Is this the key to a happy marriage? Sure hope not.

Submissive wife, happy life?

Former volleyball star Gabrielle Reese says the key to a happy marriage is to be submissive. In her new book My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper: A Guide to the Less Than Perfect Life, she says, “to truly be feminine means being soft, receptive and – look out, here it comes – submissive.”


In a complete departure from the strength and aggressiveness that made her a champion volleyball star, Gabrielle says she believes the choice to be submissive in her relationship is a sign of strength, not weakness. She attributes getting in touch with her ‘submissive side’ with saving her marriage.

Gabrielle Reece married surfer Laird Hamilton in Hawaii 17 years ago. In her book she wrote, “We didn’t even make it to our fifth anniversary before our sexy fairy tale turned into one of those unwatchable Swedish domestic dramas that makes the audience want to throw themselves off the nearest bridge.”

They split but reunited a few months later, pledging to work hard and overcome their differences. Their solution was for them both to accept their gender roles with Gabrielle becoming more submissive thus allowing her husband to be the man in the relationship. This, she says, is their version of ‘happily ever after’.


Reece took ten years off from her career playing volleyball and modelling to raise her two children (and her husband). They have two daughters together and one from Hamilton’s previous marriage. She believes that fairy tales are ‘pure bullshit’.

Speaking on The Today Show she said, “I’m willing and I choose to serve my family and  my husband because it creates a dynamic where he is then in fact acting more like a man and masculine and treating me the way I want to be treated which is I‘d like to be cherished and I’d like someone to sort of look after me as well in that role.”

“I think because women have the ability to set the tone the ultimate strength and showing real power I believe is creating that environment. I don’t think it’s actually a sign of weakness, I’m saying it’s a sign of strength.”

When asked if being submissive in her relationship is a sacrifice, Reece said, “Is it a form of service, absolutely.”

The book has some good advice too, like working together to preserve what you have, developing a more ‘profound and grounded love’ and communicating. How should we be communicating, according to Reece? She says she communicates on her man’s level in the language he understands – ‘through food and through sex’.

Defending her husband on NBC’s Today Show she said, “he’s not saying, ‘dinner on the table at six’”. It’s more about embracing an old-fashioned dynamic at home.

We know some husband who would love this but suspect most wives would say something along the lines of ‘dream on’ if the above approach was suggested.

Do you think being submissive is the key to a happy marriage? If not, what is the key to the success of your marriage?


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