Crying is a natural human response – emotional abuse

I just read another AITA (Am I the Asshole) thread and left a few comments the discussion. Some of these discussions get me riled up as they spark memories of my own childhood or trauma in my younger years.

I came back from the gym at 9pm and my girlfriend was waiting for me at home. She asked if I could come home earlier in the future as a compromise so that we could have dinner at an appropriate timing as she had been waiting for me to eat.

Things started to escalate which ended up in me taking a shower and coming out to apologise, as I blew up on her and mistook her intentions as wanting to control whenever I left the house to gym. She was scrunched up on the sofa with her head in her hand and didn’t respond to me even after I apologised, so I went ahead and made myself dinner because I was really hungry.

I finally sat down, put on Netflix and ate my salmon while she was lying on the couch. She suddenly got up while I was eating and asked me “Are you fucking kidding me?” I told her that she ignored me, and that if she does that I’m going to go about my business. She’s fucking pissed with me right now and crying even more. I don’t see why it’s my fault. AITA?

From reddit AITA

This post really got under my skin as some posts do. Are people really this clueless when it comes to feeling empathy for their friends or family? Something didn’t sit well with me on this one and I have some choice words for this person.

Neglect is a symptom of emotional abuse and it can cause some real resentment and tears.

How to Fight With Your Partner In a Healthy Way | Time

First of all, some people have a really hard time expressing their feelings when it comes to things they find emotional. It is possible (I’m speculating) that the girlfriend in this scenario, worked up a lot of courage to ask him to come home early from the gym. Which leaves me, the reader, assuming that this guy is never home.

I’m assuming from the little information given that he works full time, goes to the gym on a daily basis and comes home in time to go to bed.

There are so many things wrong with this kind of behaviour. It makes me think back to my relationship with Trigger when he’d go for weeks without communication. I would badger him about it and he would blow up at me for “poking the bear”. But my mind would wander to dark places and I fought with myself daily.

Is he having an affair? Does he still love me? Is there someone else he’s interested in? Did I do something wrong? Did I say something to piss him off?

The more I read through the comments of this thread, the more I came to the conclusion that: this guy was definitely the asshole.

YTA = yes, the asshole.

Crying is a natural human response to emotional stress.

There are so many things wrong with what he did in this post.

Crying is a natural human response to stress or when facing relationship problems. I’m guessing this neglect has been going on for a while. The girlfriend may even suspect that he’s cheating on her. I’m sure there’s a lot going on in her head.

But she specifically, asked him to come home from dinner. Then he made his own dinner, while ignoring her crying, and ate in front of her???

I’m going to give some unsolicited advice here and save you some grief on what the OP did wrong. This is coming from an outsider female perspective.

Get to the bottom of the issue. Be gentle about it.

If your partner (male or female) is crying on the couch when you come home, your first instinct should be to go over, sit next to them, and ask what’s wrong.

If the person doesn’t respond, try coaxing and asking questions. Rub their back. Touch their hand. Make a gesture that you know they love and respond well to. Some people don’t like to be touched at all when upset – I’m one of these people.

Did something happen at work? Is it something in the family? Are you feeling sick? What happened?

Don’t automatically assume it’s about you – avoid sounding defensive. The crying may have nothing to do with you at all.

Offer to make some food – if they say no, make extra food for later.

If there is no response – then leave them for a little while. Have your shower. Then come back and ask: “I’m going to cook something to eat, are you hungry? Can I make you something?”

If still no response, make them something to eat anyway. It’s up to them if they want the food or not. You can always package it up for later. Go for something healthy – and heavy on the protein.

Offer to give them some space, but leave the option available for them to come to you.

“I’ve made some food for you, it’s in the fridge if you want it later. I’m going to go to the office and do some work. If you want to talk, just come find me.”

Some people just need a good therapeutic cry. Sometimes we cry for no reason. Sometimes we’re just too upset to talk.

Sometimes we don’t even know why we’re crying. Whether you are male, female – regardless of gender identity – crying is a natural human response. It happens to the best of us when we least expect it.

If they refuse to talk about the issue or can’t, ask them to write you a letter.

If your partner still refuses to talk about what’s going on – or can’t find the words – then ask them to write a letter or send you an email.

When I first started seeing Trigger back in 2010-2011, I had this problem too. I was an emotional basket case with my hormones and was a hot mess. He suggested I write him emails when things got bad. And so I did. This eventually would be the catalyst that would kill our relationship. He got tired of the emails after a while.

I learned over the years to express my feelings verbally – and also blogging really helped me figure some things out for myself.

Crying as manipulation

I don’t think that was the motivator in this case. But I don’t know the full details. Some people do use crying as a form of manipulation. I never did that in my relationships. I hated letting people see me cry. I thought of crying as a weakness.

I didn’t even cry at my aunt’s funeral. I kept it together at my mum’s funeral – I only teared up when my dad cried. I kept my feelings in.

Now I understand that crying is a natural response.

Be there for them.

The important thing here with this kind of scenario is: neglect is a form of emotional abuse. You may be neglecting your partner without even knowing it. That’s why regular, open and honest communication is SO important in relationships. In ALL relationships – regardless of your gender or relationships status.

Crying all the time

Now if the person you are with – family or romantic partner – is crying more than usual or seems more depressed than usual – this could be a literal cry for help.

Some medical conditions like hormonal imbalances can cause some weird feelings – but it could be that your partner or family member is harbouring some real dark feelings and thoughts.

If this is the case, then please try to get help for your partner.

Just start with a simple question: “What’s wrong?”

Listen with compassion and empathy. But most of all, just listen to each other. And find time for each other – don’t get lost in the world that is technology and “life is too busy”.

Life is short. Make the most of what you’ve got now in front of you.

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