How to be supportive

Yesterday my boyfriend was in a boat accident that resulted in burns all over his body. He’s going to be fine, don’t be alarmed, but he’s in the hospital and covered in many, many bandages, from what I hear. I haven’t seen him since the accident because he’s in a hard-to-reach nowhere-town. Theoretically I could get there, but it’s likely he’ll be back in Abu Dhabi tomorrow, so I’m just going to wait. (Because I’m awful.) But I have spoken to him on the phone roughly a thousand times.

And every time I do a worse job of it. I have absolutely no idea what to say to him. It seems silly to ask how he is. Nothing is changing on his end, he’s just in a bed, waiting, waiting, waiting. I didn’t go out last night because I knew that he would spend every second fretting about what I was doing. Which resulted in me sitting at home and having absolutely nothing to offer by way of entertainment. “What’re you doing?” “Looking at pictures of cats.” Repeat twenty times with slight variations of equal non-interestingness.

Although really the absolute worst was when he first called about it. He was hysterically crying, and I was on the other end just stoically being like “It’s going to be ok…. It’s going to be ok….” I have zero idea how to offer words of comfort and support. And I feel that my voice is incapable of sympathy or warm tones.

I’m the worst.

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2 Responses to How to be supportive

  1. Liquid says:

    If I don’t have anything good to say I don’t say anything at all, it’s normal. These kinds of situations can be hard on both people in the relationship. Hope he makes a speedy recovery 😉

  2. Liz(a) says:

    I don’t think this makes you the worst! I have a difficult time being supportive as well; I just don’t have that kind of ability in me. I’m never the friend people can really cry on. They can trust me, but the whole crying part just makes me feel awkward, and it’s not that I’m heartless and/or don’t care, it’s just that I can’t fix anything, and I therefore have no idea how in the world said person wants me to react.

    I hope your boyfriend is doing better now. Good luck to the both of you. 🙂

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