Surrendered wife? I think I’ll

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 11, 2002

pass on that idea, Mrs. Doyle


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March 1, 2001 10 PM

Just when we thought we had exhausted the uses for duct tape, here comes another how-to-stay-married book.

Laura Doyle recommends wives duct tape their mouths when tempted to keep talking after they have apologized for being disrespectful. Disrespectful means having the nerve to backtrack from one’s "surrendering" stance with one’s hubby.


It’s all in her book, "The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide to Finding Intimacy, Passion and Peace With a Man."

Surrendering means a wife should never correct her husband, but stay on that interstate with him even if he’s going the wrong way and it means they will wind up in Mississippi instead of Florida. I quote from her book, "In fact, no matter what your husband does, you will not try to teach, improve or correct him.

"That is the essence of a surrendered wife."

Mrs. Doyle claims the only women who should not surrender are those married to men who are physically abusive, addicts and philanderers. All others should surrender in every fashion, even those married to men who cannot keep a checkbook straight and forget to pay the bills.

No, don’t pay that bill and don’t remind him to do it because that would be disrespectful, she says.

So is Mrs. Doyle in the poorhouse with a dope that thinks he knows and can do everything?

Of course not, she is selling books because she says women are ready to surrender in the spirit of avoiding divorce at all costs.


This philosophy reminds me of a recent e-mail sent to my desk where men claim they have had it and are rewriting the rules of getting along with them, married or otherwise. Here’s a sampling.

· If it itches it will be scratched.

· You can either tell us to do something OR tell us how to do something, but not both.

· If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear. For instance, ‘am I fat?’ If you have to ask, you probably are.

· Learn to work the toilet seat. Don’t allow it to outsmart you. If it’s up, put it down.

· And by the way, peeing standing up is more difficult. We’re bound to miss sometimes.

· If you ask what’s wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you’re lying, but it’s just not worth the hassle.

· Saturday sports. It’s like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

· Shopping is not a sport and we’re never going to think of it that way. Period.

· Gas stations are for refueling, not asking directions. We like the challenge.

· Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

· Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

· You have too many shoes. We have three pair. How could we help you pick shoes for your outfit?

· If it itches it will be scratched.

Yes, I included that one twice, for emphasis more than anything else. And that’s not all, but it’s more than enough.

Do we suppose that Mrs. Doyle had a hand in compiling this list before she wrote her book? It sounds like she and the unknown male writers of the list would be soulmates.

Apparently Mrs. Doyle decided that to overcome her admitted habit of nagging and being controlling, she would need to surrender to her mate. Maybe it would work for the young marrieds, (more likely prompt a killing) but what about the 60-somethings who need all the advice-help-criticism-awareness statements they can get?

Joe depends on me to remind him that Jessica Alba’s show (Dark Angel) is coming on next, and he tells me when my chin hairs are out of control. It works out well.

Laura Doyle had one good idea though. Duct tape on her mouth.

Fran Sharp is a freelance writer in Alabaster who occasionally forgets to close the refrigerator door. E-mail her at  

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