Attitude: An Offense Without a Rule

Most spankings in marital discipline are for clear offenses, or at times for training, if training is necessary. Perhaps the clearest are for direct disobedience, or for breaking a household rule. There are, however, some bad behaviors that really can’t be qualified clearly, but need correction anyway. One of the most common is simply having a Bad Attitude. A wife can show a bad attitude, with observable disrespect towards her husband, without yelling at him, insulting him, or being disobedient. She can do it without using foul language. While that attitude can be expressed in numerous ways, it calls for correction by the husband, whether verbally, or with a spanking.

I shy away from encouraging discipline in unclear situations, since there are so many of them, and often they are simple passing mistakes. It’s also possible to misinterpret language, and find something there which isn’t there. Punishing in unclear situations also puts the wife in a position of not knowing for sure what an offense is or is not. However, a wife ought to know that if her husband deserves respect, that a number of actions are very disrespectful, and will lead her down the road of getting in trouble. Even without a clear rule on the matter, enough of a bad attitude becomes very clear, and the disrespect it shows the husband is unmistakable. It’s best we take note of some of the poor behavior that shows such disrespect, while not breaking a specific rule.

The tone of voice can communicate very poor things. It may be haughty, loud, or condescending. While this may happen once in a while in any marriage, if it is ongoing, a wife is clearly venting her anger towards her husband, or looking down on him. It needs to be addressed. Cutting a husband off repeatedly similarly puts her above her husband, and openly disrespects him. Body language, while at times subtle, can be as powerful as words, and can express standoffishness, pride, or a fighting posture. The evil eye expresses hatred and anger as well. The heart attitude, perhaps even without intention, is shining through powerfully through her body language, and showing the wicked attitude within. Wives who use silence to passively express rage at their husbands are perhaps making the boldest attempt at being cruel. Such an act is a petty attempt to get back at someone, and in a sense nullifies them before your eyes. They matter so little they do not deserve a response. Not until they do what you want at least. They need to pay.

Each of these and more are evidence of bad attitude. They manifest a wife’s rotten heart towards her husband. It would not be practical to make rules about every possible communication we make, so often these signs lie outside of the given rules. Yet they break the heart of the rules nonetheless, by being brazen attempts to disrespect, or control the man. They are rotten to the core. A husband should realize that he can punish for such unregulated activities, when they are clear in their meaning, and are repeated misbehaviors. A wife can and should be free from these evils. 

Since rules may be lacking regarding them, I always recommend that the first order of business is to correct the wife with words. Let her know you do not appreciate that behavior. Tell her why that is disrespectful. Let her know what you expect instead. Many wives will hear this and understand that they were inching into disrespect. They will check their hearts and return with a better attitude. People may raise their voice, or be standoffish without even thinking about it, or intending harm, as they are at times human instincts. For this reason, gentle guidance is the best. However, if it is continued behavior, and a wife is clearly intending to cause disrespect, and will not listen to words, then she needs to be held to account for her behavior and punished for it. She will listen to your verbal guidance better when she is getting spanked. 

I have given spankings for attitude only a few times in my marriage. One was not long ago. My wife had been simply talking back too much, interrupting, and not listening when I gave her a final answer to a matter. Like any other judgment call, it was something I acted on because I saw it occur plenty of times, and I had given my wife reminders before on not speaking this way. A few more steps down the road and it would just be another wife who always talks back to her husband, and has a smart reply to everything. I had seen enough, so I decided to put an end to it. I took her to task with a firm spanking. My wife knew the behavior I was talking about, and she knew it was wrong, but she still tried to talk her way out of the spanking. When she got argumentative in trying to talk out of the spanking, I knew my judgment had been correct, and I’d made the right choice in giving her this session. She had been nurturing a bad attitude inside, and I was going to set it straight right then. I gave her a long corner time to get her heart in the right place, and then I gave her a very long session over my knee, sternly lecturing her on the right way to speak to me. She needed to express her respect and submission many times over during her spanking. I know that she regretted her choices, and she knew those choices led to that long strapping she was enduring. I was pleased to see afterward, as I usually do, that my wife was careful in how she spoke to me, and was sure to be gentle and respectful in her tone. She was paying more attention and correcting herself. 

While rules cannot be made for every behavior, there are still strategies that can help a wife avoid having bad attitude towards her husband, however it might be expressed. At heart, for example, if she is making a point to honor him in many ways, it will be less tempting to dishonor him at all, and her mind will not be growing bitter towards him. Show him honor through words daily. Address him with honor. Keep the voice gentle. Show gratitude boldly for what he does. Apologize when you have done wrong, and ask him what you can do for him. Doing right, it seems, is often the best defense against doing wrong. It will help a wife grow in sincere warmth and closeness to her husband. 

Some husbands will recognize signs of disrespect, and make rules, even though it is impossible to be comprehensive. I am sure there are household rules which do not allow eye rolling, for example. Refusal to speak may also be prohibited in some homes. For those expressions of bad attitude which are common and easy to spot, there’s nothing wrong with letting a wife know they are forbidden. Yet even if you regulate a few of them, attitude will still be quite a grey area, and you will have to rely on your judgment many times, as I’ve done my best to explain here. 

Readers could surely inform me of other subtle ways in which wives communicate disrespect. There will always be a need for discernment in deciding what communicates a bad attitude, and a general air of disrespect. I could not hope to evaluate all of them. In cases in which they speak loud and clear, despite not obviously breaking a rule, and in which gentle verbal correction has been rejected, a wife should surely be turned over the knee for bad attitude. She will be relieved in the long run to be free of that attitude, which was bringing her down and causing conflict, just as it was disrespecting her man. Then she can honor her husband freely, as he does her. 

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25 responses to “Attitude: An Offense Without a Rule”

  1. This is definitely something I struggle with. I do have moments where I cant help myself, getting a bit snappy with him, talking back, arguing unnecessarily. Like you he might give me a warning first. Telling me I need to adjust my attitude or he will do it for me.

    Sometimes I would take that verbal warning on board, other times I don’t, I get even more rebellious, argue against the spanking as well

    Its usually more humiliating to be in that situation, where you know you are wrong and he has to bring me to tears and make me submit. But I am always glad he does.

    I often think my moods are because I need that spanking. That I need to be kept in balance and kept soft and if we go too long its like bad habits come up.

    I’m very thankful for his strength and strictness that he doesn’t let me get away with that, making sure our marriage works in the best way

  2. Wondering Avatar

    I have a hard time with this. Sometimes feelings are just feelings and that may come out as “attitude.” But in reality, if you’re trying to do what’s right and ignore how you’re feeling, sometimes I think it should just not even be addressed if that means a punishment. It’s HARD to give up your will to the will of someone else. I think it’s more something that you can talk through, especially if she is trying. Some things just make me sad. I can’t imagine getting spanked for not being 100% happy about a decision I wouldn’t make. 😐 I’m not talking about throwing a tantrum or something. I mean, there’s been times when I know what answer he wants to hear, and I force myself into answering that way, but it very well could be taken as a bad attitude when really, I want to obey and it’s just hard.

    1. Hi Wondering! It is “just hard” to obey, or it can be, when you disagree. But it is possible to change gears and consider the positives and benefits of the decision your husband has made, and to help him to feel comfortable and confident in his decision knowing he has your unreserved support even if you profoundly disagree. Perhaps he will be willing to explain the benefits he sees. Perhaps he will be willing to listen to your reservations, too, if it’s clear that you are trying to understand and help him, and not change his mind. Perhaps you will just hold your peace, and help him carry out his plans in love and prayer.

      1. I think it can also be helpful to just view whatever you would have decided as “off the table”, when your husband chooses something else. Just as you might go to the store for your favorite bread, but if they’re out of it you have to take what they have. You don’t get upset, it just isn’t possible to have what you want, so you make the best of what’s available. Likewise your husband, for whatever reason, *can’t* make the decision you would have made. What you wanted is simply not available. He doesn’t see it as best, and he has to do what he thinks is best. Even if it infuriates his wife! You get to help make that easier for him by accepting his will graciously—there is always at least the satisfaction of that, even if you’re pretty unhappy about the rest of the situation.

  3. I have had many spankings for attitude adjustment, in fact it probably makes up the vast majority. Nowadays it’s more often dealt with when I have a maintenance spanking. Earning an extra stroke or two soon adds up.

  4. Darcy NH Avatar

    In our house my husband will give verbal warnings when my attitude is unbecoming of a submissive wife. He recognizes that I am human and it is in human nature to react poorly at times to emotional and stressful moments. So his verbal warning will be something like, “Is this attitude REALLY about X or is something else bothering you?” That’s my sign to step back and take stock of my tone or what I said. Often when I get snappy with him it really is because something else is bothering me. I am pleased that my spankings for attitude have been very few and far between, praise God.

    My husband is also like you in that he doesn’t like silent treatment. I happen to need silence and quietude at points during a disagreement. So I have learned to say “I’m not ignoring you. I just need a quiet time to ruminate.”

    I find that the best way to keep my attitude in check is to be prayerful during times of stress. My husband leads us in Christ and I in turn lean on my prayers to honor my husband.

    1. I’ve been silent before thinking it was best to hold my tongue and emotions. He’d ask me what’s wrong and I’d say nothing. He said that’s an out right lie and not acceptable. So now I jusy ask for a moment and walk away and sit on the bed or something.

      1. How about “nothing I can explain right now”? My husband will ask what’s wrong, and then say, “hmm? Hmm?” as if he expects a brief concrete answer that he can fix. But maybe a more honest answer than “nothing” would be “everything”, and he would probably not appreciate hearing that.

  5. Morning Aron I was scolded for not cooking and going over friends house in my defense I did pick up take out for my husband when I came home he scolded me I rolled my eye and got spanked and had to stay in the next day I did not know he expected me to cook before I went out so rules should definitely be expressed a head of time it is also extremely hard for me to apologize and submit to him the day after punishment I do but I struggle with it when I am still upset with him inside

    1. Thanks for your comment, Wendy. Do your best to learn from your husband’s correction. Eye rolling is a big sign of attitude, and some husbands will respond harshly to that. If you’re still upset, you need to humble yourself and just let him lead. He is in charge and you need to trust him. Learn better what your husband expects of you in the future, and plan to do it.

      1. I think I shift my gaze in various ways when I am thinking—more or less as one might look around a room in seeking a lost object, as I cast about in my mind in thought that may translate into casting my eyes about the room. The other day my husband mocked me, “go ahead, roll your eyes”, which startled me because I didn’t think I had. But I did as he’d said, and rolled my eyes, and it was definitely a different thing from what I’d just been doing. I wasn’t being disrespectful in any case, just thinking about what he’d just said, and possibly formulating a response

  6. We’ve had some arguments where right in the middle he’s ordered me to the bedroom for discipline and I’ve taken umbrage at that and been like, “no.” Then once things calm down again I may be willing to take it then, but then he is unwilling to discipline me because I refused him. Then he’ll literally hang it over my head, “No, I’m not spanking you because you didn’t recognize my right to earlier.” Then I have to almost earn the “privilege” to be be disciplined again, by apologizing for my earlier attitude and for whatever I was arguing with him about. Only after he is satisfied that I am contrite, soft, and ready to surrender fully to him from the heart, is he wanting to discipline me. And then he’ll light me up and I have to take whatever he wants to dispense. But only then are we fully restored and the matter is then put behind us.

    Discipline is meant to be something unwanted but as much as it is hard to take, it is still a gift and I feel very disciplined by his refusal to discipline, and he knows it. It is a breach of oneness between us and leaves me feeling shut out, which is his intention to show me how deeply my breach of our unity has gone. Only once he takes full ownership of me again, being willing to pour out his full pleasure in showing his unveiled displeasure upon my bottom, are we fully one and fully complete again.

    Something is a bit backwards about this but it’s his way so….

    1. I love how well your husband knows you!

    2. Was going to respond if I were in that situation I’d just do it anyway. However it sounds like this man his thing’s well figured out. Although the pattern for life and roles of men and women are the same for everyone, there is much variation within those parameters. Can never be overstated just how important being a student of ones wife is in order to be a good husband.

    3. Campbell Avatar

      It’s up to your husband how he runs your marriage, but if I were him I would not tolerate a refusal to accept discipline. That you would ever say no to your husband is a problem and that you’d do so in response to him telling you to prepare for a spanking indicates that you have serious work to do if you are to be a truly submissive wife.

      Your husband’s approach of refusing you discipline once you have come round to accepting it may work to some degree, but allowing you to choose to reject discipline will create long term problems. You say this comes in the context of arguments, and you seem unable to obey when he declares the discussion over. I would consider introducing a rule that you are not to contradict or argue with him, as you clearly are not able to do so while maintaining a submissive attitude. For at least an initial training period, perhaps a month, any sustained disagreement would be met with a serious spanking. That way, you might learn to avoid a rebellious attitude.

      1. Anais Rim Avatar

        In all my disciplinarian dynamics, I’ve always included an appeals process. She’s expected to prepare for discipline if instructed. And there’s a ritual she’s taught to follow. But right before it begins she either hands me the implement, indicating acceptance, or verbally appeals.

        Grounds for appeal are:

        1. She didn’t do it. I’ve wrongly assigned correction for something she steadfastly denies having done. I accept this and we find time to discuss a few days later. But, if she knowingly appeals to avoid correction by claiming untruthfully she didn’t do something she in fact had done, then a more serious punishment follows. One with increased intensity and duration.

        2. Unfair or disproportionate. She claims the offense is too minor or there was no proper warning to warrant correction. This is less straightforward than merely claiming innocence. It’s a question of degree, because she’s actually agreeing the offense occurred.

        If she’s steadfast I’m being too harsh, I’d offer a reduction, say writing lines or corner time, with the stipulation if the behavior repeats within 4-6 weeks she’ll get a harsher punishment than if she’d accepted it at the moment.

        The goal here isn’t to trip her into punishment, but to deter bad behavior we both agree is destructive to our relationship or plain harmful. This is why there’s an implement hanging by her mirror. She sees it every morning while getting ready for work. Again, the goal is deterrence. Not total obedience.

    4. Hello Cresta, You do want to reach a point where you are not resistant to your husband. You want to be able to respond to something you don’t like to hear with wisdom and gentleness. You want to be able to say “yes sir” to commands that are difficult to follow. It may seem far off, but you can learn this. Enough love, trust, and heartfelt submission can bring you to this place. Whatever strategy your husband uses, accept his chastisement to teach you humility.

      1. Well, hubs and I did have that final “talk” last night and he made sure the message was heard.

        Hi Campbell,
        At first I thought your comment somewhat harsh and then I read it again and realized it was actually pretty perceptive… and that while you seem somewhat annoyed on general male principles, your advice was meant as helpful. What’s been going through my head recently is that I really need to learn not just to submit but to maintain a mindset of reverence for my husband. It sets the bar a few steps further up the process than if I only think about submission. Likewise, your advice would set the bar of not arguing a few steps back from actual arguing. My husband read your comment and said he will consider it but that it’s up to him, which I am not inclined to argue with him 😉

        Thank you for always believing in that of God in me (and really all of us wives that write you), and always calling us to live up to it. Yes, you are of course right about what I must learn to do, and thank you for never failing to speak that stuff that needs to be said. Yes to all you wrote, and amen.

      2. Campbell Avatar


        A reverent mindset is exactly right. A godly wife shouldn’t have to ask in the moment whether she’ll obey her husband. It should be automatic, because she has fully internalized his authority.

        I’m glad your husband read my comment, and that you recognize the path forward is up to him. Blessings to you both.

        1. I’m not sure any human authority should be obeyed “automatically”. I’d like to think I obey my husband thoughtfully and deliberately, not automatically.

    5. Hi Cresta,
      I appreciate that you want to grow in saying yes to your husband. I think that’s honorable. There’s a few things that come to mind for me, that may be submissive and respectful reasons to meekly request a delay.
      In the middle of an argument often times a wife’s mind is very full. It’s very possible that she won’t be able to learn much from discipline because she hasn’t taken the time to process the conversation. It takes time to move away from:
      “he’s not listening to me”
      …and move into…
      “what were his good motives here and what were mine?”
      “how can we do a better job of hearing the motive and not just the difference?“
      Once the wife has been able to think through all of those things, the discipline is received in a deeper way because mentally, she has the space to learn something.
      This could probably be accomplished through a long corner time. It probably also would feel safer to have a 30 minute cool down for both of you. Even when you trust your husband, I think wives are keenly in tune with their physical vulnerability in the middle of an argument. It can be really hard to immediately increase that vulnerability. It might be nice to ask him about this when you guys are not in the middle of an argument. I think most husbands would appreciate that you are thinking about this area in your marriage and want to see growth. Blessings to you both!

      1. Anonymous Avatar

        Wise and insightful, Elsie. Thank you for sharing a way to look at emotions during differences. Being able to process as you described would most likely promote harmony sooner.

    6. I feel this so much! I definitely recognize that I need to squash that though and never tell him no on anything. If I’m pushing his buttons intentionally, he will absolutely not spank. He will not reward that behavior by giving me what I want. And honestly, his disappointment and the look on his face is absolutely a “punishment” and I hate it.

    7. Why are you having arguments at all?

  7. HoH Husband Avatar
    HoH Husband

    I think the easier answer or perspective here is that if 2 people are fit to be married to each other, and their goal is to have a fruitful marriage based upon love, respect, and commitment then they know what is in each other’s hearts…

    Women are manipulative in nature, and modern society needs to understand that what a woman mistreating a man looks like is different than what a man mistreating a woman looks like…. It’s almost become cliche’ and nonsensical in today’s society about “men beating women” . But sure, that is a way a man abuses a woman…. However, a woman wishing to harm or be abusive towards her husband is most likely NOT going to walk up to him and punch him in the face. Why? Because she already knows it’s a losing battle…. So women do other things…

    Simply put: I know what’s in my wife’s heart and how she operates. I’ve known her for 1/3 of my life…we cannot itemize all the ways disobedience and/ or disrespect can be displayed. And honestly, each day forward is different so those issues can also naturally be different…. So I revert back to “you know what’s in your spouse’s heart…” act and manage your home accordingly.

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