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My Husband Gets Mad When I Cry

3 Ways Vulnerability Can Actually Attract Your Man

By Stefanie, Laura Doyle Certified Relationship Coach

When you’re raised to be strong and resilient and, most of all, equal, the idea of becoming vulnerable is low on your to-do list.

Why be weepy when it can make you look “touched”–like a nut job with a screw loose?

Crying seems like something to avoid in favor of being rational.

Who wants to be sensitive and soft when what’s rewarded in the world is being undemonstrative and competent?

That’s what I thought too. Everyone knows boys don’t cry, and that includes girls.

Plus, whenever I did turn on the waterworks, my man would locate the nearest exit. Then I really had something to cry about.

But then I learned something that reversed this trend for good.

These days my husband loves to see me cry–for all the right reasons.

Here’s what I learned that brings him closer when I get misty-eyed: Click To Tweet

1. Feeling My Feelings Is Freeing

I come from a French line of strong, undemonstrative men and strong, resilient women.
Being “too sensitive” would earn a quick, dismissive “Bap!” or being called a “petite nature.”

Somewhere along the line, I lost touch with my emotions and couldn’t even tell you how I felt.

Wearing my serious professor glasses, I prided myself on being ruled by logic, until I started doing a lot of work on myself in my thirties.

The stoic facade that had protected me so many years began to crumble. I started crying, not in spite of my self-improvement efforts but because of them.

Now I knew how I felt: sad. Or mad. Or glad.

If that was the extent of my emotional palette, so be it.

Even recognizing these basic emotions—just giving myself permission to feel them—opened me up to a whole range of feelings I had shut away somewhere, bringing me in touch with my feminine power.

Feeling my feelings took courage, and allowing these healing tears felt like real strength.

Just seeing someone who resembled my late father would trigger the thawing that made my eyes leak. Before, I had been too “strong” to grieve.

I work with a lot of women. One would end up a puddle of tears every time she shared. She’d open her mouth, and I’d think “Here we go.”

Yikes, now that’s me!

Learning to embrace my own vulnerability means I get to be present, not repelled, when others show theirs.

But that didn’t mean I liked the tears. I must’ve looked like a flake. A mad woman.

Crying still makes me uncomfortable sometimes. Like I have something to apologize for or be ashamed of. But I know that’s my ego talking.

Receiving others’ love and unconditional acceptance takes some getting used to.

It’s scary being this vulnerable with you right now, confessing I’m a big ol’ crybaby.

After all, I’m a relationship coach. What should I have to cry about?

Shouldn’t my relationship be perfect and as tear free as baby shampoo? Indeed—according to my ego.

Vulnerability feels a little out of control. And I’m a (recovering) control freak.

Vulnerability is scary. I also can’t control how you’ll perceive me when I cry.

But it’s freeing to be able to be my real self with you, letting go of the controlled persona I held onto for years so you would like me.

And I feel more accepted and loved now than ever, especially by my husband.

2. Crying Can Be Beautiful

I had been very emotional early in our relationship. Every time he left the apartment because he couldn’t take it anymore, the wailing would begin.

He left me! He abandoned me!

No, he’d just gone to the watering hole down the block to get a break from being within the same four walls as me.

I was a little controlling.

I was a wee bit disrespectful.

I was intolerable.

And evidently on the hysterical side. It got to the point that he’d even get angry when I’d start crying.

My normally compassionate man had gotten fed up with being taken in by what he called “crocodile tears.”

My crying doesn’t drive him away these days. On the contrary, today my husband actually welcomes my crying. That’s because I’m not turning on the waterworks for dramatic effect or to manipulate him or to complain.

Rather, my genuine tears show my vulnerable humanness, which makes him want to protect me.

I was so surprised one night when I told him I was feeling sad after he found me hiding under the covers and he practically rejoiced, “You haven’t cried like this in a long time!”

I didn’t relieve him of that illusion.

And it’s not just me. With all the research emerging on the transformative power of vulnerability, crying seems to be making a comeback. I heard two impassioned defenders of crying just last week.

One was a woman boasting that she cries every day because it feels good.

What a weird thing to say. Here she was trying to sell herself as a successful entrepreneur. Didn’t she worry she’d seem unstable?

The other was a man proclaiming the virtues of crying and that volumes could be written on its benefits.

I admit, now that I’m my emotional self, I was right there with him.

If a movie makes me laugh or cry, it’s a hit for me. If it does both, I love it.

Ditto with a spiritual gathering or a coaching call.

Crying = vulnerability = authentic and meaningful.

3. Vulnerability Makes Me Happy

People have often told me, “You’re so calm,” but that’s not how I felt. Six Intimacy Skills™ later, I do feel serene.

Today, I feel content—joyous even—in my marriage, which means in my home, which means in my life. Which is what I’d always wanted. Not that it’s 100% of the time, but happy is my new default.

Crying is one side of my happy coin. I cry when I feel moved or overcome with gratitude, as I often do. I’m moved that my husband is eager to please me. I’m moved by the open exchange of gratitude and vulnerability with him, my children, my friends and colleagues.

I’m moved that he’s so ready to apologize when I feel hurt. The ease with which we (usually) apologize to one another is another effect of the culture of vulnerability in our home.

Today, my husband even apologized to me for being disrespectful! Yes, my macho Colombian man, a surrendered husband.

And I’m moved that grace is so freely available in my marriage, even when I mess up and dismiss the Intimacy Skills in favor of giving him a piece of my mind.

Now that I am a relationship coach surrounded by women unafraid to show their vulnerability—or afraid but do it anyway—I am touched. If that word has historically had negative connotations of not being right in the head, so be it.

I am touched. Daily.

I love it. And so does my man.

How have you found strength in showing your vulnerability? I’d love to hear your comments below.

19 thoughts on “My Husband Gets Mad When I Cry”

  1. Wow, coach Sarah, this is well timed! I had just been thinking that honoring my emotions and the concept of what I focus on expands can seem in conflict with one another. So if I’m feeling sad shouldn’t I be trying to focus on the positive? Your article really helps to clarify further how to get in touch and stay in touch with our emotional side. Thank you!

    Reply
    • I’m so glad the article resonated with you, Jenny! Suppressing my emotions or trying to pretend to feel something else never worked for me either. Here’s to your full, rich, emotional self!

      Reply
  2. Stefanie, You have lead the way with vulnerability. I love what you have written here. It helps me feel safer showing my feelings too. Your writing is so good. I love the serious and humorous mixed together. Well done.

    Reply
    • Norita, thank you for sharing your comments. I’m so glad you liked Stefanie’s blog and that it left you feeling safer showing your feelings. I admire your commitment to showing vulnerability. That is so attractive!

      Reply
  3. Hi Laura, I have subscribed to your swew course and am working through ur modules. Will I also be able to achieve this by following all the 6 rules of intimacy?
    Kind regards
    Aisha

    Reply
    • Aisha, congratulations on becoming a Surrendered Wife Empowered Woman! I acknowledge you for your commitment to learning the 6 Intimacy Skills to transform your relationships. I admire your desire to become more vulnerable. Practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills will get you there so you feel cherished, desired and adored! If you’re looking for more support to help you apply what you’re learning in the modules, feel free to apply for a complimentary discovery call to see how working with a coach would fit for you. You can apply here: https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching.

      Reply
  4. Beautiful Stefanie!!! Wise, very very well-written and important. I used to cry all the time too. I also loved and preferred movies that made me cry and laugh – they were the best. Then, I was in a relationship and my heart really broke (a 5 year one). Then, I became a controlled person, my emotions got stuffed down where I can’t really feel them.
    10 years later – I’m married to my one true love and still blocked with feelings. I had a miscarriage about 8 months ago and could cry a bit but my heart was sobbing but somehow the emotions couldn’t come out. I love my husband deeply but somehow it all feels all clogged up inside. I can feel that he is right and peace but that love and sadness that are so important to feel in life- where did they go? any tips on reaccessing these emotions. By the way, I’m a coach trainee under Laura Doyle and Stefanie. It’s a life changing program, cannot recommend enough and they are both absolutely amazing relationship coaches.

    Reply
    • Rachel, thank you for your kind comments on Stefanie’s article and for your beautiful vulnerability. I love that about you! And I love having you in coach training. I’m excited that your unique experiences and profound commitment to restoring the intimacy in your marriage will soon help you be of service to other women. I invite you to share your post in the coach training forum, where you can get the kind of in-depth support this issue deserves.

      Reply
  5. Hi Laura, showing vulnerability to me has been an easy or it’s natural to me. I cry when I’m hurt and I become relieved afterwards. I cry when I’m happy, watching an emotional movie. When people lost their loved ones, I put myself in their shoes and cry with them and giving them a hug and a shoulder to cry. The problem is I can’t cry in the presence of my husband, I can’t be myself, he takes it personally, he thinks that I’m manipulating him with my tears, he becomes extremely angry, he shouts at me. He does the same thing to our son, he doesn’t allow him to cry, he’ll end up saying, I’ll will not going to allow you to manipulate me with your tears, never. If I want to freely cry I’d rather take a walk or go to a quiet place and imagining myself talking to God and cry and go home when I’m better, or sometimes speak to my sister or my friend because I know they’ll let me be myself.

    Reply
    • KC, I love your commitment to showing vulnerability. I’m sorry to hear you don’t feel safe expressing your emotions with your husband. It must feel lonely having to guard that part of yourself from the man you love. I relate to not being able to cry in front of my husband. He would not receive my tears well when I did, and I felt like a bottomless pit of need. The 6 Intimacy Skills taught me how to be vulnerable in a way he can hear so I feel supported, cherished and adored. My clients with children report that the Intimacy Skills change the culture of the home to make it safe and supportive for their children as well. I would love for you to have that too. You are much more in touch with your feelings than I was, and if I can do it, you can too! I’d love to see you get the 6 Intimacy Skills and experiment with them. You can get them from my book The Empowered Wife. Here’s a free chapter: http://getcherished.com

      Reply
  6. I can definitely relate to this & feel like you’re speaking & sharing from the depths of my heart. I used to cry early on in my marriage & my husband would panic or become defensive… and eventually I became hard-hearted, for over 10 years. I stopped shedding tears in front of him & saved them for my counselor’s offices where I would have all these emotional, cathartic releases… “do you cry like this in front of your husband?” he asked one session… “not at all” I said… “you should” he said, “I can’t” I replied… but God softened my heart & changed us both to the point where we can both be vulnerable with each other & it’s beautiful! I’m so thankful for the humbling & softening of our hearts. Almost 20 years together & I feel closer to my husband than ever.

    Reply
    • That is so beautiful, Lisa! I acknowledge you for finding the courage to be vulnerable with your husband. It sounds like that is really deepening the intimacy between you. Thank you for sharing your story of hope!

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  7. Stefanie what a beautiful article on vulnerability! All the softness and self acceptance that you reflect totally moves me. Your sharing is a window for my own vulnerability. The permission you gave yourself to embrace your vulnerability is contagious. Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Objectivelly crying does not make you weaker. This stupid society of faking emotions is just simply lame. What makes a person strong is how they overcome factual loses and obstacles in their life. Even the people in the gym sometimes cry, when they burn their midnight oil. Are they weak?
    I just hate constructed nonsense.

    PS: I am from the culture:Do not show your weakness by crying bs. too.

    Reply
  9. Hello I am currently at the stage that when I feel hurt for something my husband does or says I begin to cry and as I do I can feel him tense up and say that your gonna start again and ruin the day as if me showing emotion makes him angry. And then I get angry isn’t this the guy that it’s supposed to protect me and make me feels safe is the one hurting me and getting angry because I am in my feeling. Because of this I question his love for me and sometimes feel that he really doesn’t love me like I do. I am now allowing time to pass to come talk to him so I don’t cry but I still feel the same way. What can I do for him to know that I am only feeling this way because of something he said without chasing him out.

    Reply
    • Maria, I still remember what that was like when that was happening in my marriage and it was very painful. You shouldn’t have to feel like you can’t show your true feelings or he’ll run away. One of the mistakes I was making at that time was crying to try to get my husband to treat me better, like a tearful criticism and complaint. I didn’t do it on purpose, it’s just what came out of me, but it never worked to have him treat me better. I just got the same reaction as you–he avoided me. It wasn’t until I learned the 6 Intimacy Skills and got other women to help me implement them that I saw him start to seek out my company and be more tender. The man who wooed me returned, and I felt like I was still myself, but my best self. It was life-changing. So get a coach so you can stop feeling sad, hurt and hopeless and start feeling special, desired and taken care of. You can join the waitlist for The Ridiculously Happy Wife coaching program here:
      https://lauradoyle.org/rhw-waitlist/

      Reply
  10. I was confused by the misleading title. “My Husband Gets Mad When I Cry”… But then in the article you talk about how he embraces it, loves you for it, and why it’s healthy to cry. That’s wonderful, I wouldn’t wish for your husband to ACTUALLY get mad at you for crying. But mine does, and I was Looking on the internet for advice on the matter, so that’s why I felt The title is misleading. Still a great article though, I agree With it! Just wish it came with some advice on how to handle a husband who won’t tolerate it.

    Reply
  11. Yeah I’d like to know why my husband will get really angry when I cry about things that upset me. Found this article. It helped me NONE AT ALL. He hurt my feelings recently and got mad saying “I can’t pick on you anymore?!” Then when I said why I was hurt, he got upset and said “that’s on you! That’s all you! Something is wrong with you! Not me.” So your title is very misleading and the whole article sounds like a made up story. What a wonderful life you have….

    Reply
  12. How do you know if your crying is sincere or attention seeking? My husband gets really angry when i cry.. Result being that I hardly ever cry anymore. And I am confused if this is a good thing or a bad thing. The other day I heard that a colluague had been gossiping about me being an angry woman and I just let the crying go as soon as I heard it. Nobody ever described me as such and it made me feel extremely insecure. It created in me a doubt of who I am and what if this colluague is right? And if everybody thinks this about me?
    My hisband immediately walked off angry which made me cry even more and the further whole evening. I just needed somebody to tell me that I am not an evil woman. Eventually i called my sister who gave the shoulder and support I was longing for (not telling her that my husband got angry too). Two days later the incident came up again and he called me emotional unstable and said that normal women don’t cry over something like this. I am thinking now that my husband may be right and that I should stop crying indefinitely but on the other hand..some people say that tears are ok? Like you?

    Reply

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