Why Won’t You Feel My Pain?
I recently sent a note to a female blogger friend explaining we couldn’t receive a copy of her upcoming book by mail because our home address had been evacuated due to fire. I asked if we could get an electronic copy. Her reply started with “Oh, my goodness, Paul! How awful.” In fact, her showing of concern was slightly more than half of her reply, with the rest being working on a solution. It was a very feminine response, coming from her empathising with our situation. I didn’t expect her to express concern, and I wouldn’t have been offended had she not.
Women as a whole are far more empathetic than men. Some of this is how we’re raised, but some of it based on brain differences beyond our control.
I imagine this is a source of frustration for most wives. They feel more of their husband’s pain than their husband feels of their pain. This is probably true even if he’s not talking much about his pain and you’re talking freely about your pain.
I agree most men need to work on this area, and I do what I can to nudge them to do so. However, I doubt most husbands will ever reach the level of empathy their wife craves. I doubt most of them are able to do so. His failure to show concern as you want, or as your female friends would, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care; it may just mean he’s a man.
If you don’t judge him by female standards you’ll feel better and your marriage will benefit.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I feel her pain even when I don’t show it.