Does Dr. Laura know what men want? (Apparently so…)

This week my article titled “Does Dr. Laura know what women want?” was published. In it, I discuss a caller who vented his feelings to Dr. Laura about his wife who he thought had “let herself go.”

I was disgusted and annoyed that he would put that kind of pressure on his wife to look perfect, and I exaggerated my point.

I have a confession to make:

I hadn’t yet finished the book.

After submitting the column and feeling witty, I went back to the book for a quick “crunch time” speed-read to finish before book club next week.

The more I read, the more I began to realize the point Dr. Laura was trying to make. One sentence in particular shot out at me like a firework in the sky:

“No, I probably will not be writing about the care and feeding of wives.”


“Why? Because the truth is that when it comes to home and relationships, women rule. This is a book about how to rule wisely and lovingly.”

I was floored. First off, How did Dr. Laura know EXACTLY what I was thinking?! Second, I had never thought of my relationship with my husband as one of us women having more “power.” But the more I pondered this idea, the more sense it made in that we women actually do have the “power” to SET THE MOOD of the relationship. You know that quote, “Happy wife, happy life”? It’s true. If we are positively reinforcing, kind, thoughtful, warm, giving, nurturing, all those “feminine” things that are already innate in us women, our men will slay dragons and climb any mountain. Men grow up wanting and needing the love and nurture of their mothers, and spend the rest of their lives wanting and needing that from their wives.

Case in point: Last weekend I was up in Logan speaking to a group of girls for Deseret Book’s “Time Out for Girls.” It was a tough first night, and as I walked into my little hotel room close to midnight with a cranky baby and a heavily-weighted stroller, the thought of waking in a few short hours and doing it all over again was almost too overwhelming.

I called my husband and expressed my feelings and concerns. He was reassuring, as usual, and told me he loved me and to get some rest.

The next evening after a much more successful — if still a little stressful, yet most fulfilling — day, I came home to the most amazing of surprises, the ultimate “I love you, I want you to be happy” gift in my eyes:

A completely, perfectly, spotless home.

My husband had not only deep-cleaned, vacuumed, picked-up and polished our house, but he tackled the most dreadful of tasks: cleaning out the closet. He organized, arranged, stacked and DI-ed that sucker to a “T.” The sweaters were stacked. The skirts were hung. The socks were sorted. No more flinging pants up on a shelf and quickly covering your head in case of a bad aim. Nope. They were department-store displayed, all facing the same direction in little, neat piles.

People, even the underneaths were folded.

I tell you what, every worry, doubt, stress, fear and frustration flew right out the window. I even took a picture of me staring at the shelves with a look of pure ecstasy.closet

Two days later I caught the bug and did the garage.

Now, what made my husband do something so incredible, you ask? I hate to tell you that it’s mostly because he’s just the most amazing, wonderful, selfless and giving man and that his make and model is, in my opinion, very rare, but I also think it’s because since reading Dr. Laura’s book, I’ve actually tried to follow some of her advice. (Tail between legs.) Here are three things I’ve learned:

1. Let little things go.

This is actually one of THE HARDEST things for me to do. I am a dweller. I am obsessive. I am a worry-wart. I have a hard time letting things “roll off my back” as my mother would always beg me to do. But I decided to just TRY it the last little while, and I must say … within hours, if not MINTUES, I have forgotten what it was that bugged me so bad. This makes my husband very happy.

2. Pay attention to his needs.

Call me a hypocrite. No, don’t, but you can roll your eyes at how I ran my mouth about not being “perfect” for him in my last article and am now eating some of my words. I still don’t expect perfection of myself, but after getting my hair done this past week I decided to take some extra time to get ready and make myself look, well, pretty. I don’t know how many times my husband complimented me on my looks, but I was amazed at how something as simple as curling my hair could suddenly make me seem (and feel!), to him, like that supermodel I was yakking about.

3. It’s the little things.

I asked my husband when he got home from work if Dr. Laura was really right.

“Is it REALLY that simple to keep you happy?” I asked. “Good food, good lovin’, and a good attitude while at home and raising the kids?”

My husband looked right into my eyes and said, “Yep.”

Well for goodness sake.


  1. Ken Palmer

    Keeping a good man happy is simple. Simple isn’t always easy. I have my minor quibbles with Dr. Laura, but she’s usually right and her advice usually works. She’s helped a lot of people. She’s made my life better and she’s made be a better person, a better husband, and better father.

  2. Sheri Conaway

    Although I haven’t read Dr. Laura’s book, your post really resonated with me, but in my mind, I took it one step further. I used to have a somewhat tense relationship with some of my co-workers. In the last year or two, I’ve learned to let the little things go, focus on what matters and just keep my attitude positive. Amazingly, all of the petty BS that you find in an office no longer affects me because I refuse all invitations to participate, and even when a co-worker needs to vent, I try to steer them to the positive side of what is bothering them, or to what really matters and away from riding on the pity wagon. In other words, spreading that positive energy throughout your life yields the same results as when you spread it through your household! Rock on!

  3. Stephen

    Well, I hate to disagree with u but I do. I’ve been that way all my & then some to all 3 of my ex-wives & it wasn’t good enough for them.. So, eventually we divorced because of multiple major problems that went on during the marriages. Several things I don’t & won’t stand for & that’s “Lying”,”Drug/Alcohol Abuse”,”Infidelity” & “Deceiving”. Now these r just some of the things I had to put up with but even with help, it destroyed my marriages. Didn’t matter how much I did to show my love, it didn’t work. It may work for some marriages but not all & I’ve known others to fail as well as the husbands did everything they could as well, just as I did. So, no…I don’t agree to what u said about every man wants this & that & everything will work. This ain’t a perfect world & people change after a while. When ya think ya know someone, they change & thier someone totally different. It’s devistating but thier’s nothin u can do to change it. It’s a Train Wreck lookin for a place to happen! & it eventually will.

  4. Jack Beckman

    I am perplexed that somehow women don’t know what a Mormon man wants. It really hasn’t changed in years. Good home life, good lovin’ and a woman who will accept without judging or trying to change him into some caricature of a man. We want to serve in our callings, to have a bit of space once in a while. Good food and a happy family added in, and we are happy. It isn’t hard, it isn’t complicated, it isn’t a mystery.

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