Have you ever gone into a downtown to go shopping at perhaps a high-rise of stores and had to pay for parking? But if you actually go into one of those stores and purchase something, you can ask them if they validate, and they will, so that you don’t have to pay for parking. Today I’m asking the question do you validate – or do you make your partner pay, and continue to build walls that we have been talking about? And no, I’m not talking about parking.
I recently had a couple in my office with the wife complaining about how overwhelmed she was and that her husband never helped her around the house with even the most basic things – such as putting his dirty clothes in the hamper. When I saw them a couple of weeks later, the husband felt slighted. During the previous two weeks he had not only put his clothes where they needed to go, but had vacuumed, done some of the laundry, and cleaned up the kitchen on more than one occasion. Yet his wife had said nothing about what he had done. In other words, she didn’t validate him.
Now I know all of the reasons that she didn’t do that such as – wanting to see if this behavior would last, not wanting to praise him for things she felt he should just naturally do, etc. But by not affirming the very behavior she desired and had asked for, she inadvertently added a brick to the wall between her and her husband.
Validating says, “I notice,” “You’re important,” and “I care.” Aren’t those the messages we want to communicate? I urge you to look this week for opportunities to validate your mate and see if that doesn’t help to lower that wall some more.