Gabrielle Reece is known as a fitness advocate and former volleyball star, but now she’s getting attention for some seemingly old-fashioned views on a woman’s role in a relationship.
“I think the idea of living with a partner is ‘How can I make their life better? ”’ Reece said on a visit to the Today show. “So if I’m the woman and he’s the man, then yes, that’s the dynamic. 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.”
Gabrielle Reece added that being submissive has traditionally been looked at as a weakness, but she disagrees. She also thinks submission doesn’t mean just serving a husband.
“He’s not saying, ‘Dinner on the table at six,’ ” Reece said of her husband, big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton. “We’re not talking about that. I’m saying, ‘Hey I’ll lift up my side, and I’ll do it happily,’ and also the expectation would be, or the hope would be, that he comes with the same attitude. Is it a form of service? Absolutely. But I think it’s the place I can express that part of myself and my personality.”
The book also goes into the very personal account of Gabrielle Reece’s relationship with Hamilton, including their separation four years after being married.
Reece said in the end her husband reached out to her to mend the relationship.
“I was a chicken and was like, ‘Oh, this is hard and uncomfortable so I’m out.’ I was uncomfortable with confrontation,” Gabrielle Reece said. “What I learned is that if something is persistently bothering you and you don’t say anything, you build up walls and the person never even has a chance.”