Yesterday I took part in a heated debate on whether or not wives should be submissive to their husbands. Did we see our husbands as head of the household? It took me a moment to respond, because the question seemed archaic. The question and the responses left me unsettled for the rest of the day. So I took the night to sleep on it before writing this post. From what I could tell, many of the women who agreed with the statement, were in happy, loving and committed relationships. They stated that their voices were heard and respected, but final decisions lay with their husbands. And though I feel that decisions in a relationship should always be mutual, I believe the lives of the women who posted their stories are full of creativity, life and fun.
This is where I am conflicted. I was bothered by the word submit. It was used so effortlessly.
The definitions of Submit from Merriam – Webster’s Dictionary are:
1 a: to yield oneself to the authority or will of another : surrender b: to permit oneself to be subjected to something
2: to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another
When you are submitting to the will of someone else, you do not have a voice. Your thoughts and opinions do not matter. The relationship cedes to exist, while a dictatorship commences.
The other part of the debate centered on the man being the head of the household.
This is what I know. I work in an industry, where I see many clients that are widows, who left all the decision making to their husbands. The fear and confusion these women face is unsettling.For years, they were happy to play a different role in the marriage. Suddenly, when their spouse passes away, they are thrown into a world that is foreign to them. They do not know pertinent details of their finances. If they are blessed with adult children, it is ultimately the children who end up managing the portfolios. These women are not used to fending for themselves.
The worst scenario is when they do not have children to help them. I find that these women tend to break off into two categories. The first group latches on the Investment Advisor. They seek his/her approval before they take any step forward. The second group is the opposite. They do not trust anyone. They become angry that at this point in their lives, they are faced with the loss of their spouse and having to learn all the things he did.
I only suggest that if you are in a relationship where one person makes all of the key decisions, make it a point to share and offer your opinions. And, please stay attuned with what is going on with your finances.