My man [and I] got in a heated argument and [it] got pretty loud. Fine. The next day, I was looking for my phone and found it in a weird spot. It smelled like [urine]! I asked my boyfriend about it and he admitted that he [urinated] on my phone because he was mad. Yes!! He said I am overreacting because it still works. The end? —Anonymous
This is a wrap. Done-done. Over. Finito. For good.
If it makes you feel any better at all—and it probably doesn’t, but I’ll share anyway—this is not the first time I’ve heard a variation of this story … this month. A woman wrote in mid-July to ask this:
Just discovered that the guy I’ve been dating for a couple of months and that I really really really like isn’t “potty trained”!! I ended up bleaching my toilet (and the floor around [it]) while he was still in my living room. That’s how bad it was.
There must be a way around this. Like a movie!! Please, tell me you know a movie with a “potty training” scene or even an article. We could have two bathrooms in our house … Who am I kidding? What do you think is the nicest way to break things off? Especially as things were going really well … ?
Now, why she was cleaning his urine off the floor when he was sitting in the living room is still unclear to me. If anyone should have been cleaning up, it should have been him. It’s his bodily fluid.
Since she didn’t mention that he was drunk or ill, we’re left to assume that he was capable of cleaning and, further, that this was no accident done by a person who was physically impaired. This was just a sober human behaving horribly. And there was no salvaging that situation, either. Why she felt she had to be nice about breaking it off is equally confusing.
In my response to that woman, I guessed that the guy was upset with her about something, probably sex—or, rather, lack thereof—or some kind of rejection. Her story was also not the first time I’d heard of a man urinating as an act of aggression.
Years ago, a friend of a friend was invited to a wedding by a guy she was really into. Post-wedding, on the ride home, the guy asked her to be his girlfriend. She declined. When he dropped her off, he asked to use her bathroom, and he urinated everywhere he could spray up. It was revenge for being rejected.
In the most recent case, I guessed correctly about what the guy was upset about. He’d asked the woman when they were going to have sex, and she told him she wanted to wait until she was in a committed relationship to have sex, which is an entirely reasonable response (not that a woman needs any reason whatsoever to have or not have sex). He was angry. And then, well, he peed.
It wasn’t an accident. Civilized adults who have accidents clean it up as quickly as possible. They don’t return to the living room, mention nothing and leave their mess as a “surprise!” to be discovered and cleaned up by someone else.
Your account of your guy’s behavior is the first time I’ve heard someone urinating on an object—but probably won’t be the last. What kind of adult urinates on things in anger? I’ll tell you what kind: an uncivilized one, the kind you need to run from.
Last year Uzo Aduba, the actress who plays inmate Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on Orange Is the New Black, gave an interview in which she discussed a standout scene in which her character urinates on the floor of the prison in anger and to mark her territory. Initially the actress was reluctant because urinating in anger is the height of crass, but then she changed her mind. She explains why here:
When I think about how these women have lost so many things and been stripped of so many civilized ways of existing—you know, how we exist outside of the prison system all “civilized,” and we cross the T’s and I’s and everything is dotted, yeah? But in the system, they’re stripped down to their primal and animalistic selves, and if you’re existing in a culture like that, then yeah, of course it makes sense.
In prison, when you’ve been stripped of everything, it may make sense. In the outside world, using urine as a weapon is just plain uncivilized and a sign that your man wasn’t properly socialized. All the men I’ve described here need a mop and a therapist—and to be single. No woman should put up with this behavior. If you accept this, know that he will do so much more that will blow your mind 10 times more than this. The pee is just the beginning.
One more thing: When I respond to queries about men behaving badly, I get a lot of mail from men who are upset that I am being one-sided and throwing them under the bus. This is me acknowledging that urinating in anger is not solely a male phenomenon.
I mentioned your query on Instagram, and several readers responded with personal stories about men who had urinated (or spit) in anger, and so did one woman who said that she urinated on her ex-husband’s church clothes. She asked me to email her to get the complete story, so I did.
The short version: She caught her husband with another woman, and he had their child around the other woman. She went off:
I could not contain my anger. I slapped and scratched him. I yanked the gold chains off of his neck and kicked the side-view mirrors off his car. He pulled off. I ran back in the house. He played the drums for a church in [redacted] and had a very nice church wardrobe. So after I threw the drums all over the basement floor and busted a couple, I was still very mad. I yanked a good majority of his very nice suit jackets from hanging up and threw them on the floor and peed all over them.
The next day he put his clothes in the cleaners. I don’t think he ever got over me peeing on his clothes. He would say/joke later that I was crazy. I told him next time would be [worse].
Heed that warning from someone who has urinated in anger. And run.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life and the upcoming Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.