Jayson Gaddis finds a simple solution for men to validate a woman’s emotions.
I struggled with this one for years, and years and years.
Me: “I understand you.”
Wife: “No you don’t.”
Me: “Yes, I do, I heard everything you said and I get it.”
Wife: “Your’e not listening.”
Me: “Yes I am.”
Wife: “Well, I still don’t feel understood.”
Rrrrrr. (sound of brakes)
Now I have a choice.
- Continue to get defensive and blame her as “too emotional, too much, too whatever.”…
- Stop doing my old way and learn a new way because my way isn’t working
If I really want my connection to go well with her, choice 2 is the obvious choice. I did number 1 for years and years and it created more pain and less connection, every time.So, I decided to figure it out and find a new way, and once I figured it out, and learned to do it well, something in her would unlock.
She opened. She softened. She became more available. And guess who “taught” me how to do this?
She did…My wife.
It was only through my direct experience with her, and really listening to her, that I finally got it. Okay, so what did I learn? What’s the big secret?
Most men suck at validating a woman’s feelings. I sure did. And, I still do sometimes. I’d rather problem solve.
Learning how to validate her experience has ben the key to softening my wife’s heart and getting us more connected. In fact, it’s a critical component to getting the fight over, fast.
So, if you are a man and want to avoid more fighting and would rather get connected a whole lot sooner, while saving time, here’s a simple starter video that gives a good picture of what you’re screwing up, and what to do instead.
Yes this applies to both genders, but most normal guys would rather fix it, problem solve, or figure it out for her.
As a marriage coach, this is one of the most common relationship challenges I see.
Both parties struggle to truly listen to each other, understand each other, and then validate the other person’s experience.
There’s a whole bunch of reasons why most of us struggle with this one, but most of us never got any real training in the art of listening and understanding someone.
By the way, just because I validate my wife’s experience, doesn’t mean it’s right.She can be way off, and it doesn’t matter. The point isn’t about being “right,” it’s about understanding what it’s like to be her. Once you do this, your woman will relax and stop feeling so upset. She will feel seen and understood, like their perspective matters.When my wife and I both agree that I understand her, we can move to understanding me. It’s my turn. I want to be heard and validated in my experience too. In my marriage, we both go for win, win, or no deal (one of the 10 agreements of an indestructible marriage).
Take notes on this video, write down each “skill” and practice with your partner. See how it goes and report back.
Originally appeared at JaysonGaddis.com
Photo credit: Billie Ward/flickr