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Monday, February 10, 2014

The Wife-Led Marriage: Where Does It Lead?



                                                Let me begin by assuming that :

1. Your husband is still alive.
2. Your husband is still generally healthy and/or able-bodied/of sound mind (not comatosed or critically ill or clinically depressed, etc.).
3. Your husband is not abusive (does not physically hurt you, treat you like a slave, etc.).

In short, this article is for those wives who are married to "normal" and generally loving but passive and not very "motivated" husbands.
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Now that we have made that clear, let us define terms.

FEMALE-LED RELATIONSHIP or 
WIFE-LED MARRIAGE

According to Wikipedia... 


The term Female-Led Relationship (or "FLR") refers to a model for romantic heterosexual relationships in which both partners agree that the woman will act as the leader and ultimate authority. If the participants are married, the arrangement may be termed a Wife-Led Marriage (WLM).

This type of relationship may involve various kinds of dominant behavior by the female partner. It can include control over finances of both people by the woman, determination of where the couple lives, works, or how they live on a daily basis in every aspect of the relationship.




As a part of a FLR, punishment and/or rewards are sometimes used to control or train the male partner.


Sexual activity may be completely controlled by the woman who determines how and when sex is practiced.


Apparently, there is even a site based on this particular kind of relationship.


 On http://www.female-led-marriage.com, it explains in detail what this modern set-up is all about. Here is what a FLM and a WLM are, based on the blogger's own words... 

                What is a Female-Led Marriage?           

The 5 Food Groups --  Finances, Life Direction,
 Sex, Free Time, Household Chores
· Simply put - a marriage where a woman leads her household and man. In female-led marriages the wife takes control as head of household (HoH). In M. Lyman Hill's book "The 5 Food Groups," Hill describes the 5 areas of decision-making, couples normally engage in and how they are controlled. These 5 decision areas are the nature of how couples divide both authority and control in their partnership. People seem to get upset at the idea of control and authority, but control is just another word for manage; and authority is just another word for control; and everyone has to manage their lives. These 5 areas of decision-making are how partners decide the balance of power between them.

· In the past, in traditional male dominated relationships, men had the balance of power, but in wife-led marriages, women do. A Female-Led Marriage is where the wife makes decisions for her man and family in a balanced approach that both the husband and wife have agreed upon as a lifestyle. 

A Female-Led Marriage is a relationship designed by the couple to meet their needs and desires.

· In Female-Led Marriages, the man of the house is both in favor of and willing to take a supportive role, to his wife. It is both a way of life and a way of making decisions. I think we all know that not every guy was created to lead or even with training, will make a good leader; but many women are great leaders with or without training. So female led-marriages are about how decisions get made, the authority to make decisions and who has the final word in decisions.


 Why Choose a Female-Led Marriage?   


· Times are changing. Women can out-earn men. Some women hold high-power careers that benefit from a man who is supportive of her career and leadership; but the most important principal is she may be the better leader. Couples decide to live in a wife-led marriage for many reasons. To streamline decision- making, to empower the women to make decisions, to bring about predictability and order, to create a female-led relationship, or to solve issues the couple is having. Any couple may choose a wife-led marriage because she is a better leader or because the husband does not want to lead.


       Head of Household - Female-Led Marriage     


· The dynamics of the home are changing too. There is an increasing number of female heads of household both because of the seeming temporary nature of relationships (divorce) and because women choose to lead. Men entering into homes where women have led for some time may actually be disruptive to family processes. Many women don't really know they have an option to lead because their communication as a couple is poor - what we mean is: couples have a hard time talking about leadership. Another dynamic is men are asking for it. Most women don't know what to make of their men asking for them to lead. Women make great leaders and Heads of Household. (HoH)

                FLR and Female-Led Marriage               


· Female-Led Relationships (FLR) comprise about 60% of married couples according to aboutFLR.com's survey of thousands of people in women-led relationships. Female-led relationships are those relationships where women lead men who want to be led by them. There is a difference between role reversal and the supportive role of men. That difference is up to the couple to decide but most men want FLR or Wife-Led Marriages because they feel a need for personal control.

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This was an eye-opener for me! I did not know previous to my research that wife-led marriages were that prevalent, nor that sites have even been put up about it! I would like to give credit to the blogger for clarifying it for us. I could imagine how some relationships or marriages can somehow achieve a "happy co-existence" given this type of non-traditional set-up, but based from my own wife-led experience, I would like to boldly say that a marriage would be not only happier, but also more fulfilling and more peaceful, if we followed God's Design For Marriage -- not just the traditional kind, but the Biblical one. :) 


I do agree that times have changed. One would have to be living under a rock or outside the planet not to notice that. "You've come a long way, baby", says the popular cigarette brand. And yes, in more ways than one, we really have. 


However, regardless of how advanced our world has become, or how empowered we women have become, the Word of God still stands. What was true in the beginning of time, still holds TRUE now in 2014.


Are wife-led marriages really all that they're cut out to be? Does a wife's leadership really create order in the home especially if  she earns more and is the "better leader"

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In my own marriage, when I "led" our family (around 2009 to 2011), it was when I was most depressed, bitter, and unhappy. Dong was "supportive" of me. Very supportive, in fact. He allowed me to lead because he knew that that was what I wanted to do. Dong too, being a big believer of The Golden Rule, allowed me to do whatever it was that he felt would make me "happy." Live and let live. Already quite passive by nature, my take-charge attitude made him feel even less motivated to insist on whatever plans he may have had then. He did not want to force his leadership too, to maintain the "peace" in our home.
But, happiness was the farthest thing my heart felt and peace was most elusive to my spirit. :(
Our Wife-Led Marriage (2010)

I was so miserable nearly every day! I felt "masculated" and unfeminine, and I hated it! :(

I earned more than him and had lots of career opportunities, and from the outset looked like I was enjoying myself and my status. But in my heart of hearts, I felt uneasy and lacking in peace. :(

It was a setup that didn't feel right with me. Even though we sort of "agreed" to have a wife-led marriage, it felt wrong. (Well, come to think of it, he "agreed" because he did not have much choice. I would have led it even if he had protested! After all, I felt much more capable to do so. I was so prideful and full of myself.)

I felt like I was forcing a square peg in a round hole every day. I felt ill at ease and restless. I felt so manly(By the way, Dong's real name is Andre which meant "manly" but he was feeling everything but "manly" during our wife-led period.) I resented Dong for 'forcing' me to provide for, take care of, and lead the family, and still do wifely duties for him on top of all those paternal responsibilities! (He never forced me though.
 I took those responsibilities upon myself, but I  still blamed him for my misery.) :(

Leading a school presentation with Therese singing with me and Dong playing the role of our ice cream man. - 2011

So, what was wrong with me?!?!

Didn't I get my way by being the self-imposed family leader? (And Dong had acquiesced that role to me lovingly because I wanted it and I have made it clear to both of us that I was more capable of leading?)

Why was I feeling so resentful and why was Dong so depressed even though we somehow "agreed" to this wife-led setup?

I had the authority to make decisions and had the final word on decisions, right? So, the family was going in the direction I wanted it to go, right? So, why was I far from elated? Instead, why did I feel so disconsolate?! Dong on the other hand, felt so useless and redundant that he felt that maybe 
it would be better if we just separated!:(

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Let's find out from the first Wife-Led Marriage ever, on earth. Eve's marriage to Adam

In Nancy Leigh De Moss' book, "Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free", when she asked women which of the lies in her book they believed, they had ranked this as Number Three -- this particular lie that  ---


"IF MY HUSBAND IS PASSIVE, I'VE GOT TO TAKE INITIATIVE, OR NOTHING WILL GET DONE."

This is not a new struggle. As is true of many issues, it all goes back to the Garden of Eden:

                                                          Genesis 3:6

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Allow me to quote De Moss on why this was to be the start of the marriage problems for Adam and Eve (and all other marriages from then onwards!).

"This passage evokes a troubling picture in my mind. The couple is together in the garden. The Serpent approaches them, ignores the man, and strikes up a conversation with the woman. fully aware that God has placed her under the authority of her husband and that both of them are under God's authority. (Notice satan's strategy to subvert God's authority structure by going directly to the woman.) Satan starts the exchange by asking her a question: "Did God really say, "You must not eat from any tree in the garden?"" (Genesis 3:1).

At this point, notice what the woman does not do. She does not acknowledge her husband, who is standing by her side. She does not say to the Serpent, "I'd like for you to meet my husband." She does not turn to her husband and ask, "Honey, how do you think we should respond?" or "Adam, why don't you tell him what God said to you." She carries on the entire conversation with the Serpent as if her husband was not there.

Further, when it comes to make a choice, she takes matters into her own hands. She does not consult with her husband on the matter; she does not ask for input or direction; she simply acts: "She took some and ate it" (v.6)

And what is Adam doing this whole time? He is doing what a lot of women tell me their husbands do much of the time: Nothing. He doesn't interfere; he doesn't get involved. -- except to eat some fruit himself when his wife gives it to him. 



 All of a sudden, we have the first role reversal.

Even bottle openers know their roles!
God created the man first and gave him the responsibility to lead and feed those under his care. The woman, created from man, was made to be a receiver, to respond to the initiative of her husband. Even the physiological differences between men and women express this fundamental difference.




But who is leading and feeding in this account? Not the man, but the woman. And who is  responding? Not the woman, but the man. 

Something is wrong with this picture. And ever since, the same thing has been wrong with the sons and daughters of the first couple. 

That ROLE REVERSAL became the pattern for the way fallen men and women relate to each other.

Ever since that fateful day in Eden, the natural drive of the woman has been to control her husband, to rule over him, and to act independently of him. Our natural tendency is to take the reins, to take the initiative ourselves; ironically however because of the way God created us, we also long to be responders; we long for our men to take action."



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I was miserable because I was carrying a load I was not intended to carry in the first place, that of the provider and leader.

Dong was depressed because from being a leader and a feeder, he was now relegated to the role of supporter and receiver.

I was both mother and 'provider' in 2010
I was very unhappy and lacking in peace because though I got what I wanted (to lead the family because I felt more able and capable! Prideful, self-righteous me!), by virtue of God's Design, I was wired to be feminine and to be a responder, not a leader. I still longed to be a follower and not the head.

Though Dong relinquished his role to me because he wanted me to be happy (although by that time, NOTHING made me happy!), he felt very unneeded in the family that he wanted to die!

Going back to the Female-Led Marriage info above, though I think a Wife-Led Marriage may somehow find a level of comfort and even 'happiness' over the non-traditional setup, being made wonderfully and differently by God (Man vs Woman), there will always be (whether we admit it or not) an innate desire in our hearts to fulfill our God-given roles.


It just is the way we were created. It just is the way we were wired by Our Manufacturer. 

January 2014
When I finally let go and let God in September 2013, and when I told God that I would now submit to Him fully by submitting to His God-ordained authority over me, my husband, that was when I started feeling really joyful and peaceful. :) I told Dong that I was tired of leading and that I would just follow his leadership.

It felt unnatural at first, but eventually, it felt so right.
Few months after giving birth to 4th baby. - Aug 2013

It felt awkward at first, but eventually, it felt so liberating.

It felt fake at first, but eventually, it led me to finding my true and most authentic self.

It's so hard to explain. You have got to experience it to believe it! :)

At this season in my life, I have decided to not only submit to Dong's leadership but also to stop working full-time. God is still aligning my spirit with His Spirit, and I do not need the distractions and temptations that "providing" for the family will bring, while He is busy teaching me to be my husband's helpmeet.

We are blessed to have the resources for me to not work at the moment and for Dong to provide for us according to his own plans for the family. He is such a selfless and loving leader, always looking after my and the children's best interests and always seeking my advice (as his helper) on the best course of action on important matters. It is not difficult to follow him. :)
Busy busy busybody Nikka - 2012 (done by a fan)

I am not saying that quitting work is a must for everybody who wants to go into the submission route, but for me, at this point in my life, it is such a blessing to just be with the children and to support my husband without the hassles of a full workload. I trust that if God wills that I work again for His Glory, opportunities will arise and when that time comes, I will prayerfully consider them.:) Life is composed of many seasons, and this season of my life away from the limelight of my career as a broadcaster is turning out to be the most obscure but my most fruitful season thus far. :)

 
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So, to the question: The Wife-Led Marriage: Where Does It Lead? my answer is: 

It may lead to financial gains; it may even lead to a semblance of "order" and "harmony" in the home; it may even lead to some level of "happiness", but for as long as the wife is the leader and not the husband, it won't give as much peace or joy, that a husband-led marriage can give. 


After all, it is written in the Bible that:


                                           Ephesians 5:22-33


December 2013
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy,cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 
February 8, 2014

God created us. He knows what will work and what will not. Adam and Eve were the first WLM. Look how that turned out for them! They were banished from Paradise and made to suffer separation from God along with curses for both -- Adam (toil the ground in order to eat) and Eve (pain in childbirth and desire to control her husband)!

It is in following Christ's metaphor (of us wives submitting to our husbands the way the Church submitted to Christ) that we, the daughters of Eve could regain our good standing with our Creator. The covenant love of Christ for the Church is symbolized by the selfless love of the husband for his wife.

31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

My prayer is that more and more marriages become centered in Christ and in His Teachings and that in following Him, more and more wives will submit to their husbands, and more and more husbands will step up the plate and lead their wives. No matter what the majority says or the world says, a HLM (husband-led marriage) is still the best marriage, for no other reason except to say that our Creator designed it so. 

To experience it is to believe it! :) But, don't just take MY word for it. Read on it and follow God's Word! :) It's all there in our Manufacturer's Manual -- the Bible. :) 

Now, I would rather die than to take back the reins of leadership!!! No way, Jose! I am happy being a woman who is being led my my man, and that's how it is going to be till death do us part.
It is in allowing my husband to lead (opinionated, take-charge, highly motivated) me, that is my true test of faith in God.  Will I allow myself to be led by this imperfect man,God's ordained authority over me? Answer is YES. Till death do we part.

At my uncle Tito Manding's burial - (February 9, 2014) May he rest in peace.

May we all be richly blessed! :)



_______________________________________________________________________________Related Posts:

The Egalitarian Marriage - Are All Things Really Fair in Love and War?

The Complementarian or Traditional Marriage - Is it Really the Ideal?













8 comments:

  1. Thank you for researching this topic and for comparing the world's wisdom to God's Word. That is what we desperately need today, the truth of God - so that we can recognize and reject the lies of the enemy. Great post!

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    1. Hi April!

      Thanks! :)

      Having been deceived by the Enemy for the past 37 years and only spiritually waking up in September last year, I am amazed and appalled at the lies satan has been feeding me and which I have been lapping up daily! :( It is only in God's Word that we are able to contradict his many many lies. He has been lying since that fateful fallen day in the Garden of Eve..what makes us think he will stop now? He will just use the same old lie but with a modern-day twist. We have to learn to be wary at all times.

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  2. I noticed that when I'm submissive to my husband he loves me more, he takes care of me, he gives me random gifts out of nowhere and our sex life is hot! Submission is such a wonderful thing. I wouldn't want it any other way.

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    1. Hi Mrs. Francia! :)

      Yes, those are some of the "perks" of having a godly-ordered marriage wherein the husband is the initiator and the wife is the responder. God is our Manufacturer so He does know what works best in marriage because He wired us and created us wonderfully and differently. :)

      With all eyes focused towards Christ as we take on our godly roles in marriage, all that you mentioned are mere "icings on the cake". :) They come with the territory, so to speak. They are "after-effects" of following Christ's commandment for wives to submit to their husbands. :)

      God bless you!

      Thanks for dropping a line. :)

      Sincerely,

      Nikka

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  3. What is emotional abuse? And does Gid want me to be sexual and intimate with my critical, arrogant, hurtful husband when I feel no attraction to him & I am usually made to feel so guilty he gets his way ?

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  5. Are there times when you just don't want to submit. and talking reasonably doesn't work? And What in your mind is the difference between a wife's obedience and submission. And obedience is in the bible as in 1. Peter 3:6.

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  6. I noticed that when I'm submissive to my husband he loves me more, he takes care of me, he gives me random gifts out of nowhere and our sex life is hot! Submission is such a wonderful thing. I wouldn't want it any other way.Happy Marriage Life

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Feel free to comment. I would love to discuss things with you. :)