Recently Michelle Duggar, the mother on the “19 Kids And Counting” show, gave women advice on how to be good wives.
I found it very entertaining.
And suffocating, and sort of sad, and I’m concerned for her daughters who may want something else out of life, but that is not my business.
I have watched the show a few times and I must say that Michelle seems very kind and clearly loves her children.
I do not raise my children as she does. In particular I am not raising my girls to be submissive to husbands or to suspend thinking when married, or to smother their own voices and lives.
I am raising them to pursue their dreams, educations and ambitions as much as I encourage that in my son, and if they choose to marry, I hope they marry people who will love them like crazy for the independent and wonderful people they are.
There are other enormous children-raising/being a wife differences between Michelle and I, but do I like her?
Yes. She seems very pleasant.
But after reading her advice on how to be a good wife, I thought I’d talk to Innocent Husband to see what he thinks of it. We have been married almost 19 years and we discussed Michelle and Jim Bob’s 19 kids, which Innocent Husband thought was, “quite a few.”
He is eating ice cream, which he calls “frozen protein,” that he needs to eat every night for “nutrition.”
Starting with Michelle’s advice…
Michelle: A husband needs a wife who accepts him as a leader
Innocent Husband: I think both husband and wife can be leaders. You’re a leader. It’s a shared responsibility.
Michelle: Husbands are commanded to govern their wives.
Innocent Husband: They’re commanded? (He laughs). I missed that commandment.
Cathy, moi: How do you think that commandment would go over between you and I?
Innocent Husband: Not very well. (He frowns). If I tried to govern you there would be an immediate rebellion. Life would be miserable for all.
I think for that commandment statement to be true husbands need wives who want to be commanded or governed. I don’t know too many women who want that.
Cathy: Do you know any women who want to be commanded and governed?
Innocent Husband: I’m trying to think. (He seems confounded, confused. We are surrounded by strong minded, smart women, including our free thinking daughters, so he has to sift through all the women we know).
I know they’re out there. (He taps his spoon on his ice cream bowl) I don’t know where. (His brow furrows). They’re out there, though. Maybe. Could be. They’re out their commanding their husbands to govern them. (He eats more ice cream) How does the commanding work?
Michelle: The more a wife trusts her husband, the more careful he will be in giving her direction.
Cathy: Do you think I would take direction well?
Innocent Husband: (He snorts) No.
Michelle: Never ask others for counsel without your husband’s approval.
Brad: (He stabs his spoon in the air and sounds irritated) Why would she even say that? What if the wife needs advice on sewing?
Cathy: Just for fun. Do you know anything about sewing?
Innocent Husband: I can stick a thread through a needle. (He nods. He’s proud of himself I can tell) Like a cross stitch. Why would you ask me if you wanted advice on how to handle your hot flashes?
There’s girlfriend stuff that is girlfriend stuff, why would you ask your husband if you can go and talk girlfriend stuff with your girlfriends?
(He swirls his ice cream and shakes his head) I’ve had two bowls of ice cream and now all these Ritz crackers. This is nothing but fat.
Michelle: Ask yourself how can you become more of the wife of your husband’s dreams.
Cathy: How can I be more the wife of your dreams?
Innocent Husband: Abide by all the rules above. (Laughs hard, he thinks he’s funny) Be submissive to my governments. (Laughs harder)
You are the wife of my dreams.
Michelle: Discover and conform to your husband’s real wishes.
Cathy: What are your real wishes?
Innocent Husband: That you discover and conform to them.
Cathy: But what are your real wishes?
Innocent Husband: I wish I was fishing.
Cathy: Michelle thinks it’s important to have hair that looks soft and submissive. I don’t know how to make my hair submissive. There is not a single bone in my body that knows how to be submissive, but my hair is completely rebellious. I mean, look at it.
What do you think of my hair?
Innocent Husband: It’s curly.
Cathy: Is it submissive?
Innocent Husband: No. It’s pretty.
Michelle: Ask your husband to tell you when you have a resistant spirit.
Cathy: Do you want to tell me when I have a resistant spirit?
Innocent Husband: (He sighs) We would be at odds 24 – 7 if I told you when you have a resistant spirit.
Cathy: What is a resistant spirit?
Innocent Husband: I don’t know but you’re going to start seeing mine if you keep bugging me.
Michelle: Dispel a backbiting tongue by silence.
Innocent Husband: I think you should dispel your backbiting tongue. If you just cut it down by 10% things would be great.
Cathy: Do you want more ice cream?
Innocent Husband: Yes.
Cathy: Get it yourself. Bring me some chocolate.
Michelle: It’s a problem if the wife is financially independent.
Innocent Husband: I don’t think it’s a problem. A couple’s a team, they can share their financial independence together. It’s freedom. Each member of a relationship can have freedom without being smothered and dictated to by the other party.
Cathy: What’s the plus of a wife making money?
Innocent Husband: Life is easier.
Michelle: Whoever controls the money controls the leadership.
Cathy: Do you think you can control me?
Innocent Husband: (Laughs once again, gets a little teary eyed) No.
Cathy: Do you want to control me?
Innocent Husband: No. Why would I want to control you?
Cathy: I give husband a kiss. This is why I’m married to Innocent Husband and Michelle is married to a man named Jim Bob who likes his wife to have submissive hair, nineteen kids, and be under his command.
Later that night I think to myself, how does a woman breathe in a marriage like that?
How does she become her own person?
How can she be happy when she is not thinking for herself but is allowing someone else to think for her?
What about literature and art and culture and traveling and growing mentally and emotionally? Where does that fit in? Does it fit in?
How can a woman stay in love with a man who wants to command her?
I am baffled.
I eat more chocolate ice cream.
I hug Innocent Husband. He is very huggable.