Like the term domestic discipline, the term submission means different things to different people. The dictionary defines submission as two things (that would work in this context). The first is “the condition of being submissive, humble or compliant” and the second is “the act of submitting to the authority or control of another.”
Submission can often times be one of the biggest challenges for the submissive partner in a domestic discipline relationship. I think, especially when beginning domestic discipline, some people assume that being submissive means a total lifestyle change, as well as a total mindset change. While that may hold true for some domestic discipline relationships, it can also be a big misunderstanding as to what the submissive aspect of domestic discipline truly entails.
I wanted to share with you a little bit about how submission in my marriage works. Please keep in mind that everyone practices domestic discipline different, and as I stated earlier, but my hope is that this short “essay” (if you will) will help others who are new to domestic discipline, or struggling with the submissive aspect, understand a little deeper about one way that submission can work for you (and, I promise, it’s not that hard!).
As many of you know, prior to becoming a mom (fyi – greatest day of my life) I was what some would consider a “career woman.” I went to college, grad school, part of med school, I worked in a few different settings (including the emergency room) and more. Being submissive to anyone just wasn’t in my blood. In fact, I thought the term submissive meant to do everything someone told you to, without thinking twice about it. The way my life was going, I was often in charge (in both home, work, and school settings) so being submissive to anyone just would never work. Or so I thought.
When I met my husband I gained a whole new outlook on what the word submissive meant.
In some ways, I think I was submissive to him prior to the term domestic discipline even being introduced in our marriage. I became submissive because I developed a desire to make him happy. I’m not saying that by not being submissive he would have been mad (or anything like that) but what I am saying is it was just a natural feeling that came over me and his reaction to it was positive (like I think any man’s would be).
But in all other aspects of life, and towards all other people, I didn’t have any signs of submission. This isn’t to say that the “road to submission” was always easy, because there are definitely times when it wasn’t. It can be hard to turn over the control, or the power, to your spouse and essentially just “sit back”. But, I think it’s even harder, or more stressful, for someone to try to give up control in all areas. I think so many people who want to be the submissive partner in a domestic discipline relationship get caught up on making themselves into a submissive person, not necessarily just focusing on submitting to one person (their spouse, partner, and/or HOH).
I’m a submissive wife but I’m not necessarily a submissive person if that makes sense. I’m submissive to my husband only. Because of that, I’m constantly in a mindset where I’m submissive in my marriage, but not in other avenues of life such as planning playgroup events, work (when I was working), etc. Some refer to this “movement” as “wifely submission” (if it’s the wife who is the submissive partner) and others just refer to it as “submitting in their marriage”. But, regardless of the term you use, I want everyone to know that being submissive does not have to mean transforming yourself into a submissive person in all avenues of life. The task of that can be overwhelming for a lot of domestic discipline wives. In fact, a popular question we’re often asked is “I want to be submissive but I just can’t. What advice do you have?” and this is a part of that advice that I often give out- start small. Don’t feel like you need to totally transform everything about yourself.
To wrap this up, submission is an often misunderstood topic, especially in domestic discipline. A great site, Girls Gone Wise, did a post a few years back called “7 Misconceptions About Submission“. Although some of it is Biblical based, the message can translate well into people of all religions. I highly recommend reading it (it’s not long, I promise). Also, if you’re interested in learning more about submission in your marriage, there’s a book I highly recommend called The Surrendered Wife. I’m actually getting ready to read it again (for the second time) so more information or a more in-depth look at the book may be coming soon to the blog.