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  #1  
Old Feb 2, '12, 5:50 pm
seanhathaway seanhathaway is offline
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Default married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

The title seems a bit harsh but I feel this way. And I'm worried sometimes.
When you think the person you are married to doesn't feel empathy towards others it's scary. Here's what I've seen. I've watched them destroy people that crossed or annoyed them at work. I've watched them walk by a child that had been waiting all day and into the night for a chance to spend time a few minutes with them, walk by them without saying a word go into a room and close the door, they're own child. I have watched them lie compulsively and without remorse. I have watched them show little sign of grief at times when most would. I've watched them use, cheat and steal. I've seen them thrive on drama and chaos. The constant chasing after wealth, power and excitement at the expense of others. I've seen what other people don't see, they break down emotionally but in a weird way, like a victim but somehow still attacking. I've watched it nearly destroy me until i found a way to deal with it that works most of the time. I'm telling you what, it's not an easy cross. And not to sound disrespectful, but I am nailed to it. I can survive it ok but need to stay and make sure the kids do, I mean survive emotionally. All their physical needs are more than met. Still leaving this person would be really hard and leaving the kids well... no need to suggest that. My fear is that they will turn out the same way so day by day, I stay with the kids. Sometimes it gets to be too much and I dream about running far away. I tell myself I will stay and see my kids into adulthood and that gets me through all right. There's nothing anyone can say that will help it much, I don't need pity. I just had to say it somewhere out loud. So you can just read this and it's enough to know that other people know. Anway it's late I'll regret it in the morning.
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  #2  
Old Feb 2, '12, 6:01 pm
lily20 lily20 is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

Sounds like this person is battling some strong demons. A person would not normally act this way, as you are finding out.

PRAY for this person and wish good will for them. God puts us in sticky situations for a reason. Work on yourself and clean yourself of all lying, all corruption, all selfish behavior. That's the first step. The other person can help you to see ways that you are acting by their outrageous behaviors.

"In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." -this version is credited to Mother Teresa

God Bless you, and may you find much daily PEACE.
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  #3  
Old Feb 2, '12, 6:03 pm
seanhathaway seanhathaway is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

that is good advice. thanks.
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  #4  
Old Feb 2, '12, 7:16 pm
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odile53 odile53 is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

You might be interested in this link:

http://www.lovefraud.com/01_whatsaSo...sociopath.html

If this is really what is going on, you have my deepest sympathy and my most heartfelt prayers. In addition to staying very close to Our Lord in prayer, and through the sacraments, make sure you keep close ties with your family and friends.
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"Lord, spare us from sour-faced saints!"---St. Teresa of Avila
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  #5  
Old Feb 2, '12, 7:36 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

Narcissistic personality disorder or sociopath, maybe it's degrees of one or the other. You do have a heavy cross, and especially with children. Do your best to get your kids surrounded by others who love them and can show them love in normal ways. If they end up longing for a parent's love that never gets satisfied, it will mess them up for life. Fill their lives with other people who can role model what it means to be human, because they will never get that from the narcissist/sociopath.

Never believe that this is anyone's fault but the person's, and even then, they have either been damaged very early on in life, or just made that way. I don't know if God makes people that damaged, all I know is there are those people that are just not going to change or get fixed. The amount of destruction and pain they cause is staggering. None of that is your fault, they are mentally/spiritually/emotionally diseased.
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  #6  
Old Feb 2, '12, 8:27 pm
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triumphguy triumphguy is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

Prayers said.
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  #7  
Old Feb 2, '12, 8:50 pm
Edmundus1581 Edmundus1581 is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

I've been there. My problem was only resolved when she left me. Well, partially resolved, because the damage of the behaviour and the divorce continued, but at least I didn't have to live with her any more.

While I was still with her I never would have had the insight to make a post such as yours. I was just twisted around and around thinking it was all my fault (as she claimed) and with trying to make something of the life that she allowed me and the kids. I actually thought that she was a wonderful wife and mother!

I'm glad you posted. I hope that it is the start of some progress for you.

And, what Juliane said. However, I know that my ex would not have allowed me to use relatives to provide the love and nurturing that she refused to give the kids. She would have seen through that ploy at a glance, and torn the roof down.

My advice: try to set some generous limits on how much damage she can do, and stick to those limits. If she goes against those limits, and she probably will, then consider divorce and application for custody. However, as you probably know, this person who doesn't want her children now will suddenly want them desperately when there's a battle over them, and will fight like a snake, and will win everyone, including the kids, to her side. So, be very careful in what limits you set, and keep mental note of how she transgresses them, so that you have a case when applying for custody. (one kind of 'limit" is insisting that agreements are kept. eg. if you agree that little Joey will attend scouts, then don't let her change her mind and stand in the way of Joey attending scouts).

So, I am suggesting a "defensive" position. Any attempt to change her will be counter-productive, but you must have rock solid defences. You must "circle the wagons" very tightly.

You might even like James Dobson's book Love Must Be Tough, (free pdf) . Its deals with how to handle an adulterous spouse, but it could also apply to "setting limits" respectfully on an erratic spouse.

You are in my prayers. You need it.

Oh, and keep praying desperately and keep going to Sunday Mass.

Remember that God still has plans for you and your children, and try to cooperate with Him, even when He seems distant.

~ Edmundus

Last edited by Edmundus1581; Feb 2, '12 at 9:09 pm.
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  #8  
Old Feb 2, '12, 9:04 pm
One_Church One_Church is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

I think you would be best off seeking professional counseling. It doesn't sound like your spouse would be willing to seek counseling together so you may just start out by talking to the professional yourself and getting their advice on what to do and where to go.

They can offer you much better advice than any of us could offer because there could be some deeper issues at work here and a counselor will know how to determine this.

Good luck and I'll say some prayers for you.
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  #9  
Old Feb 2, '12, 9:07 pm
EasterJoy EasterJoy is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

You poor woman. My heart goes out to you. Read The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout, but do not let him see you read it. Then get yourself some professional guidance.


An interview with the author:http://www.bookbrowse.com/author_int...7/martha-stout

Be sure to read her 13 rules for living with a sociopath.
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  #10  
Old Feb 2, '12, 9:43 pm
bearkatjen bearkatjen is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

Was this person like this before you married them, or did they change in some way after you tied the knot? It just seems like a really big thing one would notice before getting married. I mean how does someone without empathy even love?
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  #11  
Old Feb 2, '12, 9:49 pm
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dailey dailey is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanhathaway View Post
The title seems a bit harsh but I feel this way. And I'm worried sometimes.
When you think the person you are married to doesn't feel empathy towards others it's scary. Here's what I've seen. I've watched them destroy people that crossed or annoyed them at work. I've watched them walk by a child that had been waiting all day and into the night for a chance to spend time a few minutes with them, walk by them without saying a word go into a room and close the door, they're own child. I have watched them lie compulsively and without remorse. I have watched them show little sign of grief at times when most would. I've watched them use, cheat and steal. I've seen them thrive on drama and chaos. The constant chasing after wealth, power and excitement at the expense of others. I've seen what other people don't see, they break down emotionally but in a weird way, like a victim but somehow still attacking. I've watched it nearly destroy me until i found a way to deal with it that works most of the time. I'm telling you what, it's not an easy cross. And not to sound disrespectful, but I am nailed to it. I can survive it ok but need to stay and make sure the kids do, I mean survive emotionally. All their physical needs are more than met. Still leaving this person would be really hard and leaving the kids well... no need to suggest that. My fear is that they will turn out the same way so day by day, I stay with the kids. Sometimes it gets to be too much and I dream about running far away. I tell myself I will stay and see my kids into adulthood and that gets me through all right. There's nothing anyone can say that will help it much, I don't need pity. I just had to say it somewhere out loud. So you can just read this and it's enough to know that other people know. Anway it's late I'll regret it in the morning.
I can feel your pain through your writing. I am so sorry you are going through this. Reminds me of a story my dad told me. When I was a kid, my parents had a party and invited the neighbors. One of the guys causally told my dad that when his child turned 18, he was going to leave his wife. My dad thought he was just kidding..but 12 years later that's exactly what he did. Always found that to be so strange since he *appeared* to have such a nice marriage. Guess you never really know what goes on behind closed doors.

At any rate, I was just reminded of that story after reading your post. I think its very honorable of you to stay for the children to protect them. Many prayers going out to you.
__________________
Padre Pio once said, ‘without the Grace of God, all I know how to do is to sin and sin again.’
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  #12  
Old Feb 3, '12, 1:59 am
seanhathaway seanhathaway is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

thanks for the replies. to answer a few.
-counseling is no use at all. tried it multiple times but it requires a degree of honesty.
-wasn't the person I married, has gotten worse over time but then sometimes shows genuine signs of improvement.
-good idea on surrounding the kids with other people and relatives though most of these people on my side have been cut off in some way..
thanks again


"One of the guys causally told my dad that when his child turned 18 he would leave..."
I've thought that a lot.
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  #13  
Old Feb 3, '12, 7:35 am
Rita77 Rita77 is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

http://www.maritalhealing.com/conflicts.php here is a link to Dr Rick Fitzbiggons he is Catholic and has been on EWTN.

the show women of grace on EWTN is great too.

I best book I ever read about understanding suffering and gives faith and hope is "He Leadeth Me" by Fr Walter Ciszek

I'll pray for you. I could have writen your post my husband has bipolar and has NPD when he is manic. medication has helped. we have been together for 10 years and only the last 3 years was he on medication for bipolar. the medication prevents the manic and therefore prevents the NPD. the only way my husband went on meds was he got so bad he was hospitalized for it.

I pray to the saints for there intersession. St Joseph for families, fathers, husbands, and virtues and St Rita, St Monica were both married to spouses like ours. St Jude for the impossible.

I'll pray for you.
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  #14  
Old Feb 3, '12, 1:27 pm
EasterJoy EasterJoy is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanhathaway View Post
"...wasn't the person I married, has gotten worse over time but then sometimes shows genuine signs of improvement...
A sociopath can be very skilled at approximating the behavior of a normal person.
Two questions:
1) By what evidence do you believe he has changed since marriage, rather than that you didn't pick up on what he was until after marriage?
2) When you say he shows "genuine" signs of improvement, do you mean that he shows improvement where you were unlikely to have found out about it, or do you mean he is doing what he thinks he needs to do to appease you into sticking with him?
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  #15  
Old Feb 3, '12, 2:07 pm
seanhathaway seanhathaway is offline
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Default Re: married to someone that doesn't feel empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by EasterJoy View Post
1) By what evidence do you believe he has changed........
what evidence makes you believe we're talking about a he?
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