March 15, 2024 at 8:32 am

Her Husband Refers To His Late Wife As His “Wife,” And She Wants Him To Call Her His “Ex”

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA/Shutterstock

Relationships are tricky to manage sometimes, even when they’re really good and relatively uncomplicated.

When one person is navigating a new marriage after the passing of a previous spouse, big feelings can abound on both sides.

OP has been married for under a year to a man who lost his wife previously.

So my husband (Daniel for privacy) and I have been married for just under a year and I love him very much, he has an 8 year old daughter (Jane for privacy) from his previous marriage who I love as my own, he’s always been respectful and patient which is part of why I decided to marry him.

We met right before the pandemic when he had been recently widowed the year before so we tried to take things slow. We ended up quarantining together and after 3 years we decided to tie the knot.

The wedding ceremony was everything a girl could dream of and we’ve honestly had very few issues in our first year as a couple.

It wasn’t until we went to pick up Jane from her summer camp that I started seeing an issue

At some point, she realized that he sometimes referred to his late wife as his wife.

I went to meet up with him at the front desk, I found him chatting with the camp coordinator which is all well and good until I overheard what he was saying.

He mentioned that “my wife made me this jacket actually, she was really good at all that sewing stuff”. He was referring to his ex-wife(Alyssa for privacy) NOT me. It bugged me a little but I brushed it off as a one-time thing, an accident.

We don’t talk about Alyssa much unless we’re around Jane, and even then he usually refers to her as “Jane’s mom”, I never heard him call her his wife, especially now that WE were married.

Then, she found out that he always refers to them both as his wife, to the point that some of their current friends are confused about her name.

It wasn’t until a week or two later that I learned he does this a lot. We were at a get-together with some friends from work, my first time meeting them. It was all good until one of them asked me questions about baseball.

I admitted I didn’t know much about the sport and he said that was weird because Daniel had mentioned I was really good at the game and even played some in college, it left me very confused. After talking to some more guys I found out this was a common issue, a lot of them thought Alyssa and I were the same person because Dan called us both his wife.

At this point I got really offended, we had been married for 10 months and he didn’t even call Alyssa his ex-wife yet, I was super awkward and explaining to people that he still called his ex-wife his wife was utterly humiliating, especially the amount he does it, not just one or two people but the whole office.

She confronted him and they argued; neither are willing to back down.

When we got home we fought. He said he didn’t even think about it that way, that since he never divorced Alyssa he never stopped thinking about her as his wife, he still stands by the fact that Alyssa is his wife, despite how embarrassing it is to explain to people that I’m not his second wife but rather his new wife and Alyssa his ex.

I told him that if he wasn’t ready to move on then he shouldn’t have married me, if he can’t commit to being my husband then he shouldn’t get to call me his wife.

I spent the next night at my sister’s house ignoring his calls, we recently started to smooth things over by not talking about them but I can tell that this is going to be a sore spot in the marriage I am trying so desperately to save.

Does Reddit think she’s out of line? Let’s find out!

The top comment says she needs to reframe her thinking.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person thinks the husband could do more, though.

Source: Reddit/AITA

That said, OP is getting it wrong, too.

Source: Reddit/AITA

They’re wondering if they should have gotten married in the first place.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person is more sympathetic to OP, though.

Source: Reddit/AITA

I think people are getting hung up on semantics.

She’s his “late wife,” not “ex-wife” but he does need to start distinguishing somehow, for clarity’s sake.

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