Wife

A wife is a female lifetime partner in a continuing marital relationship. A wife may also be referred to as a spouse. The term continues to be applied to a woman who has separated from her husband and ceases to be applied to such a woman only when her marriage has come to an end following a legally recognised divorce or the death of her spouse. The rights and obligations of the wife in relation to her husband and others, and her status in the community and in law, varies between cultures and has varied over time. In a heterosexual relationship, a woman's spouse is her husband.

The term is most commonly applied to a woman in a legally sanctioned marriage, and not to a woman in another cohabitation relationship such as a concubine, mistress etc. However, a woman in a so-called common law marriage may describe herself as a common law wife, de facto wife, or simply a wife; but sometimes the female is described as "girlfriend" or "partner". Those seeking to advance gender neutrality may refer to both marriage partners as "spouses", and many countries are rewording their statute law by replacing "wife" and "husband" with "spouse". Also, in a polygamous marriage, each woman is described as a wife.

Read more about Wife:  Summary, Related Terminology, Differences in Cultures, Expectation of Fidelity

Famous quotes containing the word wife:

    I believe no gentleman would like to have his family affairs neglected because his wife was filling her head with crotchets and pothooks, and who, because she understood a few scraps of Latin, valued that more than minding her needle or providing her husband’s dinner.
    Sarah Fielding (1710–1768)

    When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.
    Bible: Hebrew Deuteronomy 24:5.

    Of all things in life, Mrs. Lee held this kind of court-service in contempt, for she was something more than republican—a little communistic at heart, and her only serious complaint of the President and his wife was that they undertook to have a court and to ape monarchy. She had no notion of admitting social superiority in any one, President or Prince, and to be suddenly converted into a lady-in-waiting to a small German Grand-Duchess, was a terrible blow.
    Henry Brooks Adams (1838–1918)