Today, I’d like to take a break from exploring protective patterns in couple relationships and consider how couples can validate each other’s feelings. When you validate your partner, you are essentially saying, “I see how you are feeling.Your feelings are important to me, and it’s okay that you feel that way.” Everyone has a different subjective experience, and partners in distress experience painful emotions for all sorts of reasons.We are demonstrating that we will still accept them after they have shared their feelings. How strongly are you feeling that (on a scale of 0-10)? We feel connected with them and they feel connected with us.We let them know that we respect their perception of things at that moment. Just the other day we took a small boy to the doctor's office and I asked him if he was a little bit scared.In fact, if there is a communication breakdown, if there is a wall between you and someone else, it probably has been built with the bricks of When we validate someone, we allow them to safely share their feelings and thoughts. By validating someone we demonstrate that we care and that their feelings matter to us-- in other words, that they matter to us.
You will also find that validation opens people up and helps them feel free to communicate with you. On the other hand, when they are feeling excited and enthusiastic, this validation encourages them and helps keep their spirits high.
Validating one’s partner is an artful skill that is essential to creating and maintaining intimacy in committed relationships.
When I discuss how partners can validate one another in my office, however, I have found that much of the time couples aren’t sure what it is or how to do it.
“The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.” ~Sonya Friedman The longer I stayed on the phone, the more agitated I became.
My mother was on the other end, as usual, dumping her emotions on me.