What does it mean to be a “Submissive Wife”?

This post was inspired by the many questions I get surrounding my role as I feel most fulfilled by in my home. Another bloggy buddy of mine from Slap Dash Mom posted on her blog’s facebook page about a conversation she accidentally heard at a table near hers while enjoying a meal. The gentlemen next to her were talking about thier wive’s unwillingness to be submissive ad how to “fix it”. This made me get the idea that I should maybe try to break up some misconceptions about what it means to be living in the role of submissive wife.**

I am not a huge person to label things, but for the sake of categorizing, I almost have to in this instance. I practice being a submissive wife in my home.  For many, this conjures up images of being a doormat, being treated like I don’t matter and not being allowed to have an opinion on anything. For me, this is simply not the case.

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I asked Sadie, “aka Slap Dash Mom” to allow her fans to ask me questions so I could write this post. Here are some of the questions and my thoughts on them.

Q1: Has your relationship always been submissive? If not, what led you to decide on this sort of relationship? Are your parents (or your husband’s parents) part of a submissive relationship too?

My parents are divorced and My husband’s parents are also divorced and since I have never met his mom, I don’t know her thoughts on this. My mom is a pretty independant person and in my opinion is not interested in being in this sort of relationship (not that there is anything wrong with that). Bottom line, Submissiveness in a marriage only works when both partners are willing to allow the other one to be who they are and willing to grow together in thier roles. It has not always been easy for my husband and I and in fact, it was extremely hard for that first year. We decided to do things this way because we both felt that it would work for us. I have a personailty that is strong, but I also have a personality that is giving and one of service.

Q2: do you ever feel frustrated your voice is not heard in major decisions? Do you feel this helps your personal relationship with god? Do you feel its easier to let another lead ? Do you find you lose control, but gain peace? Did you make a choice or did it just fit your personality?

I don’t really have the problem where my voice is not heard. In my marriage, submissiveness does not mean my voice is never heard and my husband doesn’t ask my opinion. In fact, I am usually the major decider in my marriage for most things. You may be confused how that makes me submissive, I will do my best to word it so it makes sense: While my husband has the “final say” in decisions, he usually allows me to come up with a decision on most things because I am more knowledgeable in many areas he is not that effect us in our day to day lives. So his “final say” is to let me have “final say” if that makes sense. His personality is one that is more passive when it comes to choices of a day to day nature. In situations where he is more knowledgeable, we discuss it, and he has the final say, but we usually agree. In situations where we don’t, he makes the choice and honestly, he is right most of the time. (When he isn’t, he admits it most of the time. My favorite was the other day when we were lost and he didn’t want to admit I knew where we were going and he didn’t. I was right and he said sarcastically, “You were right-THIS TIME” I had to giggle!)

I do feel this helps my relationship with God, because as a Christian, I believe God is asking me to be in a certain role in my household (keywords-MY and ME, in other words, this is what works for me) and I find it fulfilling on a spiritual and personal level.

It is certinally not easier for me to let him lead. If you knew me, you would know I am very opinionated and often loud mouthed. I can be a bit of a stubborn butthead, too. I am, however, finding that allowing myself to grow in my talents to serve others, I am finding that I am growing into a better person that I like better than my loud-mouthed pushy previous self. I think it is important for me to be me, but I see nothing wrong with wanting to learn to find a balance in me.

Q3: How do you keep from losing yourself in such a relationship?

I don’t. I am super blessed to have a husband that doesn’t want to change me and loves me for me the way any loving husband feels about his wife.

I suppose any person, (women usually) who fills any role for a while, be it wife, mom, friend etc, might lose some of themselves over time. I hear that women who have grown children often feel lost after their kids leave the nest. I guess you could view it as losing myself, I kind of view it as changing over time. I really am not too different than I was before I got married. In the same respect, I am kind of on a mission TO change. I want to be the best version of me and some of that means letting go of my stubbornness, my sometimes overtly rude way of spouting off my opinion and my demanding attitudes. I find that this marriage and the roles we are playing is helping me the best version of “me”, not unlike other people’s marriages who don’t purposely do this role establishment.

I do want to add that I am blessed to get a lot of alone time for my own interests. My husband works 10 hours a day, and I only have my child on the weekends. I think that helps.

By the way, my husband has changed, too. He is much more patient and open-minded.

Q4: Could you give an example of a situation of what you would do & what someone else who is not submissive might do?

Not really. I have only been married once, so I don’t really know what other people’s marriages are like. That’s the thing, while I may define my roles, other women may do submissive things and not even realize it. My marriage is not really all that different from a lot of people’s.

 

In closing, I want to express what Submissiveness is NOT:

1. Submissiveness is NOT allowing another person to order you around, abuse you or treat you like a doormat. I entered into this because I wanted to. If I was not happy, I would not continue my relationship this way and would probably move on.

2. Submissiveness is NOT placing the wife as a second class citizen. It is hard to explain, but the best way I can word it, is, we are different, but equal parts. We work together the same way any team does. There are strong players in different areas.

3. Submissiveness is NOT going around feeling like a beaten dog or a slave. Does my husband sometimes act like a jerk? Sure, but no more or less than any other person, I think, including myself. He doesn’t order me around, in fact I am pretty spoiled.

4. Submissiveness is NOT joyless. I find a lot of pleasure in making my husband smile, keeping my home in order and serving others.

5. Submissiveness does NOT mean I never get my needs met. It simply means that my needs wait, much like that of a mother or any other person that serves others. It also doesn’t mean I “let myself go” or must be ready to jump up at any time. My husband is pretty respectful when he sees that I am busy or at times when I am ill. It hasn’t always been this way and he does have his selfish moments, but by and large, he is pretty respectful.

I would love to hear your respectful thoughts in the comments. Feel free to ask me (genuine) questions. Word of warning, though: I will not answer or approve comments that are meant to put me down or put my beliefs down.

**I do not claim to speak for all submissive wives nor do I claim to speak for all Christian wives, this is simply my voice about my marriage.

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About Christine

Christine is a 30-something married mother of one tween girl. A Montana native, living in Washington state, she enjoys finding bargains, reading, and cooking. Her blog, Saved by Grace, (http://savedbygraceblog.com) was started in 2011 out of boredom and led to a passion for writing and sharing her tips for frugal living as well as a fun mix of other random topics.

Comments

  1. I realized that I have no knowledge of submissive relationships. Thanks for sharing.
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