The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands: A Book Review

The cruelest thing a wife can do to a husband is never to be happy.

The Proper Care & Feeding of HusbandsI had some trouble finishing this book towards the last few chapters because I already got the one golden message by the time I was maybe a third of the book through – be nice to your husband.

The message of being nice to your husband is repeated in 8 chapters, under different contexts including among others the fact that men do have feelings (Chapter 4), communicating with your man (chapter 5), intimacy (chapter 6) and, guy time (chapter 8).

It was still a very good read though and reminded me of how easy it is to take your husband for granted. This book reminds wives that husbands are really very simple and straightforward creatures who need the following from us – acceptance, approval and appreciation. The preferred source of these 3 A’s is us, the wives, and Dr. Laura Schlessinger reminds us throughout this book, in no uncertain terms, that if we fail at this task, our marriage is doomed.

Not to end on such a gloomy note, here are some notes I took as I journeyed through the pages – just a caveat though, although there were a few exceptions, I found this book depicting a picture of a wife that is childish, selfish and narrow- minded. (I don’t think I belong in the same box although I do hope I have the honesty to realize it when its happening!).

  • In marriage, it is very easy for the wife to be selfish and self-centered, usually there’s too much focus on what’s not right and not enough on what’s going well. Too much criticizing, not enough complementing.
  • Husbands don’t want to be displaced by their children. Give it a think: We get up several times in the middle of the night to tend to a crying child, but can’t even give our husbands a backrub or a glass of water after he’s fixed the roof immediately after coming home from a hard day’s work.
  • As husband and wife, we must prioritize each other, don’t allow the demands of daily life to get in the way of making each other happy.
  • Husbands need some downtime after coming from work – so don’t immediately welcome him with a “honey, I think our sink is clogged”.
  • On communicating to the man of the house – wives should just say what is on her mind, discuss the possibility of a solution and then move on. Do not sulk and let the husband ‘guess’ at the problem, do not whine and sound like a broken record, do not bring on the waterworks or the cold war.
  • Allow men to do things the way they want to do it. The dishes need not be color coded, as long as they are washed clean, dried and put away properly.
  • Male nature responds dramatically to visual stimulation, so don’t be a frump around the house. Make an effort to look more like a happy wife than a frazzled mom.
  • Do not be envious of husbands’ ability to have hobbies and friends, use the time instead to cultivate your own hobbies, or treat yourself to some ‘me-time’.

Husbands with friends and outside interests are happier. It adds to their happy relationship with you when you gracefully support their relationships with others and not behave like a spoiled brat who wants to control their lives.

  • It is the responsibility of both spouses to refresh themselves so that they can give the best to their relationship and their family.

What I learned – just be considerate, think beyond myself, the house, the daughter, the bills, etc, and recognize that another human being, the most important one in my life, with needs just like any other, is sharing life with me.  In the words of Luciano De Crescenzo~

We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.