Do you show your appreciation when she obeys?

My husband gives me positive reinforcement for obeying him, and this has really helped me obey him.

We have been married almost four years and before we married we attended a marriage preparation class given by our church. It was a wonderful class that raised many good questions. One had to do with a wife's submission to her husband. I learned that it was important to my future husband that I obey him. We talked at length about what this meant and I promised my then fiancée that I would obey him when we married.

At first after we married obeying my husband was easy. We were very much in love with each other and we wanted mostly the same things. But then as time went on I started to struggle somewhat with obedience. My husband was very patient with me and we talked a great deal about my struggle to obey. I wanted to respect my husband's authority as the head of our marriage, but at the same time I wanted my viewpoints and feelings to matter.

As my husband began to understand this and allow me to voice these concerns I was able to willingly obey a little better. But what really helped me in my obedience was something that my husband took the initiative to do on his own. He began rewarding me for my obedience. He started by simply thanking me when I did something that he asked me to do. He would come up to me, wrap his arms around me and whisper something like, “Thank you for doing that when I asked; that means a lot to me.” This made me feel really good.

Then he started bringing home flowers or other small gifts every once in a while. He told me these gifts were for trying so hard to obey him. Once he told me I deserved a special treat for trying so hard to obey him and he surprised me with a mini spa day for me and my best friend. He told me that my obedience was a gift to him and that he wanted to give back to me.

All these things were wonderful and made me want to please him even more. But the most meaningful thing to me was not only his effort to reward me for my obedience but recognizing that obedience is difficult and should not be taken for granted. My husband has told me that he asks for my obedience so that he can lead our marriage in the best way possible. He needs my trust and support to do this.

I rarely struggle with obedience these days and I think it is because my husband has made such an effort to thank me and reward me for my obedience.

Junie C.

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A Puzzle?

Your response to this confuses me. Does this mean that your response
was UNEXPECTED? As if your obedience were expected WITHOUT any
expression of GRATITUDE? Wow, if I had a slave-girl, I would most
CERTAINLY show her my GRATITUDE for her submissive behavior,
REGARDLESS of any OBLIGATION on her part for me to do so.

Submissiveness is the GREATEST GIFT a woman can give a man, REGARDLESS
of the surrounding circumstances, and the man SHOULD HONOR it as such.

Mike Starre



Being thanked and rewarded for obeying obviously works for the author of this article, but it would not work at all for me.

I would simply hate it if my husband felt that he needed to keep rewarding me for obeying him. I would react very negtively to being constantly praised and thanked for doing as I am told. What I really like is my husband expecting me to do as I am told.

I do like it when he tells me I've done well at cleaning up or something, but I don't want him to be grateful to me for doing these things. I like it that he requires me to be submissive to him about certain things, I don't think of it as a gift, because i got a buzz out of obeying my husband when he is sufficiently firm with me, and my submissive response is not something I have to make an effort with, it is instinctive. some of the things he tells me to do I don't really like doing, but I don't want gratitude for doing them, that would spoil the whole thing for me, it would set my teeth on edge.

So whether you should praise your wife for what she does or not is a matter of her temperement and yours. for instance, if my husband came home and gave me flowers and said "this is a reward for cleaning the house" I would have to restrain an impulse to throw them at him. I don't want to be 'rewarded' for doing the things that he requires me to do, I want him to insist on me doing them or else. I want him to make his wishes clear and expect me to abide by them.

My 'reward' is the satisfaction I get out of having this kind of relationship, and to be thanked as if I was doing these things as a favour to him, would ruin the whole thing for me.


Louise, Adjustments can be made...

...both in one's attitude and in the displays of one's attitude to
adapt to any given relationship.

I'm pretty sure that your husband is QUITE grateful to have you as
his wife, whether he chooses to display that or not, whether you
choose to accept that display or not.

Mike Starre

I want both

Two interesting perspectives. Personally I want both the "thank you" AND the "or else". However, the "or else" could never work without the thank you, so I can completely relate to this post. If I don't feel appreciated and at times rewarded for obedience, the threat of a punishment would only make me bitter and resentful.

Attitudes and appreciation

Well, my husband does appreciate me. I mean, he's always telling me how gorgeous I am and how lucky he is to have me etc, which is very nice. and I do like when he says that I've been good for doing as he tells me. And I like it when he sees that I've made an extra effort with something, and tells me I've done well. But to me that is not quite the same as him being 'grateful' for me obeying him as if I am making some kind of special concession by obeying him. It is something that would just grate on my nerves.

I like it when he buys me presents and takes me out and stuff, but he always did those sort of things for me before we started Taken In Hand, and i prefer that gifts and expresions of love be unconditional, as they always were before. I get lots of love and expressions of appreciation from him, but I don't crave them in the context of being praised for doing as he tells me, other than that slighty stern "I'm glad to see you're doing as you're told" etc.

I don't really see how you can have both at once actually. I mean, you can either take the line that your partner is to do as she is told, because you say so, and she'll be in trouble if she doesn't, or you can take the line "Oh, I'm so grateful for you doing as you are told, I know how hard it is for you", but frankly I don't really see how you can have both at once. They seem to me to be somewhat incompatible, well, they would be for me anyway.

Both at once


It's nice to hear that your husband appreciates and feels lucky to have you. From most of your posts your hubby comes across as either always grumbling at you or spanking you. I personally feel that a husband can be appreciated of his wife's obedience and expect her to obey, or else, at the same time. I would not like it if my husband only expected me to obey and never recognized that I am making the effort. I got the feeling from Junie's article that her husband was trying to help her through a personal struggle with her obedience by being loving and supportive rather than simply punishing her. Sounds like a real leader to me.

Kay T.

I agree with Kay

Kay, I agree. It's important that a husband appreciate his wife's obedience. I know that many on this site are not religious or follow the Biblical belief that a wife must submit to her husband, but my husband and I follow this belief. However, what many overlook about the submission of the wife in scripture is that the husband is supposed to serve the wife and be worthy of her submission. He is commanded to love, honor, respect and appreciate her. A wife is no less of value in the marriage and is to be protected and guided by her husband. I don't know if Junie is a Christian or not but it sounds as though her husband is doing things in a loving and honorable way.

Grmubling and spanking


Yes my husband grumbles quite a lot. And he also spanks me a lot. However, I absolutely adore being spanked, so that is all to the good as far as I am concerned. and although I don't particularly adore being grumbled at, i do adore it when he is firm with me about things.

I simply don't want him to fall on my neck in gratitude every time I obey him, because for me that would take all the enjoyment out of the situation for me. I like it that he can enforce obedience in a way that I find pleasurable, if he kept going on about him appreciating how hard it was for me to obey him etc, it would just bore me. It actually gets on my nerves frightfully when he is grateful to me for doing things, I find it brings out the worst in me.

My individual preference is for him to be firm with me, rather than being overwhelmed with gratitude if I obey him. it is a matter of personal taste, I respond better to bracing firmness rather than loving supportiveness. It's just the way I am.


Most men

Most men sadly are nothing like those here in remembering to thank a wife and be grateful to her and most people of either gender after a few years seem to take each other for granted. Obviously it's much better if you are appreciated and someone shows that to you.

Louise and her husband's way of doing things

Heck, yeah, Louise!!! Your relationship with your husband is about as exciting and forceful as my historical romance novels. The kids will be out for a couple of hours this evening; I'm going to show my husband some of your posts. Thanks for all of your inspiration!

Like a romance novel?

Wow! Thank you, that is a great compliment! The shift in our relationship has certainly made me feel a lot more attracted to my husband, and added a zest to our relationship that wasn't there before.

I hope you had a nice evening!


Gratitude Versus Reward

I think Louise sees a distinction between a man who is grateful for who she is and one who is grateful for what she does. I couldn't agree more. My own obedience toward my man is a product of my nature. Thanking me for it would just seem so dehumanizing. I am not a dog that wants to do what it is told because it wants a treat. I am a woman, and I try to obey him because I have already given him everything that I am. Given that, he has every right to expect me to do as he wants.
However, the fact that I MADE that decision, to submit myself to his authority in the first place, was the greatest gift I could give him. When someone gives you a gift, it is only human to show gratitude. Not to give something back for the sake of making sure your debts are paid—a gift is something given freely, with no thought of reward—but to say "thank you."
When Doug gives me gifts, I treat them the same way. I am grateful, but I don't ever want to think "I'll be on my best behavior tonight" because he gave me a pretty new dress. That would cheapen his gift, just as a reward would cheapen mine.


My goodness, I find this topic awful! All this stuff about a husband rewarding a wife for obeying? Are we children? Are we pets? I am a Christian, so biblically, I know where you are coming from. However, I think...just like examples of slavery in the Bible...human beings were meant to grow and change. Much of the Bible needs to be taken in the context of the time it was given/written, so that folks back then could relate. My husband and I believe in a two-way street. We make decisions based on who feels they are better versed in the subject matter at hand. Through the years, we've come to realize who is the better one to listen to on matters of the kids...the bills...the clogged gutters...vitamins...etc, etc,. And that's not based on male or female, but just from knowing each other's strengths and weaknesses. Sure, there are times we argue. But, I believe those arguments usually have us arriving at alternatives and processes towards coming to conclusions together. I would never want to be rewarded for what I do and I would laugh at the thought of rewarding my husband for what he does. I do, however, like to be appreciated for what I do, and believe I should appreciate him for what he brings to our marriage. I don't mean any disrespect here, ladies. However, please...make sure you're not being disrespected as intelligent women at home, either. God made us just as he made men...which means we are just as amazing, since everything He does is amazing. Therefore, we have choices. We can be homemakers. We can work outside the home. We can do both. And we can think for ourselves and bring just as much to our marriages in the way of good decisions as our husbands can.