LIFEadvice: I don't get validation from my spouse

LIFEadvice: I don't get validation from my spouse

By Kimberly Giles, Contributor | Posted - Apr. 2, 2012 at 6:15 a.m.

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I haven’t been happy in my marriage for a while. My spouse does nothing to make me feel loved or appreciated. He does nothing for my self- esteem and I can’t stand feeling this bad about myself any longer. How can I get him to give me the validation I need?


If you are in an emotionally abusive relationship I recommend you get some professional help right away. Emotional abuse includes any form of criticism, intimidation, manipulation or behavior designed to belittle or control you.

If your spouse intentionally makes you feel inferior or makes you feel unsafe, this behavior should not be tolerated. You should seek the help of professionals, and you may want to remove yourself from this situation.

Related has some valuable information on recognizing emotional abuse, and I recommend you read it so you can better assess your situation.

Having said that, if your situation is not about abuse, it may be that you have unrealistic expectations about your spouse’s role in creating happiness in your life.

It is not your spouse’s job to make you happy or fix your self- esteem —it’s yours.

If you are depending on anyone or anything (external) to give you validation and provide feelings of self-worth, you are never going to get there. Though external validation feels good, it cannot replace the need for intrinsic validation that comes from you and your beliefs about yourself.

If you don’t love yourself, no amount of external validation will be enough.

Stop looking to other people for happiness and self-esteem. You will never be happy unless you take full responsibility for your happiness.

When you give responsibility for your happiness to other people, it leaves you powerless and weak. When you take responsibility for your happiness (all on your own) you will feel empowered to create the life you want.

Taking responsibility for your happiness creates feelings of freedom and power, which create self-worth.

Happiness comes from choosing to be happy no matter what treatment you get from other people. (With the exception of abuse of course). You can choose to be happy even in a relationship where you aren’t getting love or appreciation from your spouse. People do this every day.

You don’t have to stay, though.

You could make the choice to leave the relationship and try to find another one. But unless you also make changes to your self iimage, no matter who you chose, they will disappoint you in this same way. If you aren't happy with yourself no one else can fix that.

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You can request change and better treatment from your spouse but you also need to work on changing you.

Happiness is a choice you must make.

Here are some things you can do to take back your power, choose happiness and increase self-esteem on your own:

  • Surround yourself with happy people. Stay away from complainers.
  • Start a gratitude journal and write in it daily.
  • Break out of your rut. Take risks, change habits and start doing new and interesting things.
  • Do something nice for yourself every week.
  • Set some goals.
  • Keep commitments you make to yourself so you can accomplish your goals.
  • Learn something new every week.
  • Plan something fun to look forward to.
  • Choose to trust your value isn’t on the line. You are perfectly who you are meant to be at this point in your journey. You are good enough right now.
  • Choose to trust that your life is just a classroom and every experience a lesson.
  • Don’t stress about things that are out of your control.
  • Set realistic expectations about other people’s behavior. Recognize that all bad behavior is a request for love.
  • Increase your ability to respond to your life. Read self-help books, take classes and learn better ways to handle problems. Work on your relationship skills.
  • Take some pressure off yourself. You don’t have to do everything perfectly.
  • Quit comparing yourself to other people.
  • Speak your truth. Stop holding things in that build resentment.
  • Say no and protect yourself from guilt trip obligations. If you can’t do it with a smile, don’t do it.
  • Choose to be more loving to others.
  • Listen more and talk less.
  • Find ways to show your spouse you unconditionally love him. When you choose to be more loving, it increases feelings of self-worth beacuse you like who you are.

When you take back your power, choose happiness and create good self- worth, your realtionship with your spouse will improve. This happens because when you love who you are, other people tend to love you more, too.

You will also give more love to your spouse because you are no longer as needy and your spouse will be more attracted to this confident new you.

Changing YOU may be the answer.

“The secret of attraction is to love yourself. Attractive people judge neither themselves nor others. They are open to gestures of love. They think about love, and express their love in every action. They know that love is not a mere sentiment, but the ultimate truth at the heart of the universe." -Deepak Chopra

Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of and She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in repairing self esteem. Watch Coach Kim on KSL Today's Morning Show.

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