Validation is complicated. There is such a thing as healthy validation but the line headed towards unhealthy validation can be difficult to see at times. As human beings I feel it is natural to want validation. It is our expectation of it that makes it unhealthy.
For example, you may be working on a project at work. Your boss can come up to you, give a firm pat on the back and tell you job well done. You feel good about that. You worked hard and acknowledgement of that is rewarding. However, in that same situation, it becomes unhealthy when you expect him to come to you and tell you that you did a great job. Because what happens when he doesn't come through? You might become resentful. Saying to yourself, damn it! I did a great job. What an asshole for not acknowledging how hard I worked to get that job done!
I think the same goes for R. When you feel you are doing all of the right things you are still wanting that pat on the back for a job well done. The problem is that any BS probably won't want to give you that pat on the back for acting like a good spouse. You should have been doing that all along, right? Again, it's the expectation of validation from her that will cause the problem.
The process of R really helped me learn about validation. I had to learn to do things because I wanted to and not because I had an expectation of what the outcome of that may be. I may have had hopes for an outcome but quite often the things I did weren't received with smiles and pats on the back. I had to learn to be ok with that. I had to realize that no matter what the outcome, I was fine because I knew I was doing the right thing and I could feel good about myself just knowing that.
Be cautious of using "tactics". I'm not sure what you meant by that exactly but part of the reason she is getting angry with it is because she is feeling you are attempting to control or manage the situation. Just be open and honest. Let go of expectations.
[This message edited by WalkinOnEggshelz at 6:33 AM, December 9th (Monday)]