“Do you love me?”

“What do you want from me?”

“How do I look in this?”

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

There are questions and opportunities throughout relationships when the proverbial ball is dropped. And there are those times no one says a word to the other and the growth of the relationship begins to fail and falter.

In the larger scope of things, relationships should have a destination in mind. The two and three year boyfriend thing is just that: a thing. If there is not a goal to end the dating relationship and take steps into making it something greater than a “dating thing,” than why waste time?

To step into a marriage relationship, both partners should have a desire to validate their partner at every turn of the day. This has to be accomplished with an open mind and heart. The age old adage of communication as the key to a good relationship ONLY SCRATCHES THE SURFACE.

A woman will ask her man the questions above because she wants to be validated by him and only him. That seals her love and trust for him. Yet, most men blow off the opportunity to re-kindle those fires she has held in her heart for him by not listening to what she has asked and only responds with a nonchalant, “it looks okay.”  She can get that from any Joe on the street. What she needs and desires is the love that one man once said he held for her to come out of his dry mouth.

“The biggest communication problem is we do not truly listen to understand, but only listen to reply.”

There is the illusion about relationships which seem to be at the base of every fuss, tiff and argument: one partner assumes that that other is a mind reader and can magically understand the how’s and why’s behind some of the attitude given when things begin to fall apart. This is a large portion of immaturity, which will not change until both parties start to TALK TO EACH OTHER ABOUT EVERYTHING in order to avoid the anything-is-bothering-me argument.

Validation is defined as the practice of working with another in ways to reduce stress, conflict, and confusion to enhance dignity, respect, and create unbounding areas of happiness. In other words, talk to your partner/spouse/lover/friend.

There are questions and opportunities that are often overlooked or just avoided because one person does not want to hear from the other person, which is ridiculous by any means of viable conclusion. This leads to too many areas of failure opening up.

If the man, who says he loves his wife, does not speak positive and great things into her days, the opportunity from some outside source (such as a co-worker) to sense her vulnerability increases and she may take that minute in their talking to her to listen and accept that validation. And when the outside validation is accepted, the partner’s words become distant and useless—desire to remain begins to fail.

After all of this, I can put it in a nutshell and give it to you because I believe the following recipe can make any relationship greater:

“Don’t just stay with me to be with me

         Stay with me, talk to me, pray with me—that will hold me up.”

Validating someone doesn’t take a great deal to accomplish. It just takes a few words to seal up a leaking heart.


Join the Conversation

Join Odd Man Out, a blog about fathers following the father’s lead, written by Dan Ward, Mathew Panattoni, and Matthew Wimer. We delight in healthy disagreement expressed with fellowship and a desire for growth, and would love for you to join us.

Thank you for joining Odd Man Out!