The carpool line– hands down the bane of my existence. And it was one of those days I was sitting in the unwavering string of cars coupled with drivers who mistake the procurement of children for social hour at a nightclub, my phone dinged. A friend had sent me an article she said I should read because it was sure to make me mad, not that my friends purposely set out to ‘make me mad’. But in all fairness, I was the one complaining of boredom.
The article she sent was written by Janie who chose to be submissive to her husband. Notice I linked the word ‘article’. I did that so you’d read it, that way you can follow along and what I’m about to write will make more sense.
It’s okay, I’ll wait…
And wait… (are you finished yet? ‘Yes, Erin I’ve read it’)
Good, let’s continue.
I couldn’t get mad at Janie’s article because being submissive was a choice she made and I certainly won’t judge that. In fact, I took it one step further and also tried a ‘submissive wife experiment’ with my own husband. Shhh… I didn’t tell him what I was doing.
Wait Erin, if you’re declaring him head of the household, but you don’t tell him what you’re doing, how can he truly be a leader? A leader should know what’s going on with his minions at all times, right? Dang… got me there.
That aside, I continued on with my plans to experiment. First, I was a bit surprised and confused at Janie’s attempt to juxtapose being submissive with being ‘strong’. Just to be sure I understood what the word ‘submissive’ meant, I consulted with the dictionary to find that according to Webster’s, the definition of submissive, or submit rather, is: “To yield to governance or authority” (Merriam-Webster). I was a little confused about how this conveys ‘strength’, but still eager to try the experiment.
Janie speaks to a television show about a lady named Tara Furman who has made a choice to submit to her husband and claims that she is submissive and he treats her quite well. She also brags about how she noticed once she began being submissive to her own husband, there was less tension. I imagine if I were a lesbian and married to either Tara or Janie and they did anything I told them to without question, or ‘nagging’ as Janie so fondly terms the action, I would be pretty happy too. Just a thought.
So, experiment time.
1.) Greet my husband at the door with a smile, a kiss, and a good attitude.
Under this heading, Janie talks about how the dog is the only one to greet the husband as he walks through the door. Apparently because the dog does this, we should as well.
I’m personally thinking that there’s a lot of things my dog does that I wouldn’t do. For example, fetch a stick, lick my butt, sniff another person’s butt, eat poop… just to name a few.
Nonetheless, I tap into my inner canine and greet him at the door internally contemplating whether or not I should’ve been equipped with slippers in my mouth.
The problem was, by the time he got home I was so excited and I just happened to have the car keys in my hand. In my state of exhilaration, I completely forgot to say ‘hi’ as I bolted past him, loaded into the car, and drove to happy hour.
Needless to say, trial number one was an epic fail.
2.) Embracing the ‘Helper’ Role
This is the heading where Janie talks about her husband’s complete takeover of the rental properties they own. Scary right? I’d want a say in something like that.
This was also a tricky heading because we don’t own rental properties. As such, I wasn’t sure what my husband could ‘take over’. So I made a list of my responsibilities, and when I did, I realized I live in pajamas because the thought of picking out and dressing in actual clothing alludes me six out of seven days of the week.
That’s when I communicated to my husband how overwhelming choosing clothing had become and that from then on he was to chose my outfits. I spent the first day resembling Pippa the downtown hooker and the second in a striped- checkered ensemble. While I may not qualify for “Project Runway” anytime soon, I’ll admit that making him pick my attire took quite a load off.
It wasn’t until I asked him to choose my make-up palette and style my hair that he ran for the hills.
Fail number two and I’m seriously thinking I totally fail at being a submissive wife.
3.) Do Not Direct the Husband
Here, she begins by saying that really we should just be quiet. That being silent says a lot. My husband just thought I was giving him the silent treatment.
So, I tried the grilling idea. I said I’d make the sides, but since telling him to start the grill is ‘nagging’, I didn’t tell him she should grill the meat…
We’re still waiting for those steaks… Just throwin’ it out there…
4.) Focus on Being Grateful for What He Does Each Day.
Janie claims that when she’s focused on what her husband does, she doesn’t get mad ab0ut him leaving dirty socks on the floor.
Tried it and it almost worked. Almost, but then I noticed that the laundry basket was inches away from where the socks were strewn across the floor. Nope, I’m still pissed.
She also gushes on her husband thinking she looks great even with her 52 lbs. of baby weight. It’s interesting she puts so much ‘weight’ (ha, get the pun there? Yes… yes Erin, I get it, but it was lame) on how much he values her looks. Does he not also value her intelligence? That disturbed me a bit, but that’s me.
5.) Make my Husband Feel Important
A basic psych class will tell you how detrimental it is to sign emotions to another person. I can no more ‘make’ my husband feel important than I can ‘make’ him angry or ‘make’ him sad.
As individual human beings, each person is responsible for their own life-script and the part they play in it. Truth is, I could buy all the condoms, trousers, chocolate cake in the world for him, but if he has low self-esteem (which I’m assuming any man who’d want his wife to be submissive to him would have to have) no gesture in the world will rectify that. Just sayin’
On a serious note, I will say this: My husband is my best friend and I truly do appreciate what he does every day, but he also appreciates what I do. He’s no more ‘the head of the household’ than I am. We are a team and we work together as a unit, but respect that we are two separate people each with our own interests, pursuits, and value systems.
Reminding him to do something like start a grill is not ‘nagging’. Having a voice is not ‘nagging’. Never ever let anyone convince you to not have a voice. You deserve to have agency in your life; do not give that to anyone. If your husband truly respects you as a human being, he’d never ask that of you and you should not give that up.