#6.3 Are you Supportive?

on Thu Mar 21 2024 00:00:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

with Darren W Pulsipher, Paige Pulsipher,

For this episode, Darren and Paige discuss strategies for cultivating a supportive atmosphere in personal relationships. They highlight the importance of active listening, respecting personal space, regular check-ins, physical affection, self-care, and effective communication in maintaining a healthy and supportive relationship. Through their conversation, they provide insights on how to overcome common relational challenges and foster a nurturing environment in personal relationships.


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Cultivating Supportive Atmosphere in Relationships

In the ever-evolving digital world where distractions abound, maintaining the role of a supportive partner can often present itself as a challenging pursuit. However, based on insights from a recent podcast addressing this common relational adversity, this blog post intends to outline strategies for fostering a supportive environment in personal relationships.

The Value of Active Listening

A critical virtue highlighted during the discussion is active listening. This practice entails more than just hearing the words spoken by the other person. It requires one’s full concentration on the speaker, thereby nurturing an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding. Simple habits such as putting your phone aside during conversations and engaging in eye contact signify your willingness to engage in active listening.

Respecting Personal Space

Preserving personal space is another crucial aspect of sustaining a healthy relationship. This aspect involves mutually understanding and respecting each other’s personal areas. Unclear about when your significant other may need some space? Simply asking them can shed light on this matter.

Importance of Regular Check-ins

Frequent ‘check-ins’ or short, casual conversations about each other’s day or emotional state help in enhancing connection and understanding in a relationship. The benefit of these check-ins is not solely felt during challenging times but also serves as a tool to foster closeness and cultivate trust on ordinary days.

Physical Affection

The conversation also touched upon the role of physical affection in relationships. While not all individuals appreciate physical affection, for those who do, expressing love through physical touch offers comfort, diminishes stress levels, and reaffirms the bond of love and care. Physical affection isn’t merely restricted to sexual intimacy; it also encompasses gestures such as holding hands, cuddling, and hugging.

The Need for Self-Care

A healthy relationship does not solely revolve around meeting your partner’s needs. Rather, it also involves acknowledging and addressing your needs. Attaining balance between these two aspects is vital for the longevity of the relationship. Notably, communicating your boundaries to your partner can inhibit the possibility of resentment building up in the long run.

Communication: The Key

Above all, the necessity of effective communication in successful relationships was underscored. As long as partners keep the channels of communication open and reach out to each other during times of distress, any hurdles encountered can be resolved. A supportive relationship essentially involves an equal measure of giving and taking. This balance, intertwined with respect and understanding, fosters a nurturing atmosphere of mutual support. Remember, being supportive also includes allowing your partner to be your rock during tougher times.

Podcast Transcript


All right,so we picked a topic on relationshipstoday.

We did it when I say we did it.

It means you.

Did it because you're a little busy.

And that's really what prompted.

So about an hour ago,you were like, What are we goingto podcast on today, honey?

And I was. Like, 2 hours ago.

Yeah, I was like, That's a good question.

And so I was sitting outsidebecause a beautiful sideand trying to figure outwhat you're going to podcast on.

And then

I start thinking about you and your bodyand how you're almost done.

You just turned in your dissertation.

Dissertations turnedin, it's in for review.

So I just started thinking about that,and then I start thinkingabout how you completedthat in three years.

Yeah, just three years.

Three years.

And I start thinkingback on the last three yearsand how supportive I've been.

I've been thinkingback on the last three yearsand waking up at three in the morningto work on papersso I could be around the familyperiodically, but haven't.

I've been supportive of yougetting up at 3 a.m.

As long as you wake me up.

I like I like I like this topicbecause there's different ways ofwe talked about this before.

Sometimeswhen your spouse is doing doing things,you can get a little jealousof the things that they're doing.


Because maybe they're being maybetheir career is moving forwardor their educationsmoving forward and you're not.

And that could be that can be tough.

So the missionaries were just overat our house a couple of hours ago.

One of them was saying goodbyebecause they're leaving.

And I was telling them,

I said, I don't knowif you guys know Darren's doing his Ph.D.

And they were like, no,we didn't know that.

And they were like, And I said, Yeah,he double timed it.

This is supposed to take like seven years,and you did it in three, three and a half,

I think.

I don't think seven, but well.

I think that's the typical timeit takes someone.

I looked it up. you. Look. Yep.

It's and people aren't usually workingfull time while they're doing their PhD.

So not only did you double time it,you were working full time.

You have to podcast this oneand you have a work part podcast.

So you do many things in our church.

Anyway, so I was telling the eldersand they were like, Wow, wow.

And I said, Anyone of those things would put mein the gravethat you're doing all of them.

So when you talk about,you know, being jealous or whatever,

I am not.

I am just supportivebecause I am not jealous or envious.

I'm proud.

Were you worried at allwhen I started my my Ph.D.? Yes.

What was your biggest worry about?

My worry?

I mean, I was I was the one that pushed.

You know, she did. I was on the push.

You did this.

I know you've always wanted to do it.

We didn't think you know, weyou had the time or the money and.

Right. We just made it happen.

And when you first startedand you started with two classes, right,instead of onebecause you were trying to double time it,we were not seeing you likeit was like, wow.

Like, I kind of warned you ahead of time.

You did, but I didn't really,because you're just so good at multipletasking and getting things done.

I just didn'tthink it all the way through.

And we joked,

When you started this,we actually joked about how I couldn'task you to do any home improvementprojects, but for the next three years.

And I was like, really?

But yeah, I still did some things.

You did because there were timeswhere you had off of a class,like you had no classes. Yeah, I had that.

You had a couple of different breaks.

Yeah, I had that about six times.

I would get one week off with no classes.

And then there were timeswhere you had like a week offand then you only had one classfor like a month.

So then I'd be like, Hey,since you only sinceyou only have one full time job, didyou have one full time job and one classand still all your podcastand everything you do at churchsince you have all this free time.

Why don't you want your replace toilet?

Could youwork on the bathroom and just like,just replace the whole bathroom and.

That's where I turned my P.A.

She had replaced three bathrooms.

So was that during the day? Yeah.

Two bathrooms?

Yeah. Two bathrooms? Yes.

We didn't mean to replace the one bathroomcompletely.

We were just going to replace the toilet.

Okay, so this is not going very wellas far as what it means to be supportive.

I'm just saying.

I think it's going real, real well.

But no, actually,

I want to talk about thatbecause I've never really asked youbecause I don't want to know.

I told you this was going to be a funny

I haven't really asked you about it.

How supportive do you think I have been?

And don't answer that.

Yeah, we will get to. Okay. We'll get.

All right.

You have to tell me what supportivemeans. Yes.

So let's talk about first.

So I found several articleson being supportiveand why it's important to be supportivein a relationship.

So let's talk about that.

There are several reasonswhy it's importantto be supportive with your partner. So.

All right.

The first one, it says, to create a stablerelationship, a supportive relationshipaims to meet the needs of each partnerwhen they arise.

Couples benefit from consistency,knowing that their partnerwill be there through goodand through bad.

No. Okay.

What do you think about that?

I think that's I think that's right.


Because we've we've seen thatwhen you with your businesssometimes it's been crazy busy.

And for me to be supportive I would cookand I didn't do laundry very well,but I tried.

You know,you're not allowed to do the laundry.

No, I'm not.

There's a whole story behind that.

But so there are times whensomeone needs helpbecause maybe they're sick or illor they're swamped at workand all those sorts of things.

And we both stepped upwhen each one of us has had issueseitherbeing too busy or being sick or whatever.

So I see this as a good one.


So I love how it says that couples benefitfrom the consistency of knowingtheir partner will be there for them.

I like that. I really like that.

There's so much comfortin knowing that someone is there for.

You, right?

That if things go south,you got my back right?



So, okay.

The second one of why it's important to besupportive is to boost self-esteem.

How is that?

That seems almost counterintuitive.

It says supportingyour partner can improve their self esteemand make them feel valuable and important.

Do you not agree with that?

No, I do.

Yeah, I yes, I do agree. But sometimessupportive meansyou're there to help me

If I fall, you're there to support me.

And for a man that's like, my weak,

I need support.

I'm a weak.

Does that make. Sense?

Yeah. Yeah, I think it's not even for men.

It can be for men or women that can feel.

The women feel that way, too.

Yeah, sure. All right.

Yeah. Like,maybe I can't. I can't relate, right?

Yeah. Yeah. But. Yeah. So,yeah, I can see how, you know, maybe,you know, that whole.

The whole thing, likebeing being valued and feelingheard in your relationship, Right?

And so I don't know.

And I think that if you feel valuedin your relationship.

That that helps myself. Absolutely.

So So I don't have to stand alone

I can have right.

You standing next to me,cheering me on and supporting me.

And that helps. And that builds you up.


Because you love me enough to standwith me and yeah, good times and bad.

I like. That. So. Yeah,

I like that one too.

All right, then.

The third one is of why it's importantis to improve mental health.

We have to talk about mental health.

I'm tired of talking about mental.

But it is important.

It is important.

My mental health is very. Yes.


So forget about other people's mentalhealth.

Let's just focus on my you know.

I said I know

I'm a big proponent of

I know there is mental health.

I'm a big proponent ofof living in a healthy way.

And getting help. Yes, you are.

You're huge about. It. It's just.

It's everywhere.


Everyone's we all now I'm like, well.

It's not even a reason to be ill.

It's that everybody it's just like it'shard to get people to do anything,whether it's at work or churchor in school.

You know, if in a PTA board,because everyone's like, well, I have toyou know, I have to self care,which is fine.

I understand.my mom used to say,just suck it up and get it done.

That is how we grew up.

Yes, that is how we grew up.

Yes. Why we were all mentally. Ill, maybe.

I don't know. But that's not true.

But if everybody is like, you know,

I can't do anything because I'm self care,the who's going to do something.

So there's got to be this balance.

So, yes, taketake a look at what you need to doand when you need to say no.

But we also have to help each other,right?

Yeah, we do. So we have to step up.

How does it improve our mental health?

By being supportive.

What's it say?

It says going through hard times.

I'm trying to see going through hard timeswhat is alone can take the camerasin front of the computers.

I can't see.

Okay. What is it that you read it?

It's like going through hard timesalone can make a toll, can take a tollon a person's mental wellness.

I agree with that for sure.

Supportive partner can help their lovedone process.

Difficult emotions helps build trust andalso positive impacts on mental health.

All right, I get it.

I totally agree with all of that.

And I don't want people to think thatyou are like, mental health, you're not.

It's just.

No, because I've been througha mental health crisis. Yeah.

And I did not get thesupport that I needed.


That I,you know, in hindsight,if I would have gotten that,then maybe I would have got to that muchfaster.

Right? I don't know.

And you always support me in my I mean, Iyou know, I struggle with depression.

I am on medication.

I'm not ashamed or embarrassed of that.

But it doesn't stopyou from getting things done.

No, but I mean, you know,

I don't use it an excuse, but, you know,there are certainly been weeksand days and.

Kind a couple.

Months, monthswhere I have needed your support.


So now let's talkabout how to be a supportive partner.

All right.

So we talked about why it's important.

So now we're going to talk abouthow to be supportive.

Okay. Okay.

So the first one is practice.

Practice active listener.

You hate. This term.

Darren, can you please practiceyour active listening on me, please?

I'm begging you. Practice it.

You know you hate the word, but you.

But you use it all.

No, we all use it.

I don't like feeling. I feel like it's.

It's almost hot.

So look where word I'm looking for.

What makes me feel like a child,you know?

I mean, if we use the wordsthat the therapists say to use, like, so.

Paige what I hear you're sayingthat girl crazy, that drives you crazy.

But I also want to knowthat you are hearing what I'm saying.

Yeah, but I don't want you to say itthat way. No.

So I have to adjust my acting,learning or listening.

I do it at workin a different way than I do it at home.

I do.

Okay. How's that?

What's the difference at work?

I can use the phrases.

Let let me restate what I think you said.


If I say that to you,that's a no starter, that is.


No, that's no good. That's a no good.

That's no. Good. So.

Well, okay,so it says, it says in this and this isthis is somethingyou have a hard time with.

I just say.

I'm letting the world know right nowthat you have a hard time with this.

Answer this email. Okay?

If you're watching us on YouTube,you will see that Darren has his phonefirmly in hand where he likes itmost of the time.

So it says, Put down your phone.

All right. Is still.

So. But I and I saw this thingthe other day which I share with you,and I really loved,even if you say your your spouse or childcomes up to you and you're on your phoneand they start talking.

And so you just you're looking at them,but you're still holding your phonelike like, hurry up,finish up, because then I'm goingto get right back to my phone.

That is not an active listener.

No, that's a that's an impatient listener.

That's a hurry up so I can get back.

So you're supposed to put your phone downso no one can see it.

And how is that supportive?

That is very that is saying I'm listeningto you and I care what you're saying.

Okay. All right. I get it right. I get it.

So it says, put your phone out.

Put your phone to work.

Maintain eye contact. gosh.

Don't don't start with that.

So bother you.

Sometimes? Yes.

Okay. All right.

We'll talk about that later.

It says express interestin what they tell you.

You're good at thiseven if you have no interest at all in it.

I'm very good at this.

I'm a good active listener,especially with the kids.

Yeah, but with me, it's about 2 minutesand then it's like, glazed over.

I know you have no ideawhat I'm talking about.

Well, if I'm talking about work stuff.

Yes, I try real, real. Hard.

I know you try.

And see it says little thingslike nodding and understanding.

I do that. I know you do it.

I know.

Maybe the kids.

Me, I know you're not listening and you'relike, God, I wonder what's good?

Or was that a squirrel in the trio?

Yeah, I try real hard,but yeah, a little ADHD got going there.

It says a comforting gesture. A gesture.

So, like,

I can tap your shoulder and be like, I.

Yeah, that's good.

Okay. All right. That's supportive.


It says that those thingscan make your partner feel like they'rebeing respected and validated.

All right, I get it. And I agree.

When when you or anyonethat I'm talking todoesn't put their phone down like,you know me, I just stop talking.

Yes, It drives me crazybecause I can just do things and. What?

No, no, not fully. Not perhaps.

Not fully, No.

We'll agree to disagree on that.

But you're going to but I.

Will work on putting my phone downwhen I'm around you.

Thank you.

I appreciate a no phone zone around peace.

Okay. That be great, Larry. Great.

Thank you. I appreciate that.

Any of her friends that listen,put your phone away.

Actually, my friend, I don't think

I have a single friend that does that.

I bet you do. I don't.

I don't. I don't have a saying.

You all know who you are.

Stop it.

If you're doing it, let me know.

Because I don't know that you're doing it.

No, I have

My friends are really good at that.

All right.

The next one's kind of the opposite.

It's knowwhen to give your spouse space yelp.

So this is interesting becauseyou reallyhave to know your partner, right?

You have to know them. Yeah.

You rarely need space or want space.

Rarely. Very rarely.

No. And I know that about you.

I You need your space sometimes.

Need my space. Yeah.

And you know that about me. Yep.

So it's that you can't just.

So I like that it says knowwhen to give your partner space.


So if you don't know,ask them some questions.

Don't, you know, try and guess. Just.come on.

We know

I most men know with their spouse when.she does not want me around. Right?

Right. Totally.

And I think most women know that too.

But I'm saying if you don't know,if you're wondering,is this the time where she wants space,she doesn't just ask.

We don't expect you to be my readers.

Just ask. Yeah, you. Do what we do.

But that's beside the point.

It's okay to ask and say, I need you.

Let me know.

You want me to go to the next roomor you want me to stay here?

It's okay. It's okay to ask that. So.

All right, What's the next one?

Check in with your partner regularly.

I actually like this one.

When I first heard that,

I was like, Okay, brother. check in.

I'm checking in.

But how we do this?

I know I actually like this a lot.

It says when you're going throughhard times,you definitely need to check in regularly.

But I like when it says just when thingsare going along and go and smooth.

Have biweekly is a schedule.

It catches scheduleit put it on the calendar date night.

Okay, schedule your scheduling date night,and on those date nightsyou can spend 15 minutes,you know, checking in with each other.

Hey, how's everything going?


You know, anything that you need from methat I haven'tgiven you this week, What you know,and then you share what you just to share.

Share those things.

Okay. I like that.

And we kind of do this automatic.

We have this little thing that we dobecause I travel for work quite often,and when I travel when I land somewhere,

I text Paigelanded in Chicago, landed in Washingtonor whatever.

That small little check in lets her know

I'm safe and I'm thinking about you.


So I think the sameif and there were timesworking on my PhD where I was just slammedand I was justconstantly in front of my computer writingand you would textme and say, How you doingwithout coming in?

Without coming in?

And saying,

All right, we need to have a talkright now, because I could handle itright at that point.

So you both understood.

I needed space,but you were checking in with me sayingjust a little tiny thing that was big.


And there were times where I said to you,

I know how busy you are.

I know you've got a lot on your plate,but I need you from 6 to 7, right?

We talked today. Yes.

And I said I need youto put everything away for an hourfor dinner, you know, and and be present.

And you did.

And you said okay.

And I just needed to tell you that.

And then you were like.

Okay, I just had to wake up at 3:00the next morning.

That's right.

Good job, honey.

Yeah, that's how I got my white hair.

That's me being supportive.

All you have to do,honey, is get up at 3 a.m.instead of four. You can. Do that.

You do that another time.

All right, The next one.

This one's interesting.

Showing your partner physical affection.

Now, once again, I think this.

You have to know your spouse, because noteverybody likes physical affection.

Anybody likes thethe hugging and the snuggling.

Right. Not everyone likes that.

But if they do, make sure you are doingthat that I, I think it is so important.

You and I both know that it'sreally important to be affectionate.

And this doesn't this isn't just talkingabout sexual intimacy, even though that isvital importance as well.

And we've talked about this beforeon our podcast scheduleit there's nothing wrong with that.but it's not spontaneous. Doesn't matter.

Schedule it.

We do almost every day.

Seriously. Sobut hugging, holding hands, cuddling.

It, sensing in the. Kitchen. Yes.

I love what it says in here.

It says that it offers Reyesreassurance and comfortand can also help with loweringstress levels.absolutely.

So I love that.

And I think that this is one thingthat we're good at.

I do.

We used to always sit on the couchtogether to watch a show.

We don't do that so much anymore.

It's like you're on one couch,

I'm on another.

Why are you sitting on the couch?

Why are you sitting? On the other.

Hand, I sit down.

I sit down.

I just.

And you sit down for, I don't know.

All right,

There's something we got to work on.

We got to work. I'm sitting next.

We need new couches, though.my gosh. They are terrible.

But that's.

Maybe that could be another podcast.

Why do.

Why do Paige and Darrenkeep buying terrible furniture?

I'm not going to comment at all.

You know.

This is definitely going to be an episode.

This is definitely going to be an episode.

Well, let's.

All right.

Let's talk about the next the next one,because, yeah, there is a whole halfhour discussionright there on a furniture.

Pay attention to your own needs.

Okay. This sounds a little selfish.

Well, I think that this iswhen you have to make sureyou have boundaries.

Kind of like.

Like you never need your space.

So if you weren't paying attention towhen I need space, that right.

Well, would it freak you outif I said I needed space some time,

I think would freak you out.

It would freak me out,but I would be like,okay, but I'm just saying if like, if, if,if you wereif maybe you were in a situationwhere you were never giving me spacebecause you didn't need space, it'sokay for me to say, Hey.

I need.

I need some space, right?

So pay attention so thatbecause that can build up resentment.

Yeah, it can totally build up resentment

If you are not, you know, there's a.

Danger here, too,that you're just pushing your spouse.

Away. I agree. You're right.

And and that happens.

I know that happens, right,

Because I've gonethrough a mental health crisisand you have toand there's timeswhen you say, just leave me alone.

And your spouse has to understand,is this the right time to leave them aloneor is this the timeto pull them out of bed,get them dressed and get them outsidedoing something active?

Yeah. I that's a tricky one.

It is a tricky one. It's a tricky one.

So hopefully if you're payingattention to your own needs,you cansay like, I think now I could be like,

Hey, today's a day I haven't had.

I haven't had a bad episodein a really long time.

But I think that in fact,

I missed my February blues.

I know. Well, I know I planned it.

You you planned for menot to have the February blues.

Good job. I did a good job this year.

You made the sun come out more.

If you had the sun come out more.

Love it. Yeah.

You know that

I need sun. Yeah. I kept you busy.

Were you ever home in February?

No, I was not ever home in February.

Good condition.

Big. Good job. Yeah, I figured it out.

That's awesome.

But yeah, I think now I can say, like,you know what?

Today is the day that I need to just be inmy sweats all day and leave me alone,



Well, and I think it's.

This goes hand in handwith knowing your spouse and communicatingwhat your needs are to your spouse,not in the time of crisis, but beforehand.


So that your spouse can recognizewhat that looks like,deal with it when it when it happens.

Is it all right now,

I know she needs her space right now.

I know, you know, he needs my supporteven though he's saying me, me alone.

He really needs my support,whatever the case may be.

You've got to you've got to have a nice,strong, open communication relationship.

And I like how it says in herethere are going to be probablymost of your marriage.

One person is going to needmore, more support than the other, right?

Like, yes.

I mean, if it gets to be yearsthat you're only you're only going oneway, you need to sit downand really take a lookat your relationship and go, okay, I'vebeen supporting you for three years ish.

Eight, ten years.

And you know, I might need some supportback, right?

That's when a therapy,a therapist can come into playand you say, you know, hey,we need to talk about thisbecause I'm not feeling your support,but I feel like I'm giving you support.

So know when it's time to gosee a professional.


No, actually,okay.

Our limitedrun of the week is from Darren.

What you got?

Well, it happens to coincide with our lastpodcast, which was plane etiquette.


I was traveling at the timeand you sent mewe're going to talk about plane etiquette,and I'm going, crud.

Because every thing on that list

I did wrong on the flight before

I was rude.

I wasn't. You're not.

I just put my headphones onand just closed my eyesbecause I didn't want to talk to anyone.

And everythingthat you brought up on the podcast, I saw.

You saw on the plane.

On the plane, especially on my way home,because I was hypersensitive to it now,because I was looking for everything.

And I did. I did better coming home.

I actually talked to the person next to meand said, Yo, how you doing now?

I'm good. All right.

So that's all. We need to know about. It.

That was a good step forward.

Good job. And even tried, right.

And I was sitting between two guysthat were friends.and but you know what I was in?

It was fine. It didn't cause any problems.

But you should listento our last episode on plane etiquette.

It's pretty darn funny.

And so the lemonade fromit was I learned I grew

I became a better traveler because of you.

I'm so proud of you. Thanks. I'm.

If you like today's episode.

Give us five stars on iTunes, Spotify,


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Where you can leavequestions and comments.

And but most of all.

Go outand make some lemonade. You bet your baby.