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’t.right.now? 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.
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.
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.
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.)