Whenever I read or hear a man consistently refer to his wife as his “bride” it alerts me to his Blue Pill state of mind as well as his conditioning. This is a relatively new colloquialism for the Christian set (“christianese”). Generally I hear and read this from Evangelical Christian men because their context (or domain) is one of a self-enforced reverence for their wives. Usually it’s meant to be a not-so-veiled attempt at pedestalizing their wives in casual conversation with people they think will appreciate it (and hopefully earn cookie points with the wife), but what it reveals in my Red Pill lens is a guy who believes his “voluntary” deference to her makes him more respectable to her.I have much the same reaction that Rollo does to those two terms. Even worse, of course, is "Milady" or "My Lady" or "My Better Half" (oh, you rogue!) or "She Who Must Be Obeyed". But the problem with both "Bride" and "First Mate" is that they are terms which are chiefly meant to pedestalize (in the case of "bride") and appease (in the case of "first mate") women. Both are problematic in this regard.
Before you think I’m unfairly highlighting “Christian Beta Game” there is a similar, but more pervasive dynamic in the married-man set of the manosphere. Whenever I read a man (I’ve never heard a guy verbalize this) refer to his wife as the “First Mate” or “First Officer” it similarly sets off the same sensitivity I get with the “brides” men – and for much of the same reasons.
Any man with a cursory experience in the manosphere recognizes this buzz-term from Athol Kay’s Married Man Sex Life. The principle of the term stems from the idea that a husband needs to be the ‘captain’ of his marriage, his family and the director and decision maker of where that unit will go, what their goals are, etc. On the face of it, this male headship positioning stresses what men (and wives) interpret as an old-order conventional complementarity between the sexes.
A strong male leadership role is very appealing to both men and women, and I’ll be the first to cosign the need for a man’s ‘captaincy’ as it were in his marriage and his life in general. This ‘Manning Up’ into a headship of his relationship hits the right buttons for a man predisposed to Beta complacency (not to mention it gives him a faint hope for resolving a sexless marriage), but also for women who are encouraged by the ‘new’ Alpha-ish husband they hope will take the lead (usually from her) and potentially generate the tingles he’s never quite been able to do for her.
Unfortunately, this push for ‘captaincy’ is self-defeated by the equalist-mindset compromise of allaying a woman’s inherent insecurities by giving her assurances that she will be the “first mate” in this new arrangement. Even in a position of instated headship (relinquished or otherwise), men predisposed to an egalitarian equalism still want to ‘play fair’ and offer an appeasement for being allowed to be the head of the home.
Her voice will be heard, her input will be considered, because he just “loves her that much”; this is the self-satisfying rationale for being allowed to direct the course of his marriage and family. The problems inherent in this are rooted in the compromise of his assuming all accountability for the failures of that arrangement while still granting her his magnanimous assurances that he’ll always have her best interests in mind.
How a man refers to his wife is a surprisingly significant indication of his level of control over the relationship. For example, what would be your reaction to a man who refers to his beaming wife as his "fucktoy"? Sure, you'd find him uncouth and appalling, but that alone would have the women around the happy couple either a) sexually melting or b) physically assaulting him. There would be no doubt at all about who was wearing the pants in that relationship. Better yet, imagine the consternation if she introduced herself as his fucktoy....
The converse is also true.
Men who habitually say "my wife" or "my woman" are intrinsically stronger in relationship terms because they are not concealing the possessive aspect of the male-female relationship. And remember, women desperately want to be possessed. They want to feel owned. Denying them that feeling makes them feel rejected and alone when it doesn't make them feel contempt for the man who does not have the strength to possess them.
Symbols matter. Titles matter. So sit at the head of the table, address your wife as "my wife", not some weaselly construction, and be the master of your house. Your wife will appreciate you all the more for it.