How are conflicts resolved to your greatest satisfaction?

Rodrigo: We'll have it out, and then I'll start making funny faces at her, and there's this spot on her neck where I like to put my head. That's usually the clincher.

René: Before Sarah Jane, my communication in relationships was nil. I would never tell people I had a problem with something; I never wanted to rock the boat. With Sarah Jane, I feel safe. If she's done something to hurt my feelings, I can tell her about it. And it'll be okay.

Brian: Keep talking until you get it fixed or get to an understanding. Not that patronizing "Yeah, yeah, I getcha."

Richard: It really is about the other person acknowledging that you have a good or valid point. Not necessarily that they agree with you. I always think that's the breakthrough, when they say, 'I get it.' I can go away and think about it and try to apply that next time.

How are you and your wife or girlfriend most different?

Rodrigo: My wife has an enormous amount of patience, and she always assumes the best of people, whereas I'm a little more cautious. People come to the house, i ask them for their IDs: "Sure, you're from Con Edison—show me some ID."

Jaime: She puts her stock in people a bit more than I do. I'm not going to get my emotions tied up if someone doesn't come through for me.

Brian: How we handle crises. Professional or personal, I put my head down and barrel through it. She blows it off or forgets about it or runs away from it.

Richard: She's probably more forgiving of other people's behavior.

Ivan: I'm more trusting of people and life in general, and therefore more disappointed. Anne tends to be more skeptical and even-keeled than I am. One of the great mistakes of our time is that we try to deal with each other as though we're the same. Men are men; women are women. As you get older, you appreciate that we're wired differently.

What do you get from her that you get nowhere else?

Ivan: As Willy Loman says in Death of a Salesman, she's my foundation. she's my rock and my foundation.

René: My four older brothers and my parents don't understand my career and my passion for being an artist. Sarah Jane knows; she is so on my team.

Brian: Complete, 100 percent, absolute acceptance and trust and love. I may have a memory lapse in the heat of battle, but I don't doubt that she wants what's best for me.

Rodrigo: I get the feeling of inexhaustible, abundant patience and acceptance. I might do things that are questionable to her, but she believes I'm a good person and that my motivation came from a good place.

Richard: Almost total understanding and the expectation it'll be reciprocated—that I'll understand what she says with only the barest of clues.


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