29 September 2012

Submissive Wives Cannot Think for Themselves

In an earlier post, "10 Reasons to Fear the Title of Submissive Wife", we considered ten possible reasons why many modern day wives distance themselves from public association with "submission in the home". At the top of the list was:
 
"You will not be allowed to think for yourself. You will never make any decisions in your marriage, and your ideas will always be disregarded."
 
Is this statement always true, sometimes true, or never true? Is a wife justified in thinking that if she submits to her husband, he will take over the job of thinking for her?

It is true that in a traditional marriage, the husband has the authority to make the final decision on anything pertaining to the home or marriage. But it is a stormy and shallow traditional marriage in which the husband disregards his wife's opinion. As a leader, he has the responsibility to serve those he leads. By listening to his wife's ideas, he learns how to serve her better. Better still, by actively encouraging his wife to explore or develop new ideas and then share them, he is helping his wife to grow creatively. By letting her make decisions, he comes to understand his wife better. A wise husband will quickly realize that his wife is an asset to his leadership, as she provides a perspective on the home and marriage that is never identical to his own. Merging his and her perspectives will broaden the scope for marriage grow, and this includes making it easier to find solutions to common marriage conflicts.

Is the husband obligated to adopt any ideas his wife shares with him? No, he still retains the authority to rule in favor of a different approach, but when he does so, he can be confident that he has explored not only his own ideas, but his wife's as well. He won't be acting from a position of ignorance or blinded by arrogance - he will be making that final decision for the benefit of his wife and his marriage. Encouraging his wife to think independently does not minimize his authority - it enhances it.

But won't a wife who is allowed to have her own ideas struggle to submit to her husband? After all, her submission requires her to align her will with that of her leader and husband. If she is allowed too much "free will" won't she become defiant and want to dominate her husband? A weak leader is controlling, demanding submission through fear and manipulation. Good leaders don't control. Instead of putting his wife into a limiting box from which she desires to break free, the strong leader creates boundaries within which his wife will thrive. A wife that is encouraged to become all she can be, a woman who is free to grow to her full potential, won't be driven to instinctively rebel against unseen oppression. No, this doesn't mean she will never digress from the path of submission. She will simply not feel shackled to the path, and will walk it willingly (even if she stumbles from time to time).

Is it reasonable to think that if you submit to your husband's leadership, you will lose your right to think for yourself? Certainly not. Your husband's leadership is strengthened when you contribute your thoughts and ideas in a respectful way.

14 comments:

  1. First, I am not a door mat. I can think for myself just fine. Isn't the command to love your wife as Christ loves the church? If we disagree we work on finding a solution we both can live with. Yes, he is the head but I am the heart.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your view, Dragon's Rose. I think (and sadly so) that many people equate "submissive" women with weak women who get stepped on a lot. A husband who obeys God's command to LOVE his wife is certainly going to lead in love - he will lift her up and not walk all over her. It takes bold, courageous, submissive women to demonstrate that submission is not wimpy stuff.

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  2. I really enjoy your blog :)

    Since starting ttwd, if anything my voice has gotten stronger. Ryan and I have much more meaningful conversation....it goes much deeper than, "How was your day?"

    Our communication skills have grown by leaps and bounds. The difference? I have learned....or am learning....how to get my point across in a respectful manner. We have ways in which we communicate....he listens to what I have to say....and I follow the guidelines that he gives me.

    I do not feel silenced at all....my marriage has never been better :)

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    1. Thank you, Lucy Lou. I think that people engaged in "ttwd" generally are keen learners, and you are proof of that. No-one is born a brilliant communicator, and sometimes the vulnerability called for in marriage can build walls that make communication even tougher than in other environments. DD seems to take down walls, rather than build them. It encourages communication rather than stifling it. Thanks for confirming that submissive wives are not forced to be silent, but rather encouraged to share their heart and mind.

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  3. I agree, of course with Lucy and Dragon's Rose above. I have not traded in my common sense for shackles or my personality for a burka. I say everything to my husband I always did, perhaps more, just with respect for his authority in our marriage. As you said very well, walls have come down since beginning this lifestyle. :D

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    1. Thanks for sharing your perspective, Lillie. Yes, DD doesn't seem to suppress or oppress the ladies as much as some think - rather it encourages them to develop the skill of speaking boldly, but with sincere respect.

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  4. thank you for your post :) my husband and i used to argue so much. i dont know why, but one day, i just started to think about being submissive. i read in the bible, that wives must submit to their husbands (a verse many women overlook) and for husbands to love their wives as christ loved his church. i have started to submit to my husband. i do as i'm told, i respect him, i give my opinion when he asks for it (which is more often now that i am practising submission), and he tells me how he prefers me to dress, act, speak, etc; and when i disrespect him (which is not often), he will bend me over and spank me- this has strangely made me acknowledge his authority over me. the peace and calm i feel since submitting to him is insurmountable- i cannot describe how happy we both are. our communication, sex life and everything has improved so much.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Ms Thang. Yes, when we take full ownership of our marital roles (submission for the wife, and authority and leadership for the husband), it takes the ceiling off marriage growth and brings amazing peace into the home.

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  5. I honestly have been in relationships that did not involved TTWD in which I had less of a voice than I do with Ward. We have an astounding communication, and on those occasions when I may hold something back because perhaps I haven't had time to flesh out my thought, Ward encourages me to share and we flesh it out together. As Lucy Lou said, my voice has gotten stronger with my relationship with Ward.

    Does he try to mold my thought to his? No, he knows how I think and feel and he honestly helps me develop and understand what I myself am feeling. Does he always take my suggestions or act on my feelings? No, but they are always considered and taken seriously into consideration when making a decision. And I am confident that the decisions made are for the best interest of our family.

    Ward has expressed those same sentiments, that my view helps him to have a more complete understanding.

    I have a vanilla friend who knows that Ward and I are a D/s-DD-TTWD couple. She has expressed the fear that I have no voice, that I don't 'get what I want'. And I pointed out to her that even in her perceived equitable relationship when they disagree on a course of action, they have to compromise - someone or both - are not 'getting their way'. Our relationships are just set up to ensure communication, harmony and provide a method for resolving conflict and clearing the air.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, June. Its interesting how many traditional couples list wonderful communication as one of the perks of this old fashioned type of marriage. When both spouses are fulfilling their roles, they are constantly giving of themselves to their partners. But in return, they are constantly receiving what they need. I think that kind of deep satisfaction and sense of being appreciated is a big part of why communication seems to flow more powerfully for traditional couples.

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  6. I think the biggest misconception that people who don't practice DD/TTWD probably have is that the submissive partner has no voice. Before I educated myself about this lifestyle, I have to admit, I thought the same thing. While I can see how that could be true with a weak leader, as you described in your post, I truly feel that I am heard even more since starting DD than I was before. Blue really takes the time to listen to me. With his full attention. He realizes how very important it is because so much depends on his decisions. He trys so hard to be fair and reasonable. Before DD, he sometimes divided his attention between me and the TV, for example and may have given a distracted answer with little thought behind it.

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    1. You could be right about that being the biggest misconception, Cowgirl. You will hear it come up over and over in conversations about traditional marriage roles. It seems that the husbands who have really taken ownership of their leadership roles are the ones who listen most carefully to their wives, not so they can "obey" their wives, but so they can serve their families better.

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  7. I really love this post. My future husband always listens to me and takes what I say to heart. He would certainly agree with you that we are better off for it. But I love his final authority in our relationship, feel safe and secure in it, and have grown so much from it. I feel more free now than I ever did before I had his leadership.

    ~R~

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    1. Thank you, R. A wife's submission certainly does liberate her, in the same way that a husband who steps into his authority is liberated. These traditional roles create the environment in which we can thrive in a marriage.

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