I am using "behaving like a wife" the way it is used in the book "Men who can't love" http://www.amazon.com/Men-Cant-Love-.../dp/1567310478
For those who have not read it, it describes a dynamic of escalation where usually a man withholds something (information, love), the women reacts and then the prosess of action and reaction escalates. Without maybe even realizing it, women tend to belive that by behaving like a wife (understanding, patient OR accusingly, like he owns her), she can make the guy in question behave like a husband (responsible, caring more or even engage with her in an argument). They want the other person to change, instead they both tend to enchance what they want less. If one instead behaves a bit like it was a business arrangement ("what are your interests? what are mine? where do we merge?") it becomes less emotional - and therefore strangely better equipped to deal with the emotions. You could of course call it whatever you like, but that was the term from the book. I guess the point overlapps with what some of you guys have already said, I just wanted to clarify what I meant by it.