To appreciate how bad things were for American middle class women in the 1950s, we only need to remember that Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique was considered revolutionary. It was an anti-suburbian wifehood manifesto. While now we see only the limitations of the Friedan's liberal feminism, it is true that she was a pioneer.
For another 1950s revolutionary feminist text (mascarading as a romance) with a withering critique of suburban heterosexual wifedom, I recommend Particia Highsmith's The Price of Salt. While Friedan wants to reform heterosexuality, Highsmith challenges it head on.