Lately I have been trying to compliment and thank my wife more often (and nag and complain less). Both to help me focus on what I love about her and to help her know what I appreciate about her so she might feel more loved and less criticized. I have been doing this for a couple of days now and we seem to be in a much more caring place. My compliments and gratitude are always genuine.
I find that she often disagrees, deflects, or "disputes" my compliments, however. For example, when we went to bed last night the kitchen table was covered with paperwork from her doing the taxes yeaterday, and I thought to myself as we went upstairs, "I wonder how long THOSE will be there?" When I came downstairs this morning the papers were all off the table, and I said "Thanks for clearing off the kitchen table, honey. I really appreciate it." To which she replied "Of course I would do that" - implying "What do you think I am, a slob!" When I messed something up the other night and apologized to her and she said "No problem!" I said "You are the most forgiving person I know. You hardly ever get mad and you never hold a grudge." (If the situation were reversed, I would have been mad.) Anyway, she answered, "No, I'm not." Things like that.
When she does that, I just ignore it, rather than trying to "prove" to her that it is true or that I really mean it, and I wonder if it is the right approach. Or is she looking for more validation in her "objections?"