Helping Someone You Love Through a Tough Time

Aug 29, 2022

This has been a pretty tough week for me (Justin).  I haven’t been myself. I haven’t felt like being around people very much. I’ve had very little desire to engage emotionally in conversations. My family has been very patient with me as my mood swings have been quick and often.

As I was thinking through the past few days, what kept coming to mind is how amazing my wife has been this week. She has really helped me navigate a time of hurt, mourning and confusion in my life. She has cried with me, sat in silence with me, asked questions, and been patient. She’s amazing.

So I just wanted to share a few things I’ve seen her do for me this week, that I think will help you help someone you love through a tough time.

1. Don’t try to fix them.

Because you love them and because you hate seeing them hurt you will be tempted to try to fix them. The person you love doesn’t need to be fixed, they need to be healed. You can’t heal them, only God can. So trying to fix them will not only short circuit the healing process, it will make them feel guilty for not being okay.

2. Be okay with uncomfortable silence.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone you love is just sit in silence with them. Sometimes there are no words to be said. That is okay. On Monday, Trish simply said to me, “I’ll talk when you want to.” That gave me permission to just be quiet.

3. Offer advice through validation.

This is one of the best gifts you can give. Trish has said to me several times this week, “I don’t know how you feel, but here is what I think.” “I have no idea what you’re feeling, but here is what I think.” Just that little phrase, “I have no idea what you’re going through” offers enough validation to allow the person that is hurting to hear the wisdom and advice that’s offered.

4. Cry with them.

Romans 12:15 says, …”mourn with those who mourn.” Sometimes that is the most loving, most healing, most powerful thing you can do. There are few greater expressions of love for someone than to feel so deeply for their hurts that you just sit and cry with them.

5. Pray for them.

Tuesday morning I gave Trish a hug as I was getting ready to go to a meeting. She pulled me in close and leaned in and started praying for me. In that moment, I was reminded that we’re in this together. She’s fighting for me. God is fighting for me. Praying together will always grow the intimacy level of that relationship. More than that, it will help the person you love overcome and move through their tough time.

These are just a few things that my wife has done for me this week that have been so helpful. Are there other things you’d add to help someone through a tough time?