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. 

Unhappy wife, confused husband © pololia | dollarphotoclub.com

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.

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5 Comments on “Why Won’t You Feel My Pain?

  1. I got a little lecture this morning how women are crazy and emotional simply because the song stuck in my head was different than his.

    Why is our empathy and emotion considered crazy and inferior to men? I can see why God made us differently, but why is the feminine considered inferior to the masculine?

    • I think it’s truly just viewpoint. A lot of women believe that the masculine is inferior to the feminine. (In fact, so much so that there are whole fields of study at university that explore the notion and there is a huge push in society, starting with the schools k-12, to reinforce it.) Neither is accurate. It takes a lot of work for individuals to reframe “you’re wrong” to “you’re different than me” – from the way the other person does the dishes to the song that’s stuck in their head. Hang in there!

      • @libl @Kendra – I think it’s human nature to assume how I am is best, and everything else is inferior. If others like me say the same, then it can get nasty. In the past men did this to women, making the male way right and the female way wrong or at least not as good. Today, as Kendra said, we are seeing the opposite being pushed.
        Just keep repeating “Different, not wrong.”
        Paul Byerly recently posted…All Work and No Play…My Profile

  2. Well put, Kendra.

    It takes a lot of work for individuals to reframe “you’re wrong” to “you’re different than me” – this blog in a nutshell!

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