But what does it really mean to be a married female head of the household?
In the simplest terms, it means that your word is his law; your husband’s primary duty is always to yeild to you and obey your wishes.
To elaborate, being head of the household means that you make the important decisions and your decisions are final, including deciding what your husband is allowed to decide on his own. Where you disagree, he defers to your decision. You should develop the confidence to act on the basis of your role as head of the household and the strength and determination to help him adjust to his own supporting role.
You might ask his opinion to help you form your decision. It’s one of his responsibilities to share his opinion when you ask for it or when he thinks you expect or need it. But you should ultimately retreat to the privacy of your own mind to form your decision and own that decision once it’s made. Say, “thank you for sharing your opinion. Let me think about it and I’ll give you my decision when I’m ready.”
You may delegate the implementation of a decision to him. Once you make a decision you can relate your decision to him and then assign him the task of carrying it out. Say, “I’ve decided this. I want you to do this and do it this way. Let me know when it’s done.”
Perhaps most importantly, being head of the household means that your judgment, opinions, and priorities rule. In every real world situation there are ambiguities and unknowns. To deal with these we use our judgment, opinions, and priorities to fill in the blanks, bring order to the world, and suggest a course of action. Naturally, no two people are the same and we all tend to follow our own judgment, opinions, and priorities.
As head of the household you should indulge your own judgment, opinions, and priorities. You act on your own beliefs and values whenever the facts are unknown, insufficient, inadequate, or differently perceived. He must subordinate his judgment, opinions, and priorities to yours. For example, if you feel uncomfortable in a situation you should step back, form your own judgment, and then act on it whereas, once he has offered his opinion to you, he must accept your decision regardless of how it might conflict with his own judgment, opinions, and priorities.
As head of the household, you control the family finances. He is required to justify his expenses to you. But there is absolutely no need for you to explain anything whatsoever about the family finances to him. If you give him a budget it is his duty to follow it; if you require approval for certain purchases, he must obtain such approval. You, on the other hand, are free to spend as you alone see fit whether, in your judgment, for the benefit of the family or merely for your own enjoyment. For example, if you want to buy a new car, that is your decision alone but if he wants to purchase a new shirt he must seek your permission.
In many ways, time is money and so it is that his time is yours to budget or manage as you see fit. You should feel free to offload time consuming or otherwise undesirable tasks on him including family care, housework, shopping, and running errands. It is his responsibility to follow your direction in the management of his time and to seek permission for any deviances from your expectations with respect to his time.
Your preferences prevail in matters of aesthetics and leisure. For example, if the bedroom needs repainting, you select the colors. You decide where the family goes on vacation.
As head of the household, you are free to keep matters private as you choose. On the other hand, he has a duty to answer all your questions truthfully, fully, and directly and to inform you of anything that you would expect to have been informed about if you knew. Whereas you can enjoy open access to him, he’ll have to rely on trusting you.
As head of the household, you are bound only by your own conscience and you are free to change your mind at any time. For example, if you decide that he should paint the bedroom yellow and, after he’s am halfway through, you change your mind and choose blue, it is his duty to follow your new decision without complaint.