10 surprising things It means when a guy cries over you

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Every single one of us has cried at least a few times throughout our lives. For those in relationships, crying – especially during fights or arguments – may happen more frequently. 

While it’s a known fact that women tend to cry more than men, it might be surprising or even unexpected when a guy sheds tears for you. If you’re not sure what this means, you’re not alone. 

In this article, we’re going to look very briefly at why people cry and why crying is healthy, and then we will discuss the top 10 things it means when a guy cries over you.

Who knows, some of them may even surprise you. Knowing what lies beneath the surface when a guy cries over you could help you decipher his feelings and, ultimately, strengthen your relationship.

As a married person, I’ve seen my husband cry for me several times, and I’ll admit, the first few instances were a mystery to me because I did not know what exactly he was feeling or what it meant.

Why do people cry? 

The act of crying is triggered by all kinds of feelings – empathy, surprise, anger, and grief, to name a few. In the context of a relationship, crying is a sign of vulnerability, which is crucial for human connection.

A few theories say that crying is good for your mental health, and to some extent, that’s true. According to research, the act provides a form of release, or what is called “catharsis.” 

While women tend to show more vulnerable emotions like sadness, fear, and shame, men tend to express more hostile emotions like anger.

According to the same research, this is likely a product of the contrast between how society views masculinity and femininity in terms of conveying emotions. It has led to an attitude that guys who show vulnerable emotions are weak (no doubt you’ve heard the saying, “Boys don’t cry.”) 

So what does it mean when a guy cries over you?

When people cry, it could be because of a negative or a positive reason. It’s no different for guys in relationships.

1) He’s overcome with emotion

Fights between couples are normal.

Although it can be unpleasant while it’s happening, fighting is healthy. It can help couples figure out what issues they have if any. When couples communicate, it can also help bring them closer together.

But in such high-stress situations, your man may find his feelings come in too strong and too fast for him to handle.

As emotion researcher and psychology professor at the University of Florida, Jonathan Rottenberg explained: “Crying signals to yourself and other people that there’s some important problem that is at least temporarily beyond your ability to cope.”

When a guy cries over you, this might be what’s happening inside him. In moments like this, just let him let it out.

You don’t need to talk; sometimes it’s best just to be a calming presence for him. When his crying subsides, you might also ask him how you can help and tell him that you’re there for whatever he needs.

2) He feels unappreciated

It can hurt a man’s feelings when he puts in the effort to do something for you – whether it’s a surprise party, a special home-cooked dinner, or a bouquet of flowers just because – only for it to be ignored or taken for granted.

It also works the other way around:

When a guy cries over you, it can be because he has finally learned to appreciate you. A friend of mine shared that it can move a man to tears when they find that they can accept someone special in their life. 

A good way to address this is by reciprocating his actions.

You might be surprised at how easily guys are touched by sweet, romantic, and thoughtful gestures. Trying out different things can also be an opportunity to figure out their love language, if you haven’t already.

3) You have clashing ideals

Your man may also shed tears because he realized that you have different values and views on matters of importance, like marriage, children, or relocating for work. It can hurt especially if he was getting serious about you. 

In cases like this, you may need to have a serious discussion and reevaluate your relationship.

If there is no common ground to be had, then you can both decide what steps to take to move on and live your lives fully.

4) He feels he let you down

In any relationship, there’s always some form of contract – spoken or unspoken – that influences or determines the behavior of each person.

But because we’re only human, we inevitably fall short, resulting in disappointment in the other. No one is more critical of himself than a man. 

When a guy cries over you, it might be that he promised you the world, but he feels he’s failing to make you happy.

For instance, you’re married with a newborn child. He might feel like he’s not spending enough time with you and the baby, but also disappointed that he’s not excelling at work.

This kind of frustration can drive anyone to tears.

5) He feels guilty

Many circumstances can cause hurt between partners. 

Maybe you had a misunderstanding; maybe one of you was tired and unintentionally snapped at the other.

Maybe your man committed a transgression and is now regretting it.

If this is the case, a tearful episode could mean that he understands his actions or words hurt you, and he may even be upset that he couldn’t control his emotions better.

When he cries, it could also mean that they are scared you won’t be able to forgive them.

If it is something that you know you can get past, it’s important to let your man know that you can forgive him and that you appreciate his remorse. Only then can you work together to grow from it.

6) He’s scared to lose you

During fights, it’s easy to hurl hurtful words you don’t mean. In particularly heated exchanges, the idea of a cool-off or a breakup might even come up. When a guy cries over you in this instance, it’s because he does not want to lose you

Yes, fights happen. It’s a normal part of every relationship.

But his emotions surfacing in such a vulnerable way only mean that you’re important to him and that the reason for the fight isn’t worth losing you.

The prospect of a breakup might be even more troubling to him if he doesn’t know that you love him back. In fact, a study found that not only are men as emotional as women, but they may even be more emotional than women during breakups.

7) He needs emotional support

As we mentioned earlier in this article, crying is a form of release of feelings about things we might be going through at the moment. 

If your man is in tears, it may literally be a “cry for help.” If he is suffering a loss or a stressful life change, his tears may be a signal that he needs comfort and reassurance from you. He needs to know his partner is there for him in the hard times. 

8) He’s empathizing with you

If the shoe was on the other foot and it was you in crisis, when a guy cries over you it may be because he is empathizing with you.

Guys are emotional beings and can put themselves in your place when you are sad or hurt. 

To get a fuller view of this subject, I consulted several male friends about this and they shared that seeing their partners hurt is “heartbreaking.” They added that they would try to do anything that their partner needs to feel better, if not fix the problem. 

9) He’s opening up to you

Despite outdated views on men showing emotions, a man who’s in touch with his feelings is not insecure or afraid to show it. That man is seen as strong. When a guy cries over you, it means he trusts you with his feelings. 

This show of vulnerability should be appreciated.

You can show him you value this revelation by opening yourself up as well. By finding out more about each other, you become closer and your bond grows stronger. 

10) You mean a lot to him

Call it a product of your culture or simply a guy’s personality, but most men are good at hiding their feelings.

Mostly this is out of fear of being seen as weak. As we mentioned above, a guy only shows his emotional side to a select few. When a guy cries over you, you can pretty much bet that you’re an important part of his life. 

What should you do when a guy cries?

Men are humans too. They need comfort and reassurance, just like everybody else, when they feel down in the dumps. There are a few things you can do especially when a guy cries over you. 

Let him open up to you

When you’re adopting the gentle approach, it’s important to remember not to nudge too hard.

You might be tempted to ask him what the matter is, but a crying person is likely already dealing with too much, without your questions. 

Consider also that he might not want to talk about it; at least not in the meantime. Give him time to collect himself and open up to you when he’s ready. 

A better alternative would be to ask him if he needs anything and to let him know that you’re there for whatever he needs, whether that’s a glass of water or a hug.

Listen

Having someone there to hear him and understand his thoughts might be just what your man needs.

Avoid steering the situation into how you think it should go. If he wants to sulk, let him sulk for a bit; if he wants to sit in silence, sit with him; and if he wants to cry, be his shoulder to lean on.

Listening shows him that you care for and respect him. It’s also essential for any healthy relationship. It’s a process that comes naturally to some, but not so much to others.

When you listen, it lets him know that he can communicate with you and be heard when it counts.

Don’t make it about you

When a guy cries over you, not only is it necessary to listen but also to not make it about you.

Oftentimes when people cry, they just want to be understood. You don’t always have to fix the problem right away. 

Refrain from comparing your own experiences with his, even if you mean well.

These include comments like: “I know exactly how you feel”, or “The same thing happened to me…”

Imagine it was you telling the story, only for it to be interrupted by someone else’s.

Instead, try to say something like: “I can see how that made you <insert specific emotion here>”. You can also prompt them to go on with their story. 

Let him know it’s okay to cry

Apart from being there for him physically, you could also tell him that it’s okay to release his emotions. Here are some ways to say this:

  • “Everyone has these feelings from time to time.”
  • “Just let it out. I’ll be here if you need me.”
  • “I’m sorry for what happened.” 

Don’t belittle their problems

Phrases like “Don’t worry about it”, “Cheer up”, or “You’ll be fine”, can actually be more damaging than beneficial.

Instead of making your man feel better, they might feel like you’re dismissing their feelings.

Be patient

When a guy cries over you, your man is relying on your compassion and understanding.

Allow them to finish crying or finish speaking before responding.

The bottom line

After all is said and done, when a guy cries over you, it means he loves you.

A professor at Tilburg University in the Netherlands and the world’s top expert on crying, Ad Vingerhoets, said it best: “We cry because we need other people.”

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

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