COPING WITH HIS SUCCESS: A Survival Guide for Wives by Frances & Emily Vogl Bremer

COPING WITH HIS SUCCESS: A Survival Guide for Wives

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Bremer, wife of a Foreign Service officer, and Vogl, whose husband is currently with the World Bank, have a timely curio-subject that got them on the Phil Donahue Show and got them 150 responses to a questionnaire. Their preface sensibly points out that women whose husbands have high-powered, high-pressure jobs do best if they're self-sufficient and notes that (like other wives) they feel a need ""for better communication and more open communications."" The text leads off with a letter from a woman whose husband classically ""put business first""--and bridled when she asserted her own identity. There follows the dire tale of a Belgian diplomat's wife who, in extreme circumstances of this sort, shot her husband and killed herself. But after that the book essentially goes nowhere. We're told, pointlessly, that most of the women had happy childhoods, but some didn't; ""those who rated their marriages as stable and happy seemed to be able to handle separations better than those who were less happily married""; those who considered leaving their husbands cited two problems--infidelity and alcoholism. Concludes the chapter on marriage: ""Try not to resent the time you and your husband have to be apart. He probably feels as bad about it as you do."" (This is not only blather, but unlikely.) Succeeding sections--on children, careers, friends, stresses and tensions--offer lots of inconclusive ""angles"" from assorted Angelas and Mildreds and Jennifers. (Some try affairs, some swear by religion.) The windup: happy wives agreed with the authors that they and their husbands constituted a team, unhappy wives confirmed the lack of teamwork. Negligible but hyp-able.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1984
Publisher: Harper & Row