Most people confuse empathy with paternalism, attachment (valuing someone else only because they or your relationship with them benefits *you* in some way, empathy is a selfless love whereas attachment is self-oriented), pity and even just concern. Empathy doesn't try to change people, it doesn't decide what's in their best interests or do things "for their own good". To empathize with someone else is to simply feel what they feel without making personal judgements about what they should do or how they should be. Empathy accepts people for what and who they are, and as equals. For example, many people would cite 'empathy' as a reason for preventing someone from committing suicide. Preventing someone from committing suicide is actually an anti-empathetic, paternalistic thing to do (or an attachment based thing to do, if the person is a friend/family member). An empathetic person, in my opinion, would simply offer that person a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen to their problems *if* they chose not to end their life, they wouldn't interfere with their decison making or use force to prevent them from behaving autonomously. "But they might be glad that I stopped them", they probably would be but it's their mistake to make, how they will feel in future is irrelevant to how they actually feel now. I would argue that contract monogamy is possessive and based on attachment rather than empathy. By 'contract monogamy' I mean an agreement, stated or implied, that you will avoid a sexual/romantic relationship with anyone else on condition that your partner do the same. If men and women (or men/men, women/women) truly empathized with one another, any pleasure or joy that their partners experienced as a result of having a sexual/romantic relationship with other people would make them happy instead of jealous. Monogamy isn't immoral but I do think it's objectifying, I don't want to own anyone else's sexuality even if it is voluntarily exhanged for my own. I have nothing against 'monogamy' in the sense of simply choosing to have only one partner but in this kind of a relationship, either party could choose to develop a romantic/sexual relationship with other people without having to ask for permission or even to inform their partner about it (unless they are having unprotected sex with this other person). As for pity, nobody wants to be "felt sorry" for. Our attitudes to the poor and disadvantaged often carry this condescending tone.