I have come across a few couples that have been together for years that I thought were husband and wife, but when I asked, “Oh, are you so-and-so’s husband?,” they reply, “Well, I’m her partner.” What does that mean? Why do you think some people do not refer to themselves as husband and wife?

–Curious Girl (United States)


In hetero couples, some common reasons include:

1)    Some people don’t like the roles or stereotypes or energy associated with the term “husband” or “wife,” so they choose to use more neutral terms such as partner, which connotes total equality and also may imply that a relationship is a true partnership on all levels rather than anybody’s version of what that means.

2)    Sometimes people avoid using the terms “husband” and “wife” for legal reasons. If it is important for them to remain separate entities legally, those terms may imply a common-law marriage, which they may not want even if they’re been together a long time.

3)    It beats calling your person  “Sugar Daddy” and “Snooky Babe.” Ha ha.

Thank you for your question, Curious Girl.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Nooneh Karapetian
    Feb 08, 2014 @ 06:55:32

    Liked answer 3 the best 🙂





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