Why does the word "wife" still have negative undertones after all these years? Even if a woman has a career but splits household tasks with her husband, tackling the finances and mowing the lawn while he changes diapers and cooks dinner, there's still something about being referred to as a "wife" that conjures up a vision of a blank slate of a woman, looming around the house like a ghost, dusting off the windowsills and folding the clothes while she waits for her children and her man to come home from their busy and important lives.
When you have your own life, your own talents, your own thoughts, your own desires, but your nature keeps you close to your brood despite your ambitions, the word "wife" fits like a scratchy, ill-fitting sweater on a hot day. Mother? Sure. Partner? Maybe. Girlfriend, fiancée, bride? All exciting and full of hope. But wife? It's a term that lacks honor and prestige, hints at a supporting role and reeks of impending disaster.