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The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide To Finding Intimacy, Passion and Peace Paperback – Jan 8 2001

3.3 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Original ed. edition (Jan. 8 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743204441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743204446
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #85,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

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.

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a bit conflicted about this book. On one hand, the first few chapters feel like a real throw back to the 1950s idea of "father knows best", where the wife must bow to the wishes of her husband and bury her desires. On the other hand, later chapters are much more modern, talking about the importance of self care, rest, and being clear about what it is we want out of life.

I do take issue with the idea of not clearly communicating with your husband when you think he is making a potentially damaging decision about finances, etc. A strong marriage is built on the foundation of open communication. But, I do agree with her about not nagging your husband, and also trusting him to make his own decisions. Husbands are not children, something that some wives do tend to forget.

I think this book is worth a read if you go into with an open mind and look for nuggets of wisdom you can pull out to apply to your own marriage. I will not be putting all of the suggestions into practice because, thankfully, my marriage works well as a an equal partnership.
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Format: Paperback
The book is written woman to woman and is full of interesting material about how women think and why they do what they do. I would recommend this to men for that reason. For those still living in the 1960s, men and women are different.
I have seen many of the sort of controlling women that the book is aimed at: the ones who micromanage their husbands and are never happy with them. The message is that if your husband is not good enough, leave. If he is one of the good guys, he wants to do the right thing if you will get off his back and give him some room.
Every chapter is full of helpful comments and insight to help make this work.
It is not about turning yourself into a doormat, at all. There are chapters on setting limits, communicating your needs, etc.
The almost violent reaction of some of the reviewers suggests that the author has hit a nerve. I think some of the reviewers see themselves well described in the book - like the author who describes herself as a feminist and former shrew. Some obviously never even read it, preferring to assume they knew what it would say.
Not prefect but worth a read. I bought it as a joke and then didn't read it for a long time because the title is so corny. Glad I did. If you take the message broadly there are messages for men too. Treat your wife with respect and do the right thing, work toward intimacy.
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"Ugh" is the only expression suitable for this kind of garbage. Respect and submission are NOT synonymous. While there is no need to argue ALL the time, women should not be forced to censor themselves when they have an opinion. Compromise is the key word, not submission, by any means. If you love and respect your mate, then compromise, meaning fifty-fifty decision-making, is key to making any relationship work. Manipulating and playing mind games with your mate is not the answer. Grown-up communication is so much more than that, and is the only foundation for a solid and mature relationship. (Besides being more work, it is deeply rewarding when you connect with someone on this level.) Anyone who says differently, especially Ms Doyle, is fooling themselves. And that's the way it is.
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Intimacy and control are at odds with each other when it comes to relationships, and many wives sabotage their own marriages without even realizing it by controlling their spouse then complaining they want more intimacy. This book helped me recognize ways I undermine my husband's dignity and confidence in ways I never would have previously thought were harmful. Some of the advice in this book is probably not applicable to all couples (depending on personalities, natural abilities and communication styles), but it certainly helped me, and I think it is a great resource.
I love the author's candid writing style, and it would be a great read for any woman whose marriage is less-than-thriving, especially if they can talk through it with a trusted female friend.
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I picked up this book when my husband and I were separated a few years ago, applied the principals daily and my husband and I got back together and have been like newlyweds ever since. I attribute a lot of it to this book. I have not only a peaceful marriage, but it is absolutely wonderful. We're best friends. It makes sense. The title may seem misleading "surrendered" but I think it's best for strong-willed and independent women, which I am one. It's wonderfully written and MAKES SENSE. I recommend it to anyone who feels like they need to "change their man", when really it's about changing ourselves. It's awesome!
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This book is wonderful. I feel sorry for the women that did not read this book with an open mind before criticizing and ridiculing it. Before I read this book my husband and I were at each other's throats constantly. But now, midway through the book (I'm still not through it yet) I have already found renewed passion and peace with my man. I have time to myself. I don't worry about everything any more. And I don't need to try to be in control of everything any more. And we rarely argue. What I think is the greatest part is that we have fun together again. We laugh. We enjoy eachother's company. We are more affectionate - and we don't avoid each other.
Even though I am not completely through the book yet, I am so happy with the impact that it has had on my relationship that I can give it 5 stars without having finished it. For all of you women that have given this book one star - do you and your husband a favor - read the book again. With an open mind. Your relationships can't be that perfect if you found a need to buy the book to begin with. So read the book again - and really WORK towards those positive changes that you were searching for in your relationship.
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