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*My wife* or *the wife*

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LostAngry posted 8/1/2014 16:34 PM

I was reading a post about a WS seeing the BS and AP as objects and not people. It got me thinking about a friend's husband. He almost always refers to my friend as *the wife* but rarely as *my wife*. I always rubbed me wrong, and I find it to be negative and demeaning. He also has other traits that I identify as wayward traits, and he is arrogant and self-absorbed.

Am I off the mark here? Is it a regional thing I am not aware of? How do you feel about hearing a friend be called *the wife* or being called *the wife* yourself?

*The wife* feels very dismissive to me.

BrokenButTrying posted 8/1/2014 16:44 PM

The wife or The mrs are very common in the UK. It's supposed to be dismissive and derogatory, that's the whole point... humour, apparently.

GabyBaby posted 8/1/2014 16:54 PM

Oooooooooooh this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.
Anytime I hear someone say "The wife", I respond with something along the lines of, "THE wife? Is that like THE chair, or THE dog?".

I also see it as very dismissive. As if your wife/partner is an object that can be picked up and put down at your leisure.


gonnabe2016 posted 8/1/2014 17:17 PM

For some reason it doesn't bother me when I hear old, farmer-type men refer to their wives as *the wife*, but generally I HATE it because it sounds very dismissive and patronizing coming out of anyone else's mouth (weird, huh?).

I will usually say "you mean <Trixie>?" in a tone of voice that announces that my underlying thought is (<you're a dick>) -- these days I'm extremely sensitive to dismissive-type language.

steppingup posted 8/1/2014 17:19 PM

The wife is improper. Its like saying "the Car" or "the cat".

I agree with you.


Cally60 posted 8/1/2014 17:40 PM

I was sad for years about the fact that my husband always referred to me by my name, never as "my wife". (Or even "the wife".) To me it was as though he was reluctant to draw attention to our relationship. Maybe he was, but since he did it from the beginning of our marriage, I don't think he ever actually thought about it.

In the end, after the affair, it was one of the things I tearfully complained about. Now he tries to use "my wife" and it makes me happy.

As BrokenButTrying pointed out, "the wife" is used a lot in my native England, with humorous, rather than derogatory intent, so it doesn't bother me at all. I would actually have preferred it if my husband had said "the wife" than always referred to me by my name! British women don't usually say "the husband" but use other expressions in the same vein. So I think it's even-handed.

Obviously there may be a big cultural divide here. But I think the intent is what matters. If a man is deliberately using it to devalue his spouse then it's obviously unacceptable. But if, as sometimes happens, especially with older men, he uses it because he gets a bit embarrassed about emotional stuff and it's a subtle way of trying to sound more macho, I don't think there's any harm in it. I'm glad he cares enough to talk to people about her.

I will confess that I find the word "hubby" exceedingly irritating! But I don't have any logical reason for it.

[This message edited by Cally60 at 6:22 PM, August 1st (Friday)]

Holly-Isis posted 8/1/2014 18:20 PM

During 2A MrH referred to me as "the spouse". No gender, no attachment. Barely a connection. It made me feel like an object. Using "th"e over "my" does objectify the person and distance the relationship.

The still hurts.

[This message edited by Holly-Isis at 6:25 PM, August 1st (Friday)]

BlueBlueEyes posted 8/1/2014 18:29 PM

At this point, I'll take "the" over "ex"!! But I agree. I prefer "my".

MissMouseMo posted 8/1/2014 18:46 PM

As a rare hahaha, well, it can be an affectionate silliness.

But as a regular usage it is disrespectful, dismissive & objectifying.

If a man does it because he's uncomfortable with emotions: he needs to grow up. If he does it frequently and to be funny: it's not. Stop it. If he does it obliviously he needs to have it explained to him lovingly and kindly - and if he persists then he's passive aggressive and needs a lesson in consequences.

It perpetuates the mindset of women as "things" and objects to be acted upon, not agents of their lives, whole and autonomous. Would piss me off royally.

LostAngry posted 8/2/2014 09:54 AM

It is good to know my perspective on these things is not completely askew since being betrayed. I often wonder if he is an active cheater.

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