There are less people getting married today than there were just ten years ago. Recent statistics show that 1 in every 2 marriages end in divorce. Why is that? It could be any number of reasons from cheating spouses to irreconcilable differences. But, the number one reason lies within the home. It is how spouses treat one another.
The definition of validation is to make valid; to give official sanction confirmation or approval to. Synonyms for validation are: Acceptance, affirmation, approval, authenticating, recognition, etc. Most people do not validate each other. We go about our daily lives taking each other for granted without stopping to appreciate our spouses.
This is where some will argue that they don’t need to be validated. “Proof of a job well done is good enough” people will say. If that were true, then why do we always try to impress our bosses to show them just how well of a job we can do? Or, to outdo our friends when it comes to impressing them with possessions? We want to be validated. We want to feel important to someone.
A person goes home to their spouse and 2 different scenarios can transpire – He or she could go home to a spouse that makes them feel very important, the king or queen of the castle, if you will. Or, that person could go home to their spouse who sees him or her as a nuisance, as an intruder, or as a scapegoat, or even as someone to beat to the ground when things don’t go their way.
You know the kind of person I am talking about. It could be one of your friends who thinks her husband doesn’t do anything right. He doesn’t make love in a way that sends fireworks to her head, he doesn’t discipline the children so she’s always the bad guy, or he doesn’t do the chores correctly and she always has to redo them. The poor guy can’t do anything to please his wife. Is this his fault or is it the wife’s fault? Certainly isn’t his fault. He could be perfect in every way, but she would still find fault because she doesn’t understand that making her husband feel important isn’t just a boost to his ego, but vital to their marriage.
How about we look at it from a different angle. Let’s say that a woman is the one that doesn’t feel important in the marriage. Let’s envision that she makes a big impressive meal and clean the house after working a typical 8-hour shift, but her husband doesn’t notice or doesn’t think he should thank her for her efforts. There could be any number of reasons why this happens. But for argument sake, let’s just say that it’s because he just doesn’t think it’s that hard to keep a house clean and to plan and prepare a healthy meal for the family. More often than not, when you are young and newly married, you just don’t think of those kinds of things, because it’s hard enough to think about yourself, let alone another human being. So, she does all this hard work and gets no feedback from her husband. Later on that night, while they are lying in bed, he makes advances towards her, but is met with resistance and has no idea why she won’t reciprocate.
When we don’t validate our spouses they look for that need elsewhere. He will look for it in the work place, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing, unless he neglects his family; or he will look for it in a specific way with another person so he can be made to feel important, as in a sexual rendezvous or just an emotional pursuit.
Either one of those, a sexual encounter or an emotional relationship, can be quite devastating to the marriage and more often than not, because that kind of betrayal is hard to get past, a divorce is the only way out. However, a divorce doesn’t stop the cycle of the offending partner ignoring the other partner’s needs.
Not being validated, along with not having mutual respect can be damaging to the relationship. Marriages are built on trust, respect, communication, and love. That list is in no particular order, however each one is just as important as the other to the marriage. Without just one of those key proponents, you don’t have a lasting relationship.
If you can’t trust your spouse, your lifelong partner, the person who stood with you among your family and friends and vowed to spend the rest of your life with, the person who sees you at your most vulnerable, then whom can you trust? Nobody.
Respect has to be mutual. If you want it, you have to give it. It truly is that simple.
Talking to your spouse is vital to your relationship. You must take time out of your busy schedule to talk to your spouse every single day. If you don’t have time to talk, how are you going to make important decisions concerning your life together? When something major happens, communicating with each other will be the only thing that gets you through it. Contrary to some beliefs, yelling is not communicating.
What we are discussing, I have unfortunately seen in my own marriage. There are no perfect marriages. My husband and I have been married for twenty-five years. Within those years, we’ve survived affairs, deaths, a premature birth, serious illnesses, interfering in laws; you name it, we’ve done it. The only way we could get through all that is with lots of communication. Communicating with my husband brought back the trust and respect that we lost in our time of need. My husband wasn’t validating me and I certainly wasn’t validating him, that’s how we grew apart. We had to find that need elsewhere with other people.
So you see, validating one’s spouse is very important, just as important as trust and communication. Next time your loved one goes above and beyond the call of duty or just does something nice for you, no matter what it is – thank them.