The topic of empathy comes up a lot in couples counseling. Sometimes when our partner is having a hard time, we want nothing more than to help him or her feel better. this is a natural, loving thing to want, but sometimes we go about it the wrong way. There is a difference between being supportive and available to your partner, and simply trying to cheer him/her up. I would say that in at least 70 percent of the couples I have worked with, one partner presented with the complaint that the other partner always tries to “fix things” rather than being present and supportive. When someone is having difficulty in life and you try to “fix things”, the person you’re trying to help may end up feeling unheard, misunderstood, and unsupported.