Let me be honest, when I got married the first time I wanted to be controlled by my partner.
Don’t judge me! Ya know good and well I had ISSUES!
It was actually very attractive to me that he would “check me.”
I WANTED to be in a relationship where I felt like the man wore the pants.
I wanted someone that would lead me.
I wanted someone I could submit to.
Yeeeeaaah! Girl you know you can’t be quiet!
So….THAT DIDN’T WORK! LoL
Even though I thought that was what I wanted it only took a few months of actually living it to realize I WASN’T BUILT FOR THIS!
Fug it! I can’t do this! LoL nice try Tina!
I started making all kinds of conditions to my submission and excusing why I wasn’t successful at it.
He doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about…. This is a stupid decision….. He’s not even following God, how am I supposed to follow him?!…. Why should I do what he says JUST because he says it?!….
But that’s what submission is…..right?
During our first extended separation I REALLY decided to work on being a wife. I wanted to be good at it but I just didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I couldn’t stop telling him he was an idiot if he was acting like one! I couldn’t stop cussing him out when he deserved it!
I just couldn’t control myself. I needed help.
Since I’m a Christian I chose to seek God about what being a wife meant. And one thing I learned and embraced MOST was that I was doing this submission thing ALL WRONG.
My perception of submission was that, in so many words, I had to be a doormat.
If I disagreed or thought differently I just needed to go along with whatever my husband thought and decided for us. WRONG. It was MY sole responsibility to submit to him. WRONG AGAIN!
- Submission is a Two-Way Street
God calls us to submit ONE UNTO ANOTHER. That means that submission goes both ways.
All this time I hadn’t been holding him accountable for HIS part in this submission thing. I just kept beating myself up for not being able to shut-up.
Now I realize I couldn’t shut-up because that’s not what’s required for healthy submission.
My ex-husband bought whole CARS without even telling me he was considering it. Total disregard for me and how his choices impacted me.
“It’s only in my name anyway.”
Not recognizing that debt in his name alone was still a debt for the both of us and I should have been considered in the process.
If we had been doing it right we would have had the conversation, weighed risks and benefits, and made a decision TOGETHER.
Instead, he made a lot of decisions without considering me which led to blowouts after the fact and made it seem like I was constantly bucking against his authority. But it wasn’t that I wouldn’t submit to him as much as it was a lack of submission on his end.
Now maybe some of you don’t have partners making decisions QUITE as big as this without your input. But even things as small as, “we eat whatever my husband wants for dinner every night” is ridiculous! So you can’t EVER have what you want? Nah bruh!
Being a submissive wife isn’t about living in a dictatorship. It’s a monarchy. King AND Queen! Side by Side. Partners.
If you’re making decisions BOTH partners should be involved in the process. So, YES, I should have been allowed to express myself and YES my concerns should have been considered.
And the same goes for you.
- Submission is Empowering
Submission doesn’t strip you of your power, in fact, it should empower you.
My understanding originally was that my submission required my silence at all times. But I ended up feeling so stifled and worthless in the relationship because of it. And when I DID express myself it seemed to always be in anger.
But really, I should have been angry at myself. I put an incorrect filter on what I believed submission to be and now I was suffering because of it.
In addition, the knowledge of submission being mutual is required for BOTH partners in order for it to have successful implementation within the relationship.
You can know all you want. If your partner doesn’t you’re still fighting a losing battle.
When both partners recognize that submission is mutual you’re empowered to freely express yourself without fear of disregard or retribution.
Unfortunately, my ex-husband didn’t see that need. So I kept living with my incorrect perception and he kept expecting it.
Once I got an understanding from Gods word as to what submission REALLY looks like I realized my role was to provide wise counsel to my husband. I realized a strong man recognizes the wisdom of his wife and will seek her counsel before making decisions.
And when your partner values you in that way how can you NOT feel empowered?
Sometimes submission DOES require you to “bite the bullet” as my husband says. But even that empowers you, because it empowers your partner. They see your willingness to trust them and their choices which challenges them to meet expectations. And they empower you when, in turn, they choose to trust your choices despite their uncertainty.
I’ve also learned that as I’m encouraged to be myself within my marriage and to express myself it has become a lot easier to accept those “let it go” moments.
- Submission Isn’t About Changing Your Partners Mind
Just because your partner is commissioned to submit to you doesn’t mean that once you say what you think now they are required to comply.
Another component to healthy submission is to sometimes let your partner live things out. This means that even though your silence isn’t REQUIRED sometimes it’s the best way to express your submission.
After Chris and I had been together for a while I found out he secretly smoked weed. And that did NOT sit well with me.
I initially told him that if he was going to keep smoking I didn’t want to date him anymore. Eventually we ended up married and while he would stop for a while he seemed to always go back to that wretched habit.
I told him, more than once, what I thought about the behavior. I explained how it was impacting us and our family. I communicated how I felt it tarnished his ministry. And I REALLY struggled with it. There were times I’d cry out of frustration. I felt like he was ignoring my pleas so I had to keep making them.
Then one day I realized this was one of those moments where I was going to have to let him live it out. I stopped bringing it up AT ALL.
Some of your partners struggle with submitting to you because you keep telling them over, and over, and OVER that they need to.
I made sure he always felt safe to share his struggles with me about trying to quit. When he asked for advice about it, I gave it, HONESTLY. But other than that I stayed silent on this one.
I’m happy to say he’s been sober for almost a full year. Healthy submission in this situation meant that he needed my honesty coupled with my never ending support MORE than he needed my reminders about what I felt was best. That was a hard growth process for me. But it was necessary for the success of my marriage.
On the flip side, I used to have no filter. I would just say whatever I thought, how I thought it, with no regard for the consequences. Chris used to tell me “do you think that was necessary? I don’t think you needed to say that.”
I didn’t always receive it. Usually I snapped back. Especially if I thought I was right. LoL
But because he never condemned me, never withdrew his support or love, I was always able to grow to a place of self-realization. He gave me the room I needed to accept the wisdom and truth of his counsel.
Allow your partner the time and space they need. Submission doesn’t mean an instantaneous shift to your train of thought.
I was someone that for years had a rejection to the idea of submission because I honestly didn’t understand it.
Submission is about creating a safe space for both of you to be honest with one another.
It’s about compromise. And not always meaning you’ll agree on the final decision. Sometimes your compromise is just you agreeing that you’ll trust them through the process.
Submitting isn’t about always bending to the will of your partner. Submission is about having an open mind and heart to the wisdom of your partner. And ultimately about trusting each other to make the decisions you feel are best while considering yourself, each other, and your family.
I sure hope this has helped to shift your thinking about submission and lets you know that you are COMPLETELY capable.
You don’t have to shut-up. You don’t have to be walked on. You just need a mutual understanding.
Believing for your limitless lives! With love always!