Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Does crying really help?

(26 Posts)
intheairthatnightfernando Mon 02-May-16 18:51:46

My H walked out on me at christmas time unexpectedly after 20 years together. We have two DC and thus are in constant contact, which is difficult.

I think I have been coping well. I am proactive, have made lots of changes to suit my new life, the children are coping well and I have fantastic support.

However I get waves of sadness sometimes. I am usually able to be upbeat but sometimes the disbelief and sadness threatens me and I can't push it aside the way I always try to.

I am very scared of crying. I don't want to be someone who cries. I am terrified of crying on my own, as the thought of it feels really sad and scary to me. I know this may sound ridiculous. I have only cried two or three times since he left.
My question is this - does crying actually help? I have felt quite down the last short while and have been resolutely trying to be upbeat and plan nice things. However today an understanding friend pressed me on how I was feeling and I had a tiny, short cry with her. And wow I feel so much better! I am not sure why. It's more than having a sympathetic ear as I am lucky, I have that and make use of it and am so grateful. But crying and letting it out has lifted that heaviness from me and I feel light again and able to cope.

Is this a thing? Should I actually let myself cry when I am feeling like this instead of fighting it? I so hate the thought of crying over him, I don't want him back and my life is good without him. But he has so shocked and hurt me, I sometimes feel drowning (just temporarily) in rage and grief. Then it eventually passes and I can get on with being happy. But if crying would speed it up, I could maybe let myself do it?? Not sure. Apologies for sounding such an idiot!

Joysmum Mon 02-May-16 19:03:43

Having a cry is like a pressure sales se valve. I'm all for it! I'd rather cry than have the bad feelings continue to grow.

Joysmum Mon 02-May-16 19:03:55


KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Mon 02-May-16 19:04:30

Yes, yes & yes!
It's always better to be let out then kept in. It is part of the healing and rebuilding process. I think, if you let it out, you will heal much much quicker.

MagnifiMad Mon 02-May-16 19:05:33

Gosh, yes, I tend to feel better after a good cry.

After a bad break up in my twenties, I wandered around my flat crying and wailing as loud as I liked and just saying all the things I wanted to say about wanting to be with him etc. etc.

AnyFucker Mon 02-May-16 19:06:48

Gosh, yes

I cry a lot

For happy things and sad things. Give it a go.

YorkieDorkie Mon 02-May-16 19:09:10

I think of it as a natural reaction so therefore must be healthy. Our bodies have some amazing reflexes and crying must be one of the most useful!

trackrBird Mon 02-May-16 19:09:30

You have answered your own question - you said you felt better after a little cry. So it does help you, and yes, it does help people generally, as part of grieving or stress relief. It's a natural thing and nothing to be ashamed of.

You mentioned you are scared of crying, and your discomfort with it comes through very clearly. Have you any thoughts on why that might be? It's very normal to want to cry when upset.

intheairthatnightfernando Mon 02-May-16 19:11:12

I have tried so hard not to.
Do you not feel really tragic, crying by yourself? How do you know when to stop?

notthestereotype1 Mon 02-May-16 19:11:36

Well everything has been building up for me and I had a "proper", full on cry earlier today (actually only just stopped) and yes, I do feel better. It is definitely a release and I always forget this when it's building up and keep it in for too long.

Imo, there are times when you need to hold back and times when you really need to let it out.

Nothing to be afraid of OP. Glad to hear you've got lots of support.

KittyandTeal Mon 02-May-16 19:14:26

Yes. Crying is a good thing, I say that as someone who is almost totally unable to cry atm and it has be stuck and frozen emotionally.

Cry when you feel you need to or want to. I prefer to cry on my own so I don't have to deal with another person trying to make me feel better or feeling awkward.

AnyFucker Mon 02-May-16 19:16:32

There is nothing tragic about having a good cry

HeyMicky Mon 02-May-16 19:18:45

Crying also releases endorphins, so you will genuinely feel better after a good cry

intheairthatnightfernando Mon 02-May-16 19:21:36

Thanks everyone. It is unanimous that I should cry. I will try letting myself do so when I feel that pressurised feeling next time.

I think I'm reluctant to cry over him as I'm blocking out so much to be ok. I just want to be happy and not waste all this time grieving someone who has not turned out to be a good person. He's already the soundtrack to half my life. Now he's gone I've got to be happier than ever without him.

Arfarfanarf Mon 02-May-16 19:23:10

I think that in the circumstance you describe, crying is perfectly healthy.

It can be very good to release all that emotion.

You may very well find that you feel a hell of a lot better once you let it go.

Shayelle Mon 02-May-16 19:24:20

You sound like you are doing brilliantly x

Mishaps Mon 02-May-16 19:30:53

There is a heap of stuff on the net about how good crying is for you. Here's one bit:

"When we cry, our bodies get rid of toxins — with emotional tears, there is a release of leucine-enkephalin, an endorphin that reduces pain and helps to improve your mood. This is a super important detox because it helps to reduce stress immediately. You know how your mom always told you that you'd feel better after a "good cry"? Science has got her back on this one.
So the next time you feel like you need a good cry, go for it, you probably do. And you'll feel a lot better if you give into it."

You say "Now he's gone I've got to be happier than ever without him." I'm not sure that you do have to. You have a right to grieve that chunk of your life that you thought was fine and then was turned upside down; and to grieve the loss of your plans and dreams for the future. You are not necessarily grieving him, as he turned out to be a wrong'un. I wonder if it would harm your children to see you cry? - I think probably not. They may be holding in stuff for you, just as you are holding it in for them. You do not have to set yourself the target of being "happier than ever without him" - why would you do that? Why would you feel that is what you should be? You just have to reach a new sort of contentment, and you will get there in time.

trackrBird Mon 02-May-16 19:35:46

I can fully understand that, and it's a great attitude to have. Hold onto it.

At the same time, in my experience, we don't get to decide how to feel about everything. Even if we have lost someone awful, who brought harm, I think we still feel grief and loss over what we thought we had, and the future we thought we would have. This is my experience, anyway.

It doesn't last forever though. If you let the feelings be there, you will soon return to your positive outlook.

intheairthatnightfernando Mon 02-May-16 19:37:25

Thank you, these are really wise and helpful words.

I do worry my eldest is holding back. I have been trying to keep everything fun and good at home and both seem neither up nor down, though the eldest is more clingy to me. I do keep checking in with her and she says she is fine. But I am not displaying any sadness to them as I thought my job was to make them feel I had everything in control and the three of us would all be alright. I can see the sense of what you are saying though.

Startingover2016 Mon 02-May-16 19:38:30

I think it's a good question. Funnily enough I didn't cry much after my relationship broke down but have found things really stressful. I just kept going and going. Then I went to a yoga class for the first time recently and when I did the deep breathing at the start I was overwhelmed by the need to cry. I just filled up. It was as if when I actually stopped my feelings came to the surface.

It must be healthy and natural to cry.

Joysmum Mon 02-May-16 21:08:21

You sound like you're scared to cry, scared it may make you feel things you've been trying to suppress?

I'm like that with trying not to get annoyed blush

alaspoorderek Mon 02-May-16 22:26:36

I think crying is good if you feel like it; babies cry as they can't express themselves any other way and I think it's also the same for us as adults particularly when we are upset! I'd say go for it OP, I suspect you see it as a failure or weakness? Well I'd turn that on it's head and regard it as a strength, you have the power to release your emotions if you want to!

Deepbreath12 Mon 02-May-16 22:31:26

Crying helps me when it all feels too much. I'll just let it all out, then wash my face & get on with my day.

unlucky83 Mon 02-May-16 22:45:51

I was suicidally depressed (a long time ago now) and had to have counselling. For weeks and weeks I cried throughout the entire session (1 hr) every week - I literally walked in and started - even bawling, full on sobbing and snotty nose, , at times I could hardly speak. Other times I just had tears running down my face. And as soon as I left, I (mainly -first few weeks I did cry on the street) stopped crying.
I had had lots of horrible things happen within a short amount of time (and had a lot of baggage from before) and I'd never allowed myself to cry about any of it...and I should have.
I do recognise that fear that once you start you won't stop but you do. Because you have to face the DCs or go to work/out or even fall asleep....
You are allowed to cry - it is not a weakness but a strength - the strength to allow your emotions to show.
(Although if I have red eyes through crying and I want to cover it up I usually make a comment that my eyes are killing me - I must have got something in them - like moisturiser or shampoo - and a cool cloth or a cold used teabag both make them look much better...)

RedMapleLeaf Tue 03-May-16 08:36:27

Sometimes I have felt tragic (and pitiful) crying on the floor on my own. But it was a pretty tragic situation to be, so I think that's ok.

The Buddhists believe that suffering is not caused by bad, painful things happening to us but by our unwillingness to accept that bad, painful things happen.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now