rage recovery for moms

When You’re Desperate for Validation

Often I talk to women who are desperate to be validated by someone, namely their partners. I know what it’s like—I’ve been there. Still am at times.

I used to feel like my husband didn’t validate me enough. I wanted to hear that my idea held promise or that I was worth the money I spent on myself or that I was far more desirable than the strippers at the bachelor party despite my A cups.

We all need validation. It helps us feel good about ourselves and allows us to move from feeling angry or used or sad to compassionate, energized, and happy. We need validation like we need air.

However, validation doesn’t have to come from a particular person or from anyone other than yourself, and challenges can arise when an expectation is set that it should come from a certain person and that person fails to meet the expectation (oftentimes without even knowing there was an expectation).

coaching for moms with rage

To take a closer look at your expectations for validation from your partner let’s use The Work of Byron Katie.

We’ll begin with the belief that “My husband should validate me” and go through the four questions. (You could also use “My husband doesn’t validate me” or “I wish my husband would validate me.”)

  1. Is it true that your husband should validate you?
  2. Can you absolutely know it’s true?
  3. How do you react—what happens—when you believe that he should validate you?
  4. Who would you be without the thought that he should validate you?

Once you’ve answered these find the turnarounds of “My husband should validate me” and give 3 examples of how each of them is true. (In creating turnarounds change the original statement to “the self,” “the other,” and “the opposite.”)

For instance:

1. (Turning it towards the self.) I should validate me.

What are 3 reasons this is true?

2. (Turning it towards the other.) I should validate my husband.

What are 3 reasons this is true?

3. (Turning it towards the opposite.) My husband shouldn’t validate me.

What are 3 reasons this is true?

What new ways of seeing the situation did you come up with? How will you apply them?

*****

Validation rarely came (and still rarely comes) from my husband. And if it had I would have wanted more. Because no amount of validation given by others would ever be enough.

Ultimately, validation from others can only trigger us to validate ourselves. That’s why your husband can tell you 4,761,902 times that you’re beautiful, but you don’t feel beautiful unless you also believe that it’s true, in which case the need for validation fades.

Over time I realized the gifts within my husband’s “withholding” of validation.

First was the space created in which I was forced to find acceptance in myself if I wanted to be happy. Though it wasn’t really a matter of force—it was a choice. I could stay in place wallowing because he didn’t, I assumed, value me as much as I’d like, or I could choose to value myself and practice doing so.

Second was the realization that we are each other’s mirror. I did not, and still don’t, often validate my husband because he is incredibly strong and independent, so in my mind there’s nothing to validate. What we see in others is a reflection of what is in us. The strength and independence I see in him is a reflection of the same in me. I know he sees strength in me, too. Strength that is both a reflection of what’s in him and, I presume, part of what keeps him from feeling a need to validate me.

From this viewpoint, rather than being someone who is holding back, he is someone who sees the best in me.  He is also free from the yoke of validating me as part of his life’s work. And I am free of the expectation that he do so.

(Most of the time.)

What would happen if you released the expectation that your partner should validate you?

What might happen if you abandoned other expectations as well?

What would it take for you to be able to validate you?

 

Did this post stir you up? Share your questions, insights, or arguments in the comments.

Want to find out if coaching might be right for you? Take this assessment.

Similar posts
  • Because I Want My Husband to Change We can write from the wound or the scar. This is a lightly edited, self-coaching/journaling piece written from a (minor) wound of mine. This is where I am right now. This is real life. Even as I’m telling him he should interact differently with our kids I realize my hypocrisy. I’m criticizing him, feeling irked [...]
  • What Need Does Your Vote Express? What need does your vote express? Safety? Security? Personal power? Freedom? Validation? Your enemy’s vote–the one whose views are diametrically opposed to yours–expresses the same needs. You want the same things. The only difference is which road you think will take you there. Each vote expresses a need. Let’s listen. We can all help others feel heard. And work [...]
  • 8 Tenets of Parenting Kids want to feel connected to their parents. Kids want their parents’ approval. Parents are doing the best they can. Kids are doing the best they can. Both adults and children crave and thrive on autonomy. Respect is a two way street. What you are doing as a parent pales in comparison to who you [...]
  • We Have Different Melting Points, But... Originally written on 1/2/14 for my personal blog. Through three months of 24 hour a day co-parenting, I watched an emotional balance scale on which my husband and I rode. In the beginning, my side was heavily weighted. His rose high above. Over time I became lighter–more patient, more kind, more content. Over time he became less patient [...]
  • Dear Tribe: Just Fucking Dance Dear Tribe, Dance. Your butt off. To that bitches and hoes music if you want. I know you’re a progressive thinker, but this is no time for political correctness. Just fucking dance. Shake it all over your kitchen or living room, the grocery store, your Subaru in the carpool line. Whatever. You’re stuck in your [...]

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the Blog!