The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2003
The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands
1731
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 6:29pm

I recently read "The Proper Care & Feeding of Relationships" by Dr. Laura Schlessinger and was surprised to find I agreed with much of what she said in the book...so I returned to the library to borrow "The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands" and again...I find I agree with most of what she writes. I would have scoffed at the titles alone 12 years ago when I was married, working up the corporate ladder with my 2 year old in dc full time from 11 months on. I thought I had it all.

I ended up divorced and now the 2 year old is 14 and I realized recently how fast she is growing up and that I really missed a lot of time with her and my husband by choice(working).

I am remarried and 3 yrs ago our son was born. I returned to work when he was 10 months and found what I think is the best dayhome I could have...they were amazing and very loving. Our family is very close with them now....I was working(primary breadwinner) and couldn't shake the feeling that I was putting my career ahead of my family when my family is monumentally more important to me than the money I was bringing in. We COULD change our situation to enable me to be at home...so we did and I now wonder why any mother who is emotionally healthy and does not *have* to work for the family to get by....doesn't stay at home? I am not meaning that disrespectfully or sarcastically as I myself did not make that choice with myt first. I resigned 9 months ago. I am proud to be at home even though I wasn't with my first(which I now regret but didn't think I would!). I am proud to send my husband off to work with hot coffee and a lunch I made that always includes homebaked treats....welcome him home to a clean home and wonderful meal...spend my days teaching my son and playing with him; treasuring it sincerely...and being here for my 14 year old daughter whether she needs me to yell at; or hug and talk...or just to stop her from sitting on the computer all day or getting into mischief.

To give you the tone of the books I will give you a couple of excerpts;

"The issue of "roles" in a marriage and family is often a sensitive one. Stay-at-home moms as well as hardworking primary-breadwinner men are not given much respect from our society-at-large. Feminist educators and activists keep trying to squeeze men and women into niches that may simply not be a good match for their innate qualites...as well as their masculine and feminine drives. It is more in the female nature to nest and nurture. It is more in the male nature to conquer and protect. Frankly, the more we ignore the true, inherent masculine and feminine qualites of people, the farther apart we pull them."

"...feminism has brainwashed women to believe that all men are inconsiderate beasts you can't rely on. Therefore, the threat goes, never give up your independence. This mentality has confsed and frightened women into an avoidance of becoming dependant on their men. To protect themselves, women ferociously parry with their men, while denigrating their own desires to tend the home and raise children. Then they call me all angry and depressed... nd they think it is because of their husbands."

So...what do you think?

*edit to correct a typo




Edited 7/11/2007 7:57 pm ET by hi_kimmie

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Avatar for mkatherine
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 6:34pm

Well...first of all congratulations on making the choices that work best for YOU and your family. That's what we all want whether it's WOHM/SAHM or WAHM. Even if I wasn't a divorced single mom I'd be working at the theater I work at b/c I love my job and I love that life. So that's what's right for me and I'm reasonably in my right mind... ;-)

However, as the board's resident lesbian divorced mom who really has no use for ANYTHING Dr. Laura says (much less about husbands)...I shall um... stay mute on that topic for now...since i never plan to care or feed a husband againLOL

 

Yes. We. Did.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2003
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 6:41pm

LMAO...well working at the theatre sounds like a passion as well as a "job"...and I know very few people who are really passionate about their job/career (slthough when I was feeling defensive about explaining to SAHM's when I was working I always claimed to LOVE my job). I honestly believe you though!!!!! I am a budding artist so I appreciate that you honestly love what you do. If I ever find success with art I will be able to say the same thing.

Katie...I didn't even think about you when I wrote that and I dated a women several years ago so you would think I would be a little more considerate! Sorry. Thanks for not ripping my head off though; I appreciate it and when I was first dating my husband...I swore that if this one ended poorly I was looking up my ex-girlfriend!

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Avatar for mkatherine
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 6:47pm

Oh no offense taken believ me -- I'm in the minority on this board and after all I did HAVE a husband at one point so I can still offer some persepctive!

life does take interesting twists doesn't it? ;-)

 

Yes. We. Did.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2003
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 6:53pm
It sure does...interestingly enough though Katie....I do know several same sex couples and it often seems that there is a feminine and masculine role adopted within those relationships as well. Sooooo...theoretically you could still offer up an opnion! I actually find "Dr. Laura" a little annoying to listen to and often too opinionated and nasty BUT you don't often see someone standing up for "old fashioned" roles and values so although I don't like her particularly....I found the books interesting.

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Community Leader
Registered: 02-06-2006
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 7:18pm

I dont think that work status makes that much of a difference. I embrace my femininity. I am a nurturing person. I love to cook and bake and it pleases me tremendously to feed the people around me that I love. I like to have dinner parties and to decorate for them. I decorate for holidays and like to make crafts. I bake lavish birthday cakes for my friends and family and spend time decorating them. I am super girly in that way. Always have been. It also pleases me to remember little details about whether dbf needs more contact solution or what brand of socks he likes or that his dry cleaning needs to be picked up and to take care of those things for him.

I also just graduated law school and intend to pursue a full time career.

Im not sure why so many people think a woman cant balance her intellect and drive to work outside the home and still let her inner nurturing goddess reign at the same time(if she has one anyway).

Your life before your second marriage sounds like it lacked balance. If the solution for you is to swing 100% the other way that's fine, but for many people that would simply be another situation that lacks balance and would solve nothing.

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Community Leader
Registered: 02-06-2006
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 7:20pm

Well hey you still have to care for and feed your girlfriend! You just get to subtract the pesky male ego out of the equation.

*feeling very jealous of mkat right now....*

;-)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2003
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 7:34pm
Do you also wonder why any father who is emotionally healthy and does not *have* to work for the family to get by doesn't stay at home?
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2003
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 7:35pm

"Im not sure why so many people think a woman cant balance her intellect and drive to work outside the home and still let her inner nurturing goddess reign at the same time(if she has one anyway). "

I don't think that women *can't* balance them....many do; I did for the last 10 years with a very demanding career that included a lot of travel and responsibility(and intellect I might add). I was *able* to do it but I just simply wasn't there when I was needed sometimes. I don't think the nurturing goddess can possibly reign if you are not physically there to nurture. Not saying that it is not there inside you but how is the goddess reinging if you are not available? I just think women cannot possibly do both without each suffering to a degree.

I am not saying that I think you are wrong I am honestly wondering if you don't feel that a women with a demanding career is not persuing that at the expense of her husband and children.

By the way....congratulations on graduating law school! That must feel like a million bucks; a great accomplishment! How old are your children?

oh....and thank you for your input. Hopefully it continues as a discussion and not a mud slinging.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2003
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 7:46pm

No. My husband stayed at home for a total of probably 3 years in the last 8 while I brought home a bigger paycheque than he will ever hope to make; however, I strongly believe that our natural differences as a man and woman make me the "heart" of the family that is best suited to the caring and nurturing for our family....he is the man that goes out and "slays dragons" for us....and provides. Our innate differences as woman and man mean that we are better at the roles when are in now; the other way around worked but in my heart I resented that he was home and I was not and I love the feeling of my man taking care of us. He enjoyed the time off but did not feel like he was "taking care of us"

I resented that he was where I wanted to be and he felt lazy even though he was running his rear off chasing a one year old. I want a man that wants to be the strength and provider. I am sick of whiny oversensitive lazy men and could not possibly be married to one.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2003
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 7:58pm

I strongly disagree with the way of thinking that woman = nurturer and man = provider. People are individuals with their own strengths and talents, and gender does not dictate who is better at certain things. Just because you may have resented your husband SAH, does not mean that all women would. And just because some men are more nurturing does not mean that they are "whiny oversensitive lazy men." That's like saying a SAHM is a "whiny oversensitive lazy woman". How offensive!

Personally, I would never be able to be married to an alpha-male. I would resent feeling "taken care of." Different strokes for different folks.

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