The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands Dr. Laura Schlessinger
“Contrary to what a good forty years of feminist propaganda has claimed, it is not oppression, subjugation, or abdication of any feminine quality-of-life potential to marry a man, be proud of your bonding, rejoice in your gifts and sacrifices for your marriage and family, and derive pleasure and sustenance from your role as a wife and mother.”–from the introduction to The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands
Every so often I read a book that just whacks me between the eyes like a 2×4. This one is one of them. (If I use a lot of quotes in this review, it’s because Dr. Schlessinger is very quotable)
I’ve heard Dr. Laura called “Dr. Eichmann” for her extreme right-wing views, and I’m sure this book did not endear her to the left-wing feminist movement, especially as she as good as blames feminism for destroying the institution of marriage. Dr. Laura says that the quote “women need men like fish need bicycles” has become the mindset of many women today, and as a result, women have become incredibly self-centered. They “get married thinking largely about what their marriage and their men can do for them, and not what they can do for their men.” And in example after example, from radio call-ins, letters, and emails, she shows just how true that statement is. Women have been raised to believe they deserve it all–children, career, hobbies, social life, and woe to her man if he asks for a little of her precious time for himself. “He needs to be more understanding of her needs’ is the common theme of these women.
But what about his needs? Is marriage not a partnership? A give-and-take relationship? A man’s needs are not difficult. According to male listeners (and my husband, who read the book at my request, and said that she basically hit everything dead on), men are simple. “Give him direct communication, respect, appreciation, food, and good lovin’, and he’ll do just about anything you wish–foolish or not.”
That is the theme of the book. Chapter by chapter Dr. Laura shows women how to break down their double standard, make little changes in behavior and attitude, and then watch how their men respond. A few gems:
- *”I learned that MY MOOD set the mood for the house!”*”Women should take whatever a man says at face value. Women tend to overanalyze men when men are just not that complicated.”
* “Wives must accept and allow their husbands to have the same feelings, cares, and concerns that they have. Assume it. Don’t badger your husbands for female-like expression of feelings–just assume it, and behave accordingly, with understanding, compassion, and support.”
These sound like, “Well, duh!” statements, but the surprise is how many women don’t seem to get the point. Many female readers will no doubt be angered by Dr. Laura’s finger-pointing, and others will be turned off by her assumption that the Bible is the ultimate source of how a man and woman should interact. But after reading The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, I took a hard look at the way I treated my husband, and started changing my ways as Dr. Schlessinger suggested. You know what? She’s right.