Relationship expert reveals the one thing you should never say if your partner is upset
If there's one person in the world that you should be able to talk to about anything, it's your other half. They're the only one who's going to put up with you going on about that new TV show you've just started watching, or the cute dog you're now following on Instagram, or how you really ought to start buying Christmas presents soon (you definitely should).
However, when it comes to more difficult subjects, even someone as close to you as your partner could end up saying the wrong thing - and we all know that this just makes the situation even worse.
Thankfully, a relationship expert called Jane Greer has pinpointed the types of phrases you should avoid if you find yourself trying (and failing) to comfort your bae.
First of all, you've got to acknowledge that whatever your partner is going through, they might find it difficult to talk about. This isn't necessarily a reflection on you - they could simply be embarrassed or insecure about the issue - or don't fully understand their feelings enough to express them in words.
If that's the case, the last thing they want to deal with is pressure. And, even if they don't feel particularly awkward about what's happening, they almost certainly won't want to dwell on it any further than they already have.
So, here's what you shouldn't do: turn their problem into your problem.
Greer advises avoiding phrases such as, "tell me, maybe I can help", or "talk to me, I really want to know what's going on", because then you've just given them another layer of stress to deal with.
So what should you do instead?
The most important thing to do is let them know that you are there for them, and you can do this without even talking to them. Simple acts such as giving them a hug, holding their hand, or grabbing them a tissue are all useful acts to implement if your loved one is upset.
If it's an ongoing issue (for instance, if your partner suffers from depression, has recently suffered a loss, or is dealing with a long-running problem), then there are other ways of relieving some of their worries. Exercising together, talking a walk, or doing something distracting such as cooking a meal works wonders for clearing the mind and alleviating stress.
You can also take some personal steps to help deal with the problem. Maybe do some chores around the house or make them a soothing cup of tea - even the little gestures will make a big impact.
Sometimes we can all be a little cryptic when it comes to telling our special someones how we really feel, and that can be a problem if we deliberately and consistently withhold information.
Ultimately, though, your partner's problem is their issue, and they will talk to you when they're ready. Take it slow, look after them as best you can and don't make it about you.