Validating your partner’s feelings can be very helpful to the relationship. Learning how to acknowledge the other person’s feelings can diffuse a lot of arguments and help the other person feel heard. It can show that you have empathy for his/her feelings even when you disagree on something.
Simply stating that you recognize your partner’s anger or frustration can help him to feel validated. For example, stating “I know you are angry I did not call when I was going to be late because you were waiting for me” can help your partner to know you do care. Don’t try to go into lengthy explanations of how you always try to be home on time every other night or how you feel justified in being late one night a week. Instead, provide a short and simple explanation and then validate your partner’s feelings about the situation.
Continuing to argue about your differences is not likely to be productive if you and your partner adamantly disagree on something. Instead, talking about how you each feel about the disagreement can help you each to feel heard. Try to acknowledge your partner’s feelings instead of trying to continuously explain yourself. This will require you to pay attention to your spouse’s tone of voice and body language in addition to what she is actually saying.
Empathizing with someone else requires the ability to recognize someone else’s emotions and state of mind. It can take practice if you aren’t familiar with trying to do so. Try accepting your own feelings as well as your partner’s. Feelings are not right or wrong. It is okay to feel angry, frustrated, or upset just like it is okay to feel happy and sad. What matters is how we behave based on our feelings. Someone’s behaviors may be appropriate or inappropriate based on how the person feels.