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Reassurance And Emotional Support

Some intimate interactions are characterized by emotional support, in which one partner shares a difficulty, and the other offers comfort, reassurance, confidence building, and alternative (i.e., more benign) perspectives for thinking about the problem. Adults who perceive that others, especially their spouses, are available to provide emotional support if and when they need it enjoy many positive outcomes, including better physical and mental health and improved immune functioning.

Effective provision of emotional support is important for a relationship as well as for the individual partner. Partners who are agile providers of emotional support in the early stages of their relationships have less marital distress later on. People can acquire the ability to provide effective emotional support (e.g., Johnson and Greenberg 1994) but its acquisition requires sensitivity to the partner because there is no single means of providing emotional support that is effective for everyone.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaRelationshipsIntimacy - Conceptions Of Intimacy, Intimate Interactions, Openness And Self-disclosure , Partner Responsiveness , Communication Of Positive Regard