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The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands Paperback – September 26, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

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 Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060520620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060520625
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (636 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Laura Schlessinger received her Ph.D. in physiology from Columbia University and holds a post-doctoral certification from the University of Southern California and licensing in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is the author of nine New York Times bestsellers, including THE PROPER CARE AND FEEDING OF MARRIAGE. Her award-winning radio program is internationally syndicated by her Take On The Day company. It's broadcast every day on more than 250 stations, XM Satellite Radio, and the Armed Forces Network, and is stream-linked and podcast on

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

688 of 732 people found the following review helpful By J. Shea on July 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
First, let me say that I am a very independent, very headstrong, liberal wife who has a higher education than her husband (masters' degree), owns a business and takes no B.S. from anyone. When this book came out, I truly thought it was a joke. WHO WOULD WRITE A BOOK LIKE THIS OUTSIDE OF THE 1950s?! And WHERE IS THE "PROPER CARE... OF WIVES"?! To add 'insult', a coworker of my husband (whose wife stays at home with their 4 kids because they feel that this is THE role wives are SUPPOSED TO take on), is the one who offered to lend it to me. I thought, "this will be interesting" but can't criticize until giving it a shot, right???

Ok - there's the background - here's the review:

I couldn't put the book down and read it in a just over a day. While I don't agree 100% with all that Dr. Laura says, and as another reviewer commented that there are parts that men may find insulting, this book has changed my life, and as a result it has changed my husband's life - both for the better. After 7 years of marriage, we are clicking like we never have before. I can't explain it to you, or to my married best friends whose jaws dropped as I confessed to them over margaritas that I NOT ONLY READ the book but I LOVED the book.

All I can say is that the foundation makes sense. It doesn't bash working women - Dr. Laura is one, after all. But it does point out, not so discreetly, that your family - the family you have chosen to create - should come above all else. And that the EXTREMISM of some aspects of the feminist movement is self-destructive to women, men and society as a whole.

And as I turned each page and as I tried to rebel against some parts (I shouldn't BURDEN him with the tales of MY day??!
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541 of 635 people found the following review helpful By Annette Thompson on January 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Dr Laura's book is sure to be controversial but for wives who are willing to do whatever it takes to make their marriages work, this book has the answers. Dr Laura tells it as it is as she explains a wife holds the keys to making her husband happy and her marriage successful if she will honor and respect her husband and give him attention and affection.
My husband gave me this book last week because he knew I had started reading books on how to be a better wife and I was already a fan of Dr Laura's books. I imagine that if a wife was a feminist or not ready to make sacrifices for her husband then giving her this book would not help. I recently gave up my business to concentrate on my family and was primed for what this book had to teach.
Men who read this will likely get their feelings validated. Some might possibly be insulted though by Dr Laura's assertion, "Men are borne of women and spend the rest of their lives yearning for a woman's acceptance and admittedly are putty in the hands of a woman they love. Give him direct communication, respect, appreciation, food and good lovin', and he'll do just about anything you wish...You basic male is a decent creature with simple desires: to be his wife's hero, to be his wife's dream lover, to be the protector and provider for his family, to be respected, admired and apprecaited. Men live to make their women happy.
Though Dr Laura is Jewish, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" makes many the same points as conservative Christian marriage books such as "Liberated Through Submission", "Finding the Hero in Your Husband", "Joy of a Promise Kept", "His Needs, Her Needs" and the secular book "The Surrendered Wife".
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228 of 268 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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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170 of 200 people found the following review helpful By Star on May 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Even though I do not always agree with Dr. Laura, I enjoy listening to her. Mostly, it's because she has very strong beliefs and she stands firmly by them. Too often in our society people are wishy-washy out of desire to be "popular" and inoffensive. I admire her for her strength to stand for what she believes in or take an unpopular point of view. She's an inspiration for all of us to stand by our principles and, above all, to always be honest with ourselves and others.

"The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands" is the first and only book by Dr. Laura that I have read. Overall, it is very much like her radio program, except that it is focused solely on what we as women can do to improve and maintain our marriage. Her style is conversational, no-nonsense, and down-to-earth. The advice that she dispenses is common-sense, practical, and time-tested. A large number of actual phone calls and letters make up the bulk of the book, as illustrations for the points that she makes.

The message of the book is that women have real power in marriage, since men, at their core, yearn for acceptance, approval, and appreciation (`the three A's'). Women, therefore, have the power to either make their husbands absolutely happy by giving them these three A's (which in turn makes men more willing to go the extra mile for their wives) or miserable by withholding them (which results in resentment and can ultimately lead to divorce). In this book, Dr. Laura exposes the problem in our society where women have a real need for control in their relationships, which manifests in them withholding affection, needlessly criticizing and otherwise alienating their husbands.

I can personally testify to the validity of advice that she gives.
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