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What are some of the most supportive things your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend has done for you when your work life is stressful and busy?

My SO has been crazy busy at work. This past week he’s worked 76 hours including the weekend and has been on call anytime he’s not physically at work. He’s so close to burn out, I can just tell. I’m so proud of how hard he works for us, and I just want to try and do something more for him to try and show him how much I appreciate everything he does and how hard he works.

I’m trying to think of things to do to help him relax and destress and I’m just looking for any ideas you have!

Gimme your best!

Edit: Thank you all for your replies, I’m going to try and take the time to read each one. It sounds like you all have stellar support systems at home and I hope I can be the same. 🙂


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48 Comments

  1. The greatest gift my partner ever gave me, was telling me that she would support my decision if I wanted to leave a job that was making me ill. I quit the same.day and it was the beat choice I ever made.

  2. At that time she wasn’t my gf, I got fired from my preparatory school 1month before examinations i was really desesperate and full stressed for the upcoming exam session and she was living 800km away(we used to go to the same highschool but then different colleges at opposing sides of France) when i told her the news at the end of the day she tried to confort me but she didn’t say anything special, she juste hang up after a 1h call and drove all night long and woke me up with pasteries and all the book i needed to be ready for the D day.
    I didn’t know where she got the books since i was doing Maths/Physics and she was studying old languages/cultures.

    Later i learned that she drove by her brother’s who did nearly same school as me and asked him for his books at like 4 in the morning.

    Edit: Thank you guys for all the kind replies, I’ll definitely marry her some day, we’ve always been there for each other since this moment and I hope that won’t ever end

  3. Found out today that I made a 40k mistake at work Friday. She made dinner and left me the fuck alone to get drunk and hate myself tonight.

    I married the right one

  4. She’d distract me with conversation. She knew I overthink things, so she would just start telling me about her day. I love hearing about her day, it sounds silly, but I just love it. The way she gets excited telling me about what she’s doing. I could listen to her talk all day, she just soothes me.

    I know a lot of people just get annoyed with chatting when they’re stressed, but thinking about someone else makes me stop thinking about myself.

  5. I had a really bad day at work a few months back. Long day, and at the end of it, found out a good mate of mine dropped dead at work, so yeah, really crap.

    Got home, and my wife met me at the door, and just wrapped herself around me, hugged me and whispered “I’m so sorry you had such a shit day”. I put my bag down, and grabbed a rum. She let me sit down, told me that I was there if I needed her, and went to fix my dinner. (I usually cook at home, I enjoy it, and she loves my cooking!)

    After dinner, we just sat together and talked. She helped me to process it all, and made sure that I knew I could go and do whatever I needed to to farewell my mate. No questions, no conditions, just total acceptance of what I was going through. She let me knnow that she was there, and let me lead the process. She’s so caring and intuitive, and I love her with all my heart. I wish I’d met her years ago!

  6. She was there.

    I lost my job in 2017. I couldn’t find work and we were only dating then. She decided to stick around and support me (not financially) while I went through the rough period of non stop bills and failed interviews. She understood why we didn’t go out as much, why I wouldn’t come over. Even when it was our anniversary, we didn’t do anything and she was still there.

    She had her own battles. Her own personal issues she was dealing with. But that didn’t stop her. It didn’t keep her from helping me when I needed someone at my corner. She showed me hope and that the storm too shall pass and it did!

    Now we are married and doing better in every aspect (mentally, financially, spiritually) and I couldn’t see myself with anyone else. I couldn’t ask for a better life partner!

  7. Small things have a big impact. When my husband sees me hunched over the computer, he’ll come by and give me a shoulder massage or a bowl of my favorite fruit as a surprise. He’ll do chores around the house to take the load off me.

    This may sound silly, but try writing him a little post-it saying how proud you are of him and how much you love him and hide it somewhere where he’ll find it.

    Maybe it sounds a little girly, but I think most guys would appreciate the gesture 🥰

    Edit: Didn’t think this would blow up so much. I’m off to go find some post-its now to surprise him with tomorrow!!

  8. I work from before open to after close at my bar and by far one of the most meaningful things that my s/o does for me is cleans my place and makes me meals for when I can sneak away. She’s a busy person as well, and that makes it that much more meaningful.

  9. Boy oh boy so I’m an auditor and it’s busy season rn so we got 55 hours a week minimum. Yesterday I left for work and my gf (who does not live with me) had the day off. She clean my apartment spotless. Folded my close to perfection I mean it made me realize how dirty and unorganized it was before.

    She cleaned the shower I mean everything!!!!

    When I got home (at 8) I wanted to cry that was the nicest thing anyone I’ve been in a relationship has done for me

    I asked her how long it took to clean my studio apartment she said about 8 hours so you know she got in the weeds. I loved it a lot and it has probably made my week already

  10. The little things! Basically, anything you can think of that might be on your SO’s plate that you can handle (outside of their actual work). Minimize their mental clutter so they can focus on just getting through crunch periods.

    Try to make sure they always have food, so groceries and cooking/meal prep – and really do it independently. My partner and I usually do our shopping/cooking together but I’ll ask them if they have any preferences or if I should “surprise them” during a rough time (I say “surprise” so they don’t feel bad about me taking initiative for the week). Usually they’re happy to be surprised so I oblige. Clean clothes (laundry, maybe ironing if necessary) are also important, and make sure they have a nice bed to collapse into. Also, give them an extra big hug. Finally, verbally thank them and tell them you appreciate them and everything they do!

    This is what I try to do when I can, and so far it seems to help 🙂 good luck to you and your partner!

  11. Make him a hot bath with Epson salt.

    If its big enough, join him :3

    Give him a massage. Don’t expect him to be doing a lot of extra things and try to do what you can for him. Prepare meals, laundry, etc.

  12. During my relationship I was in the military, non-combat duty. I spent 10 days at the base and 4 days at home. I’m now diagnosed clinically depressed and high-functioning autistic and found to be unfit for service. Somehow I stayed. I was suicidal all the way.

    One time, when I was burying myself in myself, she drew me a really cute picture of Foxy from Five Nights at Freddy’s. It kinda makes me teary-eyed to remember this. I don’t know. Something about that was just…. I felt loved, I guess.

  13. Pick up extra house work at home, have dinner ready for him when he comes home or package something he likes up for him to take to work. Small things here and there like having his favorite drink poured for him when he walks in the door or picking up his favorite candy. Lets him know you’re there for him and gives him something to look forward to. Lastly, if he’s exhausted I’m sure he needs his rest. Scratch his back or do something you know he likes to help him relax when he’s sitting on the couch or makes it to bed

  14. As a medical resident, I work 70-90 hours weekly at baseline. My wife is the most supportive person I’ve ever met, and is always there for me when I need her. She understands with my schedule that I don’t care for wasting time and really prioritizes spending time together when we’re able to, whether through walking the dog, having meals together or the less visible things like keeping the car working, making sure the house is livable. I wouldn’t be here without her.

  15. Nothing materialistic but just emotional support.

    I’m looking to change careers which would result in me being much happier but I’d be taking a pay cut.

    Knowing she supports me, asks how the job hunting is going and cheers me up when I don’t receive an interview.

    It all really means a lot

  16. In 11 years I can’t think of any time my ex did anything like this.

    What I would do for her though, was sitting her down and reassuring her with positive reality. How in love I was, how hard I’d work to get through the tough times, ect. It made me feel like a coach in a weird way but she alwaysss responded positively to the pep and she felt better.
    I did lots of other things but that’s something as a guy I wouldn’t take for granted. Just open communication; feelings, vulnerability, can go such a long way.

  17. I quit my job to help my mom who’s on the losing end of her fight with liver and lung cancer. It’s emotionally, financially and time draining. My SO has pre made all these meal bags so I can grab them to go whenever we race to the hospital. Instead of getting upset as she doesn’t get to see me, she’s trying to make my difficult times easier

  18. She knows I’m a simple guy.

    She took me to a nice pub/bar in the city.
    Told me to get 4 beers and down them and just talk to her; figured out that I become an open book and i let it out verbally with the booze.

    We are a bit more sophisticated now; Now it’s half a glass of wine, a home-cooked meal and chilling together in the night – Couldn’t ask for more or easier!

  19. Nothing too crazy but whenever i’m stressed about work or university i call my bf and he just… listens. He knows that i’m not asking for advice or anything when i’m having a breakdown so he just stays quiet and listens to what’s bothering me. It really helps me calm down and when i’m calm he voices his opinion on the situation.
    Hope this helps!

  20. You’re a good SO.

    My husband works weeks on end, and he usually calls when on his way home, so I run him a bubble bath and prep some fruit/snacks (maybe weird but we love having creamsicles/melona in a hot bath!), put on some relaxing music and just spend time catching up in the bath. I get him to go to bed early, usually falling asleep to a Disney movie while I scratch his back/neck/head. He says this routine gives him the best recovery/sleep.

  21. My husband works about 60-65 hours a week and even when he’s home he is answering phone calls and emails. I know he’s also stressed because I have multiple medical issues all at once at the moment that prevent me from driving, walking, and eating more than a cup to a cup and a half of food a day. I try my best to make things as easy as possible for him whether it be ordering food for him or giving him a back massage. In the past before I was sick I did a lot more. I would drop him things off at work like coffee or lunch or even just say hi. One time he came home to a “bad day box” I filled with some whiskey a picture of us and a few other things. I had a spa day set up at home one day when he came home. Usually always have the house cleaned and dinner ready. One time I set up a candle lit dinner outside with garden lights and champagne. I’ll leave notes in his briefcase telling him I love him. Just tiny things go a long way, I think. (:

  22. She used to just listen, whenever I was going through the tough times she was someone I could confide in. Just talking things out with her always put my soul at ease during the storm.

  23. She just listened and didn’t judge. I felt comfortable being vulnerable and really – REALLY – opening up to her, in a way that is discouraged in men and that could drive the wrong type of woman away. Uncovered a lot of past trauma and hidden pain with her. I think really listening to your partner, allowing them to vent and also giving them space when they need it is the winning combination.

  24. I am a work oh holic snd enjoy working over time like…all the time. The two best moral boosters are when i can come home eat and sleep extra. Days i am not tired just getting out of the house in nature to be active in a fun way not a gym way with friends and family. Makes working the overtime feel fulfilling like i am supporting this awesome lifestyle. Important to for said activity for me to be free or low cost cuz i am working the over time to achieve financial goals not blow it and feel like i need to do more

  25. What I would like, and something I think your SO would really enjoy, is taking care of meals. I don’t mind fast food once in a while, but when I’m on the go all the time it feels like I’m eating twice a day at fast food joints. Makes me feel sluggish and crappy.

    Having a nice healthy meal once in a while– one that you don’t have to cook yourself after a 12-hr day– is really nice. Eating unhealthy only makes stress worse, so supporting his health is a big way you can support him overall.

    Maybe do some laundry for him, or fold his clothes. Chances are he’s falling behind on this stuff because he’s running out of time and brainspace to get it all done.

    Most of all, just be there emotionally for him. He’s going to be burnt out and sad and stressed and angry at times, just know that it’s not you that’s the cause of it. Love is patient and love is kind – assume he has the best intentions as to why he’s working this much.

  26. Don’t be emotionally needy because you are missing him. If he’s any type of nice guy he’ll talk it out with you but then wonder after why you can’t just give him a break. Realise this is just a short period and let your actions do the talking. Get the chores done, a bath and make tea.

  27. I had about two weeks this semester that just completely wrecked me. I had a couple rough tests, my mental health took a dive, plans with friends kept falling through, and I couldn’t seem to dig myself out from under the mess.

    My boyfriend came over on we Wednesday night at like 9pm and just laid there with me. He asked “Do you wanna talk about it or do you want me to just hold you?” I talked for a bit. He didn’t try to fix it, he just reminded me everything would be okay and held me until I finally got to sleep. Probably one of the best things anyone has ever done for me.

  28. Currently working through this – my fiance has been a godsend and below are somethings I’ve really appreciated.

    She does little things like turns on the porch light and unlocks the door for me after a long day. She gets the dogs all riled up and excited when she sees my car pull into the driveway so they are bouncy and extra excited.

    She listens to me when I vent about work.

    She trusts me – when I told her I was seriously thinking about leaving my current workplace she said “ok- I trust you to do what’s best for both yourself and our family”

    She has never made me feel dumb or insecure about my stresses or feelings. She gives me positive affirmations after venting and tells me she is proud of me.

    She is a very energetic and active person but when I was struggling with stress she let me put my head in her lap and just sit in silence for hours while stroking my hair.

    She asks me to do little things for her that will keep me busy.

    She thanks me for all the little things.

    She is the best person I know and has my whole heart.

    Good luck to both of you.

  29. They didn’t, so I broke up with them. Been happier every since!! He even went out of his way to make my daily work life the most stressful experience I’ve ever gone through. Making me send selfies to prove I was at work, having to respond within 5 minutes to every single text message as I was a server at a restaurant that was busy…

    I know this wasn’t the point of the post but I’ve only had one boyfriend and they were a piece of s*** that never made my life easier.

  30. I run a company with a very labour-intensive product and when things get overwhelming in production, my lovely girlfriend joins on the front line of things and helps out significantly. It means a lot to me, and it’s nice to have my partner a part of something I can say WE have created.

  31. Make him lunches to take to work with little clever or love notes or drawings inside.

    Draw him a bubble bath, they won’t say it out loud but dudes love baths!

    Put a little notes in his wallet and/or his car saying how proud of him you are. Motivational stuff. Whatever the reason he’s working so much remind him of the goal.

    Text him funny pics of you doing stupid poses.

    Meet at his work and take him out to drinks after he gets off. Even if you have to wait a bit.

    Send him flowers.

    Massage.

    These are just activities to help when he doesn’t want to talk about the shitty day or is completely on auto-pilot.

    Good luck OP!

  32. it depends so much on the person!

    for me, a neatfreak, if ive had a long hard day, it would help so much if/when my bf makes the apartment so that i literally dont have anything else to do other than lay down and relax – vacuums, cleans the bathroom, does the dishes and laundry (bonus if he washes the sheets). And then just gives me a giant bear hug and lets me know i can rant to him as much as i want.

    for him, not a neatfreak but thrives off of physical touch, i give him all the kisses and hugs – he also loves it when i lie down in the couch or bed and he just lays on top of me or vice versa. then i make plans for food, either cook or order in (having ice cream is a bonus) and tell him he can do whatever he wants and needs to relax – whether thats watch a movie with me, go out for a walk with a podcast or whatever

    you just need to learn what your person loves and needs! good luck!

  33. Give him encouragement. Have food prepared in the fridge for him to reheat or do some crock pot meals. Make his coffee (or prep the pot for in the morning). Make sure his laundry is done so he doesn’t have to go looking for it. Pack his lunch/snacks (don’t forget a little love note or something sweet inside). Wash the sheets and make the bed (There is NOTHING like coming home after an overnight shift to a bed that’s been made and fresh sheets). Just look around for the little things that you can do that will either save him some time, remind him he is supported, and allow him to relax. When my husband is working a lot I try to make sure things are picked up (kids) before he comes home because I know it causes him anxiety.

  34. I’d texted him that it had been an awful day and I’d be home in 10. When I arrived he had a cold glass of my favourite white wine waiting and was already starting dinner prep.

  35. My girlfriend often wakes up early on her days off to make me breakfast before I go into work. She is also supportive of me and every other way, she really is the love of my life.

  36. When I’m stressed from work and life in general and there’s nothing she can directly do about it – she “takes things off my plate” and lets me go veg.

    Lately, I come home, and all the stuff needed for dinner is prepped (I enjoy cooking) so I can make dinner, and then she directs me to my workbench where I can just hobby, and jam out. (I make and paint models).

    It works well.

  37. My car has been dying a lot lately, because I had an old battery. He went out and bought me a new one, got Triple A to install it, and then drove it to his work, all so I could take his car and get to work on time for a meeting. He is the absolute best.

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