The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, by Laura Schlessinger is a book that I highly recommend for any woman interested in a relationship. In fact, I would encourage any woman who feels as if her marriage has lost its spark, or who is unhappy in her marriage, to read and take Laura Schlessinger’s advice to heart. She can be abrasive and blunt, and her conservative political and social positions have a tendency to alienate more liberal readers, but the counsel she offers in this book transcends conservative, liberal, or religious agendas. It is just good common sense.
Laura Schlessinger’s premise is straightforward: Men are simple creatures who long for the admiration, respect and love of a good woman. Men were raised by women and still need to be deeply connected to a woman. According to Dr Laura, women have a great deal of unused, or misused, power in their relationships with men. If a woman is careful to meet her husband’s basic needs for admiration, respect, frequent sex, and good food, he will repay her in spades. Laura Schlessinger emphasizes that what seems to be a sacrifice for the woman at the beginning, is in fact a great gift she gives herself. A man who is properly cared for by his woman, will do anything for her – even, as Dr Laura likes to say “swim through shark infested waters” to please her.
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When Laura Schlessinger says that men are “simple,” she doesn’t mean they are stupid or limited. In fact, she decries the liberal, feminist agenda that seems dead set on insulting men. She feels that young women have been raised in a culture that is hostile to men, and by internalizing this message, they have become selfish and have a sense of entitlement that is out of proportion. She berates women for feeling as if the man should meet the woman's needs without her making an equal effort to meet his. She points to women who are so busy with outside careers, volunteering, hobbies and children, that they neglect the one who should be number one in her life. Dr Laura is a working woman, and does not condemn women for working, but she does insist that women must put their husbands above their work, and even above their children.
Dr Laura does not imply that men are superior to women, nor does she insist that the man should be the “head of the household.” However, I found that by applying the principles in her book to my ‘equal’ marriage, I empowered my husband to find and embrace his natural dominance. Since most women on this site are looking for that result, I always recommend putting Dr Laura’s principles into practice if one’s husband seems to reluctant to take her in hand.
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands is not about violence toward women or about abuse of any kind. Dr Laura does not advocate tolerating physical abuse or infidelity. It is a book about taking responsibility, acting like a sexy, respectful, adoring wife, and making your man happy. As she poignantly points out, “A good man is hard to find, not to keep.” In Proverbs in the Old Testament it says, “A wise woman builds up her house, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” Dr Laura’s book is a terrific, readable guide to “building up your house.”
Not for women with abusive husbands
Granted, Pat, she can be harsh toward her own gender. But, in fairness to her, I think she feels that she needs to be blunt in order for many women to get the point. In my case, I certainly did NOT treat my husband "like newspaper on the bottom of a birdcage." On the contrary, I have always been kind to my husband. However, I found myself taken to task several times in the book. I was NOT showing him enough appreciation and admiration, and I was not as sexually available as I could have been. Dr. Laura's book was a great wake-up call for me.
I wish I had had a copy of this book when I was a young wife with babies at home. I was so concerned about my own level of fatigue, and my own happiness, that I failed to take good care of my husband. I failed to fully appreciate the herculean efforts he made to support us financially, AND take over with the children when he was home. Dr. Laura is absolutely right when she counsels women that a little appreciation will reap great rewards.
It is imperative to understand that Dr. Laura is not writing this book for women with abusive husbands--she makes that clear up front. And she does not say that all of the problems in a marriage are the woman's fault. However, she does point out that the only one we can change is ourself. We can't change a man by force. Only by changing ourselves can we hope to achieve the kind of relationship we were hoping for! Charlotte
Just a man's view...
I certainly don't like listening to this woman, and I haven't read her book. However, listening to Charlotte's synopsis of the writing, I must say that there are some very important points that have been made.
No, women aren't totally responsible for man's happiness. They are, on the other hand, great influencers in the level of contentment that can be achieved in his life, and he is designed so that his mate fills a need that no other can fill. When a man understands this need AND opens himself to letting his mate fill that need, AND his mate moves to fill that need, then real intimacy can take place.
A critical tongue or demeaning attitude of his woman can not only destroy a man's foundation of confidence, but it also shut the door of intimacy that he wants to open. A man's ego can be VERY fragile, particularly if things aren't going well at work, and can either be fed or destroyed by his mate.
Men aren't that hard to figure out, as she says. And, if you've got a good man, it would be wise to invest yourself in him. The rate of return is better than any Wall Street investment.