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


As you’re a junior relative, I probably wouldn’t talk to her unless you have a really strong relationship.

I don’t think it would be out of line to tell her husband, “Auntie doesn’t seem like herself. Do you think she might benefit from counseling or medical help?”

Or if you have a strong relationship with her, maybe, “You don’t seem like yourself. Have you talked to your doctor?”

If there’s something seriously wrong with her, she can’t bootstrap her way out of mental illness.


Sorry for all the typos…there was a new update and it hates me.



Come to think of it, a friend of mine had extremely serious postpartum psychological symptoms where she was having severe anxiety and weird compulsions toward self-harm.

Her Protestant church family ralied around and she pulled through with psychiatric help, but her husband doesn’t believe in psychiatric problems. He wanted her to just bootstrap her way out of a severe psychological condition.

I don’t know if my friend disobeyed a direct order from her husband, but she definitely pursued psychological help against her husband’s wishes. (And a good thing–with a baby in the house, this could literally be a matter of life and death.)

How do you feel about that?


[quote=“omgriley, post:448, topic:459736”]
Does your aunt read the lives of the saints, particularly female saints?
I am unsure if she does or not, I do know that she has become very obsessive over Fatima.


I feel like her husband knows there may be a missing link but is afraid to bring it up to her.


If he knows there is a problem, I think it’s either up to him or other people of the same generation or older.

If she has a sister, that might be the best person to talk to her.

Sadly, crazy people don’t know they’re being crazy.


I don’t know if anybody’s noticed, but KathleenT and Vonsalza were arguing for opposite approaches.

KathleenT was arguing for subtlety, ego-stroking, and feminine wiles, while Vonsalza said that he needed his wife speaking clearly to him.



My mother is her sister as well as 4 other of my aunts, all raised by two very devoted Catholics. Sadly non of them feel it’s their place to step in. It amazes me to see them express their concerns to each other and then turn their backs when she is around, not very Christian like to me. I am just worried about the state of her vocation as a wife, I feel like her extreme in practicing certain areas of our faith is causing her to overlook other areas.



I said it was a valid communication tool. And I wasn’t the only one, a few men said it too.

That doesn’t mean plain speaking is never appropriate.

Like I said…why use a two-by-four when a nudge will do?


The person who needs to step in is the husband. It is very delicate to get involved in someone else’s marriage.

It is possible your dad or some other male relative has expressed concerns to your uncle. You can ask your mom.


Hmm. I only ask because there have been people who have rediscovered their faith in an extreme way and began imitating the lives of the saints so zealously. This is good, but they often times forget that many of the famous saints, especially the Doctors, were religious, and we married laity cannot imitate them in these ways.

I knew someone who once became so enthralled with Catherine of Sienna and her chaste life and following her lead that she almost completely stopped rendering the martial debt to her husband.

God wants us to follow the saints, but only if they do not conflict with our state in life. It sounds like this might be happening with you aunt. She needs a spiritual director, or someone close to her to guide her.


I don’t think such an action could in the least bit be considered not right. Logically then, it cannot contradict the statement of Paul saying, “wives be submissive to your husbands.”

Therefore, we need to be quite careful how we interpret and apply what Paul has said.


Thank you all for answering my question. I agree that her husband needs to take action to see what is really going on, but I do agree that she needs some kind of guidance from a Spiritual director as well.


I don’t disagree, but I have learned that subtlety is utterly lost on my husband. He’s made it pretty clear that he needs more direct communication.


OK, I’m finally reading this article:

So far, no “final say” and lots of “servant leadership.”

This was iffy:

“Eve is not alone in the category of disobedient Old Testament wives. Samson’s two wives, Gomer, Lot’s wife, Rebecca, and Michal, among others, brought grief to themselves or to those around them. But in the Old Testament there are many wives of the other sort, too. Peter recalls some of them in the course of his instruction to contemporaneous married women: “Rather, let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight. It was in this way long ago that the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves by accepting the authority of their husbands. Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord” (1 Pet. 3:4–6).”

We have no reason to think that God was unhappy with Rebekah. Her methods are definitely not tip top 21st century wifing (having her favorite son masquerade as her husband’s favorite son to steal his birthright), but Jacob had bought the birthright fair and square, Jacob was indeed God’s chosen, and Rebecca is revered in the Jewish tradition. Also, she herself was chosen by divine providence for Isaac. Also, she had been told by God when she felt the twin sons struggling within her,

“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples, born of you, shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the elder shall serve the younger.”

Presumably her subterfuge was partly motivated by her awareness that the younger son had a special mission, which he did in fact have. He became one of the patriarchs, whereas his brother (his father’s favorite) didn’t.

Likewise, Sarah told Abraham to send away Hagar (his slave wife) and God backed her up.

" 10 So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” 11 And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the lad and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your descendants be named."

This is not the ultra-submissive Sarah we’re used to hearing about.

“The boy Jesus seems to have been a model child, one who obeyed his parents as Peter and Paul would instruct Christian children to do sixty or seventy years later: “Then he went down with [Mary and Joseph] and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them” (Luke 2:51).”

How about Jesus’s staying at the Temple? That was not model child behavior.

“All persons, male and female, are subject to legitimate authority (government, law, teachers, employers), but apart from these, the only person a wife has to obey is her husband.”

That’s a lot of exceptions (government, law, teachers, employers).

I’m still not seeing the “final say” language here.


I feel like that’s more the rule than the exception.


Of course! You learn what works and what doesn’t.

Lest you all believe I only communicate by twirling my hair and batting my eyes. I typically mention my birthday a few weeks ahead of time and normally flat out ask what we are doing for our anniversary.


We have come full circle.

Husband has the final say…until his wife talks him out of it.

Look, I am going to be blunt, do you have a way for me to make my 6’4” husband do something he doesn’t want to do without using my words or charm to convince him? Please share.




I’m all for using your words.

But I have to ask, shouldn’t he do the right thing because it’s the right thing rather?

I have no doubt that you are good at what you do, but like AmazingGrace I don’t think I’d ever be able to pull it off. It’s contrary to my nature and too much work for a gal with three kids (two special needs). Plus, I think my husband would be squicked out by it. (Like, who are you, and what have you done with my wife?)

I get excellent results by saying what I mean and then stopping. I’m nice (I’m working that 5:1 ratio hard), and I say yes a lot, but I’m really clear.

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