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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
You’ve heard women whisper about The Rules. They work; they don’t work; they’re too gruesome to consider. But before you shun the movement that’s transformed millions of women, find out what The Rules really are. What attracts so many women to these laws? And how can the authors claim their rules work when one author’s marriage has faltered?
Despite all criticisms and crises, authors Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider maintain rock-solid confidence in their suggestions. “We didn’t make this up,” they explain, “in fact, we would love to give you different advice, but these ideas are based on human nature, and like it or not, they work.” Fein and Schneider are the strongest women around: They never fail to cut through the soft issues of self-worth while they offer us firm, no-nonsense advice about relationships.
In this book, Fein and Schneider bring their sharp-eyed advice to the complex, long-term negotiations of marriage. They maintain the keen tone of their previous books but apply it to newer, slightly mellower rules to love by. They explain: “The Rules for Marriage, while certainly not as strict as The Rules for dating, must be a way of life… like a lifelong maintenance plan.” To construct that plan, the authors nudge us away from too-stringent schedules and guide us, instead, toward long-running habits of respectful cohabitation. Fein and Schneider insist, for example, that married women maintain smart grooming, but they wave away extreme solutions like plastic surgery. Why waste the money? “Nips and tucks don’t make husbands happy or keep them around.” The authors’ advice is eminently practical, plunked down with a satisfying thud. “Give Him 15 Minutes Alone When He Comes Home,” they caution. “Don’t Try to Do It All.” “Divorce with Dignity.” Fein and Schneider’s ideas are supple -- but they’re also solid.
The Rules books appeal to us because they combine mildness with their authors’ strength -- and The Rules for Marriage provides a full measure of each. Though Fein and Schneider urge their married readers to be easy-going, they continue to insist that we maintain a core of independence: “You must …believe that you are a creature unlike any other,” they persist. “Stay centered, know that the daily discipline of exercise or prayer...will give you the strength to get through everything.” As every “Rules Girl” knows, Fein and Schneider give us the goods: a model for bending without breaking, and surviving crises with confidence intact. (Jesse Gale)