When Life Hits You (Why Men Don’t Cry)

Occasionally we hear women complain that men don’t show their feelings.
Closely related to this is the question why men don’t cry.
No, it’s not because of the stereotype that, admittedly, some men are trying to live up to.
In reality there are good reasons why men don’t cry.
Yes, we have feelings but we simply make not much fuss about them.
Basically, there are four reasons for this.

1. Have you ever watched a boxing match?
What happens when a boxer sees that his opponent has a cut in the face?
He pummels precisely that cut in his opponent’s face in order to defeat him.
Very simple truth. Very brutal truth. We may not like it but that’s human nature

2. Equally simple and brutal is the truth that weakness invites aggression and that the weak are trampled down.
A man who is crying shows that he’s hurt. A man who is hurt is perceived as weakened. That makes it more likely that he becomes a target for those who are looking for easy prey.

3. More important than the first two reasons is the simple fact that making a fuss about your own feelings doesn’t change a thing. It may or may not provide temporary relief but it doesn’t change the facts on the ground. It doesn’t change the situation in any way. That’s why I prefer to take action or to work on solutions for the problem that caused the pain in the first place instead of curing symptoms.

4. Finally, more important than all the other reasons is this one: Love.
Men want to be strong and they want to protect those who they love or care about and they want to be a rock of stability (emotionally and otherwise) for  them. They want to be reliable and they want to be able to give confidence in the worst times of crisis and chaos. In short: Men want to be strong, protective, reliable, robust and stable for their family, their team and their country.

Now, it doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman. Just answer this question: When chaos and hell is all around you who  do you want to have on your side? A man who is preoccupied with his own feelings or a man who doesn’t care about his own feelings but rather takes action and does what needs to be done? A man who cares for his own feelings or a man who cares about getting  himself and you through the chaos?
If you are totally honest with yourself I know your answer already.
I know one man who is the embodiment of ultimate manliness: Jesus Christ.
He knew what horrible pain was awaiting him and yet he did go ahead anyway.
He did what had to be done because of his love for us.
Even on the cross he did not care as much about his own pain and suffering as he cared about those who had crucified him.

Usually I don’t write about the man vs. woman stuff simply because I don’t find it worth mentioning.
That’s because it’s pretty obvious that Women are neither better nor worse than men. They are just different.
Both men and women are equal in their value but different in their nature. That makes a lot of sense because they are made to  complement each other. Because of our different natures we think and act differently and we have trouble understanding each other.
In our times men are frequently made to look stupid and primitive.
When life hit me badly two weekends ago I realized that there was one aspect of male behaviour that is often misunderstood, misrepresented and that it deserves an explanation because it shows the selfless, noble side of manliness.

As I’m writing this the full drama of the crashed Germanwings airplane unfolds and I can imagine the pain that the loved ones of all those who died must be going through. May God help them.

5 thoughts on “When Life Hits You (Why Men Don’t Cry)

  1. You’ve contributed to an important conversation. With Christ as the model, we know His great courage at the Cross. We also know His tenderness (the little children, Mary and Martha etc.). And He wept at the sight of Jerusalem.

    Expecting men to constantly air their “feelings” has resulted in a pansified culture. Thanks for illuminating the Art of True Manliness!

    1. “Expecting men to constantly air their “feelings” has resulted in a pansified culture.”

      I can’t think of a better model than Jesus Christ for any man.

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