Real Men Cry

“Crying is cleansing. There’s a reason for tears, happiness or sadness.”
—Dionne Warwick

Today’s story is contributed by Caryn Payzant.

Some people want you to believe that real men don’t cry.

But William Coleman, my dad, has shown me that real men cry, are compassionate, thoughtful, and carry a hankie.

Maybe it was because before he was twelve years old, he was raised by a single mom. While she was at work, his maternal grandmother took care of him. Maybe it was because he married the oldest of three daughters. Or maybe it was because he had three daughters of his own.

real men cry

Caryn with her father William Coleman, 2013

Whatever the reason, my dad has always been able to tap into his feminine side. And, he’s shed more than a few tears along the way.

It can start with a sad movie, hearing about someone’s struggles, cheering for a favorite cause, or even while listening to the Star Spangled Banner. Ever so subtly, my dad’s lips start quivering and his eyes start to water. His voice will catch and then he’ll take a deep breath or two in order to regain composure.

I thought all dads did this kind of thing so I was never embarrassed by his actions. I learned from my dad that it was OK, even for men, to feel deep emotions and show tender moments of both joy and sorrow.

Caryn Payzant, Real Men Cry

Caryn at her home in Southern California

When I met my husband Kevin, we were still in high school. Sure I thought he was cute and fun and had nice wheels. But what sealed the deal for me, was seeing my future spouse express his deepest emotions through falling tears. Because I was used to my dad responding in a similar way, I knew I had found a special man to share my life with.

My dad has also shown me his more “manly side.” From him, I’ve learned how to devour the daily sports page, how to swoosh a basketball, how to put my college degree to work, and how to always be true to myself.

But of all things my father is to me, the way I am most my father’s daughter, is in the way I can feel the moment and not be ashamed to cry.

What a wonderful legacy — to know and experience the softer side of life.

Thank you, Dad.

Caryn is the blogger at In it, she shares her “after 50” wisdom, experiences, adventures and tips with readers.

Your Comments

  1. Xenia

    I think this is an important subject because my dad who is a man’s man – opinionated, pro-guns, loved the Lakers and fancy cars — the whole nine would shed tears for anything family. It was quite touching especially when he sheds tears that he misses my sons (his grandsons) since they live in Texas and we’re in CA.
    Thank you for sharing Caryn!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current month ye@r day *