Page 1 of 2 [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

BuyerBeware
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,622
Location: PA, USA

16 Sep 2014, 12:29 pm

I've made multiple attempts, throughout the years, to be a submissive wife. It has a few purposes.

1) I would like my husband to trust me (stop thinking that I'm going to leave, looking for someone better endowed/handier/thinner, etc).

2) I HATE conflict. It makes me sick.

3) If I am doing someone else's bidding, I am not being autistic. If I am following my own goals, I am de facto being autistic.

4) I am not all that good at being assertive in non-textbook situations. I am fine with it until someone gets nasty/aggressive/defensive/derogatory, and then I tend to either give in immediately or return like for like.

5) Along with the "de facto autistic" thing, I feel very guilty when I am doing something that is important or pleasant to me if it benefits no one but me.

So I keep trying, but it's not working. I'm not happy (wondering how I get to be heard, when I get to be an adult, am I a person or just a wish-fulfillment machine). My husband isn't happy (says he does not want the responsibility of being God for the whole household, trying to guess my feelings or opinion when I feel I am not permitted to provide it, etc.).

Being submissive to my husband in all things also seems to translate to being submissive to my husband's mother in all things. She has some child rearing and household management strategies that are downright ineffective (unhealthy, un-economical, unpleasant, sometimes bordering on abusive). In the interest of being a "good wife and daughter in law," I comply...

...but it's hurting my kids, undermining my authority, and detrimental to my husband's and my bottom line (and long-term health).

So I am soliciting opinions from people who do it and make it work, did it and gave it up, and just flat-out don't believe in it (in other words, everyone with any interest in or knowledge of the subject).

Is this the most effective way to stop Asperger's from interfering in a marriage??

Is this really the path to marital satisfaction and a low probability of divorce??

Is this how a "good woman" should conduct herself??

Does this make men happy??

For the record, I am not currently being physically or sexually abused. I firmly believe that everyone has unhealthy habits, and everyone screws up and makes comments that can be taken as verbal or emotional abuse. That's why God created apologies.

My therapist says we're not fundamental Christians and do not have to do this.


_________________
"Alas, our dried voices when we whisper together are quiet and meaningless, as wind in dry grass, or rats' feet over broken glass in our dry cellar." --TS Eliot, "The Hollow Men"


TallyMan
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 30 Mar 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 41,833

16 Sep 2014, 1:19 pm

All I can think is to offer my sympathy. You are in a very difficult situation. If you didn't have children it would be easier to just call it a day and walk out on the marriage; but with children it can be very difficult, especially if the husband & his mother would fight for custody. If you have a job and your own income you might stand a chance of making a break and taking the children with you, otherwise, if you are financially dependent upon your husband you are in something of a pickle. I gather this dominant / submissive pattern has existed for a long time? Such a relationship sounds like it would be very difficult to change without a lot of work from both sides and if your mother in law is exerting a strong influence on your relationship it may well nigh be impossible. I can't offer any suggestions how to get out of this rut - maybe marriage guidance could help you resolve your problems as a couple? Would your husband be willing to give that a try?

I've been married for 20+ years to an NT woman; though I think she has some traits of Asperger's. Our relationship isn't perfect and I do tend to acquiesce during arguments as I don't like angry exchanges, though we do get on reasonably well most of the time and neither of us could be described as dominant or submissive. From what she has told me, her previous husband was very dominant and treated her like a housekeeper / unpaid employee and verbal punch-bag rather than a wife. In the end she broke up with him and there was a messy divorce but by then their children had left home anyway, so there were no custody issues.

One final thought, would you like me to move this thread to the Haven? It would likely get more / better responses there rather than here in PPR.


_________________
I've left WP indefinitely.


sonofghandi
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,672
Location: Cleveland, OH (and not the nice part)

16 Sep 2014, 1:21 pm

BuyerBeware wrote:
So I keep trying, but it's not working. I'm not happy (wondering how I get to be heard, when I get to be an adult, am I a person or just a wish-fulfillment machine). My husband isn't happy (says he does not want the responsibility of being God for the whole household, trying to guess my feelings or opinion when I feel I am not permitted to provide it, etc.).


^Since it is not working for either of you or your children, something has to change. Perhaps instead of being submissive, you should be a partner in the marriage. And remember that partners aren't identical. It seems that you know your weaknesses, and these could be the areas where your husband takes more control, but you should also be able to use your strengths and abilities to contribute to the relationship. Any relationship that is built on one person being dominant all the time is not going to work well, and I think that this aspect of yours is starting to take a serious toll.

Personally, I think you should work on getting to the point where you and your husband (and your children) feel ok about telling each other anything and everything. What is going right, what is going wrong, how you feel, what you don't understand, etc. One of the most detrimental things to a relationship is probably when one (or more) person involved is pretending to be someone else.

You should not feel guilty for letting yourself be you and be good to yourself sometimes. Doing things for yourself is part of taking care of yourself, which in turn will help you be good to those around you. Obviously it shouldn't be your first priority all the time, but to deny yourself as some sort submissive role is not healthy for you or anyone around you.

I don't think there are any set in stone answers for whether or not submission makes men happy, as all men are different, but from what you have said, it doesn't seem to be the case for your husband. I think that if you want the relationship to work out long term you should work on talking this out with your husband. I would actually communicate almost exactly the thoughts that you have put into this post and ask for his feedback.

I also don't think you should be asking yourself if this is how a "good woman" would act. Every person (and therfor every relationship) is unique, and what is right for one person or couple can be the exact wrong thing for another.

And now I throw in the disclaimer: this advice is filtered through my own experience and observation. Take what you will from it, but my biggest recommendation would be to start talking to your husband in depth about this, which may be uncomfortable and difficult at first, especially if this hasn't been the case before.


_________________
"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently" -Nietzsche


Cash__
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Nov 2010
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,421
Location: Missouri

16 Sep 2014, 2:23 pm

If my wife was submissive, it would drive me absolutely crazy. I like alone time and independence. I also don't want to be involved in every little decision in her life. It would drive me nuts. I wish my wife would be more independent and less submissive. I don't need dragged into every little thing.



BuyerBeware
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,622
Location: PA, USA

16 Sep 2014, 2:42 pm

TallyMan--

Put it where-ever you deem most appropriate. I picked here because I gather it's a fairly common topic in the circles of Abrahamic religion, and because I'm not looking so much for emotional reaction/emotional support as for reasoned and philosophical consideration of the subject. It's a decision that needs made, and made once and for all for the purposes of our marriage, but it's not a "hot" decision. Not a crisis.

Like I said-- nobody is getting beaten up. Other than some bad domestic management and/or child rearing practices that need to be contained or will have to be cleaned up (NOT going back to smacking my kids, or treating ad hominem attacks as "constructive criticism," or punishing every little misbehavior with tongue-lashing and isolation-- JUST NOT DOING IT), nothing is on fire.

We can take our sweet time working this out.


_________________
"Alas, our dried voices when we whisper together are quiet and meaningless, as wind in dry grass, or rats' feet over broken glass in our dry cellar." --TS Eliot, "The Hollow Men"


drh1138
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Dec 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 522

16 Sep 2014, 4:45 pm

Submissiveness doesn't create trust or stave off conflict. If anything, it does just the opposite. Be your own person.



Narrator
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2014
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,058
Location: Melbourne, Australia

16 Sep 2014, 8:56 pm

Having been in chats and forums that discuss this topic a lot, has given me some insights. Especially on the gender side of the issue.

The trouble with dominance and submission is the gender identities, the polarization of such identities and the popularization of the neo dom/sub culture.

As a man in a heterosexual marriage, I'm supposed to either be the dominant one or a whipped husband. And for the longest time I bought into that idea, though perhaps not overtly. I came to the wrong conclusion that I was a dominant person, because I can be that way and because it fits with some old fashioned values that I like.

The next step was thinking that I'm maybe a 60/40 dominant/submissive type. Part of this came from being given the male dominant roles, such as being in charge of fixing/maintaining things and deciding on bills and budgeting. They're dominant male roles, right?

After a lot of things prompted me to revisit this, I've now come to a few opinions, which may be subject to change. :P

A lot of husbands, like me, are more submissive than they'd like to admit, and the daily challenges of negotiating a relationship highlight the difference between belief and reality, by way of the pain in the relationship.

Wives also fall into the same trap, in how they view not only themselves but also their husbands. We play the gender roles and wonder why it creates challenges and friction. Stereotyping goes both ways, not only in the roles, but also in the expectations. We've all seen the cartoons of the big wife chiding the tiny wimpy husband. Outwardly we may laugh at it, but inwardly we cringe. That kind of exaggerated stereotyping is counterproductive and prejudicial to any serious dialogue.

I now see myself as 40/60, not 60/40, and it's helped me to feel more calm about who I'm meant to be. Even as a male, I've found something amazing in being able to be submissive. It's got nothing to do with the submit part, and everything to do with the trust part. A new depth of trust creates such a feeling of intimate good-will, that it's hard to describe.

It's also about knowing your own strengths and weaknesses. I can lead in my areas of strength, trust the other person in areas where I'm weak, and be more mutual in areas in between.

In the OP's position, I'd be wanting to discuss such things, without making choices, at least initially. People need to chew it over before deciding a way forward, sometimes for years.

But the first thing I'd be on the lookout for is the daily choices that make my partner anxious. It could be that in those areas, they'd be happier letting you take the lead, as long as it didn't look like a criticism of their role/ability/identity.


_________________
I'm not blind to your facial expression - but it may take me a few minutes to comprehend it.
A smile is not always a smile.
A frown is not always a frown.
And a blank look rarely means a blank mind.


sly279
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 14,358
Location: US

16 Sep 2014, 9:58 pm

I don't want a submissive wife. thats not how I was raised. women are in charge.

I tend to be more submissive. yet I am suppose to be the provider and dominate one. I'd rather my wife be who she is then fake being submissive and hate it. I'd ideally like a wife who is equal but slightly dominate.

I'm not sure what advice I could give or what your goal of this is. but I tried my best to answer if it makes men happy.



Kraichgauer
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 39,376
Location: Spokane area, Washington state.

17 Sep 2014, 5:19 am

My wife is my partner and equal in all things, plain and simple. As I can hardly run my own life, the last thing I need is to have control over her's, too.
Tough enough to run my daughter's life. :lol:


_________________
-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


Kraichgauer
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 39,376
Location: Spokane area, Washington state.

17 Sep 2014, 5:20 am

My wife is my partner and equal in all things, plain and simple. As I can hardly run my own life, the last thing I need is to have control over her's, too.
Tough enough to run my daughter's life. :lol:


_________________
-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


appletheclown
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 Apr 2013
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,506
Location: Soul Society

18 Sep 2014, 11:55 am

I'm not sugarcoating my take.
If you go against what makes you you,
things can be tough after things get serious.
My salute for being a good mom though.


_________________
comedic burp


Barchan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Sep 2014
Age: 33
Gender: Female
Posts: 695

20 Sep 2014, 1:11 am

BuyerBeware wrote:
3) If I am doing someone else's bidding, I am not being autistic. If I am following my own goals, I am de facto being autistic.
5) Along with the "de facto autistic" thing, I feel very guilty when I am doing something that is important or pleasant to me if it benefits no one but me..


Sounds to me like the mother-in-law is just using your autism as a weapon to gaslight and bully you into doing whatever she wants. People like that make me sick.



Dione
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 23 Jan 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 233
Location: A house in a galaxy far far away

20 Sep 2014, 1:55 am

I was a lot like that up until just a couple months ago. It drove my husband berserk to the point where he asked for a divorce on numerous occasions.
A good marital counselor to help us communicate and my husband's bipolar becoming treated as well as my social anxiety disorder seemed to have worked out a lot of our conflicts. However, our counselor had to work very hard with me; I actually had homework where I had to make decisions without relying on my husband, i.e., a date night. Doing such things made me realize that I'm a separate entity from my husband and thus we won't agree on everything, nor will he expect me to submit to him on every disagreement we have.



0_equals_true
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 Apr 2007
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,254
Location: London

20 Sep 2014, 2:14 am

Cash__ wrote:
If my wife was submissive, it would drive me absolutely crazy. I like alone time and independence. I also don't want to be involved in every little decision in her life. It would drive me nuts. I wish my wife would be more independent and less submissive. I don't need dragged into every little thing.


Totally agree. Submissive = dependance.



OliveOilMom
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,897
Location: About 50 miles past the middle of nowhere

21 Sep 2014, 4:13 pm

I don't think I could ever be submissive like that. I live in the Deep South in the Bible Belt, and tons of the Baptists and Bible Methodists are all about submitting to your husband, but that's a big ole no for me. My husband grew up with parents who basically fixed all his problems and told him what to do, then he married me who fixes all his problems and tells him what to do. We honestly only have difficulties (actual difficulties - not just problems relating to each other) when he doesn't do things the way I've told him to do them. Do I wear the pants in the family? Hell yes, and he's much happier with it that way, he will even tell you that. He doesn't have to worry over the bills or the house or the kids, I do all that. He just goes to work and comes home. His responsibilities begin and end with earning a paycheck. I do everything else. It's easier in a way, but sometimes I'd honestly like somebody to be able to handle things instead of me.

If he was the kind of guy like our parents generation, those WWII and 1950's husband and father types who know what they are doing, can handle responsibility, and had the ability to fix bad situations, then I wouldn't mind an occasional "Don't worry your pretty little head about it, just have dinner on the table when I get home and I'll make sure everything else is taken care of", but if we try something like that then within a month the utilities are cut off and he's out of a job and probably has a suspended drivers license.

AS has nothing to do with it for me. It's a matter of who is better at a particular thing. Who has what skills. He would never expect me to wire a house or replace a breaker box, so I'd never expect him to pay bills, grocery shop, or notice dirt.

You sound to me like you are going for a one size fits all fix here, and unfortunately there isn't one. You have to tailor everything in your marriage to suit you and your husband. I don't have the happiest marriage out there, and Lord knows we have had more than our share of problems, but we love each other and neither of us is going anywhere no matter what we say from time to time. This works for us, and you have to find what works for you. Also, bear in mind that just because something works for you doesn't mean that it's going to make all the problems go away. It won't. Functioning problems are pretty much taken care of by us operating this way, but it does nothing about relationship problems, which are there because he's a freaking Vulcan and refuses to show any emotion if it's not about football.

The Baptists will tell you to be submissive no matter what. If he's a douche and won't go to work and spends all the money on booze or gambling, then deal with it and say nothing. If he hits you, put up with it. If he runs around on you, pray about it. Stay with him and keep your mouth shut no matter what because thats "God's Plan". Negative. Don't think so. Folks I know in the scene who have a D/s relationship see it differently, but similar. It's more like "As long as his behavior is within the parameters of our negotiations then I'll submit. If he violates that then it's safeword time and time to talk about it", but that actually puts the burden of making decisions on the submissive party, because it's up to her what she puts up with and isn't truly submissive by definition. Either way, it's not for me.

Do you think it might be that rather than being submissive you just want to have someone you can trust to do things a certain way because he loves you and shows it by the caring way he acts? Cause that would honestly be great, but I'm not sure it really happens outside of movies. Either way, I do hope you can work things out in a way that satisfies both of you. It sucks when things aren't working and you aren't happy. Would sitting down with him and going over things point by point help out at all?


_________________
I'm giving it another shot. We will see.
My forum is still there and everyone is welcome to come join as well. There is a private women only subforum there if anyone is interested. Also, there is no CAPTCHA. ;-)

The link to the forum is http://www.rightplanet.proboards.com