5 thoughts on “Big Boys Don’t Cry: The Emotionally Neglected Man

  • January 28, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Many women also suffer from Childhood Emotional Neglect. I’m an incest survivor whose mother married two pedophiles. My bio-dad and stepdad. She married these men after knowing what they did to her children. My older siblings, who have different fathers, were being molested by my dad before my mom got pregnant by him. She knew my stepdad was molesting us before she married him. Mom wanted to be a “stay at home” mother. These men gave her that in exchange for her silence and inaction regarding what they did to us. A grandfather and cousin also got involved. I’ve been in therapy for fourteen years. I am a classic case of childhood emotional neglect and saw myself in every word of this description.

    • January 28, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Dear Survivor, I’m so sorry that these terrible things happened to you. You are, indeed, a survivor and I’m impressed that you’re in therapy, working through it all. And you are so right! This Page and my book, Running on Empty, are both written for women and men. CEN often stands alone, but it’s a vastly overlooked part of all child abuse. I wrote this article for men because men have a special hurdles in realizing their feelings and connecting emotionally. Thank you for your comment, and I wish you all the best.

  • January 28, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    My wife and I, are both adult children of Holocaust survivors. My therapist is treating me as a CEN, but I believe that I am very emotional and perceptive to others’ emotions – as long as I am facing one person at a time, not a group of people. Yet, my therapist tells me that I am angry and “furious” much of the time. In truth, I hardly ever get angry. She says that I do not recognize my own emotions when I believe that I do. What is going on?

    • January 29, 2015 at 11:39 am

      Hi Natan, it may be that you are very perceptive to emotions, but have a “blind spot” when it comes to anger. It’s not unusual to have one, or a few, emotions that are passed down in your family and so just feel normal. If you trust your therapist in general, trust her on this. Take care, and keep working on it!

  • November 2, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Wow… this really opened my eyes. I’ve always felt so isolated and lonely, even after moving in with friends. I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere and I thought that there was no job in the world I could possibly like. I had neither identity nor passion and yet when I asked other people they found plenty of words to describe me. I also felt a deep sense of sadness and was depressed for years when I was younger. After a recent talk with my estranged mom I realised that despite meaning well she’s emotionally very detached and distant. She refuses to believe that she’s any bit responsible for my pain. Because of her (and my dad’s) emotional unavailability I build a wall between me and my emotions. All that’s left to do now, is to tear down the wall and feel all the emotions which are inside of me; they are inside of each of us. Thanks so much for this website, this helps a lot.


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