Why Most Women Are Simply Not Ready To See Men Cry

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guy with hands on head crying

Editor's Note: This is a part of YourTango's Opinion section where individual authors can provide varying perspectives for wide-ranging political, social, and personal commentary on issues.

Recently, I had a phone call with a friend of mine whose husband recently lost his job. His job was, for lack of a better term, probably located somewhere to the left of Satan’s rear end, in the middle of h***. It was awful.

I’ll call these two Jared* and Lilah* because I want to keep their identities a secret.

Jared has always been the type of guy who is stoic and quiet. He endured a lot in his finance job, including bad customers and a berating boss. He kind of let his job define him.

When he got laid off, Jared was hurting in a way that very few understood. His high-pressure job was everything to him. Lilah made a bit of a mistake on her end. Her, not expecting what happened next, told her husband to be vulnerable and just let out the crying.

"Ossiana, I know how bad this sounds, but I wasn’t expecting that," she said. "The noises he made…It was bad. Like, guttural, screaming sobbing. And he wouldn’t stop crying for the better part of five hours. He didn’t get out of bed. I…I can’t see him the way I used to anymore, not like that."

RELATED: Confessions Of A Constant Crier (I Burst Into Tears Over Everything)

Whether we want to admit it or not, there are a lot of women who don’t quite know how to handle a man who’s deep in grief or sorrow.

It’s weird. For all the hemming and hawing about feminism and egalitarianism, we never really think of what a man looks like at his most vulnerable. Most women initially think that it’ll be a quiet cry, like in the movies.

Men are used to seeing women cry and wail — okay, maybe not wail, but you get my point. We’re given a free pass at emotions. We’re also given large support networks where we can blow off steam without judgment.

Most guys do not have that, so they bottle it up.

And bottle it up.

And bottle it more.

Then women tend to get used to seeing guys in their "default" mode of cheerful, stoic or slightly grouchy. Maybe if their dog dies, they’ll cry a couple of tears, but not like, a primal cry where they’re curled up into a fetal position.

So when many women actually see a man really break down and crumple, it’s jarring. It can even be scary because we are not used to seeing that. If you’re not used to it, you won’t know how to handle it.

For women who are used to their guy being upbeat or just "chill" about things, seeing him truly fall apart is shocking. Women who might see their guy as strong or even impenetrable might suddenly see them as weak. Is it fair? No. That’s an effect of growing up in the patriarchy.

RELATED: 7 Proven Physical And Mental Health Benefits Of Crying

There’s also the other side to men crying that isn’t as discussed.

We’ve all met a guy who is "sensitive" in the same way that a toddler is. You know the type, right? The guy who cries at the drop of a hat, even when it comes to things like his girlfriend wanting a day off to herself or a girlfriend who wears a skirt he deems too short.

You, uh, see where I’m getting at with this, right?

It’s those kinds of guys who often weaponize tears or use them as a way to manipulate women around. After time #512345191, girls stop wanting to hear the constant complaints and whines. This is the type of thing that isn’t just a turn-off for women. It’s a thing among everyone.

In many cases, it’s that guy who makes crying in front of women verboten. I mean, no one wants to be the guy who uses tears to manipulate others around him. It’s a toxic trait — but our society rarely seems to be willing to get subjective and detail-oriented enough to note that all guys don’t do this.

What ends up happening with a lot of men as a result of the double standards and stigma is kinda messed up.

So, maybe it’s just me that noticed this, but a lot of men end up developing this weird "fake sad" persona they put on in front of their girlfriends. This way, girls think their boyfriends/husbands show their vulnerable side, but in reality, the guys don’t.

They actually shed a couple of tears or make a sad noise, then they wait until they’re alone to get time to break down and let it all out. Some just end up being unable to cry at all. That’s really f***ed up, and it shouldn’t get to that point.

RELATED: 11 Reasons You Feel Extremely Emotional All The Time

Ladies, let your man be vulnerable, and don’t judge him for it.

I know it may be jarring, but you have to remember that your man is human. He needs to have a person to just be there for him when he falls apart — even if it’s a bit rarer.

Wrap him up in a blanket. Make him some food and run him a bath. If he’s a regular adult, he has issues just like you do. You might as well act like a true partner. If he’s a good man, he’d do the same for you in a heartbeat.

If you can’t handle seeing a man have a breakdown or a serious cry, ask yourself why. It may be time to examine yourself.

Men, find yourself a girl who allows you to fall apart when you need to.

Women like that exist. I assure you. I’m one of them, and there are plenty of women who have empathy and will act like the supportive bastions of love a partner needs to be.

RELATED: 6 Reasons Strong, Sensitive Men Are The Best Men To Love

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.