Why Doesn't My Boyfriend Care if I Cry?

Crying time? Your guy might mistake your motives.
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The two of you are arguing when you burst out in tears. Even though you know this is a completely normal emotional reaction to what's going on, your boyfriend doesn't seem fazed. If your guy doesn't seem to care when you cry, it doesn't necessarily mean that he's cold-hearted or has checked out of your relationship. From feeling uncomfortable in emotional situations to a complete loss for words, your boyfriend's seeming lack of caring may not come from a mean-spirited place.

1 Fear From the Past

When your boyfriend refuses to care if you cry, it's possible that he's mentally pushing you away out of his own fear. If your guy experienced some sort of emotional trauma in the past, he may find the emotional issues involved in a real relationship tricky to deal with, according to clinical psychologist Seth Meyers in his article "Fear of Intimacy in Men: Cause, Relationship Problems, Tips" on the "Psychology Today" website. For example, your guy's dad either ignored or shamed him for crying when he was little. Now as a teen or young adult, he feels as if crying is unnecessary, unimportant or wrong in some way.

2 He Might Cry

Strong emotions may make your man feel so vulnerable that he shuts down and shuts you out. It's possible that he's anxious or worried that he'll start crying too, making him back away and act as if he doesn't care what you're doing. For example, the two of you are arguing over a misunderstanding in which he thought you were supposed to call him and you thought he was supposed to call you. You both have hurt feelings, and you begin to cry. He shakes his head and walks away. This isn't necessarily saying, "I don't care." He may feel just as much hurt or pain as you do. Unlike you -- who feels completely comfortable crying in front of him -- he may fear to let his emotions out around you.

3 Mr. Fix It

Crying in front of your guy is a sign that something is wrong: He did something to upset you, someone else hurt your feelings or you have some sort of problem that is making you supremely sad. When your boyfriend doesn't seem to care that you're sobbing, it may mean that he feels like it's his job to make you feel better. Instead of getting emotional himself, his first instinct may be to "fix" you by stopping the tears. While you may need comfort and caring, he may think that "fixing" the problem means ignoring it or moving on to make you get over it.

4 Manipulative Tears

Whether your tears are real or not, your boyfriend may believe that they are only a last-ditch effort to manipulate him. Past relationships may have taught him that some people use crying as a way to guilt others into getting what they want. He may see tears as a sign of emotional blackmail, making him want to ignore them at all cost. For example, every time he told his ex that he couldn't stop by and see her after work, she turned on the waterworks. He would comfort her and oblige her request -- until he realized that she wasn't actually sad, she was just being manipulative. He may see your tears in the same light, leading him to turn his emotions off when the sobbing starts.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.