Marriage

Don’t Be A Baby Wife

baby wife

She’s a married woman in her 40s. She doesn’t drive, refuses to stay home alone if the weatherman calls for a thunderstorm, and she gives her husband the silent treatment for days if they argue. She is a baby wife.

Frivolous, spoiled, needy, stubborn, and reliant. Some little girls never grow up even though they marry and have children of their own. They get what they want using tears and tantrums. And their families learn it’s easier to give in to them than confront them. (Remember that silent treatment thing.)

Nobody’s proud of the role they play enabling such a women, so her childish ways stay secret. She has no motivation to change because her strategy works for her. Until it doesn’t.

Baby wife behavior is to marriage what lead paint is to curious toddlers - slow poison. Click To TweetBaby wife behavior is to marriage what lead paint is to curious toddlers – slow poison. It wears her husband out and causes him to grow resentful and restless. It leaves him vulnerable to the allure of mature women who aren’t emotionally high-maintenance.

A coworker once confided to our small lunch bunch that he was thinking of leaving his wife. He said she feigned migraine headaches any time they were to get together with his side of the family. He and his son always went without her and returned home to find her completely recovered and into some craft she enjoyed. When he looked at her, he saw a “selfish, manipulative woman” and he was over it.

A baby wife is no role model for her children. Her displays of fear and lack of self-sufficiency may well become their fears and lack of self-sufficiency. She may hover over them obsessively or treat them as competitors for the attention she craves. As her children grow older and observe strong and confident women in the role of wife and mother, their respect for their own mother is likely to erode because comparison is inevitable.

A baby wife may get what she wants for awhile. If she’s married to a man graced with longsuffering patience and steadfast commitment, she may even get it the entirety of her marriage. But it is disgraceful to exploit your covenant mate for self-indulgence and to leave your children a legacy of embarrassment. Don’t be a baby wife.

You can find a list of marriage resources for grown women right here.

baby wife

(Have you known a baby wife? Leave a comment about what effect it had on her family.)

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  • I certainly hope I dont fall into this category. Truth be told I think we probably all have our “baby wife” moments.

  • Yeesh! I would not be a fan either haha!

  • Oh my goodness this is SO true!! I see it all the time, especially when the men are very laid back because it usually never changes, it just becomes toxic. Great post!!

  • A baby wife sounds absolutely awful. I have to wonder though was this behavior not happening prior to getting married? It just sorta seems as though this behavior wouldn’t come out of nowhere?

    • Alexandra T Armstrong

      I believe you’re right – it comes from where it’s already been. But I don’t think we always see a person realistically when we’re in love. Sometimes guys (and women) gloss over faults or think they’ll deal with it later. And sometimes later they decide they can’t deal. Thanks for your insight!

  • Oof! That sounds like a terrible thing to deal with. I’m curious if they were like that before marriage or if it was a shift in behavior. I feel like some of the signs must have been there, but maybe it just gets worse the more they are able to get away with it.

    • Wife Sense

      I’m pretty sure, Sam, that there are always signs before the marriage. Problem is, love IS often blind and men (women too!) won’t see what they don’t want to see beforehand. Or if we see things that concern us, we think we can change them. Nope.

  • Marcie

    I encounter baby wives on a daily basis. This is a good reminder that self-sufficiency is a great trait to model for kids!

  • I know some baby wives unfortunately…. they are also “princesses” in my book. I try to surround myself with independent, strong women though.

    • Wife Sense

      I guess “princess wife” would work, too. It also communicates an entitlement attitude. Good for you about being selective who you surround yourself with. Me too.

  • Theresa Bailey

    I’ve never heard this term before but yes I know a few of these. It really does hurt the marriage and can take a toll on the children.

  • Alyssa Coral

    Never heard of this term but it sounds like a terrible position to be in! Kids need strong, empowering mamas!

    • Wife Sense

      They sure do, Alyssa!

  • The Salty Mamas

    Yikes! I don’t know any of these and sure as heck want to make sure I never do any of those things!