Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What do you call people that live together? Erasing "Married" from the English Lanquage

My husband and I after 50 years of MARRIAGE!
I do try to keep up with the times!  In fact, I think that you will find that the older people get the harder they try to stay in touch with what is trendy.  But sometimes there is no hiding our age.  Here is what is happening to me.

My husband and I moved from a beautiful lofty condo with spectacular views born of youthful dreams.  We loved that home for the 10 years we lived there.  This last winter I woke with the thought that we needed to find a home we could enjoy now but would still carry us into our senior years...whenever that is. We put our condo on the market, sold it at the asking price and found a beautiful home in a 50+ community.  You would think that we could let ourselves act a "little" old in this setting.  But no!!!

The stumbling block seems to be my habit is assuming that if you live together, have a family together and love each other you might by some remote chance be married.  Not that I give a rip if you are married or not.  I just am in the habit of assuming that you might be.  So I ask!  

The children and grandchildren of acquaintance have babies and I will ask about the spouse or say "Oh I didn't realize your daughter/granddaughter/friend's daughter was married."  Someone will lean in close and remind me that babies are born all the time without people being married!  Darn!  I really do need to quit doing that.  

But the final straw is my mistake of addressing the person sitting next to an older woman as though the two belonged together...I will say, "and apparently this is your husband."  NOOOOOO...that is not the husband. That is a friend!  They live together, travel and heaven only knows what else together but they are not married.  Phooey!  I feel so foolish for even opening my mouth.

So here is the deal...what do you call that person that shares your life,and babies?  What are you to each other if not a bonded couple "married????" in an informal way ?  If your husband dies and you find someone to share your life with but choose not to marry for financial or legal reasons, what is your relationship. Either we need to redefine "marriage" or find a title for that other person.  

I really do need help now!  The definition of marriage is changing so fast that I can't keep up.  Now I even need help with the word I will use to describe the relationship between my married gay friends.  I may not be allowed to go out in public before very long if I keep acting my age! 



  1. We now ask , "Is that your significant other"? That "title fits every category. My mom is 81 and called my son's finance his SO (significant other). My son corrected her to "finance not living with one another". It was a chuckle to the good.
    Since only my daughter is married in her generation (twelve kids from 31- 16) and most are living with SO's-with the exception of my son - including my brother- this term keeps her from getting into trouble with everyone!

    Ok- now practice. "John, is Sue your significant other?" It is what it is... sadly in my opinion.

  2. Thank you...I am practicing. I really, really want to "stay out of trouble".



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