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


I’m not so sure.

There is such a thing as mental illness.

Plus, while it takes only one person for virtue, it takes two virtuous, fully functioning people to have a good marriage.


Yes, there is mental illness. Mental illness can impact to the point where the person cannot make a valid marriage. Illnesses may arise after the wedding, and then that “in sickness and in health” clause steps in. Sometimes the illness is so severe that the couple must separate. As they say, hard cases make bad law.

It is POSSIBLE for every Catholic person, with the Grace of the Sacraments, to have a Godly marriage. “Possible” does not mean it happens every time, but, with God ALL things are possible.


Sorry for quibbling, but I think most people would understand “POSSIBLE for ever Catholic person, with the Grace of the Sacraments, to have a Godly marriage,” to mean that each person can achieve it in their particular marriage with enough effort on their part, and that if they don’t have a Godly marriage, it’s because they aren’t trying hard enough/going to confession/Mass often enough.

I know that you don’t mean that, but I would suggest tweaking your language slightly to reflect the fact that it’s not just a question of individually bootstrapping oneself into a good marriage.


Of course. I said EXCEPT for the wife who is a police officer, etc. Obviously if a wife is highly trained in combat and the husband isn’t, it would be natural and fine for the wife to take the protector role.


In your situation, it is perfectly fine for the roles to be reversed. Each couple should know where they each have authority.

But also, it is almost important to know if one parent must die to protect the children and the other spouse, which one will the kids be better off with. That should also play a part in the decision making process.

NOTE: I’m not saying which parent the kids would be better off with because I don’t know that. While in general, it would be best for the kids to be with mom, every individual family is different.


Unless you equate Godly with happy I think @TheLittleLady 's language is appropriate.

In the example you gave of mental illness, it’s still possible to have a Godly marriage but be separated, take on more responsibility, or otherwise not have a traditional or ideal relationship. Handling that suffering with grace and love would be the very definition of a Godly marriage.


You should look into Father John Riccardo’s dissertation on Ephesian’s 5. It’s very illuminating.

Often when we hear these readings in church, women tune out and men sit up straighter, but in those actions, both men and women miss the importance of the rest of the scripture reading. Men are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, which means in a totally sacrificial way. Think about that for a minute, Love you wife as Christ LOVED the CHURCH!!!. In other words, it’s a two way street.

Just my humble opinion.


Submission and obedience are two different things.


We know in theory how to love and what to expect in a marriage.

But how that plays out today, where women are no longer living off from their husbands or fathers, is another story. There’s a reason why women view submission in a marriage as losing their independence, because they are used to being treated as an equal in other areas of their lives. So yeah, a more modern context would give me a much better idea of it instead of old materials, if I’m going to be honest here.


Maybe duds need to find other duds. But seriously, the duds should be left alone by women. There are worse things than being single. If he isn’t the exact match for you, let him go!!! Plus, you can find a guy in another city if need be.

But I liked the response that explained it’s for your protection and for spiritual matters that you would want to submit to your husband’s authority. The rest of the time, we know it’s a give and take.


I don’t think that a single virtuous spouse makes a godly marriage. I agree that if both spouses are being virtuous but are separated, they could still have a godly marriage, but I don’t think that it is a godly marriage if one spouse is acting perfectly and the other is acting badly.


Why does it always have to be the HUSBAND who get the final say, though?


Very practical.

I love my wife and protect and provide for her.

My wife loves me and submits to and supports me.


I can say it’s very easy.

In my usual blunt way of speaking;

I have no interest in being with a pathetic man-child who isn’t my direct superior in strength and masculinity. That and beyond.

I’d be his girlfriend/wife. Not the equivalent of his mate Dave.

People’s idea of equality is quite bizarre. Submission is a misunderstood ideal. We are supposed to be women, not men.

If I didn’t respect my partner sufficiently to allow him to fully control me, I wouldn’t have let him temper me in the first place. Which I should add, with my fiery temper - is no mean feat.


Man, everybody else seems to have such dramatic relationships.
After having too much drama with several men, I just wanted somebody to eat donuts with at 11 pm and tell jokes. Preferably someone with his own steady employment to help pay for the donuts.


What would go wrong if you jointly decided that you would jointly arrive at decisions, or perhaps divide up the areas in which one or other of you would take the lead? Are these alternative models unsatisfactory in any systemic way?


You are fully controlled?

What does it mean “to let him temper” you?


Regardless of how one feels about female submissiveness, it is an order of magnitude easier than to be masculine in today’s “metro” culture. True masculinity is viewed as almost aberrant behavior, making traditional men into pariahs.


Any traditional role seems to be sneered at these days. A woman who wants to get married and settle down is an aberration in many circles too.


Depends on what you define true masculinity as. I don’t really know what you are talking about specifically but I hear talk about this but from what I see, society doesn’t really attack the stereotypical catholic masculinity but more of the “toxic masculinity” that the church does not claim or encourage.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit