Diogenes, you’re asking for the application of a standard to a situation not covered by that standard. What happens when you go ahead and divide by zero, anyway? It’s a plausible question, but number theory does not admit of an answer (or, actually, sufficiently many contradictory answers that it’s simply a forbidden process).
The quick-and-dirty answer is that the “headship” thing, with the caveats I gave there, applies to a “Christian marriage” – and if one partner in that marriage decides it’s no longer a Christian marriage, then the rule doesn’t apply.
And, as I pointed out there, it’s a mutual-agreement program – the man has the casting vote in situations where consensus cannot be achieved, to be sure, but his job, before ever getting to that point, is to cherish his wife, to ensure that her needs and wants are fulfilled, to the point that they should almost never get to that point. If he’s not doing that on a continuous basis, it’s not a Christian marriage as contemplated by Paul; it’s a man-as-dictator patriarchal relationship. And it is a choice on both their parts to enter into that sort of relationship. If jarhusband or I are not treating jarbaby and Skulldigger respectively in the manner prescribed, we’re failing in our duty and voiding the agreement.
For questions short of an utter break, recognizing that people are not perfect and don’t live up to ideals, the recommended policy is patience and acceptance. There are certain things on which one party is prepared to put down his/her foot; if the other party loves the first party, he/she will give in, cooperate, concede for the sake of peace, etc.
The comment that “marriage is not a 50:50 proposition, it’s a matched set of 0:100 surrenders” has a lot going for it. If Barb’s happiness does not mean more to me than my personal whims, then I’m failing her in a very basic way. And, of course, the reverse is true.
You also need to remember that this was a teaching addressed to a particular group of Greek Christians in a culture where women, while not in purdah, tended not to get out in public, tended not to be educated to the level of their spouses, and in general were usually in need of guidance as to the realities of the world outside their doors, which the husband – who was both emotionally prepared and divinely commanded to love and cherish her – was best prepared to provide. Circumstances alter cases; Barb is more knowledgeable than me in a number of areas both intellectual and “street-smarts”-wise, as I suspect may be the case in the Jar-marriage too (no offense to jarhusband!) While we two couples have chosen to apply the Pauline rule, it is in the context of two adult human beings with extensive experience and knowledge in a manner unlike the First Century Greek custom – and decisions we make will be much more on the consensus model than on the Pauline man-makes-the-rules one.