Rebecca Hagelin

The letters are enough to make a grown woman cry.

I'm referring to the many stories sent by men across the country to Dr.Laura Schlessinger that are included in her newly released book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands."

Several weeks ago, I decided to write a column about Dr. Laura's book because I deeply value her wonderful work on behalf of families. As I have written before, the basic unit of every single civil society ? the family, starting with marriage ? is in grave peril due to efforts by social and judicial radicals who are seeking to destroy the sacred institution.

Proponents of same-sex marriage often cleverly point to the millions of failed heterosexual marriages in modern culture as support for their argument that homosexual marriages could be more successful than the failed model. If ever there was a time to provide a resource to husbands and wives to help them strengthen their existing marriages, it is now. My original thought was to read Dr. Laura's book, pen a simple, impersonal review and then move on to another topic.

But that was before I ended up in tears on an airplane as I turned the pages and read letter after heart-breaking letter from real husbands who are berated, relentlessly criticized and often ignored by the wives that had once loved them with all their hearts.

A letter from "Roy" expresses the sentiments of most of the letters:

The world is full of messages to men that there are standards we don't meet. There is always another man who is more handsome, more virile and more athletic than we are. None of that matters if the most important person in our life looks up to us, accepts us as we are, and loves us even though we aren't perfect.

Maybe there is a part of the small boy that never leaves the grown man, I don't know. All I know is that the husband who has a wife who supports him and praises him for the positive things he does is the envy of all the other men who have to live with criticism, sarcasm and constant reminders of their failures.

"Chris" had this to say about his constantly critical wife: "I want to be admired. I want to be acknowledged for being the breadwinner and making sure that we are all well taken care of. My greatest pleasure is when I feel like her hero. Like her 'man.' Not her boy."

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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