You need thicker skin.” —————————————————– Or invalidation might resemble remarks like these: “You’re overreacting.” “That’s nothing to cry about.” “You’re upset for no reason.” “You need to buck up and stop being a drama queen.” “Don’t worry.” “Don’t be upset.” “Stop complaining.” “Don’t be so sensitive.” “Get over it,” etc, etc.

Sometimes invalidation can be overt, such as when one partner (or both) berates or belittles the other person’s feelings.

invalidating feelings relationship-5

So crucial, I believe, that in our Marriage Renewal Retreats, we spend an entire session and several exercises on training couples in this vital skill of “empathic responding.” One question that inevitably arises is, “How can I empathize with my spouse when I don’t agree with her?

” My answer is that validating your spouse doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with your spouse with regards to his or her perceptions and feelings.

Thanks to a plethora of self-help books on relationships, most partners, whether dating, committed or long married, have become aware of the value of listening for improving understanding and connection.

Most recognize or are reminded by their partners when they are not listening.

Invalidation hurts and can be highly toxic to your relationship.

Research shows that a pattern of invalidation is an accurate predictor of future problems and divorce. It may involve an argument where one partner may merely be ignoring or minimizing the other partner’s feelings.Invalidation The problem with invalidation, and the reason it is so caustic to relationships, is that it is not simply the absence of validation.Invalidation is actually the disqualification of another person’s thinking or feelings.Romans admonishes us to, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Validation is an act of caring that communicates respect, and builds love and intimacy.In my opinion, and I think most all marriage experts would agree, that validating your spouse and responding to your spouse empathically is a relationship skill that is absolutely crucial a healthy, intimate marriage.Validation is a powerful tool that you can use both to reduce frustration, anger and conflict, as well as to create companionship and build intimacy in your marriage.