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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » I'm afraid I scared my boyfriend off by being emotional

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Author Topic: I'm afraid I scared my boyfriend off by being emotional
mmiiaa
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So, let me just say, I love my boyfriend. And he loves me. We have a great relationship. Recently, he's been stressed with grad school and has cried to me (for the first time) about his woes. And I was glad to be there for him and be supportive.
I've never cried in front of my boyfriend. I hate crying in front of people. But today, I went to the doctor, and found out I have another UTI, when I had one less than a month ago. I was extremely frustrated and scared and in pain, and I didn't know who to call after I got my antibiotics, so I called him crying.
He didn't know what to do other than say he was sorry and ask if he could do anything or bring me food. And that's understandable, I wasn't expecting anything more, I just wanted to vent. He sent me another text saying if he could help, but I just said thanks and it's ok and so on. But now, I'm afraid that my mini emotional breakdown over this UTI might've freaked him out. Like he couldn't/wouldn't want to handle it. I'm not sure why I was so weepy, it could've been my period that started yesterday.
But I've been trying to contact him all day and he hasn't returned any calls. Nor my texts. I know it sounds silly, but I"m worried that I was coming off as a lunatic crybaby, and now he's backed off because he doesn't know how to handle it.. I'm sorry this is so long.. [Frown]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You know, it sounds to me like you might be projecting your own feelings about how acceptable it is or isn't for you to cry -- versus the fact that you clearly feel it is for him to cry -- unto him. It could very well be he's just not around.

OR, it could be that because you haven't before, he is surprised and not sure how to respond, because he hasn't had practice doing that before.

But my guess is that given how uncomfortable you obviously feel crying, you really want some reassurance from him right now that it was okay, which is understandable. But since he's obviously not available right now, how about we talk with you some and try and give you some of that reassurance so you can have it from someone?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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mmiiaa
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Hi Heather, thanks for the quick response. I don't know.. it very well could be me projecting it. I do have a tendency to lean towards paranoia. But when I guess I started feeling that way when I called and he sounded so...uncomfortable. He even asked if I was mad at him after I told him that I had a UTI. I said I was sorry for crying to him, but I think that made him feel worse. And made me feel worse for making him feel worse..
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Heather
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Well, he might have been uncomfortable. If you have never been upset like this around him before, it would be hard for him to know how to comfort you or hold that, you know? When someone has an emotional response that's new to us, it can make us uncomfortable. Ad even if it did have that effect, it's still okay. It's okay for us to feel uncomfortable, after all, and in any intimate relationship, that's going to happen plenty of times about plenty of things.

You know, if something personal helps, the household I spent some of the worst years of my life in was one where I learned that if I cried, I could expect to be made even more vulnerable than I was already, and open myself up to either more abuse or being hurt more than abuse. So, like you, I developed a discomfort with crying in front of people. A discomfort I'm still unlearning, many, many years after the fact.

You and I might have different reasons for that discomfort (or not), but I think the fact remains that it's a given that when we're upset, expressing our upset in ways that aren't hurtful to others (like name-calling, being otherwise mean, physical abuse, etc.) really is okay. And being able to do that with the people we're closest to is part of developing close relationships. Same goes for any of us learning how to hold and handle another person's feelings when they're upset, how to process them, and then how to comfort them and ourselves. None of these are bad things to face and learn: this is all really good, healthy stuff to learn when we need to.

I think it might also help to think about the fact that when someone we care about feels upset, when we love them, we're going to feel upset, too, and that's okay. It's okay for any of us to feel upset.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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mmiiaa
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I guess I should start embracing the uncomfortable then, huh? But when do I know that uncomfortableness has actually turned into a bad thing?

I can somewhat relate to your feeling about crying in front of others. While half of my family refuses to show emotions, some are extremely emotional. And, though I love my fam and they are totally awesome, crying in front of others can either lead to someone yelling at you and putting you down or even more crying from other members. Also, in a petty sense, I look so ugly when I cry haha. I don't like crying in front of others because..well. It makes me vulnerable. And I don't know how others will react. I mostly expect negatively. They could think of me differently. I'd rather cry to myself.

But this time I really wanted to express something to my boyfriend. Because before I would cry to myself and tell him everything with me was fine, but it wasn't. So I guess I'm trying to be more open right now.. And I'm afraid that he thinks bad of me. But you're right that it's normal for him to feel uncomfortable when I've never cried before. Should I ask him how he feels about this? What if he never answers..

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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What do you mean by "bad thing?"

Do you mean when it's too uncomfortable for your partner? If so, do you think that he's got the maturity and openness with you to just voice that so you two can work it out?

I think it's actually really great you let yourself cry, finally, around someone like this. I know it can feel really scary, especially with the kind of baggage we can have attached to it, but ultimately, I think it's a big, positive growth step. It's just not healthy to feel we have to withhold any expression of sad or hard feelings from those we're closest to. When we do feel that way, it means we can only get so close, and they can only get so close to us, which obviously limits us both, you know?

If this person never talks to you again because you cried once, then I think we'd know something was seriously wrong with *this person* not with you. In other words, while I doubt that's what will happen, even if it did, it wouldn't mean crying to someone you are close to is a problem or something you did wrong.

But for right now, how long has it been since you have heard from him, and how atypical is this? In other words, have there ever been times you haven't heard from him for this long before?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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