Pat Robertson Blames Marriage Failure on Lack of Romance… and Ugly Wives

Why, oh why, are people still asking Pat Robertson for advice?

He’s either going senile or just plain mean. Or somewhere in between. I am going to call it “Mean-ile.” (Trademarked.)

It’s no secret that Robertson doesn’t think a whole lot of women in general, so when a 17-year-old kid writes into the 700 Club because his parents seem to be having marital problems, you know we’re in for a treat:

I’m 17 years old, and I have noticed that there has been a change in my father’s behavior.  He spends too much time at the computer playing a war game. I have noticed how alone my mom feels, and I just want my father to spend more time with my mom.  What should I do? How can I talk to my father? I feel shame for him.  Please help.


To Robertson’s credit, his first thought seems pretty reasonable to me:

Maneuver something where you can get them out of the house into some, like, romantic resort for a couple of days, assuming they can afford it. I mean, take a weekend and go somewhere and just be alone with each other and see if they can’t rekindle that romance. The romance has obviously gone out of the relationship.

Sure, that’s a fair off-the-cuff answer. One kudos to you, Mr. Robertson. Sure, Maxim could have asked ten people and nine of them would probably have given a similar answer, but, you know, credit where credit is due and so forth.

But then Robertson made a mistake he has made so many times before.

He kept talking.

Pat: You know, 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… my father he’s not paying attention to Mom, but is Mom…

Kristi Watts: How are you going to blame the mother?!

Pat: It’s easy to blame the mother!

Minus 1,000 kudos, Robertson!

You just jumped right into your “The Woman Is The Problem” pool and splashed around, huh? Co-host Kristi did her usual uncomfortable laughter thing and you just barreled on:

A woman came to a preacher that I know — it’s so funny. She was awful-looking. Her hair was all torn up and she was overweight and looked terrible, clothes bad and everything, and she said, “Oh Reverend, what can I do? My husband has started to drink.” And the preacher looked at her and he said: “Madam, if I was married to you, I’d start to drink too.”

*Rim shot*  

Get it?! She was ugly!  Classic! I have tears here, you guys! Tears from the laughter.

Maybe we can at least take solace in the fact that Robertson probably made that whole story up, since it’s eerily reminiscent of an anecdote often attributed to Winston Churchill. (Punchline: “If I were married to you, I’d drink it.”)

Thank goodness this guy keeps doling out his pearls of wisdom. Or we’d all be lost.

About Jessica Bluemke

Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with a BA in Literature. She currently works as a writer and resides on the North side of Chicago.

  • roberthughmclean

    Jess, you’d write the ol’ Patster for a laugh. Perhaps the catholics should get Pat to write for that leery old bloke in Rome in the nice dress and red slippers. Pat’s “down home” wisdom could humanise Ratzilla and make him more socially acceptable.

  • Cecelia Baines

    Thing is, for as much of an asshole as he is, Robertson is not totally wrong here, at least where it pertains to American women (of which I have to regretfully say I am one). American women have crossed a rubicon of sorts in that they have this nonsensical idea of “having it all” and eschewing proper grooming and felinity. Sorry American chicks, but on the whole, you suck at fashion, appearance and being womanly.

    I mean, look at Jessica here….slap a little make-up on honey and cut your hair a little less dykey….and yes, I work in a heavily male industry, but I still manage to still look like a woman.

    Sorry, on this one, Robertson is not all wrong.

  • Rain

    So Pat Robertson is channeling Rodney Dangerfield nowadays? Rodney Dangerfield was (purportedly) an atheist, by the way.

  • Paul Sunstone

    Indeed. “Mean and senile” seems to fit Pat these days. But even in Pat’s heyday, he was no compassionate brain trust — after all, he would think nothing in those days of decreeing that God intended to afflict this or that city with tornadoes and earthquakes because of the Gays.

  • GloomCookie613

    Now I want to start submitting extra crazy letters to see if he bites.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    I has been said though that all humor contains a kernel of truth.

  • Richard Wade

    This guy says he can leg press 2,000 pounds, but his mouth only weighs a few ounces and he just can’t keep it shut, no matter how good an idea that would be.

    If Robertson had shut up 100 years before he was born it would still be too late, and if he didn’t speak until 100 years after he died it would still be too soon.

  • cipher

    Robertson doesn’t bother me as much as do the glassy-eyed zombies who send him millions of dollars per annum and hang upon his every word.

    I can’t stand enablers.

  • Clarissa

    The troubel is, a lot of atheist women are homely, and the guys are shrimps like Mehta and JT Everhard.
    And they always have all kinds of issues.
    The problem is not their atheism, its them.

  • Barbara

    And the preacher looked at her and he said: “Madam, if I was married to you, I’d start to drink too.”

    The real laugh here is that the preacher could’ve been referring to his attraction for men.

  • baal

    I fear to ask what kernel you can find.

    At best you can make the point that relationships are about one person, the other and the interactions (or not) between them. Evil Uncle Chuckles is very consistent in his answers that he always focuses blameworthiness on the woman or emphasizes that the woman needs to give in on everything all the time. The disparity is telling.

  • Jessica

    +1 for “Evil Uncle Chuckles”

  • Don F

    I do see this small half-truth: If a man and a woman want a better physical relationship, it behooves them — BOTH of them — to improve themselves physically. But to place the problem wholly with the woman’s looks is wrong . . . and typical of some . . . . .

  • CelticWhisper

    “Pat Robertson blames…Ugly Wives.”

    That’s not your wife, Pat, you dipshit. That’s a mirror.

  • J-Rex

    This letter reminds me of my parents. My mom would spend all day taking care of the kids and the house. My dad would work and then come home to watch football or play computer games all night long, leaving my mom to go to bed alone every night. My dad was very overweight. My mom weighed about 115.
    That’s a horrible assumption for Robertson to make.

  • billybobbibb

    I agree with this post^^. Women seem to appreciate the gestures that assure them their man is still thinking about them fondly. Men appreciate attractiveness. But once you’ve been together for awhile, you tend to get distracted and take each other for granted. The song “You Don’t Send Me Flowers Anymore” kind of nails this. And it doesn’t happen overnight, which is why it’s such a problem. My own marriage took a downward spiral this way, I’m sad to say – my gorgeous newlywed wife of 120 lbs had grown to 200 lbs, even heavier than me but 10″ shorter, and I just didn’t give a crap anymore. There was enough blame for both of us. But she was “on fire for Jesus” which pretty much sealed our fate.

  • Sergio Castro

    There’s a bigger problem at work here. How often to we hear the advice “go talk to your pastor”? This poor kid thinks his parents are having marital issues (which may not even be true btw – playing a video game doth not a failed marriage make), and some dipwad probably told him to ask Pat Robertson about it.
    As for Pat’s “advice” – it is true that both husband and wife need to put an effort into making it work. But Daddy playing Halo a few hours a night is not enough information for anyone to be dispensing counseling.

  • Jeff P

    Even Pat’s uber Christian side-kick rolled her eyes.

  • RobertoTheChi

    Crazy old coot.

  • JenProhaska

    Exactly. A woman doesn’t want to be with a slob any more than a man does. And what in the letter made him think that? And when he mentions his marriage of 56 years – what does he do to his wife if she’s ugly?

  • pparf

    I’m as much bothered by the fact that a 17-year-old thought that Pat Robertson is a good source of advice as I am by the advice and the attitude that fostered it.. And I’m very bothered by the advice and the attitude that fostered it.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    Setting E.U.C. aside for a moment. Maintaining the premarital attractiveness should not end after the license is signed. 20 years later I would want my wife to still think I was the hottest guy on the block and this is because I feel I have made a commitment to maintain my physical attractiveness for her pleasure.

  • jane maple

    Tto my disappointment there are a number of posts here which are saying pretty much the same thing. Fat=ugly=slob=not fit to be half of a couple. Our society puts a huge amount of emphasis on physical appearance over everything else and sadly even some of hte people here seem to have been affected by that ubiquitious brainwashing.

  • pagansister

    Wonder what his wife (poor woman) does look like. She must like the money he steals off his followers send in or why in the world would she stay with him? Money is a great incentive.

  • pagansister

    Correction: “She must like the money he steals from what his followers send in——” Sorry for that first awkward sentence!)

  • pagansister

    It seems that nothing ever changes with that person—-the usual “foot in mouth disease”.

  • Thegoodman

    “I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.” -Clarence Darrow

  • Thegoodman

    If you wife were to break this “commitment” to maintain her physical attractiveness (I seriously doubt she made this commitment to begin with); what would be her motivation. After all, she has a husband that is the hottest guy on the block, what on earth could she possibly want? People don’t gain weight for fun, the weight gain is the result of a loss of motivation for a particular action (self control, physical activity, etc..). If your studdly-ness is not enough to motivate her to be a smokin hot wife, then you are not doing something ELSE wrong.

    It is easy to point fingers but ultimately we can only change ourselves. If something is not right, looking in the mirror should be the first thing you do (and not at your pecs either).

  • Fargofan

    Stephen Colbert had fun with this story.