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3.6 out of 5 stars57
3.6 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2004
[...]This book is a wonderful resource for any wife who would like to improve her relationship with her husband. As has been mentioned before, Dr. Laura intersperses her advice with letters, emails, and phone conversations from her radio program to illustrate each chapter's main point. The book's main body consists of eight chapters dealing with a distinct factor on improving the husband-wife relationship.
These are the main points of Dr. Laura's book. Basically, as one reviewer put it so well, love is indeed a verb, not just a noun. I'm finding that acting on some of the advice given in this book has already caused a definite happier atmosphere in our home.
It's not about being a "doormat", downtrodden, or subservient. It's about loving and respecting the man you chose to marry.
Just because Dr. Laura's past has skeletons, does it really make her advice negligible? It's not as if this book is all just her opinion. There is plenty of advice from people who have emailed and written letters to her--those who are in happy marriages, troubled marriages, and everywhere in between.
The reason I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars: the letter/email/phone call excerpts within the chapters caused information overload at times. The main points could still have been made without getting bogged down in too many real-life examples.
In any case, trying the advice given in this book can only help your marriage. You can't go wrong giving your husband love!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2008
I've always considered myself somewhat of a feminist and am not a fan of Dr. Laura for various reasons (she's extremely hypocritical). But, I purchased this book planning to take it at face value.

Wow. A number of the points in this book made a lot of sense and were a bit of a slap in the face. Sure, Dr. Laura's a hypocrite - but ignoring that and just reading the words for what they are has helped me ten-fold.

I used to think, "why should I do the housework just because I'm the woman?" It's not about being the woman - it's about what I'm contributing to our relationship. My man works longer hours in a much more stressful job than I. Why is it considered socially demeaning or oppressive (yes, I admit to being one who thought it was) for me to have a health meal on the table when he gets home? If he was home 3 hours before me, I'd hope he'd do the same thing.

Definitely read this book - but take what you want and leave what won't work for you. This book is about showing your husband respect and appreciation. What's so oppressive about that?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2004
I am not a listener of Dr. Laura so I've never been considered a fan of hers, although you can't live in North America without hearing people spewing their hatred of her for various vaguely defined reasons. I've noticed that most of the negative reviews here were from people who apparently did not read this book and simply enjoy hating Dr. Laura. 5 paragraphs about why you, too, should hate Dr. Laura and not 1 word about the book is not a book review.
This is a pretty good book. It won't solve every problem a marriage may have, but it deals directly with some of the most common problems of today and provides possible solutions. It is specifically aimed at problems women can deal with in relating to men, and so is primarily targeted at a female audience. Clearly, anyone can point out problems. It is the offered solutions that make this book worthwhile. For those who want to strengthen their marriage this book can be helpful as a general guide.
I didn't give this book 5 stars because what it says is so obvious. The advice and offered solutions are only rare because such obvious truths are prohibited in modern Western society. I don't care much about Dr. Laura's past (yes, I have seen the naked photos and they are all very nice.) Her past doesn't relate much to the quality of the advice itself. And I don't care if she is a doctor of psychology or a housewife with a microphone and a phony title like the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Some doctors are idiots and some people who never went to college are exceptionally intelligent.
If all the conflicting reviews here seem confusing then I recommend that you pick up a copy at the bookstore (if you can find where they hid it - and they will hide it) and flip through it for yourself. If you are married or planning to be I guarantee that at least some of what you read will help you greatly. And if you are a socialist feminist (female supremacist) you should never marry or date any man and this book is obviously not for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2004
I am a wild mountain woman and not at all meek and mild, and I do NOT listen to Dr. Lauras radio show, and there are many things she says and believes that I do NOT agree with. But there are a lot of writers whom I dislike on a personality level who nonetheless have valuable and wise wisdom that I have used and gained great value from.
This book is common sense information for a society which has forgotten what common sense is. And being an Orthodox Jewish, happily married woman, she offers advise that is of value to anyone who really cares about having a marriage that is a success, be they religious or secular.
Dr. Laura is wise to note in her books and in her interviews on shows like Larry King that her books never condone or encourage women or men to stay in relationships where their is abuse or pornography issues. Her books, like this one, are for the majority of women in relationships where the main concerns have more to do with knowing why their marriages aren't all they want. Knowing that being feminine and womanly isn't a negative, and that men and women are different and this isn't a negative.
Being married since 1966, I learned ages ago that to change my husband I needed to change myself. And Dr. Laura gets this common sense fact down on paper so well. She also writes with the understanding of what makes a successful marriage in modern times. She doesn't put down working women, since she is one. But she does remind women who are married that they need to look at what their priorities are or should be.
I will even suggest that CEO's and those who run businesses read this book, because it might help them better understand that workers who have their priorities straight at home, have better marriages and better marriages makes for better workers.
I also highly recommend Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, The: 25 Year Landmark Study and The Good Marriage: How & Why Love Lasts by Judith Wallerstein.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2004
I am a divorce attorney. Daily I listen at how people throw away their lives and their children's lives over silly things. Clearly, no one should remain in an abusive marriage, but Dr. Laura's book merely asks wives to be tolerant and polite to their husbands. In return, she believes that the couple's stress levels will reduce and the family will be more harmonious. It is basic advice which most spouses overlook. Be nice. Be kind. Remember to love one another. I like this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2004
This book is the answer to the MILLIONS of books out there that focus on what's wrong with men, how men could further please women, better understand women, satisfy women's emotional needs. What is sad, that so many women (including some reviewers) think it's wrong for a man to want satisfaction in a relationship too, and that he too, would like to be "served" "catered to" and have his needs met. When women demand this (and complain that men do not do this), it is ok, we blame the men for not meeting their needs. When someone like the author points out men have needs too, some sexist women act like this is subservient, or "servicing" men. So pleasing men is "servicing" but pleasing women is "being a good husband?"
This book is a strong proponent of the position that BOTH people need each other and have needs that often go unspoken. I think it says a lot that such a book offends some women, even though similar books are written about the reverse situation. What does that tell you about our society today?
This book won't save your marriage, but it will help you both understand the dynamics going on in the relationship. I also suggest that men read similar books about being good husbands.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2004
*A man needs to feel strong and needed as a protector for women-basically, to conquer the beast and rescue the fair maiden.
*A man needs his woman to show him that she needs his strength to help her through life.
*A man needs his wife's encouragement in order to be a man.
Those are just a few examples of what men want, based on Dr. Laura Schlessinger's innumerable letters, e-mails and telephone calls received from frustrated men. "[W]omen get married thinking largely about what their marriage and their men can do for them, and not what they can do for their men," she writes.
Simple truths from a straight-forward woman. For over 25 years, Dr. Laura Schlessinger ("Dr. Laura") has been "preaching, teaching and nagging" on the radio, encouraging men and women to create healthy and stable homes for children. She goes a step further in The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, encouraging wives to use their power as women to create happy homes.
This book speaks to the woman who criticizes, neglects or ignores her husband, a basically decent man (not the abuser or the addicted) who is often starved for his wife's attention and affection.
Men are dependent on their wives for their emotional well-being, and want to be loved and appreciated by them, says Dr. Laura, a licensed marriage and family therapist. Men are self-admitted "simple creatures" who are raised by women, marry women and rely on them for a sense of security. Consequently, if the wife is not happy, the home is not happy.
The book will certainly provide more fodder for Dr. Laura's detractors to chew on. The idea of considering your husband's needs above your own is old-fashioned and politically incorrect. The book is bound to draw criticism from a self-centered culture where personal happiness-and not the happiness of others-is the highest priority.
In The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, Dr. Laura offers real-life examples from letters and phone call transcripts, as well as practical advice similar to the wise counsel women once received from their mothers and grandmothers on how to keep a happy home. Such advice is also biblical. In Titus 2, older women are instructed to mentor younger women and teach them how to care for their husbands and homes.
"How is it that so many women are angry with men in general yet expect to have a happy life married to one of them?" Dr. Laura asks. She believes the answer lies in the "assault upon, and virtual collapse of, the values of religious morality, modesty, fidelity, chastity, respect for life, and a commitment to family and child rearing."
Another culprit is feminism, which has created much chaos between men and women. This ideology is particularly caustic to marriage. Men and women are different, yet feminism teaches that they are fundamentally the same. As a result, women create strife by heaping unrealistic and unnecessary expectations on their husbands.
What Dr. Laura presents in The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands is nothing new; it's merely a reminder of something very old. "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."
I am woman, hear me roar!
© 2004 La Shawn Barber
Originally appeared on
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2012
This book is highly recommended for women who are genuinely wanting change in their relationship styles (not just for married people). It is painfully honest and blunt so it is only recommended for those who are wanting to make serious changes and is willing to hear what it has to say.

This book is about HIS needs and not about yours. It's about what YOU can do to make him truly be loved and if understood properly by a woman who is truly wanting to be her husband's supporter, it could make a huge difference about the marriage.
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on July 27, 2015
This is an okay book, although there are a lot of faults with how Dr. Laura presents her message. In her book, she talks about the need to respect your husband through how a wife speaks to him, not belittling him, understanding how he expresses his love, respecting and listening to his feelings, remembering that he still needs his own autonomy and space within the relationship.

All of the things are great points, but there is nothing ground-breaking in her book.

Although I think that Dr. Laura has some good points, there are several issues that I have with the book.

• Does not cite sources

Throughout her book, Dr. Laura will say, “Studies have shown…” or make claims without backing up her statements. Not once does she reference a specific study or have a citation to back up her claim. The majority of the “proof” that Dr. Laura provides are snippets of conversations with listeners of her radio show (also not cited). These wouldn’t even qualify as case studies because we don’t get to know anything about the caller or their situation other than a 30 second call. Dr. Laura also does not follow up any of these anecdotes with research to prove her point. As someone with a PhD, she should be well-versed in how to cite her claims and provide proof for her arguments. I understand that not every reader cares about which particular study she is referring to, but as an author with an academic background, she should understand the importance of this.

• Generalities and Stereotypes

Throughout her book, Dr. Laura states that “men are like this, women are like this.” There is very little talk about individual difference within each gender. It gets to the point where you could replace any man or woman in a relationship and the relationship would remain the same based on how women are, or how men are. This is most definitely not true. Individual differences, personalities needs, professional goals, family goals are what makes each relationship different.

• Disparages feminism at every turn

With every point that she makes, she talks about how feminism ruins women’s relationships by telling women that they can have careers, not to listen to their husbands, etc. She makes no distinction between different waves or branches of feminism. All are lumped together and are at fault.

I find it especially ironic that a woman with a PhD in physiology disparages feminism so thoroughly. Without feminism, she would not have been allowed to receive a university education, let alone two advanced degrees in the sciences.

• Does not present her points in a balanced way

This is one of the most crucial problems with her book. Everything is presented as one-sided.

For instance, when she is telling women not to overwhelm their husbands with talking about all their emotions or venting about their frustrations, she mentions how men want to fix things. Instead of talking about what a healthy relationship might look like, with a balance between the needs of each spouse, it comes across as very one-sided where the needs of the husband are more important. But should not the husband care about the needs of his wife as his wife cares about his needs? Is not a healthy relationship characterized by finding a balance of meeting each other's needs?

The most glaring and disturbing example of this is a letter written by a man to his wife on pg. 168. In this letter (which Dr. Laura gives no background information to, to give it context), the husband tells his wife that she “doesn’t have a clue or understand the essence of what it means to be a wife and mother.” He states that he thinks it is important that she stay home 100 percent of the time. He tells his wife that too many things have been neglected, “our kids lack focus, training and discipline… To put it bluntly, you haven’t been a mother” After eviscerating her as a mother, he continues, “when it comes to being a wife, you put no effort.” He continues that he feels less interested in her and less motivated to keep the family together. But for me, the real kicker of a paragraph is this, “I’m not claiming that I’m the perfect husband and father. You and I both work too many hours, but I believe you underestimate the importance of the mother in a family. Mothers and fathers play different roles in a family. I’ve never discouraged you from pursuing a Ph.D., but I don’t think it’s high on the list of priorities of what I think is best for us as a family right now.”

Dr. Laura does not spend much time discussing everything that is in this letter. She just summarizes and says that “fixed roles” are controversial, but being a mother is important. She does not discuss why this husband felt justified in eviscerating his wife in a letter, attacking her as a mother, a wife and her dreams. His wife is obviously intelligent to the point of pursuing a Ph.D., which is draining. But instead of appreciating that about his wife, he talks about it like it’s a hobby that she should give up and stay home 100 percent of the time instead. She does not explore the reaction of the wife who receives this letter. She also does not talk about the importance of both spouses talking with each other to discuss what they want their family to look like.

Overall, I think that Dr. Laura had some basic points that were good, but were not ground-breaking. There were enough issues with speaking in stereotypes, not supporting her arguments and not presenting a balanced perspective that I would not recommend this book to anyone. I would also be very hesitant to read any of her other books.
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on January 19, 2004
The title is clever, but Dr. Laura's main point is that men are essentially simple creatures who want to be admired and loved by their wives and will treat them like queens in return. As such, she says, it's necessary for women to respect the differences between the sexes rather than insist that men act like women. Schlesinger cites the need for a religious foundation for strong marriages, but she lays much of the blame for the attitudes of today's women squarely at the feet of the feminist movement, which she says is largely responsible for the self-centered, me-first, I-don't-need-a-man approach found in today's society.
I read this book cover to cover in several hours and found the recommendations very reasonable--her goal, after all, is to make good marriages stronger and provide good homes for the kids who come from these marriages. Recommended especially for young married couples, but anyone can learn something from this book and will find it helpful seeing the basic tenents of marriage laid out on printed pages as a reminder.
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