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.