Reading Suzanne Venker’s “The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men and Marriage” is like sitting on the couch with a wise friend, sipping a cup of tea, and soaking in her sage advice about how to be a better wife. She’s warm, funny, conversational, compassionate, practical, and unapologetically honest.
Venker is an author and cultural critic who treads where few women dare to go: confronting other type-A women about how they can save their marriages from feminist hell. She doesn’t care about being politically correct. Instead, her advice is rooted in common sense and life experience.
With charm and wit, she pushes the envelope women have squeezed themselves into by advising them to do things the popular culture shuns: serving instead of leading, accepting men as they are, respecting their husbands, letting men take the lead in the male-female dance, shutting up for once and actually listening to what men have to say, having sex with their husbands even when they don’t feel like it, and probably one of the hardest things for all alpha females to do—unshackling their inner beta.
We Need To Be Reminded How Love Works
This isn’t the message many women are used to hearing these days. They think it makes them weak. But Venker shows how the exact opposite is true. If you want love in your life (and all women want love), stop playing power games and learn to give love. Stop trying to be the man. Be a woman. “Surrendering to your femininity does not make you weak,” Venker writes. “It makes you smart.” And all alpha women want to be smart, right?
Venker’s book is the cure for one of the greatest ills our society: a culture that makes women fail as wives. “‘The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men and Marriage’ is the cure you need to thwart such influences and to find peace with a man,” she writes. “The book is at its core, about how love works and about why so many women aren’t privy to this information—or if they are, why they reject it.”
Our highly feminized culture has trained women to be leaders and to expect everyone else to follow—even their husbands. But, as Venker says, you can be that way in the workplace, but that attitude doesn’t cut it at home. “Work is about making money or having power and influence—marriage is about love.”
Modern Women Are Taught To Be Self-Sufficient
This is where modern women struggle. They’ve been taught to do everything themselves and to be leaders to boot. But being a leader in the marketplace is different from being the leader in your marriage. Even being the leader of your children, as an at-home mom, is different from being the leader in your marriage.
But how do women who have been shaped and molded to be leaders let go of the wheel and focus on loving? Can they even bring themselves to do it without feeling like a failure or a doormat? Venker says they can. It just takes trust and not being afraid. That’s what this book is about: learning to let go.
“It’s about learning to love your husband in a whole new way in order to bring about a more peaceful union,” Venker writes. “If you want to be happily married, you must relinquish the desire to be right.”
Alpha Women Find Practical Answers In This Book
That’s a pretty hard pill to swallow for many women, especially alpha women who are the take-charge, perfectionist, driven types. But, don’t worry, if you really are looking for a happy marriage, if you admit that your relationship with your husband isn’t want you’d like it to be, then Venker has just what you need. Her advice is so practical and simple it defies plausibility.
Can just serving really make that much of a difference? Can you really change your thinking and habits to become more gentle? Can slowing down and letting your husband speak bring peace? Can letting him lead in the dance really make you happy? And what about sex? Is it really just about giving him what he needs? Are men that simple?
Venker makes the case that the answer to these and many more questions is yes, yes, and yes. Like a trustworthy guide on a difficult journey, she takes the hand of the alpha female and leads her along the path to happiness. Each chapter ends with a call to action—practical steps women can take to change their thinking and form new habits that will enable them to love their husbands.
Venker’s Message Is Vital For Women Who Need To Let Go
At the core of so much of what she says is the issue of releasing control. This is the war that is being waged in the home. Women are fighting their husbands for leadership and control, but what they’re losing is love. Venker gently pries their white-knuckled fingers from the wheel, assuring them as she does that they won’t lose their identity or sense of self if they let their husbands lead.
Whether it’s about sex, money, or what you’re going to watch on television, when women let men lead, they’re showing love. This might sound old-fashioned, but Venker is anything but. She’s a modern, successful woman who has discovered the art of marriage the hard way—making mistakes. Now she’s sharing what she has learned with the rest of us.
While reading the book, you can’t help but feel like Venker is peering into your alpha soul. She knows us. She knows what we want, what we’re afraid of, and how we’ve failed. She shows us great understanding, but she isn’t shy about confronting us with the truth and telling us exactly the way it is.
‘You Are Not Better Or Wiser Than Your Husband’
For instance—she talks about how alpha females act as if they’re just a wee bit superior to their husbands, echoing a culture awash in depictions of the incompetent husband and dad. “If you do think you’re superior to your husband,” she writes, “go to the closest mirror you can find, look in it, and accept that you’re not all that.”
You are not better or smarter or wiser than your husband. Your way isn’t the right way—it’s just one way. You aren’t the only person in the relationship who can dress well, or grocery shop, or pay the bills, or be a parent. If you think your husband isn’t capable of those things, it may be because you’re always one step ahead of him. Or it may be you expect him to be just like you. Your husband can never be you.
A woman must understand male nature if she wants to find peace with a man. Unfortunately, the younger you are, the more difficult this will be—because we live in a culture that denigrates men. This has caused many women to act haughty, as though they’re better than men. Women today don’t want to use psychology to accommodate the male psyche—they’d rather believe they’re superior and then blame men for everything that goes wrong.
Service Is An Afterthought In Today’s Society
“Serving your husband has nothing to do with being a man’s slave,” Venker writes. “That’s just fear talking. If you want to turn things around in your marriage, if you want to make your marriage better, serve until it hurts. Serve until it feels like you’re serving too much. And then serve some more.”
Tough to swallow, but so needed in today’s society—in which women are taught to take what’s theirs and treat men as afterthoughts. This doesn’t apply to all women, of course—a point Venker makes at the beginning of her book. If you’re in an abusive relationship, this book is not for you. This book is for all the alpha females who need to get in touch with their feminine side, learn what a man really wants, and love him even when they don’t feel like it.
Whether you’re struggling with money issues, sex, communication, overcoming bitterness because the romance is gone and you’ve discovered that love is work, this book is for you. Before you walk out the door, pick this up. Read it twice if you have to. It’s easy to read, challenging, and informative. Most of all, it’s personal. Venker is always positive, empathetic, and, yes, even empowering.
That might seem strange, but as she says, women have all the power to make themselves happy. They just need to grab that power, not to control their husbands, but to serve and to love.