I received an email form a chum who refers to his wife as “The Wife”. Why is it that men refer to their partner as “The”?  Do they mean principal, first, eldest, or what?   I never seem to hear my girlfriends refer to their partners as “The Husband”, they seeem to prefer what is to me more acceptable “My Husband”, perhaps because those are the words uttered by Her Majesty the Queen.  I do not like the use of the word ‘the’ when refering to a wife or partner, it seems very derogatory.

I am of an age when I hear a man refer to his partner as “My Husband” or a girlfriend refer to her partner as “My Wife” that I take a few milliseconds to take in the use of the word and adjust my thoughts.  I guess I did not grow up in the age of gay marriage. I heartily approve of equality and freedom of choice and am angered that gay marriage is not yet a possibility in many countries, inparticular Italy which has a very medieval outlook toward gay coupling.

In the tv programme Queer as Folk USA to which I must confess I am slightly addicted two principal lesbian characters, Melanie and Lindsay are (at least onthe schedule received here in Italy) having marital problems and contemplating divorce.

How tragic is it that marriage has only recently become a possibility for us gays, and that we have voluntarily gone headlong into the same disaster that is heterosexual marriage.  I read recenly nine out of ten marriages end in divorce.  As a business model marriage would not survive and certainly not get funding from any (even British) bank.

Why did we not get it right, yes there is a need to commit (and ok I do have friends both gay and hetero who are or appear to be happily married) and indeed I would like to commit, but why does marriage end up signifying posession and not just a higher form of co-habitation and what the Italians so aptly call ‘condividere’, sharing or have in common?  The Italian view of homosexual marriage is so wrong but the term they use is so right, – the enigma that is Italy.

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