First there is the topic of Obedience
Obedience to a husband does not include murdering for him or any other sin, like thieving, lying, or anything immoral. I personally put it this way---if a husband says to do something contrary to the Bible and you have to choose between obeying your husband or obeying your Creator then I go with God and what God has taught because my husband and myself are both sinners. It's a little like the blind leading the blind. God is not a sinner.
But many women say, "I have to obey my husband, the Bible says so." The difference between me and a person saying that is that I'm concentrating on the author of the Scriptures, the author of my faith, for that matter. My husband is fallible and God is not. In areas of Biblical obedience and morality I choose to follow God, our Lord. As much as possible I obey my husband. As much as my earthly sin-nature lets me. Plus, if it were not for God I would not have a Bible to quote or to teach me. The Bible, that we all want to follow, came from God.
I believe the headship order given in I Cor 11 clearly teaches that it's God, then Jesus, then man, then woman but in another part of the Word we have the teaching that God sees us as neither man nor female, neither slave nor free, etc.
So I believe that the headship order is to HELP us here on earth to know "who follows who" in the day-to-day decisions that are not matters of morality. And, I believe the same thing in a church setting too----it brings order and God likes and teaches orderliness in several places in the Bible.
In the life (after this earthly life has ended) I believe in our total equality and even now before God, but for here, for solving spats and making choices, I believe our Jesus, our Lord gave us clear direction ever since He created Eve.
As to living with an unbelieving spouse; clearly you have to pray for them and they do change for the better (usually) as they age. They don't always. Get your friends to pray for your husband too.
There is more to the topic too and that is how I am a "helpmeet" to my husband.
Personally, how I "helpmeet" my husband is by keeping in mind that the Bible says we are the weaker vessel and our husbands are supposed to love us as Christ loved the Church and gave His life for her. And the Bible says that our husbands are supposed to love us as much as they love their own body.
With that and the "gentle and quiet" spirit teachings and the other verses directed TO women in the Bible I come to it with all of that in the background. (Those are included at the end.)
We are asked to respect our husbands and they are asked to love us.
I Corinthians 11 reminds us that woman is made FOR man and not man for woman.
With all of that in the background of my thinking I try to "help" and by help, I mean sweep the floor, to me that is helping my husband. By putting the emphasis on the word "help" it lifts a ton of weight off of my shoulders and puts all of that back where it belongs---on God, and on my husband.
If I help, then I don't do everything for him. He can pick up a towel. If he couldn't pick up his towel then I would help him do that. I'm not obstinate but I want to help in a feminine and Biblical way and not do everything that he can do himself. Women who try that wind up waiting on their husbands "hand and foot" and (often) very unhappy because that energy is (often) not reciprocated and I think that the wife took the teaching too far.
Sweeping the back steps is helping him. Jumping on the riding lawn mower for an 8 hour mowing session, in several very hilly and bumpy fields, is not helping him appropriately because I'm not physically capable of that and he is muscular, strong, and big. He is capable of mowing our 6 acre farm-ette and he does the man-work and I help in a more lady-like way.
I'm not telling any of you to not mow the lawn but in some marriages the wife does that, then takes out the garbage, cleans and cooks, raises the children like she is a single parent because she does ALL the work of that and brings her lazy husband a sandwich while wiping the sweat off of her brow. After that, she washes the car and starts dinner. She has become a slave more than a servant of the Lord. She often secretly resents her husband and inwardly considers him to be lazy and that is NOT respecting her husband to think such thoughts because thoughts have a way of exhibiting themselves in one form or another. Trying to squash down all your resentments daily will bring unintended consequences, or at least it could.
Adam was given his curses from God.
Eve was given her curses from God.
The funny thing is that men cannot borrow from our curse and bear children but we can be under our curse, bear children etc., and have a job, do all of the household work and be the one who gets up with the kids and we CAN borrow from Adam's curse, the curse of work.
In some marriages I personally know it's becoming very common for the husband to be the stay-at-home parent and his wife goes to the office everyday.
I believe that going back and reading the curses given to Adam and Eve will help all of us.
Here are the 10 verses in the Bible directed to women
Verses Directed to Women
From the entire Bible, Genesis through Revelation, the Bible very infrequently calls out to women specially and I believe because it is such a rare thing that we believing females ought to at least read and know these verses and then whether you obey them or do not is between you and our Lord.
There are many verses in the Bible written to “Anthropos” meaning all people. There are a few written to aner, which means only male (MEN ONLY) and doesn’t mean people. Then there are the few times below where the Bible speaks to women.
#1-------I Tim 5: 9-10, the widow’s list, includes proper behavior
#2-------I Tim 2: 9-15, dressing modestly/don’t teach/be in silence
#3-------I Peter 3: 1-6, submit/apparel/ gentle and quiet spirit
#4-------Proverbs 31: 10-30, virtuous wife
#5-------Titus 2:3-5, behavior, teaching younger women to love their husband and children
#6-------I Corinthians 14:34-35, do not speak in church
#7-------Ephesians 5:22-23, marriage submission
#8-------Colossians 3:18, marriage submission
#9-------I Corinthians 11:2-16, women’s headship, covering, long hair
#10-----Add to all of the above when Adam and Eve were given curses, you will see that the genders were not given the same curses. Men can’t borrow from Eve’s curse and bear a child but a woman can live under her curses and borrow from Adam’s curses which quite often winds up with a marriage of hardship.