Rude or ‘Real?’

Q My husband often ignores me when he talks with his friends. He says “real” men have always behaved this way and that men who don't are “wimpy and unmanly.”

A George: Boys start treating girls badly in elementary school, and even after getting married, we still find it hard to break those bad habits.

Lisette says I change when I get together with my old high school buddies — and not for the better. At first, I dismissed it as normal, like your husband does. But as time went on, I realized I was being, as you so eloquently put it, “rude and uncharitable".

Maybe your husband needs to realize that the way he relates to you is the way your children, especially any boys, will relate to you. What they hear Dad say will be their model for how to treat Mom. When I try to teach my son to respect his mother, I tell him she is the queen and he is the gallant knight.

Lisette: Most husbands do need to learn to listen to their wives, but we wives also need to understand that sometimes we're seeing rudeness where there is none.

One time George was watching an intense football game. It was his favorite team and the result of this game would mean … playoffs! At that moment, though, I was feeling emotional and I wanted to have one of those long walks together.

I sat down next to George and started talking. I don't think he even noticed I was there. I pouted, but there was still no response. Well, how rude, I thought!

On further reflection, though, I have to admit it was really my timing that was wrong. Reintroduce conversation to your husband by giving him some warning, and then wooing him with a special dinner before the talk. Try it! He just might open up.

George and Lisette de los Reyes host The Two Shall Be One on EWTN.