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#157338 - 03/16/06 07:49 PM missing term??
Patallen Offline

Registered: 03/16/06
Posts: 2
Loc: Wisconsin
My fiance', a widow, is wondering if there is a word that refers to a deceased spouse's relatives?
Greetings, and good evening all,
My fiance's deceased husband's mother, lives with her, as she did while the husband/son was living.
My fiance' feels uncomfortable introducing her as ,"My deceased husband's mother", which is exactally who she is, but my fiance' feels uncomfortable with that verbage.
As she introduces me to her kid's relatives, she feels "odd, uneasy, or uncomfortable explaining to me that it is her (insert the missing term for deceased husband's relative, here).

So does ANYBODY know if such a term, or reference exists?

#157339 - 03/16/06 08:28 PM Re: missing term??
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
Hi Patallen, welcome to the Board.

You might want to remove this same question from the other thread so that that one can continue on its own course.

In answer to your question, I've never heard of a specific term for that situation in the English-American language.

I think she should stick with mother-in-law if her relationship with her m-i-l is still strong. It'd be cruel to be constantly bringing up her dead son.

And really, what is wrong with saying mother-in-law? Especially these days, where kids routinely have four grandmothers and grandfathers because of divorce and reconstituted families.

If somebody asks for specifics, she can always provide them.

If she likes her mother-in-law, she can also rest easy with the idea that this woman will probably feel honoured that she's still being referred to as mother-in-law even if her son is dead.

#157340 - 03/16/06 08:32 PM Re: missing term??
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Hi, Pat, and welcome aBoard. I've only ever heard them referred to as exes, as in my ex-mother-in-law; or former, as in my former sister-in-law.

#157341 - 03/16/06 09:28 PM All my exes live in Texas
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
Although I'm not a widow, I am divorced. I still call the ex inlaws in-laws (or outlaws if I like them a lot ). I think belMarduk stated it quite well, so I have nothing further to add other than Welcome. Pull up a chair and prop your feet up.

Edited by consuelo (03/16/06 09:29 PM)

#157342 - 03/16/06 09:36 PM Staircase thought
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
Would it be better to introduce her by her name and leave it at that? "I'd like you to meet Mary (or Mrs. Smith)." In most cases, explanations are unnecessary, don't you think?

#157343 - 03/17/06 10:13 AM Nothing I'm aware of.
TheFallibleFiend Offline

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 1523
Loc: Virginia, USA
But I think m-i-l is perfectly fine. As a late adoptee, it always kinda bothered me to explain stuff to people I met, but then I realized that I really don't need to go into a lot of detail when I first meet someone. Later, as we develop a rapport, these kinds of things can be explained in more detail.

#157344 - 03/17/06 10:48 AM Re: Nothing I'm aware of.
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
I think you're spot on, FaFi - sometimes these apparent 'problems' occur only because we're trying to tell the whole story in one shot. Relax a bit and time takes care of it (one way or another!)

#157345 - 03/17/06 11:04 AM Re: missing term??
Myridon Offline

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 557
Loc: Dallas, TX
I agree that at this point her m-i-l is still that, at least until your wedding at which point the problem is (almost) the same as divorced/remarried.

As she introduces me to her kid's relatives, ...

If I have understood the relationship you are describing here, "this is my child's paternal uncle, aunt, second-cousin, ..." Many of the fiance's kid's relatives on the father's side were no relation to her anyway, i.e. there is no second-cousin-once-removed-in-law.

<off-topic and silly>
By your method of typing fiance', shouldn't the possessive be fiance''s? It could be carried to extremes though: "On my re'sume', it says I pick pin~on nuts while whistling "Fu..r Elise" under a fac;ade."

#157346 - 03/17/06 11:11 AM Re: Nothing I'm aware of.
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
Youíre right F.F. The information is very important to us, so we tend to blurt our information that isnít quite pertinent to the moment.

And for many people, meeting somebody new is a little hard, so the conversations deteriorate and get more uncomfortable as they add more and more information.

#157347 - 03/17/06 10:07 PM Re: Nothing I'm aware of.
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
FaFi ...FaFi? Though at first glance I read it as FiFi. What do you say, k--would you like to known henceforth as Fifi? [eg]


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