11 reasons why your wife has empathy for everyone but you (+ what to do)

I’m a newlywed. For years I wanted to be able to say that, and now I can.

How’s it feel? Underwhelming to tell the truth…

But I’m glad…I married the woman I love and we’re planning to have kids. I’m grateful, psyched, looking forward to the future.

The problem is in our relationship dynamics and what’s been going on.

My wife, let’s call her Crystal for the purposes of anonymity, is a great woman. I love almost everything about her.

Almost everything…

My wife is the kindest person I know and she cares so much about helping others, but the longer we have been together the more I have noticed an awful thing:

She basically pays attention and cares about everyone except me.

11 reasons why your wife has empathy for everyone but you (+ what to do)

1) Taking you for granted

When we love someone we want to be the center of their world and we crave to be by their side.

Once we achieve that dream something unfortunate happens a lot of the time:

We take them for granted.

There are a lot of possible reasons why your wife has empathy for everyone but you but this is the most likely one.

She’s taking you for granted.

I don’t take her for granted, but I think a big reason for that is that from the very start I was more of the pursuer than she was.

Crystal liked me, she says, but she wasn’t “sold” on me.

I was the one who really chased and wooed her, slowly won her heart and all of that.

Classic love story, right?

So, I’ve never taken her for granted personally. There’s always a hint of a challenge there.

But I’m pretty sure she takes me for granted.

2) Other responsibilities are calling her name

Crystal and I don’t have kids yet but we hope to in the near future.

Friends of mine have said that their spouse started ignoring them after kids. Well, specifically a female friend of mine said her husband did.

My wife is a busy lady who works in retail marketing and she does have a lot of responsibilities in several other places she volunteers as well, including our local animal shelter.

I totally respect and love that about her, yet I also see how it makes her more available and caring of those responsibilities than me.

I’m just old newlywed hubby her at home waiting to catch the odd movie with her or have sex a couple times a week if I’m lucky…


This is one of the top potential reasons why your wife has empathy for everyone but you: she’s way more focused on other things.

But why?

There are basically two options.

One is that she is just caught up in the rush of new projects or passions that she’s getting deeper into.

The second is…

3) You don’t open up enough to her

First off let me scrap the impression that I’m one of those New Age types who think men need to cry more and be more sensitive.

Honestly, fine, awesome. Cry all you want, talk about your feelings: I’m talking about my feelings right in this article.

But I don’t think men need to become super soft and touchy-feely.

What I do think is that men could generally learn to be better communicators and more self-aware in relationships.

There you go, I’ll go that far in opening up my mind…

And one of the biggest reasons why your wife has empathy for everyone but you can be that she just doesn’t see a vulnerable side of you.

She has placed you in such a set and stereotypically masculine role that you’re not a guy who needs to be understood.

She may love you to bits, but she doesn’t seek to understand or empathize with you, because she lets you play the strong silent type who’s got all your stuff handled.

Apparently, that works out well for some men. It doesn’t for me.

So the next step is to start opening up a bit more.

4) Taking time for the two of you

Communication is talked about a lot as a cure-all, and it’s definitely necessary.

But a big aspect of getting your relationship on track and helping open up to your wife is actually having the time to do so.

The physical time in the day to communicate, talk and relive your love story isn’t easy to come by if you’re a busy working couple.

Taking time for the two of you greatly increases the bond you have and the empathy your wife will have for you.

But in order to make it happen, I recommend actually scheduling in time such as date nights, movie nights, dinners out at a restaurant, and so on…

It may seem lame to have to schedule time with your forever partner just to have some time dedicated to the two of you, but it’s better than always being too busy.

Give it a try.

5) Maybe she is into someone else

I admit this possibility has crossed my mind a time or two and I’m still not 100% convinced it’s wrong.

Another of the possible reasons why your wife has empathy for everyone but you could be that she’s into someone else.

This could mean having an affair, sexting or just keeping her options open and trying to play the field.

But she’s married…

Yeah, I know.

Unfortunately, I’ve become a lot more cynical since getting married.

Here in the real world love really is a battlefield and it seems like all is fair in love and war.

Cheating is way more common than we even realize, in my opinion.

Although I trust Crystal totally, there’s part of me that still wonders.

6) She wants you to change

A partner who wants you to change is one of the toughest things that some of us guys can deal with.

For me it doesn’t bother me, seriously, I am OK with it.

Yet I also see how being expected to fit what she envisions me as is kind of creepy in a way.

Yet in the positive ways that Crystal wants me to do a personal upgrade, I actually agree with her…

Get more disciplined…

Lose weight…

Focus on my social life and getting more involved in the community.

I totally agree, actually. I’ve been lacking on those fronts.

Earn back their trust by showing them that you can change.

7) She’s trying to escape from her problems

This might sound far out, but I honestly believe that my wife focuses on philanthropy and helping strangers partly as a way of escaping her problems.

It’s good, obviously, since she helps others.

But it also means she never really faces herself or the problems happening right here at home.

Charles Dickens wrote about this in his 1853 book Bleak House, calling it telescopic philanthropy.

Basically what this means is the desire to help people far away or who you don’t know at all in order to feel good about yourself while ignoring the issues and conflicts right in your own backyard.

I believe this is partly what Crystal is doing. I haven’t confronted her about it because I am not sure how.

But I feel a strong instinct that she is basically hooked on philanthropy as a way of not having to deal with some of the awkward and difficult conversations that need to take place in a new marriage.

8) She’s hiding physical or emotional problems she’s going through

I feel fairly confident that my wife isn’t going through serious physical or emotional issues, but then again how well do we know anyone, even our own spouse?

Some people are lifelong experts at hiding trauma and issues they are going through, so I suppose anything is possible.

One of the biggest empathy killers is when somebody is dealing with a crisis that takes up their attention and energy.

It’s hard to look out for others when you’re very down in the dumps or going through an intense personal meltdown.

This can be one of the reasons why your wife has empathy for everyone but you:

She’s keeping up a brave face and smiling for others and helping out…

But when she comes home she melts into a cold shell because she’s not really OK at all in any way.

I like what relationship writer Sylvia Smith says about this that “your partner may be going through some personal problems, including health, career, or financial trouble.

“Partners hide their health status to protect them or prevent them from overreacting. In this scenario, they might be overwhelmed and appear to show a lack of compassion.”

9) Your communication is off, even if you think it’s on

Another of the possible reasons why your wife has empathy for everyone but you can be that she feels you don’t listen to her.

When you’ve been with someone a long time you can start to feel like you can already predict everything they’ll say…

And you tune out…

I don’t believe I have done this but I know other men and women who have.

What happens then is that your wife can decide she’s basically done talking to you because she feels you don’t actually listen to her.

Listening is an active process, and women in particular seem to have a sixth sense about it.

As much as you say “uh huh,” “yeah” and “definitely yeah…” they can somehow tell that you’re not listening.

I’ve never had that skill!

But they have it.

So be careful. Because if you don’t listen too many times they can start to dismiss your concerns as well.

10) She’s over-expending herself on others

Earlier I spoke about telescopic philanthropy and how sometimes people extend themselves really far for others but not for those right in their backyard or their own bedroom.

Crystal does so much for others, but I believe this is using up a lot of her energy that she used to have available for me.

One of the biggest reasons why your wife has empathy for everyone but you is that she basically decided she’s got you on lock and it’s more interesting or exciting to use her time and energy on others.

When this happens and it’s one-sided it can be a very raw deal.

Barrie Davenport is one of my favorite relationship experts. He talked about this in such an insightful way.

“Your partner’s pain causes you great pain. You suffer when he or she suffers. But your partner rarely reciprocates.

“In fact, he or she might view your emotions as trivial, overblown, or irritating.”

11) She has narcissistic tendencies

Earlier I talked about Stendahl and how he said falling in love makes us idealize our partner.

When the shine wears off, we’re often very let down by what we see.

That’s why it’s important to be honest about faults in your partner: not focused on the faults, just honest about them.

So I can be frank that Crystal has narcissistic tendencies.

She helps so many people, but I know she also craves those community awards she gets, and she judges me for being a boring worker bee in her eyes.

I’d like to point out that it helps keep our mortgage payments rolling in, but who am I to start a fight?

Love and understanding

My marriage is kind of on the rocks but I’m not panicked.

I’m working on it.

A lot of that has to do with the program I’m using.

And even though I feel kind of alone in this I also have confidence that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

Saving the relationship when you’re the only one trying is tough but it doesn’t always mean your relationship should be scrapped.

Because if you still love your spouse, what you really need is a plan of attack to mend your marriage.

That’s why I want to mention the Mend the Marriage program.

This program is already yielding positive results in my marriage and I have friends who have been pulled out of very bad patches by it.

Many things can slowly infect a marriage—distance, lack of communication, and sexual issues. If not dealt with correctly, these problems can metamorphosize into infidelity and disconnectedness.

When someone asks me for advice to help save failing marriages, I always recommend relationship expert and divorce coach Brad Browning.

Brad is the real deal when it comes to saving marriages. He is a best-selling author and dispenses valuable advice on his extremely popular YouTube channel.

The strategies Brad reveals in it are extremely powerful and might be the difference between a “happy marriage” and an “unhappy divorce”.

Watch his simple and genuine video here.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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