LESBIAN COUPLES QUICKIES: VALIDATION, NOT EDUCATION
Couples Quickies #1
When your girl expresses a concern, need or frustration in her life (not about you), do not mistake this as her request for you to fix the situation, or fix her. If you are someone who often responds by telling her what you think, and what she should do, this quickie is especially for you.
In general, when we are hurting and we go to our spouse / partner with a painful situation, we are not asking for solutions, we are asking for support. We want to feel less alone with our pain. Often, we just want reassurance that we are okay.
Here’s a roadmap for those of you who are unsure how this might sound:
Let her talk. Don’t interrupt. Keep your questions to a minimum.
1. Let her know you’ve heard her.
2. Validate her feelings.
Let her know that when you look at the situation the way she’s looking at it (not the way you are), her feelings make sense (even if you disagree).
3. Reassure her.
“I see this situation a little differently than you do, but what matters to me the most is how I can be here for you, and make you feel supported.”
4. Inquire if she wants your perspective.
“Would you like to know my thoughts about this, or is it best for me to just listen?”
5. Share with her consent.
IF she says she wants your perspective, THEN, and only THEN, share your perspective.
“How I see this situation is … “
Focus more on understanding, less on being “right.” Remember, she has come to you to feel better, not worse.