Has your girlfriend or boyfriend had their heart broken by a previous relationship? If so, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed, and may even be wondering why you have to be the one to pick up the pieces.
It’s never easy to deal with conflict in relationships, but it’s a unique challenge when the conflict happens before you meet your boyfriend or girlfriend. This requires a different approach.
First Step: Listen
I know it’s hard to listen to people talk about a painful experience, especially if they are still healing from their heartbreak. They might cry, they might be angry, or they might show signs of depression or anxiety.
But I’ve learned that patient listening can open a lot of doors to healing in a relationship. Wait until your loved one is completely done talking before you respond, and don’t be afraid to sit in silence with them while you think of some comforting words.
It’s also good to remember that they are probably not expecting you to offer a solution or to jump in and fix things with whoever hurt them. Giving them someone understanding to talk to and being with them when they’re hurting goes a long way, and will do a lot to bring you closer.
When you know what your girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse is feeling, and how they are struggling, you can lift those things up in prayer. Even if you don’t know the details, putting their pain before God for Him to heal will always help. If you’re not sure what to say, try reading encouraging verses together: the Bible is full of reminders that God is ready an willing to heal a broken heart.
There is no reason you can’t be in a happy, meaningful relationship with someone who’s had their heart broken before. After all, it’s happened to most people you’ll meet! Supporting your boyfriend or girlfriend in their healing is one of the best ways you can show them you care. Encourage them to reach out to a mentor, a pastor, a prayer partner, or someone else with experience helping people navigate difficult emotions.
If you feel like you need to take action to help, ask them what you can do. If they’re not sure, you can come up with small ways to show your gratitude for them. Or you can help them with little tasks or errands to give them a breather and help them lower their stress level.
But don’t forget: you need support, too. It’s sometimes overwhelming to spend a lot of time with someone who is going through something difficult. It’s okay to give yourself breaks, have alone time, or talk about other things. And it’s a good idea to ask for help when you’re not sure what to do, or feeling stressed by your partner’s pain.
Remember: you don’t have to solve every problem your boyfriend or girlfriend has. Being faithful, hopeful, and patient goes a long way toward relationship healing. You can get through this together, and we are here to help.
Is your boyfriend or girlfriend struggling with depression? I wrote this blog giving 7 ways to help you support them with their depression.
Photo Credit: Allef Vinicius