Wife vs. Wifey

A Twentysomething Struggle with the Term ‘Wifey’

Real women want to be a man’s choice, not an option. Period. It takes one bad breakup or one shocking rejection to come to that epiphany–quick. After witnessing Beyonc grace the stage on Grammy night, publicly sending her love and gratitude to her “huzzzband,” Jay-Z, my appreciation for the institution of marriage surfaced stronger than ever.

Belonging to the generation that created the term wifey, defined as a man’s main squeeze, long-term girlfriend, or woman who is almost “wife material,” I had ask, Is the title wifey really good enough? A lot of women seem to be honored by the title wifey, and if it works for you…who am I to judge? The question is, How long does it work? After speaking to more than a few of the fellas who admit they use the title wifey, they also admitted they don’t take the title nearly as half as serious as wife. If they don’t even hold the title “wifey” in high regard, then why should we? Get ya mind right ladies. They gave me nine reasons why, unless you’re dropping the “y,” wifey just isn’t good enough.

1. Accessibility

“Wifey may get the house number, but the wife gets the house.” –Alfred Blake, 24

Translation: Yes, while you’re bragging that you got the cell, the work, and the house number for him to be reached anytime, there is a woman on the other side of town who has the home, the children, and the partnership. It’s one thing to get all of your man’s time, but it’s a whole other thing to share his life.

2. Exclusivity

“Finding a wifey is easy, we can all have one of those, it’s way more difficult to find a wife.” –Rhasod Adkison, 30

Translation: Yes, when you’re wifey, it’s quite possible that you are the star player in the starting lineup. Unfortunately, if someone else shines a bit brighter, you may get benched. Ouch! A real man wouldn’t even put his wife in the game.

3. Longevity

“Wifey, eh, it’s a now commitment. Wife is a commitment even beyond the grave.” –Todd Thomas, 28

Translation: It’s socially acceptable for a man to have a few wifeys in his lifetime, but believe it or not, men really do believe in the “one.” One that he feels completely committed amid the mistakes he is sure to make. See a wifey is an experimental situation, a wife knows her position is “until death does you part.”

4. Value

“Wifey is a cheap way for a man to reap all the benefits. It’s a title that undervalues what she probably can offer.” –Sean Davis, 31

Translation: Wives should be the ultimate investment. Putting that ring on your finger is symbolic of him going from a renter to becoming homeowner. As his wife, he emphasizes that you are something to be prized, while the wifeys of the world are constantly replaced.

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5. Obligation

“A wife is entitled to way more, mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and monetarily.” –Marvin Lewis, 26

Translation: Your love is held together by super-strong, legal glue. He makes a contractual agreement in which he is compelled to love and care, provide and protect. For a man, a wife isn’t merely cheap talk; claiming a wife requires him to walk the walk.

6. Responsibility

“My wife is my family, she becomes a part of me.” –Jerome Benson, 27

Translation: Marriage usually includes a ceremony where a man not only proclaims his love in front of the people that mean me the most to him, but he also makes a public vow to make you his responsibility. A wifey is a subtle state of confusion; a wife is a state of declared commitment.

7. Motivation

“I would want to constantly be a better man for my wife. Wifey just needs to accept who I am.” –Reese Jackson, 28

Translation: Proof that you can’t make a man do what he isn’t ready to do, and when he is ready, relax he will do it–for his wife. No Y.

8. Accountability

“Having a wifey is like having an upgrade on a homie, but the title wife is power.” –Richard Halloway, 36

Translation: Legally, cheating isn’t a crime. However, public opinion shows that people are so heavily in favor of the wife in situations of infidelity, the woman immediately has everyone on her side. A man cheats on his wifey, people may shake their heads. A man cheats on his wife? The risk is far greater. Ask Tiger Woods.

9. Acknowledgement

“Only a few people recognize what a wifey is, the world recognizes a wife.” –Dwight Campbell, 28

Translation: In a social setting, a husband will always introduce his leading lady by the title wife, reserved for the woman he holds in the highest regard. When do you ever go to an office party and hear a man introduce his woman to his boss, “This is my wifey.”? It does not happen. Single or married, his wife or his girlfriend, in between titles don’t really exist.