To hate 'the wife'?

(89 Posts)
cheekybaubles Fri 23-Nov-12 11:29:38

AIBU to have a go at DH because he addressed me as 'the wife' to someone else? I mean did I wake up this morning in the 1980's during an episode of Boon or something? Urgh!

DreamingOfTheMaldives Fri 23-Nov-12 11:32:37

YA definitely NBU.

I absolutely detest 'the wife!!!' It is so derogatory. My husband knows that he would refer to me as that, on pain of certain death.

Purple2012 Fri 23-Nov-12 11:35:14

I wouldnt be happy to be referred to as 'the wife'. Although my husband does sometimes call me 'the commanding officer' in a jokey way.

PseudoBadger Fri 23-Nov-12 11:36:09

What about 'the missus' grin

PerryCombover Fri 23-Nov-12 11:36:17

I hate all that. Yanbu

NoraGainesborough Fri 23-Nov-12 11:36:27

Yanbu. as its your husband referring to you

However some people don't mind or even like it. I have never got people who hate the phrase when used by someone elses husband.

I also know women that refer to 'him indoors' or 'the husband'.

Startail Fri 23-Nov-12 11:38:10

My Dmother, who has been married almost 50 years would kill my Dfather if he called her that.


Dogsmom Fri 23-Nov-12 11:38:46

I like it (clearly in minority) I couldn't wait to get married and be his wife, there are much worse things to be called.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 11:38:52

Not fussed really

It does make me laugh though if a male poster dares to post that on here

Cue 50+ posts from people moaning about it and totally ignoring whatever problem he was posting about.

BumbleBee2011 Fri 23-Nov-12 11:39:52

My DH calls me 'R Lass when talking to strangers, (he tends to go all "Northern").

Always makes me think of the dog Lassie.

AbigailAdams Fri 23-Nov-12 11:40:55

YANBU. You are not an object, you are a person.

"My wife" - no problem.
"The wife" - awful. What are you, an inanimate object?

WelshMaenad Fri 23-Nov-12 11:45:09

Doesn't bother me at all. How many of us regularly refer to "the kids"? Different how?

Chandon Fri 23-Nov-12 11:45:32

"the wife" or "the missus" = LTB!

cheekybaubles Fri 23-Nov-12 11:45:36

I have no problem with 'my wife', although thinking about it does that make me a possession too? hmm
It is just 'the' I object to.
I have asked him several times not to call me that but he has a brain like a doily.

cheekybaubles Fri 23-Nov-12 11:46:25

If I LTB I will be 'the x wife' but at least I won't have to hear it grin

DreamingOfTheMaldives Fri 23-Nov-12 11:50:17

Dogsmum - my wife is fine. I just really hate 'the wife.'

GambasAndCava Fri 23-Nov-12 12:31:02

A friend of mine always refers to her DH as 'the husband' which is unusual and sounds weird, therefore illustrating that 'the wife' is perhaps derogatory.

I always find that men who refer to 'the wife' are usually the ones who also says they are 'getting a pass' when they talk about going out drinking etc without their wives, trying to give the impression that they are unfairly under the thumb and shouldn't be expected to take part in family life etc.

My bugbear is "my/the other half".

My DP says it a lot and it makes me cringe. I hate referring to people just by their status in a couple - bleurgh.

Yanbu-"The Wife" i think, sounds very much like your the property of the man iyswim.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Fri 23-Nov-12 13:15:24

Not bothered by it at all.

samandi Fri 23-Nov-12 13:40:55

Well "the wife" sounds a bit like a functional thing rather than a relation. "The wife" is someone who carries out certain duties (around the home), like perhaps "the receptionist" or "the plumber". It also sounds pretty chavvy.

Mynewmoniker Fri 23-Nov-12 13:46:30

Not as bad as John McKrickric (sp?) calling his wife 'Booby' but I still don't like it and my DH NEVER calls me that.

DH calls me 'the wife' and 'the Mrs', doesn't bother me at all.

Merrycuckingfistmas Fri 23-Nov-12 13:49:39

I get called 'the Mississ' all the time wouldn't mind but were not even married!

Hammy02 Fri 23-Nov-12 13:52:13

Its better than 'current wife'. wink

PetFox Fri 23-Nov-12 13:52:56

OP YANBU, I hate 'the wife' and all the other phrases mentioned on this thread too! I don't think they're a sign of anything sinister necessarily, they just sound dismissive compared to using someone's name. I appreciate that most people are probably using them out of misguided affection though.

SantaisBarredfromhavingStella Fri 23-Nov-12 13:53:20

Meh, not bothered tbh-there are much worse things to be called....

vjg13 Fri 23-Nov-12 13:55:40

YANBU, also dislike 'other half'. No actually I'm a whole person!

SoupDragon Fri 23-Nov-12 13:57:24

Does he treat you with respect? If so, then it is just a jokey phrase.

Marcheline Fri 23-Nov-12 13:59:59

I bloody hate 'the wife' - if DH ever called me it, he would be in hot water. But he knows that, so he doesn't.

'My wife' - totally fine. 'The wife' - this is objectifying a person and NOT ok.

blueshoes Fri 23-Nov-12 14:01:39

I never use the term 'the husband'. I doubt dh would use the term 'the wife' either, well, not in front of me because he knows the connotations.

Dare I say it but I find that men who use terms like 'the wife' or 'the missus' tend to be of lower social economic standing.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Fri 23-Nov-12 14:02:10

Urgh, "the wife", it sounds like a fixture like "the sink" or "the front door".

I also loathe "the in-laws" when referring to, say, the parents of your girlfriend who you have been with for around 3 months.

Marcheline Fri 23-Nov-12 14:02:41

PetFox - yes, it feels dismissive to me somehow, as well. I don't think it's really about affection, more masculine bravado.

I think it's quite rude actually, I don't see why a 'joke' needs to undermine someone and reduce them to an object. Aren't jokes supposed to be funny?

How about "the old ball and chain" which is what I sometimes get from DH?

Thankfully said 100% tongue-in-cheek and we both know it's a joke and it's actually a bit endearing.

Just like when I call him "dirty old man" and he says, "hey, I'm not old!!"

charlmarascoxo Fri 23-Nov-12 14:06:28

I get called his lady to his friends. I'm not sure if I like it but.

I absolutely hate it when people call their boyfriends 'the boy'. It gives me slight rage and I'm quite sure why.

roundtable Fri 23-Nov-12 14:06:53

It's not like he's calling you the bitch.

As someone else said, does he treat you with a respect? It's not something I can get het up about really.

maybenow Fri 23-Nov-12 14:06:54

It doesn't bother me if DH does it (he doesn't often) but that's because he generally shows me respect and we have a very equal relationship so it isn't indicative of an attitude in general.

I'm pretty sure i've referred to him as 'the bloke' at some point..

tisnottheseasonyet Fri 23-Nov-12 14:07:21

I think anyone whose only problem in life is being affectionately called "the wife" is better off than most.

WitchOfEndor Fri 23-Nov-12 14:10:04

I agree with the posters who think that "the wife" makes you sound like an object. My DH send an email announcing that "the wife" had had a baby boy. It annoyed me, especially since everyone who he sent it to knew me by my name.

roundtable Fri 23-Nov-12 14:10:32

'lower social economic standing'

What an outrageously snobby thing to write.

YuffieKisaragi Fri 23-Nov-12 14:11:12

I call Mr my other half. We are not married yet, I feel we are too old for him to be my boyfriend, and fiance sounds wanky. I dislike partner as well but sometimes say that in a formal context.

I oddly don't mind when he refers to me as his girlfriend.

I don't like "the wife" or "the husband", remind me of FIL.

FrankincenseWippery Fri 23-Nov-12 14:11:14

Leave the bastard.

DH calls me this in an ironic way. It amuses me.

Without the irony, he might get debollocked.

YuffieKisaragi Fri 23-Nov-12 14:12:45

charimarascoxo me too! Two of my friends do it and I HATE it.

tisnottheseasonyet Fri 23-Nov-12 14:13:34

"I never use the term 'the husband'. I doubt dh would use the term 'the wife' either, well, not in front of me because he knows the connotations.

Dare I say it but I find that men who use terms like 'the wife' or 'the missus' tend to be of lower social economic standing. "

grin Brilliant, you have an issue with "the wife", but no issue with being incredibly patronising and condescending about an entire group of people!

SecretNutellaFix Fri 23-Nov-12 14:14:41

He's referred to me as "the wife" before now.

I stared at him and said "excuse me? THE wife? I'm not a fucking object. Refer to me as MYwife or by my name."

He hasn't done it in my hearing since.

KenLeeeeeee Fri 23-Nov-12 14:16:58

I have absolutely no feeling about the phrase whatsoever. DH calls me "er indoors" in a jokey way and I don't mind it. In fact, the only time I've ever objected to such a title was when an ex called me "Mar Lady" (say it in a broad Stokey accent). That made me sick in my mouth a bit.

tisnottheseasonyet Fri 23-Nov-12 14:17:29

Do you use abusive language and swear at him often SNF?

KenLeeeeeee Fri 23-Nov-12 14:18:17

For balance, I tend to refer to him simply as "Boy" for no reason whatsoever. It's just stuck.

Mynewmoniker Fri 23-Nov-12 14:18:48

'lower social economic standing' grin

I was going to enter this on the other thread about pretentious quotes.

blueshoes Fri 23-Nov-12 14:19:26

Glad to be of assistance grin

SecretNutellaFix Fri 23-Nov-12 14:23:42

When I am stressed and upset about a lot of things, yes.

tisnottheseasonyet Fri 23-Nov-12 14:25:45

And you claim (boast) that he modifies his perfectly reasonable behaviour around you as a result? That's quite controlling and abusive, shame on you.

NoraGainesborough Fri 23-Nov-12 14:28:53

what strange thread. we have *blushoes8 who gets offended by 'the wife' but is happy to slag off a whole group of people.

and SNF who thinks shouting and swearing at her DH until he daren't use a certain phrase is ok.

well how strange. Wondering what reaction there would be a if a female poster said she made a jokey comment and got shouted and swore at.

blueshoes Fri 23-Nov-12 14:33:17

I am not particularly offended by 'the wife' ...

tisnottheseasonyet Fri 23-Nov-12 14:34:38

It's not strange Nora, it's the standard double standard amongst some of the more vocal MN posters.

niceguy2 Fri 23-Nov-12 14:37:17

I find this thread both amusing and incredulous at the same time. when you got married and they announced you husband and wife....did you get uppity and offended at that? Surely that by the very definition makes you a wife and given bigamy is illegal...'the wife' sounds like a perfectly normal description to me. It's not like he called you fat.

As Nora just said. What would your collective reaction be if you addressed your OH as '...the husband' in front of your friends and he started 'having a go' and/or shouting/swearing?

Woozley Fri 23-Nov-12 14:37:40

"She who must be obeyed" is the worst I think. Pretty sure MrW says "My wife" instead of "The wife". He's too posh to say the latter smile

NoraGainesborough Fri 23-Nov-12 14:42:30

Ok blueshoes what are the connotations and why do you and your dh feel its inappropriate and not like it. Which you don't. Clearly.

blueshoes Fri 23-Nov-12 14:51:32

Ok, nora, I'll explain since you asked nicely. If someone used it in my presence (which won't be dh), I would simply draw inferences about that person. The term itself won't get me hot under the collar.

NoraGainesborough Fri 23-Nov-12 15:00:38

So your its the connotations about the person that uses the phrase. Not the connotations about the phrase.

Well if you and your dh are happy about being so bigoted and judgmental. Good luck to, I suppose.

blueshoes Fri 23-Nov-12 15:07:03


winterhill Fri 23-Nov-12 15:09:28

I don't have a problem with it all though - like most things it is down to context.

OneMoreChap Fri 23-Nov-12 15:09:55

I sometimes refer to DW as SWMBO, my honey. The one that offends her is "squeeze" so I don't say that. She wouldn't swear at me though just as I wouldn't swear at her. That would be rude, unpleasant, and show a shameful lack of vocabulary.

I get called the hubby, my man, himself, my sweetie.

I'm really sorry if any of you are offended by the way your partners speak of you. Of course, I'm sorry if they are offended by you, too.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 23-Nov-12 15:10:06

How about this one? "The Minister for War and Finance". My BIL calls his wife that and his brother, my husband, thinks it's funny.

Though I notice he never calls me it smile

PetFox Fri 23-Nov-12 15:31:04

I think it all depends how sensitive you are to the possible meanings and origins behind phrases. I dislike "the wife" because I feel like it probably originates in the days when wives were objectified and husbands acted like their wives needed placating or mollifying so that said husband could go out and behave how he pleased, i.e. "I'll just have to run that by the wife first."

Similarly, I dislike "other half" because it makes me think, erm, are you really just half a person now you're in a couple?

And I was very surprised when my mixed-race husband described himself as "half-caste" on a form asking for his ethnicity, because to me that's an insulting term. But he couldn't give a crap about the origins of the term or whether it was perceived by some to be insulting, it was just his way of describing himself.

I'm not saying my way of thinking is particularly rational or helpful, because generally the phrases aren't intended to be derogatory. But I am, like many others, sensitive to these meanings so when I hear terms like "the wife" they grate on me.

ConferencePear Fri 23-Nov-12 16:48:05

I hate the term 'the wife'. Might as well be 'the woman' or 'the book'.
I do refer to my kids as 'the kids', but only in the plural, I wouldn't dream of referring to one of them as 'the son' or 'the daughter'.
I also think we need a new term for adult heterosexuals living together. I don't like OH, but we're too old and have been living together too long to be 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend'. 'Partner' could refer to a business arrangement. Any suggestions ?

cheekybaubles Fri 23-Nov-12 16:50:31


cheekybaubles Fri 23-Nov-12 16:53:10

Anyway, just told dh some of the responses and he said we "all need to get a life". (doesn't take critism well)
At least he might think twice before he calls me "the wife" again. Small steps. I will get respect one day smile

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Fri 23-Nov-12 16:56:03

My husband refers to me as 'The Boss'. I can live with that grin

SoupDragon Fri 23-Nov-12 16:56:13

Not all of us need to get a life. He is right that some do though, along with a grip.

cheekybaubles Fri 23-Nov-12 16:59:34

Too true

I don't like. I don't think DH has ever used it.

But if we want to discuss outdated terminology - it's better than 'er indoors

Willabywallaby Fri 23-Nov-12 17:09:38

My mum is not into the Feminist movement but once told me she hates my other half, since she's not a half.

grimbletart Fri 23-Nov-12 17:24:21

The one I really hate is "hubby" - utterling vomit making tweeness. As would be 'wifey' but you don't seem to hear that.

grimbletart Fri 23-Nov-12 17:24:49

'utterling' - I've just invented a new word grin

FeuDeSnowyRussie Fri 23-Nov-12 17:28:32

Hubby is AWFUL. It's just the way it sounds. The words Bupa and hubba and bubba also make me cringe.

Bunbaker Fri 23-Nov-12 17:30:42

OH's ex boss used to refer to his wife as "the wife". I asked him whose wife he was referring to.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 23-Nov-12 17:30:54

I hate the word "hubby". It makes me want to hit the user!

Itsaboatjack Fri 23-Nov-12 17:33:02

Oh dear, my dh calls me wifey sometimes. It never occurred to me to be offended blush

mnistooaddictive Fri 23-Nov-12 17:39:14

DH refers to me as "the wife" and he always referred to a close friend if mine as "my second wife". In front of her and her dh as well. As she got taken by cancer 3 years ago I would love her to still be here to be referred to like that, it was a joke. He is not a chauvinist at all!

cheekybaubles Fri 23-Nov-12 17:45:42

Well 'the husband' will be wondering where his dinner is and as I have spent the last our on here I will have to say "in 'the chipshop'" grin

Itsaboatjack Fri 23-Nov-12 17:50:27

I don't really get either how being half of a couple (ie 2) makes you half a person? Surely half of 2 is 1 is it not?

YuffieKisaragi Fri 23-Nov-12 18:01:00

I thought spouse was only for married couples, I could be wrong. "Significant other" is also wanky, and long winded. I say my fella or my bloke informally. Might start just referring him as my Mr. Until we get married.

blueshoes Fri 23-Nov-12 18:12:34

Spouse is only for married partners

cheekybaubles Fri 23-Nov-12 18:34:24

Yes, spouse applies

cheekybaubles Fri 23-Nov-12 18:35:14

Wiki spouse it says it is for any partners

We aused to refer to MiL as The Memsahib.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now