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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife's Anti Male Venom Makes Her Husband Sting

DEAR ABBY: I am a 51-year-old man, married to a woman who has been down the aisle three times. I love her very much, and I know she loves me. However, she has a habit that's beginning to bother me a great deal. She never misses an opportunity to bash men!

Whenever she hears -- or reads about -- a man who has gotten himself in trouble with alcohol, gambling or womanizing, she remarks, "Typical male," then does 10 minutes about how all men are pigs. The other day, a neighbor came over to show us her new puppy. I went to pet the puppy and this neighbor said, "Be careful, I don't think she likes men!" Then my wife said, "Smart dog!"

She hates her daughters' husbands and boyfriends, and she cannot stand any of my male friends. She seems happiest when she's commiserating with other women about how they've been wronged or hurt by the men in their lives.

Unlike her two previous husbands, I am a faithful and loving life-partner who is not a wife beater, philanderer or liar. I've asked her to please stop spewing her venom while I'm in the room, but now she thinks it's funny when I react. It's obvious that if she thinks all men are pigs, she shouldn't have married another one. How can I make her understand that her constant male-bashing is harming our relationship? -- TIRED OF HEARING IT IN TEMPE, ARIZ.

DEAR TIRED: I'm surprised you didn't notice this about her before you were married, because her anger at men appears to be long-standing and deep-seated. Many a hurtful remark is said in "jest." The next time she does it, tell her plainly how much it hurts when she talks that way.

Counseling may help her understand her negative perspective. Suggest it, and offer to go with her. If she refuses, go alone. At least it will give you some insight into her behavior and some techniques that may help you deal with her negativity.

DEAR ABBY: After reading the letter in your column from Mr. Beard of Sacramento, I'm compelled to write in support of his assertion that we CAN all get along. While far from home, Mr. Beard, a black man, was loaned a hearing aid by a white audiologist named Mr. Potter.

When I was a child growing up in the South, my father ran a medical clinic. He worked long hours serving the health needs of a small community. He performed and assisted with many surgeries on black and white people, Jews and Gentiles. He used to tell me, "All people are pretty much the same color on the inside, and THAT'S where you need to look." It was excellent advice.

Mr. Potter, the audiologist, must be one of those who "sees" what is important in all of us, and trusts that which he cannot see.

I agree with Mr. Beard. We can all get along if we look for those things we have in common, and respect what makes us different. -- KAREN LAWRENCE, NAPA, CALIF.

DEAR KAREN: I think you put it very well. It is important to the future of our country that when we look our neighbors in the face, we dwell not on their color, but their humanity, and judge them not by their appearance, but by their character.

Everybody has a problem. What's yours? Get it off your chest by writing to Dear Abby, P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069. For a personal reply, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

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