Your Spouse Shouldn’t Have To Beg For Your Validation
by Ed & Sharita Gray
The phrase “validation without solicitation” is just an alternative way of describing the “confirmation of your affirmation”. The meaning behind all of those big fancy words is simple: for you to express by way of word AND action (without being prompted to do so by your spouse)….that your spouse is of significant value to you. Both of the words “validation” and “affirmation” point to the word “confirmation”. Confirmation is best described as proving a truth by acknowledging it with absolute certainty. So, when you say to your spouse, “I love you!” and he/she quips back with, “…well then prove it!” This is what they actually mean….confirm your love for me. No one wants to merely hear that they are appreciated, or only be told that they are loved or doing a great job. Your VERBALIZATION has to be followed up with VALIDATION.
This is not just true of marriages or relationship, it’s even true on your job. If you were assigned a project on your job and you worked night and day, and put your all into making the project a success, then naturally you would expect for your employer to acknowledge the fact that you had done a really good job. Or maybe you’ve worked for a particular company for many years and you’ve been a tremendous employee, then naturally you too would expect for your employer to acknowledge the many years served and the job well done. But wouldn’t it be at least a tad bit insulting, or make you feel the least bit unappreciated or devalued, if the only thing that your employer did was “tell” you that you did a good job on the project or that the company appreciated your many years served. It would be totally natural and normal to experience these feelings because something is missing. But what is it that’s missing? In a word…VALIDATION! NO, “acknowledgement” is not a suitable substitute for validation. Acknowledgement should only serve as the precursor to validation. Validation demands that an action takes place.
So, as it relates to your place of employment, job well done on the project, or many years served, validation would demand a tangible gift. A tangible gift could possibly be a raise, or an extra day added to your vacation time, or a company paid lunch at a local restaurant, etc. But if they only “told” you how good of a job you did or how much they appreciated your many years of service, then it wouldn’t take long before their “words” became just that-only words! You would soon begin to ponder the same phrase that Janet Jackson coined in one of her hit songs, “What have you done for me lately?”
So, if we understand this analogy as it pertains to our job….why is it so hard to understand it as it relates to our marriages and relationships? Merely telling your spouse or significant other that you love them or care about them will only carry you so far. After that you may actually hear Janet Jackson in your spouse when he/she poses the question, “what have you done for me lately?” So, before your spouse prompts you with this question, ask yourself-”What have I ‘DONE’ for him/her lately?!” If your answer is “Nothing” or “Very little,” then NOW is the best time to change that.
Lastly and finally, remember this one important detail: Your spouse wants to be validated without soliciting you. This simply means that your spouse does not want to have to tell you that you need to do something nice or tangible for them. Nor do they want to have to toot their own horn in an effort to hint to you that they need to be acknowledged and validated. You yourself would feel much more valuable and appreciated if your employer came to you and after acknowledging the job well done or years served; followed that up with a tangible gift. Why? Because there is something FULL-filling about not having to beg for appreciation. So, let’s stop leaving our spouse empty and dry in this area as well. Your spouse deserves the same treatment that you desire. Now, leave this computer, phone or tablet and GO VALIDATE!
Ed and Sharita Gray are a dynamic, married duo committed to helping tip the scales in favor of whole and healthy marriages. Check them out over at their blog www.edandsharita.com.