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


I’m a teacher. I don’t “manipulate” students.

I don’t actually manipulate anyone.

What is your definition of manipulate?


Fair enough…feminine charm.


The dictionary says to handle or control in a skillful manner.

I know everyone hates the word manipulate which is why we typically don’t use it.

My point is feminine charm is a perfectly valid communication tool.


My mom definitely manipulated me. The end result? I don’t talk to her anymore.


Unless it’s communicating something that needs to be said plainly.


In that situation, I don’t think the couple should buy the car until they have an agreement. And I think that the person who is mostly going to be driving it should get a bigger say on functionality.


You don’t have children, do you?

The model you are suggesting is much less workable for larger families where mom has spent a lot of time out of the workforce.


Margaret, as the OP, you’ve had plenty of answers on here, including several examples of how things work in the marriages of the those responding to your request about being submissive. What are your thoughts now that we’re nearly to 400 replies to your question?


Agreed. My point was married couples don’t always have the freedom to make independent decisions.


In the case where husband is supporting a large family, I would rely more upon his judgment in selecting a car. I would hope he would be cognizant of the needs of him and his wife in driving his large family around and of his budget when he picks it. I would also guess that in that case the family is used to making decisions about how to spend the money since they will be making decisions about it constantly given the number of financial demands on one income.

I personally would not want a situation where one person’s income was relied upon to support a large number of people because again, he could become disabled or die tomorrow. I went through this in my youth as my own father became seriously ill and disabled and could have died and finally did die. That experience strongly instilled in me a sense of financial responsibility for myself and any children I might have, even if my husband was the most wonderful and faithful provider in the world. While I do not think women who don’t work outside the home are “worthless” or any of that, I do think they all need to keep this in mind when making their life choices.


Is that really true of mainstream middle class opinion? Do middle class SAHMs actually you-go-girl a peer who leases a car with a large payment and then announces it to her husband?

I think that in middle class US culture, going out and getting a car without a spousal green light is one of the biggest marital sins there is. It’s not as bad as adultery, of course, but it’s right up there. In the personal finance world, they even use the term “financial infidelity” to describe spouses making large financial moves without prior OK.

I’m one of the loudest voices on this thread for wifely dignity, but I would never dream of making any purchases that didn’t fit into the budget that we have jointly agreed on every month and I expect the same of my husband.


It’s not at all. I zealously agree that compromise is the primary method of solving problems.

I’m just defending the reality of the ultimate headship of the husband over his family; an unpopular stance in these modern times, but still the absolute truth.

Husbands and wives are absolutely partners and both are due equal dignity. Compromise should be sought whenever possible. But in those 0.01% of situations where it’s not, “Abraham’s gotta go to Canaan, sorry Sarah”.


That’s part of it. It’s even worse when husbands (including conservative religious husbands) do the same to their wives. For example, the classic problem where mom has been alone with the children all day, but when the dad comes home from a long day at work, he expects to take the evening off.

Here’s a piece I like on some related issues:

US SAHMs are very likely to lack grandma and extended family support and to be socially isolated. Grandmas and aunties are far away and/or busy, the couple may have moved far from family and friends, they may have lost all their friends when they had a baby earlier than their peer group, the new mom has lost her old social contacts from work, etc.


As with the husband in your anecdote, “overspending” can be in the eye of the beholder.

There’s also the hybrid variety of husband, who spends lavishly on himself, but expects his wife to scrimp to make it work. This writer’s husband was like that:

"Here is the reality: I worked night shift (from home), breast-fed to save money, and went without basics like medical checkups and dental cleanings. I learned to sew, cook from scratch, scour yard sales and thrift stores for our furniture, plan grocery trips around sales and coupons, and barter for baby needs and toys. It was practically a full time job, just to live within our means. Did I mention we had three young children (now four)?

"Yet, I would come home from the thrift store, excited that I found a dresser for our kids for only a dollar—all it needed was a coat of paint and some hardware—and would find my husband opening a $70 ratchet set. “I needed the metric kind,” he’d say, “and they were 15 percent off.” He’s not a mechanic; he’s a math professor! He didn’t “need” this ratchet set. He wanted it.

"Stories like this happened once a week.

“I couldn’t understand why he’d buy expensive tools for his hobbies (or camping gear, or musical instruments) and yet had no problem with me getting public assistance when we “qualified” for it. I often wondered if I was the only wife in the food stamp or WIC line whose husband had a PhD, some great guitars, and no food in the house.”

That’s the same writer who wrote this piece about discovering that the conservative Protestant version of wifely submission was bad for their marriage:


It’s not in the eye of the beholder when the husband is appealing to his extended family members for financial help. it’s in all of our eyes then.


Yeah. I strongly recommend Dave Ramsey’s approach to couples who are having trouble agreeing about money–doing a monthly budget together, both spouses having a vote, agreeing on it, sticking to it, making sure that both spouses have “fun money.”

A lot of stingy people don’t even do a budget.


I said “can.”

Sometimes, as you mentioned, people are just stingy with their spouse and kids.


Do you accept that your wife is a person, equal in dignity to you, and capable of independently using her reason?


You flatter yourself. Abraham was directly commanded by God - it’s not like he had much choice in the matter either.


As Carl Doss said, “That’s right, shove the responsibility for this one off on God.” :smiley:

(I’m not expressing a position one way or the other in this debate, I just use that Carl Doss line a couple times a month)

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