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Invalidation of emotions is a common issue that many of my clients raise during relationship coaching sessions. The constant refrain being, “How do I handle my partner when they dismiss or disregard my emotions?” It’s not only frustrating but can also hurt when your partner fails to recognize and validate your feelings. But don’t despair! There are steps that you can take to tackle this issue and foster a more robust and supportive relationship.

First, it’s important to understand why your partner might be invalidating your emotions. It could be that they have a hard time with emotions in general and don’t know how to respond appropriately. They might also be dealing with their own emotional issues that may go all the way back to how they were raised,or, from a previous emotional experience. These are just a few of the reasons that can make it difficult for them to empathize with others. Whatever the reason, it’s crucial to approach the situation with empathy and a desire for obtaining better understanding.

One strategy is to have an open and honest conversation with your partner. Let them know how you feel and why their invalidation is hurtful. Avoid blaming or accusing language and instead use “I” statements to express your emotions. For example, instead of saying “You always invalidate my feelings,” try saying “I feel hurt and discounted when you dismiss my emotions and feelings as invalid.”

Another approach is to try to understand where your partner is coming from. Ask them why they react the way they do to your emotions. Maybe they feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to respond, or perhaps they feel like they’re being blamed for something that isn’t their fault. Listening to their perspective can help you both find a way to move forward together.

It’s also important to set boundaries and stand up for yourself. If your partner continues to invalidate your emotions despite your efforts to communicate, let them know that it’s not okay. Be clear about your boundaries and what you need from them in terms of emotional support and specifically is ok and ‘out-of-bounds’ when they are responding to you. . If they are unwilling or unable to meet those needs, you may need to reassess whether this relationship is right for you.

Remember, you deserve to have your emotions validated and respected. Don’t settle for less. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist or coach if you need it. And always remember that you are worthy and deserving of love and respect, no matter what.

In addition to these steps, there are some other strategies you can try to help your partner understand and validate your emotions:

  1. Use examples: Sometimes it can be helpful to give specific examples of times when you felt invalidated. This can help your partner see the impact of their actions and words. Let them know what an ideal outcome of a situation would be so they can see what your expectations and desires are in a specific situation.
  2. Practice active listening: Make sure you’re actively listening to your partner when they’re expressing their thoughts and feelings. Make sure you can accurately re-state what they have shared to their complete satisfaction and validationThis can help them feel heard and understood. Seek outside help: If your partner is unwilling or unable to change their behavior, it might be helpful to seek help from a couples therapist,coach, or other professional. A neutral third party can help facilitate productive communication and help you both work through your emotions.
  3. Express gratitude: When your partner does validate your emotions, be sure to express your gratitude and appreciation. This can help reinforce positive behavior and make your partner more likely to continue validating your emotions in the future.
  4. Be patient: Changing behavior takes time, and your partner may need some time to adjust to your new approach. Be patient and persistent, and remember that small steps can lead to big changes over time.

If your partner is invalidating your emotions, it’s important to approach the situation with empathy and understanding. Have  open and honest conversations, set boundaries, and seek outside help if necessary. Remember that you deserve to have your emotions validated and respected, and don’t need to settle for less. With patience, persistence, and the right tools, you can build a healthier, more supportive and connected relationship.

Until next time. Remember, happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.