Wanting validation from our spouse is pretty normal. We want to feel loved, desired, and validated by the person we love most.
Why do we want that? Why do we want anything? We want something because of how we think it will make us feel when we get it. But feeling validated, worthy, and loved is available to you all the time without them ever having to say a word.
When we understand who we are and our unchanging worth, needing outside validation is no longer something we need or crave.
I think wanting validation from our spouse is pretty normal. We want to feel loved, desired, and validated by the person we love most.
Why do we want that? Why do we want anything? We want something because of how we think it will make us feel when we get it. That is the entire reason why we want anything in this life…. because of how it will make us feel when we get it, or to avoid feeling something if we don’t.
We think “If my spouse validates me in this way, then that will make me feel happy, accepted, wanted, and desired.”
And if he doesn’t say those things then I will feel…rejected, lonely, unattractive, undesired.
But notice how all of those are just thoughts, AND those thoughts are available to us NOW without our spouse saying them.
Do you know that you can think thoughts that your spouse loves you and finds you attractive even if they don’t say it? And I hope you realize that you can choose to think thoughts of rejection and being unlovable EVEN if your spouse validates you. You can choose how you want to think in ANY situation! So why are you choosing to think bad thoughts about yourself?
I know that your brain offers you thoughts all the time that are unkind toward yourself. It’s normal. But when your brain offers you those thoughts, I want you to just notice them and then purposely choose to think different thoughts. It’s definitely not easy, especially at first. Just like anything else it takes practice.
My entire life, up until the last couple of years, I have sought validation. Almost everything I have done or achieved in my life has been (at least in part) for the purpose of hoping to receive compliments and validation from others so that I could feel like I mattered. That I was enough. And while it always felt good in the moment, then it became this need to keep chasing something bigger and better so that people could see that I was worthy. It was exhausting.
I wanted validation from my parents, teachers, classmates, friends – anyone who would give it to me. And as I’ve reflected on this (and especially as I look at needing validation from my spouse) when I was constantly seeking validation I was coming off as being needy – which is NEVER attractive. So I was actually accomplishing the opposite of what I was trying to achieve.
But in the last couple of years, as I have really worked on myself, I began taking ownership of the good and the bad, and really truly understanding that my worth is NEVER conditional and there is nothing I can do to increase or decrease my worth, my need for outside validation has pretty much gone away. I’ve learned to value myself, and when I do that I don’t need anyone else to validate me.
My cute husband has many amazing qualities. He think that he can think thoughts and I will just know what he’s thinking. Unfortunately, telepathy isn’t actually a thing. So while he thinks these loving and amazing thoughts about me, actually saying them out loud rarely happens. It’s something he recognizes about himself and is working on, but giving compliments and validating me is definitely not his strong suit.
As someone who thrived off of validation, NOT having that from him was extremely difficult for me for a very long time. I wanted and thought that I NEEDED that validation from him in order to feel loved. I was wrong.
I didn’t really need validation from him. I needed it from myself. I needed it to come from within. I needed to understand my own worth.
Now, it’s totally nice hearing it from him, when he opens up and shares. But I no longer need it. But I give that validation to myself when I feel I need it. Wow Amanda, you look really pretty today. You look great in that dress. I love that color on you.
Sometimes, when I am struggling with something and I know that some validation would help me and go a long way, I actually give myself a pat on the back and tell myself good job. I do this a lot with housework. Especially when I am feeling unappreciated by my family.
Wow Amanda, that was an excellent dinner you cooked tonight. Thank you so much for making dinner. You did a fantastic job.
Thank you for doing the dishes tonight, it’s so nice to have a clean kitchen.
Good job not yelling at the kids today Amanda. You’re getting better and better at not losing your temper.
I validate myself, because really, that is all that matters. Now, if others do it, it’s just icing on the cake.
While I was on vacation last week I read the book Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. It was a really quick easy read and I felt her journey mirrored my own. I wanted to share a few quotes from the book with you that really spoke to me and I think are relevant to what we are discussing here today.
She said –
“I’ve always trusted things outside myself, believing that my own voice couldn’t be trusted, that my own preferences and desires would lead me astray, that it was far wiser and safer to listen to other people—other voices, the voices of the crowd. I believed it was better to measure my life by metrics out there, instead of values deeply held in my own soul and spirit.”
Do you trust “the crowd” more than you trust yourself? Do you trust your spouse more than you trust yourself?
“What you need along the way: a sense of God’s deep, unconditional love, and a strong sense of your own purpose. Without those two, you’ll need from people what is only God’s to give.”
Do you know who you truly are? Do you understand that you are a daughter of God with a divine heritage? Do you understand that there is NOTHING you can do or not do that can change that?
When we understand who we are and our unchanging worth, needing outside validation is no longer something we need or crave. The Spirit will validate you when you are doing the things that you should be doing. You can validate yourself because you know who you are and that never changes.
Now, if you are still struggling with your self-confidence, I suggest you listen to Episode 2 if you haven’t yet and just keep working on it. Your relationship with yourself, how you feel about yourself, comes from your thoughts. So whatever thoughts you are telling yourself about YOU is what you are going to believe. Be purposeful in your thinking. Your brain will continue to offer you thoughts that won’t be helpful and you can just notice them, and think different thoughts. It takes practice.
If you want some more help on this, sign up for a FREE mini-coaching session. I’d love to help you see how amazing you truly are!