Self-proclaimed "feminist and former shrew" Laura Doyle sets forth a whopper of a game plan for establishing profound intimacy in one's marriage. Building on the gender stereotypes defined by bestselling author John Gray (Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
), Doyle seeks to heal the overworked, underappreciated wife who snarls at her mate's every thought or action. Her message to these smart, self-sufficient types: check the nitpicking, the unsolicited opinions, and--egads!--the finances at the marital door (although she says it's still okay to wield control at work). Many women will find such advice archaic and offensive; some will simply laugh off this credential-free anachronism when they receive the book as a bridal-shower gag gift. Still others, identifying with Doyle's profile of a controlling wife, will be curious enough to dabble in her proposed art of "surrendering."
According to Doyle, the wife who chooses to surrender must learn to take care of herself first, overcome the desire to have more power, and abandon the myth of equality. Delving into the personal tales and sisterly advice shared within each chapter's pages, surrendering wives will further note the need to master unsavory phrases like "I can't," and "Whatever you think"--tough to swallow for a generation of women who value their own opinions. While she fully acknowledges that a few bills will go unpaid and a few deadlines or freeway exits will occasionally be missed, she also insists that surrendered wives will encounter less worry and fear, more money, and better sex. Hey, "Whatever you think...." --Liane Thomas
From Publishers Weekly
A natural for audio, Doyle is perky, enthusiastic, friendly and confiding as she shares her secrets for a happy marriage. Her main point is that when she criticized, nagged and tried to control her husband, the marriage suffered; but when she "surrendered," letting him do things his way and make decisions for the family, he rose to the occasion, becoming a responsible and loving husband and making her feel protected and cared for. Doyle's "one size fits all" approach is not likely to fit everyone; indeed, it's hard to imagine any wife (or husband, for that matter) feeling emotionally satisfied in a marriage where every one of the husband's suggestions is met with a demure "Whatever you think best, dear." Doyle's insistence that the husband should control all aspects of the family's finances is also likely to raise a few eyebrows. But such extremism aside, Doyle makes some worthwhile points. Nagging and criticizing are not conducive to marital harmony, and treating a man like an incompetent child turns the wife into his mother which isn't likely to make either party happy. Doyle also points out that wives need to take time to care for themselves (going to lunch with friends, getting facials or whatever activities they enjoy), instead of constantly martyring themselves to the needs of others. Based on the Fireside paperback.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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