Thursday, September 11, 2014

Boyfriends and Husbands

I'll start off with my usual disclaimer about Dr. Laura: I love her show (obviously, since I listen to every minute of it), I think she's awesome, and I think she's done and continues to do a whole lot of good for people.

I think I've written about this element of her approach before, but I can't look it up right now. I was listening to a call that I think was on yesterday's show that prompted these thoughts (again).

The well-being of children is obviously the highest priority of Dr. Laura. For example, unless someone is abusive, Dr. Laura recommends people with minor children stick out an unhappy marriage and put on a polite, even pleasant front for the kids, until the kids are grown. Sometimes, she stresses how important the marital vows are, and why they make a marriage different from a shack-up or mere girlfriend/boyfriend relationship, but other times the vows don't seem to matter much, like when a marriage doesn't involve minor children. In situations like that, she may say "You made a mistake. Go home to your mother." and divorce is the recommendation. So, as long as we're not talking about abuse, she'll tell people to stick it out if there are minor children when there are problems she'd otherwise tell people should prompt them to leave.

That's relevant to the topic I wanted to focus on:

Guys viewing "adult" media.

She usually tells as worried wife and mother that it is not a problem, or at least no big deal, if her husband is viewing material depicting (adult) women or men with women, as long as the husband isn't neglecting her or his responsibilities, and that just about all men do it. (Dr. Laura has a large evangelical audience, and viewing such material is frequently depicted as extremely harmful and dangerous in evangelical circles, so I picture shocked women all over North America, most of them gluttons, gossips, and greedy - about which the Bible definitely has something to say even if evangelical preachers would rather spend the time knocking "adult" media.)

However, I've noticed her advice is usually very different if the worried woman is not yet married to the man in question. For example, a young woman called and said her long-term boyfriend had a "collection" of pictures on his phone, and Dr. Laura told her to run. In this particular case, I'd chalk it up to their ages, or to Dr. Laura saving the guy from having a whiny girlfriend/wife, if Dr. Laura hadn't added that she feels sorry for any woman who marries the guy. She tends to describe unmarried guys doing this as having a serious character flaw, while she takes a completely different tone to husbands doing this.

I don't think it is just a matter of what Dr. Laura had for breakfast. She's usually very consistent.

It was not implied that the pictures on the phone are of women the boyfriend knew, but it seemed to me the girlfriend was saying this was stuff he's collected surfing online. Dr. Laura is especially averse to guys having naked pictures of past sexual partners, especially in digital format. I won't belabor why.

Giving Dr. Laura a generous assumption of consistency and the benefit of the doubt would indicate to me that she thinks those husbands are creeps but wants their marriages to be pleasant and so she never attacks the character of those guys when their wives call. The other possibility I see, cynically, and I think I've brought this up here before, is that the principle being applied is that a married man and earned/bought the "right" to enjoy seeing nude women and the visual/auditory stimulation of sex - that men should  "pay for sex" and if they have, then they are entitled to it, and if they haven't, they shouldn't get any semblance of it. Thus, husbands (who've paid  for sex) should be able to view the material without their wife even complaining about it, while a boyfriend, who hasn't paid (as much) for sex, should be dumped.

Maybe we'll get a commentary offering clarification? Dr. Laura has great commentaries, and any time she gives additional insight to approach, I learn something.


  1. I agree with you. She is very consistent. It is so interesting that you wrote about this very subject. I listen to her all the time. I have thought about your theory that she thinks married men who look at it are scum but she wants to salvage the marriage; therefore, make the woman feel like it is ridiculous to be offended by it. But I'm not talking about women who starve their husbands sexually. I've heard callers from women who have a great sex life and have caught their husband looking. To me that's different from if you are starving your husband sexually. I still don't think porn is the answer but I get she is practical and not religious. I'm not religious. I am a Christian. I've met women who aren't christians who think porn is wrong. But a specific caller said she and her husband were best friends and had a great sex life. They were older. She had stepped out to go to the grocery store and when she came back she caught her husband looking at porn and she was hurt by it. And dr laura basically said she was being silly. I would be so hurt too. And I just think there are other things men can do. I get its a temptation but it doesn't add anything good to your life. If you are married, maybe you just can't do that anymore because if you have a good wife then how she feels should be considered with various matters and why this matter the exception? It's just icky! It's not something I want my kids doing or my daughter engaging in! I don't want to be close minded but I just don't get how anyone defends it. I get that people like it and do it and defend it but why if someone likes it does it make it ok? Why can't people say "yeah I do it, I like it but yeah i know it's wrong" surely no one ever felt like a good or better person after viewing it. Like "wow I'm glad I did that!" Anyway. It's nice to have an intelligent discussion about it. And it is because I rely on dr laura so much that this subject pains me. I am married with four kiddos. All ours! I'm an at home mom. And I struggle with depression pretty bad. I depend on her program instead of meds. I respect the hell out of her. She has changed my life and my marriage. She will never know what she has done. My husband and I knew each other 4 months before we got married. I was so dumb then. And selfish. But I did hold marriage in high regard. I took responsibility for my actions and got counseling. But nothing helped like her show. Our marriage has been transformed by me listening to her and treating my husband properly expecting nothing in return. And In return I have gotten a completely different man, a man who would swim through shark infested waters. It's been the hardest thing I've ever done. And if I found out he was watching porn I would just be destroyed. I don't know why I have such an aversion to it. Sometimes I worry about it and I start shaking. U don't check his phone but I know most men do because I've read all the stats. Maybe I need help with this fear. I wish it wasn't such a fear. I do my best to not think about it. I know I've rambled. I'm an at home mom and pretty isolated. If this is read, fine. If not , fine.

  2. I'm sorry this is so concerning to you. Fortunately it sounds like you are doing things right and well in general.

    Are you familiar with Dennis Prager? I believe Dr. Laura has mentioned him before, but she won't mention him often because she's on Sirius XM and he's a Salem terrestrial radio host/author (so they work for competing companies). Their live broadcasts overlap by an hour so they are somewhat direct competitors.

    Prager is practicing Jew and politically and mostly conservative socially as well. He's very pro maarriage-and-family to the point he strongly encourages people to marry (to the point he talks down a bit about men who don't marry) and raise children.

    Since you mentioned depression, I think you would be helped very much by his Happiness Hour, which airs live every Friday at 10a.m. Pacific Time.

    But I think he can help you even more when it comes to how much you are bothered by the idea of men viewing porn. Prager has spoken and written much about "male sexual nature". There's a video about five minutes long you can find online, it is a "Prager University" or "Prager U" video "course" called "He Wants You". That's just the tip of the iceberg, though. He's got a lot more to say about male sexual nature.

    In brief, I'll say that a man viewing porn doesn't necessarily say he's dissatisfied with his wife's appearance or lovemaking any more than a woman watching a television show about how wealthy people live indicates she is dissatisfied with her husband as a provider.


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