From Publishers Weekly
In her newest book, Schlessinger (10 Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives) relies upon her experience in private practice, radio and letters she received from men and women in tackling the issue of women who mistreat their men and suffer the consequences of unhappiness. The women who criticize their husbands in the stories that Schlessinger relates are depressed in their marriages and feel little love from their husbands. Unabashedly asserting that man is a "very simple creature," who needs only "direct communication, respect, appreciation, food, and good loving'" to respond with devotion, compassion and love, this controversial marriage and family therapist claims that every woman can achieve a deeply satisfying marriage if she adheres to certain fundamentals men require. Preparing dinner, caring for the children without complaint, greeting her husband with a kiss and engaging in sexual intimacy instead of "tearing down a husband's necessary sense of strength and importance" can result in the harmonious marriage women crave. While many of her listeners and readers claim her unequivocal advice has salvaged teetering marriages and improved marital harmony, others perceive Schlessinger as a throwback to what many see as years of female oppression in the home.
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Dr. Laura gets back into the battle of the sexes in this new offering, which will bring Marabel Morgan's Total Woman
(1975) to the minds of readers of a certain age. Schlessinger doesn't advise women to greet their husband in saran wrap, as Morgan did, but she does tell women to shape up, literally and figuratively. Women need to understand that men are sensitive creatures who want to protect and cherish their wives. Is it any wonder that marriages go bad when churlish female spouses withdraw their affection, make unreasonable demands, and don't understand the male nature? In point of fact, there is nothing wrong with (or revolutionary about) Schlessinger's core point: be nicer and more nurturing to your spouse, and he will be nicer to you. But she beats her message to death, resorting to wild generalizations; repeating ideas, thoughts, and phrases ad infinitum; and bolstering her arguments with endless examples from callers and fax writers who are all making mistakes until shown the light. Not surprisingly, Dr. Laura promises no similar title for the care and feeding of wives. Apparently there would be no fun in that. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved