What Makes Dudes Cry?

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.


  1. Jack Varnell says:

    Crying is good. I do it a lot. I must confess the video in this post gets me every time… :

  2. I went for quite a long time without crying…not because I repressed anything, I just think emotionally I wasn’t mature enough. I’m not even sure if that makes any sense…anyway, the first time in a long time that I cried was when I separated from my wife in 2010. I was in Halifax and went for a walk in a park. I felt like crying, but it wasn’t coming…so I focused on memories, sat on a bench, then started to cry. People approached so I stopped myself (why?). I went home and sat on my bed, then they really started to flow, I buried my head in my hands and bawled, I felt the hot tears streaming down my face onto the floor. Then I looked up and saw blood everywhere. My nose had started bleeding. It was on the floor, on the bed, on my clothes. I was a mess. I went to the bathroom and laughed at the absurdity of the situation. Since then I feel like my emotions ride closer to the surface and I am very open about crying; mostly these days I tear up at the sight of beautiful things, especially people being good to other people. That really gets me.

    Also, every time I watch this video shed a few tears…not of sadness, but of hope: http://confrontinglove.com/2011/01/27/how-to-be-alone-video/

    Crying feels good. I wish that more men were able to be more vulnerable and not see it as a “weakness.” It’s quite the opposite. It takes a brave man to cry openly in the face of ridicule and non-acceptance.

  3. Crying doesn’t do much for me. It’s an involuntary response to extreme circumstances outside of my control. It doesn’t make me feel any better because it’s never changed the reason for my tears.

    The last time I cried was when my youngest child was killed in an accident. Not sure if anything is harder than losing a child.

  4. Surely you’ve cried more than once? There things that over 10 years ago that still get to me.

  5. PS I shouldn’t type while drunk

  6. Crying is a sign of helplessness. I hate tears.

  7. prometheus1666 says:

    My top 5 times when I cried.. in no particular order

    1. At my wedding, when at 38 I married my girlfriend of 5 years.. in 2004
    2. Buying a house:)
    3. Losing our house:(
    4. Finding out my wife was cheating on me with guys half her age:(
    5. Finally learning to live my life on my terms and values, never looking back except to learn from things.

  8. Watching my dad die over 6 weeks, then watching my brother try to resuscitate him whilst I call the ambulance and then having to help make the decision to turn off his life support due to being brain dead. The song at his funeral always makes me cry.

    For quite a while I went totally numb, blocked it out, I would get so sad at times yet unable to produce tears and the frustration of crying without crying really got to me. Then a few years later I get the dreams every night of him and bam the ability to cry comes back and with a vengeance.

    Heartbreak was one of the toughest things to go through as well, quite a few days of crying with that. But mostly these days movie scores (Dragonheart = instant tears), sad or powerful scenes in movies (Life as a house, cried heaps in that) are usually the only things that make me cry. I cry pretty often in movies actually, sometimes because the scene/act is so sad and sometimes because it’s beyond happy, beautiful, the mix of music and the restoration of my empathy means I can feel what the characters are meant to feel at times. Quite frankly some of the most beautiful moments in my life brought me to tears, even great movies can bring those tears of joy and they really are spectacular.

    It took a while but to finally get in “touch” with my feelings properly made me appreciate crying, men should not fear it but embrace it because it’s a very much needed emotion.

  9. I was 20, my life long bestfriend’s drug habit had gotten out of control. There was an intervention, his mom, dad, older brother, grandfather were also there.

    We awaited in the living room, while his mother woke him up.

    The man who shambled out of that bedroom was not my best friend. But a hollow shell of the friend I once had. He looked malnourished, his face gaunt, and his eyes were mean.

    We all took our time, and spoke our piece. In the end he chose to reject treatment, and to embrace homelessness, and hard-drugs. I sat on the porch, while his mother cried her eyes into my shoulder, and his brother placed his hand on her, he was also crying.

    I went home. I had a tiny pinch of weed left from my stash. I didn’t buy often, and smoked only casually. But I told myself that it was over – I took that last pinch, loaded one last bowl, smoked it, and cried my fucking eyes out.

  10. Thank you for posting about this difficult topic….my ex cried for the first time when he finally opened up about his past…he cried when he told me about his teenage (17 yo) sister who had died in a car accident (which had happened when he was about 19 yo and riding in a car behind hers)….he said he never cried at her funeral (which occurred 2 decades previously)…he came from a chilly, rigid Catholic family and no one ever really talked about her afterwards….he held that in and never talked about her with anyone else until he became close with me…

    He was wrapped in a blanket and started tearing up and and his lower lip trembled when he talked about her…at first he tried to tell me that he had forgotten her name…I guess he had tried to blot her out of his memory…but how can you really? I was really shocked and unprepared for what he was telling me (I was just in college at the time)….I tried to just be quiet and just listen…and how terrible and lonesome it is to listen to a grown man cry….I was so way in over my head…his grief was like a tidal wave….I stayed in that relationship hoping to make him feel better about his loss…but you can never make up for someone’s past losses, can you?

  11. My mom told me recently that there are two things that make my dad cry when he’s reading the newspaper – stories about soldiers and their sacrifices, and stories about dogs. He’s always been a dog lover, but the soldier thing surprised me. I’ve never thought of my father as being particularly patriotic. He was never in the service and he’s always been very private about his political opinions and how he votes; he flies an American flag in the front yard, but that’s pretty much the only outward expression of nationalism I can think of.

    I made it through my wedding ceremony without shedding a tear, until I was in the receiving line and saw my younger brother’s face crumpled in tears (but smiling). That did me in, instantly.

    A memory of my husband crying – the summer before we got married after a long engagement, we had “the fight that wasn’t a fight,” a breakdown, questioning all the reasons we were getting married and if we were really sure it was the right thing to do, airing out our doubts and fears. Never attacking or criticizing each other, no voices raised. Just very intensely emotional on both sides. It lasted for the better part of the day. Usually I am the one crying uncontrollably when we get into a disagreement or fight; I remember my surprise at seeing him cry in that instance.

  12. It seems hollow to mention movies making one emotional (because I fear people might assume that this is the only time I have creid; which it isn’t) BUT

    Lonesome Dove. The book is great but the series/movie was excellent, such great performances. The score is killer: music that embodies the great american west and all the hope, triumph, tragedy, and sacrifice therein. As a rodeo cowboy and a rancher this film tugs at me in so many ways. You can watch the whole thing on youtube starting with Part one episode one:


  13. I cried watching the Cronicles of Narnia, when Aslam appeared to the kids, speaking with that deep, powerfull yet nurturing voice.

  14. Last time I cried was probably a few days ago at a song or movie (they have a way of opening me up).

    However the last time I REALLY cried for a real world event that just broke me was the death to cancer of my 9 year old cousin a just before Christmas 2010.

    It took till a few days later at work for me to feel anything other than numb and just break down.

  15. frankie says:

    The last time I cried was when I found my mother unconscious on the sofa after taking an overdose. I sobbed while on the phone to emergency services, but as soon as the paramedics arrived and I had to call my family I stopped. That was over two years ago. I resented the fact I couldn’t cry when my dog died. Sometimes I have intense dreams or nightmares where all I do in inexhaustibly cry, but that’s as close as I’ve got and might ever get.

  16. I get tears all of the time (like as recently as a half hour ago), but I feel real crying drains me, and I don’t seem to feel better for it.

  17. lemonsucker says:

    I cry when I’m sleep deprived. For some reason, lack of sleep causes me to think about everything, and I mean EVERYTHING negative in my life, and in the world, that I cant change. It falls on me like an avalanche and I get this overwhelming sense of utter helplessness. I wouldn’t call it a good cry either, as I don’t feel like anything’s released. More like just an emotional breakdown. A friend of mine says it’s because i don’t cry otherwise, and because i generally don’t show emotion. I’ve been told by past girlfriends that I keep things bottled in too much…

    Marijuana helps a lot, and sex. Unfortunately I’m running dangerously low on the latter right now.

  18. The last time I cried was last night. I have many reasons to cry actually. My father got murdered this summer, my mom’s addicted to pot which up upsets me to, no one really wants to be my friend, I am on my freshman year of high school and like 5’3, the law is trying to take me away and put me in a foster home or if my grandma wants me (she doesn’t) I will live with her. My father didn’t want me even before he died. I never talk to anyone about it or I will lose it. The only person that saw me cry besides my parents when I was a kid and the police officers and doctors and stuff like of friends was this one girl named Jennifer. I met her right after my dad died. I love her but she moved. My mom doesn’t make money cause she’s always high so we are barely making it in a mobile home and I am failing school because I don’t have time to do my homework and projects because I work after school so I could support my mom and I and I do all the house work and bills. I do good on test and stuff though. I try to cry at night in bed as quite as I can.

  19. NoNamerVet says:

    A couple days ago. This month was supposed to be the month I became a father for the first time, sadly my ex decided to abort. Before being put in those shoes I never expected something like this to happen to me let alone bother me. I’ve probably thought about it everyday since it happened, I’ll probably never forgive her.

  20. i think men are so hard on themselves that one will never actually get to see them crying…

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