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Are there any surrendered wives on MN? Anyone who has decided to take a subordinate role?

(155 Posts)
petrifiedperson Fri 21-Sep-12 16:04:09

NOT intended to be a nasty bunfight, I am just genuinely interested in other people's choices and have never actually met anyone who chooses to live like this.

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Fri 21-Sep-12 16:06:49

Nope not me. Frankly if I was going to surrender myself to anyone, it would have to be someone with better foot hygiene than my DH.

OneHandFlapping Fri 21-Sep-12 16:07:21

I don't understand why any adult would want to take the role of a child in a relationship.

CurrentBun Fri 21-Sep-12 16:09:24

I have a colleague who works then goes home to cook, clean and serve her man because that's what she thinks her role should be.

PeshwariNaan Fri 21-Sep-12 16:10:23

I tend to get my DH a cup of tea and biscuits but I wouldn't say it's a philosophy.

petrifiedperson Fri 21-Sep-12 16:10:38

Is she intelligent and articulate current? And is she happy?

AnyFucker Fri 21-Sep-12 16:14:02

voluntarily ?


I have seen many that have ended up in a subordinate role. In most cases that is because the male partner is an abuser.

LaQueen Fri 21-Sep-12 16:16:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnyFucker Fri 21-Sep-12 16:17:16

there was one daft woman I remember who started a long thread about trying the surrenedered route

she eventually admitted her H was an abusive man, and the relationship finally ended when she tok the scales from her eyes

she was quite normal (eventually, when she stopped talking like an automaton from Stepford)

fluffyraggies Fri 21-Sep-12 16:18:06

What is your idea of a surrendered wife OP? What does the word 'subordinate' mean to you for the purposes of this thread?

Genuine question.

Some people would describe doing their partners washing alongside their own as surrendered. Others will happily do all the cooking and cleaning and not consider themselves subordinate.

Please define smile

Mydogsleepsonthebed Fri 21-Sep-12 16:18:52

I agree with AnyFucker

zoikscooby Fri 21-Sep-12 16:21:01

When that book first came out I was in a horrible, depressing, borderline-abusive marriage. I read it because I was desperately looking for answers and ways to 'help' my relationship. I'd tried everything else and was at the stage where I was so exhausted. I thought that giving in and doing it all his way, effectively, might be the answer. Blocking out my feelings, pretending that what I wanted/needed out of life and love didn't matter, becoming the mousy, unquestioning little subordinate he seemed to want etc. Because that's the real message of that book, despite all the justifications.

Needless to say, it didn't work. I feel sorry for any woman who takes that book seriously because imo it shows what a bad place they must be in.

AnyFucker Fri 21-Sep-12 16:22:15

"surrendering" is a very defined lifestyle

it doesn't simply mean you do all the cooking and cleaning and think men are a bit cleverer than women and get to do what they want

it involves deferring to him in all ways and giving up all control to your husband

AnyFucker Fri 21-Sep-12 16:23:36

zoik, are you that poster I am talking about ?

KatieScarlett2833 Fri 21-Sep-12 16:24:33



CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 21-Sep-12 16:25:37

There's an MN-er on the Chat board quite frequently who happily does every little thing for her husband and teenage children, holds down a full time job besides, and gets quite shirty if anyone suggests she's being taken for a mug. Is that what you mean by surrendered? Wouldn't work for me, that's for sure.

petrifiedperson Fri 21-Sep-12 16:25:46

yes I am referring to the specifically defined "surrendered wife" lifestyle AF mentions - full surrender by the female partner to the will of the male partner in every particular, as detailed in the book and practised by some couples, especially in the USA

I added "anyone choose to take a subordinate role" because I wanted to invite contributions from people who may not have heard of or embraced the "surrendered wife" phenomenon but whose views I would also be interested to read.

zoikscooby Fri 21-Sep-12 16:26:28

Don't think so, AF - don't think I was on MN at the time... And no-one would ever mistake me for a Stepford Wife, not even when I was trying to defer to him grin

fluffyraggies Fri 21-Sep-12 16:26:54

AF, and OP, do you mean in the way that some religions ask the wife to be? Keeping out of decision making ect?

SundaysGirl Fri 21-Sep-12 16:26:56

Ok I'll bite. I have been involved in BDSM for a long time now and also tried this 'surrendered wife' thing. It;s quite big in some circles. Here is what I have noticed. From both myself and many other women who I know in the 'lifestyle' there is a lot of low self-esteem and co-dependancy. Both I and the women I knows urge to have this sort of relationship, as a full time deal, has decreased in exact proportion to our ability to run our own lives, to feel confident and secure and deal with our issues increasing.

I am firmly of the opinion that being into this lifestyle is ok in terms of a fairly equally valued relationship where there are occaisonal moments of power exchange and control. However the vast majority of people who want this are on a power trip, are unable to relate to each other well and are living in a fantasy land. Who wants to be in complete control of another human being? Someone with little personal power who has narcsissitic tendancies and is on an ego trip.

Also mysoginists who believe women's place is to serve men.

And it can work the other way too. But I've yet to meet a healthy 'dominant' who wants a 24/7 power exchange relationship. I expect they are out there but in my 6 years on the scene and numerous encounters with other men and women and discussion I can point to not one single couple for whom this works healthily who are happy. Not one.

I CAN point to relationships where there is mutual respect, where the powr control fits in with the relationship as a whole as a way of having new experiences and bringing peopoe closer together where both parties are valued equally. But thats a different thing.

Overall? It's damaging and a good way for abusers to hide behind a philosophy in order to get what they want.

That being said there are many good aspects about the BDSM scene which is why I am still involved in it. I just think that any couple who live that 24-7 are fooling themselves they are anything but deeply dysfunctional. I lump this in because BDSM is not all about spanking and so on (although I believe spanking is part of the surrendered wife ethos, i read the book and it was deinfitley part of forums related to it and so on), a lot of it deals with the same issues of handing your personal power over to another person.

I guess there are those rare people who get a kick out of doing everything for the other person and taking the lesser role, but there are reasons for that intrinsically linked to self-worth issues. If someone only sees their value in what they can do to serve another human being and needs all their validation from that then there is something wrong.

And often men will use these ethos' to persuade their partners that their abusive behaviour is acceptable.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 21-Sep-12 16:28:20

Are you thinking of adopting the lifestyle yourself OP? From what I remember of some of these US communities, it seems to go hand in hand with a more general culture of misogynistic religious dogma, perpetual pregnancy and other mediaeval traits.

Hullygully Fri 21-Sep-12 16:30:44

I am.

It has enriched my feminity and made my vagine sprout flowers

AnyFucker Fri 21-Sep-12 16:33:45

OP, you are not really interested in doing this, are you ?

fluffy google "surrendered wife" by Laura Doyle. That was the book that defined the lifestyle.

I don't think of it as a sex thing. It's a lifestyle thing.

AnyFucker Fri 21-Sep-12 16:34:52

the title is a bit longer than that, but you should go straight to it on google

petrifiedperson Fri 21-Sep-12 16:35:27

Thanks for that SundayGirl, you make some really interesting points. I think I agree that this sort of "philosophy" can lend worrying credence to the fantasies of inadequate men who want to dominate and bully women.

But on the US sites etc there are scores of women saying how they have never felt more free and fulfilled, and I Don't Get It.

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