When Grown Men Cry

Men Do NOT Cry.

Men do not cry. Pretty strong statement. What do you think, do they?

Many people make this statement thinking that a grown man crying is very effeminate. This is where all of this started for me because growing up I saw the complete opposite.

Growing up I looked up to my dad and now as a grown man, still want to be like him. My dad was a Police Officer for 25 years. 20 years of that he spent on the street being a patrolman. Not taking the tests for the next rank because he loved being on the street. He also was on the SWAT team for a number of years. While on the street he was in multiple high-speed chases, intentional car crashes, more fights then you would want to count, broke his right hand three times, left hand once, broke his femur, busted his shoulder and the list goes on. My father was, and is, a man’s man. When other men meet him they look up to him.

I tell you this to paint the picture of him for you the way I see him. He is a real man. He has his scars, both physical and emotional. He has regrets as well as points in his life that have brought him more joy then he would be able to articulate. I have been with my dad at times in his life when his heart was so gripped that he was brought to tears.

Now let me tell you something – I have watched a real man cry and there is nothing effeminate about it.

Have you ever watched a grown man cry? Think about the most manly man you know. That is my dad for me. When he cries I never think to my self “man up” “what a girl” or “sissy”. On the contrary I sit in silence, wondering how a man so manly can be so tender, so gentle, so broken.

I have learned so much from my dad, much of which he never actually said to me.

One of those things is that Grown Men, Real Men cry. At times they even Weep.

The difference between a man and a child is very simple, what they cry over.

While a child cries over someone stealing his stuff a man cries over much more important things. Here are the ones that top my list.

1. Sin. A correct understanding of the sin in your own life or in the life of another has deep impacts not only on the individual but all that love them. When you realize this and see it clearly, it has the power to break you. Whether they realize it or not the effects of those choices weigh heavy on those who love them.

2. Forgiveness. Whether you are the one giving forgiveness or the one receiving it, making restoration in relationships is again a very emotional experience. From my own life it seems that the longer the rift in the relationship the sweeter the restoration.

3. Loss of one you love. This may seem obvious to some, but the truth is that there are many who when they lose someone close to them they decide that closing down the emotional aspect that comes will make it better. There is, however, a reason that we are told that there is a time grieve. The loss of one you love can rack your world more than anything else. The reality of death can be sobering to say the least. This is true whether it is a spouse, parent, child, sibling, grand parent, or friend. The list could continue for sure. We have all felt that knot in our stomach when we heard of the death of another, even those that we have never met. We all know that feeling to well.

4. Joy. I remember the times that I have cried because of great joy. For instance, each of my kids that were born I was so excited and so happy that I cried. Partially from my excitement and partially that they were so beautiful. Either of these reasons on their own would be enough but the moments that encompass both overwhelm me to tears. This is a significant thing and many grown men have cried at the same moments. These are not moments of weakness but of understanding and gratefulness.

I understand that this list is short and that there are many more things that would be worthy of a man’s tears.  The truth is that there are any number of things that could bring a man to tears.

I need your help and any thoughts that you may have that we can add to the list.


7 thoughts on “When Grown Men Cry

  1. I find that I am most often moved to tears from point number 2. It is overwhelming to me sometimes to think of how much I have been forgiven.

    Also, since I got married, I find that I tear up with joy when I see other people in love now too. Who knows why we cry when we’re happy, but it happens to me a lot.

    I never did do good with the whole “men don’t cry” thing. LOL

  2. “I have learned so much from my dad, much of which he never actually said to me.”

    This could (and should) be quoted over and over again. I’ve found the same to be true from the manliest of men in my own life. Thanks Tim!

  3. One of my fondest memories of my Dad was seeing him cry when I told him that the name I was giving to my son was largely influenced by wanting to honor my Dad. My Dad also not in the lease effeminate, who taught me to shoot, hunt, work on cars, and list goes on and on, also shows a tenderness that I believe contributes to him being a better man then I. I absolutely agree with you Tim, and I believe that that man that doesn’t cry is a much weaker man then the one who does.

  4. Tim,
    I am happy to have found your blog and look forward to getting to know you more and learning from your leadership insights. Are you on Twitter? It’s a great way to share ideas about leadership. Email me if you would like to get more plugged in with the leadership blogging community. I’d be glad to help.


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