I think I'll have to come over and read your thread and catch up so we don't hijack here.
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.
"There are only 2 ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
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.
M:33 W:30 T:10 M:2 B/D: 5/27/14 S: 5/28/14 Wife moved back in 7/18/14
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"
Me 42 W:35 M: 14yrs T:15yrs D: 8yrs D:6yrs S:3yrs BD: "I want a D"09/03/14 Sep: 30/06/14
Don't give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
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!
M: 57 H: 60 M: 35 yrs S30,D28,D19 H off to Alaska 2006 Recon 7/07- 8/08 *2016* X = "ALASKA 2.0" GROUND HOG DAY I File D 10/16 OW DIV 2/26/2018 X marries OW 5/2016
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.
Me-35 Com law-28 S-3 T-6 yrs w/14 mnth bu 1st bu- 2/2012 Rec-4/2013 2nd bu-10/2013 IC-2 yrs(anger issues) MC- 5 mnths-fail OM~1/1/14 OM dumped 6/4/14 New OM ~10/4/14
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?"
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?
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.