10 July 2008

wife, partner, lover, best friend

Just this morning J and I had a conversation about my blog; specifically regarding my header. The first sentence says "I'm a mom, a grad student, a pollination biologist, a bellydancer." He asked me "Where am I? You don't say anything about yourself relative to me." That got me thinking.

What am I, relative to J? I'm a wife, sure. But the word wife has so many connotations, some good and some not. I think of him as my spouse, but rarely think of myself as a wife. Partner? Definitely. We're partners in life, in love, and in raising Doodle. But the word partner is so vague and doesn't have a strong attached feeling. Lover? Yep. But when using that to describe myself, it could just be that I love lots of things. Not necessarily that I am J's lover. Best friend? Yes. But while that's probably the best descriptor, even that term gets tossed around so freely. Remember grade school, and your BFF of the month? It means so much more to me to say that J is my Best Friend than just having half of a necklace.

It's two days past our third wedding anniversary, and I can't come up with one word to summarize who I am when it comes to J. I'm okay with that. I am a wife, partner, lover and best friend. I am all of those things to him. I may not have all of that in my header, but each of those words is an integral part of who I am. And I wouldn't change it for the world.

Happy Anniversary, my love.


Knotty Britta said...

That's very sweet. That's how I feel about my guy too.

I also hate the term wife. Spouse is better. Chris used to use the word wife a lot but it bugs me so much. "This is my wife..." I'd always tell him, "I have a name!!"

It may seem trivial, but we have both studied Chinese culture, and he lived in Taiwan for 2 years, and I don't like this one point about it there. We have talked about moving to China, and it would be awesome, but women who are married are called Surname Taitai, Taitai meaning wife; which means for me, I would be called Conner's Wife. I just don't feel like that is my sole identity and I don't like that.

So, I guess I spoiled the sweetness of your post with my rant...

Mama bee said...

No worries - it's a topic I'm still exploring and I love discussion and others' thoughts. I'm okay with people who don't know me but do know J referring to me as J's wife. But once they know who I am, I'd be annoyed if they continued to refer to me as J's wife or as Mrs. J's Surname (especially since I kept my name).

Odd, though...I don't mind being Doodle's Mom. Doesn't bother me at all if kids call me that rather than my name. Why would one label bother me but the other be fine?

SallyB said...


You guys were made for each other!

I sometimes think that there is no one good word for how we relate to our "other half" because it is beautifully complex. Co-parent, co-bill-payer, co-driver's-ed-instructor, co-diaper-changer, AND friend, friend-of-his-friends, lover and hater by turns. There's just no way one word can cover it. Especially when you have such a terrific [insert perfect word here] one as J. ;)

Knotty Britta said...

I'm also fine with being Taiten's mom or Kaia's mom, and I don't want to be, just a wife, either. I think "mom" has more good connotations than "wife." Mom is almost never used in a disrespectful way and Wife is extremely often.

Wives are seen as boring sometimes. I don't want to be something derogatory. I like Lover, but that is too personal to me to be used as an introduction, and also confusing as heck!