couples

"It makes me uncomfortable when men cry"

Keith Urban has confessed that when he watched his wife, Nicole Kidman, walk the red carpet at the SAG Awards, he cried.

He told news.com.au: "I got to the house, flicked on the TV and I got to see my wife, I got to see what she was wearing. I hit pause on one shot and stood there staring at her … and started crying. I hated the fact she was there without me, on her own. Ridiculous, right?"

No, it's not ridiculous, Keith. It's actually pretty brave. To weep in the first place, then to admit it. Because blokes aren't supposed to cry, especially not Aussie ones. Well, that's what our social conditioning tells us …

When I heard about Keith shedding a tear, I thought "awwww, sweet". Because I'm totally fine with men emoting in principle. Good for them, the world would be a much better place if men felt comfortable expressing their feelings.

But if I'd been in the same room as Keith when he started blubbing, I'd have gotten all awkward and embarrassed – for him and myself.

We've been discussing why in the office and we've decided it's because we want our partners to be the strong ones who hold us tight when we're falling apart. Which is pretty rough for guys if they're the ones having trouble holding it together. 

Besides, I always think if they're crying things must be really bad.

According to Psychology Today: "Girls and boys cry about the same amount of times until they reach the age of twelve, by the time they are eighteen women cry on average four times more than men. That is about 5.3 cries a month compared to a man's 1.4 times per month."

Why? "One theory is that women cry more than men mostly because of social conditioning. As males are growing up they are urged to excel and become powerful, to never show their emotions, to be tough, independent, demanding, aggressive and good problem-solvers."

But being tough and aggressive has its downsides ("War! huh-yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.") And people who score on personality tests as more empathetic cry more than those who are more rigid, controlling or obsessive. And a little extra empathy never goes astray.

If I needed any more proof that man tears are good, The Art Of Manliness (don't you love that name?) offers 15 Great Men That Cried: "The rarity of male tears lends to them true potency. When a man sheds tears, particularly in the public eye, people sit up and take notice. We know something truly consequential is occurring."

Hey, if they can do it, why shouldn't Keith? Admittedly, it wasn't the sight of their wife on TV in a nice frock that set them off …

What do you think about Keith's tears? Touched or FFS?

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