As iVillager Pam puts it, "there has to be a balance." She doesn't have a problem with men who cry and show their sensitive side, but she doesn't like it when they cross the line and become too sensitive. "Then men are toxic," she says. "They begin to look to you to make all of the decisions and handle the problems and so on. That leads straight to the divorce court."
Clearly, many women are torn between wanting a macho man and wanting their macho man to break down every once in a while. While women want new millennium men to be sensitive, we also want them to be strong and protective, to be there to offer a solid, dry shoulder for us to weep on.
Men pick up on that, says iVillage's expert on all things male, Mr. Answer Man. "When a man and a woman are facing a sad or otherwise painful situation and the woman starts to cry, the man generally feels he must hold back his tears," says Mr. Answer Man. "There just isn't room for both parties to fall apart. One person has to stay strong." A practical and logical approach, sure, but is it fair? Mr. Answer Man says no way. He wouldn't mind being the one who's allowed to shed a few tears once in a while. Based on the responses from some iVillage women on the topic, though, Mr. Answer Man may find himself out in the cold clutching his box of tissues.
"I would think of a man as wimpy if he cried as much as me," says iVillager Allison. "My husband has cried just once in our seven years together. I didn't think any less of him, I was actually touched that he was crying over me, but a lot of weeping would probably make me want to slap him back into reality!"