TOO SMART FOR HER OWN GOOD? by Dr. Conalee & Karen Levine Levine Shneidman


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The Impact of Success on the Intimate Lives of WomenUsing anecdotes and brief case histories from 300 interviews, the authors bang home their premise that today's successful working woman has difficulty finding comparable success in her intimate relationships. Reason: She obeys two opposing value systems. To succeed in the marketplace, she relies on newly forged, assertive, traditionally male attitudes, values and behaviors (called AVB's). But when she steps out of the office, she abandons these for the old, deferential AVB's learned in her pre-Women's Movement girlhood. This split, the authors say, impedes the development of a full and integrated life where attention is paid to feelings as well as accomplishments. Each chapter (""Being All Things to All People,"" ""Farewell Fantasy, Hello Reality,"" ""Looking for Trust and Goodwill"") recounts stories told in their own words by women (""Joanna K., a 40-year-old oil broker. . .,"" ""Beth is a physical therapist who recently set up a private practice. . ."") who are both disappointed at and bewildered by their lives' lack of real intimacy. In strong, matter-of-fact language, the authors, one a psychologist with a specialty in women's issues, the other a writer whose previous books have been about women and money and women and love, point out that the woman who has adjusted inherited AVB's to succeed in the workplace must adjust them to find satisfaction in the rest of her life. Working without formulas or easy promises, they suggest ways a woman can become aware and how she can change. ""The point of dating is to get to know someone. . . not to fall in love."" ""The idea of commitment is critical to the success of an intimate relationship, and commitment hinges on whether or not the partners trust each other."" Despite too narrow a socio-economic sample of interviewees, and a sameness of tone that reduces the impact of the varied ways in which women deny themselves the relationships they seek, and despite the rare mention that comparable adjustments are required of men, this is a timely, forceful book with much to say to everyone who desires the rewards of a long-term intimate relationship.

Pub Date: May 24th, 1985
Publisher: Doubleday