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


So if you could afford it, and your husband was fine with the purchase, why are you debating this with me?


That’s not what she was saying.

What she is talking about is–if you want to have a functional family on less than $100k, here are some things that will help your wife be happier and more effective.


Sure, but before I made that determination, I’d probably seek a neutral, credible third party for verification. Your priest might be a good place to start.

If you feel depressed or are on the verge of killing your children (per the article you cited), I recommend you swiftly seek professional help.

But I think SAHMs (or anyone) should be fairly slow to lay the blame for any particular woe at any one person’s feet. Many western SAHMs were themselves raised in a society were they grew-up expecting nearly unlimited personal freedom and the role of the SAHM was cast in a less-than-positive light.

I know from some personal experience that babies murder personal freedom. I recall they joyful days where I had an infant, a two-year old and a four year old.

Perhaps he had his own problems to deal with. I know intimately that a family looking at you to make the next “kill” so they can eat and function is stressful as $%^&.

One thing I appreciated about my wife is that she didn’t expect me to emotionally babysit her. When the kids were killing her and she was at her wits-end, she let me know in unambiguous terms. And I took action.

Not saying this is exactly what you’re doing, but it’s fairly common. No one can read minds yet, so if there’s a grievance, adults need to air it. “They should just know!” is childish and ultimately selfish. Again, other folks are dealing with their own issues too.

And everyone here should recognize that we’re only getting one side of the story. Reminds me of this article I’ve read numerous times.

A husband’s plea to Catholic Answers Forum: Stop sowing discord in my house!


I’m not talking about my personal situation, but disagreeing with the idea that a husband should dictate what car his wife drives because he makes the money.


I said he should have “more of the say”. This does not equate to “he dictates” and I have no idea why you would read it that way.

To be honest, this thread is just confirming to me that people see money through the lens of whatever their own experience is and become kind of emotional discussing it and read all sorts of weird stuff into the discussion. Which is, I believe, what was also taught in our pre-Cana.

Peace, I am out. I hope everyone reaches the types of agreements with their spouses that work for them. I’ll continue on my own course that works for me, and maybe just not share about it next time, so as not to add to more debate pile.


I can get that from an egalitarian marriage just fine. What I want to know is why I should enter into a union where I’m the subservient partner?


I apologize, I thought you were the one who shared the story about the $70 tool set vs. the dresser from the thrift store.

You seem determined to misunderstand me.

There is no way for the husband to act as head of the house while the wife treats him as a baby.

Several of you seem to read into my suggestions a level of insincerity and a patronizing attitude towards husbands. I am advocating trust not mocking. I am not advocating enabling a deadbeat husband either.

Your husband is the great and powerful oz of the family. You help that burden by giving him your honest input. By insisting on your own way over his objections you are telling him he is incapable of being the leader of the family, whether you intend to or not.


Are you Catholic? If yes, are you planing to marry in the Church?


I am Catholic, and I do intend to marry in the Church. The Church does not require Catholic wives to be submissive, though. Outside of rad Trad circles, I almost never hear Catholic clergy touch on the subject.


For the third time;


Here’s the thing…I have no problem with the “God-Given Role” of headship. But as I said, it seems to me that actual reading of ALL of the scriptures relating to these matters provides a more balanced view than that the husband can boss his wife around.

Again, if that works for your marriage, grand, but I don’t think you should be under any illusion that it’s essential to Catholic marriage.


Where have I made the argument that he could?

You have an excellent counter here. It’s just not a counter to anything I’ve posted. :man_shrugging:

As that’s not how my marriage functions, I’m at a bit of a loss here.

But as long as you agree that headship exists and that it actually means something, good enough for me.


My question about this is,
I have an aunt who has been married about 3 years now and her whole attitude towards her husband and our lord has changed. She has always been somewhat of a conspiracy theorist, but here lately she has taken her ways of worshiping our lord to what seems extreme for a catholic wife. She ignores her husband, who has been very wonderful to her. They haven’t been acting as wife and husband because she presents herself as more of a nun. He has expressed his feelings of how she acts towards him and she says she only does “wifely things” with him or around him because she has to, not because she wants to. Is she going away from her vocation of married life by being this way, and is she disrespecting her husband in God’s eyes by doing these things? I am concerned for both of them and pray for them daily. I don’t understand what has made her go so drastic in her changes.


Fair enough. I’m sorry if I misunderstood you. Perhaps the word “boss around” was not the right term.

I read the article you posted. I agree with most of what he says. I agree that headship is a thing, but it seems clear from this article that it’s less about having the “ultimate decision making power” and more about being a servant to the family, leading by example.

The Baptist’s statement does use the term “servant leadership”. And the quotes from Church documents do say “this does not mean the wife has to obey the husbands every command without question.”


With me and my husband, when we hit bottom, I told him that if he didn’t stop doing a particular thing, we were going to marriage counseling. A lot of people would say that wasn’t very submissive of me. Thankfully, he stopped doing it and he was able (after a lot of clear speaking on my part) to realize that he had been hurting me. We were able to get back on track without any outside help, beyond me reading some marriage books and us talking.

Again, I am very nice to my husband since then. In fact, paradoxically, I’m a whole lot nicer than I used to be when my views were closer to yours.

I’m doing very well now. What I meant is that husbands are the first line of defense for ensuring that wives’ mental health is doing OK, but this is not really an area where conservative religious husbands typically shine, even though their wives (by virtue of heavier household responsibilities, larger families and longer careers as SAHMs) are in much more danger. This is an important area for new fathers to show leadership. Sometimes husbands don’t want their wives seeking professional help and what then? Going to the doctor against your husband’s wishes is unsubmissive, isn’t it?

No doubt my husband did have his own problems–but not only was he not making an effort to help with the toddler, he was also trying to stop me from doing things that would have been good for me (like leaving the house by myself and having some sort of interactions with other adults) and he was also choosing to pick fights with me over stuff he didn’t even care about (as I eventually discovered). He enjoyed arguing (it’s his job) and he didn’t realize what a toll it was taking on me to deal with him making ever little thing a federal case.

Thankfully, this was not over an extended period of time, but toward the end, I think I was sinking into depression. Everything, even just getting Baby Girl into her car seat and leaving the house, seemed impossibly difficult.

A lot of people would say that was unsubmissive of your wife.

I was asking my husband for help–it was just that he would argue with me over just about every minor request and it was hard to get an hour’s help from him with our youngest. (Granted, he was often doing stuff with the big kids, but I didn’t need a break from the big kids–the big kids were no trouble at all.) He made asking him for anything a burden in itself.

Thank goodness he doesn’t do that anymore!


That sounds like there may be some mental illness in the picture.

I would suggest evaluation.


Nah, he’s the guy behind the curtain.

But I like him anyway.


I have been wondering the same in all honesty. How would I go about bringing that up to her?


Does your aunt read the lives of the saints, particularly female saints?


You will. It isn’t something the clergy normally discuss in the abstract for precisely the reasons illustrate by the thread. You will hear about it in pre Cana and in confession.

You haven’t met your husband yet so it is difficult imaging trusting someone that much. And maybe you never will but you work towards it. I listen to my husband when he gives an order for two reasons because 1) he doesn’t give frivolous orders and 2) he has proven time and time again he has my back at the expense of his own.

He knows if he gives a frivolous order it destroys my trust. If I think he’s playing a joke on me I am likely to refuse or to hesitate which in cases of safety could be problematic.

But it took time to get there. I made mistakes, he made mistakes. The poster above insists this is treating my husband like a baby but I have found that since my husband knows I will follow where he leads (so long as it is not against God) he takes the responsibility seriously.

There have been some rare times my husband has insisted on a course of action for purely selfish reasons. I am not stupid. Maybe those decisions made our life a little harder for a while but generally the love of his family always puts us back on course. (Sometimes his decision was right and I was wrong or in one case we were surprised to find out we were both right.)

Again, far from making him a baby, once he saw the problem with making a bad decision the next time the temptation occurred he dealt with it himself. I dont have to keep arguing against bad ideas.

Don’t worry about the rad trades or any other interpretations of submit. God will take care of that. Want your wife barefoot and pregnant? Maybe husband becomes disable or goes to war. Don’t want to be a stay at home mom? Maybe you are super fertile and can’t find or keep employment.

Just don’t turn your marriage into a power struggle.

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