Does Independence Trump Being Submissive?

As someone who grew up in a single parent household, I saw my mother be the leader, provider, and protector of our home.  Of course when I would visit my father during the summer I saw that, too, but what I saw over an 8 week period didn’t overtake what I saw for the other 44 weeks of the year.  I thought my BFF in high school was crazy when she told me her father told her mother she couldn’t cut her hair. (WDDDA???)  Living in a house with a woman who was fiercely independent and growing up to be her clone, I couldn’t fathom a MAN telling me I couldn’t cut MY hair. 

The Bible tells us that a woman is to be submissive to her husband.  When this topic comes up for discussion with my friends, I always tell them, “I have no problem being submissive, as long as my husband gives me something to be submissive to”, which essentially means that if he is allowing God to be the head of his life and the overseer of our household, I have no choice but to follow him.  But…can a woman be submissive without loosing herself? 

Cooking seems to be a big thing when it comes to the dynamics of a relationship between a man and a woman.  Besides Southern Dad, I’ve only cooked for one other man in my life.  (And it just so happened he called me when I was about to eat dinner and sort of invited himself to my house.)  Cooking is sort of a personal thing for me.  A friend and I are supposed to hang out with her dude and his friend this weekend, and as we were going over the menu, I was stunned for three reasons: 1. This woman is the EPITOME of independence and feminism; 2. This woman embraces cooking, cleaning, and going when her man calls; and 3. Why am I about to cook for a man that I have never seen and probably won’t see again after this weekend??? 

I totally understand wanting and needing to spend time with your significant other, and I have to admit, sometimes I get a little salty when I make plans with my girls, then when one of their men calls, they drop everything and go running.  I have to admit I don’t really like this aspect of myself because I never want to be the bitter, single friend.  And for the most part I check myself because the last thing I need is somebody telling me I’m the jealous chick.  But I wonder if this is a part of being submissive or something totally different.

And then I wonder, will I, Elle, the fiercely independent, “I’m Every Woman”, “I make my own decisions” person, become this woman who submits to a man?  And if I do, will I still be true to the essence of me?  To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure I can do that.  Like my mother, I’m a worker.  And like my father, I want things to go my way.  I like to that when I am a part of a relationship that there will be a nice balance of Elle independence and submissiveness.  I never want to ask permission to go anywhere or do anything; I’ll say where I’m going and when I’ll be back.

For those ladies who are married, engaged, or in a relationship how do you remain yourself but become submissive to your mate?  Or do you say to hell with being submissive and remain the same woman you were before you were in a relationship?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.


  1. I had to laugh when I read this b/c I am the same way about cooking for a man. We have to be SUPER tight for that to happen. Or you are paying some bills or something. I have a friend who would cook dinner for a dude on a first or second date and I could never understand that. The whole submissive argument is always an interesting one. It’s not my thing; but then again, I’m single and probably always will be. Whatever works for a couple is what works for them. As long as no one is being disrespected, it’s all good in the hood. I’m sure that when the right guy comes along you will find the right balance of independence and submissiveness. Someone who truly loves you would not expect or want you to be submissive to the extent that it breaks your spirit and/or turns you into someone you are not.

  2. I agree with Tamara. As the Southern Cousin who prides herself on being as independent as Southern Girl, I chuckled to myself a little as I read this post. I *KNEW* I would never be submissive to any man!! But after I met Southern Cousin’s Husband, there was never any question. If the relationship is not about give and take…compromise…caring…never asking someone to be something that they’re not…then its not a relationship worth having. Being what you deem “submissive” should never involve the compromise of your independence. You can still assert your independence while showing give and take within your relationship. But you have to be willing to both give…and take.

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