Why aren’t wives treated like brides?

I love reading bridal magazines.

In fact, I enjoyed planning my wedding so much I’d happily do it all over again (to the same man, I hasten to add).

Is there anything like the thrill of putting on a wedding dress for the first time or the excitement of shopping for rings?

If you were anything like me (or are planning your nuptials at the moment), there are menus to be poured over, wines to be tasted and selected and a whole host of knotty relationship issues to be navigated before the big day.

Should you invite your mother-in-law to be’s ex-husband?

What’s the right number of bridesmaids?

Should you allow your friends to bring a plus-one?

Everything seems to pass so quickly in a haze of rose-petals and sugared almonds until – pffft – with a wave of the wedding fairy’s wand you are a Mrs.

And then what? (and in many people’s opinion, so what?)

From being the star of the show on your special day, from then on some days you feel as if you’d struggle to get a walk-on part in a pound shop advert.

It’s no wonder so many new brides feel immensely deflated and depressed once the big day is over and the new passport is put away in the drawer with the honeymoon photos.

Actually, I still haven’t updated my passport with my new married name – all that documentation seemed too much of an extra stress at the time.

Consequently, I’m still planning our honeymoon nearly 4 years on (and it gets grander and more expensive in my white sandy fantasies as the years pass)!

As wives, are we wrong to want to enjoy, how shall I put it, an ‘uplift’ in our status? Some sort of recognition.  I can hear staunch feminists shouting from here – no, we are not chattels.  Our existence should not be defined, nay constrained  by shackling ourselves to some man.

In the olden days, of course, marriage was practically the only means of guaranteeing a respectable place in society.

Marriage was a financial transaction where, at least for the gentry, birth lines and the inheritance of land were protected by forging a suitable match.

The feelings of the bride for her prospective groom were often of little consequence.

Thankfully, today we women define ourselves and make our own choices – and that’s my point.

If we choose to become wives, should there not be some sort of acknowledgement of it?  I’m not necessarily talking about tax breaks but at least something.

In the absence for a lot of people of any religious meaning to the concept of marriage – I’m a believer, my husband is not so we had a civil ceremony – and after the public declaration of love for your partner has been made – what are wives for these days?

I am not, let’s be clear about this, saying that wives are more than singletons in any sense but I just wish there were some celebration of our choice to embrace marriage.

Singletons are encouraged to stand up and be counted – to declare their life choice and be proud.

No longer is the spinster seen as the sad lady living at home with too many cats.

That stereotype has been (almost) erased from society’s lexicon of  “types of women”.

Well I say why shouldn’t wives stand up and be counted too?


1 Comment

  1. mostlyyummymummy.com
    6 August, 2015 / 8:01 pm

    Isn't the wedding itself the celebration of becoming a wife? I'm guessing your 'prize' for making the choice to get married is many happy years together. Or am I missing something? Hey what do I know, I've been very happily unmarried to an amazing man for over twenty years now! Ha!

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