ERP 178: How to Offer Comfort to Your Significant Other - Part Two

Last week’s episode (177), I discussed how difficult it can be when feeling distressed, threatened, and reactive to engage in comfort with a significant other. As one of my clients puts so well “Why would I want comfort from you, when you are they one that is causing me pain!” Many of us did not get the experience of having comfort when we were young. Thus, we developed ways to deal with it, but more importantly, we don’t have an internal system that we can trust to turn towards comfort and soothing in relationship. In episode 177, I offered some of the research to help give some general guidance in how to offer comfort. It is worth noting that there are typically some gender differences to consider, when offering comfort. Here is an article that might be helpful when contemplating how to offer comfort to a man: How to Comfort a Man, Co-authored by Paul Chernyak, LPC   For women, I would point to the tips mentioned in episode 177: Accept and listen to your partner. Understand the hurt. Be with the pain. Offer reflection and validation. Offer care and help. Show remorse, if appropriate. (Please listen to the podcast episode or read the transcript to hear explanations, stories and examples.) Today, we are going to explore how to offer comfort to your partner in ways that are specific and unique to them.   DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE (REFERENCING WIRED FOR LOVE, BY DR. STAN TATKIN): The importance of learning what comfort feels like for your partner. How to become an expert on your partner. Learning ways to lift up, reassure, and comfort when your partner is feeling vulnerable. Knowing your specific vulnerabilities. Knowing your partner’s specific vulnerabilities. Knowing the antidotes to your vulnerabilities Knowing the antidotes to their vulnerabilities. In successful relationships,“Both partners seem to have read and carefully studied the owner’s manual for their relationship and for each other.” by Dr. Stan Tatkin   MENTIONED: ERP 177: How to offer Comfort to Your Significant Other (podcast) Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship, by Dr. Stan Tatkin How to Comfort a Man, Co-authored by Paul Chernyak, LPC ERP 068: What Women Really Want…Really! With Dr. Kathryn Foster (podcast) Relationship Map (opt-in download) Dr. Susan Johnson (website) Dr. John Gottman (website) Photo by Yuri Levin on Unsplash   CONNECT WITH DR. JESSICA HIGGINS:   Facebook:  Instagram:  Podcast:  Pinterest:  LinkedIn:  Twitter: @DrJessHiggins  Website:   Email:         If you have a topic you would like me to discuss, please reach out to me. Here is my contact information. Thank you so much for your interest in improving your relationship.  I would really appreciate your honest rating and review. Please leave a review by clicking here. Thank you!  If you are interested in developing new skills to overcome relationship challenges, please consider taking the Connected Couple Program or engaging in relationship coaching work with me.  

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