Comments were closed pretty quickly on a guest post at Sunshine Mary’s site, probably because they degenerated into an argument about whether men or women are more to blame. So I’ll riff a little here on one line that jumped out at me from the more general point about how men have to lead if they want women to submit:
With any luck they figure this out before they get married!
That’s really the crux of it. Yes, a man has to show headship to convince a woman to submit to him — but that should happen before they get married. She shouldn’t agree to say the vows, “to obey,” until she’s made that commitment, and she’s not going to feel comfortable making that commitment unless he’s shown the ability to be her head. If people went into marriage with the right expectations and intentions, this wouldn’t be a problem.
That’s not usually the case, though, and isn’t what most people have in mind when reading a blog post like this. They got married because they “loved” each other, and probably tried to have a fairly egalitarian marriage. The bloom comes off the rose, she gets unhaaaappy, and the man starts looking around for answers. He gets a dose of red pill and finds out about submission, and realizes he needs to get his wife to submit somehow. He comes back to the red pill blogs and says, “She won’t do it!” Some people (especially women) say, “Probably because you haven’t shown enough leadership, so she doesn’t trust you enough to submit to you. Learn some game and be more of a man.” Others (especially men) say, “To heck with that! She married him; she’s obligated to submit to him whether he’s a great leader or not. He shouldn’t have to game his wife.”
They’re both right; the problem is they’re talking about two different time frames. Yes, she’s obligated to submit, but if she didn’t know that going into the marriage and he didn’t make it a deal-breaker then, she’s naturally going to be confused and upset when he starts moving the goalposts on her. Post-marriage, he’s negotiating with one hand tied behind his back, because the state will make him meet his obligations whether he’s happy with her or not. He’s lost the power he had before the marriage. And yet, he can’t afford to let things continue as they are, trying to run the marriage 50/50, which really means she’s in charge and is going to get bored with him. He has to try something.
For the man who wants to fix his broken wife, the fact that she’s obligated to submit is true but irrelevant. She’s not going to submit unless he triggers her desire to do so (and even then, she probably needs to be a fairly virtuous woman to do it right). He shouldn’t have to do that — because he should have done it before the marriage, or not married her — but it’s the only chance he has of getting a properly submissive wife at this point. So as a practical matter, he does have to “go first” on changing things, whether that’s fair or not, if he’s the one trying to fix things.
Look at it from the other direction: if a woman’s husband is getting a wandering eye or starting to stray, how can she put a stop to it? Sure, she can tell him he’s obligated to be faithful to her, and try to shame him into stopping, but how likely is that to work? Her chances will be a lot better if she loses the weight she gained since the wedding, gets some new lingerie, and does something new for him in bed every night for a couple weeks. Should she have to do that to get her husband to keep his vows? Of course not, but in real life, sometimes you have to do more than the minimum requirement to get the things you want.