every instinct you have but trust me, give it a go and the results will speak for themselves.

If you go off shopping with your girlfriends or spend a day at the spa, you will come home radiating happiness. Tell him all about your day and how much fun you had.

You would think this would really rub salt in the wound since you’re parading your joy in front of his sorrow. But the crazy cool thing about men is that a guy will take credit for that happiness! He will feel successful. He will look at you smiling and think, “I did that!”

Men are happiest when they have just successfully achieved a goal or task. Making the woman he loves happy is his biggest goal and achievement. Which is why you being happy can help get him out of his funk.

It’s also why it’s especially hard on him when you’re having a bad day. He thinks it’s his failure and it bums him out.

2 Ways a Man Can Successfully Help His Lady Find Happiness

As men will naturally take credit for their ladies’ happiness, they will also naturally feel responsible for their UN-happiness.

When you talk about your problems he feels powerless to help you because you NEVER TAKE HIS ADVICE!

This can easily be fixed. Let him know that he can help you find your happiness by listening to you talk about how you feel. All he has to do is look at you and listen; he doesn’t need to solve the problem or even say a thing. Click here to get step-by-step training (with scripts) on this process.

He can also help you find happiness by doing little things to show you how much he cares. He can: get you flowers, make the bed, do the dishes, take you out for a nice walk and hold your hand, or plan a picnic.

The trick to making these moves really effective for getting a woman out of her funk, is that he needs to do them without her having to ask for them.

So have your guy read this blog and let him know that you really like the sound of it. He wants you to be happy and once he knows that he has the power to help you, he will jump at the opportunity.

The Critical Difference Between Empathy and Taking on Each Other’s Pain

So many people fall into the pattern of feeling responsible for their partner’s happiness. You’re not alone.

When you love someone so much, the line between two individuals can get mushy and you can easily blend into one person. But a relationship cannot prosper by the actions, passions and feelings of just one person; it takes two to tango.

To move forward, acknowledge that HIS pain is not YOUR pain. You don’t need to prove your love by suffering alongside each other.

Agree that you are not responsible for his feelings and he is not responsible for yours. When you make this new agreement, it will free the both of you to love and support each other in a healthy way that promotes more happiness in the relationship, more often and more efficiently.

Let me be really clear here: I’m not saying take empathy out of your cognitive toolbox: that would make you a sociopath.  But you can still have empathy for someone, understand where they’re coming from, and not take that pain on as your own. THIS is what couples need to learn in order to live “happily” ever after.

With love,

Now I’d love to hear from you!

Can you relate? Leave a comment.

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read more blog posts from Lauren Gray
  • Lauren Gray
     1/9/2017 5:11:53 PM
    MissMabel, 1. Let him retreat temporarily, that's him going to his cave and it's a good thing. It recharges him. 2. Reassure by showing not telling. Show him he's enough by flaunting your happiness and appreciating him for what he brings to your life. Most important is to not make a big deal of his mistakes. This will reassure him and make him more available for connection and intimacy.
  • Forgiveness
     9/24/2016 8:33:45 PM
    I don't know I'd try this and he feels as if I don't care abwt his feelings. Wld it be my approach?
  • MissMabel
     9/12/2016 9:44:52 AM
    My partner often feels the need to retreat, claiming he feels too much social pressure to keep me happy... how do I reassure him that I am happy and there is no pressure?
  • Guest_69E9D141-8
     7/5/2016 5:23:54 PM
    This was excellent. Thank you!

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