Confessions From An Unsubmissive Wife

A brief note: this is raw, real, my honest thoughts about myself and my life.


It’s funny how life works, or maybe how I process things. It seems I’m always late to the game, like I never know things until after they happen, or this case have been happening awhile.


You see, B and I have felt like there was something between us for a while but we just couldn’t put a finger on it. We felt off, distant, not in sync.  Sometimes issues only leave a trace, like mist off of the ocean or a faint fragrance, it can’t be defined or distinctly analyzed but you know it’s there.


Well the other day we were finally able to verbalize it, define it, make it really known, the truth, the weight from the impact.


It’s me. I like my mother Eve am set to rule over my husband.


I am the issue. I am what’s making us off. The pain of this truth was made evident at group (our weekly community group) as we just so happened to be covering 1 Peter: 3. You know wives submit to your husbands, husbands respect your wives.


I used to have real problems with this verse as I was raised to be independent, strong willed and determined. Submissive was NOT a word in my vocabulary. The world was my canvas and I was the painter full of ideas and thoughts of how things should be and how to do them correctly. I was the maker of my destiny, the ruler of my world.


I was the girl that could do no wrong. I was the perfectionist, the golden child. In the eyes of the world I was the epitome of what a girl should be, and I believed it. My biggest sin is always pride most shown through my want of control.


I believe myself to be the best and therefore I am ALWAYS right, I will always win, I cannot loose, I am the best and anyone and everyone else will either agree or get mowed down.


Oh I have a sweet side, a gentle side, a quiet side but underneath all of that is this monster, this pride ready to leap out here and there to gain greater control of any situation, any person.


In our culture I am applauded for my actions, awarded for my determination, my dedication, my drive, fueling my pride and identity in myself and my abilities, but the impact of this sin is unbearable. 


As I talked with my husband I saw the devastation that my sin was laying on his heart. I tore it a part, broke him down, stomped on him and kicked him. It’s my gift.

I have a knack for belittling him, not trusting him, always trusting myself to be right. I argue with him to prove my point so that I may come out on top, the rightful ruler, the perfect person. 


I was so lost in my schoolwork, in my own world, that I failed to see the havoc I was wreaking. I had crushed my husband and as I look into his eyes I saw an emptiness that I had created. My husband was loosing a part of himself while I fueled myself.

That’s the opposite of what I want to do. I didn’t write that in my vows. I don’t pray for that.


I kept thinking, how did it get this far? Why didn’t I notice sooner? How on earth could I have done this?


You see at the end of the day, I often fail to see my own failures, my own shortcomings though I’m quick to point out B’s, quick to give my advice, my two sense, my say. My pride filled arrogant ways were destroying the one I claimed to love, the one I desire to encourage and support.


This is not a new thought. I am aware of this inside of myself but I had never seen such devastation, such emptiness in B’s eyes before. My heart was torn for him, my attention was grabbed—turned away from myself and focused on my husband, my hurting husband.


I had reached my end—things needed to change, I want them to change. I don’t want to ever be the cause of so much pain in my husband. I want him to feel loved, safe, respected, encouraged.


I needed to change, I need to change—but how?


At group I was given the answer as if God was speaking directly to me. “It’s not something you should do, but something you should believe. I LOVE YOU. I love you no matter what. I love you so much so I sent my son to die for you, to cover your sins and lavish you with my love and grace. Know this, breathe this, live this and your heart will change because I will change it for you.”


I had lost my identity. Somewhere along the way in the chaos that came with student teaching I forgot who I belonged to, how I am loved, where my identity comes from.

I am no longer defined by this world. I do not adhere to the stigmas of this society. I am a daughter of the King, paid for in full by the blood of Jesus, covered in his grace and love that is lavished on me. I am His.


As I listened at group I was reminded of this. It would be easy to say that I should just love B better, that I should just keep my mouth shut more and I should just try harder to respect him. But the real issue is not my behavior but my heart and there is only one who can change that.


In failing to love B, I forgot how loved I am. In failing to serve B, I forgot how I have been served. In failing to encourage and support B, I forgot how free I am to stumble and fall and how often I do.


Like now, I dropped the ball big time and as hard as it is to admit, there is grace enough for that. Jesus still loves me and so does B, though I have treated him like crap.


The joy of Christ is new beginnings because His grace covers all things and He tenderly walks with us loving us where we are at. He is not scared of me, of my ugliness of my messiness. He loves me still.


Submission is a gift. I believe marriage was designed to be a certain way and I believe it to be true as I can see in my own life that my way, is not what is best. We are a team. We shall work together, but I am not the head of the house, I am called to trust my husband to respect and encourage him, and by God’s grace I will learn to do so.


God, thank you so much for your grace that washes me clean. Thank you for walking with me, patiently and tenderly reminding me of what you have done, what you have endured. Your loves is so deep and so wide that I cannot out run it. I cannot hide from it. Thank you for not blinking at my sin, for not turning away. Lord I ask for your love to invade my darkest parts and wash me clean. I ask for it to expose my hardened heart and creak it open. Jesus teach me to love, to serve, to respect my husband. Help me to encourage him, to empower him, to clear the emptiness from his eyes and sorrow from his heart. Lord help me to bring him joy, to once again stand beside him as his backbone, his side kick, his partner, his wife. I know only you are able to change my heart, you and you alone. I pray you melt this heart of stone so that I may bleed for my husband.

It’s hard to live a life exposed. Our innate tendency is to cover up the ugly and the messiness. But I want to be able to speak honest words and expose my sin and hurt and messiness so that God may be glorified, so that His grace and power may be seen, and so that you may know that you are not alone.

  1. Kierra says:

    I really like this post, it spoke too me. I too have done this, am doing this to my husband. Thank you for opening my eyes to my own heart by sharing yours. God bless you.

  2. Theresa Humphry says:

    I really needed to see this post today. I’ve been married 38 years and I still have trouble with "submissive". Thank you for your honest thoughts and words. God bless you.

  3. Beth says:

    Hi, I really like your thoughts! They were so honest. But I believe that husband and wife can both be "heads of the house", you just have to find the right balance (not dominating him, not him dominating you). At least that’s my input. God bless.

    • Sarah says:

      Thanks Beth! It’s so hard to live with a person. Figuring it out, just trying to walk it out with Jesus 🙂

  4. Katie says:

    Thank you so much for this! I needed to read this!

  5. Amber says:

    I’ve mourned a marriage for 16 years because I was the "monster". I dream of him and his family at least once a month, sometimes every week,…every night. We divorced, 14 years ago. The thing is, humans were built for marriage, so it lingers. I pray to change, be changed, and stay changed. So, I stay where God can keep his hands on me. I did things my way for 20 years, I figure I’ll give God the balance of my life to do it the way He wanted in the first place. Thanks for being real, raw, and relatable. Thanks for telling the truth, that is the truth for so many women. Thanks for being humble, brave and bare for us ♡. You planted one seed. But one seed yields a harvest. It’s hard work, but it’s good work, don’t stop.

  6. Maria says:

    It is hard to learn to be submissive when society pushes down your throat how a woman "should" be. What it important to remember is who controls the earth and is behind every worldly desire? It feels good to remember who we were always meant to be and how we were always meant to act. The more women relinquish that control that we think we need the better our marriages will be regardless of the decisions that our husbands make. We may disagree with a decision and we should have a say, and sometimes he will listen and sometimes he won’t. Yet, the final decision is his alone and if it turns out to be a mistake that is what helps him grow in maturity and to be be more wise as a man. As long as we are there to support him no matter what, we have a solid place in the marriage. Thanks for your post.

  7. Chelle H. says:

    This is exactly right! Feministic tendencies may get praise from those around us, but they tear down a home, kill a family. Like you, I’m not naturally submissive. I was the oldest of 5, now 6, and I did the cleaning, cooking, and laundry. I took care of and raised myself – talk about a recipe for independence!

    Now that I’m engaged, we’re learning how to be two parts of the same whole – for us 2 to become 1. For me, a large part is learning to submit better…more often, anyway. I’m the dominant personality & he has an easygoing one, so it’s not something I have to work too hard at – but I definitely needed the reminder!

    Thanks for being so openly honest with your readers. I’ve subscribed to your emails. 🙂

  8. Tess says:

    It is so refreshing to read these words. Being a submissive wife in today’s feminist world can be very trying. We are taught that submission is weak, controlling, and that we will only lose ourselves if we submit to our husbands. The greatest thing that I ever did was "lose" that self… The one who was selfish, self centered. I work hard every day to be the wife that Christ has called me to be. When it is hard, I simply remember that by serving my Husband, I am doing as God commands. My life has been blessed in countless measures. Thank you for being so raw and messy for the world to see; it is such an encouragement to others.

    • Sarah says:

      Thanks Tess. I really appreciate your encouraging words! You’re right it is hard, but God is greater.

  9. Dawn says:

    This is total bull!!!! Talk about setting us woman back 100 years!!!

    • Sarah says:

      I’ m sorry Dawn that you feel this way. I’m just trying to state what I’ve seen and experienced in my own life.

    • Vega says:

      Pray and pray HARD for him. I’m a man and I’m hurting so much to have an unsubmissive wife but I have faith.

  10. Dawn says:

    Sorry I don’t mean to sound harsh it’s just that my husband of 6 years is an alcoholic and I can’t be that way with him. Any and all choices he has made have wrecked total havoc on our marriage. I have never seen a paycheck of his because the minute he gets it he disappears until it’s gone. So that leaves me to work, pay the bills, take care of our home,and make all the decisions because he’s no where to be found!! So forgive me if I’m a little bitter about being a submissive wife!!

  11. Pam says:

    As a young woman in the 80’s, submission was such an ugly word. Or, at least my understanding of the word as it related to marriage. Submission when corrupted is ugly, but I agree with Sara, submission as Jesus intended is indeed a gift to our husbands. I heard a good analogy that has stuck with me. I believe that a man and woman are to walk side-by side in a relationship, each supporting and helping the other. Each one having equal value. However there will be times along the journey when both of you can’t fit through the door at the same time and one person will have to "submit" to keep forward motion. God gave man headship of the marriage. He also gave him huge accountability for the leadership of his family. I believe when submission is perfected, the man would confer with the wife and give value to her opinions. There would be times when he would agree with her, and submit to her suggestions. However, there are times of differing opinions when a wife would defer to her husband as head of household and allow him to take responsibility. Just imagine your husband’s expression of shock if you actually told him, "I disagree, but I value your role as leader of this family and am willing to compromise and trust you with this decision"?

  12. Ashley says:

    I really enjoyed this post. There are not of others among my different social groups that feel this way. It is great to read and relate to others who value the same beliefs that I do. God intended us women to take care of our husbands, and I cherish the opportunity to do so in my marriage. I value my husband as our leader and respect him for all he does. I naturally am fairly submissive, but I do have to remind myself to take a step back at times. I still have opinions and can have input in our household. But when it comes down to major issues, and all the discussions have been made, I try honor and respect my husband with the final decision. It is a hard role for both parties, but when following God’s words, it makes it a little easier. I believe that just because I am more submissive in our marriage and relationship, does not make me less valued. I am sure that my husband honors me and values me more because of it. I am always praised and respected. I am not a doormat for him to walk on, but a partner to walk hand and hand with in life. We are a team supporting each other. Thank you for your post.

  13. Inna Erizia says:

    So unashamedly true. Confessions, especially when true , I learnt work wonders. May you begin to enjoy these wonders in every area of your life.

  14. Ann says:

    Just came across your post. Very insightful. The title is what caught my eye. Looking forward to reading more from you!

    *Is loosing supposed to be losing? I was mildly distracted by that, but I enjoyed your ideas!

  15. Eryca says:

    Wow.. spoke directly to me thank you for your transparency. God bless and keep you

  16. Jessica says:

    I really needed to hear this! I too can relate to being the "girl who could do no wrong" and it giving me a sense of pride. This was a huge blessing and an excellent reminder.

    Thank you!

  17. Ginger says:

    Submissive is an interesting word. I would prefer another word If I could think of one to describe a relationship where both are equals. Husbands submit to their wives if the wife is worthy of his submission to her. I know many a man that would be lost without that special woman by his side. As women, we have the power to build up our man to the highest level of contentment. At the same time, we can bring him to his knees and he would he will never leave. So, submission is a misnomer. In a marriage, the relationship is such that yes, the man is the leader of the family, but he quickly falls and is lost without his special woman by his side. So you take care of each other, forsaking all others. There is no submission, just mutual respect and understanding.

  18. Donna says:

    I stumbled upon this post because I was searching for support in this area. I’ve been married for 18 years and through a financial near catastrophy realized that I have been unsubmissive to my husband probably the whole time. The Holy Spirit revealed this to me through answered prayer. I know better–God places authority in our lives for a reason (protection) but I can’t stand bearing under any authority. At least my husband is in good company! I will commit this to my prayer life so that we can have the type of marriage that God wants us to have. Thanks for your ministry!

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I love a good plain t-shirt, pizza, snuggling with my dog and hanging out with my husband. My mission? To speak truth and grace to help encourage other women to know they are never alone.

I'm Sarah Jean.

I’m the girl who came to realize the freedom in not being the author of my story.

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