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I wasn’t raised to be a “wifey.”

Not that I was raised to be anybody’s anything by my mother. I was, however, raised to be an educated, articulate, and sometimes charming, woman. And I was raised to be a woman whose
resourcefulness and business savvy will always trump my desire to be someone’s “wifey.”

Often, in the Black woman’s quest to be the exception to the statistics that CNN, NBC and any other media throw at us, we forget that marriage is a business deal between partners whose love provides a basis for long term commitment. This means that any profits from this business deal–be it in the form of offspring, property, or the almighty dollar– will be shared jointly between the two parties who have entered into a religious, and legally binding, contract.

A contract between wife and husband. Not “hubby” and “wifey.”

I don’t think I’d be as opposed to the term “wifey” if there wasn’t a dangerous mentality behind it. For instance, the live-in baby momma who is called “wifey” thinks that she is in a stable arrangement. Her “hubby” comes home every night and he loves that baby they share. She cooks and cleans and he works hard and brings home the money. “Hubby” even defends her against his Momma who doesn’t even try and pretend that she likes “wifey” at all. She’s living the life, right?

Fast forward to—God forbid—the day “hubby” lands in the hospital. He is unconscious and unable to demand your presence. You go to the hospital with all his favorite things only to be denied entry. Momma doesn’t want you in that room. And you kick and scream and get yourself escorted out.

Because “wifey” does not hold up against Momma in the court of law. No matter how many years you’ve racked up being “wifey.”

Lastly, I am opposed to “wifey” status because it means we are innately shortchanging ourselves of optimism. What is the man’s incentive to marry you if you are doing everything a wife does now? You cook his food, clean his house and make love to him. He’s really living the life! And men, being creatures of habit, will hold onto the routine as long as possible. Such that, “wifey” will be your title forever.

The microscope on Black dating will have you thinking that settling is the norm. We are persuaded to feel bad for expecting someone to commit to us and invest in a partnership. But why should you feel bad for wanting what you want and demanding it? If you want to be a wife, you deserve to be one. And if you’re cool being a “wifey,” then by all means, go ahead. But just know becoming “wifey” is settling for a paradigm that will lead to you settling on everything else in your relationship.

So, in the interest of sanity and your heart either be a girlfriend, a fiancée or a wife. Leave that “wifey” mess alone.

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  • Awesome

    I think the article’s author makes a good point, and I think some of the commenters are missing the single point the author makes: Be clear about what you want in a relationship, and do not be misled by words that have nothing to do with those desires.

    A “wifey” is not a wife (or for arguments sake, a spouse) with all the legal protections therein. I am heterosexual and can legally wed, yet even homosexual couples can provide the kinds of legal protections afforded heterosexual spouses to their partners if they draw up legal paperwork outlining what rights they want their partner to have with regards to property, money, medical decisions, children, etc. Unmarried heterosexual couples could do the same.

    The problem today is that couples are not being completely honest with one another about what they want and what they expect from their partners and are not taking the grown up steps to protect one another legally (either by marriage or legal contract) that would truly “show” love rather than just saying the words.