Is there a better word for wife? Does the word ‘wife’ bother you? Do you know its origins? What unconscious intention goes with the idea of being a ‘wife’ or having a husband? Let’s talk about why it bothers you to think of yourself as a wife, the differences between men and women, and how you can start looking at your husband differently to begin to improve your marriage.
In episode five of The Authentic Wife Show, I talk about the original roles of “husband” and “wife” and how those original intentions affect our marriages now.
Does the word wife trigger you?
Some of my friends and colleagues are turned off by the word ‘wife’ because it doesn’t feel good to modern women, who don’t want to be considered a man’s property or there to serve him. But what if you could assign a new meaning to that word?
Your husband wants to serve you
In Happily Ever After, my marriage coaching program, my clients go on this journey from being the duchess to becoming the queen because I wanted to make this hard work as fun as possible. And in this journey, we realize that men are here to serve us — not as servants — but as men who love us and want us to need them. If we’re having a problem, our husbands want to solve it. He wants to serve you, he wants to keep you happy. He wants to keep you satisfied.
You delight your husband!
In The Myth of Male Power by Warren Farrell, he points out that men will do the dirtiest jobs to have the love of a woman. The point of the book is that women have the power. We choose who we mate, who we have sex with, who we choose as our partners…and men know that.
There was a point in history where women walked around, and we knew how magical we were. Then men figured out that they played a role in babymaking and that went to their heads, and that’s when the tides turned and the patriarchy was developed. We’re at this point now where the pendulum has swung way out the other way and now we’re coming back into balance.
If there is a part of you that pushes against this idea of being a wife, I encourage you to create a new definition of that word for you.
None of my book, The Authentic Wife, is about bowing down to a man or being controlled by him, or being at his mercy, or being at his beck and call. If anything it’s almost closer to the opposite. I found that I could use that relationship to step into my power more. I could see what I didn’t like about it and create what I wanted instead.
If you feel afraid of being controlled or powerless or less than, you’ll push away energetically from being married, and that will make the wheels spin and get you closer to divorce. Your brain will look for evidence of that mindset. “See?! He’s trying to control you! He thinks he’s a big bad masculine man.” It will find you evidence of that mindset.
It’s important to take the word wife and give it a new conscious intention.
Maybe you want to think of yourselves as partners, like business partners coming together to make your family successful. Or the queen who’s protecting her kingdom (children). Pick a new intention for that word so that it doesn’t trigger you.
Marriage itself shouldn’t be a triggering thing. Being a partner with a man shouldn’t have some resistance somewhere deep down in your body. If you grew up with the idea that all men are incompetent, unreliable, lazy, or big buffoons, we fail to see how we could actually work together and we strip men of their value.
Your kids desperately need both of you. They need to see the balance of masculine and feminine in their lives. Even if you’re not straight, one of you is more masculine or feminine. That balance is important for our children. We have plenty of evidence that divorce is detrimental for kids of all ages. The family unit is the thing that provides stability, resources, a social net, and all kinds of things that our children desperately need.
Whatever you need to choose to not feel bad when you see the word wife, I encourage you to go out and choose it. Look at your marriage in a different light. See the value in your husband and in men in general.
Our men are asked of so much. We just assume they’re here to protect us. They don’t necessarily want to fight off someone who’s attacking you. They don’t necessarily want to go off to war. We take for granted that there are thousands of men who put their lives on the line. Or maybe they do dirty work out in the cold, laying bricks, on the roof, out in the fields, picking up trash. Do you want to pick up the trash? Be covered in grease in the garage? Do you want to know that when you turn 18 you have to join the draft and could go off to war? Or fight fires?
There are far fewer women doing these jobs. Don’t take for granted that men have a role not only in this world but in your family. They’re here to deliver something different to your children than what you deliver. They want to keep you happy, protect you, and provide for you. They care deeply about you.
Even if their childhood traumas are masking it now. Even if whatever they’re going through makes them unpleasant to be around right now. They were once a little boy who was the light of his mother’s life. They were afraid of things; they ran and cowered behind the couch when something scary came on TV. They had booboos that they wanted their mommies to kiss and stuffies that they snuggled.
Men have value and it’s not a shameful thing to be married to one of them.
I’m willing to bet that when you got that ring you were freakin’ thrilled. You were so excited to plan that wedding and pick out the dress, you were super excited to look down at that ring on your left hand. Oh I’m a wife now… I don’t have to date anymore. I can write mrs on my email address or whatever it is. Back then, it was so exciting for you, so where did that excitement go?
When did being married become such a negative thing for you? Why at some deep level do you want to be alone now? Why do you think you’re better than him? Why do you think that it’s ok for you to control or shame him, because you have to know that if he decided to turn that around and control or shame you, you wouldn’t be having it or be interested.
I know there are billions of relationships that are all different, but most of my listeners tend to be the mean and critical ones and their husbands may seem lazy or incompetent but there’s no abuse happening. So please don’t come for me if your relationship experience is different.
Make a decision right now to feel better about being a wife. It doesn’t mean that you’re signing away your power and control. You’re both partners who care about the success of your family, just like you would if you were running a business together. You’d be assigning tasks, looking at who can contribute what and when, finding investors or bringing in income, doing the hard work every day and nurturing that business so it will grow.
If you’re constantly going to work and mad that you’re in a partnership and want to be running it all on your own, there’s a disconnect where you’re not allowing him to play his part and making it a fair and balanced kind of partnership. If it sounds easier to be on your own, running this whole business if it’s just you, then examine that.
Somewhere he’s been told that he couldn’t contribute or he doesn’t want to because of the way you talk to him. I’m guilty of this and glad that I know how to do it better now.
You want healthy children, happy children, children who don’t have to recover from their childhood, children who grow into successful, independent adults, and children who know how to attract a mate so they don’t have to go through life alone.
So what do you think about the word wife now?
Can you see it as not a less than role, not an underneath him role? Can you see it as a frickin royal badass that you are? You know that you run the show, you know that you do everything, a title does not take that away from you.
Don’t let wife be your identity, but do choose a conscious intention for this relationship. You created this family, you formed a partnership, and you both are responsible now for seeing it through. You’re both responsible for its success.
If you’d like to read my book, The Authentic Wife: Uncaging Yourself Through Marriage, you can read the first chapter here or buy it on Amazon.
You can also download my 30 Texts to End His Resistance and Get More Help to learn how to start getting more help day-to-day.
This way of asking for help appeals directly to this smart, problem-solving brain and inspires more support than making a specific request.