January 17, 2001
11:40 PM   Subscribe

She's an expert on marriages. How do we know this? Because she's written a book about it. And what is her advice for a successful, happy marriage? The woman should be acquiescent to the man. I open the floor for comments...
posted by aaron (27 comments total)
Doyle refers naysayers to her pleased disciples. Rachel Godwin, 23, used to demand that her husband Lenny wear his Adidas socks only with his Adidas sneakers, never his Nikes. Now, she says, Doyle's methods have salvaged her troubled marriage.

*phew* glad they got that straightened out...huh, must be some book to help them resolve a sock issue.

what a Crock. is that how crock is spelled?
posted by th3ph17 at 11:47 PM on January 17, 2001

On Interconnected, I saw: "Surrendering", by the way, is the technical term for being bloody stupid.

posted by palnatoke at 11:52 PM on January 17, 2001

Unbelievable. This woman thinks that just because she was a controlling, codependent freak, going to the opposite extreme is better.

Of course you don't criticize another person's sock choices. Why would you do that to any adult?

I find her ideas particularly disrespectful to men. She assumes women must surrender because men obviously aren't mature enough to handle an honest, healthy relationship.

Methinks she underestimates the wonderful creatures that are menfolk. And I'd better stop there, because that kind of thing always pisses me waaaay off.
posted by frykitty at 12:11 AM on January 18, 2001

Gee, well if you have a dickhole for a husband, I'm sure this makes your marriage easier. whoo-pee! =P
posted by ookamaka at 12:23 AM on January 18, 2001

I saw this woman on "Dateline" last week. Her demeanor reminded me of a cross between Marge Simpson on a bad day, and Annette Bening's character from "American Beauty". In other words, she looks like she's ready to fucking snap. Her hubby looked pretty happy with the state of things, though.

posted by Optamystic at 12:29 AM on January 18, 2001

i saw this alleged book author and consultant (who has no training in marriage or family counselling) on a newsmagazine show a few days ago, and all i could think was that she had obviously surrendered her brain.

some men may like such a wife, for about a day, but the novelty will wear off as he didn't sign up for life with a robot, and he'll soon be looking to drop kick his stepford wife to the curb.

posted by Jaisne at 12:29 AM on January 18, 2001

Scary as it may be, what if he DID sign up for life with a robot?
posted by th3ph17 at 12:35 AM on January 18, 2001

Just out of curiosity, why was this thread started? So do we blame her or women stupid enough to go along with it? And does anyone actually believe this? Or is the talk show circuit just a scam to make self righteous people (i.e. us) watch?
posted by davidgentle at 12:49 AM on January 18, 2001

I think the appeal of "Surrender" lies in its simplicity. There is no give and take, no daily struggle, and simple people like simple answers.

I am, BTW, still looking for a woman who wants to handle my finances. I hope single women aren't reading this book.
posted by chino at 2:04 AM on January 18, 2001

Chris Rock gives better relationship advice than this nutball. nobody likes being nagged or belittled, doesn't that fall under common sense?
posted by ritualdevice at 2:39 AM on January 18, 2001

Wives are to request a weekly or monthly cash stipend.

My god, I think that's the most offensive thing to me in the whole article. Work hard, earn money, hand said money over to my partner... who then turns around and decides how much of it I'm entitled to spend?

Polite words fail me.

I'd be happy to help organise a partner's finances, chino, though ideally I'd prefer it to be something that was shared in a relationship. Actually I'm big on the whole sharing thing in general, which is why I find Laura Doyle's opinions so abhorrent. She's not teaching women how to have healthy relationships, she's teaching them how to be doormats.

The whole concept of "sit down and shut up" may have worked in kindergarten, but I'd like to think adults are capable of more sophisticated levels of interaction.
posted by Georgina at 2:47 AM on January 18, 2001

Shakespeare said it long ago, and much better, for her: Kiss Me Kate
posted by Postroad at 2:53 AM on January 18, 2001

before I get nailed: Shakespeare's play is Taming of the Shrew; the musical and film is Kiss Me Kate.
posted by Postroad at 2:57 AM on January 18, 2001

Groups like Concerned Women for America have been offering advice like this forever, including a publication entitled "Are Feminists Destryoing America." I think almost everyone would agree that it's fairly ridiculous; while it may make some insecure men enjoy marriage, it ruins it for almost everyone else. As Georgina said, sit down and shut up doesn't work past kindergarten.
posted by jed at 3:52 AM on January 18, 2001

I'm rather surprised no one has labeled this as Stepford (insert the blank). It would have been the _only_ appropriate time. heh. Would have it?

Btw, did any of you see the Stepford husbands on lifetime? They have an all women-run hospital and such.
posted by tiaka at 5:30 AM on January 18, 2001

I was going to point out something about Shrew but it isn't there in my text. In every performance I've seen of it (four), Petruchio bows down and subjugates himself to Kate after her speech, placing his hand under her foot. Evidently it's a stage business from directors, but a good one.

When my parents got engaged, my father asked my mother to put him before her in every decision she made for the rest of her life. He also said that he'd put her before him in every decision he made for the rest of his life. Maybe it's maudlin, but they're still like teenagers about each other, and that's cool, except when I catch them making out in the kitchen. Yuck.
posted by mimi at 5:33 AM on January 18, 2001

is it more difficult to maintain anything when you view it as an entity outside of yourself, "the marriage"..."the relationship" . writings for women on such topics allude to joining as an article or possession "working on the relationship" or "nurturing the relationship" like it is a broken car or a sick plant. should more effort be placed into maintaining the abstract notion, or of the intimate knowing and accomidating of the actual other person?
posted by jyoung at 7:03 AM on January 18, 2001

Her theory isn't all bad, except for the fact that she views it as a one-way thing. It's not like the male ego isn't big enough as it is. When I get married, it'll be to a man who respects me as a person, wants to know what I think, and doesn't just want a mute, warm body at night. I mean, "sex, at least once a week even if she's not in the mood" and "wives are to request a weekly or monthly cash stipend," that sounds like a pretty inferior role to me. There is nothing wrong with the wife giving in to the husbands little whims at times and every marriage can benefit from less criticism on both sides, but the point is, surrendering should be done by both partners. Isn't that what marriage is about anyway, surrendering yourselves to each other?
posted by Mllebleu at 7:18 AM on January 18, 2001

"I'll die before I surrender, coppers wife!!"
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:20 AM on January 18, 2001

As a man, I'm actually insulted by this whole line of thought. as if my ego is too fragile to withstand criticism. I do know friends who are like this but I mostly think they need to grow up. If we keep lowering the bar of expectations for men, in future generations all men will be scum. For those of us decent guys trying to do right by the opposite sex, this isn't fair. marriage is about compromise on both sides.
posted by srw12 at 7:27 AM on January 18, 2001

And here I was thinking marriages worked best the other way around. At least this was based on a study of some sort.

But seriously, I think that any book or theory espousing the way to have a successful marriage is a crock. A marriage is a dynamic relationship, not a recipe to be followed to the letter. Each couple is a unique pairing of individuals that has to figure out their own compatablility quotient and abilty to communicate and get through disagreements and issues in their own unique way. In a perfect world, we'd do that before tying the knot.
posted by champignon at 7:35 AM on January 18, 2001

Well put champignon...

One of the things that really disturbs me about a relationship like that[as proposed in the book] is that it doesn't sound like the way Friends treat each other....
posted by th3ph17 at 7:40 AM on January 18, 2001

A lot of us are approaching this book from the standpoint of a single, educated women, or men who partner with such women, and, from that standpoint, it seems like a pretty appalling thing. I myself am recently married and could never have married a woman whom I thought would want this sort of relationship...

However, consider that this idea's actual audience is comprised almost entirely of women who are alreadymarried and who are already unhappy in those marriages. Just poking around a bit on their website, it seems that they are also already married to men who, for whatever reason, simply weren't raised in the kind of egalitarian environment many of us were raised in: they aren't ever going to accept gladly a marriage in which all power and responsibility is divided 50/50.

So, for this audience, the book is all about damage control: how can I improve the situation in which I'm in? Divorce is one possibility, continuing to fight an exhausting and dispiriting battle (while hoping against hope that your husband will reform himself) is another ... and "surrender" is yet a third.

I think, for these women, who are not trying to make a statement or vindicate an ideology, but simply want to have a loving and peaceful home in which to live their lives and raise their children, it may be that this is a valid choice for them to consider. That you, or I, wouldn't do the same thing in the same situation doesn't invalidate it as a personal choice for them.
posted by MattD at 8:55 AM on January 18, 2001

posted by rushmc at 9:02 AM on January 18, 2001

"Damage control" for marriages? Band-Aids for shotgun wounds. Relationships and (any kind of) "control"? Oil and water.

Anyone resorting to Doyle's tactics in a relationship, IMHO, is trying to hold on tightly to something that has already slipped through their fingers: a human and understandable response, but flawed and counterproductive.
posted by allaboutgeorge at 11:19 AM on January 18, 2001

I saw this lady on Dateline last week, too, and while I thought the whole thing was utterly rediculous, there was one thing that really irked me.

When the host asked her, basically, "What do you do if your husband wants to do something that you know is wrong, or will be bad or harmful to the family?" Doyle didn't even really answer -- she sidestepped it the first time, and when asked again she just sort of shrugged.

What a nut.
posted by CrayDrygu at 12:39 PM on January 18, 2001

Looks like she's just internalising problems, a practise which has more health repercussions than it is worth, not to mention the entire degradation of your self-respect.

Of course now she has kind of a vested interest in keeping it going, because she is getting some sort of monetary benefit, albeit by proxy if she is having to hand over all her cash to her husband. Despite the blather, she will still get it back during a divorce.

The advice should come with a frontal lobotomy, a bottle of Prozac, and a lifetime's supply of Valium.

The worst part is the fact that the press are so eager to report on idiotic ideas like this. Time went to the dogs a decade ago.

posted by lucien at 3:28 AM on January 19, 2001

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