Submission is not weakness – it is a sign of strength

“I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.”

-Gabrielle Reece


There’s a new book that has taken the world by storm and ignited controversies on nearly every news website and talk show worldwide. It’s called My Foot is Too Big for the Glas and it’s written by the former women’s volleyball athlete Gabrielle Reece.

Her book is labeled as a “self-help” book and details the story of her 17-year marriage to professional surfer Laird Hamilton. Laird Hamilton and Gabrielle Reece have had their share of ups and downs, including filing for divorce four years after their wedding day. This sounds like a lot of celebrity love stories, right? So, why is this so controversial?

In Gabrielle’s new book she tells the story of how her and Laird filed for divorce after four years of marriage, and then ultimately decided not to go through with the divorce and instead work on saving their marriage not only for themselves, but for their two young daughters. What does she credit largely to saving their marriage? Her becoming a submissive wife.

Gabrielle goes into depth about her views on what a submissive wife means saying things like “He’s not saying ‘Dinner on the table by six!’ We’re not talking about that. I’m saying ‘Hey, I’ll lift up my side and I’ll do it happily’ and the expectation, or the hope, would be that he comes with the same attitude.”

That quote is the whole reason I decided to make the domestic discipline community aware of this book (if you weren’t already). So many times I think people (whether in or out of domestic discipline) get caught up in the details of the fact that submission is too hard, submission means no control, submission means the HOH “bosses you around” and you just “submit” to everything they ask you to do.

There is a difference between the word submission and the word obedience. Submission is the act of wanting to do things that please your HOH to show love and respect. Submission is shifting the power dynamic in your relationship to your HOH having the final say in decisions, and holding the leadership role and you submitting to that because you want to.

Obedience is choosing to follow the rules, or do things that your HOH asks of you, because you need to (to avoid getting in trouble) OR because you want to. Example- if your HOH says, “You need to stop cursing”, then you stop cursing because you’re obeying him, not because you’re submitting to him. However, submission goes a step beyond that. Submission is you submitting to, wanting, appreciating, and respecting the leadership (not just the rules) that your HOH has displayed.

It’s important to understand that domestic discipline does not teach submission. No matter how many spankings you receive, or how many rules are broken, submission is hard to teach because it is a feeling that someone has which, in turn, is outwardly displayed. However, obedience can be taught through domestic discipline. For example- if an HOH spanks their partner for receiving a speeding ticket, they are teaching their partner to obey the rule they have in their relationship of “don’t do anything dangerous” as well as to obey the law. But, submission has very little to do with that. The submissive partner receiving a speeding ticket did not have anything to do with a choice to not be a submissive person.

While the book never mentions domestic discipline, it does touch on the topic of being a submissive wife, what that means to her, and how that dynamic is being contributed to helping save their marriage. In an interview with The Today Show she said that traditional gender roles, serving her husband, and submitting to him have all been a part of what has made their marriage shift from filing for divorce to celebrating their 17-year wedding anniversary.

Of course, the media is having a field day with this story. Some outlets are praising Gabrielle Reece for doing what works for her and her marriage, and for showing couples that traditional and often old-fashioned marriage values can still work. Other outlets are fearful this will send women into “the wrong idea” and that it’s somehow bashing feminism. Either way, it’s something that has a lot of people talking.

Like I mentioned earlier, she does not specifically mention domestic discipline. However, as we have stated MANY times, domestic discipline is not strictly about rules and punishments. Domestic discipline is a lifestyle choice which encompasses traditional relationship values such as traditional gender roles, leadership, submission, obedience, respect, and much more.

For married women new to being the submissive partner in a domestic discipline relationship, or those thinking about beginning the lifestyle, Gabrielle’s book is a wonderful source of information into what it means to be a submissive wife, to get in that mindset, and to be willing and happy to serve your husband. It’s also good for women who are having a hard time with the power dynamic in a domestic discipline relationship and struggle to “let go” of the control. Wherever you’re at in your domestic discipline relationship, I highly recommend picking up a copy of My Foot is Too Big for the Glass Slipper: A Guide to a Less Than Perfect Life.

We hope everyone is having a great week.

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