Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

It's no secret, women cry a lot more than men do. And while the old anecdote of men repressing their wishes to cry is probably true, even then I get the urge to a lot less often than any woman I've met.

Now, I agree with the scientific explanation that it releases stress relieving hormones, etc, but is there more than that?

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Background: My wife cries quite often when we have disagreements, to the point where's it's hard to have any disagreements without it turning into a moment where there's just a breakdown in communication when she starts crying.

Initially, I was very sympathetic. Seeing a woman cry evokes a sort of natural feeling of guilt and empathy. However, increasingly I have felt angry because I feel like I'm being emotionally blackmailed.

I know my wife doesn't do it on purpose, to manipulate or get her way. But, I'm suspicious of whether crying is only to relieve women's stress.
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Anyway, what I'm trying to get at... Is there a biological, underlying reason for crying in addition to stress relief. A sort of genetic manipulation of gaining sympathy from a partner or surrounding people to gain an advantage.

My wife says it's a sexist theory, but I don't know many men who pass a crying woman on the street, or at a gathering and have a reaction of "something's wrong" or "somebody did something bad to that woman". In my mind, the crying woman is always right (especially if a man is close by). It never occurs to me, that she's crying because she's upset.

I wanted to throw this out to a community of women to see what you think. Am I just being sexist? Is there something to this?
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

I often cry from frustration, and I know other women I know do as well... men probably are more likely to get angry
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

I’m a woman and I don’t know why either. It’s drives me nuts. The only person who could ever really make me cry was my ex-husband. I hate crying in front of others. I asked one of my closest male friends if a female started crying, would he let her out of a traffic ticket? His answer was, “Absolutely not. It doesn‘t phase me at all when I’m handing a teary eyed woman her ticket for the traffic violation she committed.” LOL!!!

Last edited by TotoWeRNotInKansasAnymore; 06-02-2011 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

I cry when I'm highly overwhelmed or frustrated, like Lisa said. Not terribly often, but on occasion.

Don't try to have a conversation when she starts crying. Call a time-out, let her calm down, and start talking again when she's able to hold a conversation sanely.

ETA: Toto, I'm not referring to crying over getting a ticket or things of the like, that just seems strange to me. I'll cry when I'm extremely overwhelmed about something I genuinely care about.
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Last edited by MGirl; 06-02-2011 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

I wish I could cry more. I rarely cry.

FWIW I think you are being emotionally blackmailed. Maybe not on purpose but history has taught her that this tactic works to her advantage.
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

Well, I'm not much prone to crying, but know many who are. Ironically both of my boys can sit and watch a sappy TV movie and will be bawling their eyes out - one's a teen!

Here's some stats for you: HowStuffWorks "Women and Emotions"
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MGirl View Post
I'll cry when I'm extremely overwhelmed about something I genuinely care about.
That is the reason why my ex-husband was one of the few individuals who has ever seen me cry or could make me cry.

I sought a counselor at the beginning of my divorce. Her biggest concern was how I did not permit myself to cry. She stated that my body language and facial expressions did not match the emotions she knew I was feeling at that time.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

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Originally Posted by marriedguy2 View Post
Initially, I was very sympathetic. Seeing a woman cry evokes a sort of natural feeling of guilt and empathy. However, increasingly I have felt angry because I feel like I'm being emotionally blackmailed.
I have found this in my relationship as well. My wife will turn on the waterworks in an argument because I won't back down from my particular viewpoint.

She will make up the conversation we should have had, and be angry that I didn't follow her script and when I defend my lack of "appropriate" response with logic, they will start much more quickly.

Of course, if you don't offer consolation for the tears you are again wrong, so it is a nasty tool in the woman's arsenal, because you are damned either way.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marriedguy2 View Post
Anyway, what I'm trying to get at... Is there a biological, underlying reason for crying in addition to stress relief. A sort of genetic manipulation of gaining sympathy from a partner or surrounding people to gain an advantage.

My wife says it's a sexist theory, but I don't know many men who pass a crying woman on the street, or at a gathering and have a reaction of "something's wrong" or "somebody did something bad to that woman". In my mind, the crying woman is always right (especially if a man is close by). It never occurs to me, that she's crying because she's upset.
The above-quoted remarks are very sexist and insensitive - more than likely the reason the wife cries so much. Unbelievable for someone to be so far disconnected to think crying in the middle of an argument is to relieve stress and/or to manipulate.

Next argument, try thinking about her feelings before you hurt them again.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

I cry when I'm extremely frustrated or sad. It's not intended to be a nasty tool in my arsenal-lol! Sometimes, crying feels like an emotional cleansing to me. I just feel better when I let it all out.

My husband cries during sad movies. There have been times when we are watching a movie and he'll reach for my hand. I look up at him and he's teary eyed. I think it's sweet.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

I never said that it wasn't a natural response in some situations, just that it can be used to emotionally manipulate the man in an argument, some women use it as a weapon, some don't.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

Women cry a lot. I get speeding tickets.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

I was never a crier. I didn't cry when angry, I got angry. I didn't cry to manipulate a conversation, I used my words. I didn't cry when I felt wronged, I spoke up and told them what is on my mind.
What brought me to my knees emotionally was September 11th. I was on the phone with a dear friend of mine when it happened. Talking to him and telling him everything is going to be okay knowing it won't be is the hardest thing emotionally I have ever experienced. To date, I cannot see any images of 9/11 without bursting in to tears, doesn't matter where I am.
I am different now and perhaps in a better way. Showing emotion isn't a bad thing and I don't do it to manipulate. It is something real that I feel. It makes me human whereas before I think I reigned myself in.

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Old 06-02-2011, 06:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marriedguy2 View Post
Anyway, what I'm trying to get at... Is there a biological, underlying reason for crying in addition to stress relief. A sort of genetic manipulation of gaining sympathy from a partner or surrounding people to gain an advantage.

My wife says it's a sexist theory, but I don't know many men who pass a crying woman on the street, or at a gathering and have a reaction of "something's wrong" or "somebody did something bad to that woman". In my mind, the crying woman is always right (especially if a man is close by). It never occurs to me, that she's crying because she's upset.

I wanted to throw this out to a community of women to see what you think. Am I just being sexist? Is there something to this?
It is sexist to assume women have some kind of "GENETIC" urge to manipulate people around them, yes.

Why not acknowledge that women are individuals? Some cry for manipulative purposes. Some cry because they're genuinely emotional. Some cry because they are frustrated with THEMSELVES. It's not always about you.

If it's not about you, and you make it about you, that says as much about you as it does her crying.

I also think you may be committing the fallacy of confirmation bias. A woman crying grabs your attention - you NOTICE her. A woman who walks down the street stoically and only bursts into tears when no one is watching, or a woman who WANTS to cry but never does - you don't see her. You are counting the hits and discarding the misses.

In fact, there are a lot of women who actively resist public displays of emotion because they fear they won't be taken seriously, or that they will be stereotyped as a "hyperemotional female".

For the women who do cry manipulatively, I think it is also illogical to blame a "genetic" issue with women instead of looking at social factors. Women tend to be smaller and less physically strong than men. Women are often told that they should not be direct and forceful, because that's b*****y. Many women have been physically intimidated by men - the majority of men are not physical intimidators, but it only takes one guy, one time to remind a woman that she is at a disadvantage if this becomes a physical fight. If crying is a tactic some women have adopted, yeah, it's not exactly admirable. But I think it's as much a "nurture" response to the world we live in as it is anything to do with inherent "nature."

I also don't think it's any more manipulative than a man who uses his physical size to intimidate people, or who flies into violent rages to get someone to submit. Not man-bashing when I say this, quite the opposite. Manipulative behavior is not limited to gender, it just takes different forms.
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Q from Man: Why do women cry so much?

I absolutely HATE to cry and will twist myself into knots to avoid it. I don't consider it a release ... I see it as weak and emotional and makes me feel like a "stereotypical female." And I mean no offense to anyone when I say that ... it's just the way I've always internalized it.

In fact, at our 3rd couples session my counselor asked me to tell my H something that I'd discussed with her previously. I started to say it and then could feel that I might cry ... I fought it hard but couldn't talk through it. So I said ... I'm not doing this right now. She then tried to tell me how crying makes you strong because it shows that you are open and confident enough in yourself to let your emotions show. I told her I thought that was "bulls**t psychobabble" and that didn't work for me.

So my point is not all women react with tears ... and don't use tears as manipulation and emotional blackmail.
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