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605 of 643 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STUNNED (in a good way)
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...
Published on July 9, 2006 by J. Shea

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99 of 126 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)
When I bought this book I was expecting something deep and profound. At first I was a little disappointed and wondered where is the "intellectual meat"? As I finished the book what I did find were simple explanations of basic truths I have personally experienced within married life. A few behavior scenarios written where any reader may see their actions in a...
Published on March 3, 2004 by Amy


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605 of 643 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STUNNED (in a good way), July 9, 2006
By 
J. Shea "jaishea" (Southern California, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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??!), peel away the layers, let down your defenses and let it make sense. (It isn't that my day is less significant, but men and women communicate differently - vent to him about your day and he'll feel like a second class citizen and a failure for not being able to fix your stress. Vent to your girlfriends and they'll dish with you! Focus your time on your husband, family, relationship, etc., once you get home instead.) AND LET ME TELL YA once you leave the work day at the door, your home becomes YOUR HOME again, too. So it's win-win! REALLY!!!

Dr. Laura's book includes parts and pieces of past calls and letters, which is a helpful, practical demonstration of her points and breaks things up so you don't feel like you're getting a lecture (especially if you are ready to admit you've been doing a few thngs wrong!). And as you can see the lightbulb go on with average Janes all over the country and across time in the dialogue- from them pushing back on her advice to (aha!) getting her message during their conversations, you see the pettiness we can cling to and frankly, the underlying simplicity in each of her messages.

OK - still skeptical? Then rent it at the library for free and give it a shot. Just TRY to put her ideas into practice - commit to changing for a week (if you aren't sold on changing your life)... What's the worst that can happen? If it's all wrong for you, you have just lost a quick week and you can pat yourself on the back for being right and you can write your own book. ;-)

But just think - what if it WORKS?! Then you will find a new meaning in your life that you didn't know you were missing. You will have a much happier and rewarding marriage. Your husband will adore you. (Sounds rough, huh?)

TRUST ME - I'm not about to become a submissive, mindless person rather than an equal partner in a relationship. But as I made a few MINOR tweaks in how I treat the man I chose to marry and spend the rest of my life with, I have received rewards from him 10-fold. And to think I thought I was doing it 'right' all along. ;0)
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524 of 613 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honoring and Respecting Your Husband is the Key, January 4, 2004
By 
Annette Thompson (College Station, Texas) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (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 approval...men 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".
The body of book is about 1/3 quotes from radio conversations with listeners and emails that Dr Laura has gotten. The heartfelt quotes from husbands drive home the points made. Dr Laura teaches that a good wife with her actions makes her husband the #1 priority in her life, clearly before both her job, parents, friends and even children. She tells women not to nag or mother this husbands because "If a man can't find peace in his own home, where he should be able to feel relaxed, accepted, loved, and content, he beings to hate coming home"
Dr Laura teaches that feminism has lied in claiming "men will oppress; they are the enemy; do not submit; terminate or donate." She condems the feminist movement "which supports personal success, acquisition, accomplishment amd power...over love, marriage and family."
I've read several criticisms of Dr Laura's position that it is a wife needs to meet her husband's sexual needs even when she's not in the mood. Dr Laura compares it to how irresponsible it would be for a husband to not go to work just because he's too tired or doesn't feel like it. If a wife still doesn't understand the reason behind her obligation, there are other books that cover this issue more thoroughly such as "Understanding the Purpose and Power of a Woman", "Making Sense Of The Men In Your Life" and "Sacred Sex: A Spiritual Celebration of Oneness in Marriage".
This is not a book for wives whose husbands are abusive but if you have a decent, hardworking husband husband and are willing to be unselfish and honor your marriage vows, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" will motivate you to be a great wife.
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163 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down-to-earth marriage manual, May 12, 2005
By 
This review is from: The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (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. Being a child of a divorce, I struggled with all of these issues early on in my relationship and my marriage. Although I didn't have the benefit of this book at the time, I was lucky enough to be with a man who loved me and cared enough for me to stick around while I worked out all of these issues. He really taught me, through his actions, what "The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands" is all about - the importance of being unselfish, willing to compromise, and putting the relationship and the other person first. Doing so creates a virtuous cycle which invites the same behavior in the other person, thus bringing both people happiness and fulfillment.

Now being happily married, I believe that I'm already doing most of the things in the book. Still, it was a nice reinforcement of what I've learned through life experience and gave a few valuable pointers in the areas where I still have room for improvement. There were a couple of times while reading this book that I felt it was a bit redundant and lacked structure - mostly due to the author's need to reinforce certain points, as well as her overall conversational style. Despite these rather minor flaws, I still give this book five stars because there is nothing else quite like it out there. I believe that it should be a part of each married woman's library as the only marriage manual that she'll ever need.
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215 of 252 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Female divorce lawyer approves of this book, January 17, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (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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426 of 518 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good information, April 18, 2004
This review is from: The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (Hardcover)
Having been through two divorces I have a bit of experience in the failed marriage business and I read this book with interest to see if I spotted any similarities between the authors advice to married women and the behaviors I experienced in my bad marriages. Spot on. Bingo. It's here. I give the book a strong recommendation to any looking to strengthen their marriage or to any planning on getting married.
It's easy for some to vilify Dr. Laura but if you (as a woman) have ever been successfully married you've either followed her advice or you weren't all that happily married (or at least your husband was miserable). She makes it very clear that the book isn't written for relationships that are abusive and that in normal non-abusive relationships men are actually very similar and pretty much want the same things in their marriages: the respect of their wives, lots of physical intimacy and a good home from their children.
As for the overall quality of the book and the writing, I'd say it's about average. It is a short book and a lot of it is filler, quotes, examples and stories. I read it in a few hours and did find it entertaining as well as informative. In defense of the authors style and the length of the book, I'd like to point out that to help the average person, a book can't be to long and complicated, it simply won't get read, so overall, I'd not say the length and style are a detriment. My biggest complaint was that it simply ended, there wasn't a conclusion or final chapter, the last chapter was just the last chapter.
As for those people, women or men, that can't stand the idea of a wife respecting and honoring her husband, loving him and caring for him, it's fine if you feel that way as a single person but you're setting yourself up for a failed marriage if you think somehow you're so special that the laws of human nature and the spirit of man are somehow unique in your situation. They aren't. I highly highly recommend this book to anyone that's engaged or thinking about it. If you think the book is bunk, don't get marriage yet, at least not to a man...
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104 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful, if you have an open minded, October 30, 2004
By 
This review is from: The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (Hardcover)
I must admit that when I first started reading this book, I started to get a little ticked off because every other sentence was about how a woman needs to do this or that and I was like will you please get off our backs and when and where does a man come in at in the relationship picture. Well I kept reading and the point finally popped up and waved at me and said you need to look at yourself,realize and admitt to the things that you can change in your marriage and change them for the positive outcome. Being a woman is a wonderful gift and we have all the power we need if we use it correctly and in a loving manner. This book actually works, I tried some of the tactics the first night and what seemed like a dreadful union is turning into a match made in heaven with the sun shining even on a gloomy day. And guess What? It changed, because of my decision to be loving and mature in situations that I normally would not be. Attitudes and outlooks on things really matter and if you want a change in your relationship, open your heart and mind, buy this book and follow through. One Love
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129 of 157 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great thought-provoking book., January 8, 2004
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (Hardcover)
[...]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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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for unhappy & happy marraiges., November 29, 2006
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I am happily married for four years and I have to say this book has made a marriage I didn't know could get better, MUCH BETTER!

We are steered to think of ourselves in todays day but that is not the key to happiness. We should know that from our childhoods that giving is better than receiving... I just didn't know to apply that to my marraige.

After reading this book, I look for ways to make my husband happy and I almost make that my daily goal! I never would have imagined he would give back 10 fold. Now we just love to love eachother.
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57 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understand the message, don't politicize it., March 25, 2007
By 
The message of this book can be summed up pretty easily. 1. Women have all the power in the household, they have just forgotten how to wield it (as a guy, I have no problem with this). 2. Men and women have fundamentally different needs (why is this actually a surprise to some people?) 3. Men, in point of fact, are not women and should not have the same expecations placed upon them (we're not your girlfriends; polls confirm that men actually prefer dining on shards of glass to chatting for hours on end). 4. The nicer you treat us, the nicer we treat you (you'd think that one would be self evident, wouldn't you?) 5. Women who let themselves go to pot, deny us sex, and use nagging as their preferred method of communicatiion for years on end, and then think that we will respond to this wonderful treatment with tenderness, love, and faithfullness are in for a very big surprise (that being in the form of divorce papers and mistresses who fill those voids experienced at home (mind you, this is equally applicable to men as well)).

I'm not entirely sure, but I think that Dr. Laura may actually be a guy; she seems to know them that well.

Let me be very clear... this book has NOTHING to do with a supposed reversal of feminism. There is nothing here saying that women can't have fulfilling and successful lives in any arena they choose. Ladies, the choice you have is very simple. If you are in an otherwise healthy relationship, and you want a happy man, follow the advice in this book. If you are not that interested in a happy man, don't bother.
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161 of 201 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Saved My Marriage, March 9, 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (Hardcover)
This book was truly an eye-opener for me. I didn't think Dr. Laura's easy to implement suggestions would work, but they have. It is amazing. I see my husband and marriage in a new light, it feels exciting. I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars. I don't understand the detractors at all. Thank you Dr. Laura for telling us the truth and being a courageous voice in this day and age!
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The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Laura Schlessinger (Hardcover - December 30, 2003)
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