Ten Stupid Things Couples Do to Mess Up Their Relationships

Ten Stupid Things Couples Do to Mess Up Their Relationships

3.8 15
by Dr. Laura Schlessinger

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In Ten Stupid Things Couples Do to Mess Up Their Relationships, Dr. Laura Schlessinger calls for a return to traditional courtship. Courtship allows couples and their families to get acquainted with each other over a longer period of time, and provides structure and guidelines for that important process. Schlessinger asks couples to take a long, hard look atSee more details below


In Ten Stupid Things Couples Do to Mess Up Their Relationships, Dr. Laura Schlessinger calls for a return to traditional courtship. Courtship allows couples and their families to get acquainted with each other over a longer period of time, and provides structure and guidelines for that important process. Schlessinger asks couples to take a long, hard look at the recurring problems in their marriages-both small and large-and doesn't hesitate to ten them what they are doing wrong and how they can fix it. This audio is an invaluable guide for all married couples and for single people who are struggling to find the right mate or escape a bad relationship. Acknowledging your stupid mistakes can be difficult, but with the help of this audio, you will team how to correct them and how to find fulfillment, joy, and loving companionship in your most important relationship.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Schlessinger once again pontificates on the values, behaviors and flaws that ruin lives and society. Dr. Laura is well-known for her caustic advice on her syndicated radio show and in previous Stupid Things books. Never a believer in the proverbial spoonful of sugar, she pummels readers with judgments and instructions for dating and marriage. With many quotations from listeners, Schlessinger gives a tongue-lashing to "stupid" secrets, egotism, pettiness, power, excuses, etc. She offers rational (if familiar) counsel to honor commitments, treat partners and relationships respectfully, communicate, accept differences and make some compromises, but she exhibits not a trace of empathy or humility. She never substantiates broad generalizations that "feminist propaganda" and "ultraliberal... norms" have yielded an "amoral" and "ego-loving society," neglecting to cite sources for vague "studies." She writes, "I get very angry when spouses call feeling guilty for wanting to get out of bad relationships," forgetting that, as a counselor, her feelings don't much matter. Frozen in some pre-Feminine Mystique time, she advocates chivalry, alleging, "it's getting more and more difficult for a man to find a woman he can respect." Although not a medical doctor or addiction counselor, Schlessinger rejects the concept of addiction as disease, blaming it on poor "character." People seeking a self-help alternative to touchy-feely or moral-relativist philosophies should avoid this harsh, self-indulgent tirade. (Oct.) Forecast: Schlessinger's high profile will spur interest. But outrage at her recent antigay campaign caused many advertisers to boycott her television show and will affect sales. Copyright 2001Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
This follow-up to Schlessinger's best sellers 10 Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives and 10 Stupid Things Men Do To Mess Up Their Lives is meant to help heterosexual couples iron out the wrinkles in their relationships. Dr. Laura is again telling it as she sees it, pointing out ten behaviors that prevent intimacy and commitment (e.g., Stupid Secrets, Stupid Egotism, Stupid Pettiness, etc.). Devotees, beware: she quotes liberally from letters that she has received and calls that she has taken on her radio show. Throughout, she calls for more God-centered relationships, spelling it G-d so as not to be sacrilegious. Feminists and the "predominantly liberal press" two groups she blames for current societal woes will not embrace her ideas. Despite Schlessinger's conservative politics, her book deserves a chance because she has something for couples and singles alike to think and argue about. She is frank, compelling, and easy to read. This work will be popular with her fans, sell well in bookstores, and be in demand in public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/01.] Susan E. Burdick, Plymouth Meeting, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.97(d)

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Chapter One

Stupid Secrets

"Dr. Laura, when, if ever, should I tell a woman I'm dating that I used to own and run a whorehouse?"

Believe it or not, that was a recent question from a caller on my syndicated radio program. Though this specific question may stimulate snickers and outright laughs, the basic question is an important one: What, if any, information from your past are you obligated to reveal during dating, engagement, and marriage? And what if the past is only last week? And on the flip side, is there any danger in "the whole truth, and nothing but the truth"?

Is Everything Private a Secret?

The first issue to think about when deciding "what to tell" is to be able to distinguish between secrecy and privacy. This is not a small issue or insignificant distinction at all. I recently asked my listening audience their opinions and experiences with secrecy and privacy in intimate relationships and got the largest and most immediate response I ever received to an on-air question. Here are some of those responses:

  • "Privacy is something you 'give' someone out of respect. Secrecy is something you 'withhold' from another."

  • "Privacy is when you want to go to the bathroom or pick your nose without your spouse looking -- or try to buy them a gift without their knowing. Secrecy is when you feel guilty about something that you can't tell your spouse."

  • "For spouses to be secretive, they would also have to be separative. Secrecy builds lack of trust, reservation, guarded intimacy of the heart, and resentment -- all of which lead to bitterness. Private is personal only to the individual and should not include anything that affects in any way both parties or the family."

  • "In my opinion, privacy in marriage is your own personal space. In this, there is trust and respect. The other partner is aware of this space and respects it without intrusion. We all need a little private time to ourselves, otherwise we go nuts! I think secrecy is destructive in marriage -- it is a lack of trust and respect. This is something the other partner is unaware of, and in essence, it is a lie."

  • "Privacy is something we value within ourselves. It is something we decide a little at a time to share. My thoughts are private and I will choose to share bits and pieces. Secrets are wrong if they promote dishonesty, distrust, and compromise morals and integrity."

  • "Privacy is having some quality time or spiritual time alone. I think secrecy in a marriage could be a form of deceit."

  • "Privacy is the withholding of information concerning yourself, the disclosure of which would be of no benefit to the partner, and which you do not wish to share. Secrecy, on the other hand, is the withholding of information that may have an effect on the well-being of the partner. This effect may be financial, spiritual, physical, or mental. Privacy is acceptable. Secrecy is not, unless it protects the partner from harm."

  • "Privacy is using the bathroom (especially when smell is involved), plucking your eyebrows, picking your nose, popping zits...all the ugly little things that are bad enough doing yourself let alone being involved with your spouse. Secrecy is not telling your spouse about a special surprise for them...definitely not something which would hurt the marriage or the spouse."

Whenever I receive a call about "telling" something to an intimate, the issue of what is private and what is secret is always the first part of the discussion. I not only want people to have integrity in their treatment of others, but it is vitally important for their well-being that they have compassion for themselves and maintain reasonable dignity. Too many folks seem to believe that they have to filet themselves wide open on the cutting board of their new relationships in order truly to be cleansed. These are the folks who have no sense of personal privacy at all. Others are filled with so much self-disgust that they want to hold everything in for fear that there is no forgiveness and no moving on. These are the folks for whom absolutely everything becomes a secret.

Being able to accept one's limitations, historical warts, and problems while being willing to risk truly being known by another is a definite sign of positive mental and emotional health, without which, quality relationships are not possible.

Fear of Privacy

There are flawed and sad elements in everyone's life and there are people with profound insecurities. These are the people who have to know everything you're doing, saying, thinking, reading, writing, and with whom. If they don't have this constant reassurance of information (their attempt to control the world and make themselves safe), they immediately imagine the worst and exaggerate and misinterpret everything and anything -- leaving a wake of arguments and frustration.

Our cultural environment propels otherwise reasonably secure and well-meaning people to question the sincerity and fidelity of their dates, fiancés, and spouses like never before in history. Why? The answer is as simple as it is destructive:

  • The general societal approval of out-of-wedlock sex has led to an epidemic of experimentation, casual sex, promiscuity, and a diminished "meaning" of physical intimacy. This produces a long line of prior lovers, who are still present at work, in the community, or in families -- or who just can't let go.

  • Pop-psych has called much of infidelity and promiscuity and perversion a disease. Men and women are ignoring their families to have internet affairs because of an addiction. Men and women are cavorting with extrarelational dalliances because of an addiction. This puts the victim of bad, selfish behavior in the position of being unsympathetic to their philandering partner's illness. Oh, puhlease!

  • Our culture has supported the moment-to-moment quest of immediate satisfaction and gratification by making divorce no-fault and by saying shacking-up is equivalent to...

Ten Stupid Things Couples Do to Mess Up Their Relationships. Copyright © by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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