So why isn’t your wife submissive? I’ve heard this complaint from men a lot. Many times, they simply say she is disrespectful. Your solution is the same for both.
In reality, a woman has no problem submitting to a man who she knows has her best interest at heart. You chose her as your bride. So I’m assuming you do have her best interest at heart. Therefore, that can’t be the problem.
Instead, the problem must be that she doesn’t know you’re looking out for her. Probably because you’re stressed out when you get home from a long day, and you silently unwind in the evenings – and maybe all weekend – or veg out in front of the television.
She has no idea what your day has been like.
She doesn’t know the great weight of responsibility you feel. Nor does she seem to appreciate how hard you work while she leads a life of her own choosing. The buck stops with you, so she gets do whatever she wants.
I remember one man who envied his wife’s cross-country trips to spend a few days with her college girlfriends a couple of times a year. If you were listening in on our conversation, you might have missed it.
He simply looked at me and said in a very quiet voice, “I wish I could do that.”
- Instead, he worked day after day to provide for her and their small son. She didn’t even hear what he said, so she offered nothing in terms of empathy, appreciation, or comfort.
- Instead, she continued with her list of complaints about his lack of involvement in the family activities. I get it. But he didn’t.
- They each had their own version of the other person’s life, and hadn’t found a way to connect the dots.
It’s true, this man was exhausted.
But, more importantly, he didn’t know how to lead his wife. And she didn’t know how to submit. He deadened his vulnerable feelings with substances, which made him less available to her. She looked to get her emotional needs met through her friends, which made her less available to him. The same problem lies beneath a wife’s tendency not to submit to her husband’s leadership.
Basically, the problem is that he says nothing.
She doesn’t know where he wants to lead her, so how can she follow? And that’s the number one reason, she doesn’t submit. She doesn’t know what she is submitting to. You must tell her. Give her an update. A regular report.
If you were leading a team at work or a corporation, you’d communicate with your second in command, wouldn’t you? You’d schedule a meeting. Ask for input. On a regular basis. You’d make sure that person knew your goals as well as you did. And you’d want suggestions. The decision would still be yours, but you would be working as a team. Together. And together is better.
That’s what your marriage needs to be successful.
So how do you pull that off? Well, the first thing you need to do is make sure you’re not burning yourself out. Take a few moments with her tonight and let her know what you need. Most men need about 30 minutes to regroup when they get home from work.
Women don’t. we jump in with both feet. In fact, we’ve been running through our list all the way home. Stay-at-home moms, don’t get it either, of course. Women’s brains just work differently than men’s. There’s nothing wrong with needing 30 minutes to yourself when you first get home.
It’s just so foreign to her.
The opening scene of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood usually helps women understand. Remember how that goes? He walks in the door and changes his jacket for a sweater and his shoes for sneakers. Then he’s ready to be your neighbor. I’ve wondered where he’s coming home from? Does he have another job? It doesn’t matter.
What he demonstrates is the way a man transitions from his work mindset to husband and father mindset. It’s amazing the difference that makes in how the evening goes. You’re more ready to jump in and help with the meal, kids, whatever she needs when you’ve had a few moments to transition.
I remember one man who had an hour-plus drive home in traffic.
You might think that would give him plenty of transition time. But typically, men are still in work mode until they walk in the front door. That’s the common cue it’s time to switch gears. A few men have figured out a way to transition before they walk in the door. One man sits in his car for a few minutes around the corner from his house. So when he pulls in the driveway, he’s ready to hit the ground running.
But if you need the time after you walk in the door, tell her what you need. If she can expect your reliability, that you will be fully available 30 minutes after you hit the front door and greet everyone, she will be happy to wait for that. Just make sure you do what you say you’ll do.
Which brings me to the major and final point here.
Say what you will do, then do what you said you would do. It’s that simple. And remember to ask for her input. Don’t wait for her to give it. You’ll both be less resentful. And she’ll look forward to hearing what you’re planning. How cool is that?