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 the pre­vi­ous hus­band was final.1

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.2

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 they don’t).


1 No details are giv­en as to tim­ing, or whether she left for the new guy.

2 Wait, do women play rug­by? I’ve nev­er met one who did. Hmmm.

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8 Responses to “What’s an “internet wife” anyway?”

  1. Alice Says:
    October 25th, 2008 at 8:47 am

    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. cyn Says:
    October 25th, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Thanks 🙂

  3. Hope Says:
    October 26th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Yeah, that is annoy­ing. And it makes the head­line pret­ty sense­less.

  4. Gaelan Says:
    October 26th, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    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.

  5. Precious Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Hey, I know you nor­mal­ly know lots of resources when it comes to deal­ing with school sys­tems — see this http://community.livejournal.com/atlanta/3147153.html?

  6. Joshua Hill Says:
    October 30th, 2008 at 10:56 pm

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

  7. Tracy Says:
    November 17th, 2008 at 10:55 am

    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.

  8. James Says:
    March 7th, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    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.