When two people submit to each other in relationship it is really a form of surrender. It is not about submitting to another person's authority in doing whatever they say, it's allowing the relationship to unfold and be deeply connected, but in order to do this both partners have to have the same mindset about the relationship, where it is going, what it means to them, and how they are going to move forward with it. They have to agree upon the reasons for being in relationship and what they intend for the long term together.
The word submission has gotten a bad rap by certain kinds of people who took it in the wrong context, it has become something women fear because of the abusive, hurtful men in the world who take it literally that his woman needs to obey and submit to his authority no matter what it is, which is wrong, and what has been the cause of much spousal abuse and hurt of women through out the centuries by men who believed they could do whatever they wanted to their wives, and in certain times they could do whatever they wanted and get away with it and nothing would or could be done about it. But that is not what I am talking about here, I just wanted to point that out for those of you who find the word submission to be the cause of fear or other uncomfortable feelings. It is only because of those who choose to use it in the wrong ways.
The actual definitions of each word are:
Submission: the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.
Surrender: cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority or abandon oneself entirely to something or someone.
Now lets break this down into how it plays into the intimate relationship. When both partners are on the same page about everything I mentioned in the first paragraph it means they are of the same belief system in regards to the relationship and of relationships in general. This is the only way this can work. Basically in my opinion the base of the relationship should be that the relationship is a priority for both parties, the relationship is meant for spiritual and personal growth, it's about companionship, connection, love, devotion, support, encouragement, friendship, vulnerability, and intimacy. Now the ways these things plays out in the relationship will look different for each side for one will be the masculine side and the other will be the feminine side. Both parties have to be equal in order to do this and have it feel good, but equal looks different for the masculine than it does for the feminine. Equal basically means there are equal parts masculine to equal parts feminine.
A masculine man in relationship is strong and powerful as the protector, the provider, the rock, the decision maker, the main disciplinarian, the doer, the thinker, and the action taker. Those are all masculine traits.
A feminine woman in relationship is strong and powerful as the nurturer, the caretaker, the one who connects everyone bringing them all together, she is more present and in the moment, she is softer, she brings peace, lightness, harmony, passion, and creativity. With her children she is the teacher, the explorer, and the one who instructs them on what is right and wrong as the rule enforcer. She is strong and powerful as the seductress with her husband, the mother to her children, and the wise old woman as she gets older to her descendants.
Now a man can and sometimes is the feminine one and the woman can and sometimes is the masculine one, the main point here is that there must be a masculine and feminine dynamic within the relationship in order for it to work, otherwise you will butt heads and there will be constant conflict that neither of you understand. Two people who are masculine dominant will often compete with each other and get more aggressive with each other and never see eye to eye. Two people who are feminine dominant will often sit back and never make a move waiting for the other one to, or if a move is made, eventually they drift apart because neither of them can keep it going since making moves and taking action are masculine traits. And both parties will often feel resentment towards the other which is death to a relationship.
In order to surrender or submit in regards to relationship both parties need to honor each other in their traits, and their strengths as either masculine or feminine. It is not about surrendering to an enemy or opponent, (we should never see our partner as an enemy or opponent) as stated in the above definition, it is about abandoning oneself to the relationship. It is not about yielding to someone else's authority per se, but a superior force like Divine Love, and honoring that love through marriage and mirroring that love within the marriage and family unit. It is honoring each person as an authority unto themselves. It is the man's duty to love his wife and children the way the Divine loves him and them, and it is the wife's duty to love her husband and children through this Divine Love as well. Both the man and the woman should be examples of Divine Love so the children can follow that example. That is where the term submit comes in, we are submitting or surrendering to Divine love and expressing it through relationship.
Submitting in relationship is about honoring, loving, and accepting each person as they are, who they are as themselves and not trying to make them into something else. It's about valuing what each person brings to the relationship in their strengths and loving them through their weaknesses. It's about choosing relationship, it's about choosing partnership, and it's about surrendering to what is (the present moment, and the partner you choose for who they are) for what will be (as in the future and who each of you will become as you learn and grow together.) As long as you both are emotionally able to commit in this way in order to have a happy and healthy relationship. This does not happen or work in pathological, unhealthy, abusive relationships. That is why it takes the right mindset first before you choose to go into partnership with someone. And that is one of many reasons why marriage is a sacred act and a spiritual contract. When two people sign a marriage certificate they aren't just singing a legal document stating they are married, they are signing that their souls have made a contract to go through this life together no matter what life throws at them, unfortunately though for many they don't understand this part, and many marriages end in divorce, for the main reason that they got married to the wrong person for all the wrong reasons. So it is best to make sure you both are on the same page and commit to the relationship through Divine Love.