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Validation: Cheat Sheet

Posted By: Wonka

Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 03:13 AM

Hey Newbies!

Are you flailing about like a fish out of the water in the kiddie pool when it comes to validating with your WAS? No worries. Help is here now! In order to aid you in the process, here are some techniques and tips on proper validation through a Cheat Sheet for your perusal.

This thread is wide open to everyone here in the forums...newbies, vets, DBers, Coaches, Moderators, fairies, and the Big Cheese (aka MWD)...to add on and contribute.

We hope by the end of this tutorial, you'll be able to swim forward in the validation pool like a pro such as Mark Spitz/Michael Phelps or Missy Franklin thus winning the Gold Medal in Validation! grin

The key to a successful validation is mirroring back to what your WAS says when it comes to the issue and/or subject matter at hand..not with a grunt or a simple "ok." You would want to be really fully present and pay attention to the WAS with body face forward and eyes on them without any external distractions. If you're texting or emailing, take a step back and review & review & review it before hitting the "send" button. Once it is out, you cannot take it back.

If the WAS is feeling stressed out about, say, an upcoming job interview, you would want to give them a boost by saying statements such as "You'll ace it! I have confidence that you'll do really well!" A job promotion. A presentation at a conference. You get the idea. You want to be your WAS' biggest cheerleader which will put more love deposits in the love bank.

Pssst...here's a little dirty secret: You DO have influence on the WAS with your words, actions, attitude, and behavior.

Off we go in spreading some pixie dust! cool



Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 03:18 AM

Here are some validating statements
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Sorry I interrupted you, I value what you have to say, please continue."

"You may be right." For surprising information: "Wow, you think (my computer time was detrimental to the kids)?"

For new info: "Gosh, I didn't realize you thought (I was neglecting the family)."

"I hadn't thought of it that way"
"I can see how it would feel that way"
"I do care. Tell me more about what you're going through"
"I am gonna have to think about that a little more"
"Hmmm, so you are saying xxx. Let me think about that"
"I can see you're really serious about this"
"I see this is important to you"
"I'd like to respond to you when I'm feeling a little less emotional about this"
"I understand why you might feel that way"
"Gee, I'm so sorry that made you feel unloved. I never stopped loving you, but I guess I didn't express myself well enough."
"Gee, it must have felt terrible to think that"
"I am sorry that you feel that way"
"I appreciate you being so open and honest with me"

Try and use "Would, will" statements. Do not say "should, could" if you can!!

"Wow, that's a lot to deal with"
"That sounds discouraging"
"That sounds like it would really hurt"
"It sounds like you are really feeling xxxxx"
"It sounds like xxxxx is really important to you"
"I can see that you are really upset"
"Would you like to talk about it"
"That really bothered you, didn't it?"
"How did you feel when xxxxxx?"
"What bothers you the most about it"
"What would help you feel better"
"I can see you are really uncomfortable about this"
"I can understand why you would be upset"
"So, you really felt insulted (or whatever emotion), is that it"

If H/W talks, just listen. Keep your questions impersonal.

WAS: I saw our friend Bob yesterday.
You: Oh? How is he doing?

WAS: I went out to that bar last weekend.
You: Did you have a good time?

WAS: I'm going to Tennessee this weekend.
You: Ok, I hope you have a nice time.

If H/W asks you questions, answer but be vague--don't launch into huge details.

WAS: How was your weekend?
You: Great, went out with some friends and had a good time.

WAS: Where were you last night?
You: I was at the gym.

WAS: What are you doing tonight?
You: Probably going out to dinner.

Validate his/her feelings, let his/her know you agree with him/her when that is true, but avoid criticism when you don't agree. you don't have to pretend to agree if you think he/she's wrong, but you can say it in a diplomatic way, like "I think differently, but I understand your reasons for feeling that way." (and then don't continue to argue about it.)
Posted By: Ggrass

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 03:50 AM

Bows down on the presence of greatness. Thank you wonka. Thank you thank you!

I find I freeze and go to saying little, which is more of the same as not to be drawn in.
Posted By: rayzzz

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 05:08 AM

Great minds think alike! I just posted my own version of a validation cheat sheet on my thread today
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubb...554#Post2457554

but i need all the help i can get...or I will be saying some unhelpful awkward things to the beauty I am trying to rescue..Thanks Wonka hope tons of other sages share


Originally Posted By: rayzzz
So yeah that whisper you just heard is me whispering "I love you" to the empty side of our bed (WAW is out tonight)...man that feels good and I try not to crack too often but in between detaching I just need a breather!
Today went well, was out for my p/t work for most of the day, came back played some video games and watched tv with kids and read them to sleep. I also did some research on validating as my "systems based practice" (see Jamesclear.com, fancy word for habits & goals) is to:
-give her space
-validate her feelings
-GAL like crazy
-180 in my new quiet calm attitude (usually type A super loud and exuberant) getting hold of my grumpy nature and changing it.

so here's what I found if you su$k at validating like I do (maybe most men? :P)

This is an excerpt from pages 103-104 from my book When Hope is Not Enough: a how-to guide for living with and loving someone with Borderline Personality Disorder. This excerpt comes from my (long) discussion of validation and how and why to do it. In the book, I outline a six step process to validation. This is a part of “Step 3: Making a Validating Statement”:
Examples of validating statements:
- That must have made you feel really angry.
- What a frustrating situation to be in!
- It must make you feel angry to have someone do that.
- That’s so difficult for you.
- Wow, how hard that must be.
- That’s stinks!
- That’s messed up! (or stronger language if you are so inclined)
- How frustrating!
- Yeah, I can see how that might make you feel really sad.
- Boy, you must be angry.
- What a horrible feeling.
- What a tough spot.
- That must be really discouraging.
- I bet you feel disappointed.
- Rats, I know how much that meant to you.
- That’s so painful for you.
- Tell me more. (shows interest)
- Wow, she must have made you really angry.
And, of course, many, many more. If you want a validating statement to feel “true” make it about the truth of the situation for the other person. That truth is the way they feel about the event.

So there you go DBers have at it and use it to win back the WAS!

all in all a good day. Reminding myself to be slow and steady and patient in love....
Posted By: claire7

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 05:32 AM

Wow, wonka. You are psychic. I was thinking of this very same thing on my way home tonight! !!

And... did I do this correctly???

H: D was such a terror tonight. She wouldn't listen at all. .
Me: I'm sorry you had to go through that. That must have been really frustrating.
Posted By: Maybell

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 09:46 AM

Thanks for this, Wonka. Can you tell me how I did here?

H made birthday plans for himself that cuts greatly into the limited time he sees the kids this month. I saw the email and was too frustrated to respond so I ignored it right then. The next day, in a text exchange,

H: did you see my message about (my plans)?
Me: I did. I'm a little sad for the kids, but I hope you enjoy your birthday.
H: well, it only changes things by a few hours.
Me: I hope you enjoy yourself.

(Yes, it's only a few hours but he will only see them two days this month)

This was as generous as I could be. Was it enough? Thanks!
Posted By: Rick1963

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 01:23 PM

Most excellent post Wonka. And you are correct stay away from Absolutes such as Woulds, Shoulds, and Must. When asking a question never ask Why. Instead ask a question with a How Come?. It tends to make the person less defensive. When you ask a question with a Why is comes across as Accusatory. Good stuff guys
Posted By: mdu

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 01:31 PM

I have a (probably) dumb question.

Is the total validation of anything and everything they say (no matter how mean or crazy) ONLY for the LRT phase? Or are we supposed to keep this up forever? What about if you make it to Piecing? THEN do you get to say?...ummm no, that's ridculous and deterimental thinking to our M!!!
Posted By: 1Wish

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 03:01 PM

Omg thank you so much you have taught me how to speak!! In terms of the aloof spouse's language
Posted By: rayzzz

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 03:29 PM

Maybell the " I hope you enjoy yourself" was spectacular. Great way to validate though it hurts. good work

Man am I learning lots. SO here's my latest:

WAW has been out all week staying at her friends house because she is stressed after telling parents we are separating/divorcing.
She obviously doesnt want to see me "big huge stress ball in my stomach" so I take it and look after the kids 24/7 with no relief. here's phone convo

"I am really stressed out and have been hiding all week , I was planning on staying out again tonight..."

"Well you have been through alot, i understand if you need to look after yourself its really been a tough week for you.....but you have been out all week" shouldnt have said that!

Then I recovered I think with "Yeah it had been tough, the kids miss you but I think I understand why you need this time to yourself"

whatdayathink?
Posted By: Anders

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 03:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Wonka
Here are some validating statements
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If H/W asks you questions, answer but be vague--don't launch into huge details.

WAS: How was your weekend?
You: Great, went out with some friends and had a good time.

WAS: Where were you last night?
You: I was at the gym.

WAS: What are you doing tonight?
You: Probably going out to dinner.



Thank you Wonka! This is really helpful. I have been struggling on how to validate without being a pushover and/or coming across as indifferent.

On the being vague part, won't that make trust harder to build if one of the complaints was "I never know what you are thinking or planning on doing?"
Posted By: Underdog

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 05:49 PM

MDU,

Validation doesn't necessarily have to mean you agree with them or condone anything... it means you are listening and empathizing. This is something I recommend including into your daily regimen with everyone. After all, nobody likes having their feelings or experiences discounted. What you're really doing is listening to them. I do this every single day with my clients (I own a company and my big hat is sales) and my daughters. I can guarantee you will have improved relationships with pretty much everyone if you learn how to do this sincerely.

And it's ESPECIALLY important if you get to piecing.

By doing this, you're telling them you are hearing them and making an attempt to understand their needs. And just maybe they'll learn how to do it right back with you.

Good luck!
Posted By: Underdog

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 06:02 PM

db2013,

Was that your complaint about your spouse or his/her complaint about you? Just remember that they are highly likely not giving a crap about you making up for lost time now.

Validation is an excellent technique to prevent a situation from escalating if that's how your past communications went.

A typical conversation for me prior to learning how to validate went something like this:

Me: (Monday) I need a favor. I was invited to go to XX on Tuesday, but it's my night with the girls. Can we swap nights and I'll take them Wednesday?

WAH: Why do you always spring this on me last minute? I can't ever make plans when you do this to me! I hate when you do this, so no.

Me: Don't be surprised when I refuse to help you on a night you need it. You always think about yourself first.

As you can guess, things never worked out well and the kids were caught in the crossfire.

Revised:

After he replied with NO.

Me: Yikes, I do tend to spring stuff on you last minute. I totally understand how frustrated you must be when I pull this on you. I'm sorry. I'll let XX know I can't do it, and I'll try to be more mindful next time. Thanks for being honest with me.

Once I was able to acknowledge how frustrating my crap was, he stopped getting annoyed with me for asking for a swap or any other favor.
Posted By: Underdog

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 06:07 PM

Rayzzz,

It's not bad. It's not really empathizing, though. And mind you, I completely understand that she wasn't exactly empathetic about how you might have felt to the bombshell with her parents. So come here for your empathy...

How about:

"Yes, it's definitely been a stressful week. I'm happy to take the kids. When you get some time - probably won't be more than 15 minutes - is is possible to call me so we can plan our time with the kids? They're in the middle of this, and I want to make sure that they have time with both of us because they need that. I'll do whatever I can to help."

Stress the importance of the kids. And if she's not agreeing to do this with you under this pretext, well, then you've got some bigger issues looming and you can come here to get more specific feedback.

Make sense?
Posted By: mdu

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 06:40 PM

Thanks Underdog! I will definitely look at and think about validation much more. I'm certain it is something that I was not good at with H.
Posted By: Underdog

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/05/14 06:46 PM

MDU,

Uh, you're not alone, and undoubtedly, it was a problem for all of us in our relationships. Both my XH and I come from parents who were/are really crappy communicators and we wound up always keeping score or one-upmanship. It wasn't until he left and I started working on the DB principles that things did a complete 180 for us.

We're divorced now, but people tell us all the time that we get along better than most married people. It's true. We have respectful communications now. My D20 told me yesterday (after I picked her up from the airport after a week in Holland playing volleyball), "I've been wondering. How on earth do you and Dad do it? When do you even make time to talk?" I laughed and told her, "We talk at least once a week during lunchtime and catch up. It's easy now." And truthfully, it all started here. smile

Good luck!

Betsey
Posted By: Anders

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/06/14 03:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Underdog
db2013,

Was that your complaint about your spouse or his/her complaint about you? Just remember that they are highly likely not giving a crap about you making up for lost time now.

Validation is an excellent technique to prevent a situation from escalating if that's how your past communications went.


The complaints were from her about me. This is great advice. What I am hearing is that being mindful and keeping my ego in check is part and parcel of validating?

Escalating is the right word. To the point where it felt easier to avoid issues which of course only made things worse.

On the being vague part though, when I GAL, won't that add to her sense of mistrust?
Posted By: Underdog

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/06/14 03:49 AM

DB,

So for you, being more specific--if the situation calls for it--is the 180 for you. Right?

So while Wonka is right about being mysterious, perhaps the better tact is for you to be honest? The mysterious part is probably for her to inquire and you to be up front about what you're doing. I'm not totally sure though. Can you share a couple of examples so we can better gauge where you might need assistance?

Betsey
Posted By: rayzzz

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/06/14 04:52 AM

Here's another great empathy quote by Brene Brown:

" I dont even know what to say right now but I am glad you told me" In all human pain, the only thing that makes things better is connecting


Thanks Underdog! Keeping the kids center is brilliant in this.
Posted By: Anders

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/06/14 05:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Underdog
DB,

So for you, being more specific--if the situation calls for it--is the 180 for you. Right?

So while Wonka is right about being mysterious, perhaps the better tact is for you to be honest? The mysterious part is probably for her to inquire and you to be up front about what you're doing. I'm not totally sure though. Can you share a couple of examples so we can better gauge where you might need assistance?

Betsey


I think you are right about being honest but not sure given the current context. I find I am struggling with her need for security and certainty, with the importance of my not being too available, GALing and being a little bit mysterious. Especially where we are right now with our R.

I am leaning towards the latter but worry that would destroy her nearly empty trust tank.

A couple of examples:

1. I began to wrap up our last phone conversation saying that I had to meet some people soon. The conversation was relatively calm despite it including how she was sure she was done with our M and was moving on. She said 'Oh okay, have a good meeting with your team.'

She thought it was a work meeting even though it was 7pm. I was going salsa dancing with friends but I didn't correct her and she didn't probe. My default would have been to clarify but I did the opposite. Made me a bit uneasy as one of my issues with her was her pattern of half-truths.

2. During my last visit a few months ago things were very tense. She did not want me there and barely allowed any conversation. I decided to take a day trip to a nearby town to take some time for myself and catch up on work. However, she texted me to find out where I was.

Her: Where are you? When are you coming home?
Me: I took a drive to give you some space.
Her: There you go leaving town yet again without telling me!

I wish I had known to validate her then. It may have changed that outcome. But still very confusing for me at the time. She would shut me out then turn around and blame me for not communicating with her.

But the dilemma still remains: to be predictable or to be mysterious on this DB journey?
Posted By: Underdog

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/06/14 03:24 PM

DB,

I think I'll have to come over and read your thread and catch up so we don't hijack here.

Quote:
I wish I had known to validate her then. It may have changed that outcome. But still very confusing for me at the time. She would shut me out then turn around and blame me for not communicating with her.


[Cough] I'm coming over to your place because... IMO... this one didn't require validation per se. It's a little more complicated than this. I'll ask you questions over there. I've got a few.

I also see lots of red flags. Not necessarily yours, though. Her pattern of communicating is really controlling. I want to find out more. And some of it will probably be answered if I read up on your journey so far. I'll be back later.

Betsey
Posted By: Ben2010

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/06/14 08:16 PM

This is a great piece Wonka. Thank you for referring me to it. It was almost like reading my mind as I was lost when trying to do this last night. I started out with "I understand" then it turned to nonsense. But I will study this and try to apply it to my situation. Thanks again.
Posted By: rayzzz

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/11/14 05:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Ben2010
I started out with "I understand" then it turned to nonsense. But I will study this and try to apply it to my situation. Thanks again.


lmao. I am totally there with you Ben...for the past three conversations I would always end it with "sound like you've been having a rough time." When I tried it again last night my WAW ,sincerely I believe, mirrored back to me "well looks like you have had it rough too"
at which point I gave a concerned look of empathy and just nodded my head for five minutes clueless on how to steer this.

Think I will hide your list Wonka in the bathroom so I can excuse myself for validation reinforcements. I am sure it will come across brilliant once I make this second nature..."it sounds like you've been having a hard time Ben, tell me more about your validation speech impediments ...:P"
Posted By: 25yearsmlc

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/12/14 04:47 PM


Love this Wonka. Will add a few at the bottom, along with my DB coach's advice on what else NOT to say...


Originally Posted By: Wonka
Here are some validating statements
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Sorry I interrupted you, I value what you have to say, please continue."

"You may be right." For surprising information: "Wow, you think (my computer time was detrimental to the kids)?"

For new info: "Gosh, I didn't realize you thought (I was neglecting the family)."

"I hadn't thought of it that way"
"I can see how it would feel that way"
"I do care. Tell me more about what you're going through"
"I am gonna have to think about that a little more"
"Hmmm, so you are saying xxx. Let me think about that"
"I can see you're really serious about this"
"I see this is important to you"
"I'd like to respond to you when I'm feeling a little less emotional about this"
"I understand why you might feel that way"
"Gee, I'm so sorry that made you feel unloved. I never stopped loving you, but I guess I didn't express myself well enough."
"Gee, it must have felt terrible to think that"
"I am sorry that you feel that way"
"I appreciate you being so open and honest with me"

Try and use "Would, will" statements. Do not say "should, could" if you can!!

"Wow, that's a lot to deal with"
"That sounds discouraging"
"That sounds like it would really hurt"
"It sounds like you are really feeling xxxxx"
"It sounds like xxxxx is really important to you"
"I can see that you are really upset"
"Would you like to talk about it"
"That really bothered you, didn't it?"
"How did you feel when xxxxxx?"
"What bothers you the most about it"
"What would help you feel better"
"I can see you are really uncomfortable about this"
"I can understand why you would be upset"
"So, you really felt insulted (or whatever emotion), is that it"

If H/W talks, just listen. Keep your questions impersonal.

WAS: I saw our friend Bob yesterday.
You: Oh? How is he doing?

WAS: I went out to that bar last weekend.
You: Did you have a good time?

WAS: I'm going to Tennessee this weekend.
You: Ok, I hope you have a nice time.

If H/W asks you questions, answer but be vague--don't launch into huge details.

WAS: How was your weekend?
You: Great, went out with some friends and had a good time.

WAS: Where were you last night?
You: I was at the gym.

WAS: What are you doing tonight?
You: Probably going out to dinner.

Validate his/her feelings, let his/her know you agree with him/her when that is true, but avoid criticism when you don't agree. you don't have to pretend to agree if you think he/she's wrong, but you can say it in a diplomatic way, like "I think differently, but I understand your reasons for feeling that way." (and then don't continue to argue about it.)


Per my DB coach:
Questions such as "Why would you do/say X"? Are designed to make the recipient defensive.

Not saying we do this on purpose, b/c I never saw it that way. But I CAN see how the recipient would at least subconsciously feel attacked.

and I KNOW I wasted a year of my life asking my h that very question. I never got a "good" answer. So, lose the whole "WHY??" b/c it's such a waste of time.

Also, asking "HOW CAN YOU DO/SAY X??" is also to be avoided.


So, no "why's and How's" if it's about a choice they made/are making.

They don't help US. Also, there are times in these ordeals that a WAS/MLCer will say something that revises the marital history AND OR

reveals how THEY viewed an event. It's not the same thing. Sometimes the same event really is experienced very differently.

EXAMPLE: I've been in the car with h/family on a long trip. One afternoon of it we drove up into the Pacific NW. I was the passenger, he drove.

For h the trip was stressful driving,worrying about some fires, and the traffic was heavy at times.

The kids were either sleeping or discussing their musical tastes, which is not of great interest to H or me.

FOR ME, the scenery was breath taking. I read aloud to h, which he requested I do.
But we had really different feelings when the drive was over.

Same drive, different experience.


Sometimes the WAS/MLC will say something that reveals to us how different their experience was AND OR that we played a role in hurting them even if we were not the only cause.

A good response to first learning this, is "Wow, I'm so sorry I hurt you. If I had it to do all over again, there are lots of things I'd do differently." It CAN be okay to add in, that you did not know. But that can lead you to places you don't want...

IF they say something you really disagree with (or cannot recall at all), you can say essentially the same thing as above

But insert first:
"Wow, that's not how I recall it all , but I"m sorry IT hurt you. If I had it to do all over again, there are lots of things I'd do differently."

Both responses accept that YOU would make some changes, (so the marriage would be better/different than the one they are leaving....)

Neither response escalates the discussion and both validate the spouses perception. And you don't feel insane or like a doormat for agreeing with something you do Not agree with.

And finally, just b/c you don't recall something they claim you said, or did, does not mean your memory is better than theirs or that they are lying.

Good list Wonka!
Posted By: 2ndTimeHurt

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/12/14 07:42 PM

I posted this in my thread a while ago..... I came across this from a website.

There are 6 levels and in any given situation you try to do the highest level possible. You won't always be able to do level 6 and sometimes level 1 will be the highest you'll be able to do given the situation.

Level 1- just being present. Undivided attention, put your phone down, look into eyes, saying uh huh, etc. pretty straight forward. Basically just listen attentively.

Level 2- accurate reflection. Summarize what other person said with no judgement and with authenticity. "Sounds like you're upset because blah blah blah". Sometimes this type of validation helps someone sort through their thoughts and separate thoughts from emotions.

Level 3- mind reading emotion. I know mind reading is a no no but in this case it's ok. Sometimes they won't flat out say what they're feeling so mind reading what they feel can help. When someone is describing a situation, notice their emotional state. Then either name the emotions you hear or guess at what the person might be feeling. " I'm guessing you're feeling angry because blah blah blah". They may correct you but accepting the correction is validation in itself. It's their feeling and have a right to feel whatever they feel.

Level 4- understanding their feeling based on their past history. If you've done something in the past that you know upsets him like I dunno, called him names, then that experience will be heightened for him. So.. " based on my last behavior I can understand why that would be upsetting to you".

Level 5- normalizing or recognizing emotional reactions that anyone would have. This is helpful if the person you're dealing with is emotionally sensitive. Saying that anyone would get upset in a given situation is validating to an emotionally sensitive person. "Of course you'd be upset, anyone in your position would be".

Level 6- radical genuineness. Understanding the emotion on a very deep level. Maybe the same experience happened to you. Or you can really relate to it. I've felt this way before when my ex has spoken about her friend's baby almost not making it past birth. I was genuinely sad and she could see the expression on my face.

So basically in any given situation try to pick the highest level. When you don't agree you can still validate by using level 2. Or if you really agree you can super validate by using level 6.
Posted By: Ggrass

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/12/14 11:58 PM

Mmm explains my why wouldn't I do this? Didn't go down so well!
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/17/14 07:30 PM

Bump time ^^^

One thing I'd like to add here is the words "I understand." I've seen far too many newbies throw those words to the WAS only to have them spew more at you and even make them more angrier.

One needs to be extremely careful when using those words because one cannot ever truly understand how the WAS feels. It is just how they feel at that moment and it is as equally valid as yours. It is a minefield and you might elicit an angry response from the WAS when you say "I understand." Most of what I've seen here have almost all resulted in phone hang ups, walking/stomping away, or a torrent of nasty texts.

Proper validating would be to say "I understand" in a different way that shows the WAS that you do hear them. The other ways one can do this are some of the following examples:

"I can see how you would feel this way."
"I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you."
"I didn't realize that you feel/felt......"
"I want to be sure that I understand you correctly...are you saying that xxxxxx makes you feel xxxxx, is that right?"
Posted By: claire7

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/17/14 08:00 PM

Thanks for bumping. Would love some feedback on my sitch:

My WAH will say things like, "D3 didn't sleep well last night" or "she has been in a bad mood all afternoon" I tried validating (not offering any advice, just "I can imagine that's frustrating" or "I'm sorry you had a rough afternoon". His response is often something like, "no, it wasn't frustrating" or "no, it was totally fine".

I feel like maybe i am saying the wrong thing or in the wrong way. Is there something else I could say? I end up wondering what I am saying wrong, but maybe not?
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/22/14 04:50 PM

Claire,

Sorry for not getting back to you on this sooner.

What you need to think about validating in proper context is your H's feelings in regard to stress, the M, etc. When it comes to kids, you would want to mix things up with validation along with support. When it comes to parenting the kids, I think, that one needs not be just remote and not get involved with solutions.

Perhaps you can draw more out of your H by saying, "Tell more about this. What do you think is happening here?" Ask open-ended questions that shows H that you are sympathetic and yet open to hearing his views on children. This is what bonds parents, right?

Hope this helps!

Perhaps other DBers can chime in with their parenting experiences that have had more positive exchanges. smile
Posted By: And0324

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/22/14 04:56 PM

Wonka,

I needed this. I know my communication skills are lacking in the verbal arena and this is a great play sheet for me. I never know what to say. I will practice these phrases.

Thanks,
Posted By: claire7

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/25/14 12:38 PM

Thanks Wonka. This was helpful. I typically say things like, maybe she is just tired... and that is different than asking him an open ended question.
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/11/14 05:48 PM

^^^ bump time

MODERATORS: Can we have this particular topic as a stand-alone thread right under Sandi's in the Newcomers' resource section? This way, people can click it any time for a quick reference instead of wading through Sandi's threads to get to this link.

Thanks much! smile (there's a bunch of pizza boxes coming your way as my token of appreciation)
Posted By: rayzzz

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/16/14 06:46 AM

I like pizza. Thanks for the take away anyways...this validation sheet is such a great weapon of love to use in our daily db skirmishes. Thanks Wonka and next time, no anchovies! lol
Posted By: Eatsma

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/16/14 10:52 AM

I need to read this whole thread, but I thought of this last night as H was going through script:

"My car doesn't work, my body doesn't work...."

My first response was not appropriate, "But I see...."

and then I remembered this and said, "It must feel frustrating to feel like everything around you is breaking down."

Gotta practice!
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/28/14 08:05 PM

Bearing down right at ya in my neon-pink bumper car...watch out!!!
Posted By: mindsin

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 08/08/14 08:20 PM

Holy moly! Thank you Wonka for bumping this thread. I'm having dinner with my WAW tonight and absolutely needed these tips!!!
Posted By: Old Dog

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 08/08/14 08:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Wonka
Bearing down right at ya in my neon-pink bumper car...watch out!!!

Oh my!
Posted By: JCred

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 08/17/14 11:00 AM

Quote:
"I am sorry that you feel that way"


Please be careful using this phrase. I have seen many people get offended when hearing this. It can come off as sounding like you just read a book on how to validate. It can come across like you still think you are right and they are wrong in what they feel.

Remember.. Michelle says the medium is the message.
Posted By: NewB3

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 08/23/14 02:04 PM

This list is very helpful after you've done the 180's for a while. W a W begins to talk more about her feelings and every day things. Just be careful to not use too many of these in conversation as you don't want to sound like you're simply reciting things from a textbook. That being said this is a fantastic list and should have a sticky on it in the newcomers area. I know it can be found elsewhere on this form, but it is really needed here.
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 09/28/14 07:36 PM

George Clooney is now a married man!

Good I have your attention....it's bump time.

Validate away to your hearts' content. grin
Posted By: gogofo

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 10/30/14 02:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Wonka
Bump time ^^^

One thing I'd like to add here is the words "I understand." I've seen far too many newbies throw those words to the WAS only to have them spew more at you and even make them more angrier.

One needs to be extremely careful when using those words because one cannot ever truly understand how the WAS feels. It is just how they feel at that moment and it is as equally valid as yours. It is a minefield and you might elicit an angry response from the WAS when you say "I understand." Most of what I've seen here have almost all resulted in phone hang ups, walking/stomping away, or a torrent of nasty texts.

Proper validating would be to say "I understand" in a different way that shows the WAS that you do hear them. The other ways one can do this are some of the following examples:

"I can see how you would feel this way."
"I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you."
"I didn't realize that you feel/felt......"
"I want to be sure that I understand you correctly...are you saying that xxxxxx makes you feel xxxxx, is that right?"




I completely agree with Wonka about using the phrase "I understand." I think it is patronizing and also could easily be viewed as dismissive of their feelings and emotions. I know I have used the phrase with my kids as an alternative to saying "yes I hear your words, now listen to what daddy needs you to do."

I feel it is impossible to understand just exactly how someone feels, especially a WAS. My W and I were having a relationship talk last night and I had to stop myself a time or two and start my responses over when I caught myself starting to say "I understand."

I feel that my W has gone through multiple instances of feeling, for example, like her opinion does not matter in our marriage. Now I know that I have caused her great pain in this area, but being aware of it for the last couple of months does not mean I can even begin to understand the pain it caused/causes her.

When I did let the words out I would stop and say, "Well, I cannot ever fully understand but I do know that the pain I feel from putting myself in your shoes is great. I can get a sense at just how painful it is for you."

Let them know that you see their pain as real and that you recognize that they are hurting and where these feelings come from. If the person feels it, it is real to them.

I just keep remembering to listen to the feelings and message behind the statements/words, and not get so hung up on the actual words used. When some people are hurting the tend to use "always" and "never" because that is how it appears to them at this point. Don't get hung up on those words. Identify and recognize the causes and source of their issues and pain in your relationship and work from there.

If you start to argue or feel the need to point out "well this one time" or "it wasn't never/always! Don't you remember?" all you are doing is invalidating their feelings. I get a sense that most WAS on this board leave do to feeling emotionally disrespected, unloved, un-valued, etc. Your need to argue or point out what YOU see and the truth will only perpetuate the cycle. What they need is validation and to feel heard and respected. Make this a 180 for the rest of your life, not just with your spouse but with everyone. I think everyone could stand for a little more empathy.

You have both witnessed the same car crash from different sides of the street. Cross the street and stand next to your spouse and begin to get an understanding at just how ugly the view has been from over their. What they find disturbing may not be to you, but let them know you see how their view could be disturbing and hopeless to them.

When I started this DB process I was not much of an empathetic person, and I knew it. After validating and listening and practicing with anyone that I had the chance to while being separated; I find empathetic feelings, validation, and understanding of other people's points of view to start to become more natural.

You already know your point of view, now STFU and listen to those people that really matter to you.
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 11/11/14 02:28 PM

I see many newbies fumbling about and stumbling in the dark looking for a way out of this madness. Help is here!!! cool
Posted By: Maybell

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 11/11/14 02:30 PM

One of the things people seem to fumble with is when NOT to validate. I'm thinking the reasons to NOT validate are much fewer than the opportunities TO validate, could you weigh in on that?

Thanks!
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 11/11/14 02:56 PM

Hey Maybell,

Sure, will try my best.

As I sometimes say here, inaction is also action. One does not need to take some type of action just for the sake of action or to fill in the void. Silence can be as equally powerful as taking some type of action. It is all ebb and flow like the tide in concert with the various moon phases.

Now as for when NOT to validate, here are some examples that come to mind:

-your spouse is being cruel and behaving like a jackass
-when you don't necessarily agree or share their view(s)
-they are in the entitlement phase in their A's with OM/OW
-they are in the full-on spew rage

It all depends on content and context of the situation on the ground. For instance, when your spouse is in the very early stages of his/her affair where their fog is at its thickest and the dopamine levels are at its highest range, it is VERY, VERY difficult to validate effectively because, in their mindset, you re the EVIL one and nothing you say will get through to them. This is when one drinks the STFU juice in copious amounts.

I've noticed, based on my long experience here, is that one can begin to validate when their spouse begins to voice their confusion or frustrations about the M several weeks/months after the initial BD. Their confusion is a good time to start validating because you've been GALing and staying out of their way. This is when they begin to see internally the contrast between you and their affair partner. Mind you, they'll NEVER voice it during their affair phase because it's akin to admitting that they're WRONG. Not happening!

One only needs to look at Train's threads over in the Infidelity forum to see this interplay quite clearly.

Make sense?
Posted By: Maybell

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 11/11/14 04:26 PM

I need a proper thread on which to say it, but I really hate the whole idea of cake eating. It's WAY overused around here and it needs to stop. If people would focus more on appropriate boundaries and ordinary kindness it would hardly ever show up.
Posted By: labug

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 11/11/14 04:39 PM

I have the same thoughts about that phrase.
Posted By: gogofo

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 11/11/14 05:19 PM

I thought about "cake eating" early in my situation, but I banned it from my thoughts. I think it incorporates a lot of mind reading and assumptions about the other person.

I think when the phrase shows up it is another way of saying "I feel like I am being taken advantage of and it is hurting me. My S.O. needs to be punished for what I just allowed to happen." This is not your responsibility.

My opinion is that if feel your S.O. is cake eating it is your fault. Set a boundary that protects you from these feelings. Remember you are the only one that you can control, do something about it.
Posted By: Thornton

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 11/13/14 05:14 PM

Hey Wonka!

Just checking in to say hi! I'm doing well! Thanks again for all your words of wisdom when I was in the thick of it!

Hope you are doing well! I still owe you a beer!

Thorn
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 11/13/14 07:03 PM

Hey Thor! How are you my friend??! Beer? Nah, amaretto would do quite nicely.


I'm seeing some newbies flubbing it left & right by using the "why do you do this" line. Time for a refresher.
Posted By: Ggrass

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 11/19/14 11:13 PM

Cake eating is based in my mind more on being a friend and making their guilt seem less.

My h has the neat plan, I would be his friend we would have a friend r and carry on with our hobby, while he had ow or a serious gf on the side.

^^^^ that would be cake eating. He feels less guilty by offering friendship and still gets the good bits of our r! Um no, I'm not plan b and any new partner would not want me having an ea with my old h.

I couldn't, have my new person do that hence I won't be his friend. Insert crickets Chipping for nearly 9months. He has been shown in a very clear way, I'm gone.

That's more than likely a very clumsy way of explaining it and I'm sure others can do better, but it's just my view. Feel free to clarify or comment
Posted By: NewB3

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 11/21/14 04:05 PM

Ggrass,
I have been divorced since end of August. Moved out 10/10. I continue trying to be dark, yet when I have to talk...due to kids, I try to stick to this list. I feel being vague is not a game, but the reality of not letting your spouse know every detail. If they wanted to be in your life, as you wish (romantically/monogamous)then they would know the day to day things. Hopefully going dark and not playing the friendship game will make them miss what you had when you got along. I am at a stage that I am going in circles trying to do the right thing. Holidays are upon us and my thread has gotten weird/confusing.
Wonka,
Thanks for all you have done with this list. I value your insight.
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 12/03/14 08:20 PM

Jim et al,

Keep telling them...perhaps if you ask Virginia nicely, she might put this thread under sticky in the Newcomers section. smile
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 12/22/14 03:23 PM

Dear Virginia,

Since many posters have expressed the view that this thread be sticked in the Newcomers' section, would it be possible for this thread be moved and placed right under Sandi's Rules on a permanent basis? This way, newbies and posters will have this resource in place for quick and easy access anytime.

Thank you for your careful consideration of this request.

Regards,
Wonka

Posted By: jim0987

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 12/30/14 12:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Wonka
Dear Virginia,

Since many posters have expressed the view that this thread be sticked in the Newcomers' section, would it be possible for this thread be moved and placed right under Sandi's Rules on a permanent basis? This way, newbies and posters will have this resource in place for quick and easy access anytime.

Thank you for your careful consideration of this request.

Regards,
Wonka



Can I just support this request. this thread is one of the more referred to that i've seen round the site and it would be useful to have it readily accessible

thanks
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 01/30/15 09:30 PM

Let's raise the roof, ya'll!! Validate away!
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 02/03/15 05:03 AM

Came across this level-headed article recently in Redbook by a man who has been married to his wife for 12 years. A good read for newbies and other DBers to file away in the back of their minds.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
12 Lessons Learned In 12 Years Of Marriage

We were married before I graduated college. Pregnant with our first child shortly after. I finished college. New baby. Two miscarriages. Four more children.When the youngest was born, we had five children under 8 years old. Owned four homes. Rented a house and an apartment somewhere in between. Five different jobs with four different companies. Lived in four cities. In many ways, life has been on fast-forward. We've been drinking from a fire hose. In the course of these 12 years, we've learned a great deal. About ourselves. About each other. About the importance of marriage. And why it's worth fighting for. We were young, in love and ready for marriage when we said yes in our early twenties. But that doesn't necessarily mean we were prepared.12 years later, here are 12 things that have been clarified for us in our marriage:

1. 50/50 expectations lead to disappointment. For a season, we viewed marriage like it was a game. A competition. If I do this, you should do that. Meet me in the middle here, do a little more there. If you do 20 things, I'll do 20. That sort of game. But the true work is done when one of you can't get to the middle. When it's up to the other to go the extra mile. Maybe that ratio is 90/10 for a season if a spouse is sick, stressed, even depressed. Don't view marriage as a scorecard, someone always loses that way.

2. Keep adventure alive. In my early days of dating Brooke, I pulled out all the stops. We went on long hikes, I made her candlelit dinners, I worked hard at the chase. When the years and responsibilities piled up, I let that fire die too many times. Fighting to keep adventure alive doesn't have to look like a trip to Paris; it could be a last-minute trip to a local hotel, a surprise baby sitter for the evening or even a simple handwritten note. Inject your marriage with adventure.

3. Kiss each other first. I'm imperfect at this, but I try to kiss Brooke first when I get home from work. Before I kiss our five kids. It's a small thing that points to a much bigger reality. For me to be a great dad, I have to be a great husband first. Otherwise, we'll become roommates who are collectively raising our kids.

4. Grit is often the best description of love. It was easy to love Brooke when we were newlyweds. Easy for her to love me during seasons of comfort. But it's much more difficult to fight for love when you lose a baby. Or have a huge financial setback. Or confess a really ugly secret about yourself. Fairy tales are great for movies, but real life is more often confusing, chaotic and messy. Dig in when it gets hard.

5. Real life happens in the mundane. Huge promotions, babies being born, buying the dream house. The peaks of marriage are great. However, most days are mundane. I've been guilty of missing the little moments while I work to make the big ones happen. I'm realizing that life happens in those little moments. I'm learning to love the journey every bit as much as the destination.

6. Proximity doesn't equal presence. Getting home from work early, getting a sitter for a date and even taking a vacation alone are all great things. But physically being close isn't the same as being close emotionally. For me, most of the time that looks like staring at my iPhone instead of looking my wife in the eye. Being more concerned with my Twitter or Instagram feed than I am about hearing my wife's heart. When you have the ability to be together physically, be there emotionally as well.

7. Comparison will kill your joy. In an age of edited facades of other people's lives on Facebook and other outlets, it's easy to feel like your marriage suucks. Like you're getting lapped by the Jones family. When I begin to compare our money, house, kids' performance and marriage to others through a distant lens, I'm the one that loses. It robs my joy. There will always be others with more; don't play that game.

8. You'll each have the opportunity to throw it away. We all know the marriages that end in pain instead of celebration. Divorce instead of dancing at the 50th anniversary party. Brooke and I are realizing that some days it's far easier to give up than keep fighting. But each day, we keep choosing each other. We continue to be honest about where we fail each other. Because it's worth it.

9. Take initiative for the benefit of the other. We talk often in our family about whether we're being givers or takers. Are we giving and serving? Or are we only taking and using? I'd argue that life is best lived when you're giving yourself away for the benefit of another.

10. Live in community. Marriage is hard and messy, but also beautiful and redeeming. Lived in isolation, you may be tempted to give up. But when surrounded with friends and family that know your strengths as well as your struggles, you realize you have support and encouragement.

11. Will you forgive me? Let's face it; in marriage, we fail each other more often than we'd like to admit. We tell a white lie, we forget a huge appointment, we get angry. There are a million other examples. Instead of shifting blame or dodging responsibility, marriages get stronger when you start to say "will you forgive me?" Even more than an "I'm sorry," this question leads to restoration and healing.

12. Love wins. This list could be a mile long. I didn't touch on things like honesty, making time for dates and speaking highly of your spouse. But all the lists in the world won't keep your marriage strong if it lacks love. In the end, love wins. It conquers all. It removes doubt. It pushes through fear. It invites deeper purpose. Love wins.
Posted By: Karma12

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 02/03/15 06:38 AM

Love this! Thanks for sharing Wonka.
Posted By: PatientMan

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 02/16/15 04:16 PM

No need to bump anymore, Wonka; your wish has been granted.

-PM
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 02/18/15 06:53 PM

Here are some more ideas on validation and de-escalating comments. This section is based on emotional aikido techniques.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What makes you feel that way / say that?
That’s a question / judgment?
Where is this all going?
What would you like me to do?
Is there something else you’d like to tell me?
What’s the worst that could happen?
How much time do you have to talk about this?
How do you mean?
Where is all this coming from?
Why would you say such a nice thing?
What would you like to know?
And what do you think is going to happen now?
What do you suggest we do about it?
Are you OK? You seem really upset / stressed out!
Do you feel that anger / cynicism is the best response here?
What did you hear me say?
How long have you been feeling this way?



I hear what you’re saying.
You sound really concerned about this!
You seem really upset…
This seems pretty important to you!
OK, so that’s how you see things? I wasn’t sure…
Really?
OK I see, yes that must’ve left you feeling less than pleased!
What happened? That’s terrible!
I wish this topic was easier to talk about.
I can see why you would say that.
I don’t blame you!
That can’t be easy to manage.
I know exactly what you mean.
Indeed!
I’m really trying to understand what you mean here.
Thank you.


So if I’ve understood correctly, you…?
So you have the impression that…?
Would I be right in saying that you think / feel…?
Are you trying to tell me that…?
I see, so it’s important for you that I understand…


I think I see where you’re coming from, go on…
Help me understand that one.
I think there’s something else you want to tell me…
There’s gotta be a better way to find a solution!
Tell me what you heard me say.
Can you say that again please.
Please, do elaborate.
How about we talk about this over a beer/coffee!


Posted By: Cadet

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 02/18/15 09:50 PM

An old validation thread not sure if this is already here
but worth the read anyways.

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=191764#Post191764
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 02/25/15 07:49 PM

More gems....


Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc

Having conversations Not escalate, is a very worthy goal and it IS within your control b/c you can end the conversation if it takes a nosedive.

Say something along the lines of "let's table this discussion for when we are both calm" and or, if you feel attacked, say so.

"W, I feel attacked now. That's not productive so let's table this til we both can speak AND hear each other without attacking." But once you say that, you need to LEAVE the area (unless she apologizes. But don't wait for that).



Edit - Reopening this thread and I will be deleting more of the BUMP posts - MS Wonka lets get some more good stuff in here..... smile smile smile Cadet
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 05/20/15 08:33 PM

Cadet,

Could/would it be possible for you to restore the most recent posts? I think it was in answer to Pyrite's questions that myself and 25 posted immediately thereafter. I think it makes sense to leave posters's questions alone and stand as it is. This type of questions and responses are helpful to newbies to understand content and context better as they relate to validation approaches.

Will you be a dear and please do it for me? mwah

Edit - Maybe it is on Pyrites thread.
I will look.
I did not delete anything except for 37 "Bumps" - Cadet
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 05/22/15 01:57 AM

Cadet,

I owe you an apology and offering you a shot of your favorite Scotch. Pryite posted in my other thread...the Boundaries one. Oops! Must be old age creeping up to me these days. crazy

Eh..let's carry on...

Edit - No problem - Cadet,
(((((HUGS))))))
Posted By: DifRent

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 06/16/15 07:51 PM

Okay Wonka... I have read this several times now. I vow to either validate or STFU from now on. REALLY going to work at this... and this is a fantastic thread, by the way.
Posted By: thriver

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/26/15 06:39 PM

How does an LBS validate a WW if we are currently going dark/dim? I've seen contradictory information on this subject. On one hand, I've seen DB'ing experts like Sandi say that LBS's should not be friends with WW's. Polite, yes. Friends, no.

But aren't validation phrases like "I'm sure you'll ace that important test. You'll do great!" and "Way to go" just giving her the false impression that I'm OK with being her friend and not her H? Seems weak to me.

What is the proper balance of validating but not being stuck in the "friend zone"?
Posted By: HeavyD

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/26/15 06:46 PM

It is very hard for me anyway.

I pinch myself to be friendly - hello, thank you, please -
Like I treat a neighbor.

I am not friends with my stbxw- just not possible given the lack of remorse and level of deception. Maybe one day but unfortunately not now.

How has your wife treated you during her deception - like it was your fault? Any remorse or regret? If not, that should answer your question.
Posted By: thriver

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/26/15 08:38 PM

HeavyD,

My WW was very deceptive in the beginning. Of course she lied to me about her A when I confronted her, but I soon realized the truth weeks later. Yep, she blamed me for not caring about her feelings enough and not supporting her. There's some truth to that and I acknowledge that but I'm not responsible for her A. Nevertheless, she has not backed down on the D. We will probably be D's in a month or two.

She has 'said' she is sorry and 'said' she has remorse but I don't see it in her actions. She has shown zero concern for the pain she has caused me. It's all about her and her feelings right now. So yeah, like you, I struggle with being friendly, even polite.

I even brought up the remorse thing one time in conversation and she told me she was showing "her type of remorse".

It's not the type of remorse that I need her to show. I wonder every day what happened to my sweet, loving wife.
Posted By: HeavyD

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/26/15 08:48 PM

Our sweet loving wives have gone wayward. That means they no longer care about anything other than themselves. Nothing will stop them for doing what they want, which means stepping outside of the marriage. Split up the family? Not a big deal, ruin the kids lives and grandkids, no problem, destroy your loving spouse, it happens - because it is all about them. Lies after lies on top of lies and then they are so mean about it to boot.

Ain't life grand? It's the pits sometimes.

However not all gloom and doom - we can get past the disappointment and grief and stand with our heads up. We can forgive, move forward and do the right thing. We will be resilient and humble and carry on. Who knows what the future holds for any of us - including our wayward wives. We will keep on doing the right thing even though we may lose our marriages.

I will persevere and you will too!

Hang tough friend
Posted By: 714Dad

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/27/15 01:01 PM

Maybe like many others I find validating in my current circumstance very difficult.

I really only talk to her over the phone if she calls for some reason to talk about the girls or something.

In these cases I am methodical and really thinking about not arguing and trying to validate. I don't apologize but instead say things like, "I can see how it would seem that way." etc.

The problem, and this might tie into Sandi's rule #19

(19. No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment. This can confuse some of them b/c it is not what they expected. Show your spouse someone he/she would want to be around all the time, somebody that can be attractive and fun to be with. That somebody is you! Don't overkill in your attempts to outshine another person your spouse may be having an A with (if there is OP in the picture) to the point of looking like your attempts are "fake" b/c your spouse will see through all of that.)

is that my WAW says I sound odd or strange. She "wishes I'd just be honest or talk normally."

So I am obviously learning and trying, but it's not coming across in the way it needs to. When I did do it and she said that I sounded odd, I said, "I can only be who I am now or who I want to be, not who I was in the past." Was that the wrong thing to say?

As I continued validating (or what I thought was validating) she seemed to get more emotional. "Do you know how many years I wanted to have a calm conversation?" "Why now? Why when it's too late?" I said I guess I never had a big catalyst before.

So I have my first official mediation meeting in three hours. I am already feeling the butterflies.

Any opinions and or advice anyone wants to offer?

I am planning to stand up for what I need to, be polite but strong, and try to work. I'm in effect giving her what she wants in terms of the divorcing progress, but I am going to stand up for what I believe is mine and my daughter's right.

Any secret weapons? Phrases? Attitudes? Ideas?


My thread for reference :

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2590040&page=1
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/31/15 07:09 PM

Hiya, 714Dad.

Sorry to be late here as I just saw this. I will attempt to answer your questions in the best way I can that will make things, hopefully, more clearer for you. smile

Validating is just acknowledgement of a person's feelings about a particular matter or situation that is present which doesn't mean you have to AGREE to it all the time. It simply means that you are witnessing the person's thoughts/feelings and you hear them. Be genuine when you do any validation. Otherwise, it just comes out like it's a robocall.

In fact, I'll illustrate a perfect DBing example the other day with a friend later on in this post. More later.

I would like to address some of the areas that you feel are quite confusing as how it lines up with DBing principles.

(19. No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment. This can confuse some of them b/c it is not what they expected. Show your spouse someone he/she would want to be around all the time, somebody that can be attractive and fun to be with. That somebody is you! Don't overkill in your attempts to outshine another person your spouse may be having an A with (if there is OP in the picture) to the point of looking like your attempts are "fake" b/c your spouse will see through all of that.)

What Sandi is trying to point out in rule #19 is that the LBS needs to get off the pity couch and seize life by their hands. Their happiness is not tied to the WAS. No. You are responsible for your own happiness so you need to stop being needy and clingy because those are not very attractive qualities at all. It's a real downer to be around someone with a very dark cloud around them all mopey.

What Sandi meant by "faking it" because your spouse will see through it is behaving like a plastic Ken doll with a plastic smile and just going through the motions just to give out the appearance of being happy. That is more like a game show host...."hey, look at me! I am the Fun Factory...watch me." Plllft! When one is engaged in GAL activities or being okay with doing some solo activities, then the obsessive thoughts about the WAS fades away because you are TOO busy having fun. You are involved in the activity that absorbs your attention and then you find yourself smiling, laughing, and joking around. That is the key right there.

As I continued validating (or what I thought was validating) she seemed to get more emotional. "Do you know how many years I wanted to have a calm conversation?" "Why now? Why when it's too late?" I said I guess I never had a big catalyst before.


^^ that right there is the key to being truly heard. We all have an intrinsic need to be heard by loved ones...especially the spouse because it is the glue that really bonds a couple at the emotional level. It seems that, from what W said up there, that you two have had some Bickerson's bickering in the M relationship....true? If you say "yes", then I'd suggest that you find better ways of communicating that is respectful and honors the other person's point of view.

Any secret weapons? Phrases? Attitudes? Ideas?

There are no secret weapons or magic bullets here. However, you can learn how to communicate and listen better. In fact, I've made some book recommendations to PigPen's thread here in Newcomer's yesterday. You might want to check them out.

Now you are all curious about my validation techniques with a friend recently...right? Alrighty...here we go. It was a brief text exchange. Paraphrasing here.

Friend: Just received a notice that we are to do OT for 8 weeks.
Wonka: OT for 8 weeks??!!! What a grindstone. Company A is really whipping you guys
Friend: Yeah, it's gonna kill me, but Daughter has $4K worth of dental appts
Wonka: $4K??! Dang..that is a lot of $$ for some pearly work. Hope her dad contributes here
Friend: He said he would help
Wonka: Phew! Glad to hear this

Notice that I did not offer advice or try to fix her problems. That is what validation is...acknowledging her frustrations and struggles. I don't get sucked in or get involved.

Easy peasy. wink
Posted By: Rouky

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/31/15 10:03 PM

Thank you very much Wonka for that concrete example of validating as I was struggling with it's concept.
Posted By: 714Dad

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 08/07/15 01:30 PM

^^ that right there is the key to being truly heard. We all have an intrinsic need to be heard by loved ones...especially the spouse because it is the glue that really bonds a couple at the emotional level. It seems that, from what W said up there, that you two have had some Bickerson's bickering in the M relationship....true? If you say "yes", then I'd suggest that you find better ways of communicating that is respectful and honors the other person's point of view.

I feel like we had many calm conversations over the years. Of course, we also had many that spiraled out of control - hence her comment. In this past year (that i have been in counseling) things improved greatly, but in my thread i mention how it seemed as though as i got better and more able to speak calmly, she was the one who went more out of control. Then she associated me with her anger and losing control and said i bring out the worst in her.

Even now the few times she's called it feels like she is baiting to try and get an argument going. My IC said it seems like arguing or being upset was where the balance of communication was, and that by me being calm she is moved off center and doesn't know how to react. Thus she gets angrier and angrier as I try to validate her feelings.

and my comments about 'magic cures' and 'silver bullets' wasn't about DB or DR techniques. I know I'm not trying to trick her back into liking me and that the GALing is for my benefit. It was more about ways to behave in the mediation meeting I had on that Monday. I was just hoping for ideas or stories that other people used in their situation.

But thank you for the reply Wonka, as always it is greatly appreciated.
Posted By: ILYNOT

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 08/12/15 10:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Wonka
Came across this level-headed article recently in Redbook by a man who has been married to his wife for 12 years. A good read for newbies and other DBers to file away in the back of their minds.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
12 Lessons Learned In 12 Years Of Marriage

We were married before I graduated college. Pregnant with our first child shortly after. I finished college. New baby. Two miscarriages. Four more children.When the youngest was born, we had five children under 8 years old. Owned four homes. Rented a house and an apartment somewhere in between. Five different jobs with four different companies. Lived in four cities. In many ways, life has been on fast-forward. We've been drinking from a fire hose. In the course of these 12 years, we've learned a great deal. About ourselves. About each other. About the importance of marriage. And why it's worth fighting for. We were young, in love and ready for marriage when we said yes in our early twenties. But that doesn't necessarily mean we were prepared.12 years later, here are 12 things that have been clarified for us in our marriage:

1. 50/50 expectations lead to disappointment. For a season, we viewed marriage like it was a game. A competition. If I do this, you should do that. Meet me in the middle here, do a little more there. If you do 20 things, I'll do 20. That sort of game. But the true work is done when one of you can't get to the middle. When it's up to the other to go the extra mile. Maybe that ratio is 90/10 for a season if a spouse is sick, stressed, even depressed. Don't view marriage as a scorecard, someone always loses that way.

2. Keep adventure alive. In my early days of dating Brooke, I pulled out all the stops. We went on long hikes, I made her candlelit dinners, I worked hard at the chase. When the years and responsibilities piled up, I let that fire die too many times. Fighting to keep adventure alive doesn't have to look like a trip to Paris; it could be a last-minute trip to a local hotel, a surprise baby sitter for the evening or even a simple handwritten note. Inject your marriage with adventure.

3. Kiss each other first. I'm imperfect at this, but I try to kiss Brooke first when I get home from work. Before I kiss our five kids. It's a small thing that points to a much bigger reality. For me to be a great dad, I have to be a great husband first. Otherwise, we'll become roommates who are collectively raising our kids.

4. Grit is often the best description of love. It was easy to love Brooke when we were newlyweds. Easy for her to love me during seasons of comfort. But it's much more difficult to fight for love when you lose a baby. Or have a huge financial setback. Or confess a really ugly secret about yourself. Fairy tales are great for movies, but real life is more often confusing, chaotic and messy. Dig in when it gets hard.

5. Real life happens in the mundane. Huge promotions, babies being born, buying the dream house. The peaks of marriage are great. However, most days are mundane. I've been guilty of missing the little moments while I work to make the big ones happen. I'm realizing that life happens in those little moments. I'm learning to love the journey every bit as much as the destination.

6. Proximity doesn't equal presence. Getting home from work early, getting a sitter for a date and even taking a vacation alone are all great things. But physically being close isn't the same as being close emotionally. For me, most of the time that looks like staring at my iPhone instead of looking my wife in the eye. Being more concerned with my Twitter or Instagram feed than I am about hearing my wife's heart. When you have the ability to be together physically, be there emotionally as well.

7. Comparison will kill your joy. In an age of edited facades of other people's lives on Facebook and other outlets, it's easy to feel like your marriage suucks. Like you're getting lapped by the Jones family. When I begin to compare our money, house, kids' performance and marriage to others through a distant lens, I'm the one that loses. It robs my joy. There will always be others with more; don't play that game.

8. You'll each have the opportunity to throw it away. We all know the marriages that end in pain instead of celebration. Divorce instead of dancing at the 50th anniversary party. Brooke and I are realizing that some days it's far easier to give up than keep fighting. But each day, we keep choosing each other. We continue to be honest about where we fail each other. Because it's worth it.

9. Take initiative for the benefit of the other. We talk often in our family about whether we're being givers or takers. Are we giving and serving? Or are we only taking and using? I'd argue that life is best lived when you're giving yourself away for the benefit of another.

10. Live in community. Marriage is hard and messy, but also beautiful and redeeming. Lived in isolation, you may be tempted to give up. But when surrounded with friends and family that know your strengths as well as your struggles, you realize you have support and encouragement.

11. Will you forgive me? Let's face it; in marriage, we fail each other more often than we'd like to admit. We tell a white lie, we forget a huge appointment, we get angry. There are a million other examples. Instead of shifting blame or dodging responsibility, marriages get stronger when you start to say "will you forgive me?" Even more than an "I'm sorry," this question leads to restoration and healing.

12. Love wins. This list could be a mile long. I didn't touch on things like honesty, making time for dates and speaking highly of your spouse. But all the lists in the world won't keep your marriage strong if it lacks love. In the end, love wins. It conquers all. It removes doubt. It pushes through fear. It invites deeper purpose. Love wins.
Simply amazing. thank you!
Posted By: lonelee

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 08/15/15 12:41 PM

That was a nice post ILYNOT that was originally posted by Wonka. So many valid points to consider. I wish often that there were things like that I could share with my spouse just to get him thinking. But I know the time is not right yet. I still have hope that one day I can share an article like that and use it as a tool for some open discussion. If not with him maybe in another relationship down the road..
Posted By: mahhhty

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 10/07/15 05:32 PM

Originally Posted By: ILYNOT
Originally Posted By: Wonka
Came across this level-headed article recently in Redbook by a man who has been married to his wife for 12 years. A good read for newbies and other DBers to file away in the back of their minds.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
12 Lessons Learned In 12 Years Of Marriage

We were married before I graduated college. Pregnant with our first child shortly after. I finished college. New baby. Two miscarriages. Four more children.When the youngest was born, we had five children under 8 years old. Owned four homes. Rented a house and an apartment somewhere in between. Five different jobs with four different companies. Lived in four cities. In many ways, life has been on fast-forward. We've been drinking from a fire hose. In the course of these 12 years, we've learned a great deal. About ourselves. About each other. About the importance of marriage. And why it's worth fighting for. We were young, in love and ready for marriage when we said yes in our early twenties. But that doesn't necessarily mean we were prepared.12 years later, here are 12 things that have been clarified for us in our marriage:

1. 50/50 expectations lead to disappointment. For a season, we viewed marriage like it was a game. A competition. If I do this, you should do that. Meet me in the middle here, do a little more there. If you do 20 things, I'll do 20. That sort of game. But the true work is done when one of you can't get to the middle. When it's up to the other to go the extra mile. Maybe that ratio is 90/10 for a season if a spouse is sick, stressed, even depressed. Don't view marriage as a scorecard, someone always loses that way.

2. Keep adventure alive. In my early days of dating Brooke, I pulled out all the stops. We went on long hikes, I made her candlelit dinners, I worked hard at the chase. When the years and responsibilities piled up, I let that fire die too many times. Fighting to keep adventure alive doesn't have to look like a trip to Paris; it could be a last-minute trip to a local hotel, a surprise baby sitter for the evening or even a simple handwritten note. Inject your marriage with adventure.

3. Kiss each other first. I'm imperfect at this, but I try to kiss Brooke first when I get home from work. Before I kiss our five kids. It's a small thing that points to a much bigger reality. For me to be a great dad, I have to be a great husband first. Otherwise, we'll become roommates who are collectively raising our kids.

4. Grit is often the best description of love. It was easy to love Brooke when we were newlyweds. Easy for her to love me during seasons of comfort. But it's much more difficult to fight for love when you lose a baby. Or have a huge financial setback. Or confess a really ugly secret about yourself. Fairy tales are great for movies, but real life is more often confusing, chaotic and messy. Dig in when it gets hard.

5. Real life happens in the mundane. Huge promotions, babies being born, buying the dream house. The peaks of marriage are great. However, most days are mundane. I've been guilty of missing the little moments while I work to make the big ones happen. I'm realizing that life happens in those little moments. I'm learning to love the journey every bit as much as the destination.

6. Proximity doesn't equal presence. Getting home from work early, getting a sitter for a date and even taking a vacation alone are all great things. But physically being close isn't the same as being close emotionally. For me, most of the time that looks like staring at my iPhone instead of looking my wife in the eye. Being more concerned with my Twitter or Instagram feed than I am about hearing my wife's heart. When you have the ability to be together physically, be there emotionally as well.

7. Comparison will kill your joy. In an age of edited facades of other people's lives on Facebook and other outlets, it's easy to feel like your marriage suucks. Like you're getting lapped by the Jones family. When I begin to compare our money, house, kids' performance and marriage to others through a distant lens, I'm the one that loses. It robs my joy. There will always be others with more; don't play that game.

8. You'll each have the opportunity to throw it away. We all know the marriages that end in pain instead of celebration. Divorce instead of dancing at the 50th anniversary party. Brooke and I are realizing that some days it's far easier to give up than keep fighting. But each day, we keep choosing each other. We continue to be honest about where we fail each other. Because it's worth it.

9. Take initiative for the benefit of the other. We talk often in our family about whether we're being givers or takers. Are we giving and serving? Or are we only taking and using? I'd argue that life is best lived when you're giving yourself away for the benefit of another.

10. Live in community. Marriage is hard and messy, but also beautiful and redeeming. Lived in isolation, you may be tempted to give up. But when surrounded with friends and family that know your strengths as well as your struggles, you realize you have support and encouragement.

11. Will you forgive me? Let's face it; in marriage, we fail each other more often than we'd like to admit. We tell a white lie, we forget a huge appointment, we get angry. There are a million other examples. Instead of shifting blame or dodging responsibility, marriages get stronger when you start to say "will you forgive me?" Even more than an "I'm sorry," this question leads to restoration and healing.

12. Love wins. This list could be a mile long. I didn't touch on things like honesty, making time for dates and speaking highly of your spouse. But all the lists in the world won't keep your marriage strong if it lacks love. In the end, love wins. It conquers all. It removes doubt. It pushes through fear. It invites deeper purpose. Love wins.
Simply amazing. thank you!


Amazing post. I couldn't agree more.
Posted By: 2Lady

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 10/17/16 06:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Wonka


Validate his/her feelings, let his/her know you agree with him/her when that is true, but avoid criticism when you don't agree. you don't have to pretend to agree if you think he/she's wrong, but you can say it in a diplomatic way, like "I think differently, but I understand your reasons for feeling that way." (and then don't continue to argue about it.)


Reading this is timely for me. I've been struggling today with my not agreeing with my husband's reasons for something and his disappointment in me for that. But I have been thinking about it all day and realized that I have my own reasons for the same shared goal and they are reasons that should make me happy and him too and so I plan to tell him that. It doesn't matter if our reasons are the same as long as the goals are.
Posted By: leahsue

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 02/14/17 05:50 PM

This page is so intriguing. I can't wait to read more on all of this. Quick question- I just joined today. I put up a very short intro when I first logged on, then later realized I should have posted more about my story, so I took an hour and poured my heart out- but now I don't see it. Did I write too much as a newcomer? LOL.
Posted By: loulou2

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 03/17/17 03:23 AM

Hi everyone, so since Nov, 0 physical contact, he doesn`t come near me on the few times I see him! And last week comes in the house ( to make boxes ) and gives me the kisses on eash cheek! Thought I would die. Monstered a bit about the newspapers Stupid stuff, Really hurts! He tried this again yesterday, and I put up my hand to stop him approaching me, told him that he is sending mixed signals, and that`s not fair! Better for all to keep their distance! H still living with OW, Divorce will be final soon!
Posted By: YepYep

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 08/09/17 03:51 AM

This thread has been invaluable to me. Keep them coming please, as I'd hate to see this die.
Posted By: Terrym7

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 08/11/17 11:33 AM

Yep Yel, Yes, this thread is really good as I'm new to all this. 2 months with husband in MLC bomb drop.
Posted By: dmoy

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 05/27/18 09:33 AM

I wanted to share this with all here. I recently read this book and found it invaluable for breaking things down in an easy to understand way.

It's called I Hear You by Michael Sorensen

Reviews on Amazon are mixed. Mostly good, but one review complained the author (a marketer) has stolen ideas from John Gottman's Relationship Cure book, but regardless the approach and examples are really simple to understand. I personally have no problems with someone repackaging knowledge into an easier to understand format. That's what teachers do in the classroom.

He gets into deeper validation and empathy. More than the cheat sheet at the start of this thread. One thing I did notice was that some of the validation lines here are what he considers "micro validations" which are only part of the equation.

It's cheap and well worth the read if you're trying to understand the difference between sympathy and empathy. He's even broken it out into 4 simple steps to help walk yourself through the conversations and provide the validation the other person needs.

Hopefully others here may find it valuable as well.

Posted By: Notavic

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 08/09/18 11:55 PM

Thank you, dmoy. My H has told me that the OW validated him. I didn't even want to face the fact that I had been angry and embittered for a long time. My therapist told me today that what *I* experience as validation ("I know this is out of your comfort zone") was experienced by him as a reminder of his weaknesses. My therapist suggested that I take cues from my husband's words when he talks about his successes. (At least in our case, H feels "useless" and has a very low self-image at the moment.)

I just ordered this book. Thanks.
Posted By: Notavic

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 08/10/18 12:48 AM

I wanted to share this TEDx talk by Helen Riess on Empathy that I just listened to. It is helpful if you, like me, have trouble with empathy and validation (at least in some circumstances).

She uses the letters in the word EMPATHY to illustrate the concept.

Eye contact

Muscles of Facial Expression (Reside in the fight or flight area of the brain)

Posture (sit, lean in & listen)

Affect (notice their expressed emotions)

Tone of voice (Resides in the fight or flight area of the brain)

Hearing the whole person (remember the context; be curious & non-judging

Your own response

Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 10/16/18 07:53 PM

Link

Originally Posted by burned
Not sure if you're into self-help books but there's a good one on validation called I Hear You by Michael Sorenson.

You can't really understand any other person, but you can identify and reflect the emotion they are trying to convey. "I can't sleep, I can't eat, I can't stop crying. I lost my entire herd of cattle in a barn fire." Do you understand that? I don't. I mean I can picture it but have I ever been a farmer whose livelihood is derived from intact living animals? No. So it's more like, "I'm sorry to hear that, you must be devastated." Or maybe you're not sorry because you were playing with matches nearby and you suspect that the farmer thinks it's your fault. So more like, "How horrible! I'm sure anyone would feel despondent after going through something like that."

A prerequisite to validation is empathy, having a basic emotional vocabulary and sensitivity that allows you to discern the key feeling the other person is trying to convey. You can say exactly the right thing for offering condolences to someone whose beefers are all well done and they're sad about it. But if they're angry, or happy, and you validate the sadness that you think they're experiencing because that's what YOU would feel, you did it wrong.

Plus you have to be in the right state of mind. If you're emotional, you can't really sense the other person's emotions, and the whole thing becomes all about you again. And that's why you GAL.
Posted By: janes

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 11/19/18 01:53 PM

I'm a newbie on your site. Divorce is a very complicated process for both sides. Usually, when we want to cope up with the stressed situation we must know everything about the stress. This knowledge can help us to deal with over problem faster.

Edit - this is not a place to advertise other sites or links.
If you would like some help please post your story if not please do not return.
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 01/03/19 09:17 PM

Link

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Validation: Sandi and a couple others touched on it, but your validation needs some finesse. "I'm sorry you feel that way" is technically validation, but it's not necessarily good or effective validation. Kudos to you for validating at all, that is much better than pushing her buttons. But I think you're ready for chapter 2! Validating is first seeking to understand her feelings, and second offering affirmations that her feelings are valid. So for example:

- "You always do what you want and I never get to go run or anything!"
- "It sounds like you feel I'm ignoring your needs to get out and exercise, is that how you feel?"
- "Yes it's very frustrating!"
- "So you are frustrated because you feel I'm ignoring you, I can understand why you feel that way, I will work on that."

Just saying "I'm sorry you feel that way" may work at first, but if you just keep saying that no matter what she is saying then it starts to sound dismissive. Your goal is to make her feel like you are really listening to her.
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 03/21/19 06:54 PM

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
A lot of LBS's think that since they didn't share feelings before BD that they should start doing it after BD, that it's a worthy 180. But a two way sharing of feelings is what should happen in a healthy relationship, and you're not in one right now. So your job is to listen and validate. You don't reciprocate by sharing your feelings with her, because when you do that she thinks "oh he's just trying to make this all about himself as usual."

As far as trying to see things from her point of view, that's not necessarily what validating means. In Retrouvaille we learned you shouldn't say things like "I know exactly how you feel." Because you really don't and she actually might resent you for saying that. All you're doing is acknowledging that her feelings are hers and they are legitimate whether you understand them or not. This is why so many LBS's struggle with validating, because they don't AGREE with what their WAS is feeling. But validation isn't putting a stamp of approval on what she's feeling, it's merely accepting that her feelings are real to her.
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 04/04/19 06:54 PM

Link

Originally Posted by curtis7
She also told me she bought a 55” TV and then made the comment if things work out for us, then it would be a good TV for the guest bedroom. I just validated (while recalling what she texted OM1 the other day about moving forward with D) and said it would be a good TV for that room.

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Please try to understand what validation is and isn't because there are a lot of misunderstandings here about it. You don't "validate" about a TV. That's just a mundane conversation that doesn't mean anything. Validation is seeing her emotions/ feelings about something and acknowledging that her feelings are legitimate whether you agree with them or not. So she says she doesn't love you, you validate. She says she's confused, you validate.
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 05/20/19 08:53 PM

Link

Quote
She called because she is crashing and burning with money.
Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Listen and validate.

"It sounds like you are frustrated, I can certainly understand why you feel that way."

"So you will send me more money?"

"No, we're both on very tight budgets now. I am having difficulty getting by and really need to watch things closely."

"BUT WHAT ABOUT MEEEE IT'S ALL ABOUT ME I NEED A NEW PURSE"

"I am sorry you are struggling, it must be very difficult."

"HOW DARE YOU BLAH BLAH BLAH"

"I will not be disrespected, if you can't discuss this calmly I am going to hang up."

"WHAT???? WHO DO YOU..."

-click-
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 05/23/19 07:02 PM

Link

Originally Posted by LB55
Ok so I'm confused here. I don't see how to validate her telling me how I feel when I don't feel that way. If she said "I feel like you hate me." I can validate that because its her feelings. "I know you hate me." is not her feelings. How does she know I hate her? She can't possibly know what's in my head. The latter seems like the psychological concept of projection to me. She hates herself, but would rather have me agree because then its not her fault.
Originally Posted by AnotherStander


I get what you are saying, technically "I know you hate me" is expressing mind-reading rather than feelings. But keep in mind you are dealing with someone that is highly emotionally charged right now. So here are two scenarios:

Non-validating:

I know you hate me.
No, I don't hate you.
Yes you do, I can tell.
No I don't, why do you think that.
I can tell you hate me.
Etc. etc. etc. ARGUMENT!

OR... validating:

I know you hate me.
You think I hate you, that sounds very frustrating, I'm sorry that our situation makes you feel that way.
Oh. Well maybe "hate" is a strong word.

The whole idea of validation is to diffuse the situation before it escalates.
You're not AGREEING with what she is saying, but more importantly, you are not DISAGREEING.
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 05/28/19 06:22 PM

Link


Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Validation is a one-way street. It's something you do, not something you receive (unless you are very lucky). I validate coworkers, my boss, my girlfriend, my kids, my XW. I get a little bit of validation back now and then, it happens so rarely that I'm usually like "wow!" Validation is an unusual skill, so don't be surprised not to get it back because most people just don't know how.
Posted By: Someguy6

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/21/19 02:59 AM

So what if one of the problems she says in the relationship was lack of conversation, short and sweet with no details might be a turn off no? She wants to be able to talk for hours on end every single day the rest of our life.
Posted By: Cadet

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/21/19 11:01 AM

Originally Posted by Someguy6
So what if one of the problems she says in the relationship was lack of conversation, short and sweet with no details might be a turn off no? She wants to be able to talk for hours on end every single day the rest of our life.

Validation is being a good listener- she talks you listen
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/21/19 04:45 PM

Originally Posted by Someguy6
She wants to be able to talk for hours on end every single day the rest of our life.
YUP, just like every other woman on this planet. Listen to understand how she feels and validate. This is how you emotionally connect with a woman. She talks, you listen. Few words from you, just enough to show that you are paying attention. Full eye contact.



Posted By: Dannet

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 07/25/19 01:51 AM

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I pray you also benefit from it. Please let her express her emotions out loudly with time and your patience you will appreciate everything about her and realize how sweet she is.
Posted By: HopeCA

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 08/18/19 09:05 PM

Where do we stand on validating after the fact? My H sent me a text message a few weeks ago in the midst of some highly emotional talks. It really bothered me at the time. As I look back at it now, I see that it was a surprisingly open and vulnerable statement (rare for him) and I missed the opportunity to validate his feelings.
Would it just be weird/overly pursuant/etc to revisit and validate now?
Posted By: DaB35

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 08/21/19 02:12 PM

Hope, I think there is time limit to validating something the S says, particularly if not made face to face like email/text.

I think delete the text as you'll keep going over it. You'll remember what he said. Next time you see him you could offer a validation if the right moment was there. Otherwise, it may be best to not mention it.

Not sure - I'm not a trained psychiatrist!!
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 09/12/19 03:39 PM

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Originally Posted by Dan35
One thing I've forgotten to mention is that the last time I saw her (17 August), she took a cheeky jab at me.
Somehow we got on to the idea of me meeting someone else in future, and she said, "Well when you meet someone else, hopefully you won't be as horrible to her, and then you can...[rest of conversation]." Or words to that effect anyway.

I didn't pick her up on it, and instead let it slide as I couldn't be bothered to argue, but did give her a look of "that was unnecessary."

If she says something similar on Sunday, I was going to ..simply say, "we're here to discuss the house and I'm here to collect my mail. That comment is not necessary and uncalled for." Advisable? Or is that too aggressive?
Originally Posted by unchien
Validate. Don't get defensive. WAS's are incredibly skilled at jabbing where it hurts the most.

W: "blah blah hopefully you won't be as horrible to her blah blah"
Dan: "You are saying I was horrible to you."
W: "Yes! What? You don't think you were horrible to me?"
Dan: "It sounds like that felt really awful and upsetting. Can we please discuss the house now?"
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 10/17/19 05:36 PM

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Originally Posted by Wolfman
At the end of the day I want a happy, loving relationship (and the intimacy that goes with it) more than I want to be "right". As I agree with this now. Unfortunately there is no more intimacy between us, I just want peace I don’t want to interact with her anymore.

Originally Posted by AnotherStander


I do understand that, but what I mean is in ALL our relationships (friends, family, coworkers, clients) it's better to let go of the need to be "right" in favor of maintaining a relationship on good terms. This was a big 180 for me because before BD I wanted to be "right" to a fault, and I wanted to prove my point until everyone admitted I was right. but even when they did it didn't bring any sense of "victory", it just made me realize how stubborn I was being about it. So like I said before, validation is a handy tool because you're not pushing your agenda to be "right", nor are you admitting you are wrong. It's a neutral, non-confrontational stance. It has made my relationship with my GF much better, and has also improved my relationships with all other people in my life.

Posted By: DaB35

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 10/26/19 05:21 PM

I like the idea of letting the S 'hurl' the stuff in your direction, but rather than let it hit you, dodge out of the way by validating. As said before, you don't agree, you just empathise and try to understand how they are feeling by using the words they've given you (though being mindful of avoiding just repeating them parrot fashion).

Checking one situation though which I'm sure many of us find/found ourselves in:

If S says something and you validate fine ("Sounds like that was really upsetting for you" etc.) and that is all ok, but then they push you to answer a further more direct question, e.g. "So why DID you do [x]?" or "Did you not think about ME when you did [x]?"
What do you say?

Having just typed that, the second example might be ok..."You're saying that I did not consider you when I did [x]."

However the first example - how do you 'deflect' the accusatory tone and empathise without escalating? What if saying something like "I will have to think about that" goes down like a bucket of cold sick, and they respond with "No I want you to answer that RIGHT NOW" ?
Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 10/31/19 04:45 PM

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Originally Posted by AnotherStander


If she wants to have a talk then you let her talk. But don't say anything back to her other than simple validating comments.

Here's an example:

"We need to talk, we need to get this divorce going ASAP, I can't take this anymore."
"You sound frustrated, is that how you feel?"
"Yes I'm very frustrated that you are not helping me with this divorce!"
"I can tell you are frustrated, I am sorry you are struggling with this."
"Good, so you will help me with the divorce?"
"No, I do not want a divorce, but if you wish to pursue that I will not stand in your way."
"How dare you blah blah blah!"
"I know this is difficult for you."


The point is don't argue/ beg/ plead/ negotiate/ reason just remain neutral no matter how emotional she gets.

Posted By: Ready2Change

Re: Validation: Cheat Sheet - 11/08/19 08:45 PM

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Originally Posted by AnotherStander


OK so first understand that validation is a learned skill and is very difficult to master, so don't beat yourself up too much but that wasn't validation. Now I'm not saying your response was wrong or harmful by any means, but I do want to help you to understand the difference. Validation is first seeking out her FEELINGS and then ACKNOWLEDGING them. You are not agreeing/ disagreeing/ arguing/ negotiating/ explaining. You may not agree at all with what she is saying, you are simply acknowledging that they are her feelings and they are valid. Example:

W- I know how hard it is to juggle the kid's schedule. It's been my life.
You- It sounds like that was frustrating for you, is that how you felt? (seeking out her FEELINGS- mad/ angry/ disappointed/ frustrated)
W- I enjoy doing things for the kids but it made me angry that you were never there, that I had to do it on my own. (note her feelings were actually "angry" and not "frustrated" like you suspected, so you adjust your response, see down below)

Now note what 99% of guys will do, right here, go into self-defense mode:

"But I just took them to the movie last week, and I took them to school 2 weeks ago and picked them up the day after that, did you forget all that????" This is a terrible response because what this says is "I don't care about your feelings, they are wrong and I am going to tell you why."

Instead a validating response would be:

"I hear you saying it made you angry that I didn't help more, I can understand why you would feel that way." Again you are not AGREEING with what she is saying, merely supporting her feelings.

When you learn to properly validate guess what happens- 1) you immediately put her at ease, it reduces conflict. 2) she feels like you are actually listening and seeking to understand her. 3) she'll reevaluate what she said. My girlfriend will talk in absolutes- "you NEVER blah blah blah" and when I listen and validate she will back down and say "well that's not true, of course you do that, I am sorry I'm just having a bad day." It is a more useful tool in a happy relationship because your SO wants to find balance instead of fighting. It can be frustrating when dealing with a WAS though because sometimes they see no good in you because they're filtering it out to justify what they are doing. So you have to keep working and working at it.
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