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Paperback Wifework: What Marriage Really Means for Women Book

ISBN: 1582342768

ISBN13: 9781582342764

Wifework: What Marriage Really Means for Women

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Wifework is a fiercely argued, in-depth look at the inequitable division of labor between husbands and wives. Bolstering her own personal experience as a twice-married mother of three with substantial research and broad statistical evidence, Susan Maushart explores the theoretical and evolutionary reasons behind marriage inequality. She forces us to consider why 50 per cent of marriages end in divorce, and why women are responsible for initiating...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

loved this book

I read this last summer and have re-read it a few times since then. A great addition to this genre!

My experience in a nutshell!

I am a 60 yr old female living in WA state in a upper middle class community. I found this book in my search for remedies and treatments for my Fibromyalgia and anxiety. I consider this to be the best book I have ever read about the war of the sexes. I always had the feeling that I was living in some sort of battlefield of someone else's making. Growing up in the '50's and 16 years of Catholic school wrote my script and I have been fighting to change it for 40 years. I would love to see statistics on how many Fibro sufferers are in or have been in conventional marriages. The result of all that resentment and rage that simmers under the surface of most wives is often physical and psychic illness. If I were a writer this would have been my book for I related to every page. I am now working with my partner for a really equitable relationship. Thanks for this book.

Thank you, Susan Maushart!

I accidentally ran into this book in the library just yesterday afternoon and am already in the last few pages. Yes, I actually let the housework go on a Sunday afternoon in order to read this book, and for once I did not feel guilty! :-) When I got married two years ago at 29 years old, a college-educated, feminist-minded woman, I went into it thinking "I will not do what my mother did", and it's been an eye-opening and often frustrating experience to find in how many ways I'm doing just that. Marriage really does look different on the other side of it, despite the supposed inroads that we have made in attitudes between the sexes and ideas of what marriage should be. Thank you, thank you, Susan Maushart for validating with *actual research* the feelings with which I have been struggling as a married woman in a post-feminist world! This book explains so much. Yes, it's depressing, as one reader pointed out (the thought "Gee, what's going to happen when kids enter our picture?" traveled across my mind a few times throughout), but in a way also uplifting to know that your feelings are real, valid, and there are very good reasons for them. Not to mention the value in the realization that it's not *completely* my fault--the institution of marriage and the "tradition" set by our parents just might be bigger than all of us.

a book for husbands

I bought this book as a 13th wedding anniversary gift to my wife. After having read it, she said there was nothing in the book that she didn't already know at some gut-level, but of course, she enjoyed it. Then, I read it. I had thought of myself as a considerate husband, but it surely opened my eyes! I found some of my behavioral patterns discussed and dissected in this book. It made me more conscious of my own perceptions of marriage, and seeded a discussion of these things with my wife.The book argues cogently (though some points are made over and over again), based on a wealth of research with ample references at the end, that marriage has always been a better bargain for men than women, even after accounting for all the oft-repeated benefits to women. But the best contribution of this book is in its explicit analysis of the various facets of wifework: house work, child work, sex work, emotional work and relationship management. The author does not mince her words. While one could argue about how "extreme" the author may be in her own personal views (to her credit, she mostly labels these as such) and how her views may have been colored by her own two obviously bad marriages, this analysis of wifework and its components is most informative. It will enlighten husbands, validate the feelings of beleaguered wives, and most importantly encourage wives and husbands to engage in a conversation about these inequities and find their own balance and level of sharing in their marriages. It is for this reason that I recommend perhaps one should read "The Surrendered Wife : A Practical Guide to Finding Intimacy, Passion, and Peace with Your Man with Wifework" after this book - see two diametrically opposite views and then seek your own balance!


Just spent the last 2 days reading and finishing "wife work".Enjoyed it immensely, though I'm glad I read it after I split with my partner of 18years,it would have been too depressing to read in the relationship itself. This way I could laugh when reading of women going out to work seeing this as a welcome break from family life(or 'wifework') .It brought to mind of an experience I had years ago. After 13 years, 3 kids ,no time off for'good behavior'I finally negoitiated 1 night off per week and yes I did come home to disaster and awake kids etc but it was worth it.One evening waiting for a girlfriend to arrive I was bitten by a redback spider(3 times) lurking in my jeans.After ringing 'poisons info.line' I worked out that since the poison could take up to 1 1/2 hours to kick in I could still get to go to dinner first before maybe going to hospital for a shot of anti-venene.Deciding it was a bit risky I stayed home with the obvious expectation that the partner would take over(it was my night off after all!).In my frustrated dreams!Not only did I have to get my own icepack, the painkillers were offered and chucked from the door way, I still had to gather up the kids all running amok to put them into bed (twice) while he read the newspaper! Read the book it will ring alarm bells as it should if you want to stay married. Now if Susan Maushart could write a book on how to bring up my 3 boys so they don't fall into the same trap we might get somewhere changing those statisics!
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