The Surrendered Wife

“I became a Stepford wife and saved my marriage,” claims Karen. Does this mean that she dyed her hair blonde and bakes scones all day? Not quite… Relinquishing control in marriage and restoring marital harmony is the name of the game in a new Channel Five documentary (in the UK).  The idea of the surrendered wife comes from a book by American Laura Doyle and has created a mini-movement.

 “The idea is that men can’t change – so women are the ones who need a radical re-think in order to preserve romance in marriages.” Ha! It’s a drastic plan, giving control of just about everythingto your husband! (And we’re rewarding him for what, exactly? Being unchangeable?) Says Karen’s husband Ali, “But we were so unhappy before, and the rows were terrible. Now she smiles sweetly and asks me what I think about everything. We don’t row, we just cuddle like teenagers – and it is wonderful.”  Check out their website at

Ok, my two cents. I don’t think any woman can go on this way indefinitely, and stay sane. I postulate that she only needs to do it long enough to become accustomed to the feeling of surrender, so that she doesn’t mind giving her husband control when he (ahem) deserves it. I think all couples need to find a happy medium, and if you  need to go to an extreem for a certain period of time in order to regulate your relationship, go for it. I just can’t see this as a long-term plan for a happy marriage. What self-respecting woman lets her husband tell her what to wear all the time?! I mean, my husband thinks floral houscoats look cute on me. Ew.


  1. MarriedMan says:

    Is this the same girl who had a control freakout over the wedding centerpieces? How is she gonna just surrender? I always thought that the wife should be in charge of little things like the house, the kids, bills, what to eat, how to spend weekends, whose mom to go see for the holidays, where to vacation etc.

    The Husband is in charge of big things like the war in Iraq, what to do about Washington, how to fix the deficit, curing gloabal warming and stuff like that.

    Seriously, if both people realize that its a team effort, and are always focused on making the other spouse happy and safe adn loved you can’t go wrong. Remember it is always about peace never victory.

  2. Well, there goes the Women’s Lib movement! My method, if you’d like to know, is the “Surrender, Husband!!” movement… He keeps me happy and that makes me happy which in turn..keeps us all happy. How about that?

  3. I’m ready to try that…

  4. Sherryl says:

    I’m all for the “surrendered husbands” club too. Then maybe there wouldn’t BE a war in Iraq, a deficit, or global warming issues…

  5. I agree that the concept is best more as a teaching tool than as a total philosophy, but ideally the husband is also learning also. If the wife leaves the husband in charge the husband has to pay closer attention to the wife to know what she wants to do. I can see it working — often, having responsibility improves a man’s character — but as you say it seems more a life lesson than a lifestyle.