What’s an “internet wife” anyway?

Police allege man murdered by internet wife’s ex-husband

It’s the headline that bothers me. Just at a glance, I’d think that the murder victim had an online-only relationship with his “internet wife,” like those people whose MMORPG characters or Second Life avatars get “married.” But, no, he met the woman on the internet and married her in reality after her divorce from her previous husband was final.1No details are given as to timing, or whether she left for the new guy.

I’ve seen people refer to those who meet online and have a meat-world relationship this way before, but it’s annoying. If you meet someone on the internet, and the two of you marry, is that woman an “internet wife” and that man an “internet husband” forever?

By that logic, people should have bar, school, church, and gym spouses too, yes? My mother has a baseball game husband. My sister has a golf course husband. I think my brother met his wife at work, so she’s his work wife.

Now, if I thought people would follow this naming convention to its logical conclusion and have multiple spouses, it wouldn’t be quite as annoying. Somehow, though, I doubt that brother is going to acquire a rugby wife or some such.2Wait, do women play rugby? I’ve never met one who did. Hmmm.

Anyway, the headline should have read something like “Police allege man shot by wife’s jealous ex-husband” (I’d prefer active voice, but it seems The Telegraph doesn’t).

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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8 thoughts on “What’s an “internet wife” anyway?

  1. Wow! You’re right and the insinuation is highly offensive as if our relationship is virtual. My internet husband and I, who’ve been together 16 years, and our 4 children, disagree.

    BTW, have missed your posts. 🙂

  2. Yes, that is annoying. I suppose to someone who still sees the internet as something unusual and suspicious, it’s akin to saying “mail-order bride.” The headline dates the author.

  3. Not really relevant to the main post, but I have 2 female cousins who play rugby or have played it.

  4. Recently I read of another couple that were divorcing since he had a cyber affair and so she followed suit. It is hard enough to be a couple but now adding the internet makes it harder.

  5. The term “internet wife” doesn't make any sense. Unless you complete relationship is over the Internet.. and in that case, I'd say.. “Get a life!”.. I met my wife
    over the Internet, but we live together.. and it's an excellent relationship.

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