Thanks for reading and responding. And congrats on your upcoming nuptials.

Is the term “wife” truly subjective? There’s a cultural narrative about what a wife is and does, even who is “wife” material. She was once property of her husband, to whom she must submit.

If we just starting using the term now, when women are financially independent and have choices, it may not be such a problematic thing for so many women. But, it is full of “stuff” that many women object to (see Marilyn Yalom’s “A History of the Wife.”)

If, after you wed, you still refer to your husband as your “life partner,” people will nod, smile and not fully understand your arrangement. Call him your husband, and everyone will understand. And, sadly, it will be gendered.

Putting legal, religious and financial reasons aside, wouldn’t you still chose to be with your fiance, to have him by your side? And wouldn’t he want to do the same? If so (and I am guessing it would be so), what does the marriage license offer that you couldn’t have without it? Nothing really, because you’d still choose to be together because you want to. It’s just that you wouldn’t be his “wife,” and that term either makes a woman happy or not.

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Award-winning journalist, coauthor of “The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels,” mom, changing the narrative about older women

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