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Marriage
05/13/2010
IconI got this eloquent email recently, and wanted to share it with all of you, as it addresses the consequences of some behaviors that often come up from callers to my radio show:"Two months ago, I left my wife and children and moved into a condo about a mile from our home.' This morning, I was moved to write the following, just to help me vent my frustration over the treatment from my wife that led to this painful and damaging decision, called "For Years:" For years, you behaved as if it didn't matter whether I came or went, so I went. For years, you were unsatisfied with the income I brought in, even though it was way more than enough to allow you to stay home with the children. Now you have less, and you get to go to work. For years, you behaved as if my touch meant nothing to you. Now, it's gone. For years, you never complimented me on the household repairs I made, keeping up the lawn and garden, cleaning and organizing the garage and the hundreds of things I did to keep our home balanced and running. Now, you can do them. For years, you complained I didn't do enough housework.' Now it's all yours. For years, you chose not to attend community and social events that were important to me.' Now they're not an option. For years, you expected me to read your mind when you were hurt or upset.' Never could, never will. For years, you punished me with your silence.' Now you have plenty. For years, you would not share information about our kids' schedules, doctor's appointments and so on.' Now some attorneys will help you polish your communication skills. For years, I chose to love you, protect you, provide for you, confide in you, and have fun with you.' Now, I don't. For years, you behaved as a long-suffering martyr.' Now you can be one. For years, I chose to raise your son as my own.' Now, he's hurting. For years, you treated me as the lesser parent.' Now I am. For years, our precious young daughter has watched this debacle. What do you think she's learned? For years.... P.S.' I bought and read "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage" months ago, and asked my wife to read it with me.' She laughed."(Signed)Still My Kids' Dadin Southern California More >>

Tags: ChildrenMarriageParenting
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Tags: BudgetEconomyMarriage
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05/13/2010
Icon"But why should I have to do 'X' when I don't feel like it?"That is by far the single most expressed sentiment to excuse oneself from fulfilling obligations to others. Feelings have been elevated from the mercurial and temporary to positions of absolute truth and power. "I feel that..." is most always used when one actually is expressing thoughts, beliefs, opinions, guesses, and concerns.One of the most typical problems in marriages is not religion, politics or finances - it's the issue of sexuality. For the most part, the pattern is that a man and woman have a great out-of-wedlock sexual relationship, full of passion and spontaneity. Once married, and especially once children come on the scene, too many women "feel" less and less like being their husband's lover and girlfriend. I have talked to hundreds, if not thousands, of women over the more than thirty years I've been on radio, and the story is always the same: "I'm just too tired...or...annoyed to feel like having sex." I ask them what they expect their husbands to do. "Be understanding," they say.I then ask these wives if they would suggest their husbands take advantage of a hooker, Internet porn, or a girlfriend on the side to fulfill their needs for affection and sexual activity. Once I get their attention...I move on to several points: 1. If there is "too much on your plate," cut stuff out. You cannot properly maintain a marital relationship when you leave almost no time and energy for it. That means that full-time jobs, children, a home, and your parents and friends take up your life and leave no room for the man who would give his life for you. This is also a breach of your vows to love and honor. 2. There are lots of things you don't feel like doing - but you do them anyway because you have obligations to others. Your husband doesn't feel like visiting your mother, taking you shopping, listening to your repetitive stories and gripes about your sister, going out for tampons, and so forth - but he does it anyway because he loves you . Imagine a world where everybody only did what they felt like doing??? 3. I never wake up feeling like working out, but I get up anyway. I put on my workout clothes, get some water, and start pumping weights. Once I get started, I feel very good about what I'm doing and how it is impacting my body. Well, once you get into foreplay, you'll probably start getting into it too! That means you need to take a nice shower or bath, use some sweet-smelling perfume or body powder, put on something adorable and start flirting with your man - it won't take long for you TO FEEL LIKE IT! 4. Life is short - never turn down a perfectly good orgasm- on your death bed, you'll regret it. There is hardly a better way to reconnect and reaffirm your love and attachment - this is the ultimate bonding technique. 5. You made vows to "love and cherish," so do it or don't expect much in return. That means, don't call me complaining about no Valentine's or Anniversary present when you haven't treated your man like your man and your lover . If you don't make the effort to make him feel special to you - don't expect it in return. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter-Courage-ConscienceMarriageSexSexualityValues
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05/13/2010
IconFirst, full disclosure. Years ago, a journalist from Vanity Fair called me. She was supposedly friends for 20 years with my then-chief of staff, and wanted to interview me. And having some brains in my head (I don't trust this stuff), I asked my associate about her, and she said "Y'know, she's been a friend of mine; I'll vouch for her." So, I said 'OK, I'll call her, feel it out, and then make a decision.'I called her, and she gave me a line of lies (that I found out later were a line of lies) about how I was a cultural phenomenon and she wanted to study this sociologically, and understand the points of view about how they became popular (but they weren't), and she gave me this whole line, and I thought "OK, I like the point of view; she's supposedly friends with my chief-of-staff who has known her and says she's a decent person," and I agreed to do it.Meanwhile, my editor at HarperCollins said "Don't. Trust me on this. Don't. Trust me on this. Don't. Trust me on this. Don't." Turns out (I'm going to go back and forth in history a little bit), after the article was out, my editor, who was protecting her source who was a dear friend who worked at Vanity Fair , said "I couldn't tell you because I promised " - don't you hate those? --- I couldn't tell you, because I promised, but that Vanity Fair , according to my source (a male who works there, whose name I do not know, or I'd give it right now) said that they actually had a planning meeting to set me up and do a hatchet piece. I'm telling you this because I want clarity that what I'm about to say is not vengeance. You've heard me say I love vengeance....I love it. Justice, vengeance - all one thing to me. I love it! And you've also heard how I want you to go get it, usually by being really nice ('cause that kills the bad guys) and being happy and successful.That woman from Vanity Fair came for the first meeting with me and I knew I was in trouble, when I came in and sat down, and she took a look at my figure and disdainfully asked me if I was a size zero, while she was somewhere between fat and obese, and I was trying to get her an appropriate sandwich, but she wanted to eat something with a lot of mayonnaise - I knew there was a problem from that point on, to be honest with you. And I was right. It was just a nasty hatchet piece of people saying gossipy stupid things and it was really mean. The writer's name is Leslie Bennetts. Really mean . But I found out way too late that that was Vanity Fair 's plan - it was their little editorial meeting, according to my editor at HarperCollins who's not there anymore and not related to this. But she didn't tell me in time. She said, "Well, I warned you!" A little more information would have been more helpful.The reason I'm bringing this up as disclosure, is that this same person is coming out with a book pretty much telling women not to stay home with their kids. Now, let me say something about women's magazines. By and large, women's magazines completely ignore me. "I am my kid's mom." You'd think one year in 31 years that I've been in the media - that one year I would have been made "Mother of the Year" in one woman's magazine. A couple of years ago, we tried to have a women's magazine "editor and publisher" luncheon with me when one of my new books came out. HarperCollins was going to pay for the lunch, I was going to appear...everybody eats, and I'd do a Q&A. They had to cancel it - nobody would come. Whenever they do articles like on mothers staying home, who do you think in the entire United States you would really think they'd ask for a quote, besides me? It doesn't happen. Okay?So, I want you to know that I've been getting e-mails from you folks about Ladies Home Journal and Glamour magazine doing a little one-page on this book which is encouraging women to do the wrong thing and be paranoid. Let me just share with you two of these letters. This one is from Christie: I was appalled today when a friend e-mailed this to me from Glamour magazine. The article tells stay-at-home moms that they will become dependent financially and lose themselves. I'm a stay-at-home mom to a beautiful six month old baby girl. I am a wife to a Navy officer (my warrior!), and I am dependent on him. Yet, I know that my family is dependent on me! My husband and child NEED me to do the tasks that make our home run smoothly in order to feel safe, secure and loved! I thank you for reminding your listeners on a daily basis the importance of being dependent on your spouse in your marriage both ways, and to be your kids' parents. Yes! That's the part Leslie doesn't seem to get! I don't know what her home life is like, but mutual dependency is a good marriage. This is from Jennifer: I was appalled at coming across an article in Ladies Home Journal (like a rabbit, it keeps multiplying!) . It's entitled "Why Moms Should Work." For women who have quit their jobs to stay home with the kids full-time, here's a reason to think twice. There's a whole page article she writes about why you shouldn't stay home with your kids. You have to read this! I will only tell you the last paragraph of the article. It says: "There's stress attached to everything we do. Women need to accept that it's fine to be a good-enough parent, a good-enough homemaker, a good-enough wife. We have richer, more satisfying lives when we do a reasonably good job at a multiple of tasks, than when we strive for this insane perfectionism in a single, limited role." I was crushed that she called staying at home with your children a limited role. I'm my 7 year old son's mom and the wife of my husband of 10 years. I'm certainly proud of that and firmly believe the reason my life is so good is because of women like you, Dr. Laura. You believe in us, and we praise you for that. I can't thank you enough for your voice, what you do for your country, and thank you for the tools for a happy home. And that includes staying home with our children. By the way, across the country, young women are jettisoning careers to stay home with their kids. According to The Wall Street Journal (printing information from the US Census Bureau), an estimated almost 6 million mothers stayed home to care for their families in 2005 - 1.2 million more than a decade ago. The trend of opting-out has been broader than previously believed, with women at all income levels taking job breaks. Meanwhile, Leslie Bennetts is paranoid about divorce, your spouse losing a job, and widowhood, as though the only answer to that was across-the-board "do not be at home, do not take care of your kids, do not be your husband's girlfriend"....get your job, be secure, just in case something horrible happens. Well, my answer to something horrible happening is find another way to deal with it if and when it does, rather than knee-jerking, giving up on your family.Last but not least, I'm going to close with this letter from Yvette: Thank you so much for your hard-hitting, yet Godly (if I may say so) advice. I had considered divorcing my husband, pursuing a Vice President job within a Fortune 500 Top 50 company, until I recently took your words to heart. My dear and understanding (for the most part) husband and I have been married for over 13 years, and we have a phenomenal 10 year old son. Although I had read many of your insightful books, I still worked 60 or so hours a week. I claim only stupidity, selfish desires and adhering to the current social norm. I have recently been available to listen to your daily broadcast, which is a godsend. Dr. Laura, I am so self-centered, that I was focusing solely on my career, impressing my boss, scoring myself the bigger paycheck, and securing the coveted VP slot, that I put my marriage and motherhood on the back burner. I must say, you have reminded me of my true calling. Thank you so much. I am now about to become my son's mom and my husband's wife. Thank you for helping me realize that no paycheck, no status can take the place of my true calling. For the first time I can remember, I actually apologized to my dear husband for not listening. Dr. Laura, it finally occurred to me that if I don't listen to my husband (who is, by the way, the most selfless person in the world and only has our family's best at heart) I'll never be blessed in the way that God desires. Of course, this occurred while I work. So I have a journey ahead. I know that sometimes we all need something from another person, therefore, please remember that, in reciprocation, I am ready to be of service to you in any way I can. You go home and take care of your babies. That's how you'll be of service to all the world - a better chance of raising good kids to be decent citizens, to go out and do wonderful things in the world.So, my comments about Leslie Bennetts' book are not vengeance. I have gone on to be happy, functional, secure, and continue with my career. That's my vengeance on what she tried to do. But warning you that women's magazines, and this sort of book, do not function in the best interests of families, children, or women is important to me. Encouraging women to do the wrong thing by making them paranoid about disasters, so they should only strive to be good-enough moms when they're around, good-enough wives if they have the time, but the work is everything, is exactly what for decades and decades women complained their men were doing. And paranoid feminists like Leslie Bennetts are telling you to go backwards in history and hurt the family... just like men who were never home and never involved did. More >>

Tags: CommitmentInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriageParentingStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconMatch.com, and its association with Dr. Phil McGraw (who has signed up to place his imprimatur on the prospective "matches") has been advertised all over the television dial. The founder of Match.com, Gary Kremen, chief executive of Grant Media LLC, made the dot.com deal of the century. His sale of Sex.com to "anonymous buyers" (potentially one of the most lucrative sites on the Web because of its provocative name) for $12 million in cash and stock ranks as one of the most expensive Web domain name transfers ever!According to CNN, "The new owners said in the statement that they plan to transform Sex.com in 'the market-leading adult entertainment destination,' which they said would include 'adult dating opportunities,' sex and relationship advice, erotica, video-on-demand and live chat."The site makes money selling banner ads pointing to online pornography sites and Kremen will be staying aboard as an "adviser" to the site.Here you have it, the ultimate goal of the 1960's sexual revolution: sex without loving commitments, obligations, complications; pure sex for recreation. There is no differentiation between the sacred and the profane with respect to sexuality any more. Not only has the internet eliminated the notion of "adult bookstores and entertainment" being way off the main street, check your local University course handbook and you'll find courses in perversions and pornography presented in as positive a perspective as anti-United States politics!The American Psychological Society has published articles which explain that sexual relations between adult men and minor boys is largely a positive issue for the children involved - stating that the only real negatives come from oppressed members of Western Society. Planned Parenthood evidently has a policy of not reporting the molestation of minor females who come in for abortions when the sperm-donor is an adult male.Many school systems around the country will take children out of school for abortions and birth-control without parental knowledge or permission.Family groceries in almost every town in America, as well as sundries kiosks at airports, will place so-called mainstream magazines with blatantly erotic photos and tag-lines on their covers, at the check-out stands or magazine racks in clear view of children.Our public schools indoctrinate children on "owning their own sexuality" (when they can't legally own anything else) with sex-ed statements like, "You will know when you're ready for sex." Yet, if a child comes to public school with a bible in hand, that student will be descended upon as though they came in with a weapon of mass destruction.It's one thing when we can no longer count on our institutions to shore up basic values and morals about sexuality - in fact, they've largely become the enemy - but we can't even count on our neighbors! I remember when I would chide a caller about being over-protective and not allowing their child to go to a sleep-over. No more. I now chide callers when they don't pick their kids up at the end of the evening. With the virtual collapse of common sense and common values, children are at risk even at the homes of their friends. Sadly, there are a lot of parents who believe co-ed sleep-overs are cute and harmless and that supervision is unnecessary because "kids will do what they're going to do and it is better that they do it with a warm roof over their heads." Television has transformed American culture, normalizing casual sexual behavior with shows such as "Friends," where there was mix-'n-match sex as just everyday humorous entertainment, Howard Stern's disgusting, sophomoric antics with pathetic bimbos, so-called "reality" shows pushing limits, and the attention grabbing vulgarity on cable TV channels. It is stunning that even the "nicest" hotels have XXX rated channel options.Am I just an uptight, neurotic prude (oh, I've been called even worse!), or is this really injurious to human beings? To answer that, I - a nice little Jewish mother - will turn to the new Pope (Benedict XVI). In his first pastoral letter to the church on the nature of God and love in charity and relationships (January, 2006) he called for "expressing erotic love through committed, unconditional love relationships." According to press reports, Benedict warned that sex without unconditional love risked turning men and women into merchandise. "Eros, reduced to pure 'sex,' has become a commodity, a mere 'thing' to be bought and sold...Here we are actually dealing with a debasement of the human body: no longer is it integrated into our overall existential freedom; no longer is it a vital expression of our whole being, but it is more or less relegated to the purely biological sphere."Need proof he's right? KDWB-101.2 in Minneapolis, according to one of my listeners, had a reporter doing a story about teens who now have "friends with benefits," meaning: having sex without commitment. My listener wrote: "My mouth was open during the entire drive to work. Girls and boys as young as 13 were admitting to either knowing someone, or being a part of this 'phenomenon.' But what really got my dander up was an 18 yr. old senior in high school who proudly stated that he's part of a group of five girls, five boys who REGULARLY engage in sexual intercourse with one another (at least 3 times a week). When asked if this has caused any problems amongst the young women, he stated, 'No, these girls can't get enough.' We don't even bother to close the doors.'"In a fantastic op-ed piece in the Santa Maria Times (1/22/06), Barbara Murphy wrote, "Too many of today's young women have been hoodwinked by our culture, leaving a lot of broken-hearted, unhappy singles. Confused by the semantics of women's rights, they gave away their bodies to the men who used them....Are young men really any better off? Jaded by endless sexual encounters that meant nothing, many young men are left empty and frustrated. Saturated by the over-indulgence of the icing on the cake, they seek more and more sugar, while never tasting the cake."All of us, men and women alike, want to know real love. Lust is a poor substitute. Using others is the opposite of loving them."Many of my listeners echo those sentiments - others are distraught and somewhat destroyed by the empty promises of casual sex. Our pervasive culture of casual sex results in masturbation by proxy, that is, an impersonal, biological release, with no human to human real connection of caring and compassion.Sheryl, a listener, wrote that she was "Saved From a Delusional Culture." "Thank you, DrL, for being a model of common sense in a society in which many people think that they should be able to shuffle through life with no responsibilities towards other people. I am the product of a generation raised after the so-called sexual revolution, and I resent many of the ideas that resulted from that era. I resent that the public school system and popular culture tried to turn me away from my parents' tradition values and beliefs. They tried to 'liberate' me from the 'oppressive' life that my parents were advocating. Yet, during my years at a very liberal university (aren't they all?) I began to realize that the public schools are are Emperors of Brainwashing. I first began to realize this while watching some of my 'liberate' college friends go through a string of sexual relationships, never satisfied, often whining and bitter."Living by my parents' tradition values, I became a STD-free, non-bitter, real woman. I am fulfilled by real love, not mere sexual desire positing as love. Real love endures in the mind even when emotions waver. My traditional man is very sexy. No oppression or repression here. Any Hugh Hefner-types who think that they have a better life than my tradition family are delusional!" From the male side, I received this email from Ken: "My wife has asked on more than one occasion if I would like to have multiple partners? I do not equate sex and love. Love may involve sex, but they are not interchangeable. She equates her worth in terms of sex appeal. I did not marry her because she was great in bed or a 10."While males and females are physiologically and temperamentally quite different creatures; women into nesting, bonding and nurturing, and men into conquest, providing, and protecting, they are quite similar spiritually. Both men and women have a strong need to have their lives be purposeful and to have real love in their lives. There is hardly anything in our culture left which extols, supports, guides and celebrates that truth. A 2003 study by the Heritage foundation linked early sexual activity with a higher suicide rate. The study reported that about 14 percent of girls aged 14 to 17 who have had intercourse have attempted suicide; 5 percent of sexually inactive girls have. Why is this kind of fact on the lips of every sex-ed teacher and overly indulgent parent? Instead, I hear from a math teacher at UNLV: "This morning, in a Math for Elementary Teachers class, a student came in wearing a t-shirt with the bold-print message "It's not what you do, but who." I asked the female student about it and she explained that it was a shirt made especially for members of her sorority and the fraternity they partnered with for homecoming activities. It makes one wonder how much it might guide the conversation when a guy and a girl wearing such shirts find themselves together."Sex as a commodity. A woman as a commodity. A fetus as a disposable commodity. Marriage as an unnecessary commodity. Spiritual depth to interpersonal behavior an irrelevant commodity. Modesty from women, honor from men are archaic commodities.The meaning of life? Simple: it's what you feel at any one moment.How did this begin? Science has its place although scientists are known for eschewing any responsibility for the use of their research discoveries. I think it obviously starts with birth-control. While the pill was a useful tool for family planning for married couples, it separated sex from love, marriage, and parenting. The legalization of abortion, outside of saving the life of the mother, provided yet another separation between sex and higher obligations with an extremely casual attitude of women towards the miracle of new life (and I'm still waiting for Planned Parenthood to have in-house adoption services). Between the sexual liberation of women, and the birth control/abortion opportunities, young men have been separated from any sense of honor, commitment and responsibility towards women and are more cavalier about using women for sex than ever. No one faults a man from walking away from the fruits of his fling. The children pay a huge price, but there is always some hack psychologist or psychological organization which will minimize the "negatives" on children. People, they say, must be free to make their own choices...no matter who they hurt: children, each other, or themselves!Well, I'm here to tell you that this experiment has failed. Nobody, except the perverts, pedophiles, narcissists and sadists are happy with sex becoming a commodity. More >>

Tags: MarriageSex
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Tags: Marriage
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05/07/2010
IconCreating, nurturing and maintaining intimacy in long-term, committed relationships requires intention, deliberate choice and deliberate action. Nothing about creating intimacy and truly being intimate with another person is unconscious. Closeness is enhanced through purposeful sensitivity, tenderness and respect for each other. More >>

Tags: DatingMarriageRelationshipsSex
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