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Advice From a Happy Wife to Young Women

Recently, Kathy Shaidle posted about whether women talk too much and kill relationships. She concluded that it isn’t that women talk too much or are too smart, but that they are often too critical. True enough, but that isn’t what caught my attention.

A new advice book, Why You’re Not Married...Yet, by Tracy McMillan prompted Shaidle’s post.  From the description of McMillian’s book:

  •  You’re a Bitch: How defensiveness and anger can hide behind a tough, take-charge exterior, and why being nice is never a sign of weakness.
  • You’re a Liar: How to stop lying to men—and get honest with yourself—about the kind of relationship you really want. It’s the only way.
  • You’re Shallow: Being a woman who insists on a tall guy is no different from being a man who demands big boobs. Learn why you should let go of trying to get what you think you should have and focus on getting what you need.
  • You’re Selfish: The big secret about marriage: It’s about giving something, not getting it. The other big secret: You will have to go first.

Shaidle compares McMillian’s book to other advice books of the past, one of which I devoured in my 20‘s, Advice to a Young Wife from an Old Mistress. I am struck by the differences in the advice. The old advice focused on how to be a good woman. The new advice, however, focuses on how not to be a bad person.

The really short summary of Advice to a Young Wife: have a life and don’t nag. More eloquently, Advice to a Young Wife maintains, “One is born female, but being a woman is a personal accomplishment.”