Men need another man to give him permission to cry
It's OK for Him to Cry!
Men need another man's permission to cry!
From the time I was a little tyke playing with my toys, if I pinched my finger in the door or got a splinter in my hand, I was told to “BE A MAN! BIG BOYS DON’T CRY!”
Then, in high school, as the boys were practicing football, one got hit really hard. It literally knocked the air out of his lungs.
He was laying on the ground, gasping for air, screaming in pain and the coach said: “Stand up – I want you to be a man and run. Run it off!”
In business, if you were in sales and lost a big sale that cost you your commission for that month, the sale manager would say “Suck it in big boy!
Thats real life!” In other words, when life knocks you down, get up and run it off.
Men have never been able to cry except for a short period when they were preschool.
Little kids cry all the time. But once you get to school the conditioning is endless.
The result is that most male individuals young or old deal with the storms of life, the hurts, the pains that come in one allowed way: to be angry!
It is a fact the the most common issues a woman seeks recovery for are depression, guilt or shame or self-blame. Men are often told to seek recovery by their spouse for the anger issues.
Therefore, is is extremely important that in a safe, recovery environment, where men are serving other men, men must verbalize permission to cry.
This enables men to express what for their whole life they have not been allowed to do ever.
A psychologist, David & Brannon (1976), who described the four standards of the traditional American masculinity:
(1) “no sissy stuff”
Distance self from femininity, homophobia, avoid emotions
(2) “be a big wheel”
Strive for achievement and success, focus on competition
(3) “be a sturdy oak”
Avoid vulnerability, stay composed and in control, be tough
(4) “give em hell”
Act aggressively to become dominant
I recognized this in my own life when my mother passed away. I was shocked and dismayed to learn of her passing. I was happy to know she was securely with Jesus.
But, everyone around me noticed I did not shed a single tear. My wife thought I needed counseling because I had no feelings.
The truth was that I was crushed on the inside, but the bad tapes in my head that said “BUCK UP BE A MAN” simply overpowered even such major grief.
I can’t tell you the freedom that came for me when I had someone tell me I had permission to cry before God. That was the start.
Once I started the after abortion training (1988) and conducting public memorial services, I can say that I cannot get through a memorial with a dry eye.
When someone ask me to tell them about the miracles I have seen in ministry, I can’t help but be emotional talking about how Jesus has walked with me and carried me for 45 years as of the publishing of this page.
Men need other men to allow them to grieve their losses.
James Dobson, has written extensively on parenting and fatherhood and the role of permission in relationships.
The same principles apply in male to male recovery.
NEXT: Quiz Chapter Two