How Practical is it for Women to be Submissive to Their Husbands in Modern Society


That doesn’t work either. That’s the other extreme. Even in a marriage where the husband didn’t invoke obedience you couldn’t do that. There are other factors to consider. Who will drive the car most of the time. Is your husband more knowledgable about cars in general. What’s the MPG/Insurance cost. Is it a good deal. etc. etc.


I’d say they’re a lot happier when the money is just regarded as a family resource rather than “mine and yours”.


She was talking about a situation in which the husband ignores the wife’s expertise.


I know. But you still couldn’t do that.


No, that is not what I said.

You said you would do whatever you wante$. That’s not a marriage. Marriage is pooled resources and mutual decisions.

A husband who ignores his wife’s wishes and overrides her is an abuser…a wife that does the same is “strong and independent”


The scenario you brought up was one in which a husband ignores his wife’s expertise. In such a case, especially if it was an emergency, I feel that I would have a responsibility to act on my knowledge and skills. I didn’t say I would “do whatever I want.” I would expect my hypothetical husband to do the same if I was acting like a jagoff and he was the one who knew better, but that doesn’t mean I want to give him the final say in everything that affects my life.


Here’s the thing–a guy could think he was fulfilling his God-given duty of leading his household while actually making bad choices and hurting his wife. In fact, that’s exactly what my husband was doing. It’s not uncommon for husbands to be oblivious to problems at home, or to not understand how serious problems are.

And it’s not hard to imagine how this happens–he’s not at home all day living the life his wife is, so he doesn’t know where she is.

Depression is an epidemic among SAHMs.

US SAHMs are more depressed than working moms (28% versus 17%–that’s over a quarter depressed), sadder (26% versus 16%), angrier (19% versus 14%), and more worried (41% to 34%). The “good” news is that SAHMs are not substantially more stressed than working moms–SAHMs are “only” 50% stressed whereas working moms are 48% stressed.

These are extremely serious numbers with a lot of implications for how long women are willing to be SAHMs, not to mention implications for the health of marriages and children’s welfare, and I can’t say that I’ve ever heard hard care submission type people really grapple with what they mean. People complain about small US family sizes without thinking about what conditions are like at home and how well mom is doing.

US SAHMs are not, as a group, a very mentally healthy group of people, and it’s going to have downstream effects on the well being of their families.

Edited to add: It wasn’t just that my husband was unhelpful when our youngest was a young toddler, but that he was actively trying to keep me from doing things to keep my head above water by making it hard for me to get out of the house and see other adult human beings. He could not see how isolated and lonely and stressed I was, and he did things to to make my isolation worse. And if he saw me falling apart, he didn’t recognize how badly off I was, and he didn’t think of it as his responsibility to help me figure out how to do better. I had to save me by putting Baby Girl in PDO one day a week.


Yes, because life always works that neatly.

If the financial decision annoys you substitute it for something else: where the kids go to school, where to live, etc.

My point was as a married couple you can’t just go your own way


There seems to be a fine line between submission and generous self-giving love. Last night, my husband wanted to go for a walk and look at Christmas lights. I didn’t want to go. It was cold, it was late, and I didn’t want to bundle up the kids. I tried to talk him out of it, but he was insistent. He knew I didn’t want to go, but he didn’t let up. So I went. Was that submission or self-giving? It was certainly the subjection of my own will to make him happy. But don’t we all do that in marriage, men and women alike? If we aren’t doing that sort of thing for our spouses, we should be.


Could that partly have to do with the fact that society increasingly places the value of the SAHM at nil? If SAHMs were valued highly as being the contributiors to society that they are then that would probably change slightly?


Yeah, but if that only goes one way then you are the one dying to your husband and not the other way around.
The Church teaches mutual submission for a reason. It’s untenable in a marriage for one person to submit all the time.


Why does it need to be the majority to be a serious problem?

I grew up in a home with a mother who could be very violent, right up into my mid-teens. She grew up in a very abusive home in various respects. I don’t talk about this in real life much at all, so anybody who knows me wouldn’t know that when I was a kid, my mom was breaking wooden spoons and spatulas on us kids, backhanding teen daughters, and literally using a horse whip on us. (And that, by the way, was one of the reasons why wifely submission to a husband didn’t sound terrible to me as a young bride–because all the inappropriate violence I experienced came from my mom and my dad’s presence was what kept us safe from her rages.)


One could argue that, but I see too many couples, including in my family, where the man makes the money and then his wife spends more than they can afford.

If you’re going to spend money, bring money into the house. If you’re not bringing money into the house, then don’t expect a lot of extraneous stuff or status goods.


Eh, that’s going to be largely in the eye of the beholder, what is “extraneous stuff” and “status goods.”

I agree that everybody has to try to stay in their income.


Well, if my wife stays at home minding the kids then I would consider that to be important work. Just because one person make all the money doesn’t mean the other person’s role is worthless. I know of couples where the wife spends extravagantly too, but it’s more out of lack of cummunication with the husband about what money is available to them. Neither my wife or myself would make a big financial commitment without consulting the other.

I also know one couple where the man makes all the money and the man also makes stupid financial decisions. And buys a lot of “status goods”.


Who is going to be driving that car the majority of the time? What’s the reason he wants X and she wants Y. Is X a safer vehicle? Is Y more practical for hauling the kids around in? Those things need to be taken into consideration. Who is benefiting/using/ dealing with the item/object/whatever the majority of the time?


I suppose so, but when somebody is overspending, it’s usually not on necessities.

I have seen a husband who went the other extreme and forced his wife and kids to live like they were in Iron Curtain Eastern Europe because he was afraid to spend a dollar. The poor wife was my mother’s good friend. She was so sad, she prayed every day to find some way out of the situation. One day she was praying at church and her husband dropped dead. I hate to say this, but it was a big relief for her.


I will never understand men who want their wives to use “various wiles to get good things out of him.” Why do people prefer to be managed and lied to, rather than communicate like adults? Why is that more respectful of the wife.

Of course, I don’t have much in the way of feminine wiles, and mine are mostly exhausted by dealing with Baby Girl.


I’d say she got some shock though.

Stingyness is not a great trait to bring to marriage. Frugality, on the other hand is essential. Even if you are wealthy, you don’t get that way by throwing your money around.


Now you are changing it. The initial question wasn’t about emergency situations where the spouses don’t have time to discuss anything. In those cases, everyone does their best.

My question was how would you handle a situation where your husband ignored your expertise (which assumes you had a chance to make your argument.)

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