Playing Wife: Have You Been Bamboozled?

Playing wife with no husband? You have nothing to gain, but everything to lose.

By: Amanda Anderson
Let me just warn you…this will be a very raw article in which the truth is more important than spared feelings or sugar coated realities. You see, as a woman, I’ve realized the dangers of being a person who hates truth and lives a lie. Unfortunately, there are many of our sisters, ourselves included, who are living lies and rejecting truth even though it has been living a lie that has caused us the most sorrows. Most of us have gotten this whole relationship thing wrong, so wrong that our relationships look no different from marriage. In essence, about 70% of black women are single, but probably at least 40% of those women are still playing house. I ask you, does it make sense to perform wifely duties if technically, we have no husband?

How is your boyfriend your hubby?
As black relationships and marriages continue to decline, I have seen a frantic surge of desperation in my sisters. Now, I love you all because I love my people, but we are not, nor have we ever been a website aimed for preaching to the choir.

What good has that ever served?

But back to the surge of desperation…it is this desperation that has many single black women referring to their mere boyfriends as hubbies. Now this premature label does hold power, and no, it is not harmless. As we begin to call our boyfriends our hubbies, we begin to act like wives. We’re shacking up with, cooking, cleaning, and sexing men that haven’t even married us.

Why on earth are we giving just any man husband like treatment? Our desperation to have somebody, hell anybody, has us taking on roles prematurely, but then calling fowl when a man leaves his pretend marriage, which is the usual fate with our imaginary hubbies in boyfriend form.

So what exactly is a wifey?
I’d say wifey is an immature title that just reeks in the ignorance of our failure to understand the difference between dating and marriage. Since wifey is wife with an unnecessary letter attached to the end, it’s clear that this term was invented to add an unnecessary obligation to the unmarried woman.

Men want wifeys more than they want wives.

What does a woman have to gain in a pretend marriage?
Nothing actually, but amazingly, she has everything to lose in such a faulty relationship. In our pretend marriages where we have been ignorantly labeled as wifeys or pretend wives, we are giving our complete selves to our pretend husbands.

There’s no ring involved, no paper filed with the government, and most importantly, no true vow taken in front of God; yet, we are still giving our complete selves to men who have not given us their complete commitment. 

Though I’ve pointed out that a woman has nothing to gain from a pretend marriage or from merely being a pretend wife, someone will point out that she gains experience in how to be a wife simply from pretending to be a wife.

And this draws the following question:

Does one need experience to survive marriage?

I figured it’s best to look at the couples who have been married for many years, and survived a world that has changed, and yet still manages to love their spouse and honor their vows.

Usually, these couples are married 20 years or more. They come from the earlier generations, and they view relationships and marriage completely different from our own generation.

You’ll notice a few things with them:

1. At least 90% of them did not shack up prior to marriage.

2. Depending on the generation, they didn’t even have sex before marriage.

3. They recognized the stark differences between marriage and dating/courting, and treated each in respect to their allotted differences.

4. Marriage was viewed as an upgrade to dating, and not merely an exact entity that has no real difference.

5. They valued marriage.

Technically speaking, they had no experience when they married their spouse of over 20 years, yet today, they are still married.

So who was the deceiver who said a couple needs to live together before they get married to stay married? I wonder how this particular misinformed individual would feel if he saw that now 70% of black women are single, and the ones playing house become so miserable in their pretend marriages, they wonder if real marriage is even worth it.

Now, some of you may still refute my perspective…that’s fine. Statistics anyone?

1. More than 8 couples out of 10 who are shacking up will break up before marriage or afterwards via divorce.

2. About 45% of those who begin living together, do not get married. Another 5 to 10% will remain shacked up, without marrying.

3. Couples who do live together before marriage are 50% more likely to get divorced than those who do not.

4. Only 12% of couples who shacked up have a marriage lasting 10 years or more.

5. A Penn State study shows that even shacking up for a month decreases the quality of a relationship.


As the statistics show, there is no real advantage in playing wife. No experience is truly gained from being in a pretend marriage, nor has it ever been required for a marriage that lasts.

If you are merely playing wife, stop for a moment and think about just what a man even has to gain from marrying a woman who is already providing the benefits of marriage. What difference would there be besides papers, changes in last names, and a few vows in front of God? You are still doing the same things you were doing before the marriage.

It is this complex right here that will keep a lot of women single. We ourselves want to get married, but yet, we don’t truly value marriage. Because if we truly valued marriage, we wouldn’t act like wives before we became wives. It is nothing positive about being some man’s wifey, while he still has his options open, and is reaping in benefits he never sowed.

Like our grandmothers used to say…”Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?”

Let’s stop giving away our milk ladies, and begin a movement in bringing back the sacredness of marriage.

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