Men don't always talk openly about their feelings or emotions, but that doesn't mean they don't have them. And according to men in the BuzzFeed Community, some of those feelings or experiences are ones that women — or even society at large — might not always understand. Here are some of them.
1."My inlaws think I am a failure because I work a job I enjoy instead of getting a job that would pay more but I would hate. They don't even approach me about it and try to get my wife to manipulate me. Luckily my wife respects me and understands why I do what I do."
2."If a man is too friendly or outgoing, they're weird. Too reserved or keep too much of a distance from people, they're weird."
3."My husband is a really tall, big, stern-faced man and is as lovely and gentle as any person I have ever known. He feels like he has to be careful and aware of other people's perception of him all day, every day in public. I am so sad for him."
4."Midlife crisis jokes in media tend to be about men. Trying to recapture youth, getting in a relationship with a younger person, the flashy car, doing something that’s deemed noteworthy enough for not being proper. A guy in his 40s gets a sports car and he’s the butt of a midlife crisis joke."
5."I grew up with an abusive mother who mostly took it out on my dad and I know the shame he feels about it is part of why he’s still with her and never sought out help. As kids, we also had to pay the price for that decision and I was mad for so long that he never left her and got us out. But he was also afraid that she would still automatically get custody as so many moms do — and he didn’t want to leave us alone with her"
6."Being bullied, harassed, or shamed in person and online for having a receding hairline or being bald."
7."I see some women say that they don’t answer the door if their husband isn’t home or that they don’t feel comfortable being home unless he’s home. I’m sure that puts a lot of pressure on the man."
8."I'm a 54-year-old gay man, combat vet, married to my husband. I was always really good with kids and had a blast playing with kids. At this point, I pretty much won't attend a gathering where there are kids present that I am not personally acquainted with. I won't even be affectionate with my friends' and cousins' kids unless they are present and we know there is consent. It's too easy for someone to blame you for doing something even if it's not true."
9."I've been in relationships with a few guys who were really weird and apologetic if they 'finished too soon' in the bedroom. Was it women that made them feel like that or other men perpetuating this idea of men 'going for hours'? It's ridiculous and needs to stop."
10."Asking for help with mental health seems to be more of a taboo for men (in my experience). I have reached out so many times over the last 15 years and have been told to 'get over it', 'man up', and 'don't think about it'. As a result, I have been dealing with my issues on my own since then and sometimes feel like no one really gives a damn about what I'm going through."
11."I grew up with brothers who are all different from each other and don't fit into any male stereotype. I can't imagine ever telling a guy he should or shouldn't be able to do or feel something just because he's a guy."
12."There is the fear that mentioning my problems might make me sound like I am complaining about first-world problems when compared to the struggles of everyone else. Mentioning things on this list would just have people remind me that the struggles women face are much worse."
13."A woman who likes guy stuff is awesome and kick-ass. She can out-do the guys. A man who likes girl stuff does not get similar respect. I think that might be changing."
14."I have my girls and we hang out all the time, but my husband doesn't have guys in his life. He's tried, but it never goes any farther than surface-level conversation. It's made even worse because of other sexist men. The times other men have ridiculed my husband for being a good father is maddening. It's partly why he's given up on making male friends. He doesn't want to hear another dad joke that he's 'babysitting' our kids, he's sick of hearing other dads say things like, 'Why doesn't your wife do that?' when he changes a diaper."
15."Men can't win sometimes. I had the exact same upbringing as my sister, but I had these big honking hearing aids and got bullied in school. My sister had no such issues. She even got an extra year of college paid for. I never complained and just always soldiered on and did very well for myself. My sister, not so much. Even at 40, she's still always 'going through a rough patch.' I've finally had enough of babying her, especially since I have my own family now, and now I'm 'beating up' on her. And now 'I broke the family up' (my parents divorced in HS, mind you). She says I never 'communicated' as a kid. Sure, I did, except no one had any patience for it because I was the boy/man."
16."One of my good friends also happened to be the lead at my job — like my boss' boss, three or more steps up from me. When he asked why I did not want to hang out with a particular female coworker, I told him of unwanted advances and touching by her — and he just laughed at me."
Is there anything else you could add to this list? Share it with me in the comments below!
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.