When I met my wife, Linda, 27 years ago, I quickly realized that we have a lot in common. We both love the outdoors, gardening, cooking, taking photos, laughing, and watching monster movies. Our similarities have sustained us through 25 years of marriage. The laughing part has been especially helpful. She is, to me, the perfect companion to share the rest of my life with.
One major area where we are different is our ability to handle crowds and our willingness to socialize. I am extremely outgoing and personable. I love being invited to weddings, parties, barbecues…. Anything that features a lot of people, opportunities for conversation, and good food. I noticed that Linda was not as excited as I was about going to these kinds of events. She would always agree to go, but then start to mention, as the day drew closer, that she was not looking forward to going. As the event progressed, I would notice Linda getting quieter and quieter. We would usual end up leaving in the first wave of departures.
We found out, recently, that Linda is empathic…. Very much so, as it turns out. Empaths are extremely “in tune” with things that are happening around them. As a result, crowd situations are very daunting for her. It’s a matter of there being too much mental stimulation all at once. She can also, very easily, tap into my feelings. I can’t hide much from her, so I tend to not even try.
Armed with this knowledge, I now know that it is important for me to take her needs into account before I schedule us to attend any function where there will be large groups of people. Rock concerts are, probably, out, which is OK. New Year’s Eve celebrations will be replaced by quiet evenings at home, watching Netflix. Large social gatherings will be replaced by smaller, more intimate, time with close friends.
My hope is that, by putting my wife’s needs first, we can draw closer together and reach a whole new level of understanding. To be honest, I was never one to enjoy New Year’s Eve parties, anyway.
Marty S– married 25 years