What one doesn't hear too often is that wives aren't the only ones who are instructed to be submissive. 1 Corinthians 11:3 puts it well:
the head of every man is Christ,
the head of a wife is her husband, and
the head of Christ is God.
Wives submit to their husbands ,
Husbands submit to Christ,
Christ submits Himself to God (presumably the Father part of the Godhead).
So both husbands and Christ Himself are to be submissive to the one who has headship over them. Ephesians 5:22f expands on this a bit further:
Now, headship over another person isn't a matter of the submitting person being a slave or give the person in the position authority cause to abuse the one they have authority over. Quite to the contrary, if one looks at the relationship between a husband and wife, you see direct parallels to the relationship of Christ to His Church.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.Eph 5:25
In short, rightly done, the submission of a wife to her husband is the wife helping him love her, take care of her, and - if need be - lay down his life for her protection and defense. This is the same as the Church submitting to Christ, who cleans the people of the church by the washing of water with the word, so that she - the church - may be holy and blameless.
In this way, both the husband and Christ - by caring for their brides - are loving themselves.