I have a wife.
This is one sentence I honestly thought I would never say. I will admit, saying it makes me giggle in a school girl kind of way. I love it. I love having a wife and being a wife. Having been previously married to a dude, I have fantastic perspective on how gay marriage and straight marriage works and I have to tell you, having a wife is the bees knees. Here are just a few of the perks and why wives are awesome…
(Obviously some of these apply to all kinds of couples and partnerships, but it’s nice to call out the good stuff sometimes…)
We both wear the “pants.”
I am usually in yogas, which is questionable if that counts, but we both usually wear the figurative pants. There is no fight over who is in control or who makes decisions. Most of the time neither of us want to make the decisions, and instead we usually decide together like a legitimate partnership. Pretty awesome.
We don’t have stereotypical roles.
I don’t do the “man” chores around the house, and neither does she, because there are no “man chores.” We both mow grass and weed eat and do laundry.
I can be big spoon.
Usually though, little spoon is my jam, but the option is there.
There are no pregnancy scares.
Just not an issue for us.
Cuddling is welcome.
After a long, shit day, it is wonderful to come home to a wife who just wants to wrap her arms around you and make everything better. Works every time.
There are two chefs at home.
Not having to always eat what I cook is fantastic. I will freely admit that she is a better cook and my favorite thing on the menu is anything we cook together because sharing the kitchen with her is pretty amazing.
Built in best friend.
I can honestly say my wife is my very best friend. She is the first person I want to tell good and bad news to and she is the most fun to hang out with. She is my biggest supporter and I know she’s always there to catch me when I fall. The BEST best friend.
My hoodie collection doubled.
Having a wife with awesome hoodies is a pretty big bonus. I think I probably wear hers more than I do mine.
Sex is better.
I am not knocking dudes, I promise. But I have come to really love being a wife to a wife and wanted to share my joy in the matter.
Comments on Here’s why being a wife with a wife is awesome
Yay being happy! But several of the points seem to just reinforce stereotypical gender roles (like men always being the big spoon and not cooking).
I agree. I’m thrilled that the author is happy and can only assume that the comparative points being made are based on her previous/personal experiences being married to a man, which is valid. My experience, however, is very different. I’m married to a guy, but I’m the primary breadwinner and he does the majority of the cleaning. I cook because I enjoy it; we both do our own laundry. We love to cuddle, and he is indeed my best friend.
Exactly, it is what my experience has been up to this point in my life. I am from a small southern town and the stereotypes are, for the most part, reality. I know a lot of people in my life have asked questions and this is just my way of using humor to talk about some of those things.
Yeah I’m more often the big spoon with men, for some reason – and my ex was the chef, I can’t cook for shit (though I’m learning now that I HAVE to.)
That’s awesome because for the first time I am the big spoon and I love it! =)
They are, but coming from being married to a man for a very long time and now being married to a woman… it’s my life now verses then.
I agree, all of those things- being equal partners in decision making, sharing the responsibilities of cleaning and cooking, and having satisfying sex- can and SHOULD exist in a heterosexual relationship. It’s a bummer if Heather’s hetero marriage was crummy, but I feel like this article strongly enforces the idea that gender norms are a certainty in any hetero relationship. This isn’t an issue of being in a hetero vs homosexual relationship, it’s an issue of being in a GOOD relationship vs a shitty, toxic one.
I agree, it’s just my experience. If you check out my blog it has been an interesting one… both hetero relationship and now in this one… polar opposite on every end of the spectrum. I have experienced every side in one way or another! Thanks for reading and commenting!!!
I’m glad you found a better relationship! My only concern is that I don’t want any woman to think that if she’s straight she has to settle for bullshit gender roles.
Sadly though, that’s my experience. I am from a very conservative area and that’s what I was taught as a young girl and that’s what daughters are continued to be taught in many places. The roles do exist, I didn’t in any means say all. I also commented that I am not bashing hetero relationship because I was married to a man for over a decade. I think you missed the point in this post, it’s about stereotypes in homosexual relationships. I have been asked and I know people wonder what roles we each play that’s what this post is about. It’s also about celebrating the fact that I am happy with not having roles and how happy I am in my marriage. I appreciate your perspective and fully realized everyone will not see mine when they read it. I always love everyone’s perspectives especially those that are different, that’s how we learn as people. Thanks for reading and commenting!
I want to share my perspective on the matter of gender stereotypes, since I too have a wife – who used to be my husband. Since we married, we’ve been doing the same thing – I work, she’s the house spouse, sometimes she’s been in grad school, but she’s always been the one doing the majority of the cooking, dishes, cleaning, and laundry. We’ve always been best friends, we’ve always cuddled, and I’ve always been the big spoon. HOWEVER. When she came out, there was a huge shift in how people perceived our marriage. (Note: We live in a very liberal, “progressive”, extremely educated community.)
When I was a woman with a husband, I got comments about how I must “crack the whip”, how we must be moving soon for him to get a PhD (which she didn’t want), how my job and whole career would change when we moved for his career (her career is as a housewife. That’s what she loves.) or when we had kids (we’ve been childfree since we got married.)
Now that I’m a woman with a wife, people have no problem with her being a housewife. The comments about her career, her education, how mean I must be? They stopped completely. It’s totally acceptable that she does the laundry, that my career is what pays the bills, that I’m the big spoon.
I think that it’s really important to recognize that Heather isn’t the one reinforcing gender stereotypes – she’s reporting on her personal experiences. What her article shows is how gender stereotypes are reinforced from external points, to the detriment of all relationships, especially conventionally acceptable ones.
Oh, the one thing that did change in our relationship when I got a wife? The sex got a lot better.
Wow, you have a fantastic perspective on how it changes. It’s been very interesting in the way things are viewed from outside perspectives. Just shows in your marriage exactly how much. Thank you for sharing… and the sex comment… yassss! =)
I agree! I’m so glad the author is happier in her new marriage. And as someone who was divorced and now re-married… I get it! My 2nd husband is a MUCH better fit for me… we build each other up and make each other better.
But as for gender roles… we don’t conform to them. Sometimes I’m the big spoon… we split housework mostly evenly. I do laundry because I find it relaxes me but he does most of the cooking because I’m mostly helpless at it (I once started a fire when I was cooking pasta on our electric stove).
We ignore gender roles and do what works for us.
Nice article! To be fair, some of these points are not exclusive to marriages with two wives (my husband loves it when I’m big spoon, even when I’m several inches shorter). However, the lack of stereotypical gender roles is HUGE. So many hetero couples, even though with the best intentions of egalitarianism, can fall into old habits they saw growing up unless one is particularly vigilant and has a lot of energy to constantly question the ways “things are done”.
As a wife with a wife I will say the breakdown of gender roles is more subtle than you think. For instance I’m reasonably handy and can fix a broken sink or replace an electrical outlet but I had to learn to do those things after we became home owners. In a hetero relationship, even one where the participants where consciously challenging gender roles it’s likely that those sorts of chores would have fallen into the “man” side of things without much thought or discussion.
Even when you’re trying not to fall into gender stereotypes, it often still happens by virtue of how many of us got raised in more traditional households. For example, my dad wouldn’t teach me how to do car maintenance (and my mom didn’t know how). My boyfriend and I are trying to break that cycle by teaching each other the things we didn’t learn growing up. So, when he does something with my car, I try to help as much as possible and he explains what he’s doing so I start to learn.
Meghann, that is so awesome and hope it continues with each generation! I have two small boys and they can fold and cook just the same as they can do anything considered “boyish”. Gender roles will hopefully change overtime as they have, even if it’s a slow process.
Amy, it absolutely can be and does happen. The roles can creep up on you just because of past knowledge or just ease of it. But, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard from very ignorant folks, that my wife must wear the pants and be the “male”. Drives me insane! But, instead of being annoyed I thought I would be cute about it and make it funny because honestly it’s just lack of knowledge and people thinking the gender roles HAVE to be there or it doesn’t make sense.
Absolutely! My intention was to show there can be mixed roles. My experience being married to a man was exactly what I saw growing up no matter how hard I tried to challenge those. Now, I get questions on who does what role in my marriage. We both do both and it can be that way no matter who you are married to!
Very sweet article, and I feel like Heather did a fine job explaining that this is “not all men” and that she’s not knocking heterosexual marriages. She lists the awesome and different qualities of being married to a woman vs a man in her experience, and fully admits that these are not limited to homosexual marriages. Besides, even if I can sit back and feel like my hetero marriage is pretty equal, that doesn’t mean that I know firsthand what it’s like to be a wife and have a wife. So thanks Heather, fun read, and you’re obviously really happy, and I’m happy for you!
SarahB you totally nailed what I was saying in my post! Thank you so much, and yes I am!!!! =)
This story is fairly heteronormative with what it expects from a “straight” relationship.
My spouse and I are both cis and hetero, and he does the cooking, laundry, pays bills, takes out the trash, does the gardening, and earns about 20% of our income. I earn 80% of our income plus our health insurance, clean the bathroom, do the yard work, fix anything mechanical, do all the driving, and do dishes. Gender roles don’t have to apply to folks who don’t believe in them. We have a very egalitarian relationship with division of labor based on who has the skill set and who is interested (and the fact that I HATE taking out the garbage and he HATES cleaning the bathroom).
Decisions are always made together, and we have no chance of a pregnancy scare thanks to my IUD.
That’s so awesome! I am in no way knocking a hetero relationship (I threw a blip of that in there)… I am trying to breakdown the preconceived “who wears the pants” in my marriage. I am from an area of the world where this is a very misunderstood rarely talked about aspect of gay marriage. I did try to throw a little humor in there but we are like any other relationship… we do a bit of both and play both roles as often and fluidly as we can!
I’ve been thinking about what I posted and realized that part of what I did was an “all lives matter” type move, and want to apologize for that. I don’t have to assert my cis-hetero privilege, it is always there. I’m sorry for making your relationship invisible by trying to “one up” with my relationship. I love that you are so happy with your wife!
No apology needed, promise! I have loved reading and responding to all comments. I knew when I wrote and published something people would have comments and would want to connect their personal lives to it. I love that I got a conversation started and the fact the people are thinking about roles and their relationships. Thanks for reading and commenting and your kind words..
Gotta say that some of the comments here feel a little defensive, especially when coming from people in the socially privileged position of heterosexual marriages. Of course the author isn’t insisting that all male-female marriages run on stereotyped gender roles (nor that all homosexual ones do not).
However, surprise surprise, a lot of them do, and it’s totally valid for her to point of how glad she is to be out of that setting entirely.
Y’all are quick to step in and point out how the author is describing traditional gender roles and that those aren’t ironclad, as if she were their creator or something, when what she’s describing is the ecstatic feeling of breaking free from those, something many of you are also quick to point out you share…sort of.
I don’t think heterosexual people can truly grasp how fundamentally different it is to not be living one’s life within the heteronormative matrix.
Heterosexual marriage doesn’t need defense folks, we all know it’s not universally crappy, that it’s not going anywhere. It doesn’t need your “to be fairs” and “buts” to back it up. Maybe consider that your mild defensiveness exists within a cultural context of significant privilege and even oppression, that its impact is sometimes greater than you think.
Can I say, WOW!? Thank you so very much for those kind words and for understanding the point of my article! A million times, thank you!
Wow @elle what a perfect response. And thank you for your eloquent description of the privilege that comes from being in a heteronorm relationship. I was trying to respond but everything I came up with was snarky and not very helpful.
Elle, why are you assuming that all of the women posting criticism are straight? I know for a fact that at least one is not.
I didn’t, though I did not go out of my way to separately address queer folk in straight-appearing relationships, which I myself have been. My apologies for implying bi/pan erasure. If my request that people check their privilege doesn’t apply to you that’s because it wasn’t meant for you.
Regardless of the sexualities of her critics, I stand by my contention that Heather is describing the experience of being subjected to gender norms, not reinforcing them herself, and that criticisms to the contrary are misreading the piece.
I’m a bi woman married to a man. I benefit from many of the heteronormative privileges you have pointed out. Like other commenters, my marriage doesn’t necessarily follow traditional gender roles. BUT, those traditional gender roles do ABSOLUTELY impact the way my marriage is perceived and (sometimes) the way it plays out. It’s important to recognize that one’s individual experience outside of stereotypical norms does not negate the existence of those stereotypical norms as social text. Thank you so much, Elle and Heather, for pointing this stuff out.