How to Express Understanding and Support in a Few Simple Statements

Are you looking for ways to build love and trust in your marriage or significant
relationship? What do you say, and how do you listen to your loved one as they share their

Expressing understanding is one of the most important ways to offer support. To help you become a more attentive and empathetic listener, here are a few statements you can use in your next conversation:

● You’re making total sense.
● I’d feel the same way you do in your situation.
● No wonder you’re upset.
● I totally agree with you.
● I understand how you feel.
● I’m on your side.
● That would make me mad/sad/scared/upset too.
● You must feel so helpless.

Statements such as these can help your partner feel less alone and that you really acknowledge what they are experiencing. Seek first to understand.


Adapted from The Gottman Relationship Guide: How to be a Great Listener


Michelle Rathburn, LAMFT