Equality Surrendered or Marital Bliss
The Surrendered Wife
In the battle of the sexes there dissent in the ranks. Hard won
equality is being surrendered by a new breed of women who are happy to let
their men take charge. So when some promise to love, honour and obey; they
mean it. Obedient wives, a rare breed of women who would rather iron
trousers than wear them.
49 year old Leo has been enjoying married life for eight years. He
works hard running his own garage in Stoke-on-Trent, but when he gets
home it's a very different story because 43 year old Pepita is a very
devoted wife. Leo has do do nothing at home, his bath is waiting for him
when he returns and Pepita will bathe him and leave him relaxing while
she prepares dinner.
Nestled amongst the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, 33 year
old Glaswegian, Skye, leads a seemingly idyllic life as a devoted wife.
She met Frank, a life coach, through the Internet. They married four
years ago and have settled in the US. Frank quickly realised he'd got
his work cut out "At the very beginning our relationship was a
living hell, it was horrendous.
The fights an the constant arguing
caused turmoil". Skye acknowledges this "I was trying to rule
the roost, I was trying to take over". After a turbulent first year
of marriage, Skye decided something had to change.
The Surrendered Wife is an advice manual for domineering spouses,
first published in America. It has now been translated into fifteen
languages. It's controversial philosophy is that the key to a happy
marriage is for wives to give more control to their husbands. For better
or for worse, the book has changed Skye's life. After years of practise,
Skye has transformed herself from a feisty Glaswegian into a
well-groomed domestic goddess. In her house, whatever her husband says
Karen is a 39 year old working mother of two who lives in Wakefield.
She's been married to Ali for six years and is about as far from being
an obedient wife as you can get. She explains "Ali's my second marriage,
my first husband was very domineering and I was the wifey-wifey,
vulnerable, weak person. When that broke up, when I had the strength to
get out I promised myself that I would never let a man be dominant over
me again". She has become a control-freak and the domineering one.
With this second marriage in trouble, Karen's decided that she needs to
leave the past behind.
Self-help best-seller The Surrendered Wife has spawned a
controversial movement with a growing number of followers worldwide.
Karen has decided to see if it's philosophy works. Ellen Hale is one of
22 trainers certified to teach women how to surrender to their husbands,
Karen is her first pupil in the UK.
Ellen talks us through the philosophy "The first principle is
relinquishing control, which means that you don't tell your husband what
to do, how to do it or when to do it. You don't complain about the way
he's done it or criticise what he's done. More and more women are
working and becoming CEOs of companies and have gained status in the
work world. It's very hard for them to come home and be a feminine
person and a loving, soft, caring wife. They come home with the boss
attitude. Step one in becoming a surrendered wife is learning to keep
your mouth shut".
In Louisiana, when 27 year old Caroline married 34 year old Chip they
seemed like the perfect all-American couple. But, very soon Caroline's
marriage became an unhappy battle of wills. Two years ago, in an effort
to save her relationship Caroline decided to train as a surrendered
wife. She's still struggling and her biggest problem is being in the
passenger seat. Chip says "Whenever we get in the car, she wants to
have control, she wants the power". Unable to stop herself from
criticising Chip's driving, Caroline sometimes adopts an extreme method
of restraint. She tells us "It was one of the tips in surrendered
wife, so I blindfolded myself". But, even wearing a blindfold isn't
enough to stop Caroline. For argumentative couple like Caroline and
Chip, the surrendered wife movement has a number of exercises.
Ellen Hale advises "An experiment is to go on a no-control date
where your husband decides what your going to wear, where you are going
and, if it's a restaurant, what you're going to order. So the woman
experiences how out-of-control she feels and how used she is to
controlling every situation".
Caroline confesses "Learning to surrender has, kind of, been
exciting for me because I'm curious to see what happens in the end. I'm
still a work-in-progress, it's something I'll always have to work on
because it's not my nature to be surrendered".
In America's Kansas City, dawn is breaking, time for 25 year old
Crystal to make breakfast for husband Jesse. Before he leaves for the
office, 26 year old attorney Jesse, gives his obedient wife a job list.
He says "I think obedience is a good quality to have in a wife. An
obedient wife has a quality of being submissive and yielding her rights
to the needs of her family and the desires of her husband". Crystal
doesn't disagree "I feel that God created the woman, from the very
beginning, to be a helper to the man. So do I desire to be an obedient
wife; yes". After four years of marriage, Crystal is no stranger to
taking instructions. Crystal believes it's not her place to try and improve
her husband even though she may dislike some of his habits.
3,000 miles away in Wakefield, Karen is continuing her surrendered
wife training, the next lesson involves the bedroom. Ellen tells her
"This has been a very controversial portion of the book, but
surrendering sexually is simply saying 'let the man pursue you'. Many
women have become aggressive sexually and men feel like it's one of the
chores they must do. Many women feel that having sex is a chore as well.
What we want to do is make ourselves available for sex at least once a
week". In North Carolina, Skye has been a fully-fledged surrendered
wife for three years. In that time she's come to terms with the
movement's teachings on marital relations.
70 year old, former motor cycle racer, Eddy has pretty set views on
what makes a good wife. "In my opinion, a good wife is obedient,
attractive, is a good cook and looks after all your needs and desires. I
think the modern class of woman has lost her way to some extent. Thai
women could teach English women how to treat their men properly".
So, he's joined the ranks if the 1200 British men each year who marry
CREDITS: This information came from the UK Channel 5 "Hidden
Lives" documentary series.
||The Surrendered Wife - Laura Doyle
Single - Laura Doyle