Invalidating your spouse

It’s everywhere – and sometimes so subtle you don’t even realize it’s happening.

Invalidation is so common in our society that you’ve probably inadvertently done it to others – and to yourself.

“You’re over-reacting.” “That’s totally irrational.” “There’s no reason to be upset.” If you have anxiety, chances are you’ve been hearing these kinds of statements for as long as you’ve struggled with the disorder.

It’s called emotional invalidation, and for most of us, it starts in childhood, with parents and other adults.

These types of responses to children’s emotions are common, and usually not ill-intentioned, but they can be very damaging.

Emotional invalidation doesn’t just happen to children, either.

He feels out what you think your shortcomings are and then exploits them at calculated times when he knows you are vulnerable.

The invalidator may persist in invalidating you until you succumb.

This is all done in such a subtle way that you are unaware of it. They must have power or perish, and it is all one to them if they misuse their power or crush others in their efforts to seize power.

Whether you have a habit of invalidating yourself or others, or if you feel invalidated by the people in your life, keep these things in mind: You may not be able to erase invalidation from your past, but you don’t have to continue to be a victim of it.

Pay attention to the things you tell yourself and try to identify self-invalidation. If someone tells you that what you’re feeling is wrong, remember that is their problem, not yours.

Invalidation can cause you to be ashamed of your emotions, or to believe that what you’re feeling is wrong.

(For children this is particularly confusing.) It can also send the signal that your emotions don’t matter, or that no one cares about what you’re feeling.

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But I don’t think your house is on fire – I think in this instance your anxiety is getting the best of you.

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