Husband asks if he was wrong for not defending wife during armed robbery
Everyone always assumes what they'll do, but this guy unfortunately found out.
One thing humans are really good at is hearing about a tragic situation and telling others how they would've handled it differently, which presumably would've resulted in a better outcome. But the thing is, no one actually knows how they'll respond to a terrifying situation until they go through it. Even those with specialized training don't know how they'll respond until the thing they've been training for is unfolding in front of them.
This is why we see stories of police officers mistaking a cell phone for a gun or not immediately entering a building to stop a gunman. So it's interesting that people think they'll make just the right decision in a traumatic situation as an everyday citizen. Trauma does weird things to your brain in the moment, and oftentimes we aren't in control of what our brains decide to do.
But one man on Reddit says his wife believes he should've been able to override his trauma response to "defend" her during an armed robbery. Overwhelmingly, his AITA thread is proving that he is indeed not the bad guy in this situation.
The anonymous poster explained that after a date night, he and his wife decided to cut through the park for a romantic walk home. That's when things quickly took a turn.
"Well shortly after we get approached by two guys who present, what we believe, are guns demanding our phone/wallets. We are totally caught by surprise and freaked out so we hand everything over," the man wrote. "They get more elevated and tell us to 'take off your sh*t'. Now I’m starting to panic, obviously, but what the h*ll am I going to do against a gun."
Silhouette of person holding a gunPhoto by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash
Eventually, the husband and wife found themselves standing in their underwear when the men finally took off running. The couple flagged down a driver who called the police and gave them something to cover themselves while they waited for law enforcement to arrive.
The entire event was traumatic, to say the least, but a few days later, his wife angrily confronted him about his failure to protect her during the robbery. And while they both experienced the same traumatic event, their responses afterward were different. Because again, trauma does weird things to your brain. This includes feeling irrationally angry and blaming others for what may have felt like inaction on their part, when logically, you know they couldn't have done anything differently.
In this situation, you had men who were armed with guns and who were becoming more hostile. Had the original poster attempted to become an Avenger in that moment, it's a good guess that neither he nor his wife would be here to seek advice from strangers on the internet.
"You both probably would have been shot and killed if you fought back. It happened to a family member of mine. You did the right thing," one commenter wrote. "Trauma gives people weird feelings and reactions. I hope you guys talk to a therapist to process it."
"This is absolutely a trauma response. Not a doubt in my mind. Trauma affects everyone differently. Hell, it even affects the same person differently at different times," someone who works in the mental health field said in part. "It's really important to find some therapy help soon though. The longer you wait, the worst it can get. And try not to take what your wife said personally. There's a whole lot to unpack after something like this, and right now, you're the closest one, and thus the easiest to lash out at."
The internet isn't all bad. Many commenters reassured the husband that he did nothing wrong and explained that his wife's response is also likely related to the trauma. Hopefully, they both come to realize there's no wrong or right response when it comes to surviving a traumatic event and seek out a qualified trauma therapist to help them overcome that night.