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)]