Wife Material

Have you ever bothered to look up the definition of “wife” in the dictionary? Yeah, I don’t think I had either until now and I can tell you, it wasn’t anything deep. Lol. Here it is: “A woman joined in marriage to a man.” No kidding! Lol. Yup, it certainly wasn’t deep. So I’ve been thinking lately about where we got the term “wife material” from. I looked that up too but it came up with nothing. There is no such thing in the dictionary as “wife material” so where did we get it from?
Growing up we were told and observed what was “expected” of a wife and I know guys probably have conversations about girls they are considering and talk about which ones are “wife material” and which ones are not. I guess they mean the “take-home-to-mama" type girl but my question is how do you define that kind of girl? What are some of her traits and characteristics? Is there a general definition or description of her? What does she do that other girls “fail” to do (I used that word VERY loosely)? Well, let’s talk about it, shall we. Some of the stereotypical traits I can think of when I think of “wife material” would be:
-          A girl who can cook
-          A submissive girl
-          A respectful girl
-          A calm and gentle girl a.k.a. “no gra-gra” girl as we say in Nigeria
-          Arm candy a.k.a. a fine girl you can show off with (Lol)
And the list goes on. But is that it? Is that all there is to being a wife?  Surely, there’s gotta be more to the list, right? A guy has got to see more in a woman than just her ability to cook or submit or be respectful or gentle or foine, right? Guys, talk to me. I would imagine that it would (should) go deeper than that (and it probably does).  Recently, based on conversations I’ve had, I tweeted that 'A wife is your partner not your possession' and I truly believe that. There’s so much more a woman can bring than just the abilities and traits listed above. I think a wife should be a partner with which you create and establish a purposeful union. Where you are both (equally) involved in the decision making process. Quite frankly, while I’d like to cook for my baby (hehe), I certainly want him to see me as so much more than his cook and the woman that takes care of him and his home. I want him to involve me in his decisions and vice versa otherwise what’s the point?
I remember chatting with someone and he said the reason why a lot of guys aren’t getting married these days is because they don’t want a liability. Truth is no one wants s a liability. When you’re going into a marriage, even though the guy is the head of the home, I’m not sure he wants to feel like if he can’t bring it at all times, then The End. Lol. I’m thinking guys would want a (strong) woman who will be interdependent with him, not dependent on him.  But how does a couple find balance? Apparently guys want to feel in control (or do they?). They want it to be clear that they are able to take care of things and to an extent women want to feel secure with their man (i.e. that they can look up to him in admiration of his strength, intelligence and ability). But is there a place in the partnership (marriage) where there is interdependence and not dependence -  a point where the weight is balanced and no one feels totally responsible? Uh oh, am I getting all 21st Century on y’all? I’m just thinking.  
Anyways, I came across a few questions while reading recently and as simple as the questions were, they really got me thinking. The authors asked the reader to complete the following sentences:
-          A wife is…
-          A husband is…
-          A marriage is…
When you really think about it, you probably haven’t thought to ask or answer these questions, right?
Let’s focus on the wife question though. Pause and give it some thought. How would you describe a (your potential) wife? Ladies, how would you like to be defined in the wife role? As a cook, homemaker, partner, co-homemaker? How do you see yourself in that role? I think it is very important to clearly define how you would like to be seen and consequently treated in that role because it helps put things into perspective. Guys, likewise, I think it’s important to clearly define how you see the woman that will occupy that role in your life. The key word is “clearly”. It’s probably also a good idea to even discuss it (A wife is…) with your boyfriend/fiancé and girlfriend/fiancée so that you two are on the same page cos what if y’all have two completely different definitions?? That would be a recipe for disaster! For real! Think about it. And even if your definitions are different, because they are being discussed early, you can agree to reach common ground if this is someone you love in so many other respects and want to be married to. You can agree to make it work. And I think that is real communication - talking things through even something as “silly” as how each of you defines a wife (and husband and marriage) ahead of time so no one is confused.
In essence, I say forget the stereotypes. Talk it through – albeit it lightheartedly – to get a sense of what the other person thinks. After all, what if he doesn’t really care if you can cook* cos he can and actually likes to? Do the same for what you think a husband is and what you think a marriage is. Your responses might surprise the two of you and may help the decision-making process regarding whether or not to take things to the next level.
So, what do y’all think? Please complete the sentence “A wife is…” in the comment section. I’d love to hear y’all’s definitions. Cheers!
*I refer to cooking a lot but there are other examples. That’s just the most stereotypical one I think.

Comments

  1. A wife is a help mate

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    1. You want a doormat or a submissive wife? Submission does not give man or husband the license to treat his wife anyway and expect her to obey him.

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  2. A wife is your friend and partner....Nice piece

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  3. The part where we get is wrong is the whole 'the husband's the head of the home, la-la-la, bs, bs, bs' etc'A couple, a REAL couple should be partners. And friends. And lovers. And a whole lot of other stuff which we don't do. I mean, you even did it just now; 'taking care of HIM and HIS home' why not OUR home?? Until we begin to see marriage as a partnership and not this whole bs about husbands and heads of homes, we're going to continue to getting it wrong and we're going to keep seeing a LOT more divorces. And in answer to your question - 'a wife/husband SHOULD be a partner and a friend and a marriage is a partnership and a friendship, albeit one where you want to rip each other's clothes off *winks*

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It's definitely a partnership but having clearly defined (and agreed) roles in the partnership helps :)

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  4. Great piece as usual Aderonke. I look forward to the Husband material article that may follow this one (and the comments that will accompany it:). -Tito

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    1. Thanks! :) Hehe. That would be an interesting one.

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  5. Good and true piece. A rewarding and fulfilling relationship can never be accomplished, until we take time to understand our contributions to it and expectations from our partners.

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    1. Thank you! Well said! I tweeted your comment :)

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  6. Nice piece Ronke....! my first time on your blog... quite fascinating!

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  7. A woman is a soul mate dats just it t̶̲̥̅̊​o̶̲̥̅̊​ me

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