Why I Don't Use the Word 'Partner' for My Wife

It’s something I simply do not do.

ByABC News
January 8, 2015, 1:21 PM
Why one writer chooses to use "wife" instead of "partner." 
Why one writer chooses to use "wife" instead of "partner." 
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— -- (Editor's note: This article first appeared on Babble.com. It had been reprinted here with permission. Disney is the parent company of both ABC News and Babble.)

I’ve noticed that many people, especially relationship bloggers, use the word “partner” in lieu of wife, husband or spouse. I understand many people use this word in an effort to be politically correct but, personally, it’s something I simply do not do.

Maybe this seems harsh, but I feel very strongly about it and I think I have some good reasons. For me, “partnership” is a word with a very clear definition: It’s a contractual agreement between two people.

But your spouse is not your business partner.

Your relationship with your business partner is very important. You are linked to a degree that requires a tremendous amount of trust. Your financial well-being depends on decisions you and your business partner make. And while it’s true that my wife and I have to make financial decisions together, our marriage is more than just that.

One piece of advice that a wise business coach or mentor will share is to always have a written agreement stating how a partnership will end. It’s set up with an “out” in mind, with the clear understanding that it may (and likely will) end. This is where a marriage differs. If the day you say “I do,” you also have an exit strategy to end the marriage, then why get married in the first place?

Unlike the relationship with your business partner, the relationship with your husband or wife should have no end in mind, except the ending most couples state in their vows, “til death do us part.”

Your marriage is not like any other relationship.

No matter how many relationships you’ve had with the opposite sex, your marriage relationship is like no other. You have an intimacy that is both physical and emotional, and you share things that you would not share with anybody else.

I am more intimate with my wife than in any other relationship I have, period. That’s what makes her my wife … not my business partner or roommate. There is no other relationship that goes so deep, so it’s not something to be taken lightly, or treated casually, or easily abandoned just because someone feels bored.

When you understand and embrace your marriage as being like nothing else, like no other “partnership” in your life, only then you can feel secure that you will overcome whatever challenges come your way. And when you do that, marriage is a beautiful thing.

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