Costanza Miriano’s Woman, Get Married and Be Submissive – on being the perfect wife – has sold over 100,000 copies.
Miriano’s book contains advice to women and wives to be submissive to their husbands. No, that does not mean be a doormat or be unhealthy and allow your husband to abuse you. It does mean the following to Miriano:
“Women forget that they can’t have it all: working like a man and being at home like a woman. Power is not designed for women.”
Miriano is no shrinking violet either. She is a working journalist in Italy writing best-sellers at home at the same time she “submits” to her husband as both of them raise their four kids.
From the blog, Garvan Hill,
“As you might expect, a book expressing those ungarnished sentiments has also created a storm. An ultra politically correct Spanish government minister – a woman – wants it banned there. But apart from having a laugh all the way to the bank, Costanza is also having a good laugh at the simpletons who are misreading her book and her intentions. In summary she has done nothhing more than present us with a very sane and rich view of marriage in a guise so alien to the pc mores of today that it is ‘way-off-the-scale post-modern, a very refreshing antidote to the vacuous and poisonous Briget Jones of our time.”
Miriano does have a blog that has an English Language Version on which you can read some extracts from her books.
One excerpt is a letter to a married friend whose wedding she attended with her own family. It was meant to be a letter written before the wedding, a kind of wedding gift, but chaos seems to have put an end to that intention. As it turns out it seems the letter-writing had to wait a few years.
The meat of her letter, her “gift” to her friend, Margherita is as follows:
It is the secret for a holy wedding, which is the same as saying a happy one. The secret is for a woman, in front of the man she chose, to take a step backwards. And, as you know me well, you also may well know this is not in my nature at all. I’m not exactly a docile person, but I have turned into one I believe, I hope, because I think this is what being a spouse means: to embrace, first of all.
And you know that I, just like anybody, don’t like losing. I’ve been more than competitive at school, at university. Even more in sports…But when it comes to life as a couple, you have to compete in the opposite way: two steps backwards. And you must do it even when you don’t understand why, even when you’re convinced you have good reasons. In that very moment, perform an act of trust towards your husband. Get out of the logic of the world, “I want to get the better of him”, and enter the logic of God, who put at your side your husband, that saint who bears you after everything, and who, incidentally, is also a handsome guy. And if something he does is not fine with you, it is God Himself you have to confront, to begin with: get down on your knees, and most time you’ll solve everything.
Luigi is the way God chose to love you and he is your way to heaven. When he says something, then you must listen to him as if God was talking to you; with full discernment, clearly, in wisdom and cleverness, of course, because he is a creature, but with respect, because he often sees more clearly than you do. Our vocation, whatever it is, is the source of our happiness. As the Russian Orthodox theologian, Pavel Evdokimov, says, if the objective end of the wedding is generating children, the subjective end is to generate ourselves. Margherita is not fully herself without Luigi!
Can you realize how great and invaluable a thing you have in your hands? In this enterprise you just started, with the grace of God, you will generate yourself. “But how do you do that?” you asked on the phone some thousand times. Do I have to let him have the better of me even when he’s wrong? I say yes. In the first place because it seems to you that he’s wrong, and if, as we were saying, he’s the one who leads you to your wholeness, to your completeness, it is exactly when he thinks differently from you that you have to open up to him, and embrace him. It is exactly then that what he tells you has a precious meaning for you, it adds something, it makes you whole, makes you grow, lets you make a shift.
If you just embrace what you agree with, what you think, you are not married to a man, but to yourself. You must submit yourself to him. When you two must choose between what you like and what he likes, choose in his favour. And this is easy. When there’s a decision to take, and after you weighed the pros and cons the answer is still not clear, trust him, and let him have the last word. This is a little difficult sometimes. When it seems to you that his is completely wrong, for the the sake of both of you, even for the kids, maybe, still keep trusting his clearness of mind. This may seem to be an unbearable effort. You will be afraid, because abandoning your beliefs is scary. But you’re not jumping into the void; you’re jumping into his arms.
You’ll see, I can swear on it, a man cannot resist a woman who respects him, recognizes his authority, who makes a sincere effort to listen to him, to let aside her own way of seeing things, who tramples on her ever-biting, teasing, failure-highlighting tongue (we’re very good at that, no doubt), who accepts to walk on paths that are extremely different from those she would naturally choose, just out of love.
Day by day, he will start asking you what you think, what to do, which way your family should go. And this respect you achieve through respect, this devotion through submission. This is why, having finally won my husband’s respect, I now feel ready to calmly explain to him how greatly beneficial it would be to build a garden walk. And even when the fruits seem to be late, we Christians must know they are ripening. We are happy in hope, aren’t we? We know what happens to us is not to be measured on the world’s meter. We know any suffering, even a little one, produces sometimes mysterious, yet never lost, fruits, if accepted with love.