In a 5-year study, researchers at the University of Iowa found that newlyweds describe four different types of support, what they've labeled:
- Physical and emotional support: Sharing and listening as well as hand holding and hugging
- Esteem: Offering self-esteem boosts and confidence
- Informational: General advice-giving
- Tangible: Helping with additional responsibilities or problem solving
The trick is to supply the right kind and level of support as needed -- and to watch out for too much informational support. No one likes to feel they're being told what to do. Everyone has a different idea of the perfect amount -- and type -- of support. So, be sure to let your partner know what type and how much fits your bill -- and listen to what he or she tells you about the support you provide.