Tuesday, February 19, 2013

He's Not My "Ex"

Twice recently (once today, actually!) I have had people refer to Michael as my ex or my ex-husband. I know they just misspoke, but the connotation of those terms rubs me the wrong way. My understanding is that an "ex" spouse is one from whom you are divorced.

I am not divorced.

I am widowed.

Michael is my late husband.

I know there are far more divorced people than widowed people and so referring to "exes" is far more common, but I don't think I'm out of line for taking the slightest offense to that term being used to describe my Honey. Our separation was not by choice - we did not choose to end our marriage.

If Michael was anywhere on this planet, nothing would keep me from him. 


  1. You are absolutely right to take offense to that.

  2. Thank you, Dawn. Some people just don't get it... ;)

  3. I totally get it too. I just have to remind myself that people don't think before they speak and that they usually don't mean any harm. I had to tell myself that yesterday when a patient asked if I didn't have kids because I didn't want them? And then when I told her I couldn't have them she proceeded to tell me I was lucky. Sigh.

  4. I so appreciate you pointing this out. I don't *think* I've made this mistake personally, but I can totally picture myself doing so at some point. I will now be much more mindful of the distinction in the future and I know I will think of you when the time comes for me to carefully choose my words. You are correct in that the term "ex" is so much more common, it kind of sneaks up on you even when it's not the term you're looking for.

    I hope the next time someone makes this error, you feel free to kindly correct them. I'd like to think most people would appreciate the chance to address that mistake in order to not make it again. I know I would.

  5. Michelle, I can empathize with those kind of questions, too. I guess people say too much because they're afraid of not saying enough, or something. Who knows? I get asked (by people who don't really know me) when I'm going to have another baby. Um... Well, I'd like to have more children, but I'm a widow and I'm 45 and blah, blah, blah... The look of discomfort on their face tells me they wish they hadn't asked!

    Michelle w/ a K, I need to be more assertive when people do this, for sure. I did mumble "late husband" the other day, and the person corrected themselves. Uncomfortable! :P


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