Why Men Withdraw When You Cry-It’s Not Why You Think
Have you ever cried in front of a man and longed for him to comfort you, hold you, yet he seemed clueless. He may even completely withdraw or even leave when he sees your tears.
Welcome to the club. It is common. It’s not however that men aren’t capable of handling our emotions. It has more to do with where those emotions your are spilling are coming from.
In some situations your tears can feel like manipulation or a guilt trip to a man. For example if you are crying over an unmet expectation or something he did or did not do that you thought he “should” or “should not” do.
These type of tears and display of emotions will put a man into a fight or flight and it’s a perfectly normal reaction.
A good example of this is my friend Leisa. Her boyfriend loves football. She doesn’t share the passion. That means Saturdays he is going to go to his home college game or watch it with the boys. Sundays he is going to watch it on tv.
That is a lot of time spent with his attention elsewhere.
She tried to snuggle on the couch. She even put on a sexy negligee trying to get his attention.
He remained fixated on the game. So she was even more hurt.
While he was on the couch watching Football, she was in the next room crying.
She felt neglected and wanted his attention. He heard her crying but never moved from the couch.
She felt even worse and in her mind this justified her tears even more. He must not care.
This seems silly seeing it written out but I have had a boyfriend who loved his football. He even cancelled a weekend trip we had planned during football season because his tv went out and he had to shop for a new one.
He was really upset that he wouldn’t be able to watch his pro team play on Sunday when we were due to return.
I didn’t cry. I understood. I found something else to do.
Had I gotten emotional, his fight or flight would be activated. If that had happened and he did go through with our trip anyway, it would have been from a place of guilt or obligation.
Next time you shed tears in front of your man, ask yourself do you want him to feel bad for what he has or has not done. If the answer is yes, your tears are in vain.
You may not be crying over Football, it’s probably something else, but is it something you can self sooth or are you hoping for attention and validation.
Why Men Avoid Tears and Emotions
Men want to make you happy. They thrive with a happy woman.
When you cry because of your perception that he has done something he shouldn’t or not done something you feel he should, he feels like he has failed you.
He can feel helpless because he can’t fix it. He can’t stop loving Football for example.
They can feel conflicted because though they want to make you happy, they feel discomfort if it has become an obligation or triggers feelings of guilt.
Please not that I am not referring to an abusive man or a man that lacks respect for you.
This post is more about your own self awareness of your own expectations.
Women Who Cry More Than Others
I know a few women who seem to cry more than others. They claim they have big hearts, are more sensitive and are just more emotional.
I used to be a woman that cried a lot when my expectation weren’t met by the men in my life.
I can sadly recall many times I laid in bed beside a man with my back turned crying. I bet more women share this sort of memory than not.
Hoping he would hold me or comfort me. Almost always my tears were an unmet expectation.
I longed for him to comfort me and put his arms around me and hold me.
This was an unrealistic expectation in hindsight. What man wants to comfort someone who just caused them to feel like crap.
My behavior was learned. I grew up with a Mother who did a lot of crying in an attempt to get her needs met. It became my normal. I thought it was the way women were supposed to get attention.
It seemed to work for her. I didn’t really begin to understand this until I was older and realized I spent a lot of time doing things for her out of guilt and obligation to stop her from crying.
Managing her emotions for her.
The Time for Tears
We can’t just stop crying. We all cry at times.
The death of a loved one, or a significant loss. Feelings of overwhelm when life gets stressful.
In a healthy relationship, a man will remain present with you during these times. If he doesn’t he may not have the emotional intelligence to maintain a healthy relationship.
On the other hand if he is just a man you are casually dating and there is no commitment, he may not be present with you during a tough time in your life.
I still shed tears but it is rarely because someone else has hurt my feelings or let me down. I can’t take that personal and it’s way more about them than it is about me.
Learning to Self Soothe
It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned how to self soothe. It took a long journey inward to acknowledge and nurture that inner child that resides in every single one of us.
It was painful to realize my tears were more about my attempt or hopes to control or gain a particular outcome than tears from my pain. I was seeking validation and comfort from sources outside of myself.
Sources/people that I had no control over. The only person I can control is me.
I expected others to make me feel better, including many a boyfriend.
The expectation that it was my partner’s responsibility to make me feel better was the down fall of many of my past relationships.
I have learned that if a man causes me many tears, and is genuinely behaving badly I can make choices. Like choices to withdraw my attention or walk away. Crying isn’t going to change him.
I wasted many tears on men that weren’t my match.
I also shed many tears on men that could have been my match had I known then how to self nurture and soothe.
The management of your own emotions is the best gift you can give to yourself and to those that you hold dear.
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