Summary: The world can't understand the concept of submission... and it's little wonder they don't. It makes no sense. Is submission really all that important in our marriages?

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OPEN: A desperate woman wrote Tech Support:

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and I noticed a distinct slowdown in the overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as Newspaper 5.0, TV News 3.0 and Basketball Game 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs.

Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?

Signed, Desperate Woman

Dear Desperate Woman,

First, keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package while Husband 1.0 is an older more reliable operating system. Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2. And don’t forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.

If those applications work as designed, Husband1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above applications can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a decent program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory & performance.

We recommend: Cooking 3.0 and Hot Looks 7.7.

APPLICATION: Obviously that conversation never took place. But I want you to notice something here: There was a problem… this wife was unhappy. The correspondence in the illustration had several suggested solutions to her problem.

1.) Nagging 5.3

2.) Tears 6.2

3.) Guilt 3.0

4.) Hot looks 7.7

You know what that sounds like to me? (pause) Manipulation 5.0

As humorous as that supposed conversation was supposed to be, it points to a very real difficulty in human relationships. Too many people (not just in marriage, but in all kinds of relationships) believe that they need to control those relationships. If necessary they’ll manipulate others. They’ll do everything they can to convince others to do something THEY want done and they’ll so by nagging, guilting, tricking, tempting or browbeating them into it.

ILLUS: I recently read the confessions of a divorced woman. She said that after 19 years of marriage, her Christian family was torn apart by divorce… partly by her husband’s faults… but also partly by her own faults.

And then she listed some of HER OWN failures:

• I yelled… A lot.

• I looked out for "number one" and tried to protect her (me).

• I was cruel and self-serving and critical with my words. Probably daily.

• I didn't serve my then-husband enough.

• I didn't build him up enough.

• I didn't respect him.

I used to argue that once I felt he deserved respect, I'd begin to respect him.

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