I Don’t Want to Be a Wife Anymore

Call me a partner, please

Kerala Taylor
6 min readMay 10, 2022


Photo via Canva.

I’ve been a wife for nearly 14 years, and still, I wince ever so slightly when I hear myself referred to as such. Early on, I assumed wife would be something I’d grow into eventually. Every title is new and strange when you first try it on.

Mama was new and strange to me at first, too, as was Mom when my daughter decided she wasn’t a baby anymore and needed to drop a syllable. These days, as a pre-teen, she pronounces Mom as a two-syllable word, usually accompanied by a head shake and an eye roll. So now I have to get used to being Mo-om.

But it’s never taken long for me to adapt to these evolving iterations that confirm my identity as a mother. I don’t know what it is about wife. I just don’t like the word. I don’t associate it with adjectives like empowered, or smart, or even particularly kind. Instead, descriptors like subservient, superficial, and catty come to mind.

Throughout recent history, there have been two dominant perceptions and portrayals of wives. There’s the obedient “yes dear” wife, and there’s the naggy, ball-and-chain wife.

The obedient “yes dear” wife is happily confined to the home and eternally faithful to her husband, turning a blind eye to his “male urges” that render him incapable of reciprocating her fidelity. We vaguely pity her, but some men secretly wonder why their wives can’t be so simple and so sweet. Some women secretly wonder why their own happiness seems so elusive by comparison.

The naggy, ball-and-chain wife is unhappily confined to the home and still eternally faithful to her husband, calling him out on his hypocrisy if he feigns helplessness over his inability to reciprocate. But this wife is no picnic. She’s usually a drag. We roll our eyes, shake our heads. We groan whenever she opens her mouth. Women fear becoming a version of her. Sometimes we worry we already are.

There are also the fringe wives — the cheating wives, the murderous wives, the wives who abandon their families. There is something very wrong with these wives. We don’t want to be these wives, either, but sometimes, in our darkest moments of feeling cornered by a society that insists on confining us, we let our minds wander.



Kerala Taylor

Award-winning writer. Interrupting notions of what it means to be a mother, woman, worker, and wife. Subscribe: https://keralataylor.substack.com