Dear Neil: I have asked my fiancé to be more supportive of me. I have recently lost my job, and I haven’t found another one as of yet. Because of that my credit card debt has risen dramatically, and we have put off our wedding/honeymoon plans indefinitely. She has recently asked me what she could be doing to be more supportive of me. Do you have any ideas?

Sleepless in Colorado

Dear Sleepless: Below is a list of supportive behaviors. Rate each of them as to how supportive they would feel to you. Use the following scale in rating the behaviors:

Not Helpful Helpful Very Helpful
1 – 2 3 – 4 5 – 6

____ 1. Ask me “Is there anything I can do to help?” And if I say yes, do it without expecting anything in return.

____ 2. Point out that I seem stressed.

____ 3. Give me space and time to work it out myself.

____ 4. Listen to me and allow me to vent.

____ 5. Express interest in how I’m feeling and then ask me if I’d like to talk about it.

____ 6. Have sex with me.

____ 7. Offer me advice.

____ 8. Ask me questions about what is going on.

____ 9. Pitch in and help out with what needs to be done.

____10. Take over some of my responsibilities or chores without complaining about it.

____11. Give me physical affection.

____12. Take me out for some fun.

____13. Give me peace and quiet.

____14. Spend time with me.

____15. Tell me you’re interested in what is going on with me.

____16. Tell me you love me.

____17. Tell me what you like or love about me.

____18. Tell me some good news.

____19. Do your best to cheer me up.

____20. Cook my favorite meal.

____21. Suggest we go for a walk.

____22. Reassure me and tell me that everything will be OK.

____23. Offer financial assistance.

____24. Romance me.

____25. Suggest we do something physically active, such as working out together or going dancing.

____26. Make plans for a vacation or a weekend escape soon.

____27. Tell me you have faith in my abilities to rise to the occasion and to conquer the obstacles in my way.

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