April 1, 2024 at 9:28 pm

He Referred To His Spouse As “The Wife,” But A Friend Thinks That’s An Outdated Phrase. Who’s Right?

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA/Shutterstock

The thing about hanging out with new people is that you never really know how they’re going to react to a seemingly innocent comment.

And then, you know, some people just don’t want to leave it and walk away.

OP was out to dinner with some friends, his dad, and his dad’s girlfriend.

I (M) was out to dinner with my dad (referred to as “D”), and two of our friends (“J” & “A”) (also male) along with my dad’s girlfriend “F”.

The girlfriend took offense at something one of the friends said.

During the conversation. “A” said something along the lines of “the wife wanted tickets” (I don’t actually remember the topic because it was off-hand and the ensuing discussion derailed the conversation).

“F” did not like how “A” referred to his wife as “THE wife” and explained how it was impersonal to the actual human being and was referring to her as a categorical role like “the butler”, with the preference to use “my wife” instead.

She wouldn’t drop it even after they explained their points of view.

Everyone else (4 guys) kind of balked at the comment, which upset her more.

A slightly heated discussion followed where we tried to explain why it wasn’t a big deal to us:

  • everyone there had met her and knows her, so it’s not like we weren’t aware of who she was
  • “A” said that even his wife wouldn’t mind
  • such a literal interpretation of “the wife” could mean “my wife” conveys ownership or possession
  • the term wife is a term of endearment and personal by definition, as opposed to “ball and chain” or “the old lady”
  • using “my butler” is no better than “the butler”

She even took to calling them names.

When it started to go off the rails is when she responded by saying “you are being f—s” multiple times in the back and forth (only swear words used in the whole conversation).

I pointed out that her calling us f—s is worse than her being offended for someone who isn’t there and wouldn’t be offended if she were there.

I also said her opinion of “the wife” as an offensive/impersonal term is her interpretation of the word “wife” on its own not being a positive thing in the first place.

I have a personal bias against people who get offended on behalf of others, so I think I have blindside here.

Am I the AH?

Does Reddit think the girlfriend have a point? Let’s find out!

The top comment says they agree with the girlfriend, actually.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person doesn’t think it’s a big deal, though.

Source: Reddit/AITA

It seems it really does depend on the relationship dynamics.

Source: Reddit/AITA

But of course, it could be less than cute.

Source: Reddit/AITA

As long as the wife is okay with it.

Source: Reddit/AITA

I actually find this a bit old fashioned and charming.

So, you know. To each their own.

If you enjoyed this story, check out this post about a daughter who invited herself to her parents’ 40th anniversary vacation for all the wrong reasons.