Urman Dictionary

weak cruelty

noun phrase

Opposed to ‘tough love’ which is being cruel to be kind, weak cruelty occurs when one attempts to spare feelings or save face in the short term in a way that leads to much more suffering in the long term.

For a long time, Partha couldn’t bear to tell Octavius that she didn’t feel about him the way she used to. When the truth finally came out, he was enraged at being strung along for months. It was years before he forgave her weak cruelty, recognizing it not as malice but cowardice.