I'm trying to figure out why most men don't cry. Is it because men are embarrassed by tears? Has our culture robbed our men of such an important emotional outlet? What is it?
I don't advocate tears at the drop of a hat, but except for extreme grief, when's the last time you've seen a man cry? A few, very few women report their men crying at the birth of a child. So that would be a moment of extreme joy. At least I hope it's joy.
What about pain? You know, I cannot say I've ever seen a man cry from pain. A car radiator exploded, showering my son with boiling water all over his chest. That hurt. I know that hurt. No tears. I was crying, but not him. My other son had surgery on his tail bone. Man, he was bleeding all over and I had the excitement of changing his bandages. No tears...
So what will induce a man to cry? How extreme must the situation be for them to surrender to tears? And why is that so?
Even in books, men don't cry. They get angry. Is that their substitute for tears? They curse and rage and stomp around but they don't cry. And when they cry, the author writes it in such a way that it's almost an apology for the man crying, as though they're embarrassed for the man who exhibits one of our most basic human emotions.
I'm re-reading Birthright by Nora Roberts. In one of the few exceptions I've read, the men in Birthright cry, not at death, but at life. They cry to celebrate survival. They cry when they share overwhelming emotions. They are strong enough to cry in the arms of their women. And because they can cry, their strength and determination to protect their families seems to stand out more starkly. The reader doesn't ever question their commitment to their woman.
How do you feel about man tears? What will induce your man to cry?