October 12, 2022

Love Recon marriage retreat for couples hero

What I Needed Growing Up and Now – Validation and A Relationship Exercise

Only the pain we feel and acknowledge can heal. Our heart only needs our own permission to heal.

~ Angie Craft, LoveRecon

Because none of us had perfect parents, there were certain needs that may not have been met by your parents as you were growing up. Your parents may have been model parents in the way that they raised you, and yet there may have been needs that weren’t met, such as a need for “space” to fail and grow or to have autonomy. On the other hand, your parents may have been guilty of neglect or abuse – even abandonment – when you were growing up. Circumstances or the lack of the ability or desire to meet your needs by your parents may have left a void in your life. Your mate can play a powerful role in the healing of your emotions by hearing and validating your feelings.

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The wife will be “A” and will go first in sharing about any damage that was passed down and then what she needed from her father and hermarriage retreat for couples dad and daughter mother. She will answer all the questions. Then switch roles and the husband will share through all the questions.

A: Tell your mate what damage has been passed down from your parents and how your life would be different if you could heal from it.

B: Repeat back what you heard.

A: Tell your mate what you needed from your father that you didn’t get.

B: Repeat back what you heard and validate your mate’s feelings. (“What I heard you say…” and “That must have been so hard.” or “I’m so sorry that happened,” etc. If the sharing was positive, then, “I’m so glad that was your experience growing up,”, etc.)

A: My relationship with my father affects our relationship by…

A: Tell your mate what you needed from your mother that you didn’t get.

B: Repeat back what you heard and validate your mate’s feelings. (“What I heard you say…” and “That must have been so hard.” or “I’m so sorry that happened”, etc. If the sharing was positive, then, “I’m so glad that was your experience growing up”, etc.)

A: My relationship with my mother affects our relationship by…

Now it is B’s turn.

B: Tell your mate what damage has been passed down from your parents and how your life would be different if you could heal from it.

A: Repeat back what you heard.

B: Tell your mate what you needed from your father that you didn’t get.

A: Repeat back what you heard and validate your mate’s feelings. (“That must have been so hard.” or “I’m so sorry that happened,” etc. If the sharing was positive, then, “I’m so glad that was your experience growing up,”, etc.)

B: My relationship with my father affects our relationship by…

B: Tell your mate what you needed from your mother that you didn’t get.

A: Repeat back what you heard and validate your mate’s feelings. (“What I heard you say… and “That must have been so hard.” or “I’m so sorry that happened,” etc. If the sharing was positive, then, “I’m so glad that was your experience growing up,”  etc.)

B: My relationship with my mother affects our relationship by…

End with a hug, a kiss and a prayer or wish for your mate!

Find out how Love Recon can help your marriage thrive!

About the author 

Cliff Poe

Cliff Poe is Founder and Lead Coach for Recon Coaching. He and his wife, Jeani, are Master Coaches and their passion is to help individuals and couples form healthy, lasting and satisfying relationships. Cliff has a M.Div. in pastoral counseling and ministry. He enjoys writing and coaching as well as his family which includes 2 adult kids and their spouses, 6 grandchildren and a fur family composed of a Golden Retriever and a Mackerel Tabby.


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