My problem with books like FW is that they promote one way of being a woman for everyone, and if there are problems in your marriage, it's probably your fault. You weren't feminine enough (according to the books' very narrow definition of femininity), you acted too competent, you weren't able to read your husband's mind, whatever.
I'm not much on advice books to begin with because they start with the assumption that everyone is basically alike or falls into one of several distinct camps. If I were going to write a book advising women on being good wives, however, I'd say things like: If you're a housewife, do your job well. Cook and clean as well as you can and take care of the kids lovingly and try not to slack off or complain too much about it. Give your husband a kiss and a hug when he leaves for work and another one when he comes home. Make sure everyone takes their vitamins. Keep healthy and strong as far as you are able so you can fulfill your vocation, and dress and style your hair in ways your husband will find attractive (within reason). Don't nag. Have enough sex to keep everyone happy. Read a good book at least once a month. Brush your teeth three times a day. Don't undermine your husband's role, but don't let him take advantage of you in yours. Forgive. If you can't laugh at your husband's dumb jokes, try to at least scrape up a smile. Learn to use a screwdriver. Be prepared to wait patiently for better times.
I'd never tell a woman to change her laugh or give up what she likes to drink or whatever.
The best way to find out what your husband wants is ask him. Men generally aren't coy. If you ask him if he would like you to wear bows in your hair, he'll probably tell you if he would or not unless he thinks it's a trap.
So, yeah, anyone who blindly follows any type of advice is doing the wrong thing. Continuing the bow example, it only makes sense if the husband likes it and the wife is willing to do it. If one of those isn't the case, find something else. And vice versa for husbands doing things to make their wives happy.
But that's why busybodiness doesn't work either. Erin's self-described life of playing video games and such might be OK with her DH because what makes him happy is for her to be in a good mood and that helps her be in one, but it wouldn't be with others. For them, maybe the bow would work, and they should probably go with it.
As long as something isn't immoral or abusive, whatever. People can wear red noses and squirt seltzer bottles at each other if it gives them marital bliss for all I care.
It's kinda intriguing for me to read some of this stuff because being INFP I tend to be happy when I make others happy. I get a lot of self-fulfillment making lunch for my kids or whatever. So when I read threads about how it's degrading - or whatever else might be implied - for a woman to want to make sammiches, the concept is foreign to me. Completely foreign. If I don't mind doing something, and it makes someone else happy, what's the problem?
See, that's my INFP, not my y chromosome.
Healers have a profound sense of idealism that comes from a strong personal sense of right and wrong. They conceive of the world as an ethical, honorable place, full of wondrous possibilities and potential goods. In fact, to understand Healers, we must understand that their deep commitment to the positive and the good is almost boundless and selfless, inspiring them to make extraordinary sacrifices for someone or something they believe in. Set off from the rest of humanity by their privacy and scarcity, Healers can feel even more isolated in the purity of their idealism.
I'll never understand why making a sammich or wearing a bow (or watching a ballet or a chick flick for guys) is such a problem as long as it isn't coerced. If making someone you love happy is that easy, why not?