Dear Readers One letter-writer’s described relationship issue draws responses about readers’ totally different lived experiences and reactions.
Readers’ Commentary Regarding a husband being a “ladies’ man” who socializes only with women, not men (May 25):
Reader #1 – “I just read about my ex-husband! That was him to a tee!
“What I eventually discovered is that he was a prolific cheater, seeking his next catch. All that charming behaviour of his wasn’t harmless, as I’d been told to believe.
“The reason he didn’t have as many men friends is because he didn’t want to charm them and had little use for them.
“All he wanted was adoration from females and hopefully some extra-circular activity with them.
“I’m grateful now for the lessons I learned - yes, the hard way - but I promise you I’ll never fall for that again.
“My current husband is loyal and all his attention is on me, just me. I love it!”
Reader #2 – “My husband of 46 years has always been more comfortable with women than men.
“Professionally, he developed better friendships with his female colleagues. Why?
“My husband’s a kind, compassionate, gentle, thoughtful and highly intelligent person.
“He has nothing in common with people who are competitive, macho, or believe they’re superior in any way to their fellow humans.
“This latter behaviour was unfortunately all too prevalent among his male counterparts, when he began his career 50 years ago.
“He quickly discovered that his female colleagues were generally more interested in having meaningful discussions and exchanges of ideas, rather than which team won what game the night before.
“Over the years, he’s developed far more wonderful friendships with women, than with men.
“Do I object if he has lunch with them? No. I trust him completely.
“He’s an honourable man who loves me. We share a wonderful life together, and if that’s enriched by his contact with his friends, female or male, we both benefit.
“We share the belief that good friends are to be cherished, regardless of gender.”
Reader #3 - This one is from a male:
“I’ve gravitated to women all my life.
“I’ve always been sports-minded, though hopeless at team sports.
“My wife of almost 50 years has never criticized that nor shown the slightest concern.
“I assumed that I prefer women’s company because I grew up in a single-parent household, with a talented older sister and never had a problem with her success.
“There was a disappointing father, who never fulfilled his duties. I didn't go to his funeral.
“More recently, a memory resurfaced from childhood that gave me more insight. I’d been molested as a young child by a family "friend" and also as a young choirboy, by another friend.
“As a child, I assumed that was the price you paid, the experiences were brief, and apparently I can't keep a secret.
“I also realized that at an all-boys’ school, bullying was a factor, especially for a child from a non-violent household, with no rough-housing.
“Add to that, in later years, rather useless step-fathers.
“My male friends have always been men I had a physical or intellectual superiority over, who can be (and sometimes still are) discarded as I see fit.
“I don't do locker rooms, stag nights, strip clubs, pub crawls or gym camaraderie.
“So some men may not be "Ladies’ Men" so much as they just aren’t "Men's Men."
My father, residing in a memory-care “neighbourhood” in a retirement home, is a healthy-so-far 94-year-old, whose social contacts for weeks have been the home's personal carers.
Our family’s allowed a weekly FaceTime call with Dad, alternating among us.
I don't know how much to explain to him.
Do I chance scaring him with the risks for old people getting COVID-19 to explain why I'm not visiting him?
Dementia affects 35 per cent of people over age 85, with a range of diminishing abilities. This is his limited reality; do not frighten him further.
I, too, faced a personal dilemma over conversing with my uncle, also 94, living with dementia in a nursing home. Due to circumstances, I hardly knew his history while you know much about your Dad’s life.
I gathered information, repeated milestones, anecdotes, his prowess at handball, etc.
This “small talk” may be most meaningful to your father, in the FaceTime moments with you.
Tip of the day:
A “ladies man” may be a player disguised as a charmer, a loving husband who appreciates quality regardless of gender, or a boy who became wary of men.