The Surrendered Wife

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The Surrendered Wife (ISBN 0743204441) is a 1999 book by Laura Doyle, a self-proclaimed "feminist and former shrew," purporting to expound a solution to troubled marriages, such as the one experienced by the author's parents.


As is typical of such works, it spends hundreds of pages stating what fits in one sentence; in this case, a couplet written in 1723 by Samuel Wesley the Younger:

Gently shall those be rul'd, who gently sway'd;
Abject shall those obey, who haughty were obey'd.[1]

Or, in prose form, as interpreted by Doyle: "Shut up and be a nice little doormat for your husband to walk all over; then you won't have any marital troubles." Some more specific examples include:

  • A woman should not tell her husband that he missed the freeway exit to Interstate 5 in Seattle, instead letting him drive all the way to BostonWikipedia.[note 1] (That'll teach him!)
  • A woman should let her husband feel that he is in charge by giving him total control over the household finances, then from time to time begging for pin money getting an allowance payment. This is apparently true even if the ladyWikipedia has done Ph.D.-level work in economics while her husband makes a mess of the bank accountsWikipedia and tends to run up really big debts.[2]
  • A woman should not suggest that her husband get therapy, lest she be a mistrustful busybody and control freak. (But this, of course, does not applyWikipedia to husbands that are in need of a certain sort of therapyWikipedia.)
  • A woman should not buy her husband's clothes, even if he has only slightly more fashion sense than an English professor.
  • A woman should "allow herself to be vulnerable," thus making intimacy the priority rather than control.


The book, being a New York Times bestseller, is popular enough to have caused the emergence of a contingent of surrendered wives, who under Mrs. Doyle's direction have set up a network of seminars throughout the U.S. taught by specially trained instructors. For $20, you too can learn how to fall in love all over again![3]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. She seems to be missing the point that wives were specially made to nag their husbands until they ask for directions, thus enabling them actually to reach their destination. (Editor's note: Is it just me, or do we have a misandrist in the room?) (Nah, the Bible claims woman was created to be a help to man. Nagging is just a form of helping)