Ephesians 5:22-24 (NIV)22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
According to Merriam-Webster, Submit means a : to yield oneself to the authority or will of another. Therefore, wives must surrender to the authority of their husbands.
Earlier in this chapter, it also states that women must perform their marital duties.1 Corinthians 7:4 (NIV)4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband.
There are other verses which do explain that a man may divorce his wife if there is unfaithfulness in the marriage. But otherwise, divorce is not an acceptable practice.1 Corinthians 7:10-17 (NIV)10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
So, basically speaking - a woman must obey her husband. She must submit to him, including sexually, and she must never leave him unless he's unfaithful.
In general, I wouldn't argue with such statements. Although, as a woman of the 21st century, the concept of obeying our husbands is a bit of a stretch, the rest of this does have merit.
But what if he abuses her? What if he calls her names, and degrades her? What if he rapes her?
The Bible does say that husbands should treat their wives with love and respect. But no where (that I could find) does it say abusing her is wrong. And no where does it say it's ok for a wife to leave her husband (or vice-versa) because of spousal abuse.
I'd love to hear others thoughts on this subject...