Wife power

After W and I were married, I felt weird about using the word “wife” to describe myself.


I’m more of a Fred than a Wilma.

Wilma Flintstone was a wife. Donna Reed, wife. Carol Brady, wife.

Middle-age Butch? Not so much.

You can read all about my wife angst here.

“How should I refer to you?” W asked.

“I’ll let you know when I figure it out,” I replied.

We joked around with the term “hersband.”

“My hersband will not be attending,” she texted a friend.

But then life went on and we had bigger things to worry about. I never decided what I wanted to be called.

I saved “wife” for certain situations. Like when I made a phone call to get information about local taxes W owed.

“Who is calling?”

“This is her wife.”

Or when I wanted some extra attention at home.

“Geesh, you’d think you’d have some time for your wife.”

“Remember me? Your wife?”

Yeah, I’m that guy.

I find myself using “wife” a lot during our son’s hospital stay. I use the word to explain not only who I am but why I have a reason to be in the emergency room or in the waiting area outside the room where they are performing a procedure on him for the third time.

“That’s my wife.”

“Can you take me to my wife?”

I say the word with authority.

I never really understood the importance of this tiny word. Who cares what we call each other, I used to think. It’s between us. It’s our business.

I was always satisfied with the word “partner.”

I mean, when someone who looks like me drops the word “partner,” everyone knows I’m not talking about my business partner. Trust me.

images[5]But “partner” doesn’t carry the same punch.

Now I see the power packed in the word “wife.”

And I wonder why anyone would want to deny another human being the basic right of being a spouse.

So, yeah, I’m good with “wife.”

* * *

What do you call your other half?


11 responses to “Wife power

  1. I call her “Boss” ! 🙂

  2. I can’t wait to call my other half “wife”. I often pretend to introduce her that way in my head. Hehe!

  3. I’m not married, but I would like to be called “spouse” when I am. I’m not sure how that will play out with society or how I would react to people calling me a “wife”, but I prefer gender-neutral terms as much as possible in my life already.

  4. I call her “Donna”. She is stubborn about not getting married. She refers to me as her partner, or her albatross, depending upon the circumstances.
    I can not handle the idea of being her “wife” so it is probably good that we are still not married (we did our wills, and legal and medical power of attorney).

    • I had a hard time stomaching the term “wife” until this recent medical emergency. These days I don’t care so much about incongruities such as not looking like a typical wife.

  5. I similarly sound much more certain and unhesitating in saying “wife” when it’s medical or financial or, most significantly, about our son. He’s just a toddler and I’m grateful we haven’t been in the hospital with him yet, but I get ferociously protective of him and will pull out “wife” without skipping a beat if it gets me access to him or information about him–like when there’s a substitute at daycare or medical bill confusion. Being his parent seems to override whatever intellectual ideas I had of who I am or what my role is. I’ll be anything I need to be as long as I stay close to my son.

    • I never understood any of this until these past few weeks. I had used “wife” in the past when it suited me, with a bit of a cringe. Not so much anymore. There are bigger things to worry about other than whether “wife” is too girly a term for me to embrace.

  6. ‘Wife’ works for us too. 🙂

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