Listen to the audio version of this article here. A dozen years of being unable to see the forest for the trees. EVERY one of those fights mattered. EVERY one of those fights was the result of a conversation where one or both of us made a thoughtless, selfish, emotionally impulsive and undisciplined choice.
Only masochists who hate themselves would create and execute an action plan Invalidating parents without partners sabotage every conversation they have to provoke an emotionally unpleasant fight for one or both relationship partners—especially knowing the end of that story was a messy divorce and broken home.
Most of us just a little bit broken and a lot bit uninformed about the healthy and unhealthy behaviors that make marriage and dating relationships thrive vs. Not a Real Man. Having my Man Card was important to me. The thinking seems to be: If you have your Man Card, the guys will accept me and the ladies will want me. To be sure, there ARE people who demonstrate a high level of stoicism and emotional consistency.
In real life, almost nothing influences human behavior as much as our emotions do. Just ask every successful marketing pro in world history. It was my routine invalidation Invalidating parents without partners the things she might have been thinking or feelings that ultimately CAUSED the fight or relationship-damaging moment.
One of the thousands of paper cuts that would eventually cause our marriage to bleed to death. We accidentally destroy our relationships. For real, this time. I was reading through various psychology articles on invalidating others as a tactic for winning an argument, or as a means of trying to convince someone or ourselves that something is better or worse than what it is.
In doing so, I found eight common invalidation techniques people use in all kinds of conversations with Invalidating parents without partners they talk to—not just their partners. Sometimes my wife would tell me a story about one of her friends or something that happened at work. Sometimes, when she told me the story, I would find myself disagreeing with her assessment, and defending her friend, or otherwise taking a different viewpoint than she did.
Being real and stuff.
But what I was doing was confusing Validation with Agreement. Sometimes people feel sad or angry. Maybe for unselfish reasons, but probably for selfish ones too. Everything is going to be fine. When you tell someone who is sad or otherwise upset involuntarily to NOT be that way, what they hear is even from really nice, unselfish people: Dishes by the Invalidating parents without partners, yo.
Because how I experience the world should be indisputable, absolute truth and the unquestioned law of all human behavior, right? You should only do that if you love getting divorced.
Not acknowledging how difficult something might be for you to do is hoovering. We wear masks for all kinds of reasons in our relationships and in our interactions with others. We want to be liked. Sometimes people think that being in the same room, or the same house, is the same as being WITH someone. I thought Invalidating parents without partners was fine. Feeling present with each other, and the emotional connections that thrive from shared experiences was something she wanted.