Empathy in marriage: How To Make Empathy Work Now.

Marriage is not built on love alone. It would be best to do many other things to form a deeper connection in your marriage, including compromise, trust, and respect. If you have tried all these and haven’t had good results, you haven’t tried empathy.

What is empathy?

Empathy in marriage is all about understanding and sharing your spouse’s emotions, perspectives, and experiences. Empathy is a very important recipe for improving trust, emotional intimacy, and connection with your partner.

Having empathy in your marriage means that you sometimes see yourself in your spouse’s shoes and feel what they feel. According to Psychology Today, “empathy is the experience of understanding someone’s condition from their perspective.”

“Understanding your partner’s condition from perspective is what makes it easy to solve your marital issues quickly. In this post, I will show you the importance of empathy in marriage, and I will also show some practical tips to help you develop this attitude.

Empathy also helps you build a more supportive and stronger relationship. One of the marriage experts, John Gottman, says, “Empathy in marriage is the heart of connection.” “It helps couples handle their conflicts better and increase their closeness.”

Another study shows that partners who show empathy in their relationship are 2.5 times more likely to divorce.

Importance of Empathy in Marriage:

As I said earlier, empathy is one of the main ingredients of a happy and thriving marriage. If you do not know why you need to build and increase your empathy daily, then look at these five reasons for empathy in marriage.

1. It Helps You Understand Your Partner Well:

What do I mean by this? It allows you to share in each other’s feelings and experiences, creating a very deep connection. This shows in the other partner’s responses when the other partner is expressing either joy, sorrow, or frustration.

Empathy makes you respond to these feelings and experiences in the way it validates your spouse’s emotions, which makes them feel heard and understood. This enforces a sense of connection and intimacy in a marriage, and it is important for success in marriage.

For example, if you notice that your partner is feeling stressed after work, then you will need to give attention to them, add your support and comfort, and not ignore them.

2. Empathy in Marriage Promotes Mutual Understanding:

Remember, I said that empathy makes you consider your spouse’s feelings and perspective? This then allows both of you to help and support each other’s challenges and needs.

Because you understand your partner’s needs and preferences, you may see yourself helping them physically, through emotional comforts, and probably by encouraging them during trying times.

A marriage that thrives well is one where everyone feels heard, understood, and supported.

3. Help You to Have Compassion and Forgiveness:

Compassion is a vital element of forgiveness. Empathy is what makes you have compassion for your partner. By having compassion, you are always ready to forgive whatever wrong your spouse has done. That makes it easier for you to forgive and move forward.

It prevents you from holding grudges against your spouse, and it gives you a reason to reconcile after a great disagreement.

4. It Helps In Conflict Resolution:

Conflicts are part of every relationship. Experts said that any relationship without conflict is a great concern. This is because conflicts help both of you learn more about each other. However, empathy is what gives you the power to understand your partner’s emotions and perspectives.

Empathy facilitates mutual understanding, allowing both of you to find common ground to negotiate for the best and most acceptable solutions rather than escalating the issue.

5. Promotes Overall Relationship Satisfaction:

Any marriage where there is a free flow of empathy tends to have a more fulfilling and satisfying experience. This is because empathy in marriage creates a “positive relational dynamic,” where you and your spouse feel valued, loved, and understood.

For example, when you show empathy in your day-to-day interactions with your partner, it fosters a loving atmosphere, which engenders growth for both of you. This leads to resilience and

No Regard for Partners Feelings and Emotions:

One of the signs of a lack of empathy in marriage is that the other partner’s feelings and emotions are constantly downplayed or dismissed entirely. Dismissing a partner’s emotions means that their feelings are not regarded at all.

When a partner is feeling stressed or down in the spirit, they expect the other partner to show concern by either asking questions or proffering solutions; when that is not seen, the stressed partner feels invalidated or unheard.

Self Centeredness:

This is another way to notice a lack of empathy in marriage. This means that you or your partner are prioritizing their needs and desires over yours and ignoring your preferences.

Poor or Lack of Support:

You will also notice a lack of support when there is a lack of empathy in a marriage. Nobody cares about the other’s feelings. Whether there is difficulty or a stressful moment, nobody cares.

Frequent Conflicts:

This is also one of the traits of a lack of empathy in marriage. There will always be conflicts and heated moments because nobody is showing compassion or understanding each other’s perspective. So there is no room for forgiveness, only disagreements and fights.

Poor Listening:

Giving listening ears to your partner is a sign of empathy in marriage. If your partner doesn’t show empathy, that is because they are not listening to you; therefore, there will be no room for them to empathize.

No effort to improve the marriage:

Couples who love and practice empathy in marriage are always ready to take their relationship to another level. Irrespective of how they quarrel or fight, they still find common ground to settle their differences and move forward.

When our partner is not showing empathy or participating in conversations that will help the relationship move forward, that is a sign of a lack of empathy in marriage.

What to Do When Your Spouse Lacks Empathy:

1) Learn How to Openly Express Your Needs:

To deal with empathy in marriage, you must learn how to speak up about your needs and wants to your partner. Remember that your partner is not a mind-reader, so they won’t know what you want until you say it out loud.

Make use of “I” statements when you are telling them the effects of their behavior on you and your marriage without blaming them.

To approach this, you have to be calm and open when you are discussing your feelings of lack of empathy. Be ready to tell them exactly what you need from them. Be sure that your requests are constructive and clear.

2) Be empathetic.

Another way you can deal with your lack of empathy with your partner is to model empathy for them. This means that you will constantly demonstrate empathy for them in your conversations with them, even when they are not reciprocating.

For example, show them how you feel about their stressful moments and ask if there is a way you can help. This may not happen immediately, but as you continue to model empathy for them, one day they will change and become better.

3) Set your boundaries:

Setting boundaries will also help you when dealing with empathy in marriage. It will help you protect your emotional well-being from harm by outlining and defining your unacceptable behavior and its consequences.

By setting your boundaries, your partner will know the importance of empathy and respect. You must be firm about this, but be fair when you are enforcing it.

For example, Dear, please, always try to acknowledge my feelings during arguments. If you diminish or neglect it, I will withdraw from that and discuss it calmly.

4) Let Your Partner Know What Empathy Means:

You can also try to make your partner understand what empathy means, as they are likely not far from anything called empathy. Get books and CDs on the topic and let them read them.

Share materials from experts on empathy with them. One of them is to look up and watch Hellen Riess’s Empathy Effects video on emotional intelligence. If you have read or played the videos, then explain them to your partner.

5) See a marriage professional:

Lack of empathy in marriage may be because of underlying issues that cannot be resolved without professionals like marriage therapists or counselors. Therefore, you may need to see a therapist if the unfavorable situation persists.

The therapist will provide you with tools that can help you know the source of the lack of empathy and also provide solutions. Suggest to your partner that you see a therapist to help strengthen your marriage.

Suggest it to your partner positively, and make them understand how it will help your marriage. If that works for you, then follow these steps to locate the best therapist for your marriage.

6) Create Opportunities for Empathy in Your Relationship:

You can also boost empathy in marriage by finding and introducing opportunities where both of you can naturally exhibit empathy. To achieve that, both of you may need to engage in some activities, like voluntary work or joint projects.

It could be caregiving activities or helping your community. These activities will help two of you connect with others and probably learn the act of empathy.

7) Acknowledge small improvements:

Don’t be surprised when you see your partner making efforts to be empathic. All you need to do is appreciate those little improvements they made, and they will have the power to do more.

They may make mistakes as they are trying to build empathy, but for now, concentrate on the efforts and not the perfection. They will keep improving if you continue to acknowledge their little trials.

Conclusion:

Learning how to balance work and family life is a good start for creating and maintaining physical health, strengthening relationships, enhancing productivity, and supporting personal growth.

By consistently maintaining this balance, you can achieve a more sustainable and fulfilling lifestyle, which ensures long-term success and well-being in your life and that of your family.

Aik: AIK UCHEGBU is a writer and an authority in anything that matters about marriage and how to build it successfully. His followers have been greatly enhanced by his findings. You will not be disappointed by coming to this site.