My partner, Kristen, was having a bad week. A COVID-19 exposure meant having to miss her best friend’s bachelorette party. Not to mention, we also needed to get all four tires replaced on our car and her laptop picked the perfect day to stop working.
I walked into the living room, catching Kristen on the couch right as she began to wipe the tears from her cheeks.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I know you get uncomfortable when I cry.”
I wondered why she thought that, questioning if the statement she made was accurate.
In the past, whenever Kristen was crying, I tried to take my cues from her. If she wanted to talk through her tears, I’d sit and listen. If she wasn’t up for talking, I’d sit and let her cry. I’d just try to be “normal,” coming off more steady, stoic, and even casual more than anything else. I figured that by acting unfazed during an emotional moment, I’d be validating her — showing that she was totally right to feel her feelings, and to express them however she pleased.