Invalidating wife

12-Aug-2017 18:54 by 5 Comments

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When we think of what we can do to nurture our relationship, we often think of tangibles. Perhaps it was a caring teacher in grade school who seemed to know exactly the right thing to say when you were upset.

I have followed those with an example of a possible empathetic response.

You might offer advice on how to solve the problem.

While it intuitively feels helpful to give suggestions, this can feel invalidating to your partner.

In other words, needs for acceptance and being heard are not being met.

When you hear someone you love expressing difficult emotions, it's natural to feel uncomfortable and have the impulse to move away from the pain.

Your partner may not be looking for help with a solution -- they probably have already tried to find ways to solve the problem, and might feel even more frustrated in hearing advice, no matter how good your intention.

So how do you effectively listen to and validate your partner?

As difficult as it might be, suspend your own judgments and reactions to the situation or topic.

Temporarily let go of the need to advise, change, help or fix the situation.

Your partner found it entertaining and funny, while you found it boring and predictable. And it can make all the difference in your relationship.

You might validate their point of view by saying, "It sounds like you really enjoyed the film. If your partner presents a problem or difficult situation to you, try to find out more about how they are feeling and what they want by asking open-ended questions.

When you share a validating style of interacting together, you build trust and intimacy. While the concept of validation may seem simple, it can sometimes be a little tricky to execute.

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