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Fascinating Womanhood

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,082 ratings  ·  208 reviews
How to Make Your Marriage a Lifelong Love Affair

What makes a woman fascinating to her husband? What is happiness in marriage for a woman? These are just two of the questions Helen B. Andelin answers in the bestselling classic that has already brought new happiness and life to millions of marriages.

Fascinating Womanhood offers timeless wisdom, practical advice, and old-
Paperback, 512 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by Bantam (first published 1963)
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Karen Cox That women should aspire to be mindless doormats and grovel to males for the privilege of eating and living indoors.

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3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,082 ratings  ·  208 reviews

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Aug 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all women
Ok, my grandmother wrote this book. (No kidding - my mother's mother) so I kind of grew up with it and this is what I have to say about it: This is a very important, and very helpfull book about discovering who you are as a woman, and how to deal with men. I only gave it four stars because there are a couple of minor things in it that need to be updated, but my grandmother (who is still alive at 88) is so old that she refuses to change anything. Despite all that, I read this book through for the ...more
Apr 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book is worthwhile just for comedic value. It is absolutely ridiculous.
Aug 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Stepford wives.
Recommended to Diane by: My church young women's advisor
Shelves: hated
Archane guide to playing your husband: e.g. sit on his lap and talk in a babyish voice when you want something from him; go to bed in your makeup, then slip out of bed to clean it off after your husband falls asleep, then wake up before him to reapply it before he wakes; practice laughing so you sound like a "brook trickling over pebbles"; keep the children quiet, clean and away from their dad after gets home from work; always tell your husband he is very strong, talk about his broad shoulders a ...more
Dana Cheryl
Aug 21, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
A friend jokingly asked me to read this book or I mostly likely never would have done so. All I can say is that no earnest God-loving, Christ-focused woman would ever follow the manipulative teachings of this book. Instead, it appeals to those women who long to wield dominion over their husbands rather than truly partner with them. It teaches women how to cheat their husbands out of the very things men need most like honesty, open-communication, and intimacy based on Christ-centered teachings.

Aug 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
Absolutely horrifying. Every word. Unless women want to be weak, outwardly submissive, seemingly helpless, subtly manipulative, and encouraging of pedophilic tendencies in men. Give me Lara Croft over a Madame Alexander doll any day. I'm going to stop reviewing now, before I become really angry, swear a blue streak, and commit perfectly justifiable acts of violence.
Kate Turner
May 25, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: christian-nuts
This book has contributed nothing meaningful to my marriage. Wait, no....there is something! We now make plenty of great jokes about derailing a fight by acting girlish.

For example, husband says: "Hey, I think we need to talk about some ways to save more money in our household."

Wife says coquettishly in a little girl voice: "Oh yeah? Well maybe I'll just BURN your pancakes, Mr. meany man!"
Dec 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is widely misunderstood as a book on how to oppress women by making them a servant and doormat to their husbands. It is actually a very enlightening book on the differences between men and women, and how the feminist movement has made all of us women diminish the importance of not only being a wife and mother, but also a homemaker. Women are never encouraged to put up with abuse, but also this teaches how women may unknowingly be annoying and driving their husbands away from them. The ...more
Jun 26, 2010 rated it did not like it
I learned absolutely nothing from this book, unless you count that I found out that Helen Andelin is crazy and, in her mind, probably lives in the 1500s. This book teaches women how to be submissive and weak, because that's the way a "true woman" is, as well as to be half-retarded, in order to treat a man right. According to Andelin, men must be catered to all of their lives, and find a weak woman fascinating because they want to scoop her up in their arms and protect her, forever. This would be ...more
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
As with any book of this type you take what you need at the time and ignore the rest. There are some things that I didn't agree with, but the overall message is about how men and women are different and how they compliment each other. This is not a book for those deep into the feminist movement, but it is for those who are proud to be a woman. It is quite contriversial and I know that a few years ago I wouldn't have liked it. It is a proactive book and is not about changing anyone, but yourself ...more
Apr 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no-one
This book had me excited and angry the whole time. I can see where the book was supposed to lead women in marriage. With all of my heart I understand that a man is the patriarch of the home. However, I think that so many women have been misguided in reading this and I feel sad. I am grateful to have a husband that I can discuss what I read with. I would of believed everything I read if it were not for his input.
Do I recommend the book?
Well, if you feel that a woman should have no voice and tha
Feb 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People looking for a laugh. Those who like to sit in coffee shops, their mouths agog.
Recommended to Heather by: MFHW
I don't know what to say about this book. There is so much to criticize that I could write a novel. Mostly the book makes me sad.

To Andelin, a man is so breakable that he is like a delicate piece of porcelain. Something you must wrap in cotton and store on a high shelf. A baby you must coddle and protect from the real world. He is so weak, and his self confidence so fragile, that he will crumble unless he is kept in a world of delusion.

A woman, in Andelin's mind, should be 1 part helpless idiot
Danielle T
Feb 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Despite the low rating I give it, I actually recommend everyone read this at some point. Partly because some of the ideas are a little on the ridiculous side (like taking cues from how small children behave as a way to act angry or get what you want), and partly to demonstrate why we (and I say this in a general all human sense) need feminism. Putting the onus of being the breadwinner & doing the finances on the guy while leaving all of the homemaking & childrearing to the woman may work ...more
Jan 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
oh my word!! such outdated philosophies of the husband/wife dynamic. Some argue that it is just Christ centered living towards your spouse, but I disagree, I think she is teaching women to manipulate their husbands to get what they want out of marriage, and that is never a good idea. Still, an interesting insight into what woman had to deal with before women lib.
Julie Daines
Aug 29, 2011 rated it liked it
In terms of instructional value, this book is zero stars. So ridiculous and antiquated, it may have been the catalyst that rang in the women's movement era. EG: Wear your makeup to bed so you look nice for your husband, then, after he's asleep get up and take it off.

But, we found a copy at our Montana cabin and have spent many summer evenings reading passages out loud and laughing our guts out. So for entertainment and mocking value, I gave it three stars.
Feb 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
At first this book seems like it’s just an outdated method for living as the sweet, demure wife we all picture when we think of the 1950’s. But really, this book is a manual to make women desperate to improve their marriage become complicit in their own subjugation.

There are so many things that make me angry about this book, but I can condense them into three main points.

1) FW is ill-conceived and poorly supported.

At first it seems like FW is very well thought out and organized. Andelin outlin
I have a love-hate relationship with this book. There are some great insights and wisdom found in these pages. There are also some things that if a person said this to me they would have unleashed some wicked fury.
I think the thing that I love most about this book is the quote from the author on the back. "A loving marriage is the foundation of a happy family, and a happy family the foundation of a stable society. Most of the problems in this world stem from troubled homes. If we are to have pe
Apr 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
I see a lot of spoler on tgis book so here is my review of it!
I have read it, and i am as transparant as a person can be. I would read and tell my husband what i read, and asked him if he wanted me to try it out. He agreed! And i tried everything the book would say-with him knowing ahead of time- and he loved it! He reminds me sometimes that i should go back and re-read it.
And let me tell you wifes- i have a great marriage. My husband calls any moment he gets available from work, he takes me t
Lisa Brown
Jan 26, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub, nonfiction
When I borrowed this book from my mother to read for book club, she told me it was wonderful, while my older sister said it was "evil." It seemed that those were two extreme reactions to the same book, and so I went into reading it trying to keep an open mind. And for the first 65 pages, I was actually okay with it. It might be a tad outdated (written in the early 1960's), but I agreed with the theory behind it: which was being kind and loving to your husband, and not nagging or thinking you can ...more
Heather Denigan
Nov 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: heresy, gender
This book is creepy.
Andelin has taken true things about the relationship between men and women and turned them into a burdensome set of rules. All of her advice is on changing behavior. Nothing on changing the heart. Why is a wife supposed to submit to her husband's authority? Because he's a male? No! Paul says a woman submits because she does not fear men, she fears God. "You are Sarah's daughters if you obey without fear." Instead, Andelin offers a works-righteousness approach to marriage, he
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: relational
Okay yes, this book saved my marriage - transformed it from awful to wonderful; and I do highly recommend it; and I did write a blog based on the book. That said, it must be taken with a grain of salt. I firmly believe that the principles are sound; but some of the suggested applications are just silly.

Two examples: To show that your man is more "manly" than you are do some sort of "masculine" thing (like hunting, or fixing a cabinet) badly on purpose so that he can "fix" it for you; eh, if tha
Spider the Doof Warrior
Jul 25, 2013 marked it as will-stress-me-out
I would rather wrestle a bear with venomous cobras for hands. Eat a live ring octopus. Bathe in a vat of all manners of acid. Swim naked through man of wars than follow the advice in this book and have a marriage like in this book. Who would want this?
People gripe about how bad feminism is, but at least it's not saying men are like babies you have to faun over and worship. That they get to have interests and passions and you just get to be interested in them and what they are doing. I'm sorry, b
Jan 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book will tell you how to be a perfect 50's housewife. I love it. It makes me cry and vow to be a better wife every time I read even a chapter. A lot of people hate this book (my mom and aunts used to make fun of this book when they were young and found it in my grandma's book shelf), but I think there is a lot that I can learn from it. Don't take this book TOO seriously though or you might get really depressed.
Aug 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
I have only read a few small sections, but what I've read is filth and lies. Anything that might have been truth has been twisted around. I feel sorry for anyone who has used this as a guide to femininity. I plan to read the rest for a good laugh, and to tear her ideas apart.
Nov 22, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
Horrible, awful, dangerous. I hated it. I feel sorry for women that would follow the advices in this book.
Elna Cosic
Oct 18, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible book. Following such advice will ruin trust and lead to great unhappiness. For a happy marriage be honest, direct, and loving at all times. This book teaches none of those principles.
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Book Group
As a new Bride in the 70's I was given this books as a "guidebook". I read it and became angry and then wanted to gag and throw it against the wall... Thank goodness I was raised by parents that didn't teach me that a Woman is sub-subservient to her husband. I must have thrown the book away, as I could not find it to re-read for a Book group choice. I did find an old copy to re-read and the same feelings surfaced. I waited until after Book Group discussion to write a review, to see if I was enli ...more
Aug 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
I first heard of this on an episode of Wife Swap and thought the woman following it seemed a bit off. I picked up the book to see if it was as fake and manipulative as it sounded; it was. If you need a guide to becoming a Stepford wife, have ever wondered what book may have been a bestseller to the characters of A Handmaid's Tale, or are looking for something that reaffirms that abusive relationships occur because the behavior of the victim needs to change, this is the book for you.
Aug 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
yeah no. if I have to act like a non threatening child in order to keep a man that doesn't speak very well of either person, and that certainly isn't love. also the literary examples of fascinating women were not very good. Rebecca in vanity fair loses the love of a good man because he realizes how inferior she is. And we all know Charles dickens was an a***hole about women. seriously. he was gross.
Anita Williamson
Apr 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
I hated this book. My ex-husband thought I should be just like this woman. I found her so weak and I'm no feminist. I found it funny that this book is a great favorite among the FLDS women. Hmmm. What does that say?
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