Being a kept woman was satisfying and fun while it lasted

Someone once asked me what I do for a living, and I quickly replied, “I am a kept woman.”

Let me put out there that the Good Chaplain has never endorsed this view. But especially in the last part of his career, I didn’t work for financial gain. I lived off him.

The dictionary doesn’t define “kept woman,” but I have my own. A kept woman is a woman who does nothing but play. She doesn’t work outside the home for money and, she has no children, or they are grown up and out of the house. This last point is crucial. Stay-at-home moms are not kept women because of the very idea that they are raising children. She is not free to go out when she pleases and frequently needs to be home when the kids get home from school. Too many restrictions to be considered a kept woman. Sorry, stay-at-home moms. Your day will come.

Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA production on

Don’t get me wrong, though. My definition of a kept woman is not what you see in movies like “Goodfellas,” where the mobsters all have a woman on the side stashed away in a penthouse living in the lap of luxury. I’m a military spouse. I don’t think anyone considers our lifestyle luxurious.

Photo by Jou00e3o Gustavo Rezende on

I didn’t become a kept woman until we moved to Alaska the second time in 2006. It was the last time I had a paying job, and my girls were in college. The lifestyle fits my definition. I came and went as I pleased. I joined various organizations such as the Spouse Club, squadron spouse groups, the women’s group at the chapel, and others. I volunteered, mainly at the Thrift Shop on different bases.

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Sometimes I felt guilty about being a kept woman since it required the Good Chaplain to supply all my money to have fun. But he didn’t seem to mind. He always reminded me that it was “our” money and that I contributed in other ways like cooking meals and cleaning the house (insert hysterical laughter here). I hate housework, but I couldn’t justify hiring a cleaning service while I lolled around all day as a kept woman.

Now that I’ve published a book and am working on a second one, along with writing this blog, I’m not sure if I can still call myself a kept woman. The Good Chaplain put up the seed money for the first book, but I am making some money off it, so I am technically bringing in some income, so the answer is no. But it was fun while it lasted.

Until next time,


Do you aspire to be a kept woman? Are you one already? Let me know in the comment section below.

Victoria Terrinoni is the author of Where You Go, I Will Go: Lessons From a Military Spouse. She followed the Good Chaplain around for 31 years as a military spouse. To purchase her book, go to the Buy Here tab on this website.

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