Psychology 409b February 2, 2006

“When the Wife Learns”, First oral outline

By Skip Saito


Dr. Laura C. Schlessinger, The Proper Care and Feeding Of Husbands, HarperCollins Publishers Inc., New York, 2004, Pages 42-54


Instructions for this Activity are found at:

Instructor: Dr. Leon James


I.               Complaining is not a virtue and does not lead to anything good

a.     There are two scenarios given that let you choose which one is the appropriate way of handling a situation.

                                                     i.     Yell at your husband every 5 minutes to remind him to take out the garbage.  Keep nagging him and bring up everything else he’s done to annoy you so far.  When he finally takes out the garbage, tell him, “It’s about time”.

                                                      ii.     Ask your husband that when he has time, to please dump the trash in the trash bin.  Don’t bring it up again.  When he returns from taking it out, give him a big kiss and tell him that it was a big help.

b.     “Men are doers; simple, straight-line types.  The reason they have a tendency to rescue damsels in distress is because of their need to be admired for their chivalry”.

                                                     i.     Men love to hear, “My Hero”.

                                                      ii.     Men have so much false pride, ego, resentment, and stubbornness.

                                                        iii.     Simple rewards are all husbands need to have the motivation to do chores.

c.     Dr. Schlessinger is often struck by the pettiness of the complaining, and by the complete inability to see another way of handling a situation.

                                                     i.     Knowing how wives get sometimes, husbands avoid telling them things because of the fear of arguing.

                                                      ii.     Women can get angry because their husbands failed to tell them something that he has done, but they fail to realize that the husband didn’t tell them because he was trying to keep the peace and avoid the arguments, with good intentions.

II.             Criticizing your husbands could not only bring him down but also bring down the marriage

a.     It is difficult for husbands to come home from work to hear their wives criticize them that they don’t do enough around the house. 

                                                     i.     Husbands begin to feel like failures

                                                      ii.     They tend to find someone else that will treat them more like a hero.

b.     One husband stated, “Please, ladies, recognize that we men do love you, and although you may not think we do much around the house, we do the ugly stuff like change the oil and mow the lawn and get up early when it snows to shovel a path to your car and start the car so it will be warm when you get in, all because we love you.”

                                                     i.     All husbands ask is that if you can’t accentuate the positives, at least acknowledge it.

                                                      ii.     Husbands know that there is always another man that is more handsome, athletic, and smarter than we are.

1.     None of that matters if the wife just accepts and loves her husband even thought he is not perfect.

c.     Criticism of men does not make them feel more loving, and it also makes the complaining wife feel less love for her husband

                                                     i.     The very act of criticism destroys arm feelings toward the target of that criticism.

                                                      ii.     Elimination or diminution of criticism adds to loving feelings.

III.           One reason that women complain and criticize so much is that they have cycled through too many intimate relationships and marriages and have developed a lot of pain and disappointment

a.     Wives need to love their husbands as though they’ve never been hurt before.

                                                     i.     Women groups don’t help because all the wives do is vent about how horrible their relationships are and it trains you to complain and whine about behaviors.

                                                      ii.     Counseling sessions help because they teach you to respect one another, your family, and your privacy.  It is important for both you to be fed from the same trough so that you can work together.

b.     You need to have a give-and-take marriage

                                                     i.     Women feel that once they are married, their part of “give” is doing dishes, cooking dinner, and watching the kids.  They then expect their husbands to reward them for this with back rubs, flowers, and dates, but they don’t give anything in return.

                                                      ii.     Husbands and wives need to be rewarded not just so things can get done, but because you love each other.


Related Links:

1.  This website was an interview of Dr. Schlessinger about her book “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands”.  It was interesting to read a summary of her book and relate it to the concepts that I found was interesting.


2.  The article on this website gave information on “what women want”.  It was interesting to read the articles because it gave examples on the needs of women.  This relates to my concepts because it gives the answers to why wives complain and criticize.


3. This website features the book, “Why Men Don’t Have a Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes”.  This book has a section on nagging that pertains to my concepts of complaining.  It gives both the husband and wives point of view.  I recommend anyone who is doing an oral on this book to read this article.


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