Can A <I>Surrendered Wife</I> Be Happy?

Hughes_Eye On America_Surrender Wives CBS

Talk about controversy in a book title. How does Surrendered Wife strike you?

As CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes reports, it has piqued the curiosity of an awful lot of people, and has become an instant bestseller.

Simply put, Surrendered Wife is a guide for women who want to find intimacy, passion and peace with a man.

The idea of the book and its support groups, called "surrendered circles," is simple: Stop bossing your husband around and your marriage will blossom.

"The book is called the Surrendered Wife, so sometimes there are things we are going to have to surrender to," said one of several Dallas women who joined a surrendered circle to stay strong as they implement the controversial ideas in the book they say has changed their lives.

Angela Kruse leads her surrendered circle. "I'm a controlling, nagging shrew."

Or at least she used to be. The Dallas wife and mother feels she has changed now that she is following the Surrendered Wife program.

"I have given up inappropriate control to my spouse. I have relinquished the financial responsibilities in my household," Kruse says.

And how did her husband react?

"He asked me if I had watched the Stepford Wives," the 1970's movie about women transformed into domestic zombies whose job was to please their husbands.

Such references tickle the author of Surrendered Wife because she knows she has hit a nerve with her ideas. And from TV appearances to People Magazine, everyone wants to know what it takes for a woman to please her husband.

"A 'surrendered wife' doesn't tell her husband how to drive and what to wear, what to have for lunch," says author Laura Doyle. "She accepts him as the way he is."

And she keeps quiet about it.

Chapter 11 — "The Important Role of Duct Tape in a Marriage". Huh?

"Using a little humor here. What I'm taking about is refraining from criticizing your husband," says Doyle.

The book calls equality a myth. It advocates turning over finances to your husband. And it has feminists and relationship experts like Dr. Andrew Christensen boiling mad.

"It has a very backward and ultimately very destructive view of men and women and relationships. Her view is that you can't have a give-and-take relationship between two individuals — two equals," he said.

But Doyle sticks to her guns. "I'm not looking for any converts. I'm just saying this is what worked for me."

And what worked for her is selling, big time. Surrendered Wife skyrocketed to the New York Times bestseller list in it's first week at the bookstore.

But to others, the title is a turn off.

"It's a bunch of bunk, hooey," said one man on the street.

And one elderly woman suggested a different title and a different theory. "I think the book should be Surrendered Husband!"

An ironic suggestion or the best-selling author, whose husband actually quit his job to work for her while she was getting Surrendered Wife published.

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

Comments

Follow Us

On Twitter