101 Ways to Get Your Wife to Submit…
Thank you for stopping by the blog. You’ve probably gathered that most of the books have been mainly for women. Because many husbands are so blown away by the changes they see God work in their wife’s relationship with Christ, I give you this page as an answer to the many men who have written to me and asked, “What can I do?” Given that one of the ways men find my blog is by Googling, “how to make your wife submit,” I thought I’d put this page together for you.
If you are wanting to grow more as the man God created you to be, you might wow both Him and your wife by joining or starting a Stepping Up group from Family Life Ministries. Another awesome resource is Bob Lepine’s Love Like You Mean It.
One last thing for husbands before the list… know that YOU and your opinions matter deeply to your wife. And the opinion that matters most to her is what you think of HER. She is wired differently than you – she needs (often deeply needs) daily affirmation and re-affirmation of her place in your heart. We know many men are fine with the “I love you” spoken to you on your wedding day, but women simply aren’t wired like that. We wonder, daily, whether you think we are fat, pretty, smart, competent, and whether you are still in love with us. Thirty years into our marriages, we STILL want to feel special to you.
An anniversary card once a year just doesn’t communicate that.
My guess is you are here because you are hurting.
Maybe you have a stressful job, a demanding boss, financial pressure, and maybe you and your wife aren’t acting like a team. I’m so sorry to hear this.
Maybe she has been harsh and unkind to you, mean even.
Maybe you want to know what to do to get her to stop being so difficult and just be at peace with you.
What you want is simple to get, but not easy. In coaching spouses, I see the same thing over and over again – people expect the other person to change so they can be happy. Sure, she may not be doing her part in the marriage, but as long as you stay focused on that, you’re choosing to put your happiness in her hands.
Don’t do it.
She shouldn’t have that kind of power.
Power imbalances destroy relationships.
Show up differently. Focus on what YOU are doing as a husband.
It will change everything.
I’ve seen it happen time and time again.
By the way, I say the same thing to the women who complain to me about their husband.
A smart husband will put some effort into keeping his wife feeling precious to him – think of it like building a fence around the sanctity of your marriage.
Ephesians 5:23 says,
For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Our current culture (even those within the church) describe “head” as “in charge of” but that is not the only understanding of the word. The word in the original Greek means literal “head.” It is used in reference mostly to decapitation and death. Yes, some theologians say there is a hierarchy in marriage and men are held accountable for the family (check Genesis 2:18-24 and Genesis 3), yes wives are told to submit to and respect their husbands – AND, you are called to “bring life” to your wife (as loss of the head implies loss of life). Laying your life down for your wife, which is Biblical, means you are dying to self to serve her. Hard for anyone to do for anyone, honestly.
Leading well means serving well, loving well. Would she say that you are?
I know, OUCH.
There’s no condemnation in Christ Jesus. I’ve been a know-it-all, aggressive wife. I’ve been a passive wife. I swung back and forth between the two until Jesus healed me of a bunch of garbage from childhood.
I know the men are hurting just like the women are. What I don’t want to do is make you feel condemned. There is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus. Yes, I know I said that twice.
We’re all just human. It’s a terminal condition.
Remember, her “submission” is a willing placing under – you just can’t force it. That Word isn’t to you, it’s to her. She has to WANT to do that for it to easily happen. She has to choose it. (for what it’s worth, she shouldn’t be reading your verses, either)
Understand this as well – she’ll more readily stand by you, submit to you, respect you, and encourage you if you are a man of integrity, honor, and serving as a leader, instead of trying to dominate or control her.
That means you think highly of her, hold her in high esteem as precious to God (because she is, just as much as you are), support her, are for her, cherish and adore her, tell her the truth in a gentle way, and encourage her passions. You don’t expect her to make her life about you. She is a person God made with unique wiring, a plan and a purpose, sent here by God, before she was your wife. Her purpose may end up being put on hold when she is raising your kids, but if you help her be who God made her to be, you will find her doing the same for you.
You can’t give lip service to these things and expect her trust.
Leadership shows up in the small moments on an average day.
She won’t believe she’s important to you if you say she is but don’t act like it.
And here’s the thing – if you “lord” your power “over her” trying to force her into compliance – she may still do what you ask, but deep down, she’ll seethe with resentment. You aren’t responsible for her sin of hatred, but you can make it easier or harder for her to sin.
God didn’t wire human beings to control or dominate each other – but to thrive in atmospheres of mutual respect and love.
If you want your wife to struggle with hating you – demand she obey you or be controlling.
She may comply, but if she’s doing so out of fear, she may become extremely depressed, commit suicide, or if she stops being afraid, she may leave you.
How do I know these things? I’m talking to the wives.
I’m reading the research.
In this day and age, most divorces are filed by women.
Think about great leaders – they were more How to Win Friends and Influence People than Do it Now!
Real leadership is about influence, not control.
Know too, that according to 1 Peter 3:7 the effectiveness of your prayers is actually at stake: Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as the weaker partners and show them honor as fellow heirs of the grace of life. In this way nothing will hinder your prayers.
Understand that if you are not living in compassion with your wife, not loving her well, not honoring and respecting her, your prayers are not effective.
Your wife has probably already told you what speaks deeply to her heart. If you will but demonstrate love to her, removing her fears of position in your heart or security, you will both represent Christ and His church to the world.
5:28 In the same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 5:29 For no one has ever hated his own body but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, 5:30 for we are members of his body. 5:31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. 5:32 This mystery is great – but I am actually speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 5:33 Nevertheless, each one of you must also love his own wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
101 Things A Husband Can Do to Show Love to His Wife:
101 Ways to Get Your Wife to Submit:
(sorry for the “bait and switch” but this is the same list that actually accomplishes BOTH – because women who feel loved generally do NOT behave contemptuously. 🙂
And be sure to stick around til the end for THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE.
AND… get this – if she’s being argumentative, contentious, contemptuous, and generally disrespectful, Get a Gottman Level 4 certified coach is the place you should start. 🙂 BOTH genders are responsible for difficult marriages. Consider it an opportunity to speak the truth in love and learn patience.
Here’s your list:
- Take your forefinger and brush her hair out of her eyes behind her ear when listening to her. A gentle touch like this goes a long way.
- Gently rub the back of her neck or shoulders when seated next to her, unless she does not like that.
- Pay her a compliment daily about her character – women are wired to evaluate the state of their relationships on a daily, versus long-term, basis. Keep her confident in your care for her by paying her a compliment once a day. Say something like, “I was just admiring how you (insert something good here, like: keep going after a long day, show such tenderness to our kids, are so tidy in the kitchen, are so good with animals, are so giving of your time, are so organized, balance so many things, stay in such good shape, etc.) with so much on your plate. I think you are amazing!” Or end with, “I love how well you love us.”
- Do a daily devotional somewhat consistently. She deeply wants you to grow as a Christian man (this impacts her level of trust in your decisions).
- Let her know what God is teaching you once a week. She deeply wants to connect with you in the relationship you both share with the Lord.
- Switch your daily devotional out for The Love Dare twice a year, or better yet, sign up for the online app here: on android or i-phone Or do one dare a week from the book throughout the year. Repeat, changing things up just a bit to keep it interesting.
- Send a text message during the day – something like any of the following:
- Just thinking about U.
- Can’t wait 2 C U tonight.
- Just daydreaming about U.
- Thinking about UR lovely face & U made me 🙂 (leave out the other body parts – it makes us feel more valuable to not talk about those! Most women also like to be told we are beautiful – and we deeply want to know that we are attractive to YOU)
- It was smart of you to (insert last money saving thing she did). Thank you!
- Looking forward to another one of your amazing dinners!
- Thinking about you… totally distracting me. 🙂
- Miss you. Like right now. 🙂
- I was remembering how we went (somewhere together that she enjoyed). That still makes me :)!
- Can’t wait to give you a big kiss when I get home.
- XOXO !!
- Doing okay?
- Leave her a voice mail when you know she is tied up or does not have her phone, something romantic like, “I just wanted to hear your voice.”
- Pick up after yourself.
- Clean out her car for her.
- Invite her to do The Respect Dare and let her know YOU will do The Love Dare at the same time – with another couple. Then do it.
- After one of the kids’ performances or report cards, tell or text her, “I love how you pour yourself into our kids! Little Joey’s play last night was an example of that. He did better because you cheered him on.”
- If she is working out or trying to eat right and exercise, make sure you tell her how proud of her you are and how hard you know it is.
- Change the oil in her car, or do regular maintenance – it makes her feel taken care of by you.
- Lock up the house at night so she does not have to do it.
- Tuck your kids into bed, even if she does it, too. Research shows women view fathers who are involved with their children, favorably.
- If smoke or smells or noises bother her, protect her from them – blow out the candle in another room, don’t wear heavy cologne, don’t use heavy air fresheners in your car. Research shows women have more sensitive senses of smell, sight, and hearing than men.
- Make time on a regular basis to be with just her.
- Hold her hand in public.
- Kiss her in public, if she is okay with that. If she’s not, just put your arm around her waist. Chances are she will love others knowing she is loved.
- Pick up toys with the kids without being asked. She will appreciate “help” and not think you think she can’t handle things herself. She does not think like you do.
- Pull her hair back from the nape of her neck and kiss her there while she stands at the kitchen sink.
- Ask her to teach you how to do your little girl’s hair.
- Show her the photos you keep on your computer of your family. If you don’t have any, add some, then show her. Use one as a screen saver if you can.
- Call her name from across the room, then tell her, “I just wanted to see your lovely face.”
- Bring her a little gift once a month or so – even a single flower, her favorite candy bar, book, coffee, etc. and present it to her in a sweet way (maybe holding the flower out to her and saying, “This is nowhere near as pretty as you are, but it made me think of you anyway.”).
- Leave her a little note in her underwear drawer. Be classy with whatever you write.
- Hug her for no reason and with no motive every day. If you only touch her when you want sex, she will feel used and insignificant to you. When she feels like your treasure, your precious gem, she will be delighted more often, and work harder on her end of the relationship and her responsibilities. She will also trust you more, which means she will be less inhibited in the bedroom.
- Avoid pornography and teach your sons to do the same. If you are caught up in this, get free, or get help if you can’t. She would feel betrayed if she knew you looked at other women in any way.
- Be proactive about taking care of work around the house, the budget, and spending time with the family – every week. Make it a habit.
- Take her shopping and buy her a new outfit once in a while – or give her a gift card for a store and one for a nearby coffee shop for her and a friend, then watch the kids while she goes.
- Make sure she feels encouraged to update her wardrobe – frugal women can get by on $100 a year for clothes if they have a good quality base.
- Take her on a moon light walk. Compliment her and listen well. Hold her hand. Stop once in a while just to kiss her.
- If she ever gets mad enough to walk out, go after her. Tell her, “I can’t live without you. I’m sorry things escalated so much – come back. Let’s talk through this.”
- Hold her hand while you walk next to each other.
- Make dinner once a week (or more if you love doing that).
- Bring her a cup of tea or coffee in the morning sometimes.
- Ask her if she’ll do a devotion with you – even if it is an online one and you do it separately and you just ask her, “What did you get from today’s devotion?”
- Meet her after work somewhere for an inexpensive dinner once a week.
- Stroke or brush her hair.
- Take her hand at church during worship or prayer.
- Open doors for her.
- Notice when she has her arms full and say, “Here, let me get this for you!”
- Never go through a door first, or leave her behind you when you go somewhere.
- Help her with her coat.
- Don’t conduct male body grooming sessions where she can see, smell, or hear you.
- Switch off the phone or ignore it when you are together.
- Make eye contact with her when she is speaking to you.
- Replay back to her what you think she said – especially if she tells you she is hurting about something – especially if she thinks it is your fault.
- Say I’m sorry when you hurt her without explaining why you did it or why it is her fault.
- Hold her when she cries.
- Take a Sunday school class with her.
- Let her know verbally that she is any one of these things to you: precious, a treasure, special, important, a gift, the best…
- Hold her hand in the middle of the night.
- Ask her how her day went and really listen, asking questions.
- Wink at her across a room or via text. 😉
- Deal with the kids one day a weekend, or get them ready for school.
- Be quiet when getting ready so she can get needed sleep (women actually need more than men).
- Let her get a nap.
- Give her a kiss after holding her car door open for her.
- Leave her a note if you leave before she does that just tells her she’s special to you.
- Smile at her. A lot.
- Smile at your kids. A lot.
- Gently but firmly stand up for her with your kids.
- Don’t criticize her in front of the kids – it undermines her authority.
- There are some things that you will need to stand firm on – be sure you have prayed about these things and let her know this and that you feel led to make the decision. If you feel led by God, do not give in to her.
- Ask her to pray for you about what you are going through.
- Ask her what she thinks – and really consider it, especially when it comes to relationships and kids. She sees, hears, and picks up on subtle cues more than you do – if you are both average male and female, so says the research.
- Rub her feet. Tell her you think she has beautiful toes. Feel free to nibble on them, unless she does not like it.
- Make a list of 30 little things you did while dating and put them on your calendar each year to do again.
- Pick her up off her feet and swing her around once in a while.
- Dance with her when there is no music. When she lets you know this, tell her you always hear music when you are together.
- Take care of yourself physically by staying in (or getting in) shape and seeing the doctor. She worries about your health.
- Get control of your anger, if you struggle with it. When she is afraid of you, it destroys your relationship.
- Ask her if you drink, if you drink too much. Then listen. Take action if she says, “yes.”
- Bring her chicken soup if she’s sick. Better yet, take the day off if you can to let her sleep and you take care of her and the kids.
- Ask her to find you a highly rated book on being a better dad or husband – then read it and implement what you read.
- When she seems angry (does not mean she is, btw) and says something sarcastic or hurtful or disrespectful to you, gently take her hands in yours and say, “Honey, I know you didn’t mean that. I can see you are hurting. Let’s talk about this. I want to understand.”
- Offer to take the baby when he is fussy or sick so she can rest. Make sure you do not allow him to cry, or put him in front of the tv, but rather interact with him.
- Help her know how to teach you how to do baby care by saying, “I’m not real good at this, but I want to learn. Can you watch me do it and just coach me so I can practice?”
- Tell or text to her that she is a good mom – and be specific about something she did that brings that to light.
- Tell or text to her that she is a good wife and that you’d be lost without her.
- Ask her if there’s anything you can do for her this weekend.
- Learn her love language (or ask her if you cannot figure it out) and do a little research on how to show love to someone who is that language. Make a list of 50 neat things you could do for her – ask her for help if you need to.
- Pray for and with her.
- Nibble on her earlobe when you greet her while giving her a hug.
- Nuzzle her neck when hugging her.
- Hug her from behind when she is standing at the sink or changing table.
- Carry the laundry baskets upstairs for her without being asked.
- Always thank her for making dinner and find something to compliment about the meal.
- Run your finger along her jawline, starting at her ear, brush her lips, then down her neck to her collarbone, and stop at her shoulder.
- Using your finger, lift her head with her chin, and brush her lips gently with yours.
- Use breath mints frequently – and deodorant. Peppermint oil on the tongue is an inexpensive long lasting solution, also.
- Offer to drive the kids where they need to go on the weekend.
- Stare at her until she notices. When she asks you what you are doing, say something like, “I just can’t get over how gorgeous you are.”
- Insist that she takes time to read a book, spend time with her girlfriends, or whatever else fills her up.
- Buy her a little jewelry item for no reason – unless she is not into jewelry.
- If she has a hobby, even one that does not include you, get her a little gift that supports it.
- If her shoes are scuffed, polish them for her without saying anything. It might take her a little while to notice, especially if she is a working busy mom.
- When she complains, empathize. Saying, “Oh, I’m so sorry! That must be hard for you. Is there anything I can do to help?”
- Take her out to dinner. After you are seated, make extended eye contact with her. Say something like, “You are the most stunning woman in the room tonight.”
- Tell or text her, “I’m so glad you are our kids’ mom. You really know them.”
- Dip her backwards next time you kiss her.
- Go to bed when she does. Don’t always watch tv, but talk to her and even pray with her instead.
- If she complains about herself, take her by the shoulders and say something like, “Look at me. That’s not true. You are lovely. You are worthy. You are highly valued by God and me. No more lies.” Then kiss her gently.
- Continue doing these things until they become habits. Commit to continuing to grow as a husband and don’t stop trying to communicate love to your wife. She needs it daily. Like you need respect. Like you both need air.
- And if in doubt, give her diamonds. Seriously, we love this jeweler – he’s a Christian businessman you can trust. And no, we don’t make any money by recommending him. He’s on our board of directors and we trust him. Not kidding.
108. Get the book – You’ll get 365 days of instead of the 101. 🙂
Most importantly – LISTEN TO HER.
About the stuff she cares about.
And here’s a few things to STOP doing:
- interrupting her
- criticizing her
- yelling at the kids
- throwing things at the dog
- being selfish
- expecting her to listen to you, but not reciprocating
- disrespecting her
- judging her
- devaluing her thoughts, time, beliefs