A few men were lucky to grow up in families that weren’t in an emotional ice age. For them feelings were a living language connecting them to other family members and letting them participate in each other’s lives.
For the rest of us guys, we’ve had to learn that emotions are not a downside to be hidden, but raw humaness to be expressed. Without feelings, love itself is dry and theoretical. Many women have complained to me their husbands were like robots. I remind them that they may have contributed to that by expecting them to put on their game (robot) face to go forth into work. Sort of like the Knight going out to slay a dragon. Wearing the game face is how money is made. Money they surely enjoy. Often that face is pretty sticky and doesn’t come off easily.
Also we mistrust moods because they change. But such changeability is exactly what indicates a healthy personality. A mood which doesn’t change is what should be a concern.
The challenge for many of us who grew up in emotional ice ages is to figure out what we are feeling.
“Am I angry, am I sad? None of this feels familiar.” Plenty of the challenge of the recently separated/divorced guy is to figure that out first and to accept those newly recognized emotions. To start with, they will feel very strange when you’ve been stuffing them inside your whole life. Talking to other guys in a male only support group can be a big help toward figuring out those emotions.
Guys tell me they don’t want to get emotional around their kids. My response is, We live in a culture where it is usually much more ok for women to express their feelings than for guys. Your son is learning to feel or not from watching you right now. Do you want him to be thirty-five and trying to figure out what he is feeling, the same way you are today?