Wifely Obedience

I am a stay at home mom with 4 little ones. I have been married for 6 years and we just found out our 5th is on the way. Just for some background. My question is complicated. Basically I am wondering, in this day and age, what is expected of a wife? What is obedience, what does it look like, how is it possible when most husbands are away from home 60+ hours a week? This came up today because the coronavirus has everyone working from home. So my husband is home and seeing what I do all day. I woke up around 6:30 with the baby, cleaned, cooked, took care of the kids and was on my feet until about 10:45, without a break. I sat down to eat, the kids were all occupied and the baby was sleeping, and I turned on a TV show (about Queen Victoria, though that’s not really relevant). After I was done, I got up, served my husband and kids lunch and fed the baby. My husband was acting strange so I asked him what was bothering him. He told me that he doesn’t want me watching Tv shows anymore because he doesn’t get to. Then he accused me of not being obedient when I said how unfair that was and that our duties and responsibilities are different. He nitpicks me constantly. I never feel I can do anything right for him and he is always unhappy with me. He compares us constantly and does not want me to do anything that he isn’table to do, even though our jobs dictate very different lives. He said that now that he knows I watch tv shows he thinks less of me and I should stop watching them because I want him to think well of me again. Being treated this way constantly has made me want to leave on numerous occasions. He throws everything in my face and makes me feel bad constantly. I started crying because I feel like he doesnmt want me to have any breaks, even though he knows I am pregnant. He didn’t comfort me or even mention it, he just kept telling me that I should be obedient and that I don’t believe church teaching. I do believe it, but I don’t want to be obedient to him, he is a tyrant and a nag. He wants to be served, but when I have something small for myself he wants to take it away. I hope all this makes sense.

I’m going to be blunt. Your husband sounds like a major jerk. There are some major red flags in your post. I’m a husband and a dad, and reading what your husband said makes me see red. This sounds like emotional abuse and it’s very serious.

You’re looking after 5 small children all day every day and he wants to forbid you from having the occasional R and R? What you’re doing is a full time super challenging job… and if you don’t get the support and rest time you need, you’re going to burn out.

When our son was a newborn, my wife stayed home for the first year while I worked. She told me multiple times that what she was doing at home with the baby was a “harder” job than my office job… and I agree with her! And that was with one child, not 5. I would certainly do my part in the evening.

If he won’t engage in a reasonable conversation on this, I would strongly encourage marriage counselling.


I agree with twf. Your husband is abusing the “wives be subject to your husbands” language in Ephesians 5 and not keeping up HIS responsibilities in that same chapter (i.e., to love you as Christ loves the Church).

You need counseling.

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