The Definition of a Wife

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ask Wifey’s Q and A – Reversed

I DVR’d Oprah yesterday because I saw a commercial that the show would be about marriage. There were several interesting segments about women and marriage all around the world but it was something Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the new book Committed said that made me stop and think. She explained that a lot of women she knows want to be married but no one wants to be a “wife.”


That made me question what exactly does that mean? And even more so, what’s the definition of a wife?

So, I looked it up.

According to a wife is “a woman joined in marriage to a man; a woman considered in relation to her husband; spouse.”

Hmm. No surprises there, but does that really sum up what a wife is? So many words come to mind when I think about a wife. Partner. Spouse. Lover. Friend. Companion. Supporter. Backbone. Caregiver. Leader. The list could go on and on.

She went on to say that some of the “traditional” things that many wives take on in their households – cooking, cleaning, staying home to care for the kids - is probably the deterrent. While I may be known to complain about some of these things, ahem, (I really do have a list of reasons Why Wifey needs a Wife) I truly don’t mind doing some many of them. To me, being a wife is much more than washing some dishes or making sure the pantry is full. Hell, you can pay someone else to do that for you.

I want to be a wife. I chose to be a wife. I LOVE being a wife. I LOVE being my husband’s wife. It’s an honor and privilege to share the bond and the life that we have and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

How about you? What’s your definition of a wife? Wives everywhere want to know …

Winks & Smiles,

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Robin January 14, 2010 at 12:36 PM  

I agree wholeheartedly..and Im also proud of the fact that we've made it this far..out of all of our friends when we started out..we are the only ones together..and its not easy..It takes a lot of work, thoughtfulness, insight, sacrifice love and patience among many other things..worth it all the way..Hi there, Im a new follower..!

Jen @ After The Alter January 14, 2010 at 1:54 PM  

Well I think in order to define wife you have to separate it from your other like taking care of kids and stuff..that would be a mom...I actually think alot of women forget how to be a wife. I am a newlywed so I only know what it means to be a wife...(still learning). Just like the definition said, being a wife is a relationship to a man. As all the other tasks women must take on build up...I think being a wife gets put on the back burner. I think these terms you used said it well Partner. Spouse. Lover. Friend. Companion. Supporter. Backbone. Caregiver. Leader...and as time goes on I hope to remember these roles. Because I think the backbone of a happy family is a happy marriage.

Armywife101 January 14, 2010 at 2:06 PM  

I absolutely agree my list of defining what a wife is can go on for days. For me being a wife is being his supporter (even when I'm unsure of the outcome)being his confidante, and because of our military lifetstyle essentially stepping into his shoes temporarily while he is gone and making him secure in knowing his "wife" can hold it down just as he would.
I wouldn't trade my life with my husband for anything.

jtbrown January 14, 2010 at 4:39 PM  

I agree that I want to be a wife and I take much pleasure in doing so. I am my husband's friend, caregiver, source of renewal. I do believe that there is a "traditional" role of a wife and that is the role that I choose to partake of. I do think that some women now marry and do not wish to play the "traditional" role of a wife and I feel that it takes away from the marriage. Both people have a role to play.

MOMSWEB January 14, 2010 at 5:57 PM  

Hmmm...should I answer? I think I'm one of those women who wants to be married, but doesn't want the added MAN MADE responsibilities of being a wife. I love being my husband's supporter, lover, companion, friend and all those other emotional attachments. I also believe it's harder to be those things (completely) than the cooking, cleaning, and washing of nasty underwear.

As I grow older in age and wisdom, I desire a partnership rather than a marriage.

I KNOW FOR A FACT that I'm a single woman living a married life. Hmmm...that sounds like a book I need to write (lol).

Ms. Wanda January 15, 2010 at 10:35 AM  

Nice:) Now let me see um, being a wife, um right now I'm not feeling like being a wife so I have no input:) When I'm feeling hubby again I'll write back!

Ms. Wanda

Jenni January 15, 2010 at 6:51 PM  

My husband is a better wife than I am. I am not sure what that means, but I like it.

joanofalltrades January 15, 2010 at 10:09 PM  

I love this post! I think wife has many definitions and it means different things to different people. It could mean slave, doormat, trophy, or robot depending on who you ask. I, on the other hand would like to think that a wife is a person who through God's will and trusting in Him, supports and loves her family in every way they need her to while receiving that same support and love in return.

funkidivagirl January 17, 2010 at 10:56 AM  

What I thought interesting was when I saw Oprah on a nighttime segment and said that if she had ever married Stedman then she would have to be a "wife" and "cook a meal sometimes". She said the reason that they were still together was because they weren't married.

Rachel Hope January 18, 2010 at 11:53 AM  

To be a wife. Wow a great question. I say being a wife is really being a bff. To be able to accept and support love and care for and expect nothing in return (granted I usually get lots in rteturn.) I like you other wives. Love being a wife to my husband....... most of the time. LOL

Lay Witness January 18, 2010 at 5:14 PM  

This really is a great question, and I think many married women (myself included) overlook the title "wife." To me, "wife" is both a noun and verb - Yes, I am the woman my husband married and I am half of the married whole. But beyond that, I am his keeper of secrets, his most loyal friend, and his unconditional lover.

Every day I strive to be a better partner, and I know he does the same.

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