Empathy is a central component of any relationship. Empathy first and foremost means understanding and sharing the feelings of another. In a sense, without empathy, there is no relationship because one cannot truly understand the other nor understand how to interact with them. Secondly, empathy means predicting and understanding how the other will react within a given situation. This is very important as it does not allow for miscommunication or conflict if one can expect and understand how their partner feels during various parts of the relationship.
Can A Relationship Survive Without Empathy?
It may be possible, but what would such a relationship look like? How would it feel to be in such a relationship? If one were to interact with their partner without empathy, what kind of interactions would they have? All these questions can’t be answered if empathy is not present.
However, many people claim to live such a life of little or no empathy. Some people claim they have “empathy”, but what they mean is that they can manipulate others and their feelings, which is not at all the same thing as having empathy for someone.
Why Is a Lack of Empathy a Problem for an Intimate Relationship?
Empathy is an important aspect of conflict and communication resolution
Lack of empathy will more than likely lead to miscommunication and conflict. Conflict can destroy a relationship as it creates an unsafe environment for the people involved in the conflict. If there is no understanding between those involved in the conflict, then each person feels threatened by the other. This means they are less likely to try and resolve the issue at hand and more likely to create a divide between each other.
Empathy enables you to see into your partner’s most intimate thoughts and feelings
Empathy is an integral part of understanding your partner and the relationship itself. Without knowing what your partner feels at any given moment, you cannot understand them, nor can you indeed be intimate with them.
Empathy shows your partner that you love him or her enough to be fully engaged and present.
This is integral because your partner will feel abandoned without you being present and fully engaged. Being empathetic towards your partner shows that you do not want to abandon them at any moment in the relationship, even during conflicts or hard times. Your empathy for them makes them feel safe and secure enough to trust in you and be their true self.
A lack of empathy creates a distance between you and your partner. This is because they will no longer feel safe to be around you, which means you are less likely ever truly to know them.
Empathy helps the relationship stay strong
Without empathetic communication, intimacy diminishes due to the lack of trust between those involved. Without intimacy, a partnership cannot survive as it will lack the emotional connection, which makes the relationship something to value and cherish over time.
Characteristics Of People Who Lack Empathy In A Relationship
Out of Touch
People who lack empathy in a relationship are often out of touch with their feelings and emotions. They may go through the motions of having feelings for others, but they will never understand what these feelings truly mean or where such feelings stem from.
Unable to Connect with Others
Lack of empathy causes one to be less able to see the world from someone else’s perspective.
Lack of empathy can cause you to seem distant and complicated for your partner to get to know in a truly intimate way. Without this connection, the relationship will grow more cold and distant over time as neither person feels fully known or understood by their partner.
People who lack empathy are often easily frustrated with others, especially their partners. When someone does not feel understood by the other person in the relationship, they will feel more vulnerable and frightened of what this means for their intimacy with that person.
Lack of empathy can cause one to need constant comforting because they start to feel as if they are not understood or connected to it. Their lack of empathy means that they do not understand the emotions and feelings, which causes them to feel unsafe and alone in their relationship, fuelling a need for constant reassurance from their partner.
Difficulty Forgiving Others
Lack of empathy can cause one to have difficulty forgiving others. When one cannot understand or feel for others, it becomes harder to recognize the wrongs committed against them and forgive those who have hurt them.
Lack of empathy can cause a person to have difficulty apologizing because they cannot understand how their actions impact others in the relationship without being told directly.
Lack of empathy can cause one to say and do things that they typically would not because they cannot connect with the emotions and feelings of their partner. They often do this subconsciously without meaning too, but it can still be hurtful enough to make one feel abandoned or lonely in the relationship.
Lack of empathy can cause one to have difficulty compromising as they do not understand the desires and needs, which can limit their ability to meet those needs.
Difficulty Recognizing Others’ Emotions
Lack of empathy can cause you to not intuitively recognize how others around you feel, which can impede your relationships. Without this awareness, it will be more challenging to bond with them and show empathy so that they can feel.
A lack of empathy causes you to have less compassion and be more judgmental with other people in your life.
My Husband Has Empathy for Everyone But Me – How to Deal With Him
Express your messages clearly
When your partner lacks empathy for you, it may help express your messages clearly and directly.
This will help him understand exactly what you are trying to tell him or how he is making you feel so that he can process this information in a way that allows him to better empathize with you.
Connect on an emotional level
A lack of empathy can cause one to not connect on an emotional level with their partner.
This means that you will have to work harder at expressing your emotions in a way that will help him understand why he is making you feel the way that you do about certain things, whether it is something little or something big.
Try to remember when your partner does struggle to understand how you are feeling
When your partner lacks empathy for you, it can be easy to forget when they can feel what you are feeling. Instead of focusing on the bad times, try and focus on the good ones instead because these will help encourage them to understand how you are feeling.
Use other types of communication, such as actions or words
A lack of empathy may cause your partner not to understand the emotions and feelings you express regularly. This means that you will need to use more direct forms of communication with them, including actions or words.
This could include things like writing a note letting them know how you are feeling that day or speaking with them about the things that upset you, allowing them to handle your emotions instead of interpreting a particular expression on your face.
Understand it is not a conscious choice for him to lack empathy
A lack of empathy can cause one to think that their partner does not care or love them because they cannot understand how he is feeling. This can cause immense pain in their relationship that could have been avoided if they had just asked their partner what was wrong instead of assuming the worst.
It is important to remember this fact when you are having a difficult time with your partner’s lack of empathy because it can help you stay calm and rational when discussing your feelings.
Realize that empathy is something that can be worked on
A lack of empathy may not seem like it is something that one can work on because it does not come naturally to him or her, but this means that he or she will need to improve this skill.
This may lead to you having to try multiple different methods to determine which one works best for your partner, whether it is something that requires more time or just a simple change in mindset, but if he or she wants to improve, then they are going to have to work at it.
Empathize with yourself
It can be tough to empathize with someone else when you have a hard time emulating how you feel about the situation.
Instead of putting this burden on your partner, it may help to empathize with yourself instead. This will allow you to understand better why you feel the way you do and what makes sense for you and your spouse.
This will help him or her better understand how you are feeling instead of trying to guess what is wrong because they do not have an empathetic mindset.
Show empathy around your partner
When you are around your partner, it may be helpful to model the type of behaviors that they need to learn empathy.
This includes asking how they are feeling or trying to see things from their perspective. These actions will help them understand what makes sense when someone tells them how they are feeling and what it means for them.
Strengthen your relationship with others
A lack of empathy may cause your partner to not care as much about how other people feel, causing them to push you away and spend more time with their friends.
This can lead to a lack of support and affection, which could cause your relationship problems if not addressed immediately. Instead, try encouraging your spouse to spend more time with you and less time with their friends by showing them how much they mean to you.
Remember that your partner is not trying to be mean on purpose
Empathy does not come naturally to everyone, which takes practice for some people. This can cause pain in a relationship if one of the partners consistently gets upset at the other’s lack of empathy.
Remembering that a lack of empathy is not a choice for your partner can help you move forward in the relationship and refocus on seeing things from their perspective instead of making them feel bad about something they have no control over.
Set boundaries with those who lack empathy
People who do not have much empathy often struggle to control their temper, which can cause them to lash out at those around them without fully realizing the pain they are causing.
This can be difficult for you to deal with, especially if your family or friends are not empathetic, so it may help to set some boundaries with these people to protect yourself from getting hurt.
Visit a therapist
If you and your spouse are constantly struggling with this issue, it may be time to consider seeing a therapist.
A professional can help you both communicate better and understand each other’s feelings so that empathy begins to grow in the relationship. This will help everyone involved feel more supported and respected by their significant other
If you or your spouse has trouble empathizing with others, there are ways that you can work to fix this. This may involve some trial and error, but if your partner wants to change, they will learn empathy over time.