Life in a Family without Empathy

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1 Response

  1. Joy says:

    My husband, though very giving where he sees appropriate–right now I'm typing on a new Macbook Air (he's a Mac nut)–also reacts violently when I express any displeasure or hurt over his actions. Because he doesn't mean to hurt me, I am not allowed to be offended by his acts. Worse, when he flies into a rage if I "harass" him longer than he deems fit, he will strike out, cursing, punching walls, etc.

    Grew up in an abusive environment, with a needy, narcissistic mother. According to the book Child of the Self Absorbed Parents, I believe he trained himself to feel no empathy as part of a rebellious, rather than compliant, response to his upbringing.

    Unfortunately, he saw his mother (miraculous!) change, and decided that our wedding should honor her, praised how beautiful SHE was the day of the wedding, and generally enjoyed his family's attention while not being particularly engaged with me. Later on he screamed that I am SELFISH, SELFISH, SELFISH for expecting the wedding day to be about "the bride" or even he and myself more than them.

    Anywho. The hardest part is not having disagreements, but being told over and over that you're too sensitive, your feelings are invalid, and you are to blame for a host of problems that come from your spouse lacking basic empathic traits in human interaction. Worst of all, it's chilling, and I'm only a year into the marriage. How do I face this for the rest of my life?