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Validate Me Please, Are we seeking validation in a dangerous way?

Updated on August 9, 2012

Lord, help us!

What do you think?

The context was, I was in the class, Womanist Theology in Pastoral Care and our Professor posed a question to us, “Why do women stay with men or in relationships that put themselves in danger?” These were my initial thoughts that I submitted to her.

The question was posed, why does a woman stay with a man, when the relationship puts herself and her life in danger?

One possibility I explored is validation. Validation is a very powerful tool in pastoral care, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, musicology, etc. Validation has synonyms such as, authenticate, verify, prove. It is defined as on as, 1“. to make valid; substantiate; confirm: Time validated our suspicions.

2. to give legal force to; legalize. 3. to give official sanction, confirmation, or approval to, as elected officials, election procedures, documents, etc.: to validate a passport.”

Validation is a tool many of us used as children to find our friends those we found kinship with. Our friends validated our concerns in the world. They made them authentic or real. When our parents didn’t seem to understand, our friends did. And on some level they understand a part of us as children that our parents just didn’t seem to get. In your story of your father giving you the name his lucky black cat, he flipped an age old superstition as well as validated your greatness, as did the women in the juke joint. They authenticated you were going to be someone you were lucky as your father instilled in you initially. (positive reinforcement)

In terms of mates, recent studies have shown that we are most attracted to individuals that we have things in common with, no necessarily opposites attract. Therefore, to answer the question, maybe when this young woman comes across this deadly young man or vice versa, they may be on paper opposites, but in the long run, they are more similar than you think. Although he maybe or she maybe killing their partner mentally, physically, emotional, just on every subconscious social humanist level, yet she/he is so drawn to this person.

I would say there is something inside of this woman/man that is being validated by this man or woman, and also for the deadly partner something that their victim/lover is also validating. Perception is one thing, but perception only becomes truth if the person that is being perceived believes or buys into the assumption. If I think I am wonderful, but my first grade classmate points out my inadequacies and the inadequacies are my own worse fears about myself and I feel he has validated my fears.

I have bought into his claim and now the perception is my reality be it true or not. If I happen upon a man who seems to reveal this part of me that I think is hidden on some level, and then he is great, he is smarter than the rest, because he has seen me for who I perceive myself to be. That’s the tricky thing of validation it is a double edged sword it can cause a person to be affirmed and liberated but it can also be a tool of the deceiver to totally debilitate or render their target in a helpless state of purposed self-reality.

This is an interesting quote I found as I searched for definitions of Validation. "Love's way of dealing with us is different from conscience's way. Conscience commands; love inspires. What we do out of love, we do because we want to do it. Love is, indeed, one kind of desire; but it is a kind that takes us out of ourselves and carries us beyond ourselves, in contrast to the kind that is self-seeking —a kind that includes the desire for the "extinguishedness" of Nirvana. Love is freedom; conscience is constraint; yet, in two points, our relation to love is the same as our relation to conscience. We are free to reject love's appeal, as we are free to reject conscience's command; yet love, like conscience, cannot be rebuffed with impunity. Rebuffed, love will continue to importune us; and this for the reason for which a violated conscience does. Love's authority, like consciences, is absolute. Like conscience, too, love needs no authentication or validation by any authority outside itself. Speculations about love's credentials, or lack of credentials, cannot either enhance or diminish love's absoluteness."

-A.J. Toynbee

Sound off why do women stay in these abusive relationships killing not only their spirit, but their safety, and security?

What some women have said in response to the song, Love is Blind.............

  1. U ain't the only one...I am feeling the same way u felt.....i was too scared to say i was done....but now me and him been broke up for two year now...-mstamekia790
  2. I have not heard this song in forever. When I heard it it made me think of a friend of mine was in an abusive relationship and she didn't get out before it was too late, and I miss her so much! Rest In Peace my friend! I miss you everyday!-PinkAngel85

  3. Had a friend in this similar situation, thank God she left before she really got hurt. My heart goes out to all the ladies to have gone through this or are going through it right now. Don't ever let a man put his hands on you ! Get help before it's to late :/-Abby Cruz

  4. listen i been here men will find your weakness and prey on it i promise if you are in a relationship like this it is NOT LOVE he just wants to controll you get out NOW dnt stay cause it will only get worse i promise i love yall and i feel yalls pain cause i been there -brittanybritt23 (not me another Brittany)

  5. this song gives me goose bumps my bestfriend tammy passed away april 2nd 2011, the father of her babies did her soooo dirty n i hate him for that n this song sooo describes this situation... r.i.p tammy i love u baby girl "dueces" as she would say- MrWaxworldwide


Love is blind, here's some glasses, if this is you there is help available

You don't have to put up with it, you're beautiful inside/out

Song about Domestic Violence

What do you think?

We all need validation?

See results

If you were in this situation, what made you stay or if you know someone weigh in?

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    • brittvan22 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thanks for you input ladies. I had a cousin die by the hands of her sons father right before her children's eyes he blew her brains out. It was sad and very unfortunate. This occured before I was born, but my mother was very close with her first cousin and it was something our family warns the young women of. I have a friend personally in this very situation, I try to encourage her to leave, because it is physically and emotionally unhealthy, but all I can do is be there for her and hope she sees the light and is able to retain her life. So many woman do not make it to tell their stories, they die.

    • Chatkath profile image


      6 years ago from California

      Great hub brittvan, and this topic has always been of interest to me, perhaps my own reflection: Why did I choose some of the partners that I have in life but the minute I think I have it all figured out...along comes a contradiction! A complex issue indeed.

      I think the need for validation from a mate generally speaks volumes about how an individual feels about themselves, the key is education and instilling confidence in young people so they are more likely to grow up with the ability to recognize a healthy union before the I dos' and the children...As Denise said so well: "Love doesn't hurt. If it hurts, it isn't love".

      Up and awesome!

    • LisaMarie724 profile image

      Lisa Stover 

      6 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      I love that you brought up perception. Perception is the truth for us. No matter what is true about us to others, whatever we 'perceive' to be true about ourselves is always the truth for us. For example if deep down a women believes that she is not worthy of a loving relationship than she will always end up in bad relationships. Subconsciously she is always looking for this perception of herself to be proven true. Even if others feel she is this great women and shes educated and all these wonderful does not matter. That is why it is imperative that a women who has been through an abusive relationship to get therapy, if she doesn't change her beliefs about herself she will never have a healthy relationship.

    • michememe profile image

      Miche Wro 

      6 years ago

      Great hub, women stay for many reasons. Not only to be validated, but for their children, income, contentment. I grew up in a home of domestic violence, my mother stayed to ensure we had our dad. After, enough fights, she packed up one night got us out of bad, and never looked back. That was the bravest thing she had ever done, and I still give her high regards for this. Great Hub.

    • profile image

      Ginger Ruffles 

      6 years ago

      Leaving is the most dangerous time for any abused spouse and I believe most know it and that's the bottom line for many.

      This is a thought provoking hub...never looked at it in those terms before. Thank you for bringing this up.

    • ytsenoh profile image


      6 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Good hub. I think fear is also a magnet that keeps women in abusive relationships.

    • samanthanitz profile image


      6 years ago from Sussex, UK-Spring hill, Florida

      Very real and interesting hub. It's trues it's hard to walk away, i've been there ileft with $100 in my pocket a 6 month old baby and drove from Houston to Tampa. The best decision i ever made!

    • brittvan22 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      @qual thanks for your input, look forward to your hubs. @ the ladies I really commend and appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. You have definitely touched me and will touch everyone that reads this blog. Can't say thanks for your bravery.

    • ShalahChayilJOY profile image

      Shalah Chayil 

      6 years ago from Billings, Montana

      Very interesting hub. Sometimes are we not our own abusers? If we have learned to 'take it' and be strong, do we not ask for it? [Not saying that is is our fault, just a possible learned role.]

      LikaMarie--wow, you told on me! I finally got through to my mother, but not my sister, yet. My son had to really get in my face about treating him like a baby. I am so thankful he did. LOVE that now grown man.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It took me a LONG time... My mother is my abuser. For the longest time, even as a young adult, she'd scold me like a small child, and I'd try so hard to be "good enough". My younger sister was her "perfect daughter" and could never do any wrong...

      When I finally realized that I am my own person, and that it's not okay for even my own mother to own me like that, I felt liberated enough to actually make huge strides forward. There are still times that my mother will try to cluck disapprovingly, but, it bears nothing on my decisions or behavior.

      Of course it would be nice if she approved, as even if she is my abuser, she is still my mother. But it's just not necessary any more.

      Funny thing is, because I work part time as a home care aide, and financially poor, I am happy with my new husband and 12 year old son, who is a smart and happy child. My sister is a successful doctor who knows high risk health concerns. Yet has never been married, has no children, and gets stressed about the fact that our mom can't help her clean her house (she's out of state). While I consider myself more successful as a person, I'm still looked at as being the "not as smart" one who needs all sorts of unsolicited advice that I don't even think fits my situation.

      But, that's on them... Maybe it makes them feel better.

    • qlcoach profile image

      Gary Eby 

      6 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

      Validation is important, but maybe we need to validate ourselves first. It's not okay to let others hurt us or engage in any form of self-harm. The pathway to freedom I believe is learning about emotional recovery. Sending your purple Light today....Gary.

    • brittvan22 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      @ Michelle, that's the sad truth, some women hope against hope (hope is not a bad thing)but hope or a dream deferred makes the heart grow sick. Hard as it is, when you embrace the reality, you can face it, and move forward. Very complex issue.

    • brittvan22 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      @Ang, I would agree, but the sad truth is that no one change themselves until they decide to do so, wishing doesn't make it true. Thanks for your input!

    • anglnwu profile image


      6 years ago

      I think sometimes, women continue to tolerate abuse, thinking that they can turn their men around. Thanks for sharing.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      brittvan22 I am so sorry this happened. This is an interesting and very real hub. Some get out, then go back in. Some get out forever, and some never leave. Each person is different. But, a lot of them just do not know what to do. That is the hardest part.

    • brittvan22 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      @Ms. Dora,its unfortunate, each case is situational unique.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      It is still a mystery how a woman can be can confused to accept abuse as validation. Serious problem. Thanks for initiating a look at this topic; there must be answers which hopefully we will find.

    • brittvan22 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      @Denise, I understand and agree I think my daughter's dad is a textbook sociopath. I mean that in the most sincere way. Either that or he is a hired actor that put on an Oscar worthy performance. Thanks for your input. You definitely drove it home, this subject is hard to discuss and talk about, but I'm glad you ladies engaged me. Thanks!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Britt-exotic's comment makes the greater point that DV can happen to 'anyone'. It isn't just a particular socioeconomic group or culture that this occurs in. Intelligent women can get themselves into a relationship with a sociopath and not realize it until it is too late and they've 'invested' themselves in the relationship, or perhaps have children with that person. DV is not just physical, although most people associate it with the physical. It's the hidden, emotional and psychological part that can be just as damaging.

    • brittvan22 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      @ Exotic, wow thanks for having the courage to share your story. Your input was well-received.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Such a complex issue............validation is an important part of the abuse cycle on a level that I feel is very subconscious, but it's in there....somewhere. There are so many reasons and each situation is always a bit different?

      I was in an abusive relationship a few years ago, and I'm no kid. I was shocked that I stayed for awhile before I was able to make the cut. It forced me to examine all my motives for staying as long as I did.

    • brittvan22 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      @ Denise, I agree one hundred percent, the cases vary with each particular woman, as a chaplain, it was heart-breaking to see not just the physical, but to heart the psychological damage. @ Lady M, Most definitely, some of the strongest professionals I know still face victim to this. DV is not a respecter of anyone and it hurts not just the woman, but the family. I just hope brining awareness sets someone free, to see a woman realize she does not have to be beat or deserve, it one of the greatest feelings. Thanks Ladies Great Feedback!

    • LadyMacabre profile image


      6 years ago from New York

      This is actually a very interesting article. There is also the interesting thought of a woman's strength and her own self-confidence that comes into play.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Britt-interesting topic relating validation to domestic violence. D.V. is a multilayered problem with no simple explanation and no easy resolution, because it is multilayered.

      A DV spouse or partner is not new to this type of 'relating' and long before they have met the 'man of their dreams' they have been abused (the majority) in other relationships from home: either dad, mom, or someone else. That is the beginning of the low self-esteem.

      That is also the beginning of 'normalcy'. They are not thinking that they deserve it, but there becomes a distortion of thinking ... of their belief system and a kind of slow, insidious sleep that dulls their sensibility. In the dulling of this the perpetrator has more control. He uses words, threats, putdowns, etc to brainwash the woman into believing that she is no good and even if she left, no one would want her.

      Validation is important for all human beings. We need to be 'seen' and recognized and not made to feel we are worthless or invisible. When we build that inner strength and belief and we know that we are love, loving, and loved as spiritual beings, then perhaps the ugliness of the perpetrators violence will not have its effect. Unfortunaltely, most DV victims do not have the knowledge or awareness of the inner strength, beauty or confidence and thus, continue to stay hoping that things will get better, or believing that this is what love is.

      Love doesn't hurt. If it hurts, it isn't love.

    • brittvan22 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Some times it can be a cultural thing too. In a patriarchial society, women are not equal, but viewed as properity or unequal to their husband and endure a great amount of violence. In America some women stay for the children, I have heard and spoke with battered women that stay for their children. Apparently, any dad no matter how horrible he is, is better than no dad at all. It is a situational thing for most. Most victims can not conceive survival and through counseling, therapy,etc., they are finally able to see themselves as survivors.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      Violence against women is widespread in my country. It is wonder why women tolerate violence.

      Your analysis is really interesting.

    • brittvan22 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Exactly unknown spy, she could be anybody. @ Marie, I agree with you whole-heartedly, it a sad, but true reality.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Well, I think that when we have been abused, we tend to need more validation. Those of us lucky enough NOT to have been abused, and have had families who raised us properly, we had been validated as children. We grow up and we continually validate ourselves.

      Often times, as an abuse victim, we may not believe we can have someone good for us. We may not actually be conscious about it. This puts us in a dangerous spot, because the abuse is still normal. So, either by seeking abusive people or having the personality type to be preyed upon by abusers.

      This is where the catch 22 begins. The more abuse that happens, the more you need the validation that you are worthy of love. Abusers will try to make it up, and the "honeymoon" will make it temporarily worthwhile, until the next beating happens... It's a cycle.

      In reality, the victim needs validation that they are worthwhile for a happy and loving relationship. Once healthy relationships are established, the need for validation will disappear.

    • unknown spy profile image

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Oh my gosh Britt.. that heart goes out to this woman. think of it, she could be someone's mother, daughter or sister.


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