The Modern Wifey

Written with love, by Lindsay Carroll

If you’re following The Overwhelmed Bride, it’s probably because you are a bride and a wife-to-be.  I can’t claim to have yet been either. However, in my role as a marriage celebrant, I work closely with brides who, after the wedding celebration is over, transition to the more enduring role of wife.

But what the heck is the role of a wife in contemporary times?

Historically, the word “wife” is said to have its origins in the Old English word wif which means “woman.” The word husband comes from the Old Norse word husbondi meaning master of the house. Similarly the word marriage comes from the Latin word mas meaning male or masculine.

When I learned this, it occurred to me that we have so much to celebrate as contemporary women, brides and wives because what we are is so far removed from what it meant to be a wife many centuries ago. Women are political, religious and community leaders, breadwinners for their families, primary caregivers and small business owners.  Many women have had the freedom to marry their love of the same sex recognized. The changes are significant.

If you were to ask me what it takes to be a great wife in 2014, I’d suggest it has something to do with taking care of your mental, spiritual and physical well-being, to look after yourself through building strength and resilience and following marriage, to not lose touch with your identity and all of the things that made you you before you were a wife.  Similarly, to encourage the same practice in your husband will make him a better man and help you both be better co-captains of the figurative ship you’re sailing together.

Sure, the word wife implies that there exists another man or woman legally bound to you in matrimony but your role as a wife is only a fraction of an evolving and complex identity of self. Nurture those other identities and strive to be your best self in order to be a great wife! Simple!

How do you see your soon-to-be role as a wife? We want to hear from you!