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Do you know what one of the biggest secrets to having a relationship or marriage that works is? It’s not something you hear much about these days, quite taboo to say it really, but it’s having the humbleness to follow your man, rather than to try to lead. In a post-feminist world, the thought of letting a man lead seems like pure blasphemy, but ladies I will tell you what, it works.

Submission may not be a popular concept, but in a world where one in two marriages end in divorce, it is an idea worth exploring. There’s a freedom in not having to make every little decision yourself.

Sometimes it’s easier to explain something with examples.

I have two good friends, both stay at home moms, who are very disgruntled and unhappy in their marriages. Both of these gals look at my life, as a single mom running a small business, and idealize it. I am the first one to tell them, no — this is not the freedom, bliss, and and happiness it appears to be. In fact, I think they have a pretty sweet deal and I encourage both of them to shift their attitude.

I think part of their frustration is that they feel like, “they aren’t doing anything” with their lives, when in fact they are doing something very important and they are investing their time and energy into their children and home and marriage. What could be more important? I know many in our society don’t value the stay at home mom role, and they picture someone who “can’t cut it” in the job market, or maybe think she is lazy, or not much of a go getter. But I don’t buy any of it.

The problem is both of these gals see their position as one of weakness, after all their husband holds all the cards in their minds, he has the income, he calls the shots, and they both resent it.

Now I know both of these men personally and I can assure you, both are very kind, stable, solid, hardworking  guys. Their wives lack for nothing, and yet they don’t see or appreciate that, sadly. They are hardly oppressing their wives, but unfortunately their wives are oppressing them.

So in both cases, the wives are prone to nagging and harping, constantly challenge their husbands, and are creating a home filled with strife and conflict rather than one filled with peace and love.

Both have also told me they rarely have sex with their husbands, because it’s “just another chore to do” in their minds. One even said it’s the only card she feels she has, so she withholds it to try to establish power.

Both gals have fantasized that they would be better off alone, that they could truly call the shots then, that they would be happy, maybe even find a “better” man.

No, no, no. Ladies do not play your hand this way!

There’s a verse that goes like this, “A wise woman builds up her home, while a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.”

And this is what I see in both these stubborn and headstrong gals, and if they don’t get it straight, I do not see these marriages working out in the long run. And the world on the other side of that is much much harder than either of them can even imagine, in their current cushy situations.

I try to have a good attitude as I go about my daily round. But it is hard, hard, hard to do it all alone. This is not freedom. Every month I face the wolves at the door. I have to worry about paying all the bills or figuring out how to manage with times are lean. I drop my youngest daughter off at preschool and see the other moms driving a Lexus or BMW, off to get their nails or hair or shopping done, not to go to work. At my oldest daughter’s school, a charter school with high academic standards (and mostly stay at home moms who can focus solely on supporting their child’s education, not on supporting their family financially) I feel my lack. I do my best, but I feel like my daughter is going into fully armed combat with a slingshot, and I watch her struggle to keep up because I simply can’t do as much for her education as I could if I wasn’t doing everything else, too. I do date here and there and hope to meet a man of character, but let me tell you, they are few and far between. So far my search has turned up empty handed. My dishwasher is broken, my lawnmower won’t start, and there is a mouse in my garage and guess who is going to deal with all that? Yep, me. My friends don’t see this part of my struggle. I smile and put on a happy face, but it is not easy, this is not a “better” life than to be in a secure and happy marriage, or at least not in my humble opinion.

So what about my ex-husband, you might be wondering? He’s getting married next weekend, to a gal who does get it. The end of my marriage wasn’t solely my doing, but I can tell you a lot of the reason it ended was because I didn’t get it then, but I do get it now, and I have learned that the hard way. If I could go back in time, I would do a lot of things differently, including not putting my education and career and my own stubborn “needs”  in front of my husband. That was a mistake and I admit it. And when he walks down the aisle next weekend, I am sure I will be an absolute wreck. Talk about humble pie.

But the past is the past. Some suggested when he got engaged that I should have told him that I was sorry and that I wanted to give it another try, but that seemed like unnecessary drama, I had my chance to make that work, and I didn’t take it. To try to jump in now seemed incredibly unfair. So instead I apologized to him for not being a better wife and I wished him much happiness. He admitted it takes two and that he also has regrets and that he appreciated me wishing them well. And we left it at that.

So I am doing what I can to invest in learning more about men and relationships, and I am patiently waiting and hoping and praying that one day I will be offered another chance to get it right this time. And I share my tale here and with these two gals in hopes that I can help other women see they have it pretty damn good, before it’s too late.

Women with this mindset need to get quiet in their selves and submit their pride first to their higher power of choice and then to their husbands. They need to appreciate the enormous gift their men are giving them, let him know that, and work just as hard as he is to make sure his world is working too, to run the house well, make sure dinner is ready and waiting, along with a welcoming kiss when their man gets home. They need to put their children’s needs and wants second to those of their mate, and remember what’s really important, they are stay at home wives first, moms second. They need to do their best to make their homes a refuge, a warm comfortable cozy place their man can’t wait to get home to, not a place of conflict and strife that he wants to avoid. And they need to understand how much sex means to their husbands and how important a satisfying and abundant sex life is — like water in the desert to their man — something to be embraced enthusiastically and abundantly, never withheld or doled out as a way to control him. Be liberal with that sugar! To recognize they are blessed, not oppressed. And most importantly to recognize their mate as the capable and sole leader of their family, someone to follow and support, not someone to compete with.

And you know what is the thing so few people are telling women these days? That if they can do these things, their marriage and family will be happier than in their wildest dreams. They won’t be oppressed victims, they will be experiencing true and complete freedom.

So ladies, if you have a man, please treat him right, cherish and love him, and let him lead. Be his copilot, and a good one. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Please don’t.

Let those who have ears hear.