Monday, July 12, 2010

Review: The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage by Dr. Laura Schlessinger

The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage
Book Details:
The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage
by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Genre: Christian Self-Help
Published 2007, HarperCollins Publishers
Hardback, 222 pages
ISBN: 9780061142840

Dr. Laura Schlessinger reveals how to bring a marriage back from the brink of disaster.
Jumping off her million-copy bestseller The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, Dr. Laura Schlessinger exposes the sensitive and loving truths necessary to produce and sustain a wonderfully satisfying marriage. First and foremost, men and women need to understand and appreciate the uniqueness of masculinity and femininity. Both husband and wife have power in their relationship, and both need to realize this to ensure for themselves the personal satisfaction they yearn for. Dr. Laura explores the best ways a couple can relate, caretake, and nurture each other, and how to rescue a troubled marriage that seems doomed to fail.
Using real-life examples from her call-in radio show, Dr. Laura focuses on the typical mistakes made by men and women in their relationships, and gives us real-life solutions for keeping our unions strong, loving, and lasting.
I read and loved two of Schlessinger's earlier works, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands and Woman Power: Transform Your Man, Your Marriage, Your Life, so when I spotted this in my local library, I didn't think twice about reading it. The context of this book is relatively simple, but it really resonates with me and how I think. Probably half of the book is taken up with quotes from Dr. Laura's readers and listeners on various topics related to marriage, which I appreciate because it means that this isn't just a preachy "only my way works" self-help book, but a book chock full of experiences of many, many other married couples. One chapter in and I knew this book was gold - and then practically demanded my husband read it right after me. (We'll see how that goes.) I even shed a few tears at the end over a 57th birthday love letter a man wrote to his wife.
While some people will likely take offense at some of Dr. Laura's very strong opinions about the man and woman's role in marriage - man goes to work, woman stays home and takes care of home and children - I happen to agree with her as I am a stay-at-home mom myself. But even she admits to necessary exceptions to that rule in some circumstances - such as an injury preventing the man from working, and the woman choosing to take a job to pay for "luxuries." She had much to say about the negative effects that extremist feminism has had on marriage and child-rearing - and how to reverse those effects in the reader's own marriage, backed up with example after example from other married couples. While many counselors and therapists will simply listen to you verbally bash and complain about your spouse for session after session, she constantly brings the focus back to the complainer and encourages that person to do the changing he or she wants to see in the spouse. Her belief is that in most marriages, if one spouse gives what the other person wants, then that person will reciprocate. Dr. Laura's goals were very simply love and happiness in marriage, which everyone wants when they get married but often forget how to "do." Following her own KISS principle - "Keep it simple / small, stupid!" - she breaks down how to reach those goals very quickly and efficiently.

The Cover: It's pretty simple and complete with a picture of the author. When it comes to books of this nature, it is the identity of the author that sells the book.

First Line: "Is there really ever such a thing as a perfect marriage?"
This line gets right to the point of the book. The emotion I felt when I first read this was relief - I'm not the only one that thinks this!

Favorite Quote: "A great form of alchemy is to, in the immortal words of Vito Corleone, 'I'll make them an offer they can't refuse.' The best offer is love and attention."

Read For: Pages Read Challenge, Twenty-Ten Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge


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