Dear men: It’s OK to cry 118



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It’s been a devastating few months for my family. My husband’s brother passed away earlier this year. He was fit as a fiddle but just dropped dead aged only 61. The shock of the news really hit my husband, but he kept telling me he needed to be strong for his elderly mother and her partner.

At the funeral, it was as sombre as you can imagine – dark outfits, even darker moods, and it felt like the world we knew had just been shattered. Steve’s three daughters are only in their 20s and looked lost and heartbroken.

Still, my husband did not shed a tear. He and his were very close throughout their lives, and were just 15 months apart in age. It was a massive loss, as we all had been so tight as a family.

Steve left a hole in our lives, and my husband felt so alone, I could feel it. But again, he never shed a tear.

One day a few weeks after Steve had passed, I found my husband staring off into the distance out on our deck. I gave him a hug and asked if he was doing OK. He said that men shouldn’t be upset and stormed into the house. Clearly he was upset and didn’t want to show it.

A little more probing with his sister showed me why my husband felt he couldn’t pour out his feelings about his brother – it’s the way his father and grandfather were.

When their youngest brother Mitchell died in a farming accident aged 4 in the 50s, his sister said their father wanted to show he was strong for the boys. He never cried or even allowed the kids to cry about the loss, and would lock himself and their mother in the bedroom so they could grieve in private – it was never done in the open.

And that’s just how it was. I even remember my own mother being very afraid to show that she was upset about things, and my dad certainly wasn’t able to cry in public. But now, I feel times are changing and men can be expressive. In fact, being very pen and communicative has become almost the new normal for men, and I have to say I believe that’s what is right.

We have two sons and I have had to tell them, you can display your emotions – a real man does cry.

The role of men in our society is changing rapidly and I’m so grateful, but I wish my hubby could see that. Nowadays men don’t blink an eyelid at changing nappies and babysitting, whereas the man used to be the provider and nothing more.

I want to know what other women and even men think about showing emotions and stopping the brave face once in a while? Do you have trouble getting your partner to show how they’re feeling? Do real men cry?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Never keep your emotions locked inside, yes real men do cry and have every right to the same emotions felt by women there is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s healthy to let it out.

  2. sometimes it stems from your father.mine was a strict person not easily given to showing his emotions ( this in turn came from his dad )

  3. Unfortunately there are still plenty of females that will use your apparent vulnerability against you if you show your emotions!! Have seen it and experienced it!!

  4. I am lucky, my husband does cry. He cried making his husband of the bride speech at our wedding when talking of his love for me and did the same at our daughters wedding. Don’t think he likes people to see he is emotional but I love that side of him.

  5. Sad and beautiful article all rolled into one. This crazy notion of what being strong means. I now realise, as this article states, it was what these men were taught/modelled. I so hope this man allows himself to be human and expressive, what a release it would be for him. Such a caring wife. Dear men, it is not only OK to cry.. it is normal and healthy.

  6. I remember a time in my life when I was desperate to cry but the tears just wouldn’t come. I think crying, for many men, is something they would desperately want to do to but they can’t let the tears flow. I have a BFF who is male. He is ’emotionally inept’ – he can’t even verbalise his feelings, let alone cry but he is the most compassionate man I know. A product of his upbringing – probably. Thankfully, my sons have a much better chance of being in touch with their emotions.

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