A lot of couples will come into therapy because they don’t feel like they are close anymore. Many times they will talk about how they are not physically close and through therapy they realize that they are not emotionally close anymore either. Having a stronger emotional connection with your spouse will build a stronger physical connection as well. A key ingredient to emotional connectedness is validations.
What is Validation
Validation is a key component to any relationship, especially a marriage. It shows your partner that you are listening, that you care about what they are going through and experiencing, and that you are being present in the moment. When your spouse is talking to you about conflict in their life, make sure you are engaging in active listening. Active listening is not just listening for content but for emotion. When you hear the emotion, you can validate it for them. It is important to realize that validation does not equal acceptance, meaning that you can validate your partner without accepting their emotions as your own.
What Validation Sounds Like
A validating response can sound like, “I hear that you are upset right now, and I am sorry you feel that way”. Replace upset with whatever emotion your partner is experiencing. This type of response shows the other person that you were listening to what they were saying, and you understand or are trying to understand what they are experiencing. You do not need to necessarily ask if there is anything you can do to help, but you do need to show that you are hearing them, present in the moment, and providing emotional support.
Validation is not always an easy response to provide because it does involve vulnerability in the moment and if you are not used to giving validation it could seem like a foreign concept.
If you are reading this and feel like your relationship could use some more validation, or if you feel like you do not know how to truly give validation, then please reach out. Myself or any other therapist here at Optimum Joy would love to sit with you and discuss how to add this amazing tool to your relationship.
Written by therapist Alex Parlette
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