Erin (lizzypaul) wrote in dobson_survivor,

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What Wives Wish -- Chapters One and Two

This is the first part in a series about the book What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women.

Chapter one is essentially an introduction. One page 14 (of the 1990 edition), Dr. Dobson tells us that the purpose of the book is to:

1. Help women explain their unique needs to their husbands.
2. Assist in breaking the shackles of emotional isolation.
3. Provide the keys to more fulfilling motherhood.
4. Discuss the common sources of depression in women and their solutions.
5. Offer specific answers to everyday irritants.
6. Point the pathway toward greater self-esteem and acceptance.
7. Describe the real meaning of romantic love.

However, even in this short 5 page chapter, Dobson's bias becomes clear. This book is not written for all wives. In Dobson's mind, all wives are housewives, and all housewives are mothers. The rest of the book flows from this mindset.

The second chapter is titled "Sources of Depression in Women." Dobson gives a quick overview on the nature of depression, which rather shows that the book was written in the 1970s. It's oversimplified and leaves out any talk of serious mental illness. On page 21, Dr. Dobson than identifies what he believes to be the most common sources of depression in women:

1. Absence of romantic love in marriage.
2. In-law conflict.
3. Low self-esteem.
4. Problems with children.
5. Financial difficulties.
6. Loneliness, isolation, and boredom.
7. Sexual problems in marriage.
8. Menstrual and physiological problems.
9. Fatigue and time pressure.
10. Aging.

I have read this book a couple times, and I want to say that there are several insightful things within. It is not entirely bad, and I think that Dobson does try to do stay-at-home-moms a service in this book. The main problems, as I see them, are Dobson's insistence that being a stay-at-home-mom is the only Christian choice, the insistance that all women are the same, and the chauvinism he claims to not have frequently taking over.
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