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