HCSB Eph 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord...All my life this has been interpreted for me to mean that wives were to be submissive to their husbands. And that is true, in context.
Look at the previous verse:
21 submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.So we are all told to submit to one another, but then wives are singled out as needing to be submissive to their husbands. Why? Is it because women need more instruction than men in being submissive to one another?
Let's look at one more aspect of the context. This letter was written to the people in the city of Ephesus. Ephesus, as you'll recall from Acts 19 (and from extra-Biblical history), was the headquarters of the cult of Diana/Artemis. This was a matriarchal town, in which the women were the priests; the women were the government officials; the women wore the pants in the home. These women who were converting to Jesus had spent their entire lives believing that women were to be in charge.
Paul was telling these Ephesians to submit to one another, and emphasizing to the women that the Christian culture was different than that to which they were accustomed, and to stop lording it over the men.
This background may also have bearing on the instructions written to Timothy, who was the church leader in Ephesus at the time (1 Tim 1:3):
HCSB 1 Tim 2:11 A woman should learn in silence with full submission. 12 I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent.