"Submissive" wives

[deleted account] ( 35 moms have responded )

In another of my groups, there is a discussion about "submissive" wives.

To clarify, this is not about sexual roles, but about lifestyle roles in general.

What are your thoughts on Dom / Sub marriages? Are your opinions shaped by whether these marriages are religion-based, or not?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

Well... I'm not good at explaining it, but I'll give it a shot. Everything I've read from your responses is NOT descriptive of Biblical submission. The best 2 analogies I've heard from people way better at explanations than I am would be.....

The wife is like a crystal vase: delicate, valuable, and to be handled w/ extreme care, kindness, gentleness, etc...

The man is the head of the household, but the woman is the neck (that can turn the head).

The husband and wife ARE equals in the relationship and conflicts are discussed w/ each person having equally valuable input. It's just in the cases where a resolution is not reached... the woman chooses to defer to the man.
It does not/will not work if the man does not see the woman as his equal or respects her as such because he needs to be making decisions that he truly feels are in HER best interest as well (and even more so) as his. I don't know if that makes it better for you to understand what I'm trying to mean.... or worse.

Anyway, I'm well aware that it doesn't work in many, many homes because people are human, but if people CAN function in the 'traditional' roles the way I believe God intended.... it works remarkably well. I've seen it in many of the homes/relationships of my friends, so I know it's possible.

Stifler's - posted on 01/10/2011

15,141

154

597

I think marriage and relationships are about being a team. Theresa and Tah are describing teamwork with the man as the team leader who listens to everyone's point of view and takes a vote. Marriage really isn't about women doing everything the man says or the man being pussy whipped, I don't think god intended it that way at all.

Jane - posted on 01/08/2011

1,041

5

69

I think it's a form of bullying. I know that the submissive wife says she likes it, it's the way it should be, it's their religious belief, blah, blah, blah but a woman who is submissive to their husband is cheating herself of her individuality and independence. Do I think woman can fill the role of traditional housewife? Sure...you can absolutely do this without being submissive. I don't buy the whole submissive wives crap...it's fear...not a choice for the woman.

[deleted account]

In response to the religious aspect of submissive wives...

The Bible is clear that the husband is the head of the household. It is also clear that the husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church...Christ died for the church. He is to also love his wife as he loves his own body. (You can read read this in Ephesians 5:22-33, if you are interested.) Who would abuse his own body?

I have no problem with submitting to someone how loves me as he loves himself...someone that is willing to die for me.

In my relationship with my husband, we trust each other explicitly. Big decisions are typically made together. Recently I've taken over the budget and finances, because I'm better at it. That wouldn't happen in an abusive relationship. Yes, he is the head, but he is wise enough to see his own weaknesses and see my strengths (and vice versa). We are a team...but he is "team leader."

LaCi - posted on 01/09/2011

3,361

3

171

Teresa, I think that was an excellent description of a healthy model/example.

I have a friend who is very religious, as of a few years ago, and that's exactly how she and her husband are now. It works VERY well for them. They both seem extremely happy, and her husband is a good man. I don't think it's all that rare to find a man who wouldn't abuse that sort of situation. There are as many good men as there are bad ones, if not more.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

35 Comments

View replies by

Sylvia - posted on 10/03/2012

6

0

0

Not sure it I'm understanding you right, Kelly, but what your describing is not in any way shape or form a Taken In Hand relationship. It sounds way too serious and puritanical. Did you mean a dom/sub rel? What you describe could be a dom/sub rel but Taken In Hand is very different. A takeninhand rel is meant to be FUN! It's HOT!!! I couldn't stomach being with a frowny man like the one you describe, and spanking? Meh. In a Taken In Hand relationship the husband wears the pants but the wife is no pushover. She's no yes-woman. She's your average woman like me, not submissive, she just finds it hot to have a man that wants to wear the pants himself instead of expecting her to wear them. Maybe I've been unlucky before I met my husband but I kept finding men before my husband wanted me to wear the pants, and I hate that. It's fine for those that like that. It's not for me though. That's why I wanted a takeninhand rel--I hate feeling like the man of the house. I'm a woman. Not a submissive woman, but a woman that hates feeling like the boss of my man. So I love my husband for being more bossy than I am. He is sooooo hot! I am sooo lucky to have him.



It's about what works for you as an individual, right? Some women want to serve and submit, others want to dominate. Some like me don't want either but do want the man to wear the pants.

[deleted account]

I know this is an older thread, but I was just reading about Taken in Hand relationships the other day, and Sylvia just mentioned them.

I was reading about it because a new couple in our neighborhood has one, and I am SO curious, but I cannot ask her because he does not allow her to talk much about it--she can talk, but certain topics are off limits.



Anyway, from what I read, in these relationships the wife is expected to submit to the husband just as the children are--she may tell him if she disagrees with something, but she may not argue the point and if he decides to go against her wishes, she must accept that. The husband is also allowed to spank the wife if she misbehaves. I just cannot understand how that would work. If he's wrong, he's wrong and I can't see how a wife could just stand there and let him make a bad decision. Also, no way any man is hitting me in any way, for any reason.

Sylvia - posted on 10/03/2012

6

0

0

Both my husband and I have dominant personalities and I'm definitely not submissive. That said, my husband iis the one that wears the pants in our house. He can handle me!!! :-) Our marriage is more of a takeninhand one than dom/sub. I've never really got the submissive thing. It's just not me.



Not that I don't do a lot for my husband (and he does for me too) -- I just don't feel like the word "submissive" fits me because I have a strong personality and I tend to take charge in most situations. With my husband being able to handle me, it helps me relax and I guess you could say that when he is bossy it makes me melt into submissiveness but that's not something I normally feel apart from in this relationship with this amazing man.



I do agree that dom/sub relationships can often slide into abuse, but only in cases where the dom is abusive-minded in the first place. I'd avoid guys that are too into themselves and/or who want to be served and don't believe they in turn also need to serve. Those guys are the abuser type. But those that want their wife submissive for religious reasons believe in the servant leader idea, and as such they're often not abusers at all.

Danielle - posted on 01/11/2011

605

13

21

Submissive isn't even in vocabulary lol. I'm a very headstrong woman. You TELL me to do something and I'm not gonna right the opposite and then dare you to say something about it. My husband likes me that way...he says that's one of the reasons he married me. I believe that a marriage is a partnership. We actually had the "obey" taken out of our vows. It was a joke to us. The way I look at it is if you're not coming to an agreement together then you are in the catagory of your children. I don't expect my husband to take care of me. I expect him to take care of our kids.It was my parent's job to take care of me and now it's my job to take care of my kids and myself. I'm an adult and will be treated that way. Now for the ppl who agree with being submissive that's fine I'm speaking for myself and no one else, only you can choose what's right for you =)

Heather - posted on 01/11/2011

68

23

4

It's more of a management thing. Someone has to make the final decision. I may submit to his last call, but I definitely let him know if I don't agree with it and why. If it wasn't like that we wouldn't get things done. lol. We definitely discuss, even sometimes argue. He he even comes around to my way of thinking sometimes.

Nicole - posted on 01/11/2011

1,117

27

47

My family and I attend church regularly and our beliefs don't really have anything to do with submissive or dominance roles. We do believe that women, in general, are more naturally nurturing than the men. And men, in general, are more comfortable in the leading/breadwinning roles. Although, we are not tied to these beliefs and we, as a group in our faith, believe that each couple should decide what roles work best for their marriage and their family. Actually, our leaders are specific in their teachings that a man and woman are equals in their marriage and whatever roles they have taken in said marriage is not any less important or respectful than the other. It is made very clear that one spouse dominating over the will of the other spouse is not to be accepted and is a sin in the eyes of the Lord. And while it is encouraged that the women in our faith get continued and extended education, many do, inevitably, decide to be at home with their children instead of working outside the home even if they have earned their degrees. Not always the case, it's just common.

Allie - posted on 01/11/2011

341

8

26

My mother-in-law is basically a submissive wife. I can't stand it! I makes me so mad!!! Some of the things she says and how belittling my father-in-law can be is absurd! My father-in-law has no respect (for women in general) for me either, which is even more infuriating!



I have a brain and an opinion and a right to express it!



My husband doesn't agree with his father's opinions and views. He and I are a team. We make every important decision (parenting, financial, and any other one you can think of). We do, however, have certain areas where one of us 'dominates' (for lack of a better word) over the other. For example, he is more knowledgeable on the finance side and I am more knowledgeable on the children side so whoever knows more about the certain subject is more 'dominant'. But when it comes down to it, we are a team (and a pretty damn good one if I do say so myself ; ) ).

Alexis - posted on 01/10/2011

632

21

21

I think it depends on the individuals involved. If both are happy in either relationship and are in it by choice and not force then I see nothing wrong with it. I personally could not handle being a submissive wife and would not be happy in a relationship where my partner desired me to be submissive. Some people probably are in submissive roles only because of religion but are not happy. Others are probably in submissive roles by mere choice, religious or not, and are very happy. I know with my husband and myself there are somethings and areas that he dominates and some that I dominate, its mostly on desire to take charge or amount of knowledge on the subject. Many areas though we try to be a team.

Alecia - posted on 01/10/2011

644

21

43

i am a SAHM and i "dominate' some parts of our lives and my husband controls others...its just natural since i stay home and he works. our relationship is equal, though i do look to him as our protector and provider. i am the one who keeps house and raises the babies :) when the kids go off to school i will get a job and have more say in what goes on with our money. right now i like leaving it up to him. just another worry i dont have

Jane - posted on 01/10/2011

1,041

5

69

See, I don't take being a SAHM or filling the traditional role as the wife/mom as being "submissive". One of the definitions (the one that fits this discussion) is "to yield to governance or authority". Being a SAHM or filling the tradtional role of wife and mother is NOT that. I tend to do the more "womanly" things in the house while my husband does the "manly" stuff. Not that I can't do it or he can't do what I do...it's just what we prefer to do...plus I do the womanly things better (LOL). HOWEVER, just because we've fallen into the roles does not mean at all that I submit to him. I work, he works, I do laundy, he mows the lawn, etc. We decide important things together and sometimes I say "meh, you decide" and sometimes he tells me "you decide".

To me "submitting" as a woman is allowing the man to make all the decisions as the definition of the word submit states. THAT to me is not healthy.

[deleted account]

I agree with Julianne, if you choose to stay at home and be a SAHM it is not being submissive, as you have chosen it. I made the decision with my hubby that we were financially stable enough for me to stay at home and raise our children, take care of our home and take the traditional female role because that is what is best for our family and what both I and my hubby wanted. If your hubby decides you should stay home and you are happy to go along with his decision that is being submissive to his wishes.

Johnny - posted on 01/09/2011

8,686

26

318

In a way, for a long time, I was the dominant person in our relationship. I made all the big decisions, not because I wanted to do it alone, but because my husband is not so good at making a decision. Outside of scientific stuff, he could waffle about something for years unless absolutely pushed. So for us, getting to where we are required a little bit of prodding on my part. He has always been free to disagree, and if he did, I would have respected his wishes and altered paths, but he never did. In fact, one of our arguments has often been that I would like him to disagree with me occasionally, at least about his favorite ice cream flavor or what he thinks about politics or his most hated sit com. For a long time, the only thing he did that I didn't agree with was to wear this ugly-ass orange t-shirt around the house. But in the last couple of years, since we've had our daughter, he seems to be more willing and comfortable with making decisions. Now, I purposefully try to step back and let him choose our path. Right down to when we'll start trying for more kids to what type of vacuum to buy. I've got to admit, that I'm finding it strangely exhilarating and freeing to just let someone else make the choices and go along with them. It isn't really a submissive thing, because I could easily disagree and get my way. But I've stood by for a couple decisions that I would not have made myself without saying anything simply because they did not bother me all that much. I suspect a lot of people would have a problem with that, but I am satisfied that it's working for me.

I would never be happy in a situation where I had to and was expected to behave submissively though. As Julianne said, I choose to. My motivations are really about showing my husband that he is capable of making hard choices, so that as we grow together we can get to the point where we can negotiate and argue if necessary things, but ultimately make decisions and take action together.

[deleted account]

amy the role your describing is not "submissive" it would be submissive if you didnt choose to do this and allowed your husband to choose for you. I play the role of domesticated housewife, I chose to. Our relationship is based on equal needs and equality in our decisions.

Nikkole - posted on 01/09/2011

1,505

31

49

I think im more in a submissive relationship i mean its not like he spanks me when im bad or anything lol but we talk about decisions and what i think but he is usually the one who decides for sure what we do. Now with the kids we decide together on punishments (which we haven't had to yet my kids are still babies) what they can have like (junk food,toys, stuff like that) or what they cant have! My husband is an amazing father and husband and he respects me im just more of the quiet type that dosent like to start and argument! NOW my mother is VERY dominant in her relationship with my step father my mom is very manly when it comes to certain things like she thinks she can fix ANYTHING (she can't) she thinks shes stronger than most men (shes not) shes a very hard person she doesn't like to show emotions shes thinks thats weakness, its amazing how me and her are so different because she was a single mother for a long time and i was around her 24/7 but we are nothing alike and i think she dosent like that! But any who back on topic i feel like my husband is the man so he should make certain decisions and do certain things like support our family while i stay at home with the children and do the work at home but i know not everyone believes that and thats cool its just the way i am and i like it!

Amy - posted on 01/09/2011

4,793

17

369

I don't think of it as "submission". I know that I think emotionally and he thinks in real terms with his mind. I trust his decisions over mine. If I think he's wrong, we both discuss pros and cons to get an answer out of it. I may be submissive role that I do laundry, housework..domestic stuff. But, he works, hauls in/cuts firewood, fixes cars, repairs house....It's a give and take thing. I am of the frame of mind that I will follow him. I trust him completely. I don't think it's religion based. I mean, I felt this way with him before the first day we went to church together.

Amber - posted on 01/09/2011

1,909

13

144

I personally couldn't do it. But I don't think that the relationship as Teresa and Tah have discussed it are unhealthy at all.

I like to make my own decisions and do my own thing, which stems from an abusive father. When Chad can convince me that his ideas are better, we go with them. When I don't buy into his explanation...we have to find some sort of middle ground.

Chad likes to tease me all the time and call himself things like "the boss" or "master" but its simply a joke. He appreciates the fact that I'm strong willed and make my own way without looking to him for answers.
It's definitely making it easier for him to leave us for the next year. He knows that I have no fear of making any necessary decisions in his long absence.

Tah - posted on 01/09/2011

7,412

22

356

I don't find it to be all that rare...my husbands parents, my parents, it's the same with them and you would think it was my mom, but decisions were made between the 2, he respects and still does my mother after 43 years. There are tons of good men who take the role seriously and don't abuse that power at all, my husband being one...

Isobel - posted on 01/09/2011

9,849

0

282

I think it's pretty rare to find a man who is strong enough to be dominant in the house who does not abuse that power.

I do believe that there are healthy families out there who have this type of dominant/submissive relationship, but it is more often that this dynamic turns into an abuse of power either mentally or physically.

Tah - posted on 01/09/2011

7,412

22

356

My husband is the head of the household and I do submit to him, it doesn't make me weak..We make decisions together and when he gone I make them in his place. I think i know what community that was in and those relationships are really different than ours. My husband doesn't tell me what to do, I also dont stand by and let him make choices that would not benefit the family, but as the head of the household, he wouldn't do that. He values my opinions and our relationship and family. I am respected and valued and as Teresa said..can turn That head..but I do recognize that he is the head..not my superior or master or someone who rules over me.....pretty much what Teresa said, and it's been working, five years today...



I am not afraid, I am independent, have my own

career, goals, attend school, am free to agree or

disagree, I think that people aren't really

understanding..or are maybe confusing being submissive with being controlled...or the TIH relationships and that is something different all

together.

Minnie - posted on 01/09/2011

7,076

9

786

I have to say that both my husband and I are dominant personalities. It has caused a lot of arguments in the past. But we are learning to work things out in a more civilized way. We both let things slide that really aren't huge issues. If it is a big issue we talk and we both have learned (or are beginning to ;)) to empathize with each other's feelings. I think what we've worked out is that we are dominant in different areas of our lives. Me mostly with parenting decisions, because I do all the research. Him with finances because he's in business. So within those areas we both defer to the other because it's our respective 'specialty.' Otherwise we're always at each other.



When we were going to church women there would talk about their husbands and refer to them as their 'kings.' It was difficult for us during that time. My husband is a caring man but the philosophy got to him- he believed they were right and wanted me to be submissive. It bothered him and bothered me. I tried to but I wasn't happy because I wasn't me. I've gotten called all sorts of names by members of that church. I'm still working the kinks out of my mentality.

April - posted on 01/09/2011

3,420

16

263

I don't function well when being told what to do...I was raised in a family where Mom and Dad shared roles. If my Dad had a day off from work, he'd do the house work. On the weekends, when my mom was off from work, she'd do the housework. "Man" and "Woman" were not roles...they were purely synonyms for what gender they were.

My husband, on the other hand, grew up in a household where Mom just didn't like to make decisions, although they are religious too (but it is more that she just doesn't like to take a stance on anything). I don't think Dad felt he was superior, but he definitely got used to being in charge and that affected how his children grew up.

My husband tries to tell me what to do when he thinks I'm not thinking straight (i.e. it's stupid to have a home birth and i will carry you to the hospital if i have to) or when he thinks being female causes me to lose perspective (I am a man and my cir'd penis doesn't bother me...so we're going to circ. our son)

I wouldn't call my husband a patriarch or myself submissive, but I'd say that we struggle towards being egalitarian because both of us try to be dominant with each other (As LaCi has theorized in her post).

[deleted account]

I couldn't imagine being in a submissive relationship because I am an incredibly strong woman who knows her own mind and will not be told what to do (occasionally this bites me in the ass because I won't do something because I am being pressured to do it by someone and I really should do it as it would be for the best - but my stubborness comes into play oops). For me my relationships need to be equal, we both get a say and decide what to do together, with major decisions. however this doesn't mean that submissive relationships are wrong or don't work, if both parties are happy with their roles they can work incredibly well, the issue comes when like Lisa it is expected of you and you don't want to be in that kind of relationship, that is not healthy.

As Laci said, we all have our own personalities that require different things to satisfy us, for me it is the freedom to do what I want and not have to worry that my hubby will be pissed (tough luck if he is) but for others they want more guidance, as to what they should do. It may make those of us who don't need it a little uncomfortable to watch but for them it makes them it works.

Teresa, I hope you'll come back and expand on your point, I'd be interested in what you mean... :-)

Petra - posted on 01/09/2011

533

16

22

Like Emma, I don't think it's healthy. There is a couple close to me and they have very pronounced dominant/submissive roles and I can't bear to see it in action most of the time, though I have learned to keep my mouth shut as it is none of my business. My partner and I are more egalitarian, though sometimes he (subconsciously, I think) takes a patriarchal stance on household things. We inevitably fight when this happens, but the struggle between women's vs. men's roles in the home is ongoing with us. We at least talk about it though, and try to reason through it - I don't feel bullied, but I do feel pigeonholed on occasion.



I don't think religion alone dictates these roles, but rather individual mindsets about the role of a man or a woman in a relationship (speaking strictly about opposite-sex couples, here). Clear dominant/submissive roles are complementary, though not always healthy and the balance is rarely equal. You wind up with a dictatorship.

Minnie - posted on 01/09/2011

7,076

9

786

I don't care if it's mutually agreeable. But at one time in my life it was expected of me to be submissive by people we associated with- church. I was miserable during those years.



And that 'mutually agreeable' ends at the saying of 'I do.' After that there is no mutual agreement. In the church I was attending wives were allowed no mind of their own. From how they would birth to the clothes they would wear, it was the decision of the husband. And they genuinely 'seemed' happy but I could not see why. Maybe it is freeing in letting go of all choice and then all responsibility?

Stifler's - posted on 01/09/2011

15,141

154

597

I don't think having a dominating/submissive marriage is actually healthy. It sounds more like abusive if the husband or wife is dictating the relationship and the other is following whatever they want to do/want them to do.

[deleted account]

I'm in favor of submission in the way that I believe the Bible intends, but I can't explain it at the moment.

LaCi - posted on 01/08/2011

3,361

3

171

Some people enjoy a more submissive role, some people enjoy a more dominant role, and some people enjoy a more egalitarian relationship.



As long as everyone involved is happy with their role, then everything is fine. I don't think it really matters if religion is involved or not, if a woman thinks its her duty to be submissive as a wife, and fulfilling that role brings her some sort of personal satisfaction, whether its because *god said so* or not, it really doesn't matter.



Not to mention its just math. A dominant shouldn't be with another dominant or there would be all out war. A submissive probably shouldn't be with a submissive or nothing would get done. And an egalitarian would probably piss both of them off, and vice versa. These are peoples personalities, and the dominants and submissives complement each other. (given that no one is being forced into a role, feels abused, etc)

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms