Susan Deitz

DEAR SUSAN: The media are buzzing about maleness -- and its decline. From where I sit, men hold the really important positions and are paid the really important figures. My friends are talking about this, wondering whether the men they know (or can't seem to find) are becoming less and less important in society. Any thoughts about this?

From the Single File blog

DEAR BLOGGER: First thought, best thought. And my initial brainwave happened to be deeply negative. (Actually, "Are you kidding?" was my gut reaction.) Just look at all the men in politics, in big Wall Street brokerage houses. Go look for a female in any one of the decision-making areas of our society, and the pickings will be slim. But then again, those are the dollars, the paychecks, the monetary signs of male dominance. What about the little women at home? Who makes the really important decisions in the bedroom and the family room -- nonverbal exchanges between spouses? When you come right down to it, the little woman isn't so small when it comes to family life. Men earn the dough, but we knead it into a life. Think about it.

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DEAR SUSAN: The man I love talks about space all the time. Not Mars or Jupiter but here on Earth. He is constantly telling me he needs his space, his man cave, time away from me. What's wrong with this picture?

From the Single File blog

DEAR BLOGGER: He's a pioneer of sorts, trying out a hybrid form of relatedness, togetherness with spaces. OK, it's not new, but it is louder than ever and in different forms. Consider lovers choosing to live separately but who remain totally committed to each other. Then there is the woman who sees her man only on weekends; she wants to spend time alone and with her girlfriends. There's no other man; cheating is not on her agenda. No, she's committed to him, and he to her. But -- and it's a major but -- part of the time, she wants to make her own schedule of things to do and people to see. Or not. She treasures her time alone and is upfront about it. Sort of like your man, isn't it? The longing I'm seeing all around me is for more space, more alone time, more freedom. Your man wants more time with his best buddy, himself? Be the understanding woman in his life who graciously, not grudgingly, encourages him to space his togetherness with you. It can only improve the strength of his respect for you and make the together times better.