Submissive Wives’ Guide to Marriage

Submissive Wives' Guide to Marriage
Tim & Tara Furman Credit: TLC

Married ladies out there, what’s your secret to marital bliss? Is it compromise? A willingness to be open with your feelings, as well as to listen attentively to his? Or is it catering to his every whim, and submitting to him? Putting on a smile, even when you’re feeling down, and having sex despite the fact that you just.can’ Wait … the last 2 sentences don’t apply to you? Hmmm … you sure you’re doing this wife thing correctly?

This Sunday May 17, at 9pm ET/PT (8pm CT), catch Submissive Wives’ Guide to Marriage on TLC. This hourlong special focuses on the rarely-discussed world of submissive wives, chronicling the lives of two married couples that are already living in a submissive marriage, and one couple looking to save their marriage by adapting to this lifestyle.

So, what does this lifestyle entail? Well, it’s not as extreme as what I imagined (domineering men and their servant wives), but I did do a fair amount of sighing and hand-wringing when I watched the press screener. The idea behind being a submissive wife is that the husband should be the leader of the household. He calls the shots; he gets the final say. The wife’s duty in life is to serve him. “Her job description is to help her man, serve her man, submit to her man, and sleep with her man,” according to Tara Furman, the female half of one of the submissive couples.

Check your fridge to make sure you have a cold beverage and some appetizers. (Not for you to nibble on while you watch the show, silly. They’re for your husband to nosh on after work. Now paste a smile on your face and heat up that spinach artichoke dip!)

I have so much to say about this special, but I don’t want to spoil it, nor do I want to affect your opinion by voicing too many of my own beliefs ahead of time. (I have a ton of things swirling around in my head right now, and I’m more than willing to engage in a heated debate in the comments section below – hint, hint – after the special airs.) I do have to make a few (er, more than a few) points, though, as food for thought (appetizers for thought?) when you watch:

1) Do these couples actually communicate at all? Like, really communicate? Tara seems more than willing to mask any negative thoughts to keep her husband happy.

2) How would this work for couples that don’t live in McMansions and follow the old-school he-works-she-stays-home way of life? (Because most of us don’t fit that mold. Life ain’t a 1950s sitcom.)

3) What are these couples like when they interact with other people (as couples or solo)? If men are to lead and women are to follow in marriage, doesn’t it seem that it would naturally follow that this is how they would view the entire world?

4) Why does Tara use so many astronomy terms? Her husband blasts off in the morning? She has to prepare for re-entry? (Re-entry apparently involves chips, though, which sound delicious.) At one point, Tara says “I just blasted Mark off,” and she was talking about sending him to work, but I chuckled, because it seemed like a double entendre … see point #5.

5) Is it just me, or is Tara obsessed with sex? I’m fairly certain she thinks every issue can be solved by sleeping with your husband more. PLEASE, Tara, stop referring to “filling up the love tank.” And thanks (sarcastically) for making me think about your husband’s testicles.

6) Kristin. Come on. Laundry is not that daunting. You put it in the machine and turn the machine on!

7) I love that Kristin getting “all dressed up” involves overalls. Come on, Eileen!

Here’s a quick brief on the couples, to get you primed for viewing.

Submissive Wives' Guide to Marriage
Tim & Tara Furman
Credit: TLC

Tim & Tara Furman
Married for 20 years, the couple spent the first half of their marriage not fully engaged as a couple. When Tara begged God to change Tim, she realized in her heart that she was the one that needed to change.


Submissive Wives' Guide to Marriage
Mark & Kristin Haywood
Credit: TLC

Mark & Kristin Haywood
This couple is attempting to change their 12-year marriage into one of submission. They have been struggling to stay afloat for some time; Kristin was inspired after hearing Tara speak about submission at a women’s group. They’re seeking Tim & Tara’s assistance on adapting their lifestyle.


Submissive Wives' Guide to Marriage
Eddie & Autumn Miles
Credit: TLC

Eddie & Autumn Miles
Married for 10 years, this couple believes that their strong marriage wouldn’t be possible without biblical submission. (In the cut I watched, there wasn’t too much focus on this couple; that may change by the time the special airs on Sunday.)



  1. I want to become a submissive wife. we are engaged and i use this time as ” wife in training”. I keep a journal of things he says he likes, doesn’t like etc. He bought me a blender because he likes milkshakes. So once in awhile i will make him some when he visits. I know how he likes me to wear my hair. I know how he likes me to dress. I ask his mother for recipes he like and ones she likes. I am however too opinionated at times. He has a kind gentle way of reminding me that my behavior or responses sometimes are not Godly. I am learning to be a better person and know this will be the only way our marriage will last. Putting God first and then my husband.

  2. Wives and Husbands

    (Song of Solomon 1:1-3; 1 Peter 3:1-7)

    22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

    25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

    It says in the bible that these are the duties of the wife in a marriage. People quit being so literal. Just because they give all of themselves to their husbands doesn’t mean that they are “doormats” I myself am a submissive wife. My husband and I discuss the topics needed in our relationship as far as bills and what not. But in the end it is his decision because he is the leader! That doesn’t mean that I sit around with my head down and that all men are superior. It means that I trust my husband, I trust his intuition and I know that he will do what is right for our family. As far as the whole sex topic goes. Yes I give my husband sex no matter what time of day or what mood I’m in. It is scientifically proven that having intercourse raises endorphins in our bodies that put us in better moods. And if that’s not enough for the feminists out there, think of all the calories you are burning! I understand with the economy now that there are not many stay at home wives. But what is it going to hurt if you go the extra mile and when you get up to get yourself a drink, to make sure that he has one too? What does it hurt to make sure that the house is clean and supper is ready? Just take a step back and look at the entire picture before you judge. Just because it works for us doesn’t mean that it will work for everyone. That would be like me pushing my Christian views on an atheist. Christianity works for me, I want something positive in my life. But it may not work for an atheist.

  3. So in order to be a biblical wife you have to lie, be untruthful, “take one for the team”; you live for your family and family only, your needs, wants and desires can be trampled on by your husband. What about if he doesn’t fulfill his contract.

    So what happens if you husband dies unexpectedly or better yet goes to far with this submissive sh@t he adorns you with bruises cuts and broken bones. Every woman needs to have an exit plan NO MATTER WHAT.

    I think we need to blast you off. This type of relationship is too dangerous.

    • I agree wholeheartedly! I was trying not to bring too much of my personal stuff into this particular blog post (I sometimes tend to do that), but it was hard not to. I’m a widow, and all I could think was, “What if I had started out my marriage with the idea to just been submissive to my husband?” (Not that he EVER would’ve allowed that. He didn’t fall in love with a doormat.) Had I been submissive, his illness would’ve taken him much quicker than it did, first of all — he needed ME to be the team leader sometimes, especially the last few years of his life. Second, I would’ve been screwed, career-wise, and as far as raising my son. The grief after losing someone is almost unbearable; I can’t imagine how it would’ve been if I had been completely dependent on him. And I at least had a little preparation, but I know plenty of widows whose husbands went unexpectedly. And I just don’t feel like God gave me my intelligence so I could sit at home and serve someone else. We teach our kids all about teamwork, throughout their academic careers; why wouldn’t this carry over into their marriages? I feel lucky that I had a great marriage, and I attribute it to being able to give AND take.
      I’m lucky that I didn’t have to worry about domestic violence but so many women do have that to worry about — you make a VERY good point, Treanna.
      I think that in a marriage, the ideal would be to have 2 people that are each strong enough to stand on their own, but who stand together as a strong team. As far as the lying goes (not telling your husband about your bad day, for example) – that’s just a powder keg right there. Bitterness is going to build up inside until one day it cannot be contained.
      Oh, and sometimes, the woman is smarter, or has a more successful career path, or is more disciplined or motivated, than the man. That’s just the way life works. Not all men are alpha male breadwinner types. And thank goodness for that, because what a boring world we’d live in if they all were!
      I could go on about this for hours. HOURS!

  4. What a bunch of crap! I’ve been married for 38 years. Your man should not be a God but a humble man that serves his family. A marriage is a team!

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