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The Remarried Life

May 25, 2021

Brian Mayer is excited to take about 10 episodes of the podcast to talk about communication.  It is probably the most talked about issue that couples have together that can sometimes not work well.  We will take some time to dive into this topic to help give you better tools to work on and things to consider to help communication between you and your spouse be more effective and more loving.  We hope you are inspired by today’s message.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at

Today's Goodies

  • Today in our 10 part episode we are going to talk about empathy. Empathy is different than sympathy. 
  • Sympathy is more like feeling pity on someone for their misfortune. Empathy is actually understanding and sharing in the feelings of another. 
  • Sympathy can often feel disconnecting. It creates a gap between the one who is experiencing the issue and the one on the other side of it. 
  • Empathy often feels more connecting. As if you are joining in the emotional sauna with the other person. 
  • The definitions might seem slightly different but are often huge.
  • When we saying something like, “I am sorry you are going through that” it is often coming from such a good place. And often that kind of statement is a soothing balm.  At least the person probably feels understood.  But being understood is only part of the equation when it comes to empathy. 
  • Remember the definition of empathy is feeling understood….but also sharing in the emotions of another.
  • So empathy might look something like, “so you are extremely sad that your grandmother passed away. She was very important to you and so no wonder there is such a great deal of sadness.  Losing someone important would make me sad too.”  So in this way it is not only understanding what the other person is going through but to really share in the emotion at the time. 
  • All too often in relationship we can mess this up. What usually does not work: 
    • Creating Distractions. Sometimes if we too quickly offer to go out and get an ice cream cone with the person suffering can feel invalidating.
    • Getting Angry. This one seems self explanatory, but often the issue lies with the one getting angry in that maybe they are not able to be in touch very well with emotions. 
    • Trying to Solve The Problem. By quickly offering a solution, you will send a message that the person’s problems are really not a big deal.  Often the issue is not something that really can or needs to be solved. 
    • Talking too much about yourself. By quickly turning the situation the other person is dealing with into something about yourself can often make things worse.


  • All this being said, what can you do to show empathy properly?
    • Sometimes your presence is enough. Stopping what you are doing especially if you are in the middle of a project often can show empathy without saying words.  
    • Verbalizing that you aren’t sure what could help but again the you are there. Just reassuring the person you love that you don’t have the solution to this but that you are there for them whatever they need. 
    • Reflecting back what you are hearing. This is especially good in a moment of crisis.  It helps the other person feel heard and not so alone. 
    • Remember a time when you felt the same emotion. You don’t have to get into why you felt the emotion but that you should use the memory to connect with the other person’s emotion that you are hearing. 
    • Ask the person what they need from you? Again this is different than telling the person what you will do, but it shows that you are human and that you don’t know what is needed but you will do whatever is needed to help.
  • Empathy can be learned. If it is not something you grew up with up or are used to it can take some effort. 
  • Additionally empathy can sometimes be difficult if you are confronted repeatedly with the same emotion over and over again. If this is the case, you may want to talk to your partner about speaking to a professional who can help especially if you are detecting more chronic issues like depression or anxiety for example.



  • None Mentioned.

Thanks For Listening!

  • With so many things that take time in our lives, I am more grateful than you know that you took time to listen to this podcast episode. 
  • If you liked this episode and believe that it would be beneficial to a friend, family member, or colleague, please share it using the social media buttons on this page.
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As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it is something you do.  Talk to you next week unless you are binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute!  Take care.