The statement “We’ve always done it this way” is all by itself the best reason to stop doing it.
Loyalty is not a virtue—unless omerta is, unless conformity, accommodation and codes of conduct are, unless the virtues are strategic, personal and exclusionary. Make no vows, Jesus said, speaking to the deaf.
Does patriarchy work? Of course it does! (It works for men.) But things change, and now “wife”, as a serviceable term, stands on the cusp of retirement.