The 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.
When it first came out, The Rules (1996) was attacked for being anti-feminist and even misogynistic. That didn't keep it from becoming a best seller and spawning The Rules II and other spin-offs. The Rules for Marriage follows suit. With advice that runs along the lines of "So what if your husband blasts rock music at 6 a.m.! He likes it! You need to adjust. Use the time you would normally spend sleeping to go to the gym instead!" and "Wear sexy clothes when you go out even if you would rather be comfortable! It matters more what he thinks!" the Rules Girls aren't going to win any awards for promoting equality between the sexes. Some of their advice, however, isn't so bad; for example, they do tell women not to depend on their husbands for all of their fun and emotional support. But of the 43 rules, at least two-thirds are a little on the Phyllis Schlafly side. As a bonus, the authors go beyond telling you how to be a Rules Girl in your marriage they offer rules for divorce and for second marriages. (What a plus!) Still, there's bound to be demand, although Fein's recent divorce may undermine the Rules Girls' credibility. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
This Soundelux audiobook edition of Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider's The Rules For Marriage offers a series of reliable recommendations offering women practical guidelines and ideas for developing and maintaining an effective, satisfying, vibrant, and enduring marriage. This compendium of observation based "tips, tricks and techniques" will enable and empower women to keep up their interests as well rounded spouses; become able to accept that some things simply aren't their responsibility or concern; resist falling into the trap of comparing their spouse with other husbands; giving a spouse space to respond to the issues and demands that occur within (and without) the marriage; rules for fighting productively and non-destructively; and so much more. The Rules For Marriage is very highly recommended for newly wed wives and has a great deal to offer even experienced and "veteran" wives seeking to reinvigorate their marriages after many years (and even decades) of familiarity and marital routines.