When do you open up?

Richard Panek Richard Panek: I have two or three male friends who became close because we've always had that ability to talk. I remember this friend talking about somebody who'd died, and he started crying. I thought, "This is a moment people would normally say is a women's moment." But I appreciated him even more for being able to do that.

Richard Panek, 44, has been married 13 years and has two sons, 8 and 12.

Ivan: When you sit around with friends and have a couple of drinks, you tend to talk about your families.

Rodrigo: Since being married, I realized the best times for me aren't always the best times for my spouse. So now it's when we're both ready.

Roland Warren Roland Warren: A lot of men engage on the physical level, talking about what happened, not on an emotional level.

Roland Warren, the moderator, is the president of the National Fatherhood Initiative.

Brian: But that first layer is loaded with information. The way a guy tells you what happened says a lot about how he feels about what happened.

Parris: I'm enormously comfortable talking about the what. But I'm uncomfortable talking about that next layer down. My kids go to sleep in the safety and security of their parents. My wife goes to sleep in the safety and security of her husband. Do they really want to know that their last line of defense is just as scared as they are?

When there is conflict at home, what does it tend to be about?

René: "When one of us has been too quick to react negatively. When we've taken something personally.

Brian: More than anything, it's about different approaches to solving problems.

Parris: Parenting. My wife has a relatively stern, conservative approach, similar to the way she was raised: Parents make decisions and children follow. I think, "If you have an opinion, I want to hear it."

Richard: Cleaning up. I always maintain that if you pick up after yourself, the place can stay in some reasonable order. Other people in the household agree in principle but can't seem to follow through.


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