In January, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, author and talk show host, released her seventh book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands." It's a work that raised more than a few eyebrows when it came to ideas on just how women should save their marriages, or make them better.
Dr. Laura, who was a guest on The Early Show, returns to the program Monday. "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" has spent the past 15 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
She tells The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith that as she listened to calls and read e-mails, day after day, she realized women are being more and more dismissive and disdainful about men and masculinity.
She says, "It's not that we women are mean. Some of us are, I'm sure. But it's not that we're mean or insensitive per se, but there is a culture now that is very me oriented towards the woman and dismissive against the male, and it's showing in the marriages."
She says it is not possible for a woman to have, a happy marriage, family life and career. "I think that's one of the first messages I gave in the book: The white rabbit syndrome – 'I'm late; I'm late for a very important date!' By the time you get home between your kids and husbands, it's, 'I'm tired and don't bother me, I'm so stressed out.' That's so sad."
She offers the following advice to women who want to change their marital life: "No.1, remember that you're a woman. I think most women don't spend time thinking about being a woman. They may think about enlarging their boobs or fixing their hair. But they don't think about the essence of being a woman, and the softness and nurturing. They are so busy doing stuff. So the first thing is to get in touch with the womanliness and how that will impact your children and your husband. Men love when we slurp over you femininely and flutter our eyelashes, and be sweet and have you rescue us and take care of us, and it feels good to us, too. And it doesn't mean you're not a competent woman in some other venue. The second thing is to realize how dependent men are upon us emotionally and to feed that."
Dr. Laura points out she got a letter form an ex-high class call girl who said most of her clients had been married men with kids and that they didn't come to her for sex, but for what they didn't get at home, to get their egos stroked and hear things that made them feel important as men.
She says, "I think when you take a man, you marry him, you make vows, you make commitments, you make promises, have a family, you have a home and then you say, 'I'm too busy; I'm too tired; I'm too annoyed,' that is cruelty and abuse? I think that's awful."
She further emphasizes women have been blessed with sensuality and sensuality, saying, "God blessed us with these incredible bodies to have all the sexual pleasure. And for us to say, 'I'm too tired, too stressed, too ticked off to enjoy what God gave me' is what I consider foolish."
And she adds, "The whole point is, when women read this book and take to heart the attitude, they're happier. They feel more important, more expressed. And their men, in return, take care of them better. A happy man is a very happy man."
While the book carries no lists of specific assignments, the motivation is clearly to:
- Understand that men are different from women
- Stop being hostile about that difference (masculinity)
- Make his needs, feelings, and thoughts important to you, perhaps instead of arguing or dismissing
- Reclaim being a woman not just a working wife and/or mother, and relate to him as your man. As one reader wrote: "After reading your book, I realized something very important: Although I am not your typical woman, I am still a woman. And, although he is not your typical man, he is still a man. I needed to feel feminine and beautiful and taken care of sometimes, and he needed to feel masculine and strong and taken care of in different ways sometimes, too."