Q&A How Can I Feel Safe When There Is No Empathy?

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Question: 

I'm new here. I've seen and read a bunch of your videos and blogs regarding empathy. We have been doing marriage therapy for about a month now. My husband has been doing EMDR for over a year and I have been in individual therapy for myself. Our marriage coach talked to us about the possibility of Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN) that may be something my husband has experienced and asked us to read 2 books: Running on Empty and Running on Empty No More. My husband says he feels our therapist hit the nail on the head for him and that he never learned to have empathy. I don't nor have I ever blamed him. I know why he did it so I don't have those questions anymore. I hold myself accountable for accepting the behavior and not setting clear boundaries with him something I am learning now. Am I going to have to either learn to live without empathy from my husband or leave the marriage if I can't handle living without emotional connection? We haven't started EMS Online yet but this is my biggest struggle...the lack of empathy. How can I be with him? How can I feel safe and not lash out in anger and rage when there is no empathy? He sees blame and accountability as one and the same. I see it as blame = shame where accountability helps us both heal. After reading the 2 books recommended and watching some more of your videos I'm feeling hopeless that he will never be able to show empathy even it says it can be learned. Especially when I see he can show empathy for himself and cry for himself but not for me and what all this has done to me.

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Hi Wayne,

Hi Wayne,

Thanks so much for responding to my question and shedding some light on lack of empathy. Although it made me sad to hear that it can take so much "time" I am grateful that you added some more knowledge about it.

~Hui

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