I wrote this in reply to a topic on one of my mom's groups. I figured considering it's on this same subject as is so near and dear to my heart, that I'd post it here as well.
Here's a topic that's very close to my heart! I've stated my opinion on this at least a couple times, I'm sure, but I'm game to have a go at it again.
It's pretty plain from my sig that I do identify as a submissive wife. I mean, it's right there. I blog about it whenever I get the urge to post something regarding this topic. Like many of the other ladies, I will agree that there's a huge misconception in regards to what the term submissive actually is. In truth, it's a lot of things. There are those, like one of the mamas above, who consider it to be a part of the BDSM lifestyle. There are those who consider it to be a part of their duty as good Christian women and wives. And then...there's me, I guess.
I consider myself submissive. I follow my husband's lead in all matters. I feel that it gives me a great degree of freedom, and I feel far more free from worry than I have in my entire life, up till now. I'm happy to be a stay at home mother. I clean the house, I spend five hours a day schooling my child. I make sure the dog is out and that he's enough food and water. I get the mail in and run errands to the store and elsewhere. We cook meals together, because I know that I'm no good at grilling, which we do a lot. We put up the dishes together, and make sure that they're run through the washer. Laundry is my domain. It's not that DH can't do it...he's done it for years on his own after the dissolution of his previous marriage. Fact of the matter is, I'm MUCH better at it, and furthermore, it gives me pleasure to be good at what I do. If it's simply something like cleaning, or doing the laundry, or whatever the case may be, I get TREMENDOUS joy in knowing that in doing these things, I keep my household running smoothly and that I make my husband happy.
To me, there is no greater task in this world than seeing to the needs of my family and house. It makes me extremely happy to know that I'm doing a good job, and I'm told so by my DH all the time. Just like any person would be happy to receive praise at work for a job well done, so too do I. I LOVE to do little things for my husband: I get him his drinks, I rub his back or his feet when they hurt, I make sure that the table is always laid and ready for dinner. And you know what? He's ALWAYS appreciative of that! I am a forever-worrier; everything bothers me and makes me worry...and one of the things I worry over is whether I show him enough that I love him. I'm not incredibly verbally expressive, but he always maintains that through my actions he can easily see that I do love him...which in turn causes me to worry less about it and feel more secure.
I don't choose submissiveness because I am a weak-willed woman. It's something entirely natural and normal for me. I've been submissive by nature for my entire life, ever since I was a child. Consider it the opposite of the classic Type-A personality, if you'd like. I'm not pushy, I don't enjoy the spotlight. I don't enjoy being the one in charge. I prefer to be the person in the background, getting what needs to be done, done without any rewards or applause for it.
Yes, I do think that submissiveness is a choice. No dominant man could ever actually be allowed to be dominant if his woman refuses to submit to him. To me, giving the gift of submission to my husband is my ultimate gift to him: it shows that I hold him in tremendous esteem, that I trust him implicitly above ALL other men. I feel more comfortable with myself, far stronger and more secure, because of the nature of our relationship.
I've tried doing it both ways. In my previous marriage, I desired to be a SAHM, to raise children and mind the house. My ex was fine with having a house slave, but that's really just what he thought of our "marriage". It took me a while to realize it, but he thought that marriage was having someone to do everything for him while he worked. He thought it was all about him working, and doing nothing else, then coming home and having sex with me whether I liked it or not. He wasn't dominant at all; in fact, he demurred to me in EVERYTHING. At first I liked it. I liked being in charge and having a man give me what I want, whenever I wanted it. But after a short time, it began to wear and tear on me. I realized through observing his behavior that he's not a strong man at all. I lost all respect for him, and between that and a variety of other things, that was the beginning of the end of that marriage for me.
When I left him, I was already so disenfranchised with the "wimpy man" type (which he was in spades, video game obsession included!), that I was determined to stay single forever. It wasn't until I found Kenny that I realized that our plans can often go awry, and often for the best of reasons. Where my ex was weak, in Kenny I found a strong man, one who was opinionated and highly intelligent. Before we ever met, I KNEW he was the one for me. Being with him makes me feel like a stronger person and a more confident woman. I trust him COMPLETELY. I don't worry about him making the wrong decision for our family, because I know his mind, and his morals, and his way of thinking. We are in accord in everything in our lives, and I mean EVERYTHING. When you have this kind of confidence in your man, it makes it very easy to allow him to take charge and be the leader.
The way I see it (feel free to bash me, if you will) is that it's the "equal partnership" relationships which are harder to make work. In every aspect of nature, there is a leader and a follower. Look in business: someone must be the boss, and someone must be the employee. Look in the animal world: one must be the pack leader, and the rest followers. These sorts of examples go on and on.
It seems to me that this pattern is one of Natural Order, and it oughtn't be messed with. Someone must lead. How can two people BOTH be the leaders in a household? It would be nothing but a power struggle till the end of time, with constant arguements and fighting over who gets to be in charge, over whose ideas and decisions are the right ones.
Perhaps I'm getting a tad off track of the subject, but this is the way that I see a naturally dominant/submissive relationship. It's just a part of the Natural Order of the world. I don't need god to tell me so, because I can clearly see it evident in almost every facet of the world around me. In fact, I'd venture to say (for those of us who are religious or Christian) that since God created everything, how he would like us to interact in our own personal relationships should be as obvious as observing the world around us. For thousands-- or more-- of years, it was the man's responsibility to lead, to protect his family, and to provide for their support. It was the woman's responsibility to see to the home, to the comfort of her family, and to the raising of children. Somewhere along the line all that went awry. I just figure that, for myself and in my relationship, that we're following a time-tested and proven method that WORKS.
It might not work for everyone, but it doesn't hurt trying. After all, I can't think of many other people I know in my personal life that can claim and have it said true that they NEVER fight or even argue with their spouse. Even my own mother tried to tell me that my relationship is WRONG because I maintain that we never fight. She says that EVERYONE fights, which makes us apparently abnormal.
If that's the case, I'm glad to be in the abnormal minority.