There’s all sorts of propaganda, lies, misinformation, and plain-out nonsense floating around the blogosphere on this topic, and we need to clear all of that up immediately. We don’t want to be sending women down the road to perdition. We’ve already gone there and it ain’t pretty. Let us save you the trip.
- Don’t be such an annoying, nauseating doormat. If he’s not an insecure asshole, he’ll find that totally revolting. Cause it is. It’s revolting. Your behavior is revolting. Yessa, nossuh, whateveryousaysuh, like some sort of house slave. Straighten up and look him in the eye, answer his questions with your actual opinion (There’s a novel thought!), and have a brain of your own for once. Nobody wants to live and reproduce with an idiot, so don’t make him regret his choice by pretending to be one.
- It’s not you, it’s him. Understand that if he’s acting like a controlling jerk, it probably has nothing to do with you unless you were acting like a jerk first. He’s probably tired, stressed out, hungry, or whatever, and acting like a jerk is the male version of venting. He’s not supposed to do that, but he’s human, so deal. He deals with you when you have PMS, too.
- If he’s broke, ask him to fix it. If he can’t seem to get a handle on it, and it just goes on and on, you might have to do him the favor of pointing it out to him. He’s got a nasty habit there, and soon it’ll start to spill over into other areas of his life as the corruption seeps into his core. Also, nobody wants to live with someone who resents them and avoids them, so don’t be that someone.
- Prioritize. Most of the advice you get will be completely backward. They’ll say, “Obey him in the small things. Bow and scrape for him. Lick his toes. That way he’ll know that you’ll obey him in the big things.” This is stupid. If you obey him in the big things, he won’t care about the rest. He. Just. Won’t. Care. If he wants to have kids, get busy. If he wants to change churches (but not necessarily religions), put on your Sunday best and go with him. If he gets fired from his job, have his back. If your friends or relatives are dogging him, tell them to shut up or get out.
Furthermore, if he hasn’t been dropped on his head at birth, he’ll understand what’s going on with all that “little things” stuff. He wasn’t born yesterday and easy come, easy go. You’re just putting on a show for him and he’s going to discount it because you’re a manipulative little snot. Put up or shut up, woman.
- Don’t act like submission is a magic trick. If you just act submissive enough, then *magic happens* and he’ll be pleasant and even-tempered and buy you presents. It’s like in some sort of weird traditionalist fairytale. Well, I hate to break it to you, but fairytales aren’t actually real. People just make them up to communicate a message, often a political one.
You should be submissive because it’s the right thing to do. He might, or might not, appreciate it. He might, or might not, notice. He might, or might not, actually treat you worse if you’re submissive cause he’s so aggressive that he can’t help but chase down anything that runs away. It happens. Loving a wife won’t necessarily make her obey you, and obeying your husband won’t necessarily make him love you.
- He likes you. He’s always liked you. That’s why he married you. The idea that men marry women they can’t stand doesn’t apply to any woman who is married to someone who isn’t a total loser who couldn’t even get laid in a brothel. If you’re spunky and opinionated, then he likes that you’re spunky and opinionated. If you’re quiet and reserved, then he likes that you’re quiet and reserved.
Being submissive does not require you to change your personality, it just requires you to pay attention to the stuff that really bothers him or that he feels strongly about. If you change your personality in an attempt to be more like That Chick Other Men Think Is So Great (Why do you care what other men think?), then it is highly probable that he won’t like you anymore, even if you think your new-and-improved personality is better than the old one.
- I think it helps a lot if you know what wifely submission really is, and why men value it so much. It’s not supplication. Some men like to be supplicated to, just like some women like to have men dote on them. Others don’t. This is a preference-thing.What isn’t a preference is submission. It’s universal and cross-cultural. Most men in most countries prefer a submissive wife over a disobedient one. He wants her to be on his team. He wants her to have his back. He wants to be able to leave her alone for five minutes without her turning into a traitor and selling out on him, or sleeping with his best friend, or running off to join the circus.
If he gets a great job offer that requires a move, he doesn’t want to come home all happy and then have to listen to her wail and beat her chest and otherwise rain on his parade. He wants her to suck it up and smile and congratulate him, and then start planning how to box up the housewares for the move.
That’s what it means to be a help meet. That’s what men really crave. They want one person, just one person on the whole freaking planet, to be on their team.
That’s all I can think of right now, but you’re welcome to add anything further in the comments. This list will be growing.