Most marriages end in a whimper, not a bang. The final rupture of most committed unions is not caused by too much anger or abuse or infidelity. Most die a slow death from too little compassion.
Compassion is sympathy for the hurt or distress of another. At heart it’s appreciation of the basic human frailty we all share. Giving compassion makes you feel more humane and less isolated.
Don’t Love without It
Compassion is necessary for the formation of emotional bonds. We fall in love only with people who seem to care how we feel. Think of when you were dating the person you eventually came to love. Suppose you had to report that your parents had just died. You would not have fallen in love if the response was, “Call me when you get over it.”
Most of what we fight about in marriage is not money or sex or in-laws or raising the kids. Those are common problems that seem insurmountable only when resentful. What we really fight about is the impression that our partners don’t care how we feel. When someone you love is not compassionate, it feels like abuse.
As compassion decreases, resentment automatically rises.
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