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Does anyone fancy going a bit Stepford with me?

(623 Posts)
BEAUTlFUL Mon 24-Nov-08 22:32:30

I regret that title now! but will carry on regardless...

Basically, I have recently read a marriage book called "Fascinating Womanhood" by helen Andelin, written in the 1960's, and am starting to practise it in my marriage. It involves a lot of work, but good work, IYKWIM, accepting DH, admiring him, appreciating his efforts, listening to him, being a "domestic goddess", taking over childcare completely, settling him with a drink when he comes home, etc.

I'm LOVING it and actually -- weirdly -- feel a lot happier and more confident since I started it! I know it's not going to be popular with many of you, but is there anyone out there who fancies trying it out?

We could do it like a sort of bookclub, and follow the assignments every week. It promises to make your DH absolutely gaga in love again, v attentive, romantic, etc.

But more than that, it really teaches you acceptance, so if they're not being perfect, it really doesn't get to you as much. Or at all.

I know it'll get scoffed at, but I don't care really!

Anyone? It's hard work, but I'm convinced it's worth it as after just 3 weeks, DH and I feel so much closer, he is saying ILY all the time, we are laughing again, holding hands in bed, etc.

Even my mum has noticed. We went there for lunch and afterwards Mum rang up and said, "What's with you two? Your DH looks so happy and confident, and your body-language together was so 'united'!"

plaingirly Sat 16-Mar-13 18:49:56

I have just started reading the single's version of this book - knew there had to be an MN thread for it!

BEAUTlFUL Sun 07-Dec-08 21:15:54

!!! thanks, Poledra! What a lovely, lovely message. smile You can stay as long as you like.

Poledra Sun 07-Dec-08 09:01:57

I've been lurking on this thread and started off horrified by it. I am still not enamoured of FW. However, I wanted to add my voice to those applauding Beautiful for the graceful and humourous way you have responded to the other posters on the thread.

ReallyReally Sat 06-Dec-08 16:49:57

ok I am more than lurking now

<scribbles down list>

BEAUTlFUL Fri 05-Dec-08 17:11:08

I'm really touched, Thumbelf, honestly. smile Thank you, lovely!

And thanks to you Habbibu!

thumbElf Thu 04-Dec-08 22:06:40


oh go on, you're touched really, aren't you!

Habbibu Thu 04-Dec-08 20:02:58

Beautiful, fwiw, you do sound fab, and I hope your dh realises how lucky is without you having to become a total invertebrate in the process...

BEAUTlFUL Thu 04-Dec-08 17:47:43

PLEASE. GOD. NO. Really? Aww, feck. Now my saddo attempts to heal the gaping wounds in my marriage with cells taken directly from my SPINE will be immortalised forever!

But at least I'll be a cautionary tale to any other MNetter who fancies starting a thread about selfless devotion and dusting.

thumbElf Thu 04-Dec-08 01:31:35

SUCCESS! This thread is now in MN classics - <preen, as nominated it>

Tanee58 Wed 03-Dec-08 00:39:40

Thumbelf, you have hit it -without humour and laughter at our own idiosycrasies, whims and foibles, we have no hope smile.

Actually, I believe that's what fundamentally gets couples through - laughter!

thumbElf Wed 03-Dec-08 00:12:28

Dear Beautiful, I know you wanted this thread to end (I'm guessing that was what your last post meant) but you asked me a question:
Why was I in the wrong?

Well, because I was! Because I was picking on tiny little trivial things that peed me off and whinging about them as though they were major, when in fact I was just taking out my fed-upness on DH.

Neither of us are what you might call good at admitting we are in the wrong (i.e. completely shit at it) so for me to ACTUALLY admit it was a real Something for DH.

One of the reasons we get along so well is that we are very similar characters - both like to be in control, both always convinced we are right, neither liking criticism or being good at taking blame, both always want the last word in any "discussion", both keen to impart the best way to do something - this sounds like a nightmare, and it would be if we didn't KNOW this about ourselves. So we can laugh about it. With each other and to some extent at each other. We are worried what is going to happen when DS is old enough to put in his twopennorth as well - THREE of us always being right and wanting to be in control will be interesting! grin

Tanee58 Wed 03-Dec-08 00:08:48

Yep, I'm happy to praise Dp, but I need praise too. For instance, I told him tonight of an experience at work when a person on the phone called me extremely rude and put the phone down. I was actually trying to HELP him, but was just not doing what he wanted. Hence I was 'rude'. I told DP about this later and he said 'well, the man was obviously stressed, but he was not listening to what you were trying to offer - you are the most helpful, kind and sympathetic person I know, and you are GOOD at your job, that is why you are still doing it so well'.

Now THAT is mutual support! It's a two way thing.

wrinklytum Tue 02-Dec-08 23:53:07

Oh dear.I'm sorry beautiful but I just cannot take this seriously.

A partnership is just that,and if a bloke needs to be praised ALL THE TIME,it is a bit sad.Still saying that I scored about -28 on the "Are you a perfect 1930's housewife "jokey thingummy on mN a while back.So I am obviously a failure in this respect.Yes of course praise your dp/dh but if he is being an arse and not pulling his weight surely he needs to know this too??Cuts both ways.

Tanee58 Tue 02-Dec-08 23:46:27

I'm glad it's working for Beautiful, as it is giving her what she wants/needs, but I've had a look on Amazon, and this ethos certainly scares me. What stops me in my tracks immediately, is the first exercise - apologising to him for misunderstanding him. It just sticks in my craw. Don't get me wrong, I love my DP to death, and we have had problems since we moved in together, but no way am I taking it on as MY fault. I am being nice and loving and kind to him, and spoiling him a bit, but I CANNOT do this whole self-sacrificial little helpless woman bit. We are both adults and I am not going to pretend he's my Daddy (I have one of my own, thank you).

But - manipulation works - if you want to use it. And if it suits, fine, and I can see elements that - dare I admit it, could help keep a relationship ticking over nicely. It's just - I think if I followed this regime to the letter, my DP would come to despise me, and even more, I would despise myself. And I don't want to set that example to my DD either.

but - it's a hard one.

spicemonster Tue 02-Dec-08 20:49:17

Christ this thread is terrifying

zulubump Tue 02-Dec-08 19:27:29

Thanks for the info Beautiful. Maybe I will get a copy of the book (or ask dh to get it me for Chrimbo!). Hope you continue to have success in your marriage, whatever way you choose to do things.

BEAUTlFUL Tue 02-Dec-08 00:26:41

Why were you "in the wrong"?

I'd glad you had success! Good for you!

Let's not even talk about this anymore. smile

Night, girls xx

thumbwitch Mon 01-Dec-08 22:20:44

Beautiful, I have to say that I have achieved higher levels of excellence from my DH over the weekend - not by being a FW, nor by beating my tiny hands against his strong manly chest and weeping oh-so-delicately, but by ADMITTING I WAS PICKING ON HIM, because I was FED UP.
Having admitted that (i.e. that I was, effectively, in the wrong), he has since done so much more, AND he bought me flowers after to cheer me up, and has been much more thoughtful since.

I know I have said this before and it is still true - I am glad what you have has worked for you, but there ARE other ways.

Habbibu Mon 01-Dec-08 21:51:12


Habbibu Mon 01-Dec-08 21:50:21

You see, I do get some of it, because it's basically "be a decent human being and don't be horrible" - well, duh, frankly - but the rest of it is really quite dodgy:

"Taken on the domestic stuff. this is easier than doing 50% of it as the resentment actually disappears - if he helps it's a bonus, if not, no big deal. Making it my responsibility means I get it all done in half the time, do it all straight away then leave myself free to do other stuff." If you don't work, then maybe it's fair to say, well, I'll keep the house tidy during the week, but surely you share the mess that's made at the weekend.

"Gone all domestic goddess and flitted round in nice clothes, tidying" Did you not just want to VOMIT when you typed that? Does he dress nicely for you? What's his contribution to this bit?

Why do you have to have the book which seems to set out such an enormous amount of regressive sexist shit to realise that if you're nice to someone, you've got a better chance of being nice back??

Argh - that was ranty. I don't want to have a go, beautiful - I like you - you make me laugh and are clearly smart and funny - but this is insidious shit, and it isn't something (in my opinion) that people should spend money on. Make yourself a poster saying "BE NICER. DON'T BE A BITCH". Cheaper, and cuts out the sexist shit. If you had a daughter, would you want this to be her role model?

BEAUTlFUL Mon 01-Dec-08 21:48:17



Here is the page where you can buy used copies of the book on Amazon Why not read it and see what you think, either loving it like I do or hating it like everyone else!

BEAUTlFUL Mon 01-Dec-08 21:39:07

It's funny... Putting him "in charge" actually made me feel like we were more of a team. We knew what our roles were. He carried the heavy bags, I cooked the meals. He threw himself into getting money and work in, I took all the domestic stuff out of his hands. He set the budget, I looked for bargains, etc, to live within that budget.

It's sooo nice now. He opens my car door!

BEAUTlFUL Mon 01-Dec-08 21:34:30


I think you should definitely get the book. it's on amazon and not expensive. You can take what you like out of it. it's hard to say what I've done as I went overboard at the start, but basically:

* Praised him a LOT
* Taken on the domestic stuff. this is easier than doing 50% of it as the resentment actually disappears - if he helps it's a bonus, if not, no big deal. Making it my responsibility means I get it all done in half the time, do it all straight away then leave myself free to do other stuff.
* Gone all domestic goddess and flitted round in nice clothes, tidying
* Seemed HAPPY. FW says to cultivate an air of "radiant happiness". I took that to mean "stop wandering round the house, grumbling".
* Stopped saying anything at all about his driving.
* Accepted him completely. Really. This is the best bit. All old resentments immediately vanish & you just look to their best side.
* Stopped spending money on anything I wanted, let him set a budget, stopped fighting his money-ideas (basically, to save before we spend) and gone all thrifty.
* Stopped giving him unsolicited advice.
* Got interested in his work, let him talk to me about his work (instead of going on about mine), stopped trying to impress him but let him impress me.
* Listened when he talked. Put down my book, turned to face him, gave him my full attention, didn't let kids interrupt, etc.

I was a bitch before FW!

zulubump Mon 01-Dec-08 21:32:34

Hmm, so if it's not subservience that's made all the difference in your marriage Beautiful, what would you say has? Lol at the potted palm and pipe smoking!

BEAUTlFUL Mon 01-Dec-08 21:24:45

DH also said that he thought his Dad ran the home like a Dictatorship, and he definitely would not want to be like that.

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