If you have grown up in a pretty much perfect family, you may not even realize what it is like to experience a feeling of lack of empathy in a family. Well, some are not so fortunate to have a perfect family, and trust us, it can be terrible, especially for a young kid of impressionable age. A relationship - any relationship - with a person who lacks understanding can be worse than being alone in life. If proper understanding is missing in relationships, it can break a person down.
A majority of broken marriages (due to absence of empathy and understanding between the parents), cause the children to lose faith in the institution of marriage. And naturally, these kids may grow up to have certain prejudices or bias about relationships as adults. Today, it is fairly common to come across youngsters who have experienced such a childhood or have been through similar circumstances in life, who blame failed relationships on a lack of empathy. Let's try to find out the probable causes.
Causes of Lack of Empathy
One thing that needs to be understood is that we cannot always telepathically communicate our emotions and feelings to our partner or other individual. It requires openness.
Some people are not capable of understanding people's emotions. They claim to be very practical and, hence, fail to see the importance of emotions and understand them. These people, at times, do feel that they hurt their loved ones; however, they believe it is required. They tend to view life pragmatically, where "what is, is!". If you need to pull the BAND-AID, you pull it. They cannot comprehend the pain behind the pull. On the contrary, they question the hesitance about pulling it.
Others are not exactly lacking empathy. The odd part is that they are completely aware of the feelings of the person. However, they take pleasure in causing pain to the person. More so, they may even use this knowledge to manipulate the person. However, in certain relationships, lack of sympathy can be for two reasons. Firstly, the person could have psychopathic tendencies, something about the opposite person riles him/her up, or the person could simply have something against the opposite person. In such cases, not empathizing with a person in the relationship is a result of cheating in the relationship.
Effects of Lack of Empathy in a Marriage
Now, this could be an awful ordeal. Not only for the one who is subject it, but to the one who is not being empathetic as well. For the one who is subject to it, the frustration arises out of having a partner who just does not understand. For the one who is not being empathetic, the frustration of not being in a healthy marriage, creeps in later.
The absence of empathy in a marriage is due to lack of understanding and trust. In most marriages that experience this terrible feeling, a similar pattern is observed. It is observed that in the start of the relationship, they talk to each other about everything, and everything seems very beautiful. They spent time together, and the pressures of the world do not affect them. However, later on, the pressures increase and the time that they spent together reduces. They barely find time to talk to each other about their feelings. Moreover, whenever they do try to talk, they are mostly tired and irritable. This leads to fights. As time passes, the expression of feelings for each other also reduces, ultimately leading to a situation where neither individual sympathizes with the other. Thus, leading to a complete breakdown in communication and trouble in the relationship.
The best solution in this case is a second honeymoon. The concept of a honeymoon vacation is basically to allow the couple to bond with each other; physically, mentally and emotionally. If you notice that this bond that you share is weakening, it is time to go for a honeymoon again. Make it a long one. Give each other time, and spend some quality time together. You can also try counseling to regain the loving empathy that you once felt and then lost.
Effects of Lack of Empathy in Children
Lack of empathy in a marriage can often reflect in children. The fact remains that children ape their parents. It is a part of child development. Of course, there are exceptions and differences in perception. But barring these exceptions, children do pick up the same things and behave in an unsympathetic way after watching their parents.
If a child sees one parent not caring about the other's feelings, the child will lose respect for that parent as well. Basically, the environment in the house will be very narcissistic. Wherein everyone simply cares about himself/herself, and fails to see and consider the other's feelings. Mostly, in such a case, siblings tend to have empathy towards each other, but lose it for their parents. Another oeffect in children is that later in life they tend to lose faith in marriage and love. It is mostly found that such children have acute fear of commitment, and don't believe in love or marriage.
The best solution in this case is to display affection in front of the child. Let him know that his parents love and respect each other. Teach him important values in life and show him how important it is to follow them.
Lack of empathy in relationships is sometimes a natural outcome of a dysfunctional relationship. One could also say, that a dysfunctional relationship and the absence of understanding in it forms a vicious cycle. To break the cycle, you need to find love and empathy in yourself and share it with your loved ones. It will be tough at first, but it is the only kryptonite for this evil.