If this week is gonna teach us anything (
apart from the fact Emmerdale just love those plot devices) is just how much of a grasp Aaron really does have on Robert. Robert is weighed down completely, you can almost feel the stress radiating from him. He has Liv to contend with, her skipping school, getting up to mischief, sending fines their way, being expelled, him taking on the firm parenting role, constantly doing his best for his little family and his responsibilities. Renovating Mill, keeping a watch on the scrapyard, stuck with two teens in his pub home with neither landlady present, fighting tooth and nail for Aaron’s appeal to get him back home where he belongs because boy does he miss him, pine for him, worry frantically at the thought of him in prison, alone and vulnerable and getting caught up in incidents.
I mean, yeah, he’s not sleeping great, he’s snappy, sad, mopey and desperate but he’s managing relatively ok up until this point to say he’s not really got any moral support to back him up. He’s running more errands than he can technically handle, he’s forcing lies upon himself, he’s pretending and trying to stay positive for his husband’s sake but he’s just about functioning and getting through the days one by one.
It’s inapt for him to crack so quickly under pressure, right? Surely if he’s got this far he can keep going? Only there’s one thing that changes that in an instance and triggers that inevitable heavy low point, and that’s the one man who holds so much power and leverage against him, has the key to his heart. We all know this has always been the case for Robert all through the affair era up until current married life - Aaron lashes out, alienates and pushes him away and Robert’s so devastated by the force of words, the idea that he’s no longer needed, that he subconsciously decides to take a downward spiral to the voyage of pity and destruct.
The moment Robert discovers Aaron’s taking drugs, jeopardising his fate, breaking his promises, lying to him and telling him he’s useless despite giving him his everything is the moment the gravity of the situation and the extent of Robert’s emotions will superficially surface because ultimately, without Aaron’s desire for him, without being able to help Aaron free himself from this horrific ordeal, Robert is swiftly set for a collapsed breakdown into oblivion where he finds a purpose elsewhere. That’s the Aaron effect.