The ex: pondering the names

Romeo and Juliet
Image via Wikipedia

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Romeo and Juliet

I never know what to call him. My husband. The one who eventually won’t be my husband (that is, if he ever gets around to filing for divorce, but that’s a topic for different post).

Today I referred to him (in an email to a stranger who is willing to come to my house and pick up old computers that we have no use for and that my daughter keeps running into when she pulls into the garage) as my husband. Like it was something normal. I just didn’t see any reason to tell a complete stranger that, while he TECHNICALLY is my husband, he doesn’t live here and we don’t pay bills together. We don’t sleep together and we don’t eat dinner together… So I just called him my husband. ’nuff said.

But what do I call him? I sometimes refer to him as the SoonToBeXHusband (or STBXH), but that’s a little cumbersome and a lot too support-group-forum like for my taste. And I never remember the order of the letters, so I have to silently recite “soon-to-be-x-husband” in my head when I type it. Not unlike “the silverware had a fight, the knife and the spoon were right, so the fork left” when I’m setting the table. Really. Don’t you do that? Or “spring forward, fall back” for daylight savings time. Anyway…

The ex? I dunno. That conjures up visions of an overly made up waitress or something. Dangling a cigarette and wearing tight pants and 4-inch heels.

The man formerly known as my husband? Nice, but a little too wordy. And I’m not a fan of Prince.

Sometimes bloggers refer to their partners as Mr (blog name), but that would make him Mr. Coffee, and that’s the name of a kitchen appliance and it makes me think of Joe DiMaggio, which makes me think of “Koo-koo-ka-choo, Mrs. Robinson,” which makes me think of Simon and Garfunkel. And I love Simon and Garfunkel, so I don’t want that association.

There are the obvious pejorative names, like sh**head and a**hole. But I’m not really interested in typing those words repeatedly. Or saying them. Or even thinking them when I think of him. Okay, well maybe sometimes, but not ALL the time.

I’m strongly considering FOMC, which is short for Father Of My Children. But does that imply that we weren’t married?

Which leaves me with his name, but I feel like I need something more descriptive. More descriptive, but not cumbersome and dignified (for me, the speaker).

Suggestions? What do you call your ex husband? Keep it clean, people. Help me out here – what do you call him?



Filed under Communication, Creating a new life, Redefining your relationship

9 responses to “The ex: pondering the names

  1. Seasons

    Mine is a soon to be ex-wife… and I still have her saved as ‘wife’ on my cellphone and I still say ‘my wife’ to those who do not need to know.

    I have your dilemma too… I wish I did not have to even mention her but well she is the mother of my children(though she has no idea how they are).

  2. bandnerdtx

    A friend of mine suggested calling him my “wasband”. šŸ˜€

  3. Stephanie

    Call him…The Jerk….

  4. Kaye

    You could call him your baby daddy . . .

    (just kidding)

    If I’m speaking to someone who knows him, I call him by his name. If not, I call him my ex-husband. I guess there aren’t a lot of alternatives. Ex is short and descriptive.

  5. Debbie Harris

    Seasons – thanks for letting me know that I’m not alone in my dilemma. Do you feel like a fraud when you say “wife?” I feel like I’m lying; like I need to explain…

    My in-laws (who are not married to one another but still live in the same home – another post in itself) came to my daughter’s wedding, and my FIL didn’t wear a suit. My MIL spent the whole wedding explaining to everyone that they’re no longer married and that she’s not responsible for how he dressed. I guess you never stop feeling the need to explain…

    Sorry to hear about your kids and their relationship with their mom – sounds painful.

  6. I refer to mine as Mr. Ex, even before the divorce was final. I didn’t feel like I was lying because in my heart that’s what he was and also, I felt that it was no one else’s business as to whether or not our divorce was final. You could call yours TEx-h for The Ex Husband. What I struggle with is what to call my in-laws as I’m extremely close with Mr. Ex’s father and stepmother.

    • Debbie Harris

      celticbuffy – thanks for commenting. I like “Mr. Ex.” You have a great point about what to call the in-laws – let me know if you want to guest post about it.

  7. Seasons

    My story is long(one of the reasons my blog is no longer active)

    You have captured it all in one word- Fraud. I always feel that am lying when I use the word wife to describe her. My six year old daughter is slowly coming to realization that he mother is never coming back.

  8. Debbie Harris

    Seasons – thanks for your comment. How painful for your daughter. To be honest, though, I wish my daughters’ father would just disappear…

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