If you’re having problems in your marriage, it’s the woman’s fault. It’s also most likely because she’s hard to look at. At least, that’s the way of the world according to Pat Robertson, televangelist. A 17-year-old kid wrote in to Maxim for help with his father not paying enough attention to his mother anymore, and Pat Robertson’s response was, somewhat predictably, to blame it all on the woman.
Here’s the video, via Right Wing Watch‘s YouTube channel:
Here’s what Robertson has to say:
ROBERTSON: Maneuver something where you can get them out of the house; romantic resort for a couple days, assuming they can afford it. I mean, take a weekend and go somewhere, and just be alone with each other, see if they can’t rekindle that romance. The romance has obviously gone out of the marriage, there’s not as much excitement as there used to be.
Okay, we’re good so far. No terrible advice or horrible statements. If he had quit here, we might have been good.
It may be your mom isn’t as sweet as you think she is. She may be kind of hard-nosed, and so you say, “Well, it’s my father, he’s not paying attention to mom,” but is mom…[laughs]
Then the lady breaks in, saying, “Pat, how can you blame the mother?” Damn good question. I suspect she wouldn’t be on the show if she was going to be any real opposition to the rampant misogyny, but let’s see how things unfold.
ROBERTSON: It’s easy to blame the mother! You know, a woman came to a preacher that I love, it’s so funny, and she was awful-looking. Her hair was all torn up and she was overweight and looked terrible, clothes [unintelligible] and everything. And, um, she said, “Oh, Reverend. What can I do? My husband has started to drink.” And the preacher looked and her, he said, “Madam, if I was married to you I’d start to drink too.”
WOMAN: Oh, my…
ROBERTSON: We need to cultivate romance, darling! And it needs to be the men…have got to be cultivating romance, and the women…you’ve always got to keep that spark of love alive. It isn’t something that just lie there, “well I’m married to him, so he’s going to take me slatternly looking,” you’ve got to fix yourself up; look pretty.
Aside from the parts that don’t make sense as far as sentence structure goes (part of senility?), this is a lesson in exactly how not to run a marriage. Love doesn’t (I hope) revolve around how good the woman looks that day, and you’ll notice that he never states exactly how a man has responsibility in holding a relationship together.
On a personal note, my mother explained a long-term relationship to me in the following way (I’m engaged and fairly young, so advice is offered often):
“When you’re in a serious relationship, you have to recognize that there are now three people to take care of: you, your significant other and your relationship. You have to give the relationship the same amount of work and attention that you do to each other.”