Where to find emotional support
My husband is a fun and funny guy, and we enjoy our time together for the most part. But he is not an "emotionally generous" individual, and it has always been hard for him to empathize with others. His parents are both fairly aloof and the entire family's coherence is based upon rather superficial ties and discussion, so he really has no foundation from which to address the complexity of other's emotions, let alone his own. It has presented us with many challenges, especially given my own sensitivity and life's challenges. Kids, geography, and the overall harried state of our generation's lives have consumed most of the close female friendships that I once had, so I often feel patently alone. I am also staring down the harrowing road of aging parents. I know that my parents' deaths will be a huge blow to me, as they are and always have been my primary emotional supports. I had imagined that this type of support would come from my life partner, but that has not proven to be the case. We have gone to meditation retreats and couples counseling together, but it has not helped to deepen the empathic connection. I know he works on it, but I also know that we have to accept our partners' limitations.
I am someone who feels things extremely deeply, a "highly sensitive person" if anyone is familiar with that term, and as a result, life feels very intense for me most of the time. In my encounters with others, especially other parents, it does not seem that this is common. Most people I meet and speak with seem to take things at far more of a face value than I do. On the other hand, I am often overcome by the suffering I see in others and just as often shocked that I brought two children into the world to witness it as well. I wish I had someone to connect with around these things (a friend, rather than a therapist).
I am not a religious person, and do not find myself drawn to groups or gatherings, whether formal services or meditation groups, for example. I have tried many of them, and group settings just don't resonate with me. I am wondering how others have found this type of emotional support, in their 40s, with two small children, and as an introvert to boot. I am the type of person who can listen to another person "complain" for hours without judgment or censure, just as a supportive ear, and can feel deeply for them. I wish I could find someone like that, aside from my parents. Suggestions to aid my search?