(This one is so important, I found two different ways to say it! LW.)
Ask what kind of help your partner wants before taking action. Your partner may surprise you by asking you to do something you would not think of on your own.
When you jump in to solve your partner’s problem without asking first, you often do the wrong thing. Your partner may then feel angry because all s/he wanted was sympathy or a chance to clarify his/her own thoughts. Asking, “How can I help?” is a good way to start the conversation.
Your weekly assignment, should you choose to accept it:
Talk with each other about whether you usually get the kind of help you need when you have a problem. Decide whether being asked, “How can I help?” would be useful for you.
This is an excerpt from Being Happy Together: How to Have a Fabulous Relationship With Your Life Partner in Less Than an Hour a Week, by Laurie Weiss, Ph.D.