Is your Boyfriend Not Supportive During Difficult Times?

A mate is not supposed to be the answer to life’s problems or resolve the tough issues that often come along. However, their position in your life is to motivate, encourage, and serve as a source of strength when you are at your weakest point. 

The anticipation is that there will be someone who will not just listen but really hear what you say in times of trouble, not necessarily offer advice and maybe not know just the right thing to say, but pay attention.

The right partner will cheer you on when something good happens and not feel a sense of jealousy; encourage growth and chasing dreams, make you strive to be a better person. 

When these things are missing from a relationship, neither person feels comfortable sharing positive or negative experiences, the good or bad, indeed no happy or sad. 

When there’s solemn news, instead of rushing home to tell your mate, you feel the need to reach out to a close friend or family member who might have your back since your boyfriend is unsupportive during difficult times. 

Given the right circumstances, that can lead to emotional infidelity depending on how severe the lack of emotional support has become and the reasons behind it. Let’s look at some causes and how they could possibly improve.

How can you improve an unsupportive boyfriend’s behavior

When you need someone to talk to in tough times, it’s natural to turn to a mate with the anticipation that they will listen. There’s no expectation (or shouldn’t be) that they will resolve the problem or even necessarily have advice but more so, pay attention to what you have to say and acknowledge your plight with care and concern.

When you don’t get what you feel is a proper response, it can leave you feeling empty, possibly alone with your problems, like you have no one to turn to in difficult times. Internalizing stress and troubles can affect mental health wellness making it critical to find a way to resolve the situation with your mate. 

In order to create a support system at home, it might take a bit more effort. Let’s look at some of the problems and how to make a few improvements.

Emotional differences

Everyone expresses emotion differently and responds to it in varied ways. Some individuals portray a very stoic face when approached with troubling issues simply because they struggle with the ability to nurture or know how to help. It might not come naturally to them.

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While you might be more emotionally sensitive with your emotions and feelings showing visibly via body language or facial expressions, your partner could be challenged in that area. That means they become awkward and uncertain at times when you need a supportive mate.

It’s helpful to understand that a partner won’t react similarly to your needs as you would to theirs. It’s vital to accept your partner for who they are but also anticipate that they will make an effort to establish a layer of empathy.

Communicate needs

In some partnerships, a mate is unaware that they’re not meeting their partner’s needs as they should. Many individuals assume that everything is okay if they’re not hearing back from a significant other. 

That’s why a healthy, open line of communication is so vital in a relationship. You need to tell a boyfriend what you feel and express what you need from them, or they might not automatically know how to respond.

While you might be of the mindset that your idea of supportive behavior should be understood and provided without any need for an explanation, your partner doesn’t have the capacity to read your mind. 

You must guide them in how to be there for you specifically. Everyone has a different need when it comes to emotional support. The response you expect might differ from what your mate is used to giving with other people. 

Your partner genuinely isn’t clear but will likely be willing to learn and grow better at reading the signs if you provide the answers.

No need for a fix

A less aware mate won’t be supportive in difficult times per se but instead will attempt to fix the problems or offer solutions believing that’s the best effort as opposed to listening. This partner feels resolving the issue will bring about a more sound outcome and thinks you will feel much better about the situation.

You do need to recognize that an effort has been made in this scenario. It helps to notice that your partner is doing everything to attempt to help even though this isn’t the help you’re looking for. 

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This isn’t a situation where you should become upset or angry with them for trying to resolve your problem instead of paying attention to what you have to say, really listening. 

The boyfriend isn’t aware that being heard and there for you is what you genuinely need. It’s essential to express appreciation for input. But you will decide on a proper solution in time after you’ve had a moment to process your emotions, which you could use help with. 


While you don’t need to validate yourself to anyone at any time, it is vital to ensure that you feel validated within yourself, even if someone is dismissing your emotions. There can be times when you experience an issue that a boyfriend will try to make you believe that either you’re too sensitive or overreacting.

These are moments of attempting to invalidate your feelings or minimizing what you’re dealing with, disregarding the massive effect on you. That can be devastating, considering this is the person you love being unsupportive of you. 

While your significant other might view things on a different scale and feel the reaction is unwarranted, showing support should be an automatic response with a loved one, especially when their feelings are at such a heightened stage.

If you have a partner who dismisses your feelings, it’s essential to communicate how ignoring them is insensitive and unsupportive. While the mate doesn’t need to validate your emotions, they do need to stand behind you as a partner.

Traumatic experience

Suppose the two of you go through a traumatic experience together. Whether it be the loss of a friend or perhaps a natural disaster, or devastation, it’s vital to ensure you respect the fact that you will “grieve” differently. 

While you will anticipate mutual support, one or both of you might feel the need to go outside for a support system. That can look like perhaps the religious sector, the community, a professional therapist, or a support group. That will be especially true if one has more difficulty dealing with the trauma than the other. 

In some circumstances, individuals might cope by pouring themselves into work, spending more time with friends or family, or developing a hobby as a distraction. However, a mate feels they need to work through the issue; each person needs to respect the process. 

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That will be the most supportive thing a partner can do when someone is experiencing distress.

How do you respond to your boyfriend’s need for support

Have you stopped to consider how you respond to your boyfriend’s need for support? Suppose your mate is not responding in times of need since they believe this is how you prefer it. 

If you are typically unsupportive in your behavior towards your boyfriend, he might feel somewhat awkward being overly emotional or showing too much empathy when you have a problem.

Perhaps, the guy is afraid to let you know when he’s having difficulties since there will be little support from you and, instead, is sharing his issues with friends or family

This is a classic case of a lack of communication in a partnership. Once an open, honest conversation is initiated, each of you can see where the other one’s strengths and weaknesses are and begin to work on those in order to progress forward into a more healthful pattern of support.


The key to maintaining a strong, thriving partnership where each person respects and supports the other is to communicate needs. Neither person in a relationship is capable of reading the other’s mind. 

When individuals feel unheard or as though they’re unsupported, they’re often not letting their partner know how to support them. It’s unfair to anticipate that a mate will automatically treat you as you expect to be treated without any explanations.

When becoming involved in a relationship with a new boyfriend or girlfriend, the new person will require guidance on the different methods of support you desire compared to their previous partner. 

Everyone is unique in their needs. If you don’t share that information, the significant other will likely continue as they had with their other mate presuming the same will be sufficient. 

Suppose you don’t feel comfortable telling a partner how you want to be supported; lead by example. Any time your boyfriend has a challenging moment, show him the kind of support that you would like in that same situation. Perhaps then it will be reciprocated.

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