If you love the person you’re with, you want to do everything you can to ensure that they’re successful. After all, their success and happiness can have profound knock-on effects on your own. The more your partner gets out of their life, the more that you can get out of yours.
Support Your Partner Through Education
But knowing exactly how to help them can be a challenge. You want your partner to succeed in their studies, but you can’t take the exam for them. What are your options? What practical things can you do to help and allow them to succeed? Let’s take a look.
Life can be tough sometimes. You can suffer significant setbacks and feel as if you’re never going to get what you want. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of education. Training is hard, often you don’t get the support you need from tutors, and you can fail exams.
The job of a partner is to continue to offer encouragement, even when things go wrong. You can show your support for your significant other in a variety of ways, including writing them texts, notes and phoning them to offer support. It’s likely that your partner hasn’t experienced that level of encouragement or support before in their lives and that you’ll have a significant impact.
Stave Off Disaster
When people get upset, they can make rash decisions. Your partner or spouse may enroll on a program, get into a fight with their professor, and then decide that they’re going to leave the course. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that this would be an emotional overreaction and not in your partner’s best interest.
As a loving partner, your role is to point this out and help them see that however they feel about their professor or somebody else on their course, it’s not worth it. What ultimately matters is their success and ability to get what they want from their education and career, not the feelings of their educators.
When somebody enrolls on an intensive course, they need support with the little things. Often there aren’t enough hours in the day to go to school, do practicals and homework, and then do all of the chores of life on top of that, like making dinner. Med students, such as those on family nurse practitioner programs, often face extreme demands on their time.
As their partner, it’s your job to prepare food, sort out the kids, get the shopping and make sure the bills get paid. Temporarily taking over all the little things helps them to focus on what they’re doing, avoid stress, and maximizes their chances of success.
Negotiate For Your Needs Too
When one partner is doing all the work, and the other is depending on them, it can sometimes seem like things are all going in one direction. Nowhere is this more the case than when one person is doing all the housework and boring stuff while the other is investing in their future.
For the partner doing all the work, it can seem like a thankless task. Here you are cooking meals, providing lifts, and cleaning the house, and the other person is off at school boosting their chances of future success. It’s a risk to trust them and believe that at the end of it you’ll be paid back for all your hard work. But it’s a risk that you need to take if the relationship is to thrive.
No relationship can survive a situation where one partner is a parasite and the other a host. Eventually, the host will want their energies to benefit them, and not the person with whom they’re in a relationship. Both parties need to negotiate to get what they want from the relationship, be it money, physical contact, time or advice.
Be Compassionate And Accept Failure
Education isn’t always easy. The data show that, for some courses, the majority of people wind up dropping out, never completing the qualification. Failure is something that you need to prepare for if your partner is in education. There’s a good chance that they won’t get the qualification that they want at the end of it, or they’ll have to repeat a year.
If this happens, then all you can do is be compassionate and accept failure when it happens. Often you can build a more intimate relationship with your partner through a crisis and help them choose a new direction.
Show Your Partner Your Desire To Grow
When someone you love is in education working toward a bright future, you can often fall into the trap of living vicariously through them and forgetting about your own personal growth. You invest all your energy helping the other person get to where they want to be, you forget about your own developmental needs.
Forgetting about personal growth is problematic for two reasons. The first is that you miss out on the opportunity to further your ambitions. But, more importantly, you become an accessory to your partner, rather than somebody with independence. Being together isn’t about giving up yourself: there should always be a slice of you in every relationship. It’s never a wholly selfless act.
“Check-In” With Their Feelings Regularly
As your partner moves through education, their feelings may change over time. At the start of the course, they may have big ambitions about what they want to achieve and where they want to go. But as the reality of education sinks in over the following weeks and months, they may end up feeling dissatisfied, stressed and unhappy.