Hey, the Biblical standard is certainly not that imposing external signs of discipline, commands and all that, is superior to a family lovingly getting along. In fact, isn't it said in Colossans (3, 21) that fathers shouldn't get on the kids' nerves too much? It all the much more applies to a wife, who is not a child. It's a bit like with the kings of old... it definitely was a reason to be happy for a country not to have a heavy-handed one. On the other hand, sometimes people need assurance that there is a leader out there ('the pilot flies with us'). That's not control but protection. The other thing is that decision-making in a family is a lot of work and a chore when it comes to picking this, picking that, taking responsibility for the choice and so on. It wouldn't be good for any spouse to leave the other alone with that and sure, this burden is more of the man's job (in a very similar way to how moving a wardrobe isn't exactly the job for Mrs 5' ;)).
Another thing is that a healthy man without self-esteem or confidence issues generally will be able to assume the degree or scope of leadership he feels comfortable with. This isn't even just in marriage, it's also in friendships or business situations.
Sometimes we have a bit of a problem with some of our needs or perceptions or some other such thing but we can't properly identify it (e.g. we feel it's a different need not being fully met than the one that really is the case). This leads to the, "this is not good and that is not good," kind of situations. For example, you can't feel the husband's authority... but then, what if he actually made you feel it, would that be okay with you or would you in turn start missing independence? Sometimes it really looks like we can't be satisfied either way in some regards. The reason is probably because the problem lies elsewhere anyway, or perhaps it's the grass is always greener on the other side effect. When things are going well, we shouldn't allow silly thoughts to trouble us. In this situation, I suppose you would like him to show more of a presence and some kind of positive leadership, which may be hard to show when one doesn't have an inclination to allow his leadership or authority to be felt.
As far as respect goes, well, I certainly would have a problem there if I wondered if my hypothetical wife knew deep inside that she were married and not a single person. Married people can't really go on having a single life, so not having to ask opinions, not having to explain anything, always being able to have things one's way, are over. The other thing is that love, respect and so on, need expression, they can't be just assumed (a man never telling his wife he loves her is an iconic cultural example: he thinks she should know it, she thinks he should show it). This is difficult to grasp and it differs from person to person and from couple to couple.
What else? I suppose sometimes respect and consideration are just two faces of the same problem. Different personalities would call them a different name, but that's about it. If the same party always have to concede, give way, only one party includes the other and so on (basically all forms of lack of reciprocation, but there's more to it than just reciprocating), some people would call that being inconsiderate, others direspectful. I'd say being inconsiderate is disrespectful and being disrespectful is inconsiderate anyway. ;)
What you say in terms of active listening is a very good clue. It generally gives the interlocutor assurance of respect. Children are sensitive to it. Women are. Men less so, but I definitely wouldn't say they don't notice the difference (when still bachelors, as long as we are any smart, we get the difference between when a miss listens to us and when she doesn't--guess which one is the keeper). I would say general signs of affirmation when we agree with what someone says or does go a long way. If you react affirmatively when he takes charge, he will probably get the idea that he should do it more often (cats learn this trick all right, so men should be able finally to catch it too some time!). If you want him to take a decision in some matter, you just refer it to him. there's plenty of ways... from "what would you do?" to "what do we do?" or, "go ask dad."
If you don't get plenty of opportunity in terms of deferring to his decisions, then you could take it as a boon (he doesn't have a heavy hand... how bad would it be if he did)--especially considering that you're educated--and as an intellectual exercise in how to show him your appreciation for being the man in the house (including how he doesn't need to show a heavy hand to feel like a man!) and in your life. (It would probably be a good idea to connect referring the problem "above" with some prayer while exercising one's own mind and gifts.)
Well, and if you have a more momentary and more psychological need to feel his leadership, then I guess dance doesn't go a wrong way. It doesn't impose drama, it's open to humour, it can be flirty and it expects the man to lead. Plus, it's relaxing and I suppose it has the potential to convey some meanings without dramatic conversations. I suppose there's plenty of other games or activities that take two people and one of them definitely has to lead. You can put him in that position.
Oh, and don't stress over failing to *manifest *the submission, like somehow you wouldn't be a good wife without getting opportunity to give in to a heavy-handed husband regime. That wouldn't be true. ;)
On a side note, I believe you're showing him a great deal of respect by just thinking about this (how many people don't even get the idea) or asking.