Babek Subhani

This Is What It Really Means When A Toxic Man Calls You ‘Wife Material’

Being called “wife material” by a high-quality and high-value man is usually intended as a compliment but it means something vastly different than when a toxic or narcissistic man (or narcissistic woman) does it. When a high-value man calls you “wife material” or you call him “husband material” in turn, it means you’ve met someone akin to a soulmate, a partner who feels like home. You’ve met someone who shares your deepest core values, a special person you admire who has the qualities you’ve always wanted in a future spouse, someone you’d love to share the rest of your life with. On the other hand, when a toxic or narcissistic man is calling you “wife material,” it’s less of a compliment and more of a proposed prison sentence. 

The narcissistic man sees immense “wife material” in people they can exploit for their own gain. He (or she, as narcissists can be both male and female) views their partners through a lens colored by, “What can I get from this person?” not “How can we build a healthy partnership?” A toxic person who calls their partner “wifey material” isn’t looking for a true partnership – they’re more interested in a power ploy. They’re looking for submission, compliance, and obedience. They’re looking for someone with a vast amount of endless empathy and compassion who is willing to cater to their every whim and need. A spouse who can be trained and conditioned to overlook not just their flaws but their numerous transgressions. They’re identifying whether you’re overly forgiving and prone to turning the other cheek. These – for them – are the qualities they seek in a so-called “good” wife. When a toxic person calls you “wife material,” they couldn’t care less about your intelligence, personality, goals, sense of humor, your ambitions, or your individuality. They don’t care about your inner and outer beauty unless it serves them – in fact, it actively threatens them if you get the attention of other suitors. The truth is, the most captivating women in the world are rarely called “wife material” by toxic men (unless it’s part of excessive flattery and love bombing) who don’t appreciate these qualities – rather, they’re appreciated by the high-quality men who see her for who she is and how valuable she is.

The Difference Between High-Quality Men and Toxic Partners

A high-quality man admires the positive qualities and strengths he sees in a potential partner. He loves when his partner is intelligent, empathic, witty, talented, and driven – not because he can use these qualities against her or for his gain, but rather because he honors and reveres her as a person. He is not threatened by her, her gifts, her beauty (both external and internal), or the attention she gets from others. He doesn’t see her as a possession, even if he is protective. On the contrary, he’s proud to have such a strong and sought-after partner by his side. He views her as an equal – not an object to boost his own image. Unlike the toxic man, he sees sex with her as another form of intimacy to further connect with her – not devalue or objectify her. He loves her quirks and her multifacetedness. He falls in love with his future spouse and sees her as his version of the “dream woman” because she is unique in her own right and cannot be replicated. If he wants to raise children with her, he knows he’s got the perfect partner co-parenting with him – for him, parenthood is a shared and rewarding “mission,” not an obligation he passes off to her. He knows she is so much more than “just” his wife – he respects her as an individual and a human being, first and foremost.  

The Toxic Person’s Ideal “Wife Material” 

What the toxic person most desires and sees as “wife material” is a potential spouse who is willing to bend over backwards for them – willing to sacrifice their dreams to move in with them and support theirs, more than willing to take on the majority of childrearing and parenting responsibilities, and ready to pick up most if not all the domestic labor without compensation or care. A wife who will wait for them at home while they go out and live their lives and pursue their careers (and even other women). A wife who will bear and raise their children to the point of exhaustion without help or appreciation. A woman who will be available for sex whenever he likes – even if she’s not up for it. A partner who is willing to move across the country to fulfill their preferences. A woman who is okay with shrinking herself or dimming her light – who will hide herself to ensure her husband doesn’t get too jealous or envious. Even if he’s not contributing financially to the household, the toxic narcissist still wants his wife to take on a traditional role without being generous or entirely traditional himself (some toxic partners, especially parasitic psychopathic partners, may even actively leech off their wife’s resources). There’s nothing wrong with being a stay-at-home wife if that’s what you want to do – but if so, you should have a high-quality, nurturing, and compassionate partner who is willing to support you, your needs, and all your dreams by your side. 

These toxic types want a wife that does not cause “drama” – in other words, someone who doesn’t speak up for herself or think about what she wants, needs, and feels. They want a woman with pick-me tendencies who has porous boundaries and is quick to internalize the toxic person’s criticism of her without considering he may be the problematic one in the relationship. The high-quality man, on the other hand, is his partner’s biggest cheerleader. He will generously offer emotional validation, resources, and encouragement that will further his wife’s passions, mission, and interests. He will use actions to show her how much he values her presence, her energy, and all the good she brings into his life. 

The Big Picture

The next time someone is calling you “wife material,” resist being too flattered at the onset. Instead, evaluate the source. Is this a high-quality man with empathy who has shown you consistently that he will be there for you, who is interested in being a true “partner” in every sense of the word, who offers healthy praise when he notices your unique and irreplaceable qualities? Or is this a toxic person who compliments you on being “wife material” when he barely knows you and has a sinister agenda – or only when he’s impressed by the ways you’re serving him? The former is more likely to be a high-quality man and true husband material – a man who appreciates your strengths and wants you to be his partner for life; the latter is a toxic man who can’t wait to save money on a free live-in maid and caretaker. 

When it comes to choosing any partner (male or female) for life, it’s important to slow down. Resist the love-bombing of toxic people and evaluate whether this is a healthy partner or a hindrance to your freedom and joy. If you’re dealing with a male or female narcissist, it’s important to seek professional support. You deserve healthy partnerships.